In addition to income, tribes may look at household assets (also referred to as liquid assets, or resources) in determining financial eligibility for LIHEAP. The LIHEAP statute does not require assets tests or otherwise mention them; however, at least a dozen grantees utilized an assets test in 2013.
Grantees that utilize assets tests generally cite their policies aimed at serving those households most in need. These grantees assume that those with cash assets, or assets that can be readily converted to cash, are less in need than those without such assets and that LIHEAP funds should go to those who don't have assets and are in greater need of LIHEAP.
Definitions of assets vary, but they often include:
- Checking and savings accounts
- IRAs and 401ks
- Certificates of deposit
- Stocks and bonds
- Property on which the applicant is not living
Exclusions from countable assets often include:
- Household's primary residence and the property upon which it is located
- One vehicle
- Jointly owned resources
- Household furnishings
- College grants or loans
- Burial accounts