Expedited or Automatic Eligibility
Note: The LIHEAP statute (Section 2605(b)(2)(A) of Public Law 97-35 as amended) defines who may be eligible for the program and allows states to define certain households as “categorically eligible” because they receive benefits under TANF, SNAP, SSI, or certain means-tested veterans programs. However, they must also offer eligibility to households on the basis of income, as required by Section 2605(b)(2)(B), (see LIHEAP income eligibility tables). As shown in the table below, some states allow expedited eligibility for all or some categorically eligible households with varying restrictions. Reasons for expedited eligibility determination include administrative efficiency and/or targeting the program to certain households such as the poorest of the poor, or those with elderly or disabled members or young children.
Arkansas | Connecticut | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky
Louisiana | Michigan | Montana | Nebraska | New Jersey | New York | Oklahoma | South Carolina | Texas | Virginia | Wisconsin
Arkansas: No automatic eligibility and/or payment. However, elderly and disabled households who receive SNAP are mailed applications to apply for LIHEAP if they meet the eligibility guidelines. Their benefit amount is predetermined based upon payment levels, which are based upon the household's size and monthly income. If the applications are returned, the households will receive the predetermined amount.
Connecticut: Any household in which all household members are participating in one or more of the following DSS programs will automatically be considered income eligible for the CEAP, but must meet all other eligibility requirements to receive benefits:
- Temporary Family Assistance
- State Supplement to the Aged, Blind and Disabled
- Refugee Cash Assistance Program
- The household is sent a letter at the beginning of each year that asks whether anything has changed since the previous year.
- At least one member of the household is 60 years of age or older or is disabled.
- Major income sources are fixed benefits such as SSA, SSI, or VA.
- Savings of all types are $15,000 or less.
When it is determined that a household meets these criteria, the CAA will approve the application at the appropriate assistance level utilizing information from the previous application. The household is sent a letter at the beginning of each year that basically asks has anything changed since the previous year. The household only has to be recertified through the normal application process every 5 years.
Michigan: Categorical eligibility and automatic payments are allowed for households that receive TANF, SSI or SNAP. Eligibility for this group is 110 percent or less of federal poverty guidelines. All other groups must meet income guidelines set at 60 percent of state median income. Assets are not counted when determining eligibility for any group.
Nebraska: If a household is identified as pure TANF or Aid to the Aged, Blind and Disabled, the household is automatically eligible for LIHEAP heating and cooling if they meet the criteria as being economically vulnerable. All households found eligible for LIHEAP are automatically referred to weatherization without having to file a separate application.
Nevada: Households are automatically
(categorically) eligible if ALL members of the household are eligible and
receiving one or more of the following benefits: TANF, SSI, Food
Stamps, or means-tested Veteran Disability benefits.
New Jersey: Automatic payments for Food Stamp eligible households. "Certain households eligible for and receiving nonpublic assistance SNAP will receive automatic payments based on income, household size, heating arrangement and fuel type contained in computer records maintained by the Division of Family Development."
Texas: Automatically eligible households include those that, during the 12-month period preceding the determination of eligibility for assistance, contained a member who received cash assistance payments under Title IV or XVI (SSI) of the Social Security Act (or applicable State or local law); SNAP (Food Stamp Act of 1977); or payments under section 415, 521, 541, or 542 of title 38, United States Code, or under section 306 of the Veterans' and Survivors' Pension Improvement Act of 1978.
Virginia: Cases from the Fuel database that match specific criteria with cases in the Food Stamp database and meet other eligibility criteria are automatically approved for Fuel Assistance. Approximately 15 percent of the statewide Fuel caseload receives a Pre-Approval Notice instead of a preprinted Fuel application. Households that have been pre-approved do not need to apply; however, they are responsible for reporting changes to printed data included on their Pre-Approval Notice. Assuming all other eligible criteria are met, households in which all members are receiving SSI are considered income eligible regardless of total household income.
Wisconsin: Categorical eligibility for heating and crisis assistance if the household is composed entirely of members receiving SSI, TANF, or SNAP for at least 3 months. Households are categorically eligible for weatherization if one member receives SSI or TANF for the last consecutive 12 months. The household must still satisfy the non-financial eligibility tests such as residence, social security numbers for all, and have an energy burden.