Signup Tuesday for help with heating costs

Signup Tuesday for help with heating costs

URBANA — It's still summer, but low-income seniors and people with disabilities can begin signing up for an appointment to apply for help with winter heating bills on Tuesday.

The Champaign County Regional Planning Commission staff will begin making appointments for assistance through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program on Tuesday at the planning commission offices at Brookens Center, 1776 E. Washington St., U.

Appointments will be made for Thursday and Friday.

Applications are being taken on a priority basis, with low-income adults age 60 and over and people with permanent disabilities eligible to apply first.

People living in low-income households with a child under age 5 and where power has been disconnected can apply starting Oct. 1, and staring Nov. 1, all households in which the total income is 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines can begin applying for help.

Those eligible would include, for example, a single person earning $1,396 a month (gross) or a family of four with a gross monthly income of $2,881, according to the state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Anyone scheduling appointments in Champaign County can request to be seen at the Brookens Center, at the Rantoul Community Center and at the Housing Authority in Champaign, according to the RPC.

Applicants will need to bring proof of eligibility, including proof of income for the past 30 days for all household members, Social Security cards for all household members, the most recent gas and electric bills and, if service was disconnected, the disconnect notice.

Bring Public Aid medical cards and proof of disability if that's applicable, the agency asks.

LIHEAP is funded by the state and federal governments to provide assistance for income-eligible families on heating bills.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity said LIHEAP applications are being processed through 35 local administering agencies around the state.

To find other local agencies administering the program, call toll-free 1-877-411-9276.