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Illinoisans in need of assistance to cover rising heating bills this winter can get some help from the state’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) which has received additional funding from the federal government.

The state’s U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D) and Tammy Duckworth (D) noted the release of $208,170,481 in federal funding came from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services following a letter sent by a number of senators in October. The letter noted an additional $1 billion had been secured for LIHEAP programs specifically to assist with “the alarming increase in energy costs that is forecast for this winter.”

Though LIHEAP is technically a federal program, it is organized as a block grant provided to states and tribal grantees. That means each state operates its own LIHEAP program to actually distribute funding to households.

Find information on Illinois’ LIHEAP program, including who is eligible and how to apply, here.

An excerpt from the state site:

“LIHEAP helps eligible households with low income pay for home energy services. This includes assistance with heating, gas, propane and electricity.
Deadline: The LIHEAP application period is September 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023, or until funding is exhausted.  Last day to apply online with the Request for Services form is May 5, 2023.  After this date you can still apply through your local administering agency through May 31, 2023.”

Illinois’ efforts fall under the state’s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DECO) along with the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) which “offers Illinoisans an opportunity to receive support for an array of essential services including rent assistance, food, temporary shelter, medicine and more,” and the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) which “helps households that are facing the threat of imminent disconnection, have already been disconnected or have past due (arrearage) balances over $50 for their water and wastewater services combined,” according to the DECO.