The newest example is the state of Maryland, which is launching a program to help low-income households with water bills. It’s through the state Department of Human Services’ Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program, offering up to $2,000 in assistance. And it focuses on Maryland households whose drinking water and wastewater bills are 30 days or more past due.
Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program
Handling this federally-funded program is the Department’s Office of Home Energy Programs. Its purpose includes helping eligible households pay their water and wastewater bills and avoid shutoff.
Another goal is to support household water system reconnections stemming from non-payment. And importantly, there’s only a finite amount of funding available. So, as you probably can imagine, the state is taking applications on a first-come, first-served basis.
The effort will continue until those federal funds supporting it run out. And depending on income and specific needs, applicants may qualify for the following aid, according to the state.
- Reconnect Household Water/Wastewater Services — If the household’s water/wastewater services have been disconnected because of past-due water bills? Grant funds may be available to pay off the balance.
- Prevent Disconnection of Household Water/Wastewater Services — Grant funds can also be used to pay all or part of the water bill. If, that is, the household has also gotten a notice of pending disconnection due to a past, overdue water balance.
- Reduce Current Household Water/Wastewater Past Due Balance — If the household is struggling to afford current water bills and meet other needs, the household may qualify for the temporary assistance of a stimulus check along these lines.
How to apply
From the state’s announcement of this new “water stimulus check” — “Maryland residents can learn more about the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program at the Department of Human Services website and may apply for assistance safely and conveniently online using the myMDTHINK consumer portal at mymdthink.maryland.gov.”
A printable paper application is also available via the Department of Human Services’ website.
Other stimulus check efforts
As noted, the political dynamic at the federal level means US government stimulus checks are a thing of the past now. Because of that, here’s a look at some of what else is happening along these lines around the US.
These efforts run the gamut from cutting a particular tax to handing out direct stimulus check payments. In an example of the latter, Maine is directing $850 in such payments to residents. Under debate in Kentucky, meanwhile, is a one-time stimulus rebate of up to $500 per state resident and $1,000 per household.
In Idaho, a tax rebate is coming via direct deposit or paper stimulus check. It will be the greater of $75 or 12 percent of a person’s 2020 Idaho state taxes. A tax rebate for every Hawaii taxpayer is also under consideration. It would total $300 if you make less than $100,000, and $100 if you make over $100,000.