Customer Assistance Program (CAP)
Customer Assistance Program (CAP)

The Springfield Water and Sewer Commission’s Customer Assistance Program (CAP) is intended to support low-income, single-family homeowners with water and/or sewer accounts with the Commission. Eligible and approved customers can receive a one-time, annual account credit of $125. Customers must reapply annually.

For more information please call customer service at 413-452-1300 or email cap@waterandsewer.org .

Program Description

Eligible Commission customers in single-family, owner-occupied homes in Springfield and Ludlow may apply for the credit. The credit is applied to the account once per fiscal year and customers may re-apply each year.

CAP credits are based on available CAP funding and are applied on a first-come, first-served basis, for completed applications. Customers that receive another discount from the Commission, such as the discount for senior homeowners, disabled Veterans, or disabled homeowners, are able to receive the CAP if they submit an application and meet eligibility criteria.

Customers must meet a minimum in annual water and sewer charges of $125. Customers may apply for the CAP via mail, email, or an electronic form. In addition to the application, documentation is required to verify income eligibility. The Commission will accept a current fiscal year Low Income Heating Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) approval letter as proof of income eligibility. The Commission maintains strict security and confidentiality practices for all personal information and documentation.

The CAP operates on the fiscal year schedule July 1 – June 30. CAP credits will only be issued as long as CAP funding remains available within a fiscal year. LIHEAP approval letter must be from the corresponding LIHEAP program year, November – May. The previous year’s LIHEAP approval letter will be accepted for applicants applying between July and October of each year.

How to Apply

Apply by Mail

Applicants that wish to apply by mail may download a CAP application or contact the Commission and request that an application be mailed to them.

Applicants must complete, sign, and return the form, along with required proof of income eligibility documentation (LIHEAP approval letter) to the Commission. Complete applications and documentation should be mailed in one envelope to Customer Assistance Program, Springfield Water and Sewer Commission, 250 M Street Ext, Agawam, MA 01001.

Solicitud del Programa de Asistencia al Cliente

Apply by Email

Applicants that wish to apply by email may download a CAP application or contact the Commission and request that an application be mailed or emailed to them. Applicants must complete (electronically or by hand), sign, scan/photograph, and attach and send the form, along with scan/photo of required proof of eligibility documentation (LIHEAP approval letter) attached, to cap@waterandsewer.org.

Solicitud del Programa de Asistencia al Cliente

Apply Online

Applicants that wish to apply online will need to complete the electronic fillable form. Applicants must complete all required fields on the form and e-sign the application as part of the electronic submittal. Applicants will need to upload income eligibility documentation (LIHEAP approval letter) electronically.

Solicitud del Programa de Asistencia al Cliente

Documentation and Policies

Income Eligibility

The CAP discount follows the same income eligibility guidelines as the LIHEAP fuel assistance program for the state of Massachusetts, which is set at a household income of 60% or below the state median income. Because the CAP discount follows the same eligibility guidelines as LIHEAP, Commission customers are strongly advised to apply for LIHEAP and submit the LIHEAP approval letter as proof of income eligibility for CAP. CAP credits can only be issued as long as CAP funding remains available in a fiscal year.

Are you eligible for LIHEAP fuel assistance? Click here to view the fiscal year 2021 LIHEAP income eligibility guidelines.

Applying with a LIHEAP Approval Letter: To be eligible to receive the CAP discount, Commission customers must meet the same income eligibility requirements as for LIHEAP in the state of Massachusetts. The Commission will accept a current LIHEAP approval or award letter as proof of income eligibility. A copy of the LIHEAP approval letter should be included with the CAP application. This document can be mailed, scanned/photographed and emailed, or uploaded with the electronic application form.

Application Processing

Applications will be received and processed by Commission personnel as long as funding remains each fiscal year. Application forms will be reviewed and cross-referenced with information in the Commission’s database.

The following initial information will be identified for eligibility:

  • Property address and Commission account number
  • Account holder (must be the same as applicant)
  • Property type (must be single-family, owner-occupied)
  • Water/Sewer account status:
    • Account must be active
    • Customers are still eligible if account is in arrears or on a payment plan
    • Account must have minimum average charge of at least $125 per year to receive CAP credit (new homeowners in their first year of residence at the home and without billing history are eligible to apply)

If the application meets the Commission’s initial eligibility criteria, Commission personnel will confirm the applicant’s income eligibility by reviewing the LIHEAP approval letter.

Customers that meet all eligibility criteria will receive the CAP credit on their next monthly billing statement, after processing.

The review process may take up to 6-8 weeks. Customers are expected to continue paying monthly bills while their application is reviewed and processed.

Applying without a LIHEAP Approval Letter: In only rare extenuating circumstances, the Commission will accept alternative forms of income eligibility documentation in lieu of a LIHEAP approval letter. Application review and processing times may be longer without a LIHEAP approval letter. Customers may contact the Commission by calling Customer Service to find out more information about possible alternative application provisions. Customers may only apply in this manner once; to qualify for the CAP in subsequent years, a LIHEAP approval letter must be submitted for proof of income documentation.

 

Application Renewal

Customers can only receive one CAP credit per fiscal year (July – June).

Customers must renew their application each year by completing a new application form and submitting updated eligibility (LIHEAP) documentation. Renewal applications will be processed following the same procedures as new applications. Previously receiving the CAP credit does not automatically qualify a customer or offer priority. CAP credits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis and the program is limited by annual budget allocations.

CAP Denial

If a customer does not meet the property or income eligibility requirements, or if CAP funding is no longer available, they will be denied the CAP credit. Customers will be notified of this decision via mail or email.

If an applicant believes this decision was made in error or has subsequently obtained a LIHEAP approval letter, the customer may file a request for an application review to the Commission’s Appeals Committee. Requests for review will only be processed when accompanied by new or additional information. Following Committee review the customer will be notified of its findings by mail or email.

Maintaining CAP Eligibility

All Commission customers are required to adhere the Rules and Regulations of the Commission as well as the CAP guidelines. Violation of provisions in the Rules and Regulations (such as identification of water theft, meter tampering, or other damage to Commission property) and CAP guidelines may result in the removal of the CAP credit and ineligibility for future CAP applications. The Commission may determine that a customer is no longer eligible for the CAP if they are found to have falsely submitted documents for the CAP credit.