LIHEAP / ECAP: Eligibility – Household Composition & Other Factors

340:20-1-10 (c) Program factors

Vulnerable:

To qualify for energy assistance, a household must:

  1. be totally or partially responsible for the cost of home energy, and provide accurate utility information.

Policy:
340:20-1-10(e) Program factors,
340:20-1-12(5) Applications

The household must designate its main heating or cooling source and provide the name of its energy supplier and utility information on the application or note that utilities are included in the household’s rent. 340:20-1-13.(5) Verification

When submitting an application, the household must provide the correct account name, account number, and energy supplier to ensure payments are made to the correct energy supplier. 340:20-1-12.(5) Applications

A household must be “vulnerable” to receive energy assistance. A household is vulnerable when it is at least partially responsible for the cost of home energy. It remains vulnerable when the provider temporarily disconnects the household’s service. 340:20-1-10.(e) Program factors

Income & Resource:

  1. not exceed the gross income and resource standards, per Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) Appendix C-7, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program Income and Resource Level by Household Size. 340:20-1-11.(1) Income and liquid resources

Citizenship:

  1. include at least one citizen or eligible alien.

Policy:
340:20-1-10(d) Program factors

Households must include at least one citizen or eligible alien. The applicant must declare the citizenship or alien status of each person in the household applying for Energy Assistance.

To be eligible for Energy Assistance, an individual must be

      • a US citizen,
      • a US national,
      • a qualified or eligible alien, or
      • an alien who does not have to meet qualified alien status.

When a household member does not meet these requirements, Energy Assistance (EA) staff does not count this person in the household size but does include his or her income and resources.

Identity:

  1. provide proof of the applicant’s identity.Policy:
    340:20-1-13(4) Verification

Social Security Number:

  1. provide a Social Security number (SSN) or proof of a pending SSN application for each household member.

Policy:
340:65-3-1(f) Eligibility determination
340:20-1-13(3) Verification

When a household member does not provide a SSN, EA staff does not include the member in the household size when determining income eligibility and the payment amount. Even though the excluded person does not count toward the household’s size, the person’s income and resource will still count towards the household’s eligibility.

Household

Policy:
340:20-1-10 (c) Program factors

The energy assistance “household” is any individual or group of individuals:

    1. who are living together as one economic unit for whom residential energy is customarily purchased in common or
    2. who make undesignated payments for energy in the form of rent.

Energy Assistance Household

The energy assistance household may differ from the household in other OKDHS programs. For example, a child just visiting a relative may not be considered as an energy assistance household member, and an elderly parent temporarily staying with his or her child after a medical procedure or hospital stay may be in a separate SNAP household but in the same energy assistance household.

Roomer/Boarder

Policy:
340:20-1-10(c) Program factors

A roomer is a person who is renting a room from the energy assistance household and a boarder is a person who pays the energy assistance household for lodging and food. When the energy assistance household states there is a roomer or boarder living with the household, the person may be considered as a separate household only when:

    • the person is not related to the household; and
    • there is a written lease or roommate agreement that contains a specific clause stating the roomer or boarder is responsible for a specific portion of utility bills.

Utility Meter/Source

When there is more than one roof at the same property and everyone shares a meter, they must all be included in one energy assistance application as a single household. This may occur when some of the household members live in a recreational vehicle or garage apartment.

The income and resources of all household members is considered in determining energy assistance eligibility. This is true even when one or more members is not eligible to be included in the benefit because he or she is an undocumented or ineligible alien or did not furnish a Social Security number.

Tribal Members

Policy:
340:20-1-4. Coordination and outreach

Oklahoma’s Native America tribes may operate their own Energy Assistance program. When a tribe operates its own program, tribal members have the option of receiving energy assistance from their tribe or OKDHS. The Appendix D-4-B lists the tribes that are currently administering their own program.

Each fiscal year, tribal members must choose per program component to receive energy assistance  from OKDHS or the tribe. Remember the federal fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30.

When a tribal member applies for OKDHS energy assistance, the EA staff determines if the member is participating in a tribal energy assistance program.

    • If a tribal member has received energy assistance from a tribal Energy Assistance program in the current fiscal year, and same program component, EA staff denies the application.
    • If a tribal member belongs to a tribe that does not operate its own Energy Assistance program or has not received energy assistance from a tribal LIHEAP program, the member may participate in the OKDHS program. EA staff determine household eligibility.

Subsidized Household

Policy:
340:20-1-10(g) Program factors

A subsidized household receives help paying for its utilities on a regular basis. The help may come from a government agency or a private person.

When EA staff verifies that there is an unpaid portion of the energy costs, a subsidized household may receive energy assistance. The amount approved is the same amount as an unsubsidized household.

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