With fall and winter quickly approaching, Project NOW announced LIHEAP will be available starting September 1st. Applications will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis for all qualified families in Henry, Mercer and Rock Island County. There will be no priority groups this year.

Project NOW will begin scheduling appointments to apply on August 30th. Applications will be accepted until May 31, 2022.

The program provides funds to help low income families with their natural gas, propane and electric bills and furnace assistance during the coldest months of year.

To qualify, families must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. Eligibility is based on Federal Poverty Guidelines, state median income and the number of persons living in the household.

Once accepted into the program, families can choose to accept a one-time payment to their utility provider, or enroll in Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP). Families who choose PIPP will will receive a monthly payment based on monthly income. That option is only available for customers of Ameren Illinois, ComEd, and Nicor Gas.

Those who want to use the PIPP program are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as its only available until March 31, 2022 or until Project NOW reaches maximum capacity for the program.

Propane customers are also encouraged to apply early to take advantage of lower propane prices. Emergency Furnace assistance will begin October 1, 2021 and end March 31, 2022. You must receive a LIHEAP benefit to be eligible for furnace assistance.

Applications will only be taken remotely and applicants must submit all of the following:

  1. Proof of gross income from all household members for the prior 30-day period beginning with the date of application.
  2. 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 Project NOW will advise accordingly.
  3. A copy of current heat and electric bills issued within the last 30 days.

Those who rent will also need to provide a copy of rental agreement showing that utilities are included, the monthly rental amount and landlord contact. Other documents may be needed based on your household situation.

For information on how to apply or with any other questions, call Project NOW at 309-793-6391.