Illinois water bill assistance.

Customers facing a shut off of their water service in Illinois can receive assistance with paying their water bills from American Watre, which is one of the largest providers in the state. They offer various emergency programs and resources to help families who are having difficulty in paying their water bills. The programs for income qualified Illinois families include the Low Income Payment Plan Program as well as H2O Help to Others Program.

For those families and individuals who are facing a hardship that is beyond their control or that stretches their finances, such as a job loss, Illinois American Water may be able to help. Customer service representatives from the water company will do their best to work with people to prevent a shut off and to help them pay off their outstanding bills over time. They not only offer those two solutions, but another option may be a straight up payment plan. Customer accounts in Illinois will also be reviewed to see if they can sign up for the H2O Help to Others Program.

One of the first options to explore are Payment Arrangements. Customer service centers across Illinois may be able to review a customer’s account and financial situation, and sign them up for a payment plan on their bill which benefit both the customer and the water provider. They in effect given the household more time to pay, and reduce the cost involved to a company in shutting off service and/or collecting outstanding debts.

These payment arrangements may require customers to make a payment on their bill immediately, and usually it is around 25%. In general the customer must then agree to take care of the remainder of their water bill, according to an agreed upon schedule between the customer and the water provider, usually over 6 months. Customers must also be able to pay future bills as they become due. Programs will not usually be available for people who broke past payment plans, so this means a customer should always abide by any agreement in place.

There are also local city and county resources in Illinois. Each of them is focused on only residents of those regions. Find details on Cook County - Chicago and there is also a program in Peoria County as well as the city of Springfield Illinois.

 

 

 

 

Another service that is offered to qualified customers is the H2O Help to Others Program. This is a crisis assistance program that was created by both the Salvation Army of Illinois as well as Illinois American Water.  Other partners such as the United Way also participate. Supplemental funding and cash assistance may be paid out by Illinois American Water to customers who would otherwise have trouble paying their bills and who may have their service shut off.

Caseworkers from the Salvation Army will accept applications and determine the needs of individuals and families, and sign them up for this form of financial aid if they are found to be qualified. In general, any individual or family who is struggling with paying water bills, and whose service is being provided by Illinois American Water, and who is facing a shut off of their service may meet the basic needs as determined by Salvation Army caseworkers.

Each application is different. But in general these people may be able to qualify for water bill assistance. To learn more or to apply for H2O Help to Others in Illinois, call your local Salvation Army branch or dial American Water Customer Service Center toll-free at 800-422-2782.

Many of the programs and payment plans are funded by donations. For example, H2O Help to Others is supported by Illinois American Water’s private customers, local businesses, and other voluntary contributions and donations. Donate today to help your neighbors. Donations are tax deductible, and 100 percent of your donation goes directly to qualifying customers as administrative costs are paid for by the water company.

Call 1.800.422.2782 to enter into a water bill payment plan with American Water in Illinois or to learn about other resources.

 

By Jon McNamara

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