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The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted our economy.

In May, the unemployment rate in Wake County was 11.5%. As a result of layoffs and cutbacks, some residents can no longer afford to pay their utility bills.

To help, Wake County has launched a new utility bill payment assistance program called WakeHELPS to do exactly what the name implies – help households impacted by COVID-19 pay back what they owe to their utility providers.

The county will use approximately $5 million in CARES Act funding to support WakeHELPS. With a $500 maximum payout per qualifying household, we estimate at least 10,000 households will receive assistance.

Apply Now!

Use the links below to apply online in English or Español.

Other Ways to Apply


Download and print an application in English or Español. You may submit your completed application by mail, email, fax or in person.

In Person

You may pick up an application from our Swinburne Building or Eastern Regional Center.

By Phone

If you have questions or would like to request an application over the phone, please call 919-212-0476.

To qualify, you must:

Be a Wake County Resident

Have suffered financially from COVID-19

Meet income requirements and be able to submit your unpaid utility bills


In addition to the qualifications listed above, applicants must have incomes within the low-moderate income limits established in the 2020 HUD income levels for our region. Use the following table to see if you qualify:
​Persons in Family/Household ​Maximum Income
​1 ​$39,540
​2 $45,180
​3 $50,820
​4 $56,460
​5 $61,020
​6 $65,520
​7 $70,020
​8 $74,580

For the quickest turnaround time, ensure your application is fully and accurately completed.

Before beginning, you will need to gather some documents. That includes a copy of your ID, your most recent paystub and the past-due utility bills you need paid. If you are applying online, you will need to attach digital copies. If you have no income, upload a written statement declaring so instead of a paystub.

When entering income and bills, please round to the nearest whole number. For instance, round $100.50 up to $101, and round $100.49 down to $100.

Wake County staff will email you when your application has been approved or denied. Wake County staff will contact you if additional information is needed. Note that you will not receive a confirmation email when you submit your application.

If you do not provide an email address, notification will be sent in the mail.

It may take up to 30 days to process payments. Payments will be made directly to your utility provider. Once your application is approved, you will need to inform your utility provider that Wake County will be paying all or a portion of your bill. Please note, the maximum amount of relief per applicant is $500. It is entirely up to applicants to ensure the utility company updates their account balance. Applicants are responsible for any overages.

Eligible utility bills must have service dates from March 1, 2020, to Dec. 30, 2020.

Each household can apply once, and the maximum amount of funding is $500.

Maybe. WakeHELPS cannot cover bills already being paid or reimbursed through another program. However, applicants may qualify for multiple programs, as long as they cover utility bills from different periods of service without any overlap. Applicants must disclose up front if they’ve applied for other relief programs.

A household must have at least one U.S. citizen or eligible alien to qualify for WakeHELPS.

No. Only bills with a past-due balance are eligible for reimbursement.

Once your application is approved, you will need to inform your utility provider that Wake County will be paying your bill. It is up to residents to ensure the utility company updates their account balances.

Apply Now!

Use the links below to start your application in English or Español.