Date: October 2, 2023 - 12:01am

The Champaign County RPC, as administrator of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for the County, is pleased to announce that funds are available to assist income-eligible households with their natural gas, propane and/or electric bills, and furnace assistance for inoperable heating systems. The RPC will begin taking applications on October 2, 2023, for seniors, the disabled, and families with children under the age of six-years-old.

On Wednesday, November 1, households that are disconnected from their utilities, have a disconnection notice, or have less than 25% in their propane tank can start applying for LIHEAP assistance. All other income eligible households can start applying December 1, 2023.

The application end date for LIHEAP is now changing to August 15 instead of May 31, meaning applications will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis through August 15, 2024. Households that receive a one-time benefit may return during this period for a Reconnection Assistance or Furnace Assistance benefit(s).

Households must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty level to receive a LIHEAP benefit. The 30-day income guidelines for LIHEAP are based on Federal Poverty Guidelines, State Median Income, and the number of persons living in the household. A single-person household can qualify with a monthly income up to $2,430, a two-person household up to $3,287, a three-person household up to $4,143, and a family of four up to $5,000. Benefits are paid directly to utilities on behalf of eligible households. Households with five members or more can visit for additional income limits.

LIHEAP provides one-time benefits to income eligible homeowners and renters to help with energy bills and for reconnection of energy service. Propane customers who are part of the priority group are encouraged to apply when the program opens in October. Propane prices typically increase during the winter months, so by applying early propane customers will see their LIHEAP benefit go further.

Households eligible for LIHEAP in October can begin making appointments on Monday, September 18, 2023. Those appointments can be scheduled in-person only at the RPC’s office inside the Brookens Administrative Center (1776 E. Washington Street, Urbana), at 2009 Round Barn Road in Champaign, and at the Rantoul Business Center (601 S. Century Boulevard, Suite 1314), or by phone at 217-384-1226. Those making appointments for November, December, and beyond will be able to make appointments in-person, by phone, or through the RPC’s website at starting on November 1.

To apply, households MUST submit ALL required documentation:

  1. Proof of gross income from all household members for the prior 30-day period beginning with the date of application.
  2. Proof of Social Security numbers or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for all household members. Individuals without a SSN or ITIN can still apply and the RPC will advise accordingly.
  3. A copy of current heat and electric bills issued within the last 30 days.
  4. A copy of rental agreement (if renting) showing that utilities are included, the monthly rental amount, and landlord contact.
  5. Other documents may be needed based on a specific household’s situation. Questions about this can be directed to the RPC by calling 217-384-1226.

Applications will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis through August 15, 2024, or until funding is exhausted.

Last modified:Wednesday, September 20, 2023 - 14:38
- Author: BridgetB