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Life-threatening emergencies

A life-threatening situation occurs when

  • a household member needs

    • electricity to power life-saving medical equipment or

    • energy to avoid extreme summer and winter temperatures and

  • A health care professional indicates that the situation is life-threatening.

Medical equipment verification

The household must show that a health care professional prescribed the equipment and that it requires electricity to operate.

The equipment may not have a battery backup. When there is a battery backup, the situation is not life-threatening.

Qualified medical equipment includes but is not limited to

  • a kidney dialysis machine,

  • an iron lung;

  • an oxygen concentrator or other oxygen machine, or

  • a cardiac monitor.

Qualified medical equipment does not include

  • a hot water heater,

  • refrigerator,

  • stove,

  • a battery-driven, hand-driven, or self-contained nebulizer,

  • a battery-driven apnea monitor, or

  • battery-driven cardiac monitor.

Extreme temperature verification

The household must provide verification from a health care professional. The verification explains why, given the household member’s medical condition, not having power and being exposed to extreme temperatures is life-threatening.

DHS looks at the National Weather Service website for the predicted heat index or temperature on the disconnection date.

To qualify, the local weather must indicate that

  • the heat index is 101 or higher during the summer months or

  • the temperature is 32 or lower for the daytime hours or 20 or lower for nighttime hours during the winter months.
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