LIHEAP Applications Open Today, October 2, for Income-Eligible Households with Seniors (60+), Illinoisans with a Documented Long-Term Disability, and Children Under 6.

CHICAGO – Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) are encouraging eligible families to apply for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to support with utility bill assistance for natural gas, propane, and electricity. Applications opened today, October 2, for income-eligible households with seniors age 60+, Illinoisans with a documented long-term disability, and/or children under age 6.

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“As energy costs continue to rise, Illinois families deserve support to keep the lights on—and that’s exactly what my administration is doing,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Today, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity opened applications for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program to supplement utility bills—especially important as we gear up for the winter season—and I encourage all eligible families to apply.”

“Through LIHEAP, the State of Illinois provides critical utility bill support for families who need it the most,” said DCEO Director Kristin Richards. “I encourage families seeking utility bill assistance to visit helpillinoisfamilies.com today to check their eligibility and apply for assistance.”

Eligible families can apply by visiting helpillinoisfamilies.com or by visiting their local agency (a list of partners throughout the State can be found here). Families can also call 1-833-711-0374 for assistance in 30 languages.

All families who meet the qualifications and provide proper documentation will receive support until funding is exhausted. Families who earn up to 200% the federal poverty level, have a household with a senior, a child or children under 6, and/or a person with a disability are eligible to receive support through LIHEAP beginning today. A chart with eligible income thresholds can be found on the webpage.

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Additional eligible households will be able to apply for assistance during upcoming application opening periods on November 1 and December 1, and applications will be accepted through August 15, 2024, or until funds are exhausted. The energy bill assistance program offered through the Help Illinois Families Program in program year 2024 will provide $237 million to eligible families for energy bill assistance.

This year, the tiered application system was reinstated to ensure families most in need are able to apply first. The first group eligible to apply is expected to represent more than half of households that apply for the program.

  • October 2 – Income-eligible households who fall under the following categories:
    • Households with seniors age 60+
    • Households with a documented long-term disability
    • Households with children under age 6
  • November 1 – Income-eligible households who fall under the following categories:
    • October priority period households
    • Households that are disconnected
    • Households facing imminent threat of disconnection
  • December 1
    • All income-eligible households

LIHEAP provides one-time payments directly to energy service providers on behalf of recipients. While the amount of support varies based on the needs of individual families, last year over 311,000 households received LIHEAP, with an average of over $1,000 per household.

Additional Program Information:

The State of Illinois offers various programs to support eligible low-income families with utility assistance. These programs are open to ALL eligible low-income Illinois families who meet the criteria, including undocumented families. Programs for eligible families include:

  • One-time Direct Vendor Payment: All LIHEAP recipients receive a 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.
  • 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.

Information for Families to Apply:

  • Families eligible to apply on October 2 include:
    • Families who meet the income eligibility guidelines AND have a household with at least one of the following:
      • Senior (60+)
      • Person with a disability
      • A child or children under 6
  • To apply, visit helpillinoisfamilies.com to fill out and submit a request for services form online OR visit your local agency (a list of partners throughout the State can be found here)
  • After you submit the form, someone from your local agency will be in touch.
  • Call 1-833-711-0374 for assistance at any point during the application process.
  • Additional information about eligibility and criteria can be found on the websitealong with fact sheets in English and Spanish.

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