LIHEAP / ECAP: UpdatedLIHEAP Pre-Authorizations

The LIHEAP section preauthorizes households who meet certain criteria. These beneficiaries receive a LIHEAP payment without needing to apply.

The system preauthorizes household who:

  • received a State Supplemental Payment (SSP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) payment consecutively 12 months without any break in benefit;
  • received pre-authorization on the same LIHEAP component last year;
  • have the same mailing and servicing address as last year;
  • have the same utility account and supplier as last year;
  • have the same household members as last year;
  • do not have income and resource greater than the eligibility guidelines this year.

Households must meet ALL the system criteria listed to be preauthorized. Households cannot be preauthorized for summer cooling and winter heating in the same federal fiscal year; October through September. Households needs to apply if they did not meet all the pre-authorization criteria.

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 pre-authorization and vice versa.

The pre-auth notice for winter heating or summer cooling is mailed out to the client in advance of the benefit payment. The pre-auth notice allows the household 10 calendar days to report any errors listed on the notice. If the household does not report errors on the pre-auth notice timely, they will have to apply during open enrollment to correct any errors.

You must check the 105cq (cooling) or 105hq (heating) screen, the NL screen, or the NI screen in IMS when the household

  • is uncertain whether DHS preauthorized them or
  • needs you to determine whether DHS preauthorized the correct utility provider and account.

NOTE: Please Check the notice screen prior to submitting a LIHEAP pre-authorization correction. Inputting incorrect requests can create considerably delays. Refer to the following instructions for this process.

You access the NL/NI screens in IMS. Type NL_case number to access the notices. To read a specific notice tab next to it and type NI and enter under the transaction code heading. There are usually 3 to 4 pages of the LIHEAP notice. To read each page, select enter. The screenshot shown here displays that the preauthorization was issued to the household on 06/09/21.

Pre auth 1 summer cooling payment notice, pre-auth notices for summer cooling.

Refer to article LIHEAP/ECAP: How to Read 105 Screens

  • when the 105cq/105hq screen has a 1 in the action field, look at the account number and supplier information, and determine if we are paying the correct account
  • when the action 6 and reason 10 appear, the supplier could not identify which account to pay, so the supplier closed the authorization. The account information is likely incorrect. Households will have to submit an application during open enrollment if the pre-auth correction has been finalized. (Preauthorizations are finalized when open enrollment begins.)

How to make corrections?

Refer to the article LIHEAP/ECAP: LIHEAP Pre-Authorization Correction

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