LIHEAP Eligibility Criteria
The LIHEAP statute establishes 150 percent of the poverty level as the maximum income level allowed in determining LIHEAP income eligibility, except where 60 percent of state median income is higher. Income eligibility criteria for LIHEAP may not be set lower than 110 percent of the poverty.
The Federal government issues the poverty levels as the HHS Poverty Guidelines and state median income as State Median Income Estimates. Updates of both the HHS Poverty Guidelines and State Median Income Estimates are published each winter in the Federal Register.
As of October 1, 2012 (the beginning of FY 2013), the 2013 HHS Poverty Guidelines and State Median Income Estimates for FY 2013 were in effect for LIHEAP.
Under the law, LIHEAP grantees have the flexibility of serving households having at least one member who also receives assistance under any of the following Federal programs (referred to as categorical eligibility):
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Supplemental Security Income
Food Stamps. As of October 1, 2008, the new name for Food Stamps is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) certain needs-tested Veteran Benefits.
Other Eligibility Criteria
LIHEAP grantees have the flexibility of serving only those income eligible households that meet additional LIHEAP eligibility criteria, such as passing an assets test, residence in non-subsidized housing; or receipt of a utility disconnection notice.