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2014 Energy Assistance Public Hearing Cleveland 07/23/2013

2014 Energy Assistance Public Hearing Cleveland 07/23/2013. Agenda. HEAP and Winter Crisis Updates Guideline Changes Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) Plus Updates Testimonies & Questions. HEAP and Winter Crisis Updates. 2013 Energy Assistance Programs.

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2014 Energy Assistance Public Hearing Cleveland 07/23/2013

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  1. 2014 Energy Assistance Public Hearing Cleveland 07/23/2013

  2. Agenda • HEAP and Winter Crisis Updates • Guideline Changes • Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) Plus Updates • Testimonies & Questions

  3. HEAP and Winter Crisis Updates

  4. 2013 Energy Assistance Programs

  5. 2014 Energy Assistance Programs Proposed Funding Level Need updated based on information shared by NEADA *Estimatebased upon Ohio’s allocation of projected funding level for LIHEAP as proposed by the Administration. **Both the Senate and House Appropriations Committees have approved approximately $3.4 Billion which is approximately the same as last year’s level

  6. 2013 HEAP Program Summary as of 7/5

  7. 2013 HEAP Program Summary as of 7/5 Average HEAP Benefit $ 216.72

  8. 2013 HEAP Program Summary as of 7/5 Comparison 2008-2013 Eligible Applications

  9. 2013 Winter Crisis Program Summary Total Households Served by Federal Poverty Ratio Average WCP Benefit $ 277.30

  10. 2014 HEAP Outreach Summary • July 22, 2013 – Begin outreach. Elderly and disabled will be sent applications first. Applications will then be sent to all other households previously found eligible for HEAP in 2013. • Completion date—August 30, 2013 • Over 400,000 applications will be distributed to individuals when mailing is completed. • August 1, 2013—Applications will begin to be distributed by Community Action Agencies, Second Harvest Food Banks, and other Agencies. • Total distribution of applications will be about 500,000.

  11. 2012-2013 Income Guidelines To be eligible a household must have total household income for the last 12 months or 90 days equal to or less than 175% percent of the federal poverty guidelines. The period to be used in determining annual income must not be more than twelve months, or less than the ninety-day period preceding the request for assistance by the household. * For households with more than 8 members, add $7,035 per member.

  12. Countable Income Household income is defined as the total annual gross income before taxes (minus exclusions) of all household members, except earned income of dependent minors under 18 years of age. All income sources and some exclusions must be documented. Head of household and spouse may never be considered minors. Gross household income includes wages, interest dividends, annuities and pensions. Additional sources of countable income include but are not limited to the following: • Social Security Disability (SSDI) • Supplemental Security income (SSI) • Railroad Pensions • Retirement and/or Company Pensions • Social Security • Veteran’s Pensions • Veteran’s Compensation • Company Disability and Black Lung • Strike Benefits • OWF/TANF/DA • Alimony • Unemployment Benefits • Workers’ Compensation • Unearned income paid to or on the behalf of minors • Estate and Trust Settlements (excluding attorney fees) • Capital Gains (Example: Proceeds from sale of property, home and stock) • Utility Allowances (as discretionary income) • Immigrant Relocation Allowance • Adoption Assistance • Child Support • Garnished Wages • Active Military Pay • Cash Gifts • Lump Sum Distribution (prorated when payment is designated for a set period of time)

  13. Excluded Income • Food Stamps/Cash Payment for food stamps • Assets from bank withdrawals • Tax refunds and rebates • Handicapped Income- self-sufficiency programs (e.g., work expenses for the blind) • Loans from individuals or institutions requiring repayment of either principal or principal and interest • Funds/training stipends designated for specific purposes (i.e., educational grants for tuition and/or books) • Work Allowances (i.e., LEAP) • Transportation Allowances (i.e. Workforce Investment Act (WIA)) • Title V Wages – Older Americans’ Act • Medicare payments • Stipend for Foster Care • Agent Orange Compensation/Benefit • Vista or other Americorp Stipends • Health Insurance Premiums (dental, vision and health insurance, supplemental health insurance) • Prevention, Retention, Contingency (PRC), assistance to attempt to divert families from long-term financial dependency • Title III DREAP • Documented Child Support Paid • Military allowances for subsistence; housing, family separation, etc.

  14. energyhelp.ohio.gov

  15. Kaizen Event Recommendations • OCA begins to develop an on-line application process based on recommendations from a Kaizen Event. • OCA enhances efforts to collect more e-mail addresses from clients to cut postage costs and reduce paper. • More information on OCA Kaizen event can be found by accessing the lean.ohio.gov website.

  16. Social Security Number/Citizenship Requirements • Social Security Numbers will be required for all household members, regardless of age. • The Energy Assistance Application will continue to request documentation of citizenship or resident alien status for all household members, but it will only be required for the primary applicant.

  17. Program Integrity/Internal Controls • Requirement by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that States supplement their plans with a “Program Integrity Assessment “ in order to receive LIHEAP funding • Part of an effort to ensure that internal controls are in place to prevent, detect, monitor, and prosecute improper payments due to fraud. • Office of Community Assistance (OCA) has established a formal program integrity/fraud prevention section to develop and update procedures for reporting, deterring, and detecting fraud, and for taking corrective actions.

  18. Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus) Data

  19. PIPP Plus Clientsas of 5/31/12

  20. Trends in PIPP Plus

  21. May Payments

  22. Payment Percentage Comparison

  23. Utility Issued 14 day Disconnection Notices

  24. PIPP Plus Customers Disconnectedfor Non-Payment

  25. Disconnections for Failure to ReverifyMay 2012

  26. Other Statistics • 115,074 Number of PIPP Plus clients who used the Winter Crisis Benefit • 144,418 Number of PIPP Plus clients who never received an arrearage credit in PY 2011 • 6,407 Number of PIPP Plus clients who made 12 consecutive payments

  27. Current Issues • Working to clean up data issues with the CIR • Notified utilities of “PIPP Plus participants” with very old reverification dates • First Energy stopped sending some required data fields which is impacting the reverification process • The reverification process is looking at last year’s reverification letters sent to the client and continuing the process from that last letter sent

  28. Next Steps • Fix the reverification process • New educational focus to encourage clients to make all their monthly payments

  29. Questions or Testimony When asking questions or giving testimony, please state your name and the agency you are representing, if any.

  30. ADDITIONAL TESTIMONY Mail to: Janet Cesner 77 S. High St., 25th Floor Columbus, OH 43215

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