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Selected State Policies Regarding Home Energy Obligation and Housing Type

Compiled by the LIHEAP Clearinghouse, July 2013
Note: These examples are not inclusive; for more examples, contact the Clearinghouse.

ARIZONA MANUAL
(For LIHEAP eligibility purposes)
An Eligible Applicant
1. Must be vulnerable to the rising costs of utilities by having either an obligation to pay a utility bill directly to a utility company or in non-subsidized rent which includes utilities.

The applicant shall not be a resident of an institution. Institutions include but are not limited to:

  • Hospitals
  • Licensed Domiciliary Care Facilities (family care homes, homes for the aged and family care homes for developmentally disabled adults)
  • Intermediate Care Facilities
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities or Homes
  • Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Centers or Treatment Programs
  • Dormitories
  • Temporary protective facilities, such as domestic violence shelters, etc.
  • Prisons

COLORADO MANUAL
Vulnerability
Rev. eff. A. A household shall be vulnerable in order to qualify for Basic Program benefits.

12/1/07 Vulnerability shall mean the household must be affected by the rising costs of home heating as defined below:

  1. The household is paying home heating costs directly to a vendor and is subject to home heating cost increases; or,
  2. The household is living in non-subsidized housing and is paying home heating costs either in the form of rent or as a separate charge in addition to rent. Except in subsidized housing situations, rental costs shall be assumed to be subject to change due to an increase in home heating costs unless otherwise verified in writing by the county department; or,
  3. The household resides in subsidized housing as defined in the "Definitions" Section of these rules; and, 1) the unit has an individual check meter which identifies specific heating usage of that unit and the household is subject to a surcharge or increased cost for home heating, or 2) the tenant is subject to a heating surcharge assessed by means other than an individual check meter. Such surcharges may include percentage fees assessed to the tenant for home heating.
  4. The applicant household in a residence where more than one household resides shall be considered vulnerable if the applicant household contributes toward the total expenses of the residence. These expenses include, but are not limited to, shelter and utilities.
  5. The applicant household must live in a traditional dwelling.

Definitions:
"Non-Traditional Dwelling:" A non-traditional dwelling means a structure that provides housing that is not affixed to a permanent physical address and includes tents, lean-to's, cars, vans, or buses.

"Traditional Dwelling:" Traditional dwelling means a structure that provides a housing or residential environment that is affixed to a physical address. These structures include houses, apartments, townhomes, mobile homes, recreational vehicles (RV's), 5th Wheel's, and campers.

ILLINOIS MANUAL
Applicants must prove they are low-income and responsible for their home heating costs, or if the applicant is a renter and has no utility bills, then the amount of the applicant's rent must exceed 30 percent of the household's gross income.

Individuals meeting or living under the following conditions will be considered ineligible:

  1. Individuals living in professional, practical or domiciliary nursing or boarding homes who do not pay a home energy supplier directly for heating costs.
  2. Individuals residing in hotels, motels, dormitories or temporary shelters who do not pay a home energy supplier directly for heating costs.
  3. Individuals living in government subsidized housing unless they are paying a home energy supplier directly for their heating costs or are billed for any out-of pocket heating costs by the landlord or housing authority.
  4. Individuals who are incarcerated.
  5. Students or military personnel who are not actually living in the home.
  6. Individuals defined as roomers, boarders or live-in attendants. Roomer/boarder is defined as an individual living in the household who receives wages to provide medical/child care and who is not responsible for any household expenses.
  7. Passenger vehicles (cars, trucks, vans) are not considered permanent structures and are ineligible for energy assistance.

NEVADA MANUAL
NON-FINANCIAL ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
An applicant household must have or be able to have an active open account with a Nevada utility/energy vendor.
INELIGIBLE HOUSEHOLDS/PERSONS
Persons/households residing in the following domiciles/circumstances are ineligible for EAP benefits:

  • Nursing homes;
  • Hospitals;
  • Prisons or jails;
  • Institutions (mental, medical, or correctional);
  • Alcohol or drug treatment centers;
  • Battered Women and Children Shelters;
  • Homeless shelters;
  • Group living arrangements/group care facilities/group homes;
  • Assisted living arrangements, unless the household receives a separate utility bill;
  • Households residing in a church-owned residence, unless the household can prove responsibility for utility surcharges or bills which they must pay directly to the utility vendor;
  • Households residing in subsidized housing where all utilities are included in the rent and they are not billed;
  • Live-in care attendant, unless the attendant financially contributes to or participates in the household, which means their income is used in determining financial eligibility.

NEBRASKA RULES
CHAPTER 3-000 ELIGIBILITY FACTORS
3-001 Qualifying for Energy Assistance Payments: To qualify for energy assistance payments a household must -

  1. Be economically vulnerable (see 476 NAC 3-001.01);
  2. Have resources within program limits (see 476 NAC 3-001.02);
  3. Have income that does not exceed the income guidelines according to household size (see 476 NAC 3-001.03B);
  4. Meet the requirements of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (see 476 NAC 3-001.04); and
  5. Meet the requirements of alien eligibility (see 476 NAC 3-001.05).

3-001.01A Households Considered Economically Vulnerable
The following households are considered economically vulnerable:

  1. Homeowners;
  2. Renters whose utilities are included in rent;
  3. Renters who pay their own utilities; and
  4. Public housing tenants who are responsible for paying a surcharge for their utilities or are responsible for paying their own heating bills during the heating season or their own cooling bills during the cooling season

3-001.01B Households Not Considered Economically Vulnerable:
Tenants who are protected from increases in energy costs are not eligible for energy assistance. The following households are not considered economically vulnerable:

  1. Individuals who reside in adult boarding facilities, intermediate care facilities, residential care facilities or skilled nursing facilities and who do not pay a vendor directly for energy costs;
  2. Individuals residing in room only or room and board situations;
  3. Individuals who reside in public subsidized housing, unless they are responsible for their utility costs.

PENNSYLVANIA MANUAL
To qualify for LIHEAP cash or crisis benefits, a household shall meet the following requirements at the time of application.

Responsibility for heating costs. For a cash benefit, the household shall be responsible for paying for its main source of heat either directly to a vendor or indirectly as an undesignated part of rent. For a crisis benefit, the household shall be responsible for paying for either its main or secondary source of heat either directly to a vendor or indirectly as an undesignated part of rent.

(ii) Persons are ineligible if they are in a temporary living arrangement for a reason such as a visit, vacation or education. Residents in institutions, dormitories, fraternity or sorority houses and boarding homes are ineligible.

(iii) Persons living in recreational vehicles (Campers and RVs) are ineligible for LIHEAP unless they provide verification that they reside in a campground or other licensed facility year-round and are responsible for heating costs.

(v) Persons who are currently incarcerated or are fleeing to avoid prosecution, custody or confinement after a felony conviction are ineligible to receive LIHEAP benefits.

UTAH MANUAL
I. Vulnerability
An eligible household is considered vulnerable if it is responsible for home heating costs either directly or indirectly.

  1. Households Considered Responsible for Home Heating Costs

    a) Households that are presently paying heating costs directly to energy suppliers on currently active accounts. (Proof of utility bills must be filed in the case file.)

    b) Households that are currently paying heating costs indirectly through rent. (A completed Landlord Statement, 1062-H, must be filed in the case file.)

  2. Households NOT Considered Responsible for Home Heating Costs

    Persons found living in the following places or circumstances on the date of application ARE NOT eligible:

    a) Nursing homes.
    b) Hospitals.
    c) Prisons and Jails.
    d) Institutions.
    e) Alcoholism and drug treatment centers.
    f) Group homes administered under a contract with a governmental unit or administered by a government unit.
    g) Households not connected to a heat source.
    h) Households whose heat bills are paid regularly by an outside party, unless, the outside party cannot or will not be able to continue to pay the household's utility bill and provides a statement to this effect. In this case, the household is vulnerable and eligible.

WISCONSIN MANUAL
2.2.5 Energy Burden
To be eligible for energy assistance, the household must have a heat/electric burden on the date of the application. The economic unit must be responsible for providing current home heat and/or electricity, and have active account(s). (See Chapter 10, Definition of Terms). The Energy Burden Table (see Section 2.2.5.2 below), provides examples of situations and determinations of energy burden.

Responsibility for energy, heat and/or electricity, in the household can be demonstrated in a number of ways including, but not limited to:

  1. Having an account with the energy supplier and directly paying the bills.
  2. Having the cost of the energy (heat and/or electricity) included in the rent.
  3. Making separate payments to the landlord for the energy supplied (heat and/or electricity).
  4. Gathering or cutting wood used for heating, or purchasing wood from a nonregistered supplier applications.

2.2.5.1 No Energy Burden Households
The following do not satisfy the energy burden requirement:

  1. Applicants who have no responsibility for heating/non-heating because the costs are being paid in full directly to the fuel supplier (or landlord, if heat/electric is included in rent) by a government program.
  2. Applicants residing in government assisted housing (subsidized housing) or receiving rental assistance and heat and/or electric is included in their rent. They are eligible for a benefit only if they pay the entire heat/electric bill directly and receive no assistance for the bill(s).
  3. Renters who pay neither rent nor heating/electric costs because of an in-kind rental agreement.
  4. Tenants of group homes where the costs of care are paid by a local, state or federal agency, or charitable organization. This includes, but is not limited to, halfway houses or CBRFs.
  5. Residents of medical or correctional institutions including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, government institutions, or jail.
  6. Tenants of facilities that pay a portion of their maintenance or care, have no energy burden unless they pay all of their food and shelter costs.

VIRGINIA MANUAL
The types of households that may be eligible to receive Fuel Assistance are:

a) Households who pay some or all of their heating expenses.

Heating expense is defined as having a cost for the primary fuel needed to operate the heating equipment currently used in the household.

The types of households that are ineligible to receive fuel assistance are:

a) Subsidized households whose total heating costs are included in their rent.
b) Persons living in licensed facilities.
c) Persons living in temporary shelters or group homes who have no heating expense or who pay a nominal fee to live there.
d) Subsidized households who are responsible for periodic payment of individual excess fuel usage charges even though heating expenses are included in their rent. (Living Arrangement Code F)
e) Persons who reside in only one room within a larger dwelling.
f) Persons who have no physical address.

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