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LIHEAP IM 2010-3 Appropriations and Regular Block Grant Allocations for FY 2010

Published: March 16, 2010
Audience:
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Category:
Guidance, Policies, Procedures, Information Memorandums (IM)

THIS CONTAINS INFORMATION ISSUED BY THE U.S. ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES IN LIHEAP INFORMATION MEMORANDUM TRANSMITTAL NO. LIHEAP-IM-2010-3, DATED 3/16/10

 

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

SUBJECT: LIHEAP Appropriations and Regular Block Grant Allocations for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010

RELATED REFERENCES: The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 (Public Law (P.L.) 111-117); The Human Services Amendments of 1994 (P.L. 103-252); The Human Services Reauthorization Act (P.L. 98-558) of 1984; the Low- Income Home Energy Assistance Act, Title XXVI of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 (P.L. 97-35), as amended

PURPOSE: To provide grantees with information about the $5.1 billion LIHEAP appropriation for FY 2010, including $4,509,672,000 for regular block grant funds and $590,328,000 for emergency contingency funds.

BACKGROUND: The Human Services Reauthorization Act (P.L. 98-558) of 1984 amended Section 2604(a) of the LIHEAP statute to modify the formula for allocating LIHEAP regular block grant funds to the States. See Attachment 1 for the relevant portions of this act. This modified formula (the "new formula"), calls for such funds to be distributed to each State on the basis of the percentage which expenditures for home energy by low-income households in that State (based on the most recent satisfactory data available to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)) bears to such expenditures in all States-except for reductions that ensure the following: 1) No State receives less than it would have received under the previous formula if the appropriation for that year was $1.975 billion (the "old formula"); 2) If the regular block grant fund's appropriation exceeds $2.25 billion then no State whose share of such funds is below one percent (under an appropriation of $2.25 billion) receives a lower share than it would have received under an appropriation of $2.14 billion; and 3) If the regular block grant fund's appropriation is too low to allocate such funds in the fashion described above then the amount which all States receive will be ratably reduced.

Under these conditions, the new formula kicks in when the amount of such funds that is available to the States exceeds $1.975 billion and the old formula holds when the amount of those funds equals or falls below $1.975 billion.

The Human Services Amendments of 1994 (P.L. 103-252) amended Section 2602(e) of the LIHEAP statute to provide for a permanent authorization of an emergency contingency fund. See Attachment 2 for

the relevant portions of the LIHEAP statute, as so amended. On January 20, 2010, the Secretary of Health and Human Services released $490,000,000 of these funds because of the unusually cold weather during the late fall and winter and the continuing effects of the economic downturn. See LIHEAP-IM- 2010-4 for details about this release.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-58) amended P.L. 97-35 to authorize $5.1 billion for the regular block grant fund through FY 2007. Except as modified by the appropriations for FY 2009 and FY 2010; the allocations, uses and all other conditions of these funds remain the same as those set by P.L. 97-35 as amended. See LIHEAP-IM-2009-2 for details about the FY 2009 modifications and the CONTENT section of this memorandum for details about the FY 2010 modifications.

CONTENT: On December 16, 2010, the President signed Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 (P.L. 111- 117). This law provided Federal agencies with new appropriations for FY 2010-including $5.1 billion for LIHEAP. The LIHEAP appropriation consisted of $4,509,672,000 for the regular block grant fund and $590,328,000 for the emergency contingency fund. It also contained two special provisions which superseded current law (that set by P.L. 97-35, as amended) on the allocation and use of these funds. These provisions apply only to funds that were appropriated for FY 2010 or that were available for obligation in FY 2010.

Of the $4,509,672,000 appropriated for the regular block grant fund, HHS set aside (a) $27 million for the leveraging incentive program (Leveraging) and the Residential Energy Assistance Challenge Program (REACH); and (b) $300,000 for Training and Technical Assistance (T&TA) activities. Special Provisions Affecting FY 2010 LIHEAP Funds P.L. 111-117 contained the following two provisions that superseded current law on the allocation and use of FY 2010 LIHEAP funds. These provisions apply only to funds that were appropriated for FY 2010 or that were available for obligation in FY 2010.

Provision One required HHS to allocate the $4,509,672,000 in regular block grant funds in the following fashion:

$3,669,880,000 according to the formula that normally takes effect when the regular block grant fund's appropriation falls below $1.975 million (the "old formula"); and

$839,792,000 according to the formula that normally takes effect when the regular block grant fund's appropriation exceeds $1.975 million (the "new formula").

Provision Two allowed grantees the option to set their income eligibility maximum at or below 75 percent of State median income (SMI). For FY 2010, States can set their income maximums at the higher of 150 percent of the HHS poverty guidelines or 75 percent of State median income instead of 60 percent of SMI. This provision applies only to (1) LIHEAP funds that are appropriated for FY 2010; and (2) LIHEAP funds that were appropriated for a fiscal year prior to FY 2010 but that remain available in FY 2010 (such as any funds carried over from FY 2009).

Both of these provisions are identical to special provisions that were established for the FY 2009 appropriation. In addition, the amounts appropriated for FY 2010 are the same as the amounts appropriated for FY 2009. Despite these facts, most States' FY 2010 regular block grant allocations differ from their FY 2009 regular block grant allocations. This difference is due to the updates that HHS made to the data that underlies the new formula. The new formula is updated annually each spring. As a result, some States will see increases, while others will see decreases from FY 2009. Note that this is the first time in the program's history in which the exact same appropriation level ($5.1 million) and the exact same formula methodology was used to allocate funds from one fiscal year to the next (FY 2009 and FY 2010). The new formula update for FY 2011 will be available in June 2010. We will transmit the updated information to States shortly thereafter.

See Attachment 3 for the portion of P.L. 111-117 that appropriates FY 2010 LIHEAP funds and delineates the special provisions on the allocation and use of these funds.

A table summarizing the FY 2010 LIHEAP funds is shown below. For a summary of all LIHEAP regular block grant allocations, see Attachment 4.

FY 2010 LIHEAP APPROPRIATION                   Regular Block GRANT             Emergency Contingency

Amount Appropriated                                         $4,509,672,000                          $590,328,000

Amount for Leveraging/REACH                          $27,000,000 

Amount for T & TA                                                    $300,000

Total -Leveraging, REACH and T&TA                $27,300,000 

____________________________________________________

(Totals below exclude Leveraging and REACH)

Amount Available for Grantees                           $4,482,372,000                            $590,328,000

Amount Allocated to Grantees                            $4,482,372,000                            $490,000,000

Total FY 2010 Funds Allocated to Grantees                                   $4,972,372,000

Total FY 2010 Funds                                                     $100,328,000 (emergency Remaining for contingency)

Total FY 2010 Funds                                                                      $5.1 billion Appropriated

____________________________________________________

HHS allocated the $839,792,000 by (1) adding to that figure the amount that triggers the New Formula ($1.975 billion); (2) determining, through the New Formula, the hypothetical State and Territorial allocations under an appropriation at this level ($2,814,792,000); (3) determining, through the New Formula, the hypothetical State and Territorial allocations under an appropriation of $1.975 billion; and (4) subtracting the State and Territorial allocations of $1.975 billion from the State and Territorial allocations of $2,814,792,000.

HHS allocated regular block grant funds to each direct-funded Tribe and Tribal Organization by deducting (setting aside) such funds from the gross allocation(s) of the State(s) in which the Tribe's low income households reside.

Uses of FY 2010 Block Grant Funds

With the exception of Provision Two, which allows grantees to raise their income eligibility maximum to a level at or below 75 percent of SMI, the normal LIHEAP rules apply to the regular block grant funds. Grantees may use these funds for any purpose authorized under the LIHEAP statute (including heating assistance, crisis assistance, weatherization, administrative costs, Assurance 16 activities, and carryover). Grantees must obligate at least 90 percent of the regular block grant funds no later than September 30, 2010. Grantees may carry over up to 10 percent of these funds into FY 2011.

Leveraging, REACH and T & TA

HHS plans to set aside $27 million for the Leveraging and REACH programs. HHS awarded $1,015,000 in REACH funds-based upon FY 2009 REACH applications-shortly after passage of the first Continuing Resolution in October. We plan to award an additional $1 million of REACH funds-based upon FY 2010 applications submitted by March 30, 2010. Approximately $25 million will be issued under the leveraging incentive program, based upon the leveraging applications that were submitted in accordance with LIHEAP-AT-2009-8.

HHS set aside the total $300,000 allowed for T&TA activities. If less money is needed for this purpose, HHS will redistribute the unused portion to LIHEAP grantees under the regular block grant.

ATTACHMENTS: (1) A copy of the relevant portions of the Human Services Reauthorization Act (P.L. 98-558)

(2) A copy of the relevant portions of Title XXVI of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 (the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981), as amended (P.L. 97-35)

(3) A copy of the relevant portions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 (P.L. 111-117)

(4) Regular LIHEAP Block Grant allocations of $4,509,672,000 to States, Territories and Indian Tribes/Tribal Organizations.

 

________________/s_______________
Nick St. Angelo
Director
Division of Energy Assistance
Office of Community Services

 

 

 

                                                                                                                         Attachment 1

98 STAT. 2878

PUBLIC LAW 98-558-OCT. 30, 1984

Public Law 98-558 98th Congress

An Act

Oct. 30, 1984

[S. 2565] To extend programs under the Head Start Act, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited as the "Human Services Reauthorization Act".

TITLE VI-LOW-INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE

STATE ALLOTMENTS

SEC. 604. (a) Section 2604(a)(2) is amended to read as follows: "(2) For purposes of paragraph (I), for fiscal year 1985 and thereafter, a State's allotment percentage is the percentage which expenditures for home energy by low-income households in that State bears to such expenditures in all States, except that States which thereby receive the greatest proportional increase in allotments by reason of the application of this paragraph from the amount they received 97 Stat. 871. pursuant to Public Law 98- 139 shall have their allotments reduced to the extent necessary to ensure that- "

(A)(i) no State for fiscal year 1985 shall receive less than the amount of funds the State received in fiscal year 1984; and "

(ii) no State for fiscal year 1986 and thereafter shall receive less than the amount of funds the State would have received in fiscal year 1984 if the appropriations for this title for fiscal year 1984 had been $1,975,000,000, and "

(B) any State whose allotment percentage out of funds available to States from a total appropriation of $2,250,000,000 would be less than 1 percent, shall not, in any year when total appropriations equal or exceed $2,250,000,000, have its allotment percentage reduced from the percentage it would receive from a total appropriation of $2,140,000,000."

(b) Section 2604(a) is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new paragraph: "

(4) For the purpose of this section, the Secretary shall determine the expenditure for home energy by low-income households on the basis of the most recent satisfactory data available to the Secretary."

 

                                                                                                                             Attachment 2

Title XXVI of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, P.L. 97-35

LOW-INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1981 as amended

SHORT TITLE Section 2601.

This title may be cited as the "Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981".

HOME ENERGY GRANTS AUTHORIZED

Section 2602.

(e) There is authorized to be appropriated in each fiscal year for payments under this title, in addition to amounts appropriated for distribution to all the States in accordance with section 2604 (other than subsection (e) of such section), $600,000,000 to meet the additional home energy assistance needs of one or more States arising from a natural disaster or other emergency. Funds appropriated pursuant to this subsection are hereby designated to be emergency requirements pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(D) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, except that such funds shall be made available only after the submission to Congress of a formal budget request by the President (for all or a part of the appropriation pursuant to this subsection) that includes a designation of the amount requested as an emergency requirement as defined in such Act.

DEFINITIONS

Section 2603.As used in this title:

(1) The term "emergency" means-

(A) a natural disaster;

(B) a significant home energy supply shortage or disruption;

(C) a significant increase in the cost of home energy, as determined by the Secretary;

(D) a significant increase in home energy disconnections reported by a utility, a State regulatory agency, or another agency with necessary data;

(E) a significant increase in participation in a public benefit program such as the food stamp program carried out under the Food Stamp Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.), the national program to provide supplemental security income carried out under title XVI of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1381 et seq.) or the State temporary assistance for needy families program carried out under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), as determined by the head of the appropriate Federal agency;

(F) a significant increase in unemployment, layoffs, or the number of households with an individual applying for unemployment benefits, as determined by the Secretary of Labor; or

(G) an event meeting such criteria as the Secretary, in the discretion of the Secretary, may determine to be appropriate.

(7) The term "natural disaster" means a weather event (relating to cold or hot weather), flood, earthquake, tornado, hurricane, or ice storm, or an event meeting such other criteria as the Secretary, in the discretion of the Secretary, may determine to be appropriate.

(9) The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Section 2604.

(e) Notwithstanding subsections (a) through (d), the Secretary may allot amounts appropriated pursuant to section 2602(e) to one or more than one State. In determining whether to make such an allotment to a State, the Secretary shall take into account the extent to which the State was affected by the natural disaster or other emergency involved, the availability to the State of other resources under the program carried out under this title or any other program, and such other factors as the Secretary may find to be relevant. Not later than 30 days after making the determination, but prior to releasing an allotted amount to a State, the Secretary shall notify Congress of the allotments made pursuant to this subsection.

 

                                                                                                                        Attachment 3

H.R.3288 (P.L. 111-117) Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010

SEC. 4. STATEMENT OF APPROPRIATIONS. The following sums in this Act are appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010.

DIVISION D--DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2010

TITLE II

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Administration for Children and Families

low income home energy assistance

For making payments under subsections (b), (d), and (e) of section 2602 of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981, $5,100,000,000, of which $4,509,672,000 shall be for payments under subsections (b) and (d) of such section; and of which $590,328,000 shall be for payments under subsection (e) of such section, to be made notwithstanding the designation requirements of such subsection: Provided, That all but $839,792,000 of the amount provided in this Act for subsections (b) and (d) shall be allocated as though the total appropriation for such payments for fiscal year 2010 was less than $1,975,000,000: Provided further, That notwithstanding section 2605(b)(2)(B)(ii) of such Act, a State may use any amount of an allotment from prior appropriations Acts that is available to that State for providing assistance in fiscal year 2010, and any allotment from funds appropriated in this Act or any other appropriations Act for fiscal year 2010, to provide assistance to households whose income does not exceed 75 percent of the State median income.