West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced that $25 million in CARES Act funding is being allocated to help pay the utility bills of state residents who have experienced economic hardships or uncertainty from the pandemic.

The governor said the money will be for residents who fell behind on payments on electric, natural gas, water and sewer bills between March 1 through July 31.

Justice said the money will go to local public service districts for distribution. He said customers who are eligible will receive letters from utility companies in the next few days, and they must fill out applications and return those by Nov. 12.

Charlotte Lane, chairwoman of the West Virginia Public Service Commission said, “Gov. Justice recognizes that there are thousands of West Virginians who are forced to choose between paying their utility bills, buying food, medicine, or paying for other essentials."

Lane said. "This $25 million of the CARES Act money that has been allocated by the governor will help these qualified West Virginians and it will make a difference in their lives.” Lane said more than 133,000 residential customers of electric, natural gas, water and sewer utility companies who can’t pay their bills due to COVID, have unpaid utility bills between March 1 and July 31 of this year can receive financial assistance.