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Rights to gas service for residential customers during financial hardship
We will not shut
off your gas service in the following three circumstances, if you certify to us
that your total household income is less than 60% of the state median level, or that you receive assistance from certain means-tested federal or
state public assistance programs. Please refer to the Energy Assistance section of our Web site for
To apply, print out and complete the Financial Hardship Form and return it to
the address on the form within seven days. Or call the Columbia Gas of Massachusetts
automated phone system at 1-800-688-6160. After the greeting, select option 4
from the main menu, then select option 1 to request a Financial Hardship Form.
We will review your information and will notify you whether or not you qualify
for financial hardship status.
Case 1: Serious Illness
If you are experiencing financial hardship and are seriously ill,
ask your doctor or Board of Health to call the number above right away to
inform us about the illness. Within seven days of this call, have your doctor
or Board of Health write our office to certify that someone in your home is
Case 2: Child Under 12 Months
Call the number above and tell us you have a child under 12
months of age living with you and you have a financial hardship. Then mail a
document to our office verifying your child's age, such as a birth certificate
or letter from your child's doctor or Board of Health.
Case 3: Senior Citizens living with minor children
If all adult residents are over the age of 65 and there are minor children in the home, and you qualify for financial hardship, call the number above to let us know. Within 7 days, send the company a document that verifies the age of all household occupants and a completed financial hardship form.
Case 4: Winter Protection
If you heat your home with gas, you will automatically receive
shut-off protection from November 15 to March 15 if you certify to us that you
have a financial hardship, or you are eligible for and will be receiving fuel
Account protection does not relieve you of your responsibility to pay your bill. You may however, be eligible for the the company's Arrearage Forgiveness Program.
Arrearage Forgiveness Program
If you are experiencing a financial hardship in which your household income is within 60% of the state median income, Columbia Gas offers an arrearage forgiveness program that provides financial assistance to eligible low-income residential customers with active accounts who are past due. The program forgives past due bills for qualified low-income customers who are three hundred ($300) dollars and sixty (60) days or more past due. Forgiveness credits are applied on a monthly basis over a 12 month period providing the monthly payment is made by the due date.
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