Assistance and Resources
Times are tough. Given the current economic climate, many of our Cherryland Electric Cooperative members are struggling to make ends meet. If you find yourself unable to pay your electric bill, do not wait until your power is off. Call us as soon as possible and we will explore the options available to you.
If you simply need a few extra days to make your payment, our member service representatives can help determine what type of arrangement we may be able to offer. Please call our offices at (231) 486-9200 Monday-Friday from 7:30 AM-4:00PM.
If you must seek assistance with your utility bills, it is important to be aware of the policies and procedures in order to ensure that your request is processed as quickly as possible and there is no interruption in your service.
When seeking aid, the first step is to apply for state emergency relief from the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS). Other agencies like Father Fred or Benzie Area Christian Neighbors will most often only help if you have applied at DHS and received a denial letter.
To apply for state emergency relief, you will need:
1. A completed application
2. Copies of your current bank statements
3. A disconnect notice from Cherryland Electric Cooperative
To apply for State Emergency Relief, call your county's local DHS office.
GRAND TRAVERSE AND LEELANAU COUNTIES
Department of Human Services Assistance Procedure
It is imperative due to case worker’s case load that you turn in your paperwork as soon as you receive your disconnect notice in the mail. Due to increased volume it can take up to ten days for your application to be processed. Waiting until the week of your pending disconnect date makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for your caseworker to process your request in time.
Turning in your paperwork however, does not guarantee that your account will not be disconnected. We advise that all members contact CEC prior to the date of pending disconnect to ensure that a hold or promise of payment has been placed on your account by DHS to cancel the disconnect process.
In the case of a DHS copayment (for example, you must pay $35.00 before DHS will commit to pay the remaining balance) our offices are not notified of a promise of payment until a receipt has been sent to your caseworker. It is extremely important that you notify and provide proof to your caseworker that the copayment has been made in order to complete the promise of payment process and stop the pending disconnect. Once again, we advise our members to call prior to the disconnect date to ensure that we have been contacted by your caseworker.
Local Assistance Agency Programs and Services
If you receive a denial letter from DHS, you may then seek assistance from other area agencies like Father Fred, Salvation Army or Benzie Area Christian Neighbors, to name a few. In addition to utility assistance, these agencies offer a number of other programs and services.
For example, Benzie Area Christian Neighbors (BACN) serves Benzie and Manistee counties through their food pantry, clothing center, GED program, WOW women’s outreach, educational services and computer lab. The Father Fred Foundation serves Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie, Kalkaska and Antrim counties offering a food pantry, clothing, household goods, furniture, prescription assistance and transportation to and from medical appointments. The Salvation Army serves our entire service area with an enormous variety of services for children, families, senior citizens and military personnel.
We are very fortunate to have local agencies with such a vast array of programs and services available. They are able to continue to do their good work in part because of our community’s generous donations and volunteer efforts.
For more information about each assistance agency, please click the links below.