Vermont Department of Public Service

Utilities

If you are a tenant in need of utility assistance, please be sure to check YES in the box that asks “Do you currently pay for utilities in addition to your rent?” in the ‘Rent Benefits’ section of the Tenant Application.  

Accessing the Owner Portal, completing questions, and requesting payments for your customers who have applied for Utility Assistance are available below.

Utility-Vendor-Walkthrough-4_11_22.pdf (vtutilityhelp.com)

Please login to the Owner Portal located at HTTPS://verapownerportal.reframeassist.io/#/auth/login

Please register:

  • By using the exact name as it appears on your W-9
  • Entering 9999 as your Tax ID

Once logged in, go to the Unit Certifications item in the left hand navigation menu. There you will see a list of customers who have applied for the Utility Assistance program. Complete the questions for each and then enter a payment request for the total amount due in arrears since April 1, 2020. You can also request payment for a current bill which has been invoiced but is not yet overdue. Upload a copy of the invoice that documents the amount in arrears and current bill due, if applicable. Finally, complete the Certification Page and esign.

The VERAP Caseworker will review your requests and schedule payments. If you have not yet provided a W9 and Direct Deposit information at https://vtutilityhelp.com/, you can also upload these forms in the portal.

Please contact the Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance Call Center at 833-488-3727 (833-4VT-ERAP) with any questions. The center is open from 8:30 am to 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday, and 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday.

To participate in the Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Program (ERAP) in Vermont (VERAP), renters must attest that: 

  • One or more individuals in the household has experienced a financial hardship  due to the pandemic,
  • One or more individuals in the household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, and
  • The household has an income at or below 80% of county median income  
  • Electricity
  • Natural gas
  • Water and sewer
  • Trash removal
  • Fuel oil and other energy costs

If you are applying JUST for utility assistance and NOT applying for rental assistance you will need to fill out the complete rental assistance application and:

  • In the Rent Benefit amount, enter “0” for monthly rent and rent in arrears
  • Say “No” to future rent payments
  • Provide the landlord details and provide the documentation for the lease, which is a general requirement for the program
  • Answer the Utility question
  • Update the utility providers on the Utility screen (you can add as many utilities as applicable)

    • If your utility is not listed, you can let the utility know they will need to register as a provider to receive funds from the program.  If they choose not to register, you can receive payment directly.  More information is provided in the VERAP-U APPLICANT AND SUPPLIER FAQS .

What documentation will I need to apply? 

  • 2020 or 2021 W-2s or Income Tax form (e.g., 1040).
  • Current pay stubs (last 2 months)
  • Lease or rental agreement, or letter of attestation from landlord
  • Eviction notice (if applicable)
  • Unemployment Compensation Benefits letter (if applicable)
  • Documentation for other income sources (Social Security or Disability, Child Support, Alimony, Pension as applicable)
  • Legal name of your landlord

Application Information

This program allows for a maximum of 15 months of payments per utility type, which can be extended to 18 months of benefit if your household remains eligible for the program or fewer if funding ends.

Yes, the utility assistance program can be used on past due balances after April 1, 2020 and current payments.

This program is for primary residences only. Residential customers must attest that the grant award that they are seeking is only for financial relief related to their primary residence.
The program may take about 30-40 days for payment directly to suppliers. This timeline may vary based on several factors including application completion.
Your utility vendor will be contacted 3 times over 5 days. If they do not respond or choose not to participate in the program, you will receive payment directly. You will receive a notice through your preferred contact method about what information is needed to receive payment directly.

Utility Vendor Section

You will receive funds by paper check or direct deposit from the State of Vermont. You must complete a W9 .
Once an Applicant is approved for the program, the Vendor will be able to view this through the Vendor Portal and can begin to submit payment requests. Applicants will also receive notifications when their applications have been approved to let them know that their utility supplier will begin receiving payment.
Yes. If you do this, the participant will receive funds directly.

Helpful Links

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The Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance Program (VERAP) is coming to an end.

Following are the changes that will be implemented to VERAP beginning October 1, 2022. Clarification of these rules may continue please check our website on Fridays for the most up to date information.

Rental Assistance:

  1. VERAP will STOP taking new applications for Rent.
  2. Participants who receive rental subsidy (such as Section 8) will no longer be eligible for rental assistance.
  3. Existing VERAP participants (those applying to VERAP prior to 10/1/22) will receive reduced rental and utility assistance dependent on income, according to the following schedule.
    • Participants with incomes between 31-80% of Area Median Income:
      • October 1, 2022, assistance will be reduced to 70%
      • November 1, 2022, assistance will be reduced to 50%
      • Rental Assistance will end November 30, 2022 
    • Participants with incomes at or below 30% of Area Median Income and below:
      • October 1, 2022, assistance will be reduced to 70%
      • Assistance will be provided until funding is gone.

Substantive Income Changes:

If an applicant’s reported income changes and the change results in the applicant being categorized in a new area median income (AMI) category, documentation of the reason for change and/or documentation of new income will be required

4. All HOTEL Nights will be capped at a rate of $130 per night

Other Expenses Related to Housing:

Application for Other Expenses Related to Housing are impacted as follows:

  1. VERAP will stop taking new applications for Other Expenses Related to Housing Habitability Repairs on 09/23/2022

  2. All Health and Safety Repairs must be completed, and all documentation uploaded by 11/30/2022

    • Arrears, Filing Fees, Sherriff Fees, and Plaintiff Legal Fees are eligible at 100% benefit
    • Stipulations received after 9/30/22 cannot include forward rent
    • Stipulations received after 9/23/22 cannot include damages
    • Stipulations are available to all VERAP approved participants, including tenants with a rental subsidy

      Stipulation Payments – New applications will not be accepted after 11/30/2022

  3. Rent into Court Applications will no longer be accepted after 11/30/2022

  4.   Money To Move applications will be accepted until 11/30/2022

    • All applicants with a subsidy are eligible for this benefit until 11/30/22.
    • All money to move requests will be paid at 100% and need to be requested within thirty days of move in date. 

Reach-Up Rental Assistance:

  1. Reach Up’s Rental Assistance is expected to continue until June 2023 — unless the funds run out before then.
  2. Approved Applicants are only eligible for a maximum of 18 months of rental payments. Some families may receive fewer than 18 months due to the program ending in June 2023.
  3. The program will keep:
    • Accepting new applications and making payments through June 30, 2023.
    • Paying the tenant’s portion of rent even if the tenant lives in subsidized housing.
    • Paying what the tenant owes.
  4. Utilities for Reach-Up Emergency Rental Assistance (RUERA) approved rental applicants will be paid at 100% until December 31, 2022 (or longer depending on the availability of funding)

Utilities (VERAP-U and REAP):

  1. Utility applications for VERAP and REAP will be accepted through December 31, 2022.
  2. For benefit month October 1, 2022, and thereafter, assistance will be reduced to 70%.
  3. Applications submitted after 9/30/2022 will receive assistance at 70% for all benefit months including arrearages.
  4. All utility payments will end December 31, 2022.

Other Helpful Resources:

Vermont 211 Homepage — VT 211

Public Benefit Programs – Including General Assistance Emergency Housing, 3SquaresVT, Fuel Assistance, Water Assistance and more:

https://dcf.vermont.gov/benefits

  1. ONLINE: Use the online application.
  2. BY MAIL: Call 1-800-479-6151 or visit a district office to get a paper application.
  3. IN PERSON: Apply in person at your local district office.

We have worked to create a summary of resources that may assist you during this time of transition.  Here is a list that you may find helpful. 

Housing Resources Guide | Vermont Income Limits.

If you have other needs, you may also reach out to 211 for resources that may not be listed here.