LIHEAP / ECAP: Life-Threatening Energy Crisis

340:20-1-17. Energy Crisis Assistance Program (ECAP)

DHS does not require an application for this program. Energy crisis assistance for households with a life-threatening medical situation is accepted year round.

When the household says it has a life-threatening energy crisis

  1. Email LIHEAP with “life-threatening referral” in the subject line.
  2. Include the client’s contact information, case number and name in the email.
  3. Image any verification the household provides to 90L.

Life-threatening authorized personnel will complete the interview over the phone and input the information in the life-threatening database. A secondary review will ensure all necessary documentation has been recorded and make the final validation for life-threatening authorization.

Required Verification  

These households must

  1. Document an active energy crisis,
  2. Provide medical verification showing a life-threatening emergency, and
  3. Meet the program factors.

The household should also give the utility provider a copy of the medical verification. When the utility provider is aware that the utility disconnection may result in a medical crisis, it will often give the household more time to pay the utility bill. Approvals must comply with the maximum benefit amount limit.

A life-threatening situation occurs when:

  1. A household member needs:
    • Electricity to power life-saving medical equipment or
    • Energy to avoid extreme summer and winter temperatures and
  2. A health care professional indicates that the situation is life-threatening.

Medical equipment verification

The household must show that a health care professional prescribed the equipment and that it requires electricity to operate.

The equipment may not have a battery backup. When there is a battery backup, the situation is not life-threatening.

A life-threatening crisis situation is limited to:

  1. When medical equipment is prescribed by a licensed health care professional requires electricity to operate.
    • The applicant must provide medical records or a licensed health care professional statement dated within the last six months verifying that the medical equipment is prescribed and a battery backup is not available. When the medical equipment has an available battery backup in case of an electrical outage, the medical situation is not considered life-threatening.
    • The household must have an energy crisis that involves life-saving medical equipment to be operational and provide a statement from a licensed health care professional dated within the last 60 calendar days or the most recent six months of medical records verifying that the medical equipment is prescribed and a battery backup is not available.
  2. A pre-existing medical condition that requires heating or air conditioning:
    • When the summer months temperature is predicted to be a heat index of at least 101 degrees or
    • When the winter months temperature is predicted to be 32 degrees or lower during day time hours and/or 20 degrees or lower during night time hours.

LIHEAP staff will check the temperature forecast on the National Weather Service website for the applicant’s City of residence and date of disconnect. The forecast information will be uploaded into imaging for all certifications based on a pre-existing medical condition.

The applicant must provide medical records or a licensed health care professional statement dated within the last six months verifying that heating or air conditioning is needed due to a medical condition.

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