State Announces Start of Home Heating Assistance Enrollment

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

                      The Illinois Department of Commerce and

                      Economic Opportunity's Office of Energy Assistance

                      today announced that seniors and people with

                      disabilities can begin applying for winter heating

                      assistance through the Low Income Home Energy

                      Assistance Program (LIHEAP) beginning Sept. 1.

                      For the first time, some LIHEAP clients will have the

                      option of choosing between the traditional Direct

                      Vendor Payment (DVP) plan or the new Percentage of

                      Income Payment Plan (PIPP). The PIPP is available to

                      eligible LIHEAP clients who are customers of Ameren

                      Illinois, ComEd, Nicor Gas and Peoples Gas/North

                      Shore Gas. Under PIPP, the eligible client will pay a

                      percentage of their income, receive a monthly benefit

                      towards their utility bill, and receive a reduction

                      in overdue payments for every on-time payment they

                      make by the bill due date.  The traditional DVP plan

                      is a one-time payment.

                      Due to the start-up of PIPP, LIHEAP clients may

                      experience longer wait times when applying for

                      assistance, but should ultimately receive better

                      service delivery. Clients must bring all required

                      documentation when applying for assistance including:

                      • Proof of gross income from all household members

                      for the 30-day period prior to the application date.

                      • 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


                      • Proof of Social Security numbers for all household


                      • 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.


                      LIHEAP is a state and federally funded energy

                      assistance program for low income families, in which

                      heating bill payments are made on behalf of


                      A single-person household can qualify with a monthly

                      income of up to $1,361; a two-person household up to

                      $1,839; a family of three can earn up to $2,316; and

                      a family of four can earn up to $2,794. Benefits are

                      paid directly to utilities 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.

                      These agencies will begin accepting applications on a

                      first-come, first served basis from the elderly and

                      people with disabilities on Sept. 1.

                      Households with children under the age of five can

                      begin applying for LIHEAP assistance beginning Oct.

                      1. Individuals not eligible for priority enrollment

                      can apply beginning Nov. 1.

                      Customers will be served on a first-come first-served

                      basis until funding is exhausted.

                      For a complete listing of LIHEAP’s local

                      administering agencies and additional information

                      about the program, go to, or call

                      the toll-free hotline at 1 877 411-WARM.