Do You Qualify for the COVID-19 Utilities Assistance Program?

COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on the nation, transforming each facet of everyday life. Chances are that you know someone who has had COVID-19 or someone who has faced economic challenges as the result of the pandemic.

Perhaps you’re even facing a financial challenge due to the loss of a job, illness or being furloughed. 

The City of Rocky Mount is here to help.

The city recently launched its COVID-19 Utilities Assistance Program. We’ll review what the program is, how it benefits residents, and whether or not you may qualify. 

Frequently Asked Questions About the COVID-19 Utilities Assistance Program

Established for the 2020-2021 city budget, the COVID-19 Utilities Assistance Program is funded by the Community Development Block Grant CARES act. 

How Much Is the Benefit?

If you have had a documented loss of income due to COVID-19, then you could be eligible for a one-time emergency assistance payment of up to $500. The assistance is made available on a first-come, first-service basis until the funds are depleted. The payment is made directly to the customer’s utility bill account. 

Who Is Eligible?

To be eligible for the assistance you must:

  • Be a City of Rocky Mount Utilities customer
  • Have experienced a loss of income that is directly related to COVID-19
  • Have documentation of this loss
  • Have unpaid utility bills that became due after March 31, 2020
  • Have an income level that is defined as low to moderate according to the 2020 HUD income limits (You can review the specifics of what these are at the city’s website )
  • Have thoroughly completed an application 
  • Be current on every city bill due before March 31, 2020
  • Must be an American citizen or a non-citizen who has Eligible Immigration Status as a Permanent Resident

What Are Some Examples of Loss of Income Due to COVID-19?

These may include:

  • A reduction in hours
  • Being furloughed or laid off
  • Being unable to work because of childcare
  • A decrease in self-employment income
  • A rescission of a job offer
  • A delay in the starting date of a new job
  • Closure of a business
  • Reduction in the number of hours a business can stay open

Where Can I Get an Application?

There are three main ways you can obtain an application:

  • You can complete it online
  • You can pick up one at the drive-thru window at the Business Services Center during regular business hours
  • You can have the document mailed to you by calling 252-972-1250

Where Do I Send My Application Once It’s Completed?

The city has gone to great lengths to ensure that it’s simple and easy for you to return an application. You can do so by:

  • Returning it to the Business Service Center’s drive-thru during regular business hours
  • Submitting the information via email to utilityassistance@rockymountnc.gov with the subject line "COVID 19 UAP Application"
  • Mailing application and all supporting documents to:

City of Rocky Mount

Business Services Center

Attn: Customer Assistance Specialist

P.O. Box 1180

Rocky Mount, NC 27802 

If you have any questions, you can call 252-972-1250.

It’s important to note that you must be sure that you have thoroughly completed your application before submitting it. 

What Documentation Is Needed for My Application?

It’s important to ensure that you have all the information required in your application. If not, your application will be denied, and you’ll have to reapply. 

Be sure to include:

  • A completed and signed COVID-19 Utility Assistance Program application
  • Evidence and documentation of a loss of income that is directly a result of COVID-19
  • A valid photo ID
  • Copy of applicant’s Social Security Card
  • Assurance that Social Security Cards can be provided, upon request, for anyone in the household who is 18 years old or older. 
  • Evidence of pre-COVID-19 income and current income for everyone in the household who is 18 years old or older.
  • Completed and signed Duplication of Benefits Certification
  • Benefit verification letter for each person in the household from the Social Security Administration

Need More Information? Check Out the City’s Website

The city has a wealth of additional information available that can address other questions not listed here, including a chart of income limits 

If you’ve been impacted by COVID-19, the city is here to help you manage your utility payments and provide assistance if you’ve had a loss of income due to the pandemic.
Keep reading the Rocky Mount Review for more of the latest updates on city events, important announcements and interesting facts about the Rocky Mount area. 

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