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MLGW News Release
Annual Moratorium Ends, Help Available to MLGW Customers
January 30, 2009
(January 30, 2009) - MLGW's Annual Moratorium for residential customers ended on Wednesday, Jan. 14. Each year, MLGW defers cutoffs for nonpayment for all residential customers between December 15 and January 14, except in cases of theft, safety and default on special payment plans. The Annual Moratorium is separate from MLGW's Winter Moratorium program, which is designed to defer cutoffs during the months of December, January, and February for customers who are 60 years of age or older and/or handicapped.

There is more assistance available to MLGW this year than in years past. In addition to the Plus-1 program, which is administered by MIFA, the County distributes funds through the Community Services Agency (CSA):

  • CSA is again accepting calls to provide financial assistance to residents who have recently received MLGW cut-off notices.

  • Eligible residents should contact Shelby County Community Services Agency at 901-535-2200 to schedule an appointment. The Community Services Agency will not be accepting walk-in appointments.

  • MLGW's Customer Call Center cannot schedule appointments or qualify residents for assistance.

  • The CSA Emergency Utility Assistance Call Center will open from 9 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. beginning Tuesday, Jan. 27 through Thursday, Jan. 28. The call center will also provide assistance to county residents Thursday, Jan. 29 and Friday, Jan. 30 from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

  • To qualify, residents must have received a current MLGW cut-off notice; meet federal income requirements; have an adult living in the home who is 60 years or older; or have an adult or child living in the home who is disabled; have a child 5 years or younger in the home; or within the past 90 days have experienced a major, uncontrollable circumstance preventing payment of utility bill.

  • Federal funding is limited and residents who have received utility assistance from the Shelby County Community Services Agency anytime since July 2008 will not be eligible for assistance.

    City of Memphis Utility Assistance:
    The City of Memphis Utility Assistance Program is available to assist customers who meet the federal poverty guidelines with utility bill payments. The Department of Human Services (DHS) will use its customer database of citizens whose combined household income does not exceed 125% of the established federal income level and meet one of the following requirements:

  • Requirement A:
    1) Must be 60 years of age or older and/or certified medically as being totally (100%) disabled
    2) Head of household
    3) Active utility account in applicant's name or spouse's name

  • Requirement B:
    1) Head of household or spouse on active military deployment
    2) Active utility account in applicant's name or spouse's name
    3) Must have received cut-off notice

    Process is as follows:

  • DHS will send MLGW a daily electronic listing of customers meeting these guidelines.

  • MLGW's Information Systems department will compare the listings to MLGW records to ensure no Community Services Agency (CSA) funds were received by the customer within the last six months and that the customer's address is within the City of Memphis.

  • MLGW is not screening or selecting recipients. MLGW will refer people to DHS, who will use its customer database to choose recipients who meet the program's qualifications, especially the federal poverty limits.

  • The program has a maximum payment of $700.

  • MLGW received its first list of DHS recipients in December of 2008. Customers' accounts will be credited and the city will be invoiced accordingly.

  • The list of DHS recipients will also be audited to see if they can also qualify for matching fund assistance from CSA. CSA has $930,475 in matching funds.

  • The matching fund assistance is available to those on the DHS list who have a child under age 5 in the household, or if they are a person 60 years or older in the household, or if they are a person who has a disability.

  • Shelby County CSA, not MLGW or the Department of Human Services - will contact recipients and see if they want to apply for the matching funds.