(a) Home energy. Home energy means a household's source of energy used to heat or cool a residential dwelling.
(b) Primary energy source.
- (1) The primary energy source during winter months is fuel used to heat the home.
- (2) The primary energy source during summer months is fuel used to cool the home.
- (3) During the Energy Crisis Assistance Program (ECAP) application period, the household may choose heating or cooling as the primary energy source.
(c) Household. Household means any person or group of persons who are living together as one economic unit and for whom residential energy is customarily purchased in common, or who make undesignated payments for energy in the form of rent.
- (1) The worker considers the income and resources of all household members per OAC 340:20-1-11 even if one or more household members is not eligible to be included in the benefit per OAC 340:20-1-8 or (g)(5) of this Section.
- (2) Refer to OAC 340:20-1-4 when one or more household members is a member of a tribe operating its own Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
- (3) There is one authorization for heating or cooling assistance per household.
(d) Vulnerability. A household is vulnerable if it is responsible, either totally or partially, for the cost of home energy. A vulnerable household includes households whose primary energy source has been temporarily discontinued.
(e) Non-vulnerability. Non-vulnerable households are those that do not bear any of the expense of home energy. Examples of non-vulnerable living arrangements include:
- (1) congregate or domiciliary facilities, such as a nursing facility, college or university dormitory, or fraternity or sorority housing;
- (2) households whose primary energy source is totally paid by someone other than a household member; and
- (3) subsidized households whose heating costs are included in their rent. Subsidized households assessed an energy surcharge during the operation of LIHEAP may be eligible for assistance if they provide proof of the surcharge.
(f) Subsidized household. Subsidized household means a household that receives assistance through a utility allowance to cover all or part of their energy cost, and/or receives assistance in paying their rent or house payment on a regular basis. A subsidized household is not vulnerable when an agency or person pays the entire utility bill every month even if the utility bill is in the name of a household member or the payment is a loan.
- (1) Assistance may be from a government agency such as a local housing authority, or a private person, usually a relative, who helps a person or family pay their utility bills, rent or house payment, or allows them to live rent free.
- (2) If apartment rental rates in college or university-owned apartment complexes are deliberately set lower than other apartments in the community in order to help the student, the household is considered a subsidized household. • 1
- (3) Eligible subsidized households with out-of-pocket utility expenses receive the same assistance benefit as unsubsidized households.
(g) Eligible households. All eligible households must meet criteria in (1) through (4) or the worker must deny the application.
- (1) Households must be vulnerable by being totally or partially responsible for the cost of home energy. • 2
- (2) Households must not exceed the income and resource standards as shown on Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) Appendix C-7 (.pdf, 1 pp, 52 KB), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program Income and Resource Level by Household Size.
- (3) Households must include at least one citizen or legal alien per OAC 340:20-1-8 and may include an illegal alien.
- (4) The person making the application must provide proof of identity per OAC 340:20-1-13(4).
- (5) Each household member must provide his or her Social Security number (SSN) per OAC 340:20-1-13(3) and 340:65-3-1(f). When the household does not provide a SSN for a household member, the worker counts that person's income but does not include him or her in household size.
(h) Benefit amount. Funding for LIHEAP is contingent on the receipt of federal funds and authorized amounts vary from year-to-year. Benefit amounts are estimated and reserved for winter heating, summer cooling, and ECAP on a yearly basis after the amount of available funding is known. OKDHS Appendix C-7-A (.pdf, 2 pp, 167 KB), Estimated LIHEAP Benefit Level For All Households, provides estimated benefit amounts for each program. Adjustments, as needed, may be made to this estimated benefit amount throughout the fiscal year because of changes in available funding or anticipated need. The household benefit amount is based upon the household's size, income, and primary energy source. • 3