State Announces Start of Home Heating Assistance Enrollment
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
• 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
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 LiheapIllinois.com, or call
the toll-free hotline at 1 877 411-WARM.