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February 21, 2019

1/30/2019 2:42:00 PM
Winter heating aid still available to low-income
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity says income-qualified households can still apply for winter heating assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

Persons whose 30-day income has been affected by the federal shutdown, persons who have lost their jobs and students living away from home struggling to pay utility bills can be helped by LIHEAP.

A single-person household can qualify with a monthly gross income of up to $1,518, a two-person household up to $2,058, a family of three up to $2,598 and a family of four up to $3,138.

Benefits are paid directly to energy vendors 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. Locally, the Embarras River Basin Agency, 100 Washington, Robinson, administers the program.

Customers must bring all required documentation when applying for assistance, including:

• Proof of gross income from all household members for the 30-day income period beginning with the date of the application.

• 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 information.

• Proof of Social Security numbers for all household members.

• 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.

Reconnection Assistance is also available for households who are disconnected from their energy source needed for heating or are under imminent threat of disconnection (are within seven days of being disconnected or have less than 25 percent in their propane tank).

Furnace Assistance is available as well for households who qualify for LIHEAP, have an inoperable heating system and are in need of furnace repair or replacement.

LIHEAP heating assistance applications, including Reconnection Assistance, will continue to be accepted through May 31 or until funding is exhausted. Furnace Assistance applications are accepted through March 31 or until funding is exhausted.

Applications are taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, go to, or call the LIHEAP toll-free hotline at 1 877 411-WARM (9276).

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