*NEW MEDICAL/DISABILITY UTILITY PROTECTION FORMS*
(Must be filled out and up to date-- for those with protected status on file, utility terminations banned per judge's order until at least Sept. 26, 2016.)
Lifeline Project Community Meetings
First Weds of every month, April- December, 2016
George Wiley Center
32 East Ave
Pawtucket, RI 02860
Does someone in your household have a medical condition? Are you facing utility shut-off? Join us for this informational and strategy meeting.
The George Wiley Center has fought for decades to strengthen utility service protection, inform consumers of their rights, and stop shut-offs in low-income households. A direct result of broader economic injustices, every year utility termination is experienced by thousands of Rhode Islanders, including households with medical conditions. We work to challenge unfair utility policies that put personal and public health at risk, and for years we have stood up against shut-offs on those with medical conditions. Unfortunately many people have assumed they were protected after their doctors completed medical protection forms, but then faced termination due to a loophole where the RI Division of Public Utilities granted permission to the utility company to shut off protected status households. We believe such termination procedures have been carried out far too often and for far too long, in violation both of common decency and the existing regulations.
Through the Lifeline Project the George Wiley Center is continuing the push to stop shut-offs in medically vulnerable households, in a collaboration since 2015 with the Rhode Island Center for Justice, an organization offering free legal representation to eligible medically vulnerable utility consumers. Come to this meeting to learn about your rights, share your story, and find ways we can work together to fight back, to ensure utility service for those with medical conditions.
From our work on the Lifeline Project, a lawsuit was filed in September, 2015 on behalf of medically vulnerable and/or disabled consumers whose utility service had been terminated. This lawsuit is ongoing and we hope to reach lasting positive changes in practice and procedures with both the utility company and state agency that oversees utility termination protections.
As a result of the lawsuit, the utility company has created new protection forms that must be filled out by all utility consumers who have a person with a medical condition or disability in the household. It is important to follow the instructions on filling out the forms and a good idea to confirm with the utility company that the form has been received and your medical protection/ disability status is on file and up to date. If your household has a medically/disabled protected status, your utility service is protected from termination until at least September 26 (due to a temporary order from the judge, while the lawsuit continues). For this reason, it is very important to make sure you fill out the new required medically/disabled protected status form.
Here are the NEW REQUIRED FORMS:
Contact the George Wiley Center for more info, to get involved pushing for utility justice, or if your utility service has been wrongly terminated while you had a medical or disabled protected status on file.
George Wiley Center office: 401-728-5555