Help paying your bills

Produced by Greater Boston Legal Services and Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed October 27, 2020

If you have trouble paying your bills

Your car

If you fall behind on your car payments, call your lender. Ask if they have a program to help you delay some of your payments or lower them.

Your gas and electric.

Fuel Assistance is a program that pays your heating bills by sending money to your heating company to be credited to your account.  Apply before May 28, 2021.

Utility companies cannot shut off service to your home before April 1, 2021.  After April 1, 2021, you may be able to stop a shut-off if you qualify for winter heat protection in the fall of 2021.  See Keep Your Heat From Getting Shut Off This Winter.  

Your internet, phone and other utilities

During the COVID-19 crisis, internet and cell phone companies have special plans.  See the Guide To Internet Plans For Low And Fixed-Income Households.

If you have a student in your household, ask for an "educational" internet or broadband rate.  Or ask your provider for a "basic" package or low-income rate.

Your credit cards and debts

See Debt Cases in Court to find out about cases already in court.

If you lost your income, learn to be proactive about your bills. More help from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Funeral costs

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may give you up to $9,000 to cover the costs you paid for a funeral.  FEMA will pay you back for the funeral costs you paid for someone who:

  • may have passed away from, or
  • likely passed away from COVID-19.

FEMA will pay for costs like the funeral, cremation, burial, and headstone. You must give FEMA receipts for what you paid.

See Covid-19 Funeral Assistance

Find Legal Aid

You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program. Or email a question about your own legal problem to a lawyer.

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