Residents in need of help this winter paying the electric bill and keeping the heat on can get assistance again with the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) from the Knox County Health Department.
The Health Department announced Thursday that funds are available to assist income-eligible households with their natural gas, propane, and electric bills and furnace assistance.
The department will begin scheduling appointments on Monday, August 22. The program does not start until September 1 for all income-eligible households.
Residents may schedule by calling, 309-344-2224, or walking into the Health Department at 1361 West Fremont Street, between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, Monday-Friday. The health department stresses that all customers will be asked to wear a mask upon entering the building.
Applications will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis through May 31, 2023. There will be no priority groups this program year. Households in need are encouraged to apply.
LIHEAP provides a one-time benefit to income-eligible homeowners and renters to help with energy bills and for reconnection of energy service. Propane customers are encouraged to apply when the program opens in September to take more significant advantage of lower propane prices, which typically increase during the winter months.
Households must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty level to receive a benefit from the LIHEAP Program. 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-$2,265, 2-$3,052, 3-$3,838, 4-$4,625. The Knox County Health Department/Knox Community Health Center Face Book page has income limits for households with 5 members and more.
To apply, you MUST submit ALL documentation required:
- Proof of gross income from all household members for the prior 30-day period beginning with the date of application.
- 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 the department will advise accordingly.
- A copy of current heat and electric bills issued within the last 30 days.
- A copy of the rental agreement (if renting) showing that utilities are included, the monthly rental amount, and landlord contact.
Water and sewer cost assistance is available this year in the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP). You can apply for water and sewer assistance on the same application as LIHEAP.
Bring your water bill(s) with you to your LIHEAP appointment. Help with arrearages is available as well as rate reduction assistance of $100-$400, depending upon your income level. Prior year recipients are eligible to re-apply.