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.

Two priority groups have been established under the 2023 LIHEAP State Plan:

Priority Group 1 -includes households with a person who is elderly (60 +) and/or has a disability. The program is available to this group beginning October 1, 2022. Seniors (60+) and disability households who are without energy service can also be served at this time.

Priority Group 2 -includes families with children (age 5 and under) and Priority Group 1. The program is available to this group beginning November 1, 2022. Disconnected households who are without energy service can also be served at this time.

On December 2, 2022 the program will be available to all other low-income households. The program will continue until May 31, 2023, 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 200% 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 $ 2,265
2 $ 3,052
3 $ 3,838
4 $ 4,625
5 $ 4,412
6 $ 6,198
7 $ 6,985
8 $ 7,324
9 $ 7,484

* Add $787 for each additional family member.

These guidelines are effective July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023.

Households that have their energy costs included in their rent might be eligible for a one-time cash payment and will be required to provide a rent receipt and/or rental agreement indicating the rent amount paid and that the utilities are included in the rent.

Re-connection assistance will be offered in October to Priority 1 households. Priority 2 households as well as general population disconnected applicants may apply in November. Assistance for re-connection will be provided to households only after the client portion required has been paid.

Additionally, a homeowner whose existing heating system is not operational or has been red-tagged as hazardous may apply for LIHEAP Emergency Furnace Assistance in October for Priority 1 and in November for Priority 2 (in addition to Priority 1). All other homeowners will have to wait until December to apply, as funding permits.

Applications for assistance are by appointment. Priority 1 households interested in applying should call MCS Community Services at 217-243-9404 or 1-888-288-4413 from 8:30-12:00 and 1:00-4:30 beginning October 1, 2022. Priority 2 households and general population disconnected households may call beginning November 1, 2022. All other low-income households that don’t meet a priority or are not disconnected may call beginning December 2, 2022.

The LIHEAP program is funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the State of Illinois and administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity-Office of Community Assistance. MCS Community Services reserves the right to deny applicants due to program ineligibility, lack of documentation or lack of funding availability.

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