Are there protections if I can’t pay utilities during the coronavirus outbreak?


Many states and cities quickly passed laws forbidding disconnection of water additional utilities during the coronavirus emergency, so it depends on where you live and what your local utility companies are doing.

Many utility companies have decided on their own to suspend disconnections. Some utility companies are also not charging late fees or freezing the accumulation of late fees, until the coronavirus emergency is declared to be over.

However, a few utility companies have not made the move to suspend utility disconnections. At this time, that includes utility companies that serve portions of Arizona, Tennessee, North Carolina, Texas, Louisiana and parts of the midwest and east coast.

The Energy Policy Institute is keeping lists of of utility companies who have suspended disconnections and those who have not clearly announced suspension of disconnections here:

Also, cell phone service providers Verizon and AT&T, have suspended disconnections while the coronavirus emergency is going on. T-Mobile announced it is providing unlimited data to all current data customers, for sixty days.

More Coronavirus FAQs from Low Income Households

  • Do I have to do anything if I’m on a rental subsidy program and become unemployed or lose hours from coronavirus?
  • Are housing authorities still open during the coronavirus outbreak?
  • Can I be evicted if I can't pay rent because of coronavirus?
  • Are there coronavirus assistance programs for landlords?
  • Do I have to pay all of my back rent when the CDC moratorium ends?