liheap income limits and assets tests a review of state policies
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LIHEAP INCOME LIMITS AND ASSETS TESTS: A REVIEW OF STATE POLICIES

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LIHEAP INCOME LIMITS AND ASSETS TESTS: A REVIEW OF STATE POLICIES. INCOME MAXIMUMS: LIHEAP STATUTE. NO LOWER THAN 110% OF THE FEDERAL POVERTY INDEX NO HIGHER THAN 150% OF THE FEDERAL POVERTY INDEX, OR 60% OF THE STATE MEDIAN INCOME, WHICHEVER IS GREATER.

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income maximums liheap statute
INCOME MAXIMUMS: LIHEAP STATUTE
  • NO LOWER THAN 110% OF THE FEDERAL POVERTY INDEX
  • NO HIGHER THAN 150% OF THE FEDERAL POVERTY INDEX, OR 60% OF THE STATE MEDIAN INCOME, WHICHEVER IS GREATER
income maximums 2005 heating assistance
INCOME MAXIMUMS: 2005 HEATING ASSISTANCE
  • 110%: 4 STATES
  • 111% - 149%: 14 STATES
  • 150%: 20 STATES
  • OVER 150%: 6 STATES
  • 60% OF STATE MEDIAN INCOME: 6 STATES
  • OTHER: 1 STATE (50% OF STATE MEDIAN INCOME)
income maximums 2005 crisis assistance
INCOME MAXIMUMS 2005: CRISIS ASSISTANCE
  • 110% OF POVERTY: 2 STATES
  • 111% - 149%: 13 STATES
  • 150%: 22 STATES
  • OVER 150%: 6 STATES
  • 60% OF STATE MEDIAN INCOME: 7 STATES
  • OTHER: 1 STATE (50% OF STATE MEDIAN INCOME)
income maximum issues
INCOME MAXIMUM ISSUES
  • FEDERAL FUNDING UNCERTAINTIES
  • STATE STATUTORY, POLICY RESTRICTIONS
  • DILEMMA: PROVIDE SMALLER BENEFITS TO MORE HOUSEHOLDS OR LARGER BENEFITS TO FEWER HOUSEHOLDS?
income maximum case study indiana
INCOME MAXIMUM CASE STUDY: INDIANA
  • INCOME MAX= 125% OF POVERTY
  • RATIONALE – WITHOUT ADVANCED FUNDING, STATE DOES NOT FEEL SECURE RAISING LIMIT
income maximum case study iowa
INCOME MAXIMUM CASE STUDY: IOWA
  • INCOME MAX = 150% OF POVERTY
  • EXCEPTION – NON-REIMBURSED MEDICAL EXPENSES CAN BE DEDUCTED IF INCOME EXCEEDS 150%.
  • LITTLE WORKLOAD ISSUE
income maximum case study connecticut
INCOME MAXIMUM CASE STUDY: CONNECTICUT
  • INCOME MAX= 150% OF POVERTY
  • INCREASED MAX TO 60% OF STATE MEDIAN INCOME WHEN FEDERAL CONTINGENCY FUNDS RECEIVED
  • ISSUE – ARE DENIALS FOR OVER-INCOME RECONSIDERED WHEN MAXIMUM RAISED?
income maximum case study utah
INCOME MAXIMUM CASE STUDY: UTAH
  • INCOME MAX = 125% OF POVERTY
  • RATIONALE – DO NOT WANT TO REDUCE BENEFITS TO SERVE MORE
  • 20% REDUCTION FOR EARNED INCOME
  • DEDUCTIONS FOR MEDICAL, CHILD SUPPORT AND ALIMONY EXPENSES
income maximum case study florida
INCOME MAXIMUM CASE STUDY: FLORIDA
  • INCOME MAX = 150% OF POVERTY
  • WENT FROM 125% TO 150% 3 YEARS AGO
  • RESISTANCE TO INCREASE: BENEFITS WOULD BE TOO SMALL
  • RATIONALE FOR INCREASE: CAN NOW SERVE 2-MEMBER ELDERLY HOUSEHOLDS
income maximum case study oklahoma
INCOME MAXIMUM CASE STUDY: OKLAHOMA
  • INCOME MAX = 110% OF POVERTY
  • RATIONALE – STATE VIEWS LIHEAP AS “SAFETY NET” RATHER THAN “INCOME SUBSIDY” PROGRAM
  • SERVING ONLY 40% OF 110% GROUP
income maximum case study wisconsin
INCOME MAXIMUM CASE STUDY: WISCONSIN
  • INCOME MAX = 150% OF POVERTY
  • SET BY STATUTE, THUS DIFFICULT TO CHANGE
  • CONSIDERING FUTURE DEDUCTIONS FOR MEDICAL EXPENSES
  • CONSIDERING RE-DEFINITION OF SEASONAL INCOME
income maximum case study colorado
INCOME MAXIMUM CASE STUDY: COLORADO
  • INCOME MAX = 185% OF POVERTY
  • RATIONALE 1 – BETTER TO HELP MORE PEOPLE WITH FEWER DOLLARS THAN FEWER PEOPLE WITH MORE DOLLARS
  • RATIONALE 2 – IMPORTANT TO HELP THE “WORKING POOR”
income maximum case study colorado cont
INCOME MAXIMUM CASE STUDY: COLORADO (CONT.)
  • TWO-PAYMENT METHOD ALLOWS STATE TO ADJUST BENEFITS UP OR DOWN BASED ON AMOUNT OF AVAILABLE FUNDS
  • LIHEAP RECIPIENTS RECEIVE AUTOMATIC 60-DAY SHUTOFF HOLD
  • LOCAL FUEL FUND AIDS THOSE ABOVE LIHEAP INCOME MAX
income maximum recommendations
INCOME MAXIMUM RECOMMENDATIONS
  • SET HIGH TO HELP AS MANY HOUSEHOLDS AS POSSIBLE, ESPECIALLY THE “WORKING POOR”
  • DO NOT LOWER INCOME MAX – COLORADO EXPERIENCE RESULTED IN PERMANENT LOST CLIENTS
  • PAY IN 2 INSTALLMENTS TO ALLOW MID- COURSE BENEFIT ADJUSTMENTS
  • COORDINATE WITH LOCAL FUEL FUNDS, SO THEY HELP THOSE LIHEAP CAN’T
income maximum recommendations cont
INCOME MAXIMUM RECOMMENDATIONS (CONT.)

5. PUSH FOR FORWARD FUNDING

6. PUSH FOR INCREASED FUNDING

7. MAXIMIZE LEVERAGING EFFORTS

assets tests state breakouts
ASSETS TESTS: STATE BREAKOUTS
  • 11 STATES CURRENTLY APPLY ASSETS TESTS
  • MAXIMUM ASSETS RANGE FROM $1,500 TO $10,000
  • VARIOUS STATES ADJUST FOR HOUSEHOLD SIZE, ELDERLY, ILLNESS
  • NO STATE COUNTS HOME AS AN ASSET
  • MOST STATES CONSIDER “LIQUID” ASSETS
assets tests pro
ASSETS TESTS: PRO
  • GUARDS AGAINST HOUSEHOLDS WITH EXCESSIVE RESOURCES FROM QUALIFYING FOR LIHEAP
  • PRESERVES FUNDS FOR THOSE IN THE GREATEST NEED
  • KEEPS LIHEAP CONSISTENT WITH PUBLIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS LIKE TANF
assets tests con
ASSETS TESTS: CON
  • DISCRIMINATES AGAINST PEOPLE WHO SAVE, ESPECIALLY THE ELDERLY
  • MUCH FALSE REPORTING – PUNISHES THOSE WHO REPORT ACCURATELY
  • LOCAL OFFICE WORKLOAD
  • IF PRIMARY CAR IS EXEMPT, WHAT IF IT’S A MERCEDES?
assets tests con cont
ASSETS TESTS: CON (CONT.)
  • LENGTHENS THE LIHEAP APPLICATION FORM
  • THOSE WITH HIGH VALUE ASSETS GENERALLY WILL NOT SEEK LIHEAP ASSISTANCE ANYWAY
  • WHERE DO YOU DRAW THE LINE?
assets test elimination colorado experience
ASSETS TEST ELIMINATION: COLORADO EXPERIENCE
  • AS HEATING COSTS ROSE, ELDERLY COMPLAINED TO LEGISLATURE (2001)
  • ELDERLY DID NOT WANT TO DEPLETE SAVINGS TO QUALIFY FOR LIHEAP
  • LOCAL LIHEAP OFFICES, CLIENT ADVOCATES STRONGLY SUPPORTED END TO ASSETS TEST
assets test elimination colorado experience cont
ASSETS TEST ELIMINATION: COLORADO EXPERIENCE (CONT.)
  • ONLY .4% REPORTED ASSETS OF OVER $10,000 IN FIRST TWO YEARS AFTER TEST ENDED
  • ESTIMATED 10-15 MINUTES PER CASE SAVED IN PROCESSING TIME
  • LIHEAP APPLICATION FORM SHORTENED BY ¼ PAGE
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