July 18, 2022

The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) is a federally-funded program that provides emergency bill payment assistance to help low-income families pay past due water and/or wastewater bills. The program is for residential services only. The program is administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). Assistance is provided by local Community Action Agencies (CAA) or not-for-profit agencies throughout the state. A list of local CAA can be found here. For more information on LIHWAP and services you can find information here.

LIHWAP is a limited, one-time, assistance program designed to help households that are facing the threat of imminent disconnection, have already been disconnected or have past due (arrearage) balances over $50 for their water and wastewater services combined. Customers may apply one time for water and one time for wastewater.

LIHWAP grants may be available if you have an emergency situation and are in jeopardy of losing your water service. LIHWAP is a grant. You do not have to repay it. You can receive one grant for your drinking water and one grant for your wastewater service, up to $1,500 annually.

Family Size
(total number in household)
30-Day Gross Income
Total to Meet Eligibility​

Emergency situations include:

  • Must be a residential customer of water and/or wastewater provider.
  • Disconnected from water or wastewater service.
  • In imminent threat of being disconnected.

LIHWAP may be available if residential customers have arrearages and need assistance.

Arrearage Assistance Includes:

  • Must be a residential customer of water and/or wastewater provider.
  • The household has an arrearage or arrearages to water and/or wastewater provides equal to or exceeding $50.

You may be eligible for a LIHWAP grant if:

  • You rent or own your home.
  • Have an overdue water and/or wastewater bill you are responsible for paying.
  • Your household meets income guidelines as determined by the DCEO. You can find the income guidelines for programs here.

How to apply:

  • Customers will contact the Community Action Agency in their area.
  • Customers can find a list of Community Action Agencies here.
  • Customers can call the LIHWAP hotline at 877-411-WARM (9276). This hotline will provide location information.

To apply, Customers Will Need:

  • A copy of a water and/or wastewater bill.
  • Proof of past 30-day income. This can be a paystub, check or copy of check showing fixed income, or other proof of any income source.
  • Head of household information.
  • Social Security Card or ITIN for residents who have them. Residents without ITIN or Social Security Numbers can still apply.

If customers are eligible, they shouldn’t wait to apply. Available funding is limited and will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis.

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