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LIHEAP IM 2011-08 Federal Poverty Guidelines for Optional Use in FY 2011 and Mandatory Use in FY 2012

Published: April 13, 2011
Audience:
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Category:
Guidance, Policies, Procedures, Information Memorandums (IM)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Community Services
Division of State Assistance
370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20447

Transmittal No.  LIHEAP-IM-2011-08            Date:  April 13, 2011

TO: LOW INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (LIHEAP) GRANTEES AND OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES

GUIDANCE
INTENDED FOR:
__X__STATES

__X__TRIBES/TRIBAL ORGANIZATIONS

__X__TERRITORIES

TO:  LOW INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (LIHEAP) GRANTEES

SUBJECT:  Federal Poverty Guidelines for Optional Use in federal Fiscal Year 2011 LIHEAP Programs and Mandatory Use in Federal Fiscal Year 2012 LIHEAP Programs

RELATED
REFERENCES:
(1) The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Act, Title XXVI of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, Public Law 97-35, as amended;

(2) 45 CFR 96.85 (a), Income Eligibility — Final Rule, published in the Federal Register March 3, 1988 (53 FR 6827) and amended October 15, 1999 (64 FR 55858);

(3) Annual Update of the HHS Poverty Guidelines, Federal Register notice dated January 20, 2011 (76 FR 3637-3638)

PURPOSE:
To provide LIHEAP grantees the HHS Poverty Guidelines (Federal Poverty Guidelines, or FPG), which were issued on January 20, 2011 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), for optional use in Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2011 Federal energy assistance programs and mandatory use in FFY 2012 Federal energy assistance programs.

BACKGROUND:
Section 2605(b)(2)(B) of P.L. 97-35 establishes the following limits within which grantees must set their LIHEAP income-eligibility requirements:

(1) Grantees may make eligible solely on the basis of household income households with incomes which do not exceed the greater of—

(A) an amount equal to 150 percent of FPG for such State; or

(B) an amount equal to 60 percent of the State Median Income (SMI); and
(2) Grantees may not exclude from eligibility solely on the basis of income households with incomes which fall below 110 percent of FPG for such State—though grantees may give priority to those households with the highest home energy costs or needs in relation to household income.

For Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2011 through April 15, 2011, Congress raised the percentage of SMI from 60 percent to 75 percent.  Thus, through April 15, 2011, grantees may set their FFY 2011 income eligibility limits anywhere between (1) the greatest of 150 percent of FPG and 75 percent of SMI; and (2) 110 percent of FPG.  Congress has yet to take such action for any period after April 15, 2011.
CONTENT:


Attachment 1 presents the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) that were published in the Federal Register on January 20, 2011 by the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation of HHS.  Attachment 2 presents the figures that show 110 percent and 150 percent of these guidelines.

Optional Use

LIHEAP grantees, insofar as they use FPG to set their programs’ income eligibility limit, may adopt these guidelines at any time between January 20, 2011 (their date of publication in the Federal Register) and the later of (1) October 1, 2011 (the beginning of FFY 2012); or (2) the beginning of their fiscal years.

Mandatory Use

LIHEAP grantees, insofar as they use FPG to set their programs’ income eligibility limit, must adopt these guidelines by the later of (1) October 1, 2011 (the beginning of FFY 2012); or (2) the beginning of their fiscal years.

ATTACHMENTS:
(1) The Federal Register Notice announcing the annual update of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, published on January 20, 2011 (76 FR 3637-3638)
(2) 100 percent, 110 percent, 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, adjusted by family size

INQUIRIES:
Peter Edelman, Program Analyst
Division of Energy Assistance
Office of Community Services, ACF, HHS
370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W.
Washington, D.C.  20447
(202) 401-5292
E-mail: peter.edelman@acf.hhs.gov

 


_______/s/_________________
Nick St. Angelo
Director
Division of Energy Assistance
Office of Community Services