PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Kenney today announced that City departments and agencies will offer flexibility in bill payments to federal workers affected by the partial shutdown of the U.S. government.
“Tens of thousands of federal employees live and work in Philadelphia, and we know some are already struggling,” said Mayor Kenney. “Martin Luther King Jr. understood that the civil rights movement and the drive for workers’ rights are forever intertwined. On this day honoring his legacy, I pledge that the City will do its best to ensure that these workers don’t have to worry about matters like paying their water or gas bills while they are going without a paycheck.”
Effective immediately, furloughed federal workers and those employees working without pay should contact the Department of Revenue, the Water Revenue Bureau, and Philadelphia Gas Works if they need additional flexibility in paying their bills — either to pay current bills or to fulfill existing payment agreements.
“If you reach out to us, we can delay enforcement actions, including water shut off and foreclosure,” said Revenue Commissioner Frank Breslin. “We can also waive interest, penalties, and any other charges that accrue once we receive payment when the shutdown ends. These workers need every break as the shutdown drags on, and we’re committed to doing what we can.”
Federal workers struggling to make ends meet can also take advantage of PGW’s assistance programs: ‘Payment Arrangements’ can ease the pressure on customers who fall behind, or are worried they might; ‘Budget Billing’ avoids surges in bills during winter heating season; and CARES provides payment assistance to residential customers with special circumstances, such as medical emergencies, unemployment or other temporary hardships.
“Options like these can make all the difference,” said PGW President and CEO Craig White. “Our goal is always to work with customers and give them as much support as we can, in order to keep their vital natural gas service on. Whether the need is temporary or ongoing, our experienced team is used to working with customers who are in tough financial situations.”
Affected workers who need help should call or email the addresses and numbers below, and identify yourself as federal worker. You may need to provide proof of federal employment, such as a W2, federal employee ID, or other documentation.
Federal workers who are furloughed or working without pay will also be eligible for consideration when paying tickets to the City. The Bureau of Administrative Adjudication (parking tickets) and the Office of Administrative Review (code violation notices) urge federal workers who face difficulty paying tickets or fines to schedule a hearing as specified on the ticket. Hearing officers have the discretion to offer relief to hardships by extending payment deadlines. Staff of both offices have been urged to exercise particular consideration for federal employees.