The Low Income Heating Assistance Program is now accepting applications via the Western Illinois Regional Council. The WIRC administers the program in four counties in Western Illinois and they are reminding anyone in need that applications can now be filled out at the WIRC office located at at 223 South Randolph in Macomb. A household may qualify to receive energy assistance if the gross income for all household members for 30 days income beginning with the date of the application and does not exceed the following levels.
$1,485 for a one-person household
$2,003 for a two-person household
$2,520 for a three-person household
$3,038 for a four-person household
For each additional household member add $520
Persons applying for assistance must provide the following information to document eligibility for the program: proof of gross income for all household members for 30 days income beginning with the date of the application; a complete and current copy of the heating and electric bills or a statement from the energy suppliers (if the household is responsible for paying its own bills); and social security cards for all household members. If additional information is needed, the household has 15 days to provide the necessary documentation.
The amount of assistance is determined by choice of program between the LIHEAP Direct Vendor Payment (DVP) or the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP ). The LIHEAP-DVP benefit amount is determined by factors such as: household size and total income, type of fuel and whether the household pays its own heating bills, or if the heating cost is included in rent payments. Funding is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis until each county’s allocation is depleted.
Assistance payments are made to the energy supplier, or to the household according to the program guidelines. Funding may be applied toward current bills, past-due bills, late charges, and reconnect fees.
A household that resides in public subsidized housing must have a “subject to surcharge” clause in their lease to be eligible for energy assistance. The applicant, however, must have monthly rent costs greater than 30 percent of the household income.