Montana-Dakota Home » Customer Service » Low-Income Assistance Programs
montana-dakota utilities low income assistance information and covid 19 payment plan

Montana-Dakota Utilities COVID-19 Payment Plan

Montana-Dakota Utilities has established special payment plans for customers who have experienced a financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These plans are tailored to fit your individual financial situation. Please contact us at 800-638-3278 to discuss how we can best help you maintain service.

Beyond our COVID-19 Payment Plan, we are also able to direct you to federal, state, and local resources that offer financial assistance for those who qualify. More information about these programs is listed below.

Crisis Assistance Available

Many states are making changes to existing LIHEAP guidelines. Below is summary of changes to LIHEAP and a summary of Crisis Assistance for specific states. For information regarding your specific circumstance, please contact LIHEAP, your local Community Action Agency, or call 211.

Changes to Montana Bill Payment Assistance

  • Current 2019-2020 LIEAP clients will receive a Supplemental LIEAP Benefit of $200 or 15% of the regular season benefit, whichever is greater.   Supplemental benefit issuance scheduled for around May 21st .
  • Montana will also provide an Emergency Energy Assistance Benefit program for those who were not eligible for the 2019-2020 regular season.
  • Applications for the Emergency Energy Benefit program will become available around May 12th. 
    • Emergency Energy Benefit program applications available from the local HRDC LIEAP office or by calling 833-317-1080
    • One month income look-back period to determine if annualized income meets eligibility requirement
    • One-time Emergency Energy Benefit of $200
    • Emergency Energy Assistance Benefit issuance schedule to begin around May 28th.
  • Vendors apply both 2019-2020 Regular season and Emergency Energy Benefits to customer accounts until benefit has been exhausted.
  • As with Regular season households, eligible Emergency Energy Assistance households will receive a pre-printed application for the regular 2020-2021 LIEAP season in October, 2020.

On May 19, 2020, Governor Bullock issued the following directive:
An individual who seeks the protection of the provisions to prevent utility service disconnection after June 1 must make a basic showing to the utility that they are (all three must apply):
(1) sheltering in place
(2) are a member of a vulnerable population
(3) have been financially impacted as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Montana Emergency Rental Assistance

    • The Montana Emergency Rental Assistance program is now available for Montanans who have lost household income as a direct or indirect result of the COVID-19 pandemic and are at risk of housing instability.
    • Renters can receive a monthly maximum of $2,200 for past due and future rent payments, up to $300 for past due and future utilities including gas and electric, and $50 per month for internet. Households can receive assistance for rent and utility bills dating back to April 1, 2020.
    • For more information and to apply click here.

Changes to North Dakota Bill Payment Assistance

  • Existing LIHEAP changes
    • Emergency Assistance is available for up to 90 days prior to the application date and qualifying households can receive Emergency Assistance more than once
    • A disconnection notice is not required
    • Costs must have been incurred from the current residence
    • Crisis grants can be used for reconnection fees but cannot be used for deposits
  • CARES Act: HHS will provide additional LIHEAP funding.  North Dakota’s allocation amount has not yet been announced.

Changes to South Dakota Bill Payment Assistance

  • The last date to apply for regular heating season benefits is March 31st of each year.
  • Regular Heating Season qualified customers from 2019-2020 heating season will all automatically roll over to the new 2020-2021 heating season’s benefits.
  • Households must meet the income qualifications to be eligible for the regular heating season benefits. If you were not on Energy Assistance during the 2019-2020 heating season, you still need to fill out an application and send it to the state. You can obtain an application here.

Cares Act Emergency Program:

Deadline to has been removed at this point. Applications will be received and processed as long as funds are available or until a deadline is established.

Households that meet the below criteria will be eligible for emergency assistance. Households must meet the income qualifications to be eligible for the emergency program.

Eligible Services: ➢ Electric ➢ Reconnect Fees ➢ Deposits ➢ Late Fees

  • Must have an approved case for the 2020-2021 heating season. There is not a separate application to apply for emergency assistance. Write on the top of the application “Cares Act Crisis Needed.”
  • Have emergency funds remaining. The emergency funds available is $1,200 per case
  • Benefits from the Care’s Act will not go toward any gas service. It will only be applied to electric.
  • Have received a disconnect notice for their ELECTRIC SERVICE. We understand that some vendors are not actually disconnecting households at this time, but under normal circumstances they would be. These households are still eligible to receive emergency assistance.
  • For complete information, including how to apply, click here.

Changes to Wyoming Bill Payment Assistance

  • Rental Assistance through the Wyoming Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)
    Available now!

    • The U.S. Treasury has provided the State with funds to help cover rent and utility costs for those individuals and families that are struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The program may help with:  rent; maintaining safe housing and avoiding evictions; and utility bills.
    • Applications are available now. For eligibility requirements and to submit an application, visit the ERAP website.
  • Homeowner Assistance Fund
    Coming Soon!

    • The purpose of the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) is to prevent mortgage delinquencies and defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacement of homeowners experiencing financial hardship after January 21, 2020. Funds from the HAF may be used for assistance with mortgage payments, homeowner’s insurance, utility payments, and other specified purposes. The law prioritizes funds for homeowners who have experienced the greatest hardships, leveraging local and national income indicators to maximize the impact.
    • Applications and eligibility requirements will be available soon. For more information click here.

Heating Assistance

There are times when unexpected things happen. This includes having trouble paying your energy bill. Help is available through organizations in your area. Energy assistance organizations are run by private, nonprofit organizations or government agencies established to help people with energy-related emergencies in hardship circumstances. The organizations assist people with energy problems when no other resources are available to them and when these problems are caused by circumstances beyond their control.

If you need help, call Montana-Dakota at 800-638-3278 and we will direct you to available assistance in your area. To find out more about programs in your state that help eligible individuals and families with heating and insulation related costs in the winter, click the respective link below:

Montana customers

Additional help is available for Montana-Dakota customers in Montana. For more information …

Heating Assistance Programs

North Dakota – LIHEAP
South Dakota – LIEAP
Montana – LIHEAP
Wyoming – LIEAP

For many of the organizations that provide help, donations generally come from voluntary contributions from individuals, organizations, churches, industry and the government.

If you would like to help, you contribute when you pay your MDU bill. Your tax-deductible gift will be sent to the energy assistance organization in your area. You also may contribute directly by contacting any organization listed below. Donations are voluntary:

Energy Share of Montana
3117 Cooney Dr.
Suite 102
Helena, MT 59602

Energy Share of N.D.
PO Box 507
Jamestown, ND 58402

Church Response S.D.
30 Main St.
Rapid City, SD 57701

Energy Share of Wyoming
c/o Align
1401 Parkway, Suite 300
Cheyenne, WY 82001