The City of Philadelphia knows that medical hardships can force people to choose between two basic needs: healthcare and water. Our Water Medical Delay program can help residents—at least temporarily—who face that difficult choice.
Monica Hill is a Collections Manager with Philadelphia’s Water Revenue Bureau. She has worked for the City for 30 years, and helps oversee Water Medical Delay. We asked her to tell us more about the program, and how to apply.
What is Water Medical Delay?
Monica Hill: It’s a program meant to help residential water customers in the City of Philadelphia. As its name suggests, the Water Medical Delay will postpone a shutoff of a customer’s water service when they are experiencing a serious illness. Even if the customer’s bill is past due, we won’t shut off their water for up to 67 days. But it’s not automatic. Eligible residents have to apply.
Why does the Water Revenue Bureau have this service?
MH: Shutting off the water service of a resident who has a serious illness can aggravate their medical problem. It’s important for people to pay their water bills on time, but sometimes we can delay a shutoff when there are special hardships. This program is specially for residents with a serious illness. There are other programs for water customers who are having trouble paying their bills but who are healthy.
How do I request Water Medical Delay?
MH: You must call the Water Revenue Bureau at (215) 686-6880 or the Philadelphia Water Department at (215) 685-6300. Tell our customer service representative you are calling about Water Medical Delay. They will tell you what steps to follow.
What if my water has already been shut off?
MH: It depends on the situation, but if your Water Medical Delay application is accepted, water service will be restored.
What happens to my water bill if I get Water Medical Delay?
MH: The bill will be suspended for 30 days, but it doesn’t go away. The water shutoff is delayed, and so is your bill. You must pay what you owe when Water Medical Delay is over.
Is it possible to extend my Water Medical Delay?
MH: A Water Medical Delay can be extended once, for an additional 30 days. It can’t be extended twice. Again, if you are struggling to pay your water bill, we can help you enroll our other water assistance programs.
Who can I contact if I have questions about my case?
MH: You can call the Water Revenue Bureau at (215) 686-6880, or the Philadelphia Water Department at (215) 685-6300. We’ll be happy to answer your questions, and help you as best we can.