Pritzker Administration Encourages Residents to Apply for over $150 million in Utility Assistance for Families in Need

SPRINGFIELD –Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today encouraged families in need to apply for $150 million in utility bill assistance through the Help Illinois Families Program. All families who meet the criteria and provide required documentation are eligible to receive utility bill assistance for natural gas, propane, and electricity through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Since the launch of the program year in September 2021, more than 230,000 households have received utility assistance so far.

In addition to utilities benefits that are available each year, the $150 million in available benefits includes an additional $80 million for the Utility Disconnection Avoidance Program (UDAP) for current year LIHEAP recipients who are in imminent threat of utility shut-off.  This expanded safety net through UDAP is expected to support over 50,000 additional resident accounts currently on ICC utilities disconnect lists across the state.  

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, my administration provided record funding to help families keep a roof over their heads and prevent them from falling behind on their bills,”said Governor JB Pritzker. “With many Illinoisans still facing hardship brought on by COVID-19, we are making sure Illinoisians have additional support to prevent utilities disconnections and ensure families in need can make ends meet.”

“Support for families struggling to pay their household bills is still available through our Help Illinois Families program.” said DCEO Director Sylvia I. Garcia. “I urge all Illinoisians in need to visit our website or call our hotline today to apply for assistance; it’s not too late to enroll and receive help with your utility costs.”

Ahead of the voluntary winter utility shut-off moratorium facilitated by the Illinois Commerce Commission ending on March 31, 2022, families should visit www.helpillinoisfamilies.com to apply or call the hotline for real-time assistance in over 30 languages at 1-833-711-0374.

“The COVID-19 pandemic combined with high energy prices has put a tremendous financial strain on many consumers. The Illinois Commerce Commission remains very concerned and continues to work with utilities and advocacy groups to protect low-income customers from losing vital utility services,” said ICC Chairman Carrie Zalewski. “If you find it hard to pay your utility bills, please contact your utility company immediately, and take advantage of the resources available through the LIHEAP program and act quickly to apply.”

UDAP provides emergency relief dollars for Illinois customers at risk of service disconnections. Following Governor Pritzker’s initial UDAP Executive Order in April 2021, more than $110 million was used to help over 121,000 residential accounts avoid disconnection of services last year. 

To be eligible for UDAP, households need to have received LIHEAP benefits between September 1, 2021 and May 31, 2022, and be in imminent threat of disconnection. A UDAP participant may receive a one-time credit, per utility, based on the utility account balance. Assistance can range from $250 up to a maximum of $5,000.

Information for Households:
The State of Illinois offers various programs to support eligible low-income families with utility assistance. These programs are open to ALL eligible low-income Illinois families who meet the criteria, including undocumented families. While the amount of support varies based on the needs of individual families, this year’s LIHEAP recipients have received an average of $930 per household. Through LIHEAP, support for eligible families includes: 

  • One-time Direct Vendor Payment: All LIHEAP recipients typically receive a one-time payment to help with utilities bills. 
  • Crisis/Reconnection Assistance: Funding is available for families in heating-related emergency situations. 
  • Furnace Assistance: Based on funding availability, Furnace Assistance may be provided to households that do not have an operating furnace for their residence.
  • UDAP: UDAP provides support for current year LIHEAP and Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) customers either on a utility’s disconnection list or in imminent threat of disconnection due to an arrearage of $250 or more. Families who receive LIHEAP benefits automatically qualify for this program and do not need to apply separately.    
  • Home Weatherization Program: The Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP) helps low income residents and households conserve fuel and reduce energy costs by making their homes and apartments more energy efficient.

Information for Families to Apply:

  • For households interested in the LIHEAP program, the State encourages residents to apply by May 31, 2022. To apply:
  • Visit helpillinoisfamilies.com to fill out and submit a request for services form online OR visit your local agency (a list of partners throughout the State can be found here)
  • After you submit the form, someone from your local agency will be in touch. 
  • Call 1-833-711-0374 for assistance at any point during this process. 
  • Additional information about eligibility and criteria can be found on the website; links to fact sheets in English and Spanish can be found here:

English Fact Sheet

Spanish Fact Sheet 


About DCEO:

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) administers several programs to provide utilities support to families in need. To apply for these programs, visit helpillinoisfamilies.com, or contact the hotline which provides real-time assistance in over 30 languages at 1-833-711-0374.

About ICC: 
The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) oversees the provision of adequate, reliable, efficient and safe utility services at the least possible cost to Illinois citizens served by electric, natural gas, telecommunications, water and sewer public utility companies. Additional resources are available through ICC, including counselors who can help with other utility assistance needs. They can be reached Monday through Friday, from 9 am -5 pm by calling 1-800-524-0795.

St. Vincent de Paul Society annual Neighbors Helping Neighbors Virtual Walk/Run exceeds $10,000

Through the ongoing generosity of friends and sponsors of St. Vincent de Paul Society, the organization’s annual Walk/Run fundraiser has exceeded $10,000.   The virtual event designated as Circle of Giving culminates on October 23, 2021.  If you would like to support St. Vincent de Paul Society and be a Circle-of-Giving donor, please visit our website www.svdpsaukvalley.org and read more about the Walk/Run Circle of Giving.  Your generosity is appreciated and helps those in need in the Sterling/Rock Falls Area and all of Whiteside County through the food pantry and financial aid programs that are offered by St. Vincent de Paul Society.  Please take this opportunity to donate online or send in your donation to 7 West 6th Street, Sterling, IL 61081 and remember to reference your donation as Circle of Giving.

BE A CHEERFUL, GENEROUS GIVER AND ANSWER THE CALL TO HELP THE NEEDY IN YOUR COMMUNITY BY SUPPORTING ST. VINCENT DE PAUL SOCIETY

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. . . . .Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.   Matthew 25

LIFESCAPE COMMUNITY SERVICES OF ROCK FALLS donates to St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry

St. Vincent de Paul Society wishes to thank Lifescape Community Services of Rock Falls for their generous food and monetary donation that was delivered to our food pantry on Tuesday, Sept. 21 by their representative Amy Ortiz.  Their donation is very much appreciated and plays an important roll in supporting our mission of helping feed the needy in the Sterling/Rock Falls Area as well as all of Whiteside County.

Neighbors helping Neighbors Virtual Walk/Run 2021

October 23, 2021 Designated as Circle of Giving

Continue the Circle of Giving by donating to St. Vincent de Paul Society through our Neighbors Helping Neighbors Virtual Walk/Run for 2021 now in progress through October 23, 2021.

Don’t miss the opportunity to become a SVdP friend and sponsor.

Your generous donation continues St. Vincent de Paul Society’s work of helping our neighbors in need in our communities. 

You may donate online at our website:  www.svdpsaukvalley.org or by mailing your donation to:  St. Vincent de Paul Society, 7 West 6th Street, Sterling, IL  61081.  Please reference your donation as Circle of Giving.

Thank you so much for your generosity!  We appreciate you as a valued friend and sponsor.  TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

You are invited to click on any of the buttons below to read more about the SVdP Virtual Walk/Run  2021 – Circle of Giving

Vincentians get in the spirit of giving through United Way’s Week of Caring

St. Vincent  de Paul Society – St. Mary Conference in Sterling, participated in the United Way’s Week of Caring  (Sept. 6 – 12) by volunteering at the Sauk Valley Food Bank on Sept. 9th filling food boxes and performing various other tasks.  The Sauk Valley Food Bank, started in 2001, provides food to various food pantries and other non-profit agencies in Whiteside County at a nominal cost.  Area gardeners and businesses, such as Selmi’s Greenhouse and Farm Market in Rock Falls, Mitchell Melons in Tampico, and Blue Freedom Farm Market, Inc. in Sterling, also donate to the food bank.  The Sauk Valley Food Bank handles more than 2 million pounds of food a year.

The Week of Caring, designed to connect volunteers with the needs of our community, offers volunteer opportunities for individuals, families and businesses.  The Sauk Valley Food Bank coordinated with United Way of Whiteside County and provided volunteer opportunities through projects at their warehouse location in Sterling.  The individuals in the pictures are Vincentians of St. Vincent de Paul Society, St. Mary Conference in Sterling, working together to fill food boxes to be distributed to those in need in our community.  These Vincentians got in the spirit of giving by participating and staying connected to our community.  Through the Week of Caring coordinated by the United Way of Lee County and United Way of Whiteside County, projects are happening all across the Sauk Valley!

SVdP Annual 50/50 Raffle Ticket Drawing

SVdP Annual 50/50 Raffle Ticket drawing was held July 13, 2021 with SVdP President Fred Marruffo and Mayor Skip Lee drawing out the winning ticket. 


Ron Billiet is the winner of the SVdP 50/50 Raffle. Presenting Ron with the check is Sally Sandoval and Charlene O’Connor.    Ron received $3235.00.  He donated $1500.00 back to SVdP pantry.  Congratulations and thank you Ron.  

Thank you to the businesses that participated in selling tickets, everyone who purchased a raffle ticket, and those who donated money to SVdP.

2021 Illinois Rental Payment Program

The Illinois Rental Payment Program is now open for landlords only.

ILRPP is an emergency rental assistance program designed to support households in Illinois that are unable to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The application site is now open for applications. To apply, please visit the application site at https://ilrpp.ihda.org.

For more information, please visit https://www.ihda.org/about-ihda/illinois-rental-payment-program/