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Low-income energy assistance program about to begin

Pantagraph - 9/24/2018

Sept. 24--BLOOMINGTON -- Mid Central Community Action will begin taking applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) beginning Oct. 1.

The program offers assistance with gas heat and electric service payments for people who meet income requirements. Payment amounts are based on household size and 30-day gross income.

To qualify, households must have incomes equal to or less than 150 percent of the poverty level. For example, a single-person household can qualify with a gross monthly income of as much as $1,518; a family of four can earn as much as $3,138.

Applications are taken by appointment. People may apply in October if they meet the income requirement and are part of a household with a person age 60 and older or a person receiving Social Security disability or veteran's disability benefits.

People may apply in November if they meet the income requirement and are in a household that includes someone under age 6 or have been disconnected from their utility or are under the threat of disconnection.

December eligibility is open to any other household that meets the income requirement.

People may make an appointment online by visiting www.mccaliheap.as.me, by sending an email beginning Oct. 1 to liheap.mclean@mccainc.org if they live in McLean County or liheap.livco@mccainc.org if they live in Livingston County or by calling 309-829-0691.

Appointments may be scheduled beginning 8 a.m.Oct. 1. Responses to emails and appointment requests won't begin until Oct. 1.

Walk-in appointments will be available every Wednesday (except holidays) in the McLean County office, 1301 W. Washington St., Bloomington, and every Monday (except holidays) in the Livingston County office, 224 N. Main St., Pontiac.

Applicants must bring Social Security cards and proof of income for each household member and utility bills for the 30-day period prior to the appointment.

The program will conclude May 31 or when funds are exhausted.

In addition, the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) will be offered beginning Oct. 1. This program allows eligible households to pay a percentage of their income toward their utility bills. The program will be offered to Ameren, ComEd and Nicor Gas customers on a first-come, first-served basis until Dec. 31 or until funds are gone.

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Contact Paul Swiech at (309) 820-3275. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_swiech

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