From waiting in line at the DMV to filling out paperwork to apply for food stamps, pretty much everyone will experience an administrative burden at some point in their lives. But what exactly is an administrative burden, and how does it prevent people from getting help when they need it?
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Dealing with a mounting utility bill or shut-off notice can be scary, and assistance isn’t always accessible. To help make the process less daunting, the Northeast Ohio Solutions Journalism Collaborative (NEO SoJo) compiled some tips from local advocates alongside requirements for assistance programs.
The number of people behind on their water bills in the Cleveland area has tripled during the pandemic. Now, almost one in every four water accounts are behind by at least one bill, as the city has resumed water shutoffs for nonpayment. Everyday people like 63-year-old Janet Gill-Cooks are struggling to pay their utility bills, and to navigate the systems of assistance that are available for utility bills. What can be done about this problem?
When the coronavirus pandemic first hit in March, most utilities instituted moratoriums, which paused overdue bill collections and shut offs — but those have come to an end. Now, many customers who are behind on their bills are receiving disconnection notices, leaving them to wonder where to turn next.