Help Available For People Struggling To Pay Utility Bills

Robert Moore

Herald Staff

[email protected]

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow in Mercer County and across the nation, utilities are moving forward with disconnections.

A statewide moratorium on utility cut-offs ended last week, but there is help for those who have fallen behind on their bills.

Kentucky is assisting citizens to ensure uninterrupted access to water, electric and more through the Healthy at Home Utility Relief Fund.

The fund can assist households with income up to 200-percent of the Federal Poverty Level that have suffered financially due to COVID-19, covering up to $500 for past-due utility, water or wastewater bills.

For a limited number of households, the fund can pay up to $200 for past due electric or natural gas bills up to two times.

Mercer County residents can apply at Bluegrass Community Action by calling 734-9549.

Harrodsburg City Commissioner Jack Coleman said the agency administers several programs to help people pay their bills. Coleman said Bluegrass Community Action administers the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

“They have all different kinds of programs,” Coleman said.

According to the state government, applicants will need the following documentation:

• Most current utility bill.

• Proof of arrearage, payment plan or disconnect notice for utilities.

• Proof of Social Security Number or Permanent Residence card (Green Card) for each member of the household, and;

• Proof of all household’s (all members) income from the preceding month.

Most utilities will make financial arrangements with customers who have fallen behind on their bills.

However, many utilities have already resumed cut-offs or will resume cut-offs within the next few months.

Coleman said Bluegrass Community Action is about “giving people a hand up, not a hand out.”

He said the agency’s software prevents people from applying at more than one office. Anyone looking to make a donation can visit online at bluegrasscommunityaction.org.

Additional resources can also be found at kycovid.ky.gov.

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