Energy Assistance Program
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) assists low-income families in paying their home energy bills. Each family is helped once during the program year, receiving a one-time payment.
For many Illinois households, energy costs place a severe and continuing stress on the family’s budget. In some instances, the household is forced to make painful decisions regarding which bills to pay and which necessities to survive without. LIHEAP is designed to assist eligible low-income households pay for winter energy services.
An overdue bill or cut-off notice is not required. You do not have to own your home or pay energy bills directly to be eligible for assistance. Your source of fuel does not have to be natural gas or electricity in order to receive assistance.
LIHEAP Direct Vendor Payment (DVP) will provide a one-time benefit to eligible households to be used for energy bills. Applicants must prove they are low income and responsible for their home heating costs, or if the applicant is a renter and has no utility bills, then the amount of the applicant’s rent must exceed 30% of the household’s income.
LIHEAP PIPP clients who are customers of Ameren Illinois may choose the new Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP). Under PIPP, clients pay a percentage of their income, receive a monthly benefit toward their utility bill, and receive a reduction in overdue payments for every on-time payment they make by the bill due date.
Reconnection Assistance may be available if your household is disconnected from an energy source needed for heating and/or can pay a portion of the amount owed for reconnection.
You may be eligible to receive assistance under the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program if your household’s combined income is at or below the levels shown in the chart below.
How does it work?
YOU MUST CALL FOR AN APPOINTMENT!
First Step: Application
Contact DMCOC and tell them you want to apply for the Energy Program. If you are homebound, special accommodations can be made to assist you in applying.
The worker who takes your application will help you to understand:
- The program requirements.
- The type of assistance available.
- Your rights under the program
When you apply for assistance, bring the following with you:
- Proof of gross income from all household members for the 30-day period prior to the application date, types of income include, but are not limited to: pay stubs, Social Security (SSA, SSI & SSDI). Veterans benefits, unemployment, TANF, AABD, & Child Support.
- Copy of your current heat and electric bills (if you pay for your home energy directly)
- Proof of Social Security Numbers, you must bring Social Security cards for all household members.
- If a member of your household receives TANF, you must bring their “Medical Eligibility Card.”
- If you rent, bring proof of your rental agreement that must state your monthly rent amount, or proof of home ownership with your address on it.
Second Step: Notification
The program will determine if you are eligible based on the information provided. You will be notified of eligibility status within 30 days. If you are eligible, you will be informed of the amount of assistance you can receive.
The program will also notify your energy provider of your participation in the program if you have an energy bill.
Third Step: Payment
If you are eligible, the program will make the appropriate payment to your energy provider(s) on your behalf or, in some cases, directly to you.
Energy Assistance Program Office:
1122 E. Marietta