LIHEAP program begins for general public tomorrow

By Nick Kovatch on October 31 at 1:37pm

There’s help for West Central Illinoisans who need assistance paying their heating bills.

The state’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program –or LIHEAP- will begin accepting applications from the general public starting tomorrow.

Residents in Morgan, Scott and Cass Counties can apply at MCS Community Services at 345 West State in Jacksonville. Appointments can be set up by calling 243-9404.

Those looking for assistance must qualify by showing proof of income from everyone in the household. When applying, clients must bring a copy of their heating and electric bills, a copy of their rental agreement, and proof that the household receives SNAP benefits.

Cindy Gotschall the MCS LIHEAP coordinator.

“The LIHEAP program is a one time payment that is paid directly to the applicant’s utility for heat and for electric,” says Gotschall. “There’s a lot of low-income assistance and that’s what it’s based on. There’s a great need for it in our three-county community.”

Gotschall says the program served between 2,300 and 2,500 people last year in the three county area. She’s expecting similar numbers this winter.

“We’re seeing about the same numbers as last year,” says Gotschall. “The money is about the same, so we’re hoping we can spend it all or ever ask for more.”

The LIHEAP program is funded through state and federal funds.

LIHEAP applications are processed on a first come, first served basis.

Greene County residents can apply for assistance at the Illinois Valley Economic Development Corporation at 320 5th Street in Carrollton. Appointments there can be set up by calling 942-6824.