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December 8, 2023 at 11:10 am

If you are having trouble paying your residential electric, sewer and water service bills this winter, the NJ Department of Community Affairs has a program to protect you from having these utilities turned off from November 15 through March 15.

Who is Eligible?

You qualify for protection during this period if you are being helped by one of the programs listed below:

  • Federal Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
  • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
  • Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (PAAD) • General Assistance (GA) benefits
  • Universal Service Fund (USF)
  • Low-income Household Water Assistance Program
  • Lifeline Credit Program


You are unable to pay your utility bills because of circumstances beyond your control such as unemployment, illness, medically related expenses, recent death of an immediate family member, and any other circumstances, which might cause financial hardship. What do you have to do?

  1. If you qualify for protection from shut-off during this period, you should contact your utility company to advise the company that you are eligible for coverage under the State’s Winter Termination Program. You should also pay as much as you can on your bill(s) during the winter.
  2. Customers also have the option to complete the following Self-Certification form and provide this form to their utility company as a way of notifying the company of their eligibility for protection. When using the Self-Certification form it is recommended that a copy of the form be retained for one’s personal records. Click here for the Self-Certification Form

Please note that completion and submission of the Self-Certification form to your utility company is NOT required in order to receive protection under the Winter Termination Program. Protection under the Winter Termination Program can be obtained by verbally advising your utility company(ies) of your eligibility or by submitting this Self-Certification form to the utility company. In either case, please contact your utility company’s customer service number to report your eligibility and/or learn how it wishes to receive the Self- Certification form. You should also log onto DCAid: or contact NJ211 at 211 or 1-877-652-1148 for possible assistance with your utilities.

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