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Economy

Illinois LIHEAP program receives $408 million dollars in funds

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Illinois is receiving an historic amount of funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

The LIHEAP program provides a one time benefit to qualifying households for energy costs.

Illinois typically receives a little more than $150 million dollars a year for the program.

The American Rescue Plan is boosting that amount by an extra $255 million dollars for a total of $408 million dollars.

Shawnee Development Council Executive Director Denna Williams says they’ve seen an increase in the need for assistance, so the extra funds will help a lot of families.

“Our grant was a little larger, and we already have I did some calculations on it, I think, for a board meeting in December and then we're about 300 families have been served to date and that was as of December 21st, more than we had the previous year.”

The eligible income limit was raised from 150% to 200% of the federal poverty level during the pandemic allowing more households to qualify.

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