Community Action Agencies
The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) does not provide direct grants to individuals; CSBG does not charge a fee for receiving a grant. If you receive a message offering you a CSBG grant or requesting a fee, please contact the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Fraud Hotline at 1-800-447-8477.
For more information, please visit the Grant Fraud and Scams: Grant-Related Scams | GRANTS.GOV.
Help Illinois Families: Relief for Households Across the State
The Pritzker Administration, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), is leveraging federal funds to help Illinois families access and afford home energy assistance and other essential services. 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 2023 (FY23) budget provides LIHEAP and CSBG support for eligible Illinoisans seeking assistance to cover costs of utility bills, rent, temporary shelter, food, and other household necessities.
The Help Illinois Families initiative has an online Request for Services form to make it easier and faster for individuals and families to remotely request assistance through the LIHEAP and/or CSBG programs. Assistance is subject to funding availability and completion of the form linked below does not guarantee assistance.
Note – Applying for these programs is a free service. Assistance in other languages is also available free of charge through Help Illinois Families website and call center. All households are encouraged to apply, regardless of immigration status.
Filling out the form below is the first step in a process that will be completed by local agencies throughout the state. Increased eligibility thresholds and other COVID-19 related program flexibilities will continue for FY23 to assist additional households needing support.
All applications will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis and are subject to funding availability. More information on the application process can be found below.
You may be eligible to receive financial assistance for the following services:
LIHEAP helps eligible households with low income pay for home energy services. This includes assistance with heating, gas, propane and electricity. More information on services available in your region can be found by visiting your Local Administering Agency (referred to as a local agency) page.
Deadline: The LIHEAP application period is September 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023, or until funding is exhausted. Last day to apply online with the Request for Services form is February 28, 2023. After this date you can still apply through your local administering agency through May 31, 2023, or until funding is exhausted. Go to Find my Local Agency to locate your LIHEAP Local Administering Agency.
CSBG offers Illinoisans an opportunity to receive support for an array of essential services including rent assistance, food, temporary shelter, medicine and more. Check your local Community Action Agency (referred to as a local agency) page for a list of available services near you.
Deadline: CSBG remains open all year with expanded income eligibility guidelines in effect as of February 2020.
The Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) helps households that are facing the threat of imminent disconnection, have already been disconnected, or have past due (arrearage) balances for their water and wastewater services combined. Customers are eligible for a rate reduction benefit if they do not owe a balance for water and sewer. Customers who receive a benefit prior to June 30, 2023, can apply again after July 1, 2023, or until funds are exhausted for that county. Several counties are out of funds. Check with your local agency to inquire about funding availability. This program ends August 31, 2023.
If you need help with basic household amenities covered by the programs mentioned above and believe that you may be income-eligible, please review the following before submitting the Request for Services:
Is my household income within 200% of federal poverty level? If your household’s combined income for the 30 days prior to application (gross income for all household members, before taxes are deducted) is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level as shown in the chart below, you may be eligible to receive assistance.
| Family Size
(total number in household)
| 30-Day Gross Income
Total to Meet Eligibility
What documentation do I need to prove eligibility? For each household member, please have the following documents ready for your local agency to verify your eligibility: proof of past 30-day income through paystub, check or copy of check showing fixed income amount (e.g. SSA, VA, DHS benefits), or other proof of documentation for any income source, utility bill if seeking utility bill assistance or lease if seeking rental assistance and a social security card or ITIN for residents who have them. Residents without ITIN or SSN can still apply.
If you need assistance with completing and submitting your information, contact the call center at 1-833-711-0374 for live support. The call center will provide translation services in English, Spanish, and other languages if necessary. Please keep in mind that our call center has only a limited number of agents, so please reserve use of the call center for those who require help with language assistance and/or for callers with hearing impediments needing enhanced audio services.
THIS IS A REQUEST FOR SERVICES AND DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE APPLYING FOR LIHEAP OR CSBG. The Local Agency will work with you to complete an application.
When should I expect to be contacted? After your Request for Services form has been submitted, await an email or phone call from your local agency to review and confirm your eligibility and to determine the amount of your LIHEAP and/or CSBG benefit – this is Step 2 and it may be a few weeks before you are contacted. The State estimates that a response could range from days to weeks – based on date of your submittal, availability of funds and the type of services requested. Please keep in mind the volume of requests and it may take longer to hear back from the local agency to complete your request for benefits. Click the county where you live and call your local agency.
Help Illinois Families is administered by DCEO’s Office of Community Assistance. DCEO manages the following federal programs: Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Community Services Block Grant Program (CSBG), Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP) and Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP).