Overdue Bills? New Program Can Keep the Water On
What is Water Assistance? PA’s Water Assistance Program is a new, temporary program established through the American Rescue Plan Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. These funds are part of the nation’s continued response to families experiencing financial difficulties due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Pennsylvania received approximately $43.2 million to help families who have lost or are at risk of losing water service in their homes.
Water Assistance is provided as a grant paid directly to service providers. These grants do not need to be repaid. To receive help:
- You must apply (applications opened January 4, 2022)
- You do not need to be on public assistance
- You must have an unpaid water bill
- You can either rent or own your home
Water Assistance Crisis Grants: Crisis grants may be available if you have an emergency situation and are in jeopardy of losing your water service. You can receive one crisis grant for your drinking water service and one crisis grant for your wastewater service, up to $2,500 each. Crisis grant situations include:
- Past-due water bills
- Termination of water service
- Danger of having utility service terminated (received a notice that service will be shut off within the next 60 days).
Who is eligible? You may qualify for a Water Assistance Program grant if:
- You either rent or own your home.
- You have an overdue water bill that you are responsible for paying.
- Your household income meets program income guideline.
How to apply:
- Paper: LIHWAP Paper Application — English | Spanish
You can download a paper application, print it, fill it out, and return it to your local county assistance office.
- Phone: Request an application by calling the Statewide Customer Service Center at 877-395-8930 or call PA Relay at 711 for the hearing impaired.
- In-Person: Applications are available at your local county assistance office.
You will need:
- Names, dates of birth, and social security numbers of all household members;
- Proof of income for all household members; and
- A recent water bill.
After your application is processed, you will receive a written notice that will tell you if you qualify. If eligible, it will tell you the amount of your grant.
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