If you are seriously ill and/or handicapped and have trouble paying your energy bills because of financial hardship, the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission and National Grid have protections in place to help you.
Seriously ill is defined as “an illness that is life threatening or that will cause irreversible adverse consequences to human health,” or “has a significant potential to become life threatening or to cause irreversible adverse consequences to human health.”
To qualify, your licensed physician must complete the Serious Illness/Handicapped Form.
Service will not be terminated for three weeks or otherwise as extended by the Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers. If it is not extended by the Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers, Serious Illness Protection does expire after three weeks. The account will then be subject to collection activity, including termination of service, unless you:
- Contact National Grid at 1-888-211-1313 to arrange for payment of your bill;
- Dispute liability for any part of the bill, terms, conditions, or payment;
- Request a hearing with the Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers to seek and extension of this protection; or:
- Enroll in a residential payment plan or other payment arrangement
To qualify as handicapped, the customer, in whose name the service is listed, is required to submit:
- The Serious Illness/Handicapped Form regarding your impairment, and
- A copy of the Award Letter for proof of receiving Social Security Disability (SSD).
If you qualify, National Grid will not terminate service to handicapped customers without written approval by the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers.