Open enrollment to begin for Ill. home heating assistance

SPRINGFIELD, IL (KFVS) - State officials have announced that open enrollment for Illinois residents eligible for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program will begin on Nov. 1.

According to Illinois Dept. of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, anyone eligible to receive winter heating assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) can apply.

For the first time, some LIHEAP clients will have the option of choosing between the traditional Direct Vendor Payment (DVP) plan or the new Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP).

According to the state, PIPP is available to eligible LIHEAP clients who are customers of Ameren Illinois, ComEd, Nicor Gas and Peoples Gas/North Shore Gas.

Under PIPP, officials say the eligible client will pay a percentage of their income, receive a monthly benefit towards their utility bill, and receive a reduction in overdue payments for every on-time payment they make by the bill due date.

The traditional DVP plan is a one-time payment.

Clients must bring all required documentation when applying for assistance including:

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

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.

-A single-person household can qualify with a monthly income of up to $1,361.

-A two-person household up to $1,839.

-A family of three can earn up to $2,316; and a family of four can earn up to $2,794.

For a complete listing of LIHEAP's local administering agencies and additional information about the program, go online, or call the toll-free hotline at 1‑877‑411-WARM.

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