News & Press

Help Illinois Families

Help Illinois Families

June 15, 2020

Help for Illinois Families: Relief for Households Across the State

The Pritzker Administration, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), has launched a new initiative to help Illinois families access and afford home energy assistance and other essential services during COVID-19. Building on the State’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program, the State’s Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 21) budget authorizes an expansion of the LIHEAP and CSBG programs for eligible Illinoisans seeking emergency assistance to cover costs of utility bills, rent, temporary shelter, food, and other household necessities. 

Effective immediately, the Help Illinois Families initiative is implementing an online pre-application form to make it easier and faster for individuals and families to start the application process remotely and to determine eligibility for LIHEAP and/or CSBG services. Increased eligibility thresholds for FY21 aims to assist additional households needing support due to challenges exacerbated by COVID-19. 

This initiative remains available for all qualifying low-income households, regardless of how they may be affected COVID-19. Eligible families may qualify for hundreds of dollars of support; all applications will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis. More information on the remote application process can be found below.

From the office of Governor JB Pritzker: "I'm proud to announce additional investments to help Illinois families access emergency assistance during the pandemic. We've dedicated an additional $90 million this year through the CARES Act to pay for utility bills, rent, temporary shelter, food & other household necessities.

Because of Covid-19, more Illinoisans – many who never expected to need a helping hand – need assistance than ever before. So we’ve upped eligibility for these programs by increasing the income threshold from 150% to 200% of the federal poverty level.

This new funding means approximately 1 million more residents are now eligible for this program – with about 3.5 million residents eligible in total. For an average family, that amounts to hundreds of dollars.

Starting today, residents seeking emergency relief can visit to determine their eligibility and submit a pre-application.

With everything in one place, we’re making it as easy as possible for our residents to get help when they need it most."

« Back to News & Press
  • Agency on Aging
  • Community Care Coordination
  • DHS
  • CDC
  • Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services
  • Benefit Access Program