San Diego water bill assistance programs.

Low income families in San Diego can get help paying their water bills from a few different sources. Note this form of financial assistance is very limited and not as widely available as some other resources. But it still may be possible to get assistance with some of a monthly water bill from payment plans, subsidies, charities and/or non-profit organizations.

In general, the programs target customers that are either currently in arrears on their account, or that are close to it. There is help given to people of all ages or backgrounds, including senior citizens, the disabled, or single moms or dads among others. As long as a San Diego County customer hits the income targets in place, and have a plan to get out of the hardship, the water bill assistance may be offered. In some cases it can postpone a disconnect on the account.

One of the programs available is a subsidy. The water company administers this directly to income qualified, low income families that are struggling. It is a small scale service that is funded by donations. So only a limited number of customers can get help.

Contributions come from many places, and the list is ever revolving. Some of the groups that are donating to the San Diego County water bill subsidy service include Service Line Warranties of America, the United Way, corporations such as Qualcomm and even individuals. All of the money raised goes to help income qualified customers keep their service on.

The monthly subsidy will be time limited. It will end after several months, but in some cases it may be extended too. In addition, it will only be a small amount of money given out, but this will depend on the level of donations that have been received. In general it may be only tens of dollars paid out for any water bills that are in arrears.

In general, in order to qualify for a subsidy, the family needs to meet the income levels that are set in place by the California Alternate Rates for Energy, or CARE program. So that means the applicant needs to follow those other guidelines in order to be eligible.





Charities and non-profits may also help paying water bills, in some limited cases. However in general this type of assistance is lower on the list. It will be limited too. Some of the groups such as Neighborhood House may be able to assist. Interfaith Community Services is another groups that may be able to help veterans only as well. Additional charities to try may be the Salvation Army or a local church, as sometimes they may have a few dollars for emergency situations. For a list of agencies to call on, try the San Diego County Infoline.

Another option is to always ask the water provider for a payment plan. Sometimes this can provide more time to the customer if they are late on a bill. Or discounts may be provided for a short period of time. As in general there will be efforts made to postpone, or prevent a shut off from occurring.

When applying for help, whether it is a subsidy in San Diego or from a charity, bring proof of income, residency, and other data as well that can support the claim. There will often be an assessment process done as well.

The best place to call for any type of aid is 211. Callers can refer to it as the Help to Others, or H20 program, or they can ask for charitable assistance.




By Jon McNamara

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