LIHEAP DCL Behind on Bills

Publication Date: October 19, 2016

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

Dear Colleague Letter

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Community Services
Division of Energy Assistance
333 C Street, S.W., Mail Room 5425
Washington, D.C. 20201

Re: Webinar Nov 2 on Behind on Bills Financial Coaching Tool

Date: October 19, 2016

Dear Colleagues:

The Office of Community Services (OCS) will be jointly hosting three webinars this fall with the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regarding a new tool called "Behind on Bills." This tool assists intake workers with financial coaching around bill payment behavior. As you may be aware, you may use up to 5 percent of your annual LIHEAP grant towards Assurance 16 activities, and financial coaching and education are allowable examples of such activities.

Upcoming Webinars

The webinars will be held:

  • Nov 2 at 4pm ET for State and territory LIHEAP and CSBG Directors
  • Nov 8 at 1pm for LIHEAP and CSBG frontline staff
  • Nov 15 at 1pm for ACF tribal grantees

To join any of these webinars:

Call: 1-877-423-6338 and Enter passcode: 100641 #

Go to:

About the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Your Money, Your Goals

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a federal government agency created to protect consumers in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. It works to make consumer financial markets work for consumers, responsible providers, and the economy as a whole. Within the CFPB, the Office of Financial Empowerment works to empower low-income and economically vulnerable consumers to make informed financial decisions by providing them with tools and information and by promoting a more inclusive and fair financial marketplace.

Your Money, Your Goals is a financial empowerment toolkit consisting of a set of modules that social service agencies can integrate into their daily work with clients. These modules function independently of one another; can be used in any combination or order, and are appropriate for a wide variety of client populations.

A few weeks ago, the CFPB launched Behind on Bills, a new Your Money, Your Goals resource that makes it easier for frontline staff to share hands-on financial capability tools with the people they serve.

About Behind on Bills

Behind on Bills features eight tools that can help people:

  • Set financial goals
  • Track and manage income and spending
  • Plan for and prioritize their bills and expenses
  • Understand their rights and responsibilities when they’re contacted by debt collectors

This is a companion resource that could work alongside the full Your Money, Your Goals toolkit — or stand on its own. It’s colorful and compact and is designed so frontline staff can navigate it quickly when carrying it along for offsite meetings or appointments.

Each tool begins with a question you can use to start a conversation about that topic and tells you what you’ll need to complete it, and the page folds out to a letter-sized sheet that you can copy. On the back of each tool you’ll find additional resources and follow-up steps.

Ideas for Using Behind on Bills

  • If sub-grantees have a long-term relationship with clients, case managers can review one or two tools at each appointment. At the conclusion of one appointment, the client can take Behind on Bills home and work on the tool(s) to be discussed at the next appointment.
  • Behind on Bills can be incorporated into the financial education workshops that are already being held by sub-grantees. The workshop can walk participants through some of the tools, depending on the needs of the participants.
  • Frontline staff working with clients in an energy crisis can use the tools in Behind on Bills to help clients come up with a strategy to prevent future crisis situations.
  • Clients can look through Behind on Bills while waiting to be seen for their appointment. The frontline staff can then ask if any of the tools seemed relevant to the client’s current situation and discuss one or two tools with them.
  • Frontline staff doing home visits can take Behind on Bills with them and use whichever tools are most relevant to the situation at hand.

It’s in the Mail!

Expect to receive a copy of Behind on Bills from the CFPB in the next 7-10 days. If you are interested in receiving additional copies, you can order more free of charge from the Government Printing Office. Shipment usually takes 3-4 weeks.

You may contact your ACF liaison with our office or Ms. Yuliya Rzad with the CFPB with any questions about this resource.

Lauren Christopher
Division of Energy Assistance
Office of Community Services

Current as of: