State announces start of winter energy assistance program

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(Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Application period open for seniors and people with disabilities

Information provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (September 25, 2019) – The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced that seniors and people with disabilities can begin applying for winter heating assistance on October 1st  through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).

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.

The Thornton Township office located in South Holland, IL can help interested parties complete the application for this program.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)  is a state and federally funded energy assistance program for families with low income in which heating bill payments are made on behalf of eligible households. HEAP 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 $1,561; a two-person household up to $2,114; a family of three can earn up to $2,666; and a family of four can earn up to $3,219. Benefits are paid directly to energy vendors on behalf of eligible households. The exception is households whose heating costs are included in their rent.

Disconnected households and families with children age 5 or under can begin applying for HEAP assistance beginning November 1st . Individuals not eligible for priority enrollment can apply beginning December 1st .

Applicants will be served on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is exhausted.

Starting October 1, 2019, the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) applications will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis each month until available funding per county, per utility, and priority enrollment group is met.  PIPP applications are taken from October 1- December 31, or until funding is exhausted.  Some Local Adminstering Agencies (LAAs) may take PIPP applications starting in November or December due to available funding.

For a complete listing of LIHEAP’s local administering agencies and additional information about the program, go to www.liheapIllinois.com, or call the LIHEAP toll-free hotline at 1 877 411-WARM (9276).

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