Utility Billing Relief Program

 

Due to the impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Department of Finance is taking several steps to help our customers. Effective immediately and until after April 30, 2020:

  • no new late penalties will be assessed on unpaid utility bills, 
  • no payment plans will be defaulted, and 
  • no past due debt will be referred to a collection firm.  

All of this means that we will not expect payment until May 1, 2020 and there will not be any adverse consequences, regardless of the due date printed on your bill. We will not expect payment until May 1, 2020. The moratorium on water service shut offs is also still in effect.

Unfortunately we are not able to answer phone calls. You may email us at utilitybill@cityofchicago.org.  Currently, we are not providing walk-in customer service at 333 South State.  Please note that senior citizen sewer rebates will be delayed. Lastly, we are delaying the implementation of the Utility Billing Relief Program while this immediate Coronavirus-related relief is being provided. Please check our website for updates.  Thank you for patience.

 

Debido al impacto del Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), el Departamento de Finanzas está tomando varias medidas para ayudar a nuestros clientes. Con efectividad inmediata y vigencia hasta después del 30 de Abril del 2020:

  • No se impondrán nuevas penalidades por retraso en las facturas de servicios públicos no pagadas
  • No se cancelaran los planes de pago, y
  • Ninguna deuda vencida se remitirá a una agencia de cobranza.

Todo esto significa que no esperaremos pago hasta el 1ro de Mayo de 2020 y no habrá consecuencias adversas, independientemente de la fecha de vencimiento impresa en su factura. No esperaremos el pago hasta el 1 de Mayo del 2020. La moratoria en el cierre del servicio de agua también sigue vigente.

Desafortunadamente, en este momento no podemos contestar llamadas. Puede enviarnos un correo electrónico a utilitybill@cityofchicago.org. Actualmente, no estamos brindando servicio al cliente en persona en 333 South State St. Tenga en cuenta que los reembolsos de drenaje para personas mayores se retrasarán. Por último, estamos retrasando la implementación del Programa de alivio de facturación de servicios públicos mientras se brinda este alivio inmediato relacionado con el Coronavirus. Por favor, consulte nuestro sitio web para actualizaciones. Gracias por su paciencia.

Utility Billing Relief (UBR) will provide low-income City of Chicago residents with a reduced rate on their water, sewer, and water-sewer taxes, as well as debt relief for those who demonstrate they can manage the reduced rate bills for one year. Benefits for UBR participants include:

  • A reduced rate on water, sewer, and utility tax
  • No late payment penalties or debt collection activity including water shut-off
  • Debt forgiveness after successfully completing one year with no accrued balance

Operating in partnership with the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County (CEDA), who operates the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in Cook County, the UBR program will take advantage of their expertise and extensive network of partner organizations to conduct outreach and enroll homeowners in the Spring of 2020

The City will be launching this program in the first half of 2020 and is committed to offering this opportunity to low income residents before resuming the water shutoff program. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility:

  • Who is eligible?
    • Homeowners of single-family homes and 2-flats who are also eligible for LIHEAP.
  • What if my name is not on the bill?
    • In order to be eligible to participate in the program, you must be the property owner, reside at the address and your name must appear on the bill as the customer.

Benefits:

  • How much can I save?
    • 50% on water, sewer and water-sewer tax going forward (garbage fees are not included).
    • After successfully completing the first 12 months of the program, your previous unpaid balance will be forgiven.

 Process:

  • How do I apply?
    • You can reach CEDA by one of the methods below, and you will receive more information.
      • Make sure to include your name, utility account number, home address, and a phone number.
  • How can I receive automated UBR updates?
    • Text WATERBILL to 313131 to receive program updates.
  • What if I can’t get to an office?
    • Any adult household member, 18 or older, can apply for assistance on behalf of the household. That person must have originals of required documents for the household. 
  • What is required to apply?
    • The same documentation required for a LIHEAP application and your most recent City of Chicago utility bill.
      • If you don’t have access to your most recent bills, you can:
  • What’s the turn-around time?
    • Processing time for applications is 30 days from the receipt of the UBR application at CEDA Central.
  • How do I know if I’m approved?
    • You will receive a welcome letter and enrollment confirmation
  • What happens to my previous balance?
    • During the first 12 months of program participation, your previous balance will be set aside, and no payment will be required on the previous balance.
    • After successful completion of the first 12 months of the program, your previous unpaid balance will be forgiven.
  • What happens if I don’t complete the program?
    • You will have one more opportunity to complete the plan successfully.
    • If you don’t complete the plan successfully, your past debt will not be forgiven.
  • What is required to successfully complete the program?
    • You must pay all current charges at the reduced rate during the 12-month program period.
  • If I don’t successfully complete the program, will I be disconnected?
    • If you do not successfully complete the Utility Billing Relief Program you will be subject to the normal collection process which can include water shut-off.
  • Does my billing change?
    • Customers with metered accounts will be billed monthly.
    • Customers with nonmetered accounts will receive a monthly reminder notice in addition to their regular 6-month bill.  
  • How often do I have to apply?
    • Everyone must apply every 12 months.
  • What will my water rate be?
    • 50% of $3.98 / 1,000 gallons = approximately $1.99 / 1,000 gallons. (*Subject to annual CPI increase which is effective June 1stof each year)

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