COVID-19 EMERGENCY RELIEF FUNDS FOR UTILITY ASSISTANCE
Customers struggling to pay their utility bills may apply for help through federal or local programs. In July, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners allocated $4 million in federal funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide local utility assistance.
Eligibility guidelines for CARES Act applicants:
• Must be a Douglas County resident.
• Impacted by COVID-19-related emergency such as job loss, lost wages, etc. (Will be required to sign an attestation statement.)
• Provide a copy of their most recent M.U.D. bill. For a complete list of guidelines and how to apply through partner agencies, visit mudomaha.com/ homefund.
OTHER FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
Customers who do not meet the above guidelines may still be eligible for assistance through the state of Nebraska or the M.U.D. Home Fund. The first step is to contact the Nebraska Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) at 1.800.383.4278 or apply online at accessnebraska.ne.gov.
If customers are not currently eligible to receive assistance through ACCESSNebraska, they are encouraged to visit mudomaha.com/homefund for a list of partnering agencies to be connected to utility assistance programs. Or, they may call Customer Service at 402.554.6666 to speak with a representative.
Eligibility guidelines for M.U.D. Home Fund applicants:
Applicants must have verification of a past-due balance or disconnection notice and:
• Be experiencing an acute financial crisis due to a verifiable emergency (illness, death, layoff, etc.) and have exhausted alternative resources, and
• Have an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, and/or
• The household contains one or more individuals who are 60+ and the only source of income is social security.
• Applicants are automatically income-eligible if they currently receive government assistance (ie. SNAP, LIHEAP, ADC, Medicaid, AABD).
• If customers do not meet any of the eligibility requirements and are experiencing an acute financial crisis, they should reach out to a partnering agency to determine eligibility.
• Assistance is limited to $500 per fiscal year, per household and can be used for deposit assistance.
NATIONAL 811 AWARENESS
August 11 is National 811 Day to raise awareness of the law requiring excavators to contact 811 at least two business days before digging to have utilities located.
Did you know that in the state of Nebraska, the 811 law has been around for more than 20 years? Following are instructions for homeowners and excavators to properly notify 811 before starting a project that disturbs the soil.
The underground utilities in your excavation area will be located and marked. Submit requests online at ne1call.com or call 811 or 800.331.5666.
Call 811 or make an online request at ne1call.com at least two business days in advance of your excavation project. The one-call center will transmit information to affected utility operators.
Mark the proposed area of your excavation with white flags or white paint prior to the utilities arrival. Ensure the area to be located is safe and accessible by unlocking any gates and securing all pets.
Wait two days for affected utility operators to respond to your request. On average, between 5-6 utility operators are notified for each request. Ensure all the utilities notified of your excavation have responded before you begin digging. Please check with Nebraska 811 for more information.
Respect the marks (flags or paint) and dig carefully according to the regulations. The marks provided by the affected utility operators are your guide for the duration of the project. If you are unable to maintain the marks during your project or the project will continue past your request’s expiration date, please contact 811 to ask for refreshed markings.
If you damage any underground facilities during your excavation, call 811. If you smell natural gas, leave the area and from a safe distance, call 911, followed by M.U.D.’s 24-hour emergency number: 402.554.7777.
1. FILE LOCATE REQUEST
Call 811 or make an online request at ne1call. com at least two business days prior to beginning any excavation project. The one-call center will transmit information to affected utility operators.
2. WHITE LINE
Mark out your proposed dig site with white paint or flags prior to the arrival of the utility locators. This will assist in accurately determining the exact dig site and area that needs to be located.
3. PROVIDE ACCURATE INFORMATION
Provide accurate and complete information regarding your excavation area, to include the entire scope of work.
4. CHECK UTILITY MARKINGS
Ensure ALL utilities notified of your excavation have responded by either marking or clearing the dig site. File a Non-Response or Incorrect Locate Request if a utility has not responded by the start time or a utility mark appears incorrect.
5. REPORT DAMAGES
If you damage any underground utilities during your excavation, report all damages by calling 811 or 800-331-5666. If you smell natural gas, leave the area and from a safe distance, call 911, followed by M.U.D.’s 24-hour emergency number: 402.554.7777.