MCS Community Services is encouraging Morgan County customers who are having difficulty paying their Ameren Illinois utility bills to apply for financial assistance from the LIHEAP program.
The federally-funded program provides utility bill payment assistance to families and individuals who meet income-eligibility guidelines. Additional funding for the LIHEAP program was allocated under the federal CARES Act passed by Congress earlier this year to address challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
One-time grants are available through June 30th or until funding is exhausted and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Tammi Lonergan of MCS says people need to call the office to start the process. “All they have to do is call here and we’ll ask them a couple of simple questions – to see if they’ve applied before, to see how many people are in the household, check their income, and then we will give them a list of documentation that we need. They will send that into us and we’ll process it. From the time they get all of the documents to us, we usually have it done by the next day.”
She says they have processed about 2000 applications so far. She says the number is a little higher than years past likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She says that if people don’t fit the LIHEAP program, they have other programs available. “We do have a couple of other utility assistance grants that are available if LIHEAP doesn’t fit their income. If anyone needs any type of help with their utility bill, they need to give us a call and we can ask the questions and decide what program they best fit into.”
If you are interested or have questions about starting the application process, call MCS Community Services at 243-9404 and an agency representative will help explain the application steps and verify income eligibility.
For customers who do not meet income requirements for LIHEAP or MCS’s other programs, Ameren Illinois is offering several alternative utility bill payment options designed to alleviate financial burdens during COVID-19. Visit AmerenIllinois.com/recovery or speak to a customer service representative at 800-755-5000 for more details.