LIHEAP / ECAP: UpdatedLIHEAP / ECAP Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

The following are UPDATED Q/A’s regarding the LIHEAP/ECAP Programs. Frequently asked questions are divided into various topics and subtopics which can be accessed by clicking on the main topics.

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Application Process

ADM-92

Do I need to send an ADM-92 to request verification for LIHEAP for my client?

No. You need to ensure accurate information regarding the client is captured such as household members (1 chimney/1 utility meter rule), utility vendor and account number. If additional information is required LIHEAP Centralized Processing staff will send an ADM-92.

Application Status

How do I check the status for pending LIHEAP/ECAP applications?

You can utilize:

    • DiscImage to check for a LIHEAP/ECAP application, the document ID will show as OKLAVAPP.
    • Case notes in FACS for any pending verification or for additional information.
    • Imaging (workflow) for any pending verification or an ADM-92 request for additional verification.
    • IMS Mainframe the:
      • 105HQ (heating),
      • 105EQ (ECAP/life-threatening),
      • 105CQ (cooling),
      • NL and NI screens to check on pending authorization.

You can use any of these tasks to assist your client regarding the status of their LIHEAP/ECAP application.

Error

When you discover an error, after you assist client with a proxy or the client reports an error after they submitted and application, how do I get the correct information to the assigned LIHEAP staff?

Document the error and the correct information in FACS case notes. Notify LIHEAP2 email box of the error so the information can be sent to the centralized processing staff.

Proxy

Can ANY County office staff assist my client with LIHEAP/ECAP online application proxy?

Yes. Anyone including Adults and Family Services staff can assist the client with LIHEAP/ECAP proxy application. During our open enrollment period applications can be completed online at www.okdhslive.org

I am really busy. Can I defer my client to call OKDHSLive instead of assisting them with an application proxy?

No. DHS implemented First Contact Resolution. AFS County Staff can assist the client with LIHEAP/ECAP application proxy online at www.okdhslive.org during open enrollment period.

How do I proxy a LIHEAP/ECAP application during open enrollment?

You need to use www.okdhslive.org to proxy and LIHEAP/ECAP application during open enrollment.

Random Moment Time Study

If I receive a Random Moment Time Study (RMTS) while assisting a client with LIHEAP/ECAP, how should I respond?

When serving as a proxy for energy assistance and another benefit, record the action taken on the other benefit for Random Moment Time Study (RMTS). When serving as a proxy for an energy assistance only application, record general case information for RMTS.

Benefits

Firewood

How much firewood can an eligible client receive?

The LIHEAP pays for 1 rick of firewood base on the average cost according to the household’s residence zip code up to a maximum of $125.

Household Benefit Payment

How much will LIHEAP/ECAP pay if my client is eligible?

On winter/summer assistance, the benefit payment amount depends on the household’s size, type of fuel, and income. Please refer to the latest Appendix-C-7-A for additional information. The ECAP annual threshold maximum is $750 per federal fiscal year (October 1 – September 30) which includes both regular ECAP and life-threatening. ECAP only pays the minimum required to settle the energy crisis. For new establish service or reconnection, LIHEAP only pays the minimum required security deposit and associated fees.

Prepaid Account

How much will LIHEAP pay for cash-only/cash-advance/pre-paid account?

On winter/summer assistance, the benefit payment amount is depending on the household’s size, type of fuel, and income. Please refer to the latest Appendix-C-7-A for additional information. On ECAP like any traditional utility account, LIHEAP only pays the minimum required to settle the energy crisis, if the service is still on, eligible clients can receive 1 month average usage. If the service is off, eligible clients can receive 1 month average usage plus the reconnection fee. Life-threatening LIHEAP would pay the additional negative arear to mitigate the medical crisis for eligible households.

Refillable Fuel (Propane)

How much refillable fuel can eligible clients receive?

The LIHEAP pays for 100 gallons for any type of refillable fuel. The fuel type must be the household’s main energy source depending on the LIHEAP seasonal program.

Eligible households that indicate they about to run out of fuel and use alternative fuel such as propane canister, gas for a generator, or firewood can receive up to maximum benefit of $125.

Transfer Benefits

Can my client transfer her LIHEAP benefit to her friend who just moved in after my client vacated her residence?

No. Your client’s LIHEAP benefit will follow her to the new residence if she has any remaining credit. In the event she is not responsible for utility at her new residence, the utility provider must issue the credit in form of a refund back to DHS so we can reallocate the funds to assist other eligible households.

Eligibility

Babysitting

My client is babysitting her grand-daughter during the day while the parents are at work/school, can she include the grand-daughter as a part of her LIHEAP household?

No. The grand-daughter is considered a visitor and cannot be added to the LIHEAP household.

Change

My client reported a change of household circumstance that would affect her pending LIHEAP/ECAP application. Who do I need to notify?

Please send an email to LIHEAP2@okdhs.org . If there is any verification, please upload it to 90L Imaging inbox.

ECAP Crisis Definition

An energy crisis exists when the energy provider:

  • Refuses to start, continue or restore service without payment; or
  • Plans to cut off the household’s service within 72 hours unless the provider receives payment; or
  • Declines to provide additional fuel without payment and the household’s fuel will run out in 72 hours or less; or
  • Provides a notice that the propane/fuel oil tank is less than 10% capacity; or
  • Is pre-paid account with less than $25 credit balance; or
  • Is an alternative fuel source (i.e. Wood, Corn Pellets, Kerosene, etc.) and the applicant indicates they are about to run out. (Must be reviewed and signed off by a supervisor/authorized personnel); or
  • Requires a new connection or reconnection fee and the minimum security deposit; or
  • Enters into a payment plan with the household to prevent the service cut off.

Determine Eligibility

How do I determine if my client is eligible for LIHEAP/ECAP?

AFS County staffs don’t determine clients LIHEAP/ECAP eligibility. LIHEAP/ECAP eligibility determination is completed by the LIHEAP Centralized Processing unit. You can assist the client with an application proxy during open enrollment and any questions they may have regarding the LIHEAP application or process.

Household

My client’s mother was released from the hospital recently and moved in to her house so she can assist her. Can her mother be considered a part of the LIHEAP household?

Yes. In this instance, the client’s mother is considered a member of her LIHEAP household. Therefore, her income and resource are also considered for the household LIHEAP eligibility.

My client’s daughter is an RN and she usually work 4 days on and 3 days off. She resides there part-time. Should she be excluded in my client’s LIHEAP household?

No. The client’s daughter must be counted as a part of her LIHEAP household. Therefore, her income and resource are also considered for the household LIHEAP eligibility.

My client’s son lives 2 hours away from the city. He works in the city so he stays with my client during the weekend goes home on the weekend. Is he a visitor?

No. The client’s son must be included as a part of her LIHEAP household. His income and resource are also counted for the household LIHEAP eligibility.

LIHEAP & ECAP

Can my client receive both LIHEAP and ECAP payment assistance?

Yes. Household could be eligible for regular LIHEAP winter/summer payment during open enrollment and still be eligible for assistance during ECAP open enrollment.

Long-Term Care

My client resides in a long-term care or community housing facility. Can he/she be eligible for LIHEAP assistance?

No. LIHEAP cannot provide assistance to this type of housing facilities and payment cannot be made on a corporation’s utility account.

Refrigerators

Does LIHEAP help with the cost of refrigerators?

No. LIHEAP does not pay for refrigerators or any other household appliances.

Tribal LIHEAP

Can my client receive Tribal LIHEAP assistance and assistance with DHS LIHEAP?

No. The household with one or more tribal member(s) may choose to receive LIHEAP assistance through the tribe or DHS. If it is determined that the client has received the LIHEAP assistance through the tribe and DHS this fiscal year; please inform LIHEAP2@okdhs.org so we can initiate the overpayment.

Window AC Unit

Can my client receive reimbursement for a window A/C unit?

Yes, during summer cooling open enrollment LIHEAP can issue reimbursements up to $150 for purchase/repair of a window A/C unit. Households will have to submit a dated receipt for the purchase/repair within 30 days of summer cooling application.

Payments

Days

How many days will the ECAP program pay for eligible households?

ECAP will pay benefits for eligible households for 90 days instead of 30. This is a temporary procedure change for federal fiscal year 2022 only. There is still the maximum benefit of $750 per federal fiscal year for ECAP and Life Threatening.

Debit Card

My client’s LIHEAP was paid directly to him but he did not receive the Oklahoma Master Debit Card. What should I do?

You can open a Remedy ticket for AFS Helpdesk to resolve any card issue. Clients may have previously received a card or enrolled in direct deposit for other DHS benefits. The AFS Helpdesk agent can provide assistance.

Incorrect Payments

If the LIHEAP payment is incorrect, how do I report it?

It’s critical to triple check utility information with your client when you assist with the LIHEAP proxy application. If an error is discovered at a later time, please report the correct information immediately to LIHEAP2@okdhs.org so we can notify the utility provider. Notify the client that the refund process is a lengthy, time consuming process and they will need to make arrangements with the utility provider. If there is a need for refund, LIHEAP program staff will initiate the refund request from the utility provider.

Payments to Providers

How often are the LIHEAP/ECAP payments made to the utility providers?

The LIHEAP/ECAP payment is paid once per week through a bank ACH transaction to LIHEAP participant utility provider’s registered bank account with State Treasury Office. All non-participant providers, payment is made once per week directly to the client.

Pledges

Does DHS send pledges to utility providers?

The LIHEAP Centralized Processing unit does not send Winter Heating or Summer Cooling pledges to participant providers. Only during ECAP open enrollment period are pledges sent to participant providers that have no File Transfer Protocol (FTP) set up. The FTP providers receive a nightly authorization batch file through a data exchange drop-box. The LIHEAP program staff will also send Life-Threatening pledges to participant providers. The clients must be advised that not all utility providers will note the pledge on cash-only/cash-advance/pre-paid utility account.

Can I send the pledge to utility provider if my client requested?

No. Pledges can only be sent by LIHEAP Centralized Processing staff or State Office to ensure there is no duplication of pledges. Please leave this task for authorized personnel. Disciplinary action can be taken if it results in additional funding cost for our agency and state.

Primary Source

Can LIHEAP pay the household’s main heating source during summer months and vice versa?

No. Eligible households can only receive assistance for the main energy source according to each program component. For example: household cannot receive firewood as fuel type for summer cooling since it is not a main cooling energy source.

Refund

Can LIHEAP reissue the payment out to correct utility provider while waiting for the refund?

No. We have to wait until the refund is received, so it can be processed and reissued to the correct utility provider. Notify the client that the refund process is a lengthy, time consuming process and they will need to make arrangements with the utility provider.

Transfer

My client’s LIHEAP benefit was paid and he moved during LIHEAP/ECAP open enrollment. Can the payment be transferred to his new residence?

Yes. If the LIHEAP benefit has been paid out and he has any credit remaining from his previous utility servicing address, it can be applied toward the new residence. Please notify LIHEAP2@okdhs.org for appropriate action taken.

Pre-Authorization

340:20-1-14. Actions, method of payment, and notifications

Account Numbers

Each utility vendor has a unique format for their customer account numbers. It is important to enter the numbers in our system in the correct format. Some frequently used examples include:American Electric Power/Public Service

Company of Oklahoma (AEP/PSO) – The number must be entered as it is on the bill including dashes.
i.e.: XXX-XXX-XXX-X-X

Arkansas-Oklahoma Gas (AOG) – The account number must have 11 numeric digits. The first digit cannot exceed 1 through 4. Positions 2 through 11 cannot be blank.

CenterPoint/Arkla – The account number must be entered exactly as it appears on the bill including dashes.

Oklahoma Electric Cooperative (OEC) – The account number must be entered as it appears on the bill, including the dash.

Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E) – The account number must be entered as it appears on the bill, including the dash.

Oklahoma Natural Gas (ONG) – The account number must be entered 16 numeric digits no spaces.

Copy of the Bill

Does the client have to send in a copy of the utility bill to correct a preauthorization?

No, we just need the correct account number, provider name and account name within the 10 calendar days of the preauthorization notice.

Criteria

How will I know if my client was preauthorized?

The LIHEAP section preauthorizes households who meet certain criteria, which can change based on federal guidance. These beneficiaries receive a LIHEAP payment without needing to apply. There will be a notice on the NL screen and the authorization will show on the 105HQ or 105CQ screen.

Firewood

The client wants to update the preauthorization to change it from electric to firewood what do I need to do?

We cannot pre-approve for firewood by federal regulation. To get firewood, the client will have to apply during open enrollment. The pre-authorization will be closed.

Incorrect

My client reported their account information is not correct on the preauthorization how do I change it?

Pre-authorizations cannot be corrected once open enrollment begins, the client will have to apply during open enrollment. This includes preauthorized households that are closed (action code 6) with a reason code 09 (State Office use only), or 10 (Supplier cannot identify). If it is within 10 calendar days of the preauthorization notice you email LIHEAP2@okdhs.org with the client name, case number, the correct account number, vendor name, and account name or image the utility bill to the 90L Inbox. Do NOT do both.The pre-authorization for a household closed on a reason 10 (Supplier cannot identify) will need to apply during open enrollment.If it is beyond the 10 calendar days we will have to start the refund process. Refunds are a lengthy, time consuming process as it involves several parties on both ends to push it through the system.Correction cannot be made until the refund has been received and posted by State Treasury Office and DHS finance division.If mistake is found and a refund is needed, please advise the client to make other arrangements with the utility vendor to avoid a service cut-off. Send an email to LIHEAP2@okdhs.org to initiate a refund request if the payment has been posted.

No Account Number

My client states the propane vendor does not give them an account number what do they put the on the OKDHSLive application?

If the primary utility source does not have an account number, such as propane, input the client’s first name, last name for the account number. Example: John, Smith.Do NOT input incorrect numbers for the utility account number such as:

    • social security number
    • zip code
    • 123456
    • 1111111
    • 00000, etc.

Number of Times

The client was pre-authorized for Summer Cooling. Does that mean she will automatically be preauthorized for Winter Heating?

No, the household may only be preauthorized for one LIHEAP component each federal fiscal year. For example, if the household is preauthorized for summer cooling, the household is not eligible for a winter heating preauthorization and vice versa.

Payment of my Preauthorization

My client states they received a preauthorization notice. When will receive the payment on the account?

The preauthorization payments will be issued to the utility vendors the week following open enrollment. Check the PD Date on the 105HQ or 105CQ screen.

Supplier Cannot Identify

My client called inquiring about the notice she received indicating her LIHEAP case was closed and she would not receive assistance, the reason given was “supplier cannot identify”. What does this mean?

It means the utility vendor verified that her account is not active and she will have to apply during open enrollment. The LIHEAP preauthorization must be issued to an active account.

Programs

LIHEAP Components

What are the LIHEAP program components?

The Energy Crisis Assistance Program (ECAP) provides assistance for households with a verifiable energy crisis including the loss of heating or cooling. Open enrollment for the program begins each year in mid-March. Energy crisis assistance for households with a life-threatening medical situation is accepted year round.The non-emergency summer cooling program provides assistance with a one-time payment per fiscal year to the energy company providing the main source of cooling for the household. Open enrollment begins each year in June.The non-emergency winter heating program provides assistance with a one-time payment per fiscal year to the energy company providing the main source of heating for the household. Open enrollment begins each year in December.

Utility Accounts

Corporate Accounts

My client stated her utility account is under the name of the apartment complex. What should I tell my client?

The LIHEAP can only make payment on a residential utility account. The LIHEAP is prohibited by federal regulation to issue payments to corporate utility account. If your client was preauthorized, the account will be closed and the client will have to apply during general open enrollment. If eligible, the payment would have to be processed as direct paid to the client.

My client stated her utility account is under the landlord’s name as she lives in a multiple unit complex. She states she is responsible to pay a portion of the utility bill each month. What should tell my client?

The LIHEAP can only make payment on a residential utility account. The LIHEAP is prohibited by federal regulation to issue payments to corporate utility account. If your client was preauthorized, the account will be closed and the client will have to apply during general open enrollment. If eligible, the payment would have to be processed as direct paid to the client.

Multiple Accounts

My client maintains two different utility accounts: one for her residential and one for her self-employment. Which one can LIHEAP provide assistance?

The LIHEAP can only make payment on her primary residential utility account. Federal laws prohibited LIHEAP payments to a business account.

New Account

My client doesn’t have a utility account number because she is trying to establish new service. What should I do?

Please have the client contact her utility provider to establish new service and request an analysis for minimal requirement of the security deposit, account number to be assigned, and any associate fees that might be incurred. If the provider is a propane company, the account number might be the client’s first name/last name. Please document in the “explanation” box according to the fuel type on the application.

Other Services

Does LIHEAP pay for any other utility services?

No. Most utility providers have other utility services such as trash, water, sewer, recycling, etc. included in the customer’s monthly utility bill. Federal law only allows LIHEAP payment to be paid toward the eligible household’s heating/cooling energy source. The client is responsible to pay for other service charges.

Prepaid Account

My client doesn’t receive a cut-off because he has a cash-only/cash-advance/pre-paid account. How can he meet the energy crisis requirement?

Unlike the traditional utility account, these types of account have a $25 minimum requirement since it is a paid-as-you-go account. To meet the crisis requirement, the household’s account must fall under this threshold. Please document in the “explanation” box according to the fuel type on the application.

Propane

How do I know if my client is almost out of propane for ECAP/Life-threatening?

For propane, the tank’s indicator has to be below 10% for regular ECAP and 25% for life-threatening. The client can also use the refusal notice from the provider if it is available. Please document in the “explanation” box according to the fuel type on the application.

Verification

Notices

My client lost his notice. How do I access notices?

You can check the NL (case #) for notice list in IMS-Mainframe and enter NI next to the notice you want to access, to provide a copy to the client.

Where to Send

Where does my client send their LIHEAP verification?

The documents can be:

    • Uploaded to their case file at okdhslive.org and click on Fast Pass Verification Upload button so it can be indexed to the case record. or
    • Send the documents to the local County office. Local County staff will upload the document to your case record. or
    • Fax to (405) 325-7155 include the DHS case number and name.

The LIHEAP2 email box can NOT forward any attachments to the LIHEAP processing center due to virus and security protection.

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