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LIHEAP AT 2014-5 Household Report for FY 2014

Published: August 27, 2014
Audience:
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Category:
Guidance, Policies, Procedures, Action Transmittal

LOW-INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE

Action Transmittal

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Community Services
Division of Energy Assistance
370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20447
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/programs/liheap

Transmittal No.  LIHEAP-AT-2014-5                               Date:  August 27, 2014

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

ACTION
INTENDED FOR: __X___STATES

                          __X___TRIBES/TRIBAL ORGANIZATIONS

                          __X___TERRITORIES

SUBJECT: LIHEAP Household Report for Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2014 – Short Form and Long Form

RELATED 
REFERENCES: Sections 2605(c)(1)(G) and 2610(b) of the Low Income Home Energy
Assistance Act of 1981 (title XXVI of Public Law 97-35, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, as amended); 45 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 96; House Report 103-483 and Senate Report 103-251 on S. 2000, the predecessor to Public Law 103-252 (the Human Services Amendments of 1994); OMB Control No. 0970-0060 (Expiration Date─October 31, 2014); Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; LIHEAP Information Transmittal (IM) 09-03, dated January 26, 2009; LIHEAP Action Transmittal (AT) 11-06, dated July 25, 2011.

PURPOSE: To remind all LIHEAP grantees to include required data for the LIHEAP Household Report for FFY 2014 (October 1, 2013 – September 30, 2014) as part of their LIHEAP grant application for FFY 2015, submitted through the Administration of Children and Families’ On-Line Data Collection System (OLDC). 

• Direct-grant Indian Tribes/Tribal Organizations and Insular Areas (other than the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico) are to complete the LIHEAP Household Report for FFY 2014 – Short Form.

• The 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (hereafter referred to as “states”) are to complete the LIHEAP Household Report for FFY 2014 – Long Form.

BACKGROUND: Under the amendments to the LIHEAP statute enacted in 1994 (Public Law 103-252), LIHEAP grant applications must include a report on LIHEAP households for the previous Federal Fiscal Year.  We require grantees to report LIHEAP household data, using the designated Short Form or Long Form of the LIHEAP Household Report, as indicated above.

Information collection activities, such as the LIHEAP Household Report, must receive approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in accordance with Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. OMB approved both forms of the LIHEAP Household Report through October 31, 2014.

We notified grantees of OMB’s action through LIHEAP Information Memorandum (IM) 2009-03, dated January 26, 2009.  As stated in that IM, states are required to submit additional data, beginning for FFY 2011, to provide Congress and the Administration an unduplicated count of LIHEAP assisted households receiving any type of LIHEAP assistance.

Some States have experienced problems in reporting some or all of the additional data, especially as they concern including LIHEAP weatherized households in the unduplicated count of households receiving any type of LIHEAP assistance.  Where necessary, we have requested states to address reporting issues in order for complete and accurate household data to be reported for FFY 2014.

CONTENT: Considerable time is spent in working with a number of grantees on the following reporting issues related to the LIHEAP Household Report:

• Submitting the LIHEAP Household Report after the deadline without first consulting with our office;

• Failure to follow the report instructions and/or notifying us whether the instructions need to be revised to clarify misunderstandings;

• Failure to include types of assistance that are indicated in state’s LIHEAP plan, such as LIHEAP funds used for weatherization that is administered by another agency through the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP);

• Inadequate data collection systems;

• Utilizing warning messages; and

• Reporting on households assisted with LIHEAP funds without adequate notation—examples include home energy repair or replacement; Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) nominal payments.

Such issues have contributed to the delay in completing the annual LIHEAP Report to Congress.  The transition to reporting the household data through OLDC should provide for the reporting of accurate and complete data, resulting in less follow up calls/emails to grantees for clarifications.

OLDC has built-in validations in the LIHEAP Household Report for FFY 2014 to help grantees ensure that data submitted to our office is accurate.  Once all data is entered and the report is validated in OLDC, these validations will check the data entered by the grantee.  There are two types of validations:  Warnings and Errors.

• A “warning” notifies the grantee of a possible inconsistency or mistake in the data.  Grantees are encouraged to double check the fields described in the warning to make sure all information is correct.  Grantees will be able to certify and submit the report without changing any data that led to a warning.

• An “error” notifies the grantee of a mistake that must be corrected prior to the report being submitted to our office.  OLDC will not allow a report to be certified and submitted until the error has been addressed.

Once the LIHEAP Household Report for FFY 2014 has been submitted, we will notify a state of any reporting deficiencies not identified or resolved through OLDC and request a plan for remedial action.  At the same time, we will continue to work with states that seek help in completing its report.

Please review the following items that are further described in the attached reporting instructions for the LIHEAP Household Report.

• A grant award will not be made for FFY 2015 until we receive the grantee’s complete data, as specified in the LIHEAP Household Report for FFY 2014, and all other application requirements have been met.

• Estimated (rather than actual) LIHEAP household data will be accepted with the FFY 2015 LIHEAP grant applications so as not to delay the awarding of first quarter LIHEAP grants for FFY 2015.

• Grantees are to submit actual household data for the LIHEAP Household Report for FFY 2014 by December 15, 2014 (this also is the deadline for state, Tribal, and Insular Area grantees to submit additional information to complete their block grant application/plans for FFY 2015.  Actual, not estimated, state-level data are required for the LIHEAP Report to Congress for FFY 2014.

As with the LIHEAP Household Report for FFY 2013, the LIHEAP Household Report for FFY 2014 is submitted through OLDC.  The substance of the report and the data elements required have not changed from FFY 2013.  As stated last year, we will no longer be accepting submissions via email, fax, or mail. Paper copies will not be accepted.

Attachment A includes the revised portion of the instructions on counting households by poverty level, using the 2013 HHS Poverty Guidelines.

INQUIRIES TO: For questions regarding accurate completion of the Household Report, contact:

Leon Litow, Lead Energy Assistance Program Specialist
Division of Energy Assistance
Office of Community Services
Administration for Children and Families, HHS
370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W.
Washington, D.C.  20447
202-401-5304 (Voice)
202-401-5661 (Fax)
llitow@acf.hhs.gov
www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/liheap/

For questions regarding accessing OLDC and or completing the OLDC form, contact your LIHEAP regional liaison.

SUBMISSION TO: The deadline for all grantees to submit to OLDC their LIHEAP Household
Report for FFY 14 is September 1, 2014, along with their FY 2015 LIHEAP Plan, Program Integrity Assessment, and Certifications.  This date may be extended for Tribal grantees if the State(s) in which the Tribe is located agrees to a later date.  The date may be extended for State or Territorial grantees if HHS agrees to a later date.  However, extensions of the September 1 deadline may not be made unless the grantee requests the extension before the deadline.

OLDC can be accessed here:  https://extranet.acf.hhs.gov/ssi/.  If you have not yet created an account in OLDC, contact your LIHEAP regional liaison for assistance. 

ATTACHMENTS:

A. Instructions for the LIHEAP Household Report for FFY 2014—Long Form
B. Instructions for the LIHEAP Household Report for FFY 2014—Short Form



___/s/______________________________
Jeannie Chaffin
Director
Office of Community Services