The state-mandated moratorium on utility service disconnection during the winter months is over. However, several forms of payment assistance are still available for low-income families who need help paying their heating bills. These include assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) Program. It is available to households that fall within 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines and is administered through local community action agencies. LIHEAP-eligible NIPSCO customers may also qualify for additional discounts through the NIPSCO Customer Assistance for Residential Energy, or CARE, program. Applications are made at the same time as those for LIHEAP assistance.
Customers just outside the federal poverty guidelines for LIHEAP may be eligible for assistance through the NIPSCO Hardship Program. It offers up to $400 in gas bill assistance to households between 151 and 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines. Hardship funds are also available through many of the same community action agencies that handle the other disbursements. Applications are available through May 31. Township trustees may also be able to provide funds. Contact them directly to see what sorts of energy assistance are available.
Additionally, NIPSCO will work with eligible customers to make payment arrangements in order to catch up on their past-due utilty bills. An initial payment must be made within four days of the agreement, then the remaining unpaid balance can be spread over three months and paid with current bills as they are due. Contact NIPSCO at NIPSCO at 1-800-4NIPSCO or visit NIPSCO.com/PaymentAssistance for more information.