Energy Assistance



The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is designed to assist eligible low-income households pay for winter energy services. LIHEAP provides a one-time benefit, paid directly to the utility(ies), to supplement the cost of heating their home. The amount of assistance is determined by the level of income, household size, fuel type and geographic location.

Those wishing to apply for energy assistance must furnish the following documentation at their appointment:

Social Security card(s) for all household members. We can no longer accept income tax forms or W-2 forms as proof of the number, nor can the metal commemorative cards be accepted,

Proof of all household gross income from all sources for the 30 day income period beginning with the date of application,

The most recent heat and electric bill(s),

All household members over the age of 18 claiming zero income are required to provide recent proof of how they are surviving, such as; proof of job search, denial or appeal of disability claim, denial of unemployment, written proof of help from family member, application for or receipt of DHS services, proof of enrollment in school, etc.,

Department of Human Services Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) letter and/or card and/or medical card.

If utilities are included in the rent, a copy of the rental agreement showing that utilities are included, the monthly rent amount and landlord contact information is required.

Reconnection Assistance may be available if your household is disconnected from an energy source needed for heating and/or a delivered fuel supplier has refused to deliver and the tank contains 25% or less. Reconnection assistance will be offered beginning October 1, 2016 to applicants without home energy service. Assistance for re-connection will be provided to households only after the client portion required has been paid.

Additionally, homeowners who are 60 or older, or receiving or approved for disability, or have children under the age of 6, whose existing heating system is not operational or has been red-tagged may apply for LIHEAP Emergency Furnace Assistance in October. All other homeowners will have to wait until November to reply, as funding permits. The goal of this component is to restore the heating system back to safe and efficient operation either by repair or replacement. The furnace assistance program will continue until March 31, 2017 or until funding is exhausted.



If your household’s combined GROSS income for the 30 day income period beginning with the date of application is at or below 150% of the federal poverty level as shown in the chart below, you may be eligible to receive assistance. If you rent, and your heat and/or electric is included in the rent, your rent must be greater than 30% of your gross income in order to be eligible to receive assistance.

Household Size * Previous 30-day Gross Income
1 $ 1,485
2 $ 2,003
3 $ 2,520
4 $ 3,038
5 $ 3,555
6 $ 4,073
7 $ 4,591
8 $ 5,111
9 $ 5,631

* Add $520 for each additional family member.

These guidelines are effective July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017.

Applications for elderly (60 years or older) or households with a disabled household member will be given priority the month of September. Beginning October 1, 2016 households with child(ren) under the age of 6 years will be given priority to apply. Households not qualifying under the elderly/disabled or young child(ren) priority guideline may apply for assistance beginning the month of November.

The percentage of income payment program will be available to households that can pay a percentage of their income towards their Ameren Illinois budget bill amount, on time, in full, every month.

If interested, please call us for an appointment time and the current income guidelines. Services are available as funding levels permit. The program is operated on a first-come, first-served basis. MCS Community Services reserves the right to deny applicants due to lack of funds or program ineligibility.

Funding is provided through grants from the State of Illinois and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity-Office of Energy Assistance.

For more information, please call us at 217-243-9404 or toll-free 1-888-288-4413.