Senior citizens and persons with disabilities can begin applying for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program Tuesday, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's Office of Community Assistance announced this week.
Families with children younger than age five can apply beginning Nov. 1. All other applicants must wait until Dec. 1.
Locally, the Embarras River Basin Agency, 100 Washington, Robinson, takes LIHEAP applications Monday through Wednesday starting at 8:30 a.m. daily.
ERBA serves Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Jasper, Lawrence and Richland counties. Applicants should call 544-8780 for an appointment.
Applicants must provide proof of gross income for everyone in the household for the previous 30 days, Social Security cards for all household members and current heating and electric bills.
Renters must bring a copy of their rental agreement showing that utilities are included, the monthly rental amount and landlord contact information. TANF/Human Services clients will also need to bring their medical cards.
LIHEAP is a state and federally funded energy assistance program for low-income families, in which heating bill payments are made on behalf of households. Applications are processed through a network of 35 local administering agencies around the state.
A single-person household can qualify with a monthly income of up to $1,561; a two-person household up to $2,114; a family of three can earn up to $2,666; and a family of four can earn up to $3,219. 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 applicants will be served on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is exhausted.
Starting Tuesday, Percentage of Income Payment Plan applications will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis each month until available funding per county, per utility and priority enrollment group is met. PIPP applications are taken through Dec. 31, or until funding is exhausted. Some Local Adminstering Agencies may take PIPP applications starting in November or December because of available funding.