Today, the Governor announced an additional $90 million dollars allocated to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) through federal CARES funding. The Governor’s press release with details is provided below.
Due to COVID-19, some timing aspects of LIHEAP are temporarily altered this year. First, the FY20 LIHEAP services deadline is quickly approaching on June 30, 2020. It will be beneficial to encourage any eligible low-income households to quickly reach out to their Community Action Agencies (CAAs) to receive their FY20 funding. Second, DCEO is opening enrollment for FY21 LIHEAP enrollment earlier than usual on July 27, 2020. The qualifying income threshold has increased from 150% to 200% of the federal poverty level, allowing for more households to be eligible for LIHEAP assistance. The Governor mentioned during the press conference today that this will result in eligibility for households of four making approximately $4,300 monthly.
Lastly, DCEO has updated their systems and worked with the CAAs to launch a remote application process either on line or via phone. Applicants will be served on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is exhausted. The new website for customers to apply is www.helpillinoisfamilies.com.
Just as a reminder, this is federal LIHEAP funding. Federal LIHEAP funding is available to all eligible utility customers in the state of Illinois, including municipal utility customers. The CAA’s work with the customers to pay the utility directly for the customer bill.