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Illinois Receives Additional Funding to Help Low Income Households With Energy Costs


  2012 FEB 10 - (VerticalNews.com) -- Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released an additional $863 million to help low-income households with energy costs - nearly $140 million of that total will be available to Illinois residents through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

  "At a time when utility costs are rising, this additional funding will certainly go a long way towards helping ease the burden on low income seniors and families," said Bob Gallo, AARP Illinois State Director. "We are strongly encouraging those who might be eligible to apply for the assistance as soon as possible."

  LIHEAP is a federal program that assists low-income households, including families with children and seniors, with their home energy costs, including heating costs in the winter and cooling costs in the summer. LIHEAP funding can also be used for insulation efforts that help make homes more energy efficient. Individuals are encouraged to apply early since LIHEAP funds are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis to eligible applicants.

  "Adequate heating is a key component of staying safe in the winter," added Gallo. "Illinois seniors should not have to choose between buying groceries and turning on the heat."

  Over $185 million in funding is available to Illinois residents through LIHEAP in 2012. Those funds are distributed by the Department of Health and Human Services throughout the year with the bulk of the funds being distributed in the first quarter to assist with heating costs. In order to receive LIHEAP funding, an individual or family must be below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level ($16,335 for a single person; $33,525 for a family of four).

  To find out if you are eligible to receive LIHEAP assistance (or to apply), Illinoisans can visit the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity website at: www.ildceo.net or call the Energy Assistance Hotline at 1-877-411-9276.

  Keywords: AARP Illinois.

  This article was prepared by VerticalNews Economics editors from staff and other reports. Copyright 2012, VerticalNews Economics via VerticalNews.com.

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