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Household Composition

The LIHEAP “household” is any individual or group of individuals

  1. who are living together as one economic unit for whom residential energy is customarily purchased in common or

  2. who make undesignated payments for energy in the form of rent.

One roof, one chimney rule

The LIHEAP household may differ from the household in other DHS programs. For example, a child just visiting a relative may not be considered as a LIHEAP household member, and an elderly parent temporarily staying with his or her child after a medical procedure or hospital stay may be in a separate SNAP household but in the same LIHEAP household.

A roomer is a person who is renting a room from the LIHEAP household, and a boarder is a person who pays the LIHEAP household for lodging and food. When the LIHEAP household states there is a roomer or boarder living with the household, the person may be considered as a separate household only when:

  • the person is not related to the household; and

  • there is a written lease or roommate agreement that contains a specific clause stating the roomer or boarder is responsible for a portion of utility bills.

When there is more than one "roof" at the same property and everyone shares a meter, they must all be included in one LIHEAP application as a single household. This may occur when some of the household members live in a recreational vehicle or garage apartment.

The income and resources of all household members is considered in determining LIHEAP eligibility. This is true even when one or more household members is not eligible to be included in the benefit because he or she is an undocumented or ineligible alien or did not furnish a Social Security number.

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