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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 31, 2012

State Announces LIHEAP Open Enrollment Begins Nov. 1
All Eligible Households Can Begin Applying for Home Heating Assistance

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's Office of Energy Assistance today announced that all eligible individuals can begin applying for winter heating assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) beginning tomorrow, Nov. 1.

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 whether 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 $1,396; a two-person household up to $1,891; a family of three can earn up to $2,386; and a family of four can earn up to $2,881. Benefits are paid directly to utilities on behalf of eligible households. The exception is households whose heating costs are included in their rent.

LIHEAP applications are processed through a network of 35 local administering agencies around the state. These agencies will begin accepting applications on a first-come, first served basis beginning Nov. 1. Customers will be served until funding is exhausted.

Priority enrollment for seniors and people with disabilities eligible for LIHEAP began on Sept. 1.  Enrollment for households with children under the age of five for LIHEAP assistance began on Oct. 1.
 
For a complete listing of LIHEAP’s local administering agencies and additional information about the program, visit LiheapIllinois.com and go to the “How Do I Apply” section at the bottom of the page, or call the toll-free hotline at 1 877 411-WARM.
 



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