340:20-1-19. Winter heating
(a) Selected households approved for other benefits administered by Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) Adult and Family Services are normally pre-authorized for winter heating each year without filing an application. Households pre-approved for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) are those who received Child Care Subsidy, State 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 winter heating 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 winter heating and summer cooling in the same federal fiscal year; October through September. When households were pre-authorized for summer cooling for the same federal fiscal year, they must complete an application for winter heating and be approved, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:20-1-12.
(c) A designated LIHEAP winter heating 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, household size, heating source, and if the heating bill is included in the rent amount or paid separately.
(1) Payments for unsubsidized renters, roomers, and boarders who pay a surcharge for utilities included in their 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) Main home energy sources for heating include natural gas, electricity, propane, firewood, kerosene, coal, or butane. When the household uses a generator to heat 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 main source of home energy. When the utility supplier receives payment from the household and OKDHS for reconnect charges or deposits, the utility supplier must reimburse the client for those charges.
(2) When other utilities, such as water, sewer, or trash, are included with the fuel bill, 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 are not made for:
(2) emergency home repair;
(3) new or additional heating equipment or heating appliances;
(4) propane tank rental, hook-up, inspection, delivery, or other service charges; or
(5) utility charges carried over from a previous utility account or that is in debt collection due to non-payment, unless the client moved to a new location because of a domestic violence situation and provides proof of the domestic violence, such as a police report.
(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 340:20-1-19
1. (a) After certification, one payment is made directly to the designated supplier of the main home heating 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.