CHICAGO — Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced that all recipients of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will receive $200 to support Illinoisans most in need due to rising costs. During this program year (September 2021 – May 2022) the Pritzker Administration has made an unprecedented $386 million investment to support families with bill assistance for heat, gas, and electricity bills to serve more than 250,000 households.
The deadline for families to apply for utility assistance is May 31, 2022. Applications must be completed in person at local administering agencies, which can be located on DCEO’s community services website. Families can also contact 1-833-711-0374 for support.
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“Access to energy is a basic necessity and my administration is working tirelessly to ensure families can afford rising costs,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Hardworking Illinoisans should not have to choose between keeping the lights on and feeding their families. As energy prices continue to skyrocket across the nation, we are providing an extra $200 in relief to our most vulnerable residents.”
All LIHEAP recipients are eligible to receive the one-time $200 payment and no additional action is needed. The $200 will be paid directly to utility companies and will be marked as a LIHEAP credit on the bill in July. Recipients will also receive a letter.
“Illinois is committed to supporting our hardworking families as they strive to make ends meet, put food on the table and pay the bills,” said DCEO Director Sylvia I. Garcia. “Governor Pritzker has made unprecedented utility bill support available during unprecedented times, and the state remains fully focused on prioritizing families in need.”
In addition to utilities benefits through LIHEAP that are available each year, earlier this spring the State provided an additional $44 million for the Utility Disconnection Avoidance Program (UDAP) for current year LIHEAP recipients who were in imminent threat of utility shut-off. This expanded safety net through UDAP is expected to support over 50,000 additional residential accounts currently on ICC utilities disconnect lists across the state.
The State of Illinois offers various programs to support eligible families with utility assistance. While the amount of support varies based on the needs of individual families, this year's LIHEAP recipients have received an average of $1,025 per household (not including the summer supplemental). Through LIHEAP, support for eligible families includes:
- One-time Direct Vendor Payment: All LIHEAP recipients receive a one-time payment to help with utilities bills.
- Summer Supplemental: On top of prior LIHEAP funds, all LIHEAP recipients will receive a $200 one-time payment.
- Crisis/Reconnection Assistance: Funding is available for families in heating-related emergency situations.
- Furnace Assistance: Based on funding availability, Furnace Assistance may be provided to households that do not have an operating furnace for their residence.
- UDAP: UDAP provided support for LIHEAP and Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) customers either on a utility's disconnection list or in imminent threat of disconnection due to an arrearage of $250 or more.
- Home Weatherization Program: The Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP) helps low-income residents and households conserve fuel and reduce energy costs by making their homes and apartments more energy efficient.