It is critical to double check the client’s account number when inputting the information into OKDHSLive. If the vendor is incorrect or the account number is incorrect it can create considerable delays in eligible clients receiving energy assistance.
The LIHEAP refund process is a very lengthy, time consuming process as it involves several parties on both ends to push it through the system.
- 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. Include the client’s name, account number, the correct utility vendor name, and the correct utility account number.
- A written request will be sent to the utility provider who originally received the funds. The utility provider has up to 60 days to issue the unused balance back to the State of Oklahoma.
- If the utility provider reverses the funds, instead of issuing the DHS Finance division a check, the funds will go to the Oklahoma State Treasurer. (The Oklahoma State Treasurer office manages funds for the entire state.)
- When LIHEAP funds are sent to the Oklahoma State Treasurer office the funds have to be specifically identified as DHS LIHEAP funds prior to the funds being transferred back to the DHS Finance division. This step could take months.
- Once DHS Finance receives the funds back from the Oklahoma State Treasurer office and it is posted to the LIHEAP account then a refund can be issued.
- Then funds remaining from the original payment will be reissued to the correct utility vendor on the client’s account using the 105 transaction.
In order to meet federal requirements, the steps in the refund process cannot be skipped or waived regardless if the error was created by a client or a worker. Once the refund process is initiated many of the steps are in the hands of other agencies/divisions and outside the purview of the LIHEAP program staff.
Funds will only be reissued if reported within 30 days from the date on the notice of payment. If it is past 30 days the refund will be requested and will not be reissued.
The following are instructions on how to check if a client’s payment has been refunded back to DHS:
In IMS, enter BNX (space) and the case number.
The LIHEAP category codes are:
NH – Winter Payment
NE – ECAP Payment
NC – Summer Cooling Payment
If there is a “U” in the CDE field, the payment has been returned to DHS. An “I” in the CDE field indicates the payment has been issued and has not been returned.