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WIRC Helping Low-Income Residents with Winter Energy Bills

Winter means skyrocketing energy bills for Midwestern households.

The Western Illinois Regional Council is now accepting applications from those who feel they need financial assistance to pay winter energy bills.

According to the WIRC website, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides a one-time benefit to eligible households based on income, household size, fuel type, and geographic location.

To qualify, the gross income for the household during the 30 days leading up to the date of application must not exceed the following:

·      $1,471 for a one-person household

·      $1,991 for a two-person household

·      $2,511 for a three-person household

·      $3,031 for a four-person household

·      Add $520 for each additional household member

LIHEAP has been providing heating bill assistance to residents for decades.

Tina Lovejoy, the WIRC coordinator for LIHEAP, said the program has been assisting families in Hancock, Henderson, McDonough, and Warren counties for decades.

Lovejoy added that the program is extremely beneficial to the community.

“It ensures that they’re going to be safe and warm during the winter months, because we have people who would pay that bill and not eat correctly or not buy their medications, and it just helps alleviate the higher energy costs,” Lovejoy said.      

Lovejoy noted that application availability opens up month by month, depending on the respective household’s situation.

“October is the priority period for households with people in them who are 60 or older, or receiving disability. In November, we add households with children under the age of 6. And then in December, any other households who are income-eligible can apply,” she added.

Residents interested in applying for LIHEAP can find more information on the WIRC website.