Utility Bill Assistance Application For Low-Income Residents Now Open

Lashaunta Moore

Low-income Illinois residents who qualify could also get assistance with their water and wastewater bills.

Preparing for rising heat costs as the weather changes is never easy, especially for those most affected by inflation. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps eligible low-income households pay for home energy services (primarily heating during winter).

In 2020, the state's administration built a $275 million Help Illinois Families initiative to provide families in crisis financial assistance for utility bills and other household expenses due to the pandemic. The Department of Commerce determines which household incomes are eligible.

If a resident qualifies for heating assistance, they'll also be eligible for help with their water and wastewater bills if their household is disconnected or in threat of disconnection.

Here are answers to questions you might have.

When do applications open?

The LIHEAP application period is from September 1, 2022, to May 31, 2023, or until funding is exhausted.

Who is eligible?

Illinois residents whose gross income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level are eligible. If you rent and your heat or electricity are included in the rent, your rent must be greater than 30% of your income to qualify for assistance. Check out this income-eligible chart for a full breakdown.

What can I do to prove I'm eligible?

You'll need the following documents:

  • Proof of past 30-day income through paystub, check or copy of the check showing fixed income amount (e.g., SSA, VA, DHS benefits), or other proof of documentation for any income source,
  • Copy of most recent heat and electric bills issued within the last 30 days (if energy directly paid for).
  • Social security card or ITIN for residents who have them. Residents without ITIN or SSN can still apply, and your Local Administering Agency will advise accordingly).
  • A copy of the rental agreement (if renting) showing that utilities are included, the monthly rental amount, and landlord contact information.
  • Proof the household received TANF or other benefits, such as Medical Eligibility or SNAP, if receiving assistance from the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Where are the applications?

Click here to fill out and submit an online Request for Services form.

After filling out the form, you'll receive an email or call from your local agency to review and confirm eligibility. If you need help, contact the call center at 1-833-711-0374.

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