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This website has been condensed and is no longer being updated as of November 28, 2016. Some resources previously available on this website may no longer be available. Content may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available. An upcoming 2017 website for the new National Center of Law and Elder Rights (NCLER) will provide an enhanced experience in access to national legal resource support in the priority legal issue areas currently featured on this site. The new NCLER Website will include access to:

  • Legal Basics Training and Advanced Training program
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NCLER experts are available now for case consultations in substantive legal issues and technical assistance on the enhancement of legal service delivery systems. Please Contact ncler@justiceinaging.org

Utility Assistance and Home Repair Programs

Rethinking Prepaid Utility Service
Source: NCLC
Content Type: PDF
Prepaid service, as the name implies, requires customers to pay in advance for their service with prepaid account balances decreasing as service is delivered. In most instances, service is automatically suspended when account balances are depleted. While consumers using prepaid service may receive electronic notification that billing credits are running low, there is no obligation on the part of the utility to deliver shutoff notification securely through the mail, to continue providing service for some period of time (e.g., days or weeks) after credits are exhausted, or to work with payment-challenged customers by offering reasonable payment plans or other means of retaining access to basic utility service. Please feature in recently added content box on home page

Advocacy for Low Income Telephone Discount Programs
Source: NCLC
Content Type: Word Document
The federal Lifeline program is designed to make telephone and telecommunications services more affordable and accessible to all Americans. The Lifeline program provides a subsidy to low-income households for the cost of telecommunication services. The program has helped significantly increase the number of households with phone service. Recent changes by the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") to the Lifeline program are preparing to transition the program from providing support for plain old telephone service to providing support for broadband service. For the time being, though, the Lifeline benefit remains a telephone or wireless subsidy.

Where to Apply for HIHEAP in every state
Source: US Administration on Families and Children
Content Type: Interactive Website
This page features a click-able map with links to LIHEAP agencies in all jurisdictions

Home Heating and Cooling assistance LIHEAP fact sheet
Source: NCOA
Content Type: PDF
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, is a federally funded, state-run program that helps low-income households afford their home heating and cooling bills. LIHEAP includes assistance to avert certain energy-related emergencies such as utility shutoffs and fuel-supply shortages. LIHEAP may also help your clients with other energy-related needs, such as weatherization improvements, repair or replacement of utility equipment (such as a furnace and air-conditioning), and/or budget counseling.

Dealing with Utility Companies: Disputed Bills and Utility Deposits
Source: National Consumer Law Center
Content Type: Article
How to protect a client’s access to utility service when there is a billing dispute or if a deposit requirement is posing a barrier to access to service.

How To Help Older Americans Avoid Loss Of Utility Services
Source: National Consumer Law Center
Content Type: Article
How to prevent a utility termination before it is threatened and how to challenge a pending utility termination.

What to do when a utility is disconnected.
Source: National Consumer Law Center
Content Type: Article
What to do when a an client is facing disconnection of utility service.