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LIHEAP IM 2012-6 State Median Income Estimates for Optional Use in FY 2012

Published: March 15, 2012
Audience:
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Category:
Guidance, Policies, Procedures, Information Memorandums (IM)

 

Transmittal No.  LIHEAP-IM-2012-06

Date:  March 15, 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:

State Median Income Estimates for Optional Use in Federal Fiscal Year 2012 LIHEAP Programs and Mandatory Use in Federal Fiscal Year 2013 LIHEAP 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 (b), Income Eligibility — Final Rule, published in the Federal Register on March 3, 1988 (53 FR 6827) and amended October 15, 1999 (64 FR 55858); and
  • Annual Update of the LIHEAP State Median Income estimates, published in the Federal Register on March 15, 2012 (77 FR 15376-15378).

PURPOSE:

To provide to LIHEAP grantees the State Median Income (SMI) estimates for use in LIHEAP programs for Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2013.

BACKGROUND:

Section 2605(b)(2)(B) of P.L. 97-35 sets the maximum allowed in determining income eligibility for LIHEAP at 60 percent of SMI, except where 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) is higher.  LIHEAP grantees may set their programs’ income eligibility criteria anywhere between 110 percent of FPG and this maximum.

 

CONTENT:

 

In this memorandum, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announces that it has updated the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) income-eligibility limits based upon State Median Income (SMI).  These limits make up part of the maxima that LIHEAP grantees may use in setting their programs’ income eligibility criteria.  LIHEAP grantees may set such criteria anywhere between 110 percent of Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) and this maximum.

HHS calculated these limits from the SMI estimates for a 4-person family developed by the United States Census Bureau (Census Bureau).  HHS assimilated the Census Bureau’s estimates for a family into the income eligibility criteria for a household because the estimates for a household are not available.  HHS calculated 60 percent of such estimates and published the resulting figures in the Federal Register on March 15, 2012.  See Attachment 1 for the complete text of this notice.

HHS calculated these limits for households of sizes other than 4 persons under the methodology specified in 45 CFR 96.85.  This methodology calls for HHS to multiply the limit for a four-person household by the following: (1) 52 percent for one person; (2) 68 percent for two persons; (3) 84 percent for three persons; (4) 100 percent for four persons; (5) 116 percent for five persons; and (6) 132 percent for six persons.  HHS did not calculate the limits for households of sizes greater than six persons; however, those limits are based on that for a four-person family times the sum of 132 percent and 3 percentage points for each household member above six.  See Attachment 2 for (1) the 60 percent of SMI figures for households of sizes one through six; and (2) a reiteration of the instructions for calculating 60 percent of SMI for households of sizes greater than six.

Grantees should determine the SMI-based limits on household size, not family size.  However, because the figures presented in the Federal Register and here show such limits by family size, grantees should consider the applicable limit for a family, as presented here, to be that for a household in their programs.

Grantees must limit LIHEAP eligibility to 150 percent of the FPG or 60 percent of SMI.  Grantees must set LIHEAP income-eligibility at or below the greater of these two levels; however, they may not set LIHEAP income-eligibility below 110 percent of the FPG.

Optional Use

Grantees, insofar as they use SMI to set their programs’ income eligibility criteria, may adopt these estimates at any time between March 15, 2012 (the date of publication in the Federal Register) and the later of (1) October 1, 2012 (the beginning of FFY 2013); or (2) the beginning of the grantee’s fiscal year.

Mandatory Use

LIHEAP grantees, insofar as they use SMI to set their programs’ income eligibility criteria, must adopt these estimates by the later of (1) October 1, 2012 (the beginning of FFY 2013); or (2) the beginning of the grantee’s fiscal year.

 
ATTACHMENTS:

(1) Federal Register Notice, published on March 15, 2012 (77 FR 15376-15378)

(2) 60 percent of estimated State median income adjusted for family size, by State, FFY 2013

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

Signed:

 

________/s_______________________
Nick St.  Angelo
Director
Division of Energy Assistance
Office of Community Services