$327 million is now available in statewide utilities assistance. Here’s how you can apply.


Candice C. Cusic/Chicago Tribune/TNS

A replica of an early Edison lightbulb is displayed at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan, on Aug. 4, 2003. Households eligible for the utilities assistance funding will receive a one-time cash payment.

Max Lubbers and Jorja Siemons

Over $327 million of household utilities assistance funding is now available to support low-income Illinois residents regardless of immigration status, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced this week.

The funding comes through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and Community Services Block Grant, marking a $52 million increase from last year’s program funds — a “historic investment,” according to a governor’s office news release.

The change will raise the average annual credit for individual households from $750 last year to $1000 this year, according to the release. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average monthly electricity bill in Illinois was $94.98 in 2019.

Here’s how to apply: 

  • Check your eligibility

About 3.5 million residents are now eligible for assistance, according to a tweet by Pritzker.

Eligibility is based on a household’s gross income 30 days prior to the application before taxes are dedicated. If that income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, residents may be able to receive assistance. 

For renters whose bill includes heat and/or electric, their rent must be greater than 30% of their income to be eligible for assistance. 

Here’s the breakdown of your eligibility threshold by family size and 30-Day Gross Income:

1 person — $2,147

2 people — $2,903

3 people —  $3,660

4 people — $4,417

5 people — $5,173

  • When can I apply?

The application period lasts from Sept. 1 to May 31, 2022, or until funding runs out.

Residents can start the application process by completing the Help Illinois Families initiative’s Request for Services form, which connects them with their local administrative agency. 

After residents submit a Request for Services form, it may be a few weeks until their local administering agency reaches out to them by email or phone. The agency will confirm their eligibility and determine the amount of their benefit.

The Request for Services form is only available until April 15, 2022. After that date, residents can still apply for assistance, but must apply through their local administrative agency.

For multilingual assistance, residents can call a state-provided hotline service at 1-833-711-0374.

  • What to bring to the application

During the application interview, residents must bring proof of all household members’ gross 

income for the 30-day period beginning with the date of application.

If residents directly pay for energy, they must also bring a copy of current heat and electric bills issued within the last 30 days. For renters, a copy of their rental agreement showing included utilities, monthly rental amount and landlord contact information is also required for the application interview.

If the household is receiving assistance from the Illinois Department of Human Services, members must provide proof they received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits from a program such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. 

To speed up the process, all household members should show proof of a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. However, individuals without either can still apply. 

Email: [email protected] and [email protected] 

Twitter: @maxlubbers and @JorjaSiemons 

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