Amid the worst public health and economic crisis in Illinois history, CUB is spreading the word about how families can get help paying their utility bills. Check out these resources:
- Our newly updated fact sheet, Energy Assistance: Questions and Answers.
- Our infographic on the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which helps low-income consumers pay their gas and electric bills. (English version | Spanish version).
Helpful details about energy assistance:
- There’s a June 30 deadline to register for LIHEAP funding, but don’t wait to apply. The sooner you apply, the better.
- LIHEAP is available to more families this year. Because of the pandemic, there’s more money available for consumers, as CBS 2 Chicago reported recently. Also, last year the General Assembly amended state law to allow more people to qualify for assistance. Qualified applicants for the LIHEAP program now can have an income of less than 200 percent (adjusted from 150 percent) of the poverty level. To see if your income qualifies, consult the chart on this page.
- People are welcome to apply, regardless of immigration status. Currently, the LIHEAP system accepts an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) in place of a Social Security number (SSN). Even if you don’t have an ITIN, you can still apply.
- If you are interested in applying, you will need the following information/qualifications:
- Proof of gross income from all household members for the previous 30 days
- A copy of current heat and electric bills
- Proof of Social Security numbers, Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers OR immigration status for all household members
- Proof of anyone in the household receiving TANF, SNAP, Medical Eligibility or other assistance from the Illinois Department of Human Services
- A copy of the rental agreement if utilities are included, showing the rent amount and landlord contact info
- To see if you qualify or for any questions, call the LIHEAP Hotline at 1-877-411-9276 (WARM). To avoid misinformation, CUB recommends you always use the State of Illinois’ website. (You can apply for funding at that website too.)