§ 39-1.1-2. Determination of persons subject to nontermination.
(a) The commission shall promulgate appropriate rules and regulations to determine which persons who are elderly, disabled, or seriously ill are subject to the nontermination provisions of § 39-1.1-1, and in what manner relief will be made available to the subject persons.
(b) Rules and regulations maintained to determine which persons are seriously ill shall include the provision that said determination shall be through certification to the public utility or to the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers by a licensed physician.
(i) A licensed physician's certification of serious illness shall be sufficient if initially made by telephone. In such event, the public utility or the Division, whichever received initial certification, shall inform the certifying physician that he or she must forward to the public utility within seven (7) days a written certification indicating the name and address of the seriously ill person, the nature of the illness, and its likely duration. The public utility shall acknowledge receipt of such written certification and shall notify the customer in writing of the date upon which service will be terminated, unless the customer: (1) Has arranged for payment of an outstanding amount with the public utility, pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated by the commission; (2) Requests a hearing, pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated by the commission; or (3) Enrolls in a residential payment plan or other payment arrangement. The termination date shall be not less than three (3) weeks from receipt by the public utility of the written certification. If the duration of the illness exceeds three (3) weeks from the certification to the public utility, the customer may request a review pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated by the commission, to determine whether the initial exemption shall continue, for how long, and under what circumstances.
(ii) A public utility must honor a licensed physician's certification of serious illness, but may seek division review of the validity of the certification, pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated by the commission. If a licensed physician's certification does not comply with the requirements promulgated by the commission and is rejected by a public utility, the public utility shall inform the customer immediately, in writing, of the reasons for rejection of the certification and the customer's right to have the division review the utility's rejection of the certification.
(iii) Non-termination for any reason does not, in any way, relieve the customer of liability incurred for utility services.
(P.L. 1979, ch. 410, art. 5, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 83, § 87; P.L. 1999, ch. 130, § 87; P.L. 2011, ch. 382, § 5; P.L. 2011, ch. 404, § 5.)