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LIHEAP IM 2012-4 HHS Poverty Guidelines for Optional Use in FY 2012

Published: February 24, 2012
Audience:
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Category:
Guidance, Policies, Procedures, Information Memorandums (IM)
Transmittal No.  LIHEAP-IM-2012-04 Date:  February 24, 2012
TO:

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

GUIDANCE
INTENDED FOR: 

__X__STATES

__X__TRIBES/TRIBAL ORGANIZATIONS

__X__TERRITORIES

SUBJECT:

U.S.  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Poverty Guidelines for Optional Use in Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2012 Federal Energy Assistance Programs and Mandatory Use in FFY 2013 Federal Energy Assistance Programs

RELATED
REFERENCES:

  • The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Act, Title XXVI of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, Public Law 97-35, as amended;
  • 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);
  • Annual Update of the HHS Poverty Guidelines, Federal Register notice dated January 26, 2012 (77 FR 4034-4035)

PURPOSE:

To inform grantees of the Federal energy assistance program (the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP) about the updates to the HHS Poverty Guidelines, (also called the Federal Poverty Guidelines or FPG), which the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation of HHS (ASPE) issued on January 26, 2012.  LIHEAP grantees that base their income-eligibility criteria on FPG may use such guidelines for their FFY 2012 programs and must use such guidelines for their FFY 2013 programs.

BACKGROUND:

Section 2605(b)(2)(B) of P.L.  97-35 establishes the following requirements that LIHEAP grantees must follow in setting the income-eligibility criteria of their programs:

  • Grantees may make eligible solely on the basis of household income households with incomes which do not exceed the greater of —
    • an amount equal to 150 percent of FPG for the State; or
    • an amount equal to 60 percent of the State Median Income (SMI); and
  • 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.
 

CONTENT:

 

ASPE updated the FPG in a Federal Register notice that was published on January 26, 2012.  Attachment 1 presents the text of this notice.
LIHEAP grantees that use FPG to set their income-eligibility criteria are to do adopt such guidelines in the fashion indicated below:

Optional Use
Such grantees may adopt these guidelines at any time on or after January 26, 2012 (their date of publication in the Federal Register) and before the later of (1) October 1, 2012 (the beginning of FFY 2013); or (2) the beginning of their fiscal years.

Mandatory Use
Such grantees must adopt these guidelines by no later than the later of (1) October 1, 2012 (the beginning of FFY 2013); or (2) the beginning of their fiscal years.
Such grantees must set their income-eligibility criteria between 110 percent and 150 percent of the guidelines that they adopt.  These limits are shown in Attachment 2.

 
ATTACHMENTS:

(1)  The Federal Register Notice announcing the annual update of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, published on January 26, 2012 (77 FR 4034-4035)
(2)  100 percent, 110 percent, 150 percent of these Federal Poverty Guidelines, adjusted by family size

INQUIRIES TO:

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