July 17, 2020
Starting on July 27, 2020, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in Champaign County will be open to eligible households. There will be no priority groups under the new program year. Households in need of energy assistance, especially those with disconnection notices, high past-due balances, and the general population that has been most likely affected by wage fluctuations due to COVID-19 are encouraged to apply. In addition, propane customers are strongly encouraged to apply in August when prices are at its lowest. The program no longer features priority enrollment periods and will instead be open to all households that meet up to 200% of the Federal poverty guidelines.
Administered locally by the RPC, LIHEAP is a federally funded program that provides utility bill payment assistance to families and individuals while educating them to conserve energy, lower their costs, and work toward financial self-sufficiency. Walk-in appointments will be available on a first-come, first-served basis from July 27-31. Those appointments will take place in the gymnasium at the Brookens Administrative Center (1776 E. Washington Street, Urbana).
Online scheduling for LIHEAP appointments will also be available for Champaign County residents beginning Monday, July 27, with those appointments beginning on August 3. The best way to initiate the LIHEAP process is to schedule an appointment online at www.ccrpc.org/liheap Individuals can also call 217-384-1226 to schedule an appointment, or if they have any questions about the application process. All appointments will take place in the Brookens Gym and not at the RPC’s offices.
“Several households in Champaign County will be receiving disconnection notices for disconnections to begin in early August,” explains Dawn Rear, the Community Services Program Manager for LIHEAP. “We would like to prioritize those households to receive their LIHEAP benefit so that their utilities are maintained or restored during the first week of the new program year.”
A single-person household can qualify for LIHEAP with a monthly income for up to $2,127, a two-person household up to $2,873, a three-person household up to $3,620, and a family of four up to $4,367. 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 numbers 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 will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis and appointments will be made through June 30, 2021, or until funding is exhausted.