Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
LIHEAP is designed to assist income-eligible households with energy services, in the form of a one-time benefit payment to the utility companies that is applied directly to the household’s energy bills. The amount of the payment is determined by income, household size, and fuel type. Please call the Energy Services Hotline for more information.
Furnace Assistance is designed to restore the home's heating system back to a safe and effective operation. Assistance is only available to approved households that has or are eligible to receive a LIHEAP benefit and whose heating systems are not operational or have been red-tagged by their utility company. The services are free of charge for income qualifying households. Renters are not eligible to apply.
ComEd Residential Special Hardship Fund
The Residential Special Hardship Fund provides a variable credit for households with a demonstrated hardship case that is not addressed by other programs. Income-eligible, residential ComEd customers can apply once every two years for grants of up to $750 based on need and availability of program funds. Hardship cases include:
- Medical - Proof of paid hospitalization, surgery, medical equipment, prescription, dental services that are limiting income and finances by 5% within the last 6 months.
- The customer must provide proof of payment along with the along with the outstanding bill.
- Military deployment of one or both head-of-household parent(s), deployment/activation papers and documents must be provided.
- Military personnel returning from active duty with a disability. Proof of circumstances must be provided. (Must be Honorably discharged)
- Seniors 62+ and older with fixed income as their only source of income qualify for hardship (Pension, Retirement SSA, SSI, etc.).
- Seniors 60+ are eligible for the following:
- Seniors requiring “In-home care” and other services resulting in difficulty making “Out-of-pocket” costs. Proof of expenses (at least 5% of income) or proof of Community Care Program (CCP) participation must be provided. (Must provide the document indicating “Community Care Program”)
- Foster grandparents or grandparents acting as the primary care givers for a minor grandchild. (DHS documentation which displays child’s/children’s name and grandparent’s name and address must be provided, along with the following documents: legal/court documents, school or medical records listing grandparents as primary care giver from the last 6 months.
- Seniors that qualify up to 250% of poverty (without SSA) that can demonstrate their available income is not sufficient to meet life/legal sustainable expenses (utilities, food, insurance, medicine) also qualify. (Monthly bill expenses are required, past due bills are not accepted. If monthly bills are higher than income received than the customer would qualify for hardship.
- Disability - Households containing a person(s) with a disability including mental health that severely limit the household’s finances.
- Documentation includes: Medicaid or Current SSI Award letter, Medicare card (red, white, and blue card) and current SSA Award letter or Military disability (VA letter).
- Loss of Employment or Unexpected Loss of Income
- Termination, lay-off, Quit, or unexpected job loss all qualify. (Within the last 3 years) or
- Reduction in hours: Full time to part time (25% reduction in hours) (Within the last 6 months)
- Low/No Income (New!) - This area targets individuals under 60 that are underemployed at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Guideline level, who may receive cash assistance via TANF or Utility Check vouchers only, or have no income, never worked and/or have exceeded the 3-year extended unemployment period.
- Family Crisis - Within the last 6 months, households experiencing the death or terminal illness of an immediate family, grandparent or in-law member.
- Death Certificate, Medical papers must be provided. (Out of pocket expenses not required)
- Property Damage - Within the last 6 months, unexpected and significant demands on a household’s income due to home or vehicle damage associated with natural disasters (flood, tornado/wind damage) not covered by insurance.
- Must provide proof of expenses that are limiting income (at least 25% of household income)
- Victimized by Criminal Activity - Within the last 6 months, unexpected reduction of household income due to loss or damage of household property as a result of criminal activity.
- Detailed Police report must be provided and filed within 72 hours after the event; and
- Proof of income or property loss or damage (Receipts, Lost Workdays, or photos of damaged property). Must provide proof of expenses that are limiting income and finances (at least 25% of household income)
- Subsidized Housing - Customers who are unable to transfer/secure services from a previous address to a subsidizing housing as a result of unpaid bills within the past 90 days or customers who are already residing in subsidized housing and are disconnected.
- Documentation/application indicating that subsidized housing (government or private non-profit organization) cannot be secured without electric service must be provided.
- Proof of hardship for subsidized housing has to show the customer will be denied for housing, or will be removed from participating subsidies or programs due to failure to activate service in the customer’s name.
- Transitional Situations (New!)– It includes ComEd customers who are dealing with homelessness, rehabilitation, addiction, as well as customers trying to re-establish services post-prison leaving halfway houses/shelters, etc. Customers under these scenarios with existing service or those trying to re-establish a ComEd service account with a past-due balance.
- Must provide proof of addiction counseling, transitional residency, or other necessary documentation.
Peoples Gas Share the Warmth Program
The Share the Warmth (STW) Program is a matching grant program funded by Peoples Gas, its employees and customers, and the City of Chicago to assist low-income families and individuals who are having problems paying their heating gas bills.
Low-income customers whose total household income is below 200% of the federal poverty level are eligible for apply for Share the Warmth grants of up to $200. Customers must make a pledge payment to their Peoples Gas heating account, which will be matched by the grant. The grant can be no larger than $200 per customer per year and cannot result in a credit balance on the account. Grants cannot be applied to charges from alternate suppliers (Rider CFY).
The customer must confirm that their application has been processed before making their pledge payment. The pledge must then be made to their Peoples Gas account in a single payment within 14 calendar days of the date the application is processed by Peoples Gas. Disconnected households may be eligible to apply.
- *LIHEAP recipients who fail to respond to requests to schedule an
Inside Safety Inspection risk disruption to their LIHEAP assistance.