United Utilities has created an independent Trust Fund that can help vulnerable families pay their water bills. The assistance is wide ranging, and in limited instances some grants may be issued for other expenses as well. One-time financial assistance may be available to people facing some form or crisis or hardship and that is preventing them from paying their bills on time.
The Fund was set up as a charity organisation for families on a low income. It is administered by an independent third party organization known as Auriga Services Ltd. While the focus is on helping with water costs, other problems can be addressed as well. The aid is usually for people with an unexpected crisis, such as unemployment, illness, death in the family, or some other emergency.
In addition to the grants, the Trust as well as United Utilities partner with various other local not-for profit organizations as well. This is done in an effort to address other needs. Together they offer customers information on programmes such as credit counseling and social services. A holistic approach is used to help the individual address the cause of their crisis.
Financial assistance provided by the Fund
As far as financial aid, customers that need help getting back on track can get assistance as a result of grants from the Trust Fund. A formal application process has been put into place by United Utilities. Each request will be reviewed closely and individual circumstances will be analyzed by an advisor who works with the trustees. They may request proof of the hardship, income, and need other supporting documentation from the applicant.
For individuals that are found to be eligible for assistance by the independent trustees, they will be issued a grant for paying any debts they owe on their water arrears or other emergency expenses they may have. The objective is to help people deal with the crisis and provide them time to get back on track with paying their bills on time.
Any families or individuals that are provided a grant, the Trust also provides other advice to customers. For example, they work with local advice centres to encourage customers get help with budgeting and conservation measures. They also strongly encourage people to request help early in the process, before they fall too far behind on their bills and are faced with a large arrears on their account.
How to apply for help with United Utilities bills
Policies and requirements are set by the Independent Trustees. They monitor applications and activities, and will also ensure all grants go to the most qualified and needy. Money is only for individuals that are unable to meet the cost of water bills or have some other crisis. Note they also must live in the area that is covered by United Utilities.
All funding for the charity has been provided by donations from utility companies and generous individuals. United Utilities Water Plc provides most of the resources for the Funds. However some contributions may also come from businesses, churches, the government, or not-for profits in the service territory. All of these groups partner together in order to help low income families and individuals.
While of course not everyone will qualify, it is important to note that the United Utilities Trust Fund was created to help those that are most vulnerable and meet low income limits. The programme will offer them direct support and other aid. To learn more, apply at your local Citizens Advice Bureau or dial 0845 1791791 to get an application.