LIHEAP / ECAP: UpdatedLife-Threatening Energy Crisis

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

DHS does not require an application for this program. Energy crisis assistance for households with a life-threatening (LT) medical situation energy crisis is accepted year round. Referrals for LT are submitted by accessing the life threatening referral form.  There are two medical categories, Medical Equipment or Medical Condition. Information for both is included below.

To submit a referral for a LIHEAP life-threatening crisis access the life threatening referral form and complete the required information.

When a household says it has a life-threatening medical situation energy crisis, first determine if they meet the criteria for a referral.

Medical Equipment

Criteria One

If a medical extension is available with the utility company the client can choose if they want to accept the medical extension through the utility company. Advise the client to contact their utility company directly if they wish to pursue the medical extension.

Criteria Two

The utility has to be in crisis status and it has to be the utility that operates the LT medical equipment.

An energy crisis includes when:

  • Service is disconnected by the energy supplier;
  • Has a verified, active cut-off order
  • Receives a refusal notice to provide additional energy needs from the energy supplier and the household’s fuel tank indicator is at or below at 25 percent or less for households with a life-threatening medical situation;
  • Provides information regarding a new connection fee;
  • Has a cash only, cash advance, or pre-paid account and has less than a $25 minimum balance in the account, or
  • Enters into a payment plan with the energy supplier to prevent a service cut-off.

Criteria Three

The client must be able to provide a statement from a licensed health care professional verifying the medical equipment is prescribed, no battery backup is available, and the situation is LT without the medical equipment. The statement must be dated within the last 60 calendar days or the most recent six months of medical records.

Qualified medical equipment includes, but is not limited to:

  • A kidney dialysis machine,
  • an iron lung,
  • an oxygen concentrator or other oxygen machine, or
  • a cardiac monitor

Qualified medical equipment does not include:

  • a hot water heater unless specified as medically necessary in the medical statement,
  • refrigerator unless specified as medically necessary in the medical statement,
  • stove,
  • a battery-driven, hand-driven, or self-contained nebulizer,
  • a battery-driven apnea monitor, or
  • a battery-driven cardiac monitor.

The equipment may not have a battery backup. When there is a battery backup, the situation is not LT.

If the household meets all 3 criteria submit a life threatening referral and complete the required information.

Life-threatening authorized personnel will determine eligibility and ensure the household meets the other liheap program factors. The interview will be completed over the phone and input the information in the LT database. A secondary review will ensure all necessary documentation has been recorded and make the final validation for the LT authorization.

Approvals must comply with the maximum benefit amount limit.

Medical Condition

Life threatening energy crisis assistance may be available for households with a pre-existing medical condition in extreme temperatures. There are 4 criteria the household must meet for a medical condition LT referral.

Criteria One

If a medical extension is available with the utility company the client can choose if they want accept the medical extension through the utility company. Advise the client to contact their utility company directly if they wish to pursue the medical extension.

Criteria Two

The utility has to be in crisis status and it has to be the utility that operates the heating or cooling (depending on the season). Cooling source cannot be paid in the winter and heating source cannot be paid in the summer.

An energy crisis includes when:

  • Service is disconnected by the energy supplier;
  • Has a verified, active cut-off order
  • Receives a refusal notice to provide additional energy needs from the energy supplier and the household’s fuel tank indicator is at or below 25 percent or less for households with a life-threatening medical situation;
  • Provides information regarding a new connection fee;
  • Has a cash only, cash advance, or pre-paid account and has less than a $25 minimum balance in the account or
  • Enters into a payment plan with the energy supplier to prevent a service cut-off.

Criteria Three

The client must be able to provide a statement from a licensed healthcare professional with in the last 60 days or 6 months of medical records verifying the client has a preexisting medical condition that requires heat or air conditioning, and the situation is life threatening without utility service.

Criteria Four

The day of the cutoff, in summer the temperature is predicted to be a heat index of at least 101 degrees or in winter, the temperature is predicted to be 32 degrees or lower during day-time hours and/or 20 degrees or lower during night-time hours. LIHEAP eligibility 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.

If the household meets all 4 criteria submit a life threatening referral and complete the required information.

Life-threatening authorized personnel will determine eligibility and ensure the household meets the other liheap program factors. The interview will be completed over the phone and input the information in the LT database. A secondary review will ensure all necessary documentation has been recorded and make the final validation for the LT authorization.

Approvals must comply with the maximum benefit amount limit.

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