340:20-1-20. Summer cooling
(a) Selected households already approved for other benefits administered by Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) Adult and Family Services are normally pre-authorized for summer cooling each year without filling out an application. Households pre-approved for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) are those who received Child Care Subsidy, Supplemental Payment (SSP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits all 12 months of the previous federal fiscal year and met all the criteria in (1) through (4) of this subsection. The household:
(1) received LIHEAP summer cooling the previous federal fiscal year;
(2) address remains the same;
(3) income did not exceed the gross income standard for its household size during the previous federal fiscal year, per OKDHS Appendix C-7, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program Income and Resource Level by Household Size; and
(4) members remain the same from the previous federal fiscal year.
(b) Households are not pre-authorized for summer cooling and winter heating in the same federal fiscal year; October through September. When households were pre-authorized for winter heating for the same fiscal year, they must complete an application for summer cooling and be approved, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:20-1-12.
(c) A designated LIHEAP summer cooling application period is opened each year federal LIHEAP funds are issued. Applications are taken until allocated funds are expended, per Section 8624 of Title 42 of the United States Code. • 1
(d) Refer to OKDHS Appendix C-7-A, Estimated Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, for estimated benefit amounts. The benefit amount is based on the household's net income and household size.
(1) The same benefit amount is approved for unsubsidized renters, roomers, and boarders with utilities included in their rent as for households that pay their cooling costs to an energy supplier. Payments for unsubsidized renters, roomers, and boarders who pay a utility surcharge included in the rent are made directly to approved households, per (g) of this Section.
(2) Acceptable verification of the surcharge may be established by an itemized statement from the landlord, a legally-binding lease agreement showing the surcharge, or a rent receipt designating that the fuel cost is separate from the total shelter payment. When a roomer or boarder lives with another household, he or she may only qualify as a separate household when he or she:
(A) is not related to the household; and
(B) provides a written lease or roommate agreement that contains a clause stating he or she is responsible for a specific portion of utility bills.
(e) In most instances, the main home energy source for cooling is electricity. When the household uses a generator to cool the home, the generator may use natural gas, propane, or gasoline.
(1) LIHEAP payments are made for utility expenses, deposits, and reconnect charges applicable to the household's primary home energy source. When the utility supplier receives payment from the client and OKDHS for reconnect charges or deposits, the utility supplier must reimburse the client for those charges.
(2) When other utilities are included with the fuel bill, such as water, sewer, or trash, the authorized benefit cannot include the other utility charges. In this situation, the applicant must provide a utility bill that itemizes the charges for each utility or this information must be obtained from the energy supplier.
(f) Payments may be made to the household to reimburse it for purchasing cooling equipment, such as fans and window air conditioning units, or to repair existing cooling equipment up to the maximum payment allowed, per Appendix C-7-A, Estimated Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Benefit Level for all Households, when the household provides proof that the purchase or repair was made within 30-calendar days of the start of the cooling application period. When the household chooses this option, it is not eligible to receive help paying its energy bill.
(g) Refer to OAC 340:20-1-14(5) for ways LIHEAP payments are made. When direct payment is made to the household instead of an energy supplier, it is made on a debit card or by direct deposit, per OAC 340:65-3-6 procedures.
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:20-1-20
1. (a) After certification, one payment is made directly to the designated supplier of the main home cooling source on behalf of approved households responsible for their own utilities unless a situation arises that may necessitate two or more payments. Examples of situations that may necessitate two or more payments include a delay in federal funding, release of contingency funds by the President of the United States, or similar situations.
(b) Payments are made weekly for the duration of the program.