Updated December 14, 2020
THE VERMONT COVID-19 ARREARAGE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (VCAAP) IS APPROACHING THE END OF ITS FUNDING. AS OF NOW WE HAVE HIT THE CAP FOR WATER AND SEWER/WASTEWATER SYSTEMS. PLEASE NOTE THAT VCAAP APPLICATIONS RECEIVED MAY NOT BE APPROVED DUE TO A LACK OF FUNDING. THE DEPARTMENT, HOWEVER, INTENDS TO CONTINUE TO ACCEPT APPLICATIONS THROUGH 12/15/2020. THE DEPARTMENT WILL CONTINUE TO APPROVE APPLICATIONS AND MAKE AWARDS AS LONG AS FUNDS ARE STILL AVAILABLE.
Update November 12, 2020
Vermonters suffering economic hardship due to loss of income from COVID-19 can get help now to pay their arrearages for residential and non-residential accounts. The Vermont COVID-19 Arrearage Assistance Program (VCAAP) provides financial support to customers who may face disconnection of service because of past-due balances for their electric, landline telephone, Vermont Gas, private water or water and sewer/wastewater charges.
[Note: the program has expanded and now accepts applications for help with municipal water and sewer/wastewater departments, community water systems, fire districts, and other systems that provide water and sewer/wastewater services to consumers.]
VCAAP provides eligible Vermont households and businesses with a grant to pay for past-due balances for utility bills. Residential households and non-residential account holders who have suffered an economic hardship due to loss of income precipitated by COVID-19 may apply for assistance. Residential applicants may only apply for a grant for their primary residence.
Applicants must attest to economic hardship caused by the pandemic among other attestations that are designed to ensure the integrity of the application.
Note: effective October 21, 2020 and again on November 11, 2020, changes were made to VCAAP, including a supplemental award, increased grant awards, and an expanded list of water and sewer/wastewater utilities.
Before you apply:
- Have a copy of the most recent bill(s) handy because you'll need to know the account number, service address and the account holder's name
- If you intend to apply for assistance with your telephone bill, you may need to have an electronic copy of your most recent bill that you can upload to the online application. [Note: as should be evident on the application, the bill upload requirement does not apply to a handful of mostly traditional landline carriers.]
- Funds awarded from this grant may be considered taxable income.
To apply for the VCAAP:
- You do not need to upload a copy of your electric, natural gas, participating landline telephone, or participating water and sewer/wastewater bill
This is a two-step process: you'll first need to Register and create a password (just start filling in the blank and there's a handy tool tip to help out)
Once you have registered and started an application, if you lose connection or time out and later need to finish applying, first be sure to check your email inbox or your junk/spam email folders for an email that confirms you have Registered. This email will include your Login User Name (which is your email address with .vtgrants on the end) and your password.
YOU WILL NEED TO RECEIVE THE CONFIRMATION EMAIL BEFORE YOU CAN GO ON TO STEP 2: LOGIN.
It may take several minutes before you receive an email. Once you have received your Login User Name and password, you may Log in to your application. You can also keep track of your application going forward.
[Note: if you have already Registered and try to start all over again with a new Registration you will receive a message that your account is already Registered under that User Name or password. In that case click on the “Login” button either in the message you receive or below on this webpage. At that point you can request a new password by clicking on the “Forgot password” button, or file a new application by clicking on the “+New application” button in the upper right corner.]
You must apply by December 15, 2020. Grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis until funding runs out or the program ends in December.
Funds for this program were made available through the federal CARES Act and the State of Vermont Coronavirus Relief Fund. There is limited funding.
You can call your utility to ask questions; contact your local Vermont Community Action Agency, or contact the Department's Consumer Affairs and Public Information (CAPI) Division at 1-800-622-4496, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through CAPI's online form.