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Main> Community Involvement> Services for Seniors: Payment and Special Assistance Programs
   
Special Protections
If any members of your household are blind, disabled or age 62 or older, please call us. We will mark your account to ensure you receive all protections under New York State Law. We will also make a special effort to maintain your service. We will contact you by phone or in person at least three days before we turn off your service for nonpayment to work out a payment agreement with you.   If an agreement can’t be reached, we will notify the Department of Social Services and will continue your service for another 15 days. In a case where service is turned off, we will attempt to contact you again in 10 days to offer you a payment plan to restore service.

Senior Citizens
If you are age 62 years or older, we can provide you with special services and protections. To ensure you receive these, call us. All information you provide will be kept strictly confidential. When you register, you will also receive a subscription to our free newspaper, "The Senior Times." To see a copy of the latest edition online, or download it to your printer click "The Senior Times-online" .

If you are 62 or older, and applying for a new service, we will not ask you for a deposit unless your service was turned off for non-payment within the last six months. Central Hudson offers billing and payment assistance that can help reduce the impact of higher costs associated with your energy bills. To learn more about these services or how to participate in any of these programs, call our automated phone system at (845) 452-2700, or 800-527-2714, and press "0" (zero) to speak with a customer service representative.

Budget Billing
Budget Billing spreads your electric and natural gas bills evenly over 12 months. This avoids fluctuations in bill amounts, as payments will be uniform over 11 months based on your actual usage history. The bill for the 12th month will include an annual plus-or-minus adjustment to reflect the actual usage and price for the year.

Quarterly Billing
A quarterly payment plan is available if you are age 62 or older and your annual bill does not exceed $150.

Deferred Payment Agreements
When a financial hardship makes it impossible for you to make bill payments, Central Hudson understands and wants to work with you to develop a deferred payment agreement, based on your ability to pay. Under a deferred payment agreement, your past-due amount will be paid in monthly installments, while your current bills are also being paid in full and on time. Print and complete the PAYMENT WORKSHEET which will help us determine your ability to pay. Then call us to discuss your completed worksheet and payment terms.

Extra Security Plan
This plan offers a convenient billing due-date for seniors on a single, fixed income and customers on disability. Call our automated phone system at (845) 452-2700, or 800-527-2714, and press "0" (zero) to speak with a customer service representative.

Gift Certificate Program
You may purchase a gift certificate in any dollar amount for any Central Hudson customer you know who could use a little help paying their utility bill. When you make the purchase, you may choose to remain anonymous, or we will prepare an announcement card, which will be mailed to the recipient of your gift.  Please return the application , along with your check. Or you may call Customer Account Services at 845-452-2700.

The Good Neighbor Fund
The Good Neighbor Fund provides a "last resort" grant to help pay the energy bills of customers who have exhausted all other forms of public and private assistance. It is funded by customer contributions, matched by Central Hudson’s stockholders, and administered by The Salvation Army. Look for instructions on each Central Hudson bill to see how simple it is to make a contribution to The Good Neighbor Fund.

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
HEAP provides both regular and emergency financial grants to eligible households to help pay heating and/or utility bills. HEAP benefits are funded and administered through the Department of Social Services. Contact your local Department of Social Services for information on eligibility requirements, which may differ from year to year. Seniors should contact their local Office of the Aging for eligibility requirements and to apply for benefits.

Life Support Equipment
If you or someone who resides in your household needs electricity to operate a life-sustaining device you may call our office or download an application for the Life Support Program . Return your completed form (which requires your doctor’s certification) to Central Hudson; Attention Consumer Outreach, 284 South Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY, 12601. This identification on your account will remain in effect as long as the device is required. We will mail an annual certification form to you to be completed and returned by your attending physician.  As an added service, we will place a special tag on your meter and code your account to identify that life support is in use.  The service is also available for any tenants who require life support equipment and receive electricity service through the landlord’s account.

Help During Hospitalization
We know that an extended hospital stay can create a host of personal inconveniences.  If you are concerned about paying your Central Hudson bill during your stay, don’t worry.  We offer a special program that allows you to extend the payment date of your bill.  If you are a Central Hudson customer and you or an immediate family member who resides with you are hospitalized for a minimum of three days, you could qualify for an extension of up to 30 days from the date of admission to the hospital.  Call our office, or download an application for the Customer Hospitalization Program . Return your completed form (which requires your doctor’s certification) to Central Hudson; Attention Consumer Outreach, 284 South Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY, 12601.

Third Party Notification
You can make arrangements for a third party, such as a relative or close friend, to be notified in case your bill goes unpaid because you are away, hospitalized or for any other reason. (This person is not responsible to pay your bill.) To designate a Third Party, print and complete the THIRD PARTY FORM and return it to Central Hudson

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