Families in need may apply for $150 million in utility bill assistance through the Help Illinois Families Program.
Families who meet the criteria and provide required documentation are eligible to receive utility bill assistance for natural gas, propane and electricity through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
Since September 2021, more than 230,000 households have received utility assistance.
In addition to utilities benefits that are available each year, the $150 million in available benefits includes an additional $80 million for the Utility Disconnection Avoidance Program for current year LIHEAP recipients who are in imminent threat of utility shut-off. This expanded safety net is expected to support over 50,000 additional resident accounts currently on ICC utilities disconnect lists across the state.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, my administration provided record funding to help families keep a roof over their heads and prevent them from falling behind on their bills,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement.
“With many Illinoisans still facing hardship brought on by COVID-19, we are making sure Illinoisians have additional support to prevent utilities disconnections and ensure families in need can make ends meet.”
Sylvia I. Garcia, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, said, “It’s not too late to enroll and receive help with your utility costs.”
With the voluntary winter utility shut-off moratorium facilitated by the Illinois Commerce Commission that ended on March 31, families should visit www.helpillinoisfamilies.com to apply or call the hotline for real-time assistance in over 30 languages at 1-833-711-0374.
Information for families to consider when applying for assistance:
- Apply for the LIHEAP program by May 31, 2022.
- Visit helpillinoisfamilies.com to fill out and submit a request for services form online or visit your local agency (a list of partners throughout the state can be found here).
- Call 1-833-711-0374 for assistance at any point.