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Bill Assistance

If financial troubles are making it difficult for you to cover your CWLP bill, please let us know. We will do everything we can either to set up a convenient payment program or to help identify sources of assistance that might be available to you. The Bill Assistance options we offer are listed below.


Disconnections Suspended Due To COVID-19

In support of the efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus, disconnections for nonpayment for electric and water services for all customers has been suspended through July. To support customers in financial hardship, CWLP Customer Service is offering flexible payment plans for those needing assistance.

The Municipal Center West building where CWLP Customer Service is located currently has limited public access. Customers needing to visit the office in person should first call 217.789.2030 or e-mail cwlp.customer@cwlp.com for assistance. The CWLP drive up payment window located between the municipal building and Lincoln Library remains open. There are a number of alternative payment options beyond U.S. Mail and walk-in payments: Customers can use CWLP’s drive-up window, drop box next to at our drive-up payment window, make payments online or by phone (217.789.2030) or use CWLP payment drop boxes located at INB’s S. Sixth St. and N. Dirksen Pkwy. locations or the one at Heartland Credit Union on West White Oaks Dr.

See details on these other ways to pay here.

CWLP Customers can request payment plans and any other assistance by phone, 217.789.2030 or e-mail cwlp.customer@cwlp.com.

Financial Assistance During COVID-19

In addition to regular utility bill assistance programs such as LIHEAP and Project RELIEF, there are a number of financial assistance and loan programs that our residential and commercial customers may be eligible for, which could be used for CWLP bill payment. See our listing below and also refer to the City of Springfield’s COVID-19 resource page, https://www.springfield.il.us/COSCovid19.aspx.

General Assistance

United Way can provide assistance finding food, paying housing bills, access free childcare, or other essential services. Call 211 or visit United Way of Central Illinois’ website, click here. For the United Way 211 website click here.

Abundant Faith Ministries, 217.527.1006, is offering utility bill assistance.

Community Services Block Grant Program

Sangamon County Community Resources provide services that assist low-income people to attain the skills, knowledge, and motivation necessary to achieve self-sufficiency. Through their Community Services Block Grant Program they offer housing assistance, emergency services programming and more. Applying in person is no longer required and a new easy web application is one way to pre-qualify to make the process go faster www.helpillinoisfamilies.com. 217.535.3120.

Coronavirus-Related Paid Leave for Workers Tax Credits

As a follow-up to the federal government’s Families First Coronavirus Response Act, IR-2020-57 was introduced regarding Coronavirus-Related Paid Leave for Workers and Tax Credits for Businesses. If your business is looking at the possibility of laying off employees, this provision should be examined in conjunction with Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order issued on Friday, March 20.

COVID-19 and Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment benefits may be available to some individuals whose unemployment is attributable to COVID-19. IDES recently adopted emergency rules to try to make the unemployment insurance system as responsive to the current situation as possible. For more information please visit their website.

Please note: if you file an Unemployment Insurance claim on or after July 17, 2016 and you are subject to the registration requirement, you must complete your registration immediately through www.IllinoisJobLink.com.

Your Unemployment Insurance benefits will not be paid until your registration is complete. Click here to apply

COVID-19 Response Fund

The Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln and United Way have partnered together with $50,000 in seed money to start the COVID-19 Response Fund. So far, donors have contributed more than $120,000 and already deployed its first grant of $30,000 to the Central Illinois Foodbank. This grant will be used to purchase non-perishable foods for an increasing number of Springfield-area families and individuals facing food insecurity.

Those interested in donating to the fund, click here.

DCEO Emergency Assistance Programs

Get Hired Illinois
DCEO in conjunction with IDES launched the Get Hired Illinois. This new portal is designed to connect workers with available job and career training opportunities across the state. Residents and employers may access the site here.Illinois residents will also have free access to online workforce development courses via a partnership with Coursera.

Hospitality Emergency Grant Program
A $14 million grant program supporting working capital as well as job training, retraining, and technology to support shifts in operation. Eligible applicants include bars and restaurants with a valid license to serve food or liquor and who generated revenues of less than $1 million in 2019 and hotels with a valid license (hotels, motels, other lodging establishments) and who generated revenues of less than $8 million in 2019. Bars and restaurants that generated between $500K and $1M in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $25,000, and bars and restaurants that generated less than $500K in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $10,000. Hotels that generated less than $8M in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $50,000.

Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund
The Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund will offer small businesses low interest loans of up to $50,000. Businesses located outside of the City of Chicago with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 will be eligible to apply. Successful applicants will owe nothing for six months and will then begin making fixed payments at a below market interest rate for the remainder of a five-year loan term.

Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program
To support small businesses in downstate and rural counties across Illinois, DCEO is repurposing $20 million in CDBG funds to stand up the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program. This Fund will offer small businesses of up to 50 employees the opportunity to partner with their local governments to obtain grants of up to $25,000 in working capital. Local governments can apply on behalf of businesses with 50 employees or less. Only units of local government recognized by the Illinois Constitution and able to support economic development activities on a sufficient scale are eligible to apply for Economic Development grant funding. This includes cities, villages, and counties. Municipalities must not be a HUD direct Entitlement community or be located in an urban county that receives "entitlement" funds.

Business Interruption Grants (BIG) will provide $60 million to businesses experiencing losses or business interruption as a result of COVID-19 related closures. The BIG Program is available for up to 3,500 businesses that experienced a limited ability to operate due to COVID-19 related closures.

In addition to the Business Interruption Grants, the Governor also announced DCEO's new program, Distressed Communities Program, will provide $25 million to support Illinois businesses that have sustained property damage as a result of civil unrest during the recent protests and demonstrations on or after May 25, 2020.

Applications for both programs will be available from DCEO beginning Monday, June 22.

Federal CARES Act

The City of Springfield is closely following the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act is a document that has been created to help small business owners understand this bill better. Click here to read this guide.

Justine Petersen COVID-19 Relief Program

Justine Petersen is offering low interest small business loans to Illinois businesses impacted by this current pandemic. Maximum loan size is $50,000, with an interest rate of 3% amortized over 5 years. Loan proceeds may be used for working capital or to address other costs incurred during, or as a result of, the Covid-19 crisis. For more information, contact JP staffer Galen Gondolfi at ggondolfi@justinepetersen.org or call 314.565.2223.

LIHEAP Update

LIHEAP stands for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The program, which provides qualifying Sangamon County residents with financial help to cover their energy bills, has been allocated additional funding in 2020. Eligibility is based on income and has been expanded by the general assembly too no more than 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (from 150%) through June 30, 2021. This will allow more people to qualify. Households of four making $4,300 monthly or less would qualify. Last year the average household received $600 in assistance.

The application deadline for this year has been extended to June 30, 2020. A new application period will open July 27, 2020. Applying in person is no longer required and a new easy web application is one way to pre-qualify to make the process go faster www.helpillinoisfamilies.com. Residents can also call our local Sangamon County LIHEAP and Community Resources Office 217.535.3120. The LIHEAP office is located in Suite C100, 2833 S. Grand Avenue East (the former Cub Foods building).

Local Banks

Though it is not a government program, talking to your current bank is recommended if you are having any problems or anticipate any problems. As new programs become available, we will coordinate and send the information out. Most banks will handle concerns on a case by case basis. We spoke to almost all of our local and national lending institutions and they are all willing and ready to help.

Office of Planning & Economic Development Housing Programs

The City of Springfield’s Office of Planning and Economic Development has Community Development Block Grant Programs and other assistance available. To learn more about these programs visit https://www.springfield.il.us/Departments/OPED/ResidentResources/housingPrograms.aspx or contact that office at info@OPED.springfield.il.us or 217.789.2377.

Main Street Lending Program

The program is to assist small and mid-sized businesses with the purchase of up to $600 billion in loans. The Department of the Treasury, using funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) will provide $75 billion in equity to the facility.

The Main Street Lending Program will enhance support for small and mid-sized businesses that were in good financial standing before the crisis. The program:

  • Apply for regular unemployment before you apply for PUA.
  • If you applied for regular unemployment and have been denied between April 1, 2019 and today, do not reapply.
  • Go into your regular unemployment account and set up direct deposit for payment.
  • Have your 2019 tax return or proof of income ready and available.
  • Be prepared to certify.
  • Remember: You must submit a new application for PUA. The two systems are not transferrable.
  • A guide can be downloaded here.

Mortgage and Housing Assistance

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
To ensure homeowners and renters have the most up-to-date and accurate housing assistance information during the COVID-19 National Emergency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and HUD launched the new Mortgage and Housing Assistance website. Visit the site

Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network: 888.252.1119

New Illinois Housing Development Authority CARES: 888.252.1119

IHDA (Illinois Housing Development Authority) developed the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA) to support Illinois homeowners unable to pay their rent due to a COVID-19 related loss of income. Apply beginning August 10 thru 21. Any questions, call 312.883.2720, or toll-free at 888.252.1119.

To be eligible:

  • Your household income before March 1, 2020 was within the allowable limits.
  • You, or an adult member of your household, suffered a loss of income due to COVID-19.
  • You missed a rental payment on or after March 1, 2020, and your landlord is willing to participate.


Check if you are eligible by visiting https://era.ihda.org/ and enter your name, email, zip code and household income and submit your online application:

  • Enter information about your household, landlord, and rent.
  • Upload a government issued photo ID.
  • If your ID does not match the address on your application, you will need to upload proof of your current address.
  • You must click the FINISH button to submit your application.
  • If you need help applying, please visit https://era.ihda.org/ and click on Resources for a list of Community Agencies that can help.



Illinois Housing Development Authority Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (EMA)
IHDA (Illinois Housing Development Authority) developed the Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (EMA) to support Illinois homeowners unable to pay their mortgages due to a COVID-19 related loss of income. If approved, homeowners will receive a grant for up to $15,000 to cover missed mortgage payments beginning as early as March 2020 and prepay mortgage payments through December 2020, or until the $15,000 is exhausted. Not all households will receive $15,000 and an application alone is not a guarantee of assistance. Assistance will be paid directly to the mortgage servicer on the homeowner’s behalf. The EMA program will only pay full mortgage payments; no partial payments will be made.

Application Period
Applications for EMA will be accepted August 24 thru September 4. Due to anticipated high volume, the application window may close early. IHDA will use a third-party entity to select a pool of applications to be reviewed for eligibility. Approximately 10,000 homeowners are expected to receive funding.

Help Applying
If you need help applying for this program, IHDA has partnered with 62 Community and Outreach Assistance organizations, including the Springfield Housing Authority who can assist you at no cost. For additional assistance you may call the Springfield Housing Authority at 217.753.5757 or IHDA’s call center at 312.883.2720, or toll-free at 888.252.1119. For those who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired, please contact Navicore Solutions for free assistance at 877.274.4309 (TTY).

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

The Illinois Department of Employment Security is accepting applications for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program beginning Monday, May 11.

  • Offers 4-year loans to companies employing up to 10,000 workers or with revenues of less than $2.5 billion in 2019 annual revenues.
  • Principal and interest payments will be deferred for one year.
  • Eligible banks may originate new Main Street loans or use Main Street loans to increase the size of existing loans to businesses.
  • Banks will retain a 5 percent share, selling the remaining 95 percent to the Main Street facility, which will purchase up to $600 billion of loans.
  • Minimum loan size of $1m.
  • Maximum loan size that is the lesser of (i) $150 million, (ii) 30% of the Eligible Borrower’s existing outstanding and committed but undrawn bank debt, or (iii) an amount that, when added to the Eligible Borrower’s existing outstanding and committed but undrawn debt, does not exceed six times the Eligible Borrower’s 2019 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (“EBITDA”);
  • Firms seeking Main Street loans must commit to make reasonable efforts to maintain payroll and retain workers.
  • Borrowers must also follow compensation, stock repurchase, and dividend restrictions that apply to direct loan programs under the CARES Act.
  • Firms that have taken advantage of the PPP may also take out Main Street loans.
  • Must be a business created or organized in the United States or under the laws of the United States with significant operations in and a majority of its employees based in the United States.
  • Eligible Borrowers that participate in the Facility may not also participate in the MSNLF or the Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility.
  • Prepayment permitted without penalty.

Paycheck Protection Program Updated

The U.S. Small Business Administration, in concert with the Treasury Department, unveiled a new and revised Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application. The PPP is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. The SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest and utilities. This new application is smaller and easier (fewer calculations and less documentation) to navigate then the previous 11-page application. The revised application implements the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020 that was recently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump on June 5, 2020. Additionally, SBA published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers that:

  • Are self-employed or have no employees; or
  • Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25 percent, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; or
  • Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25 percent.

Both applications give borrowers the option of using the original 8-week covered period (if their loan was made before June 5, 2020) or an extended 24-week covered period. The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020. Click here for more information.

For a listing of local lenders who can assist you through the application process, click here.

The EZ forgiveness application can be found here. The full forgiveness application can be found here. The Interim Final Rules can be found here.

Rental Assistance


Save Small Business Fund

The Save Small Business Fund is a grant-making initiative offering short-term relief for small employers. The fund will make $5,000 grants to small businesses (3-20 employees) that have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. A short application will go live on April 20, 2020, here.

Small Business COVID Relief Program

This new program was introduced by Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs. The Program is an impact investment loan program under which the State Treasurer would make up to $250 million in deposits available to financial institutions throughout the state, at near-zero rates, to assist Illinois small business and non-profits negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this funding is to provide vital economic support to small businesses and non-profits throughout Illinois to help overcome the loss of revenue they are experiencing. Click here to find out more.

Springfield Chamber’s Business Relief Fund

The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce (GSCC) has created the Chamber Business Relief Fund to provide financial resources to businesses significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. GSCC has seeded the Fund with $15,000, and members of its Board of Directors have contributed more than $10,000 in less than 24 hours to establish an initial fund of over $25,000.

Businesses can apply for funding at www.gscc.org. The intent of the funding is to act as a bridge, a lifeline to assist with the long-term sustainability of the businesses applying for and receiving funding.

Tax-deductible contributions can be made to the fund by clicking the “Donate Now” button on www.gscc.org. People may also text “RELIEF” to 866.612.5378, or mail a check payable to The Greater Springfield Chamber Foundation to the GSCC.

US Small Business Administration Loans

To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19 today.

SBA’s EIDL program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. These loans can provide vital economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid.

Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund

  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) will use the $2.5 million Verizon funding to provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19, especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically underserved communities who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital. Grant funds can be used for paying rent and utilities, meeting payroll, paying outstanding debt to vendors and other immediate operational costs.
  • Each application will be scored by the responses given to each question. All applications that score at or above the pre-determined threshold will be placed into a lottery for selection. Notifications will be made on April 14 and then a second round of funding will kick off that same day. Applicants meeting the threshold but not selected in round 1 will automatically be placed in the lottery for round 2.
  • Apply today

Project RELIEF

Project RELIEF is a CWLP program that offers financial assistance to customers with overdue electric or water bills who are facing service cut-off due to nonpayment. Qualifying customers must have a total household income for the previous 90 days of no more than 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines and must also have exhausted all other sources of assistance including those mentioned below. Customers may be required to cover some portion of their delinquent bills in order to receive help from Project RELIEF.

The first step in applying for Project RELIEF is to call the CWLP Project RELIEF Office at 217.789.2414. The program coordinator will conduct a telephone interview with you to determine if you meet the basic requirements for participation. If you do, an appointment will be scheduled for you with Fifth Street Renaissance, which administers the program for CWLP. Sign-up for Project RELIEF starts on or around December 1 of each year. The program runs through May or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first.

Project RELIEF is funded almost entirely by customer and CWLP employee contributions. You can sign up to contribute here or to find out more about donating to Project RELIEF, contact our Customer Service at 217.789.2030.

Payment Arrangements

If you owe a previous past due amount on your current account, you might (at our discretion) be allowed to enter into a payment arrangement that will allow you to spread payments on the past due amount over a period of time. The precise terms of payment arrangements are determined on a case-by-case basis, but we will work with you in every way we can to make your payment plan as reasonable as possible for you.

For more information, call the Customer Service Office at 217.789.2030.

LIHEAP

LIHEAP stands for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. It is funded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and administered by Sangamon County. The program provides qualifying Sangamon County residents with financial help to cover their energy bills. Eligibility is based on income. A web application is one way to pre-qualify to make the process go faster www.helpillinoisfamilies.com. The LIHEAP office is located in Suite C100, 2833 S. Grand Avenue East (the former Cub Foods building). For more information, call 217.535.3120.

Capital Township Assistance

Located at 621 E. Monroe Street, this local governmental agency provides financial assistance, including help with utility bills, to qualifying residents of Capital Township. Assistance is limited to no more than once every two years. For more information, call the Township Office at 217.525.1736 or visit http://captwnshp.co.sangamon.il.us/ga.htm.

Woodside Township Assistance

Located at 490 North Street, this local governmental agency provides financial assistance, including help with utility bills, to qualifying residents of Woodside Township. For more information, call the Township Office at 217.522.3712.