Ask your water corporation about assistance
The Customer Service Code – Metropolitan Retail and Regional Water Businesses and the Rural Water Customer Service Code each set out requirements for water corporations to offer flexible payment plans, specific assistance in line with your capacity to pay and hardship policies.
If you think you’re going to have trouble paying a water bill, you need to ring the water corporation to talk about this and work out a payment plan.
If your financial problems are likely to affect more than one bill, ask your water corporation about its hardship policy.
Among other things, your water corporation can’t restrict your supply for debt, while you’re making the payments you agreed to. It must also offer you a range of payment options and advice on how you can reduce your water usage.
You may be eligible for government assistance
The Victorian Government provides a range of concessions that reduce the water bills of people holding certain concession cards. The water account needs to be in the name of the household member holding the concession card
There’s also a Utility Relief Grant (URG) which can help with water bills. This provides short-term assistance, not ongoing support. Generally you’ll have to show you’ve had unexpected expenses, a drop in income or an unexpectedly high bill. This grant isn't restricted to people with eligible concession cards—low income families may also be eligible, provided the account holder is enrolled in their water corporation's hardship program.
You can apply for a Utility Relief Grant through your water corporation. It's possible to apply at the same time for a grant that covers more than one utility bill. The Concessions Unit of the Victorian Department of Human Services decides on applications. When an application is successful, the grant generally pays part of the bill, not all of it.
A Non-Mains URG helps eligible people who depend on carted water and who are in danger of having their supply stopped.
You’ll find more information on the Department of Human Services’ website or you can ring the Concessions Information Line on 1800 658 521.Commonwealth Government
The Commonwealth Utilities Allowance assists older people with the cost of utility services, including water and sewerage. It's paid to people receiving a range of income support. Payments are made in four instalments and usually paid with the customer’s first regular Centrelink payment following the qualification dates of 20 March, 20 June, 20 September and 20 December each year. You’ll find more information on the Centrelink website or you can ring Centrelink on 13 2300.