While we are not affiliated with the government in any way, our private company engaged writers to research the LIHEAP program and compiled a guide and the following answers to frequently asked questions. Our goal is to help you get the benefits that you need by providing useful information on the process.
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The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides assistance for energy costs to low-income households. LIHEAP is a federal program that is administered by individual states, territories, and tribes. In Illinois, LIHEAP is administered by Community Action Agencies of Illinois.
Learn more about LIHEAP by reviewing the federal program fact sheet here.
For more information about LIHEAP in Illinois, click here.
Community Action Agencies of Illinois oversees LIHEAP benefits and provides financial assistance for heating expenses to qualified households. Financial assistance can include payment for:
For more information about LIHEAP’s heating assistance initiative in Illinois, see the Illinois state 2022-23 LIHEAP Detailed Model Plan here.
Illinois’s LIHEAP program does not provide financial compensation for cooling expenses. However, it does assist with cooling emergencies if applicants qualify for Crisis Assistance.
LIHEAP Crisis Assistance, like standard LIHEAP benefits, is a cash grant provided to the utility companies of eligible individuals in certain situations.
If your household meets all the eligibility requirements above and has an energy-related crisis, you may qualify for LIHEAP Crisis Assistance.
The state of Illinois defines a “crisis situation” as one where a household:
A “life-threatening crisis situation” also qualifies a household for Crisis Assistance. This occurs when:
For qualifying households, the maximum annual benefit amount for LIHEAP Crisis Assistance is a one-time payment of $1,200.
Learn more about Crisis Assistance on page 13 of the Detailed Model Plan here.
To determine the amount of energy assistance for which you are eligible, the Community Action Agencies of Illinois will consider:
Also, whether you are eligible for regular LIHEAP payments or Crisis Assistance payments will influence your maximum benefit amount.
As of 2022, the maximum annual benefit amount for heating in Illinois is $2,020 and the minimum annual benefit amount is $175.
To qualify for LIHEAP in Illinois, you must meet the following requirements:
The Community Action Agencies of Illinois prioritize households with elderly, disabled or young members. Elderly is considered 60 years or older, and young is considered five years old or younger.
Learn more about the LIHEAP financial eligibility requirements in Illinois here.
If you or a member of your family participates in the benefit programs below, then you may automatically be eligible for LIHEAP based on your income:
Eligible households can only apply for LIHEAP assistance from October 1st until May 31st. Community Action Agencies will prioritize LIHEAP applications from households with elderly, disabled, and young children as well as those about to experience utility disconnection.
Note that applications for LIHEAP, including Crisis Assistance, cannot be submitted year-round.
To apply for LIHEAP in Illinois, complete the following three steps:
Learn what documents and information you need to complete the process here.
Find your nearest Community Action Agency (CAA) office and contact information here.
Access the Illinois LIHEAP application with your local CAA office.
If you have questions about the application process or require assistance, contact your nearest Community Action Agency (CAA) office. Find your nearest CAA office here.
When applying for Illinois LIHEAP benefits, you will need to provide:
The state will need the following documents and information to confirm your eligibility for LIHEAP benefits:
Learn more about the documentation needed during the LIHEAP application process here.
You can call the Community Action Agency office where you applied to directly to check your application status. Click here to find your local office and contact information.
You can also check the status of your LIHEAP application online here.
The Community Action Agencies of Illinois will notify you within 30 days of receiving your application if you are approved to receive benefits or within 48 hours if eligible for crisis assistance.
All LIHEAP payments are made to the heating or energy provider directly. Benefit payments will not be sent to you.
If you are denied Illinois LIHEAP benefits, you may request a hearing to appeal the decision by writing a statement to your local Community Action Agency (CAA) office where you applied within 30 days of when you received the denial. Find your nearest local CAA office here.
If the CAA representative cannot resolve the dispute, you can request a hearing with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. You can begin this process:
Once the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity receives the appeal, they will set up a hearing and notify you of the date, time and location.
If you have questions about the appeal process, contact the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity:
If you have questions about LIHEAP benefits in Illinois or require further assistance, contact your local Community Action Agency office. Find your nearest Community Action Agency (CAA) office and contact information here.
You can also call the LIHEAP hotline at (877) 411-9276, or contact the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity at (217) 785-2533 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
While we are not affiliated with the government in any way, our private company engaged writers to research the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and compiled a guide that we believe is simple to use and easy to understand. Our goal is to help you get the benefits that you need by providing detailed information on the process.
Our free LIHEAP Guide is filled with helpful information about how to apply for LIHEAP, program eligibility and how to get in touch with local offices. You can view or download our free guide here.
Last Updated: September 16, 2022