Preserving Utility Services and Child's Health for Joan
Prairie State Legal Services preserves utility services and child’s health
Joan*, estranged from her ex-husband due to domestic violence, found employment at a bank, but lost her job when an injury left her unable to work. She supported herself and 4 children on Social Security disability, SSI benefits, and a small amount of rental assistance from the city where she lived. Joan never received child support and knew she was unlikely to ever receive it. When she came to Prairie State, ComEd and NICOR had dramatically increased her bills by unlawfully charging her for utility services used by her ex-husband for a separate residence after their divorce. When she could not pay these utility bills, the electric company threatened to disconnect her utility. One of Joan’s children had asthma and needed a nebulizer, requiring electricity. ComEd would not accept a doctor’s note to keep the electricity on unless Joan agreed to pay $500 immediately and agreed to pay the remaining amount within 30 days. Lawyers at Prairie State helped Joan and her children stay in her home and avoid having her utilities disconnected.
*Names have been changed to protect the identity of our clients and maintain confidentiality.