Customer Assistance and Referral Evaluation Services (CARES)
The program is intended to maximize the abilities of the selected participants to pay utility bills by helping the participants take advantage of other programs for which they qualify. CARES representatives provide advice and counseling in situations requiring sensitivity to assist customers through periods of financial difficulties. Services provided include counseling on budget issues, customizing payment plans, and identifying financial assistance available through community resources, social agencies, and utility companies. CARES also helps the utility companies maintain and improve a network of community and government agencies that provide services to payment-troubled residential customers.
The income eligibility for CARES is generally 200 percent above the federal poverty level for Pennsylvania as shown below. However, the income limits may be modified for special situations and eligibility requirements may differ somewhat from one utility company to another.
For some customers with special needs (such as handicapped or disabled people, seriously ill people, or the elderly), the household income eligibility limit may be waived. Check with each of your utility companies to learn of the specific requirements for the CARES program.