October 8, 2019
For the first time since the RPC has been managing the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in Champaign County, customers will be able to make their appointments online instead of waiting in line at the RPC’s office to do so. The 2019-2020 program began on October 1, 2019, but starting Tuesday, October 8, people will be able to make their appointments through a special page set up at https://ccrpc.org/liheap.
LIHEAP is a federal program that provides winter heating assistance for eligible households, with payments toward residential gas and electric bills. While appointments can still be scheduled in person between Monday and Friday at the RPC office located at the Brookens Administrative Center (1776 E. Washington Street, Urbana), online scheduling begins on October 8, allowing appointments to be confirmed at any time from a mobile phone, a tablet, or a computer.
“With children, work commitments, and other obstacles, we realize that having to make an appointment in person can present its own challenges,” says Dawn Rear, the RPC’s program manager for LIHEAP. “We hope this new online scheduling option adds a level of convenience, ease, and peace of mind to the LIHEAP process for our customers.”
Eligibility criteria and timeline for the 2019-2020 program:
- Now underway – Low-income seniors (60+) and persons with permanent disabilities can make appointments. Those with current or pending disability status with Social Security are also eligible (must provide documentation).
- Beginning November 1, 2019 – Low-income households that contain a child age 5 or under, disconnected or imminent disconnection households, seniors (60+), and disabled individuals can make appointments.
- Beginning December 1, 2019 – The program can assist all other eligible households with income up to 150% of the Federal poverty guideline.
A single-person household can qualify with a monthly income for up to $1,561, a two-person household up to $2,114, a three-person household up to $2,666, and a family of four up to $3,219. Benefits are paid directly to utilities on behalf of eligible households. The exception is households whose heating costs are included in their rent.
The RPC needs the following documentation to process applications:
- Proof of income for the 30-day period beginning with the date of application for all household members
- Social Security cards for all household members
- Most recent gas and electric bill issued within the last 30 days (if they pay for their energy directly)
- If they are disconnected, a disconnection notice will be required
- Proof of disability, if applicable
Applications are taken on a first-come, first-served basis through May 31, 2020, or until funding is exhausted.