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Eldercare Q&A-November, 2017-Protection Against Utility, Phone Shut-Offs

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Oct 2017

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Eldercare Q&A-November, 2017-Protection Against Utility, Phone Shut-Offs

 

Q: Do the elderly or ill have protections against utility shut-offs?


A: Yes. Households in Massachusetts in which all adult members are age 65 or older—whether there is a financial hardship or not—are protected against utility and phone shut-offs. “Utility” means your gas or electric service to your home, or your landline telephone. Cell phones are not protected from shut off, and heating oil is not covered by utility law. Most oil companies require you pay at delivery. Be sure to ask all these fuel companies if they offer a “senior citizen discount”

Every year from November 15 to March 15, gas and electric companies cannot shut off your service because you are unable to pay. This moratorium does not apply if service was shut off for non-payment before November 15.

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