SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced that all eligible individuals can begin applying for winter heating assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Under LIHEAP, utility bill payments are made on behalf of certain low-income households.
“As winter approaches, I’m reminding all Illinois residents that help is available to warm your homes,” Gov. Pat Quinn said. “I encourage all those eligible to apply so we can make certain that Illinois’ most vulnerable citizens remain healthy, safe and warm this winter.”
Clients must bring all required documentation when applying for assistance, including:
• Proof of gross income from all household members for the 30-day income period beginning with the date of the application.
• A copy of their current heat and electric bills issued within the last 30 days (if they pay for their energy directly).
• A copy of their rental agreement (if they are renting) showing that utilities are included, the monthly rental amount and landlord contact information.
• Proof of Social Security numbers for all household members.
• Proof that their household received TANF or other benefits, such as Medical Eligibility or SNAP, if receiving assistance from the Illinois Department of Human Services.
“Thanks to the LIHEAP program, Illinois families can feel confident that they will remain safe and warm in their homes this winter without the worry of burdensome energy bills,” DCEO Director Adam Pollet said. The agency’s Office of Energy Assistance administers the program.
LIHEAP is a state and federally funded energy assistance program for low-income families in which heating bill payments are made on behalf of households. LIHEAP applications are processed through a network of 35 local administering agencies around the state.
A single-person household can qualify with a monthly income of up to $1,459; a two-person household up to $1,966; a family of three can earn up to $2,474; and a family of four can earn up to $2,981. Benefits are paid directly to energy vendors on behalf of eligible households. The exception is households whose heating costs are included in their rent.
Applications will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is exhausted.
Households that use propane gas to heat their homes and are income-eligible are encouraged to contact their local administering agency to apply for energy assistance.
For a complete listing of LIHEAP’s local administering agencies and additional information about the program, go to www.liheapIllinois.com, or call the energy assistance toll-free hotline at (877) 411-WARM.