1. Ask for an informal conference
If you feel that your application was denied unfairly you can ask for an informal conference at the agency within 30 days of the denial. This can be done verbally or in writing and should be addressed to the local agency. The conference must take place within 15 days from the date of request. A hearing officer will conduct the informal conference, which is designed to make sure that you understand the actions taken or any reason for delay. At the end of the conference, the hearing officer must give you a written decision.
2. The State review process
If you are not satisfied with the hearing officer’s decision, you can request a state review within 30 days from the decision resulting from the informal conference. A staff person from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) will review your file and will send you a decision in writing within 15 days of your request for review.
3. Ask for a formal hearing
If you are not satisfied with the state review, you have 30 days to send a letter to HFS requesting a formal hearing, which is conducted by a state hearing officer. The hearing must take place within 30 days of the date of your letter, and a written decision must be made within 10 days of the hearing. If you are not satisfied with the hearing decision, you have 35 days to bring a lawsuit to have that decision reviewed by a judge.
To file a dispute, write, or contact the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, LIHEAP, Division of Economic Opportunity use this address:
620 E. Adams St.,
Springfield, IL 62701
The LIHEAP office in Chicago is located at:
100 W. Randolph, Chicago, IL 60601