BCMW Community Services announces start of LIHEAP

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The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is available for income qualified households beginning October 2, 2023.

The BCMW Community Services, as administrator of the Home Energy Assistance Program in Bond, Clinton, Marion, and Washington Counties, is pleased to announce that funds are available to assist income-eligible households with their natural gas, propane and electric bills and furnace assistance for inoperable heating systems.

The program will begin taking applications on October 2, 2023 for seniors, the disabled and families with children under the age of six years.

On Wednesday, November 1, households that are disconnected from their utilities, have a disconnection notice or have less than 25% in their propane tank can start applying for assistance.

All other income-eligible households can start applying December 1, 2023.

The application end date is now changing to August 15 instead of May 31. Applications will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis through August 15, 2024 or until funding is exhausted. Households that receive a one-time benefit may return during this period for a Reconnection Assistance or Furnace Assistance benefit(s).

Households must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty level to receive a benefit from LIHEAP. The 30-day income guidelines for LIHEAP are based on Federal Poverty Guidelines, State Median Income and the number of persons living in the household. The income guidelines are as follows: 1-$2,430, 2-$3,287, 3-$4,143, 4-$5,000. Go to bcmwcommunityservice.org or liheapillinois.com to know income limits for households with five members and more.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides one-time benefits to income eligible homeowners and renters to help with energy bills and for reconnection of energy service. Propane customers who are part of the priority group are encouraged to apply when the program opens in October. Propane prices typically increase during the winter months so by applying early propane customers will see their LIHEAP benefits go further.

Applications will be taken at all BCMW offices in Bond County, Clinton County, Marion County (909 E. Rexford), and Washington County, and they will do applications over the phone for people who are homebound or unable to travel to one of the offices.

To apply, you must submit all documentation required:
1. Proof of gross income from all household members for the prior 30-day period beginning with the date of application.
2. Proof of Social Security Numbers or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for all household members. Individuals without an SSN or ITIN can still apply and BCMW Community Services will advise accordingly.
3. A copy of current heat and electric bills issued within the last 30 days.
4. A copy of rental agreement (if renting) showing that utilities are included, the monthly rental amount and landlord contact.
5. Other documents may be needed based on your household situation. If you have questions regarding this, please call the BCMW office.

Please call BCMW Community Services at 618-532-7388 for outreach locations and schedules, and for information on what documents are needed to apply and different ways to submit your application.



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