Illinois residents who suffered financial loss due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic will be able to get some relief.
Governor J.B. Pritzker says $90 million will be injected into assistance programs and community block grants in an effort to better help families and individuals affected financially by COVID-19.
During a news conference at Belleville’s Community Interfaith Food Pantry, Pritzker said the new funds, which are being provided by the federal CARES Act, will be aimed to help families who are struggling through programs like the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, and Community Service Block Grants.
Illinois families who need assistance can get information about help paying for rent, food, temporary shelter, utility bills and other essential needs at helpillinoisfamilies.com.
Documentation required for applying, depending on type of assistance being sought:
- Proof of employment (pay stubs) for the head of the household for the last 30 days.
- Copy of current heat and electric bills issued within the last 30 days (if they pay for their energy directly).
- Copy of their rental agreement (if they are renting) showing that utilities are not included, the monthly rental amount and landlord contact information.
- Proof of Social Security numbers for all household members.
Pritzker says the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on the economy have pushed many families to the edge. He adds that he has heard concerns from people who have been out of work for months that they may be evicted when the ban is lifted because they cannot afford to pay the back rent they owe. He acknowledged the program announced “doesn’t full address” their concerns but said there are other types of assistance available.
The $90 million bring the total funds put into Illinois’ assistance programs and community service block grants to $275 million. Pritzker said the new funding and recent revisions to the programs have also made more families eligible for assistance.
In total, 3.5 million Illinoisans are now eligible for “hundreds of dollars” in relief. The state also increased the eligibility income threshold up to 200% of the federal poverty level.