SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has announced income-qualified households can apply for winter heating assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
If your last 30-day income has been affected by the federal shutdown, if you lost your job, if you are a student living away from home struggling to pay your utility bills, LIHEAP can help.
A single-person household can qualify with a monthly gross income of up to $1,518; a two-person household up to $2,058; a family of three up to $2,598; and a family of four up to $3,138. Benefits are paid directly to energy vendors on behalf of eligible households. The exception is households whose heating costs are included in their rent.
LIHEAP applications are processed through a network of 35 local administering agencies around the state. Customers 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.
Reconnection assistance is also available for households who are disconnected from their energy source needed for heating or are under imminent threat of disconnection (are within seven days of being disconnected or have less than 25 percent in their propane tank).
Furnace assistance is available as well for households who qualify for LIHEAP, have an inoperable heating system, and are in need of furnace repair or replacement.
LIHEAP heating assistance applications, including reconnection assistance, will continue to be accepted through May 31 or until funding is exhausted. Furnace assistance applications are accepted through March 31 or until funding is exhausted. Applications are taken on a first-come, first-served basis.
For a complete listing of LIHEAP’s local administering agencies and additional information about the program, visit www.liheapIllinois.com, or call the LIHEAP toll-free hotline at 1-877 411-9276.