As of 11/2020
- There is a moratorium on utility shutoffs in Washington, D.C., until 15 days after the public health emergency, which currently extends through the end of the year.
- On June 1, 2020, DC Dept of Energy and Environment (DOEE) began providing emergency utility assistance to residents who owe $250 or more on a utility account. This will be a one-time payment to a single utility and benefits will be the amount owed, up to $600. Prior to June 1, 2020, DOEE required a disconnection from energy service, an oil tank at 5% or less of capacity, or, for residents fifty-five or older, a disconnection notice to qualify for the emergency benefit. Additionally, residents may apply for the Utility Discount Program in order to receive a reduced rate on their utility costs. Read more about these two benefits on the DOEE page.
- Maryland’s moratorium ends Nov. 15, and utility companies were allowed to start sending shutoff notices to customers on Oct. 1.
- Virginia’s moratorium ended Oct. 5, but state lawmakers passed legislation that would extend it. That bill is awaiting the governor’s signature. In the meantime, contact your utility provider directly. Many are extending the grace period while the legislation is being considered.
If you’re having trouble paying your utility bill, there are several payment arrangements available to Pepco customers that you may qualify for. On October 7, 2020, PEPCO released a quick guide to their energy assistance options.
Phone: 202-833-7500 (customer service), 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662) (emergency).
Washington Gas offers energy assistance through programs like the Washington Area Fuel Fund (WAFF) and Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for customers. Read to learn more.
Waiving late fees and suspending service disconnections. Offering payment arrangements for individual customer needs. Phone: 1-844-WASHGAS. E-service: eservice.washgas.com
On May 12th, 2020, DC Water announced that funds have been authorized by Mayor Muriel Bowser and the D.C. Council to provide emergency relief to District residents struggling with unpaid DC Water bills during the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency and 105 days thereafter. Eligible households may receive bill assistance up to $2,000 as a one-time emergency benefit. Click here for more information.
Suspended service disconnections for non-payment, waiving late fees, offering lenient repayment terms. Phone: 202-787-2000 or email@example.com
- D.C. https://connect.dc.gov/affordable-internet
- Maryland https://search.211md.org/211provider-md-search-results?taxonomyCode=BV-8900.1700-330
- Virginia https://www.commonwealthconnect.virginia.gov/COVID-19
Comcast Internet Essentials
Offering home internet service for $9.95/month. Families are eligible for 2 months of free internet service. See eligibility criteria below and enroll here: https://www.internetessentials.com/apply
- You may qualify if:
- You are eligible for programs such as the National School Lunch Program, Housing Assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI and others.
- You live in an area where Comcast Internet service is available.
- You are not an existing Xfinity Internet customer and have not subscribed to Comcast Internet within the last 90 days.*
- If approved for this program, you may be eligible for a $30 gift card. Send an email with the subject line “First Internet Essentials Bill” to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, phone number, and an attached copy of the complete first month’s bill.
* Due to the Coronavirus emergency, households with outstanding debt owed to Comcast may be eligible for Internet Essentials. Comcast is waiving this qualification if you apply and are approved by 6/30/20. After 6/30/20, standard eligibility rules apply.
Offering a new affordable internet option for low-income households starting at $19.99. Offer ends September 30, 2020. You can qualify based on income or based on eligibility for programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing, and others. Also offering two months of waived internet and voice service charges for current Lifeline customers.
RCN Internet First
Offering a home internet service for $9.95 for eligible households. Apply online here: https://www.internetfirst.com/apply/
- You may be eligible if you:
- Live in a serviceable area
- Participate in programs like the National School Lunch Program, housing assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, and others
- Have not subscribed to RCN within the 60 days immediately prior to applying for the program
Also willing to help defer payments and waive late fees for those experiencing financial hardship as a result of recent events pertaining to COVID-19. Call 1-800-746-4726 or click here for more information.
Since the pandemic escalated in March, federal courts have responded in varied ways, depending largely on local conditions. While some continued to hold in-person proceedings, many districts closed courthouse buildings or curtailed public entry, conducting most proceedings by video or teleconference.
The uscourts.gov website has compiled a list of links to all federal court websites, as well as links to court orders and other information posted to the courts’ websites regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and court business. This can be found at https://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/court-website-links/court-orders-and-updates-during-covid19-pandemic. For questions regarding a specific court, we suggest you visit the court’s website directly.
An attempt to resume in-person courtroom proceedings is a top priority, noting that criminal defendants have a constitutional right to a speedy trial. Even in a health crisis, the Sixth Amendment guarantees rights that must be provided in an open court of law. These include the right to confront accusers and the right to confer confidentially with counsel. Most critically, jury trials must be conducted in person, and the backlog is rapidly growing.
Courts that have resumed jury trials are enacting safety precautions such as social distancing, mask-wearing, the use of plexiglass barriers, and the alteration of air circulation in the courtroom.
The DC Superior Court is conducting hearings remotely, except for a limited number of Criminal Division hearings, which will be partially remote. Most of the Superior Court remote hearings are open to the public. Members of the public are able to join by the video-conference application WebEx or by phone. Audio and video recording; taking pictures of remote hearings; and sharing the live or recorded remote hearing by rebroadcasting, live-streaming or otherwise are not allowed.
Please visit https://www.dccourts.gov/coronavirus/ for more information. For questions regarding a specific court, we suggest you visit the court’s website directly.
Beginning on October 5, 2020, the Maryland Courts moved into the final phase, Phase 5, of the Maryland Judiciary’s reopening plan. During Phase 5, Maryland’s circuit courts have resumed jury trials and all courts have returned to full operations. Some courts will continue using technology for remote proceedings, either by video or telephone, but please note that this will vary by court location. Any individual seeking access to a courthouse or court office will be required to answer screening questions, wear a facial covering , and practice social distancing.
Please visit https://www.courts.state.md.us/coronavirusupdate for more information. For questions regarding a specific court, we suggest you visit the court’s website directly.
On September 28, 2020, the Virginia Courts extended the Declaration of Judicial Emergency, first declared March 16, 2020, to apply through November 1, 2020.
As of May 18, 2020, Virginia courts began hearing non-emergency, in-person hearings if the court deemed it safe to do so. By order of the Declaration of Judicial Emergency, all courts are still encouraged to conduct as much business as possible by means other than in-person court proceedings. Jury trials are beginning to be approved on a county-by-county basis. These include: Albemarle, Alexandria, Alleghany, Charlottesville, Chesterfield, Colonial Heights, Fairfax, Fluvanna, Fredericksburg, Henrico, Norfolk, Prince William, Richmond, Stafford, and Virginia Beach.
Please visit http://courts.state.va.us/ for more information. For questions regarding a specific court, we suggest you visit the court’s website directly.