If you have a shut-off notice, you may be eligible for assistance from local charities and faith-based organizations. Learn more by searching the 211 resource database for Water Bill Assistance to find local organizations that can help. You can also dial 2-1-1 or learn about Maryland water bill assistance programs.
Help With Water Bills
If you need help paying your water bill, it’s important to get help as soon as you realize the financial hardship to avoid having your water turned off.
Help is available through local water assistance programs, the low income water bill program available through the state of Maryland, local organizations or payment programs through your water company.
First, talk with your utility provider to let them know about your financial situation and to avoid having your water turned off.
You may be able to extend the due date or work out another payment arrangement.
Here are a few examples of water assistance programs from water companies and providers in Maryland.
WSSC Water Assistance Programs
For example, if WSSC Water (Montgomery and Prince George’s County) is your water company, you may be eligible for several assistance programs.
First, the Water Fund provides up to $500 per year to eligible customers. The Salvation Army runs this program.
The Water Fund is an income-eligible program for families within 200% of the federal poverty level. Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis. If capacity is reached for a month, the next appointment is the first Monday of the following month.
Second, WSSC Water also offers extended due dates and convenient payment plans. The payment plans can be extended between 36 and 48 months, depending on whether you are a (Customer Assistance Program) CAP-Approved Customer.
If you’re a tenant, you need the owner’s approval to set up a payment plan for your water bill.
Third, there may also be special programs in your county to help with payments.
For example, in Montgomery County, the COVID-19 Rent Relief Program also covers utility assistance, including WSSC Water bills for eligible households with a COVID-19 financial hardship.
These are examples for WSSC Water only, but other water companies may offer similar or additional water assistance programs.
211 can help you identify programs that help pay water bills in your community.
Baltimore City Water Bills
If you live in Baltimore City, the Water4All discount program helps create more equitable access to water assistance.
Water4All is an income-eligible program for households making below 200% of the federal poverty level. While income guidelines can change, recently, a Baltimore City family of four making less than $55,500 a year would qualify.
Are you unsure how much you owe? Find a water bill in Baltimore City with the account number or service address.
You may also be eligible for help through another water assistance program or community organization.
211 Water Bill Help
If you live in another county, you can call 2-1-1 any time of day or night. 211 specialists can identify local water assistance programs near you, including assistance programs for other utility bills.
You can also search your county’s resource page.
Maryland Water Bill Assistance
Once you’ve talked to your water company, to help avoid having your water turned off, you can check eligibility guidelines for the low-income water assistance program.
Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP)
If you are a low-income household, a new water assistance program is available (Spanish information) to help decrease the cost of your water or wastewater costs. Eligible households can receive up to $2,000 to pay their water bill. Funding is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program or LIHWAP helps families who are 30 days or more past due on their water and wastewater bills.
Renters, homeowners and residents of public housing are eligible. Income eligibility guidelines apply and may change over time. Typically, eligibility is based on families and individuals making 60% of the Maryland State Median Income level.
Applications are accepted through MDTHINK, a consumer portal through the Maryland Department of Human Services.
You will need documents to apply. These may include the following: photo identification; proof of residence; proof of all income; documentation of Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA); Social Security or SSI; Worker’s Compensation, Veteran’s Pension or Retirement; wage and unemployment benefit screening; self-employment; child support or alimony; rental income; interest received from savings and checking accounts or bonds; declaration of zero income; Social Security verification; and energy bill verification.