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HomeIllinois NewsIllinois offers utility bill assistance to furloughed federal workers, unemployed and students

Illinois offers utility bill assistance to furloughed federal workers, unemployed and students




EAST DUNDEE –Friday, Illinois – which is over $8 billion behind in its bills – offered utility bill assistance to federal workers on furlough due to the shutdown, unemployed and students living away from home.

"If your last thirty day income has been affected by the federal shutdown, if you lost your job, if you are a student living away from home struggling to pay your utility bills, the state's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) said in a press release.

All that's nice, said State Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee), but it could cost up to $100 million in aid. How will all this be paid for?

“I can sympathize with the stress that missing a paycheck can cause, but that doesn’t mean the taxpayers of Illinois can afford another hit to their paychecks either,” said Skillicorn. “Since Gov. Pritzker took office, he has already increased state employee salaries and signed other executive orders adding to our $8 billion backlog of unpaid bills. Where does he plan to get the money to pay for all this?" 

“He can’t just increase taxes again to pay for all of this spending. It isn’t fair to taxpayers, the vendors that the state still owes money or the businesses that are closing their doors and leaving Illinois every day.”

Since taking office less than two weeks ago, Pritzker has signed legislation to increase salaries of state agency directors by 15%, increased state spending for elective abortions and tightened environmental regulations. "All of which adds to the cost of operating Illinois government and the cost of doing business in the state for private employers," Skillicorn said. "Now adding an additional $100 million to state spending through this furloughed government workers program."

LIHEAP's Friday announcement said a single-person household can qualify for utility bill assistance with a monthly gross income of up to $1,518; a two-person household up to $2,058; a family of three up to $2,598; and a family of four up to $3,138. Benefits are paid directly to energy vendors on behalf of eligible households. The exception is households whose heating costs are included in their rent.

LIHEAP applications are processed through a network of 35 local administering agencies around the state.  Customers must bring all required documentation when applying for assistance, including:

• Proof of gross income from all household members for the 30-day income period beginning with the date of the application.
• A copy of their current heat and electric bills issued within the last 30 days (if they pay for their energy directly).
• A copy of their rental agreement (if they are renting) showing that utilities are included, the monthly rental amount and landlord contact information.
• Proof of Social Security numbers for all household members.
• Proof that their household received TANF or other benefits, such as Medical Eligibility or SNAP, if receiving assistance from the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Reconnection Assistance is also available for households who are disconnected from their energy source needed for heating or are under imminent threat of disconnection (are within 7 days of being disconnected or have less than 25% in their propane tank).

“Illinois needs to start tightening its belt, improve our business climate and cut taxes to have any hope of keeping the sinking ship afloat,” said Skillicorn.

Furnace Assistance is available as well for households who qualify for LIHEAP, have an inoperable heating system, and are in need of furnace repair or replacement.

LIHEAP heating assistance applications, including Reconnection Assistance, will continue to be accepted through May 31, 2019 or until funding is exhausted. Furnace Assistance applications are accepted through March 31, 2019, or until funding is exhausted.  Applications are taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

For a complete listing of LIHEAP’s local administering agencies and additional information about the program, go to www.liheapIllinois.com, or call the LIHEAP toll-free hotline at 1 877 411-WARM (9276).



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  1. More irresponsible democrat deficit spending. Hey filthy rich Gov Pritzker, why don’t you bankroll the utility bill assistance?
    The article doesn’t say, did our socialist governor unilaterally legislate again?
    I’m puzzled at how the governor thinks he has legislative powers. He has E. O. authority to use for the faithful execution of the laws.
    The Governor shall have the supreme executive power, and
    shall be responsible for the faithful execution of the laws.
    (Source: Illinois Constitution.)
    The legislative power is vested in a General Assembly
    consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives,
    elected by the electors from 59 Legislative Districts and 118
    Representative Districts. (Source Illinois Constitution)

  2. The General Assembly Democrats pandering to Federal workers are a day late and a dollar short. The shutdown ended today.
    As for the Feds, how many workers get paid for days that they did not work? They are all getting retro pay for days when their offices were closed.