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LIHEAP IM 2010-9 State Median Income Estimates for Optional Use in FY 2010

Published: May 12, 2010
Audience:
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Category:
Guidance, Policies, Procedures, Information Memorandums (IM)
Transmittal No.  LIHEAP-IM-2010-9
Date:  May 12, 2010
TO:

LOW INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (LIHEAP) GRANTEES

SUBJECT:

State Median Income Estimates for Optional Use in Federal Fiscal Year 2010 LIHEAP Programs and Mandatory Use in Federal Fiscal Year 2011 LIHEAP Programs 

RELATED REFERENCES:

Federal Register notice dated May 12, 2010 (75 FR 26780-26782); 45 CFR 96.85 (b); 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 LIHEAP grantees the State median income estimates for Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2011.

BACKGROUND:

Section 2605(b)(2)(B) of P.L. 97-35 establishes 60 percent of a State's median income (SMI) as the maximum allowed in determining income eligibility for LIHEAP, except in States where 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) is higher.  According to this section, LIHEAP grantees may set their income eligibility guidelines anywhere between this maximum and the minimum of 110 percent of the FPG.

The legislation that governed LIHEAP’s last two appropriations overrode the 60 percent-of-SMI limit and raised this limit to 75 percent of SMI.  This change, however, applies only to Federal Fiscal Years (FFYs) 2009 and 2010.

Content:

 

The Census Bureau updated for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) each State's median income estimate for a 4-person family.  HHS calculated 60 percent of such estimates and published the resulting figures in the Federal Register on May 12, 2010.  For four-person households, LIHEAP grantees that use SMI may set their income-eligibility limits no higher than these figures—provided the FFY 2011 LIHEAP appropriation fails to override the SMI-based limit.  (see Attachment A) .

In this memorandum, HHS shows additional calculations.  These consist of 60 percent of each State’s median income estimate for households of one to six members.  HHS also indicates how to calculate each such estimate for households of more than six members.  For other-than-four-person households, LIHEAP grantees that use SMI may set their income-eligibility limits no higher than these figures—provided the FFY 2011 LIHEAP appropriation fails to override the SMI-based limit. (see Attachment B).

The provision that raised the SMI-based limit to 75 percent applied only to LIHEAP funds that were appropriated for, or available in, FFY 2009 and FFY 2010.  HHS doesn’t know if this provision will return for FFY 2011.  As a result, HHS provides two sets of SMI-based figures—one at 60 percent and the other at 75 percent—for grantees to use.  The 60 percent figures are presented here in Attachment A and Attachment B.  HHS will inform grantees about which figures to use once that information becomes available.

Optional Use

LIHEAP grantees may adopt the FFY 2011 SMI estimates at any time between May 12, 2010 (the date of publication in the Federal Register) and October 1, 2010 (the beginning of FFY 2011).

Mandatory Use

LHEAP grantees must adjust their program's income eligibility criteria so that they are in accord with these estimates by October 1, 2010 (the beginning of FFY 2011) or by the beginning of their fiscal years, whichever is later.

ATTACHMENTS:   

A—Federal Register Notice, published on May 12, 2010 (75 FR 26780-26782))
B—60 percent of estimated State median income adjusted for family size, by State, FFY 2011


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/________________
                                                            Yolanda J. Butler, Ph.D.
                                                            Acting Director
                                                            Office of Community Services