Home Energy Assistance

§ 416.1157. Support and maintenance assistance.

(a) General. Section 2639 of Pub. L. 98-369, effective October 1, 1984, amended section 1612(b)(13) to provide that certain support and maintenance assistance, which includes home energy assistance, be excluded from countable income for SSI purposes. This section discusses how we apply section 1612(b)(13).

(b) Definitions. For support and maintenance assistance purposes—

Appropriate State agency means the agency designated by the chief executive officer of the State to handle the State's responsibilities as set out in paragraph (c) of this section.

Based on need means that the provider of the assistance:

(1) Does not have an express obligation to provide the assistance;

(2) States that the aid is given for the purpose of support or maintenance assistance or for home energy assistance (e.g., vouchers for heating or cooling bills, storm doors); and

(3) Provides the aid for an SSI claimant, a member of the household in which an SSI claimant lives or an SSI claimant's ineligible spouse, parent, sponsor (or the sponsor's spouse) of an alien, or essential person.

Private nonprofit agency means a religious, charitable, educational, or other organization such as described in section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. (Actual tax exempt certification by IRS is not necessary.)

Rate-of-return entity means an entity whose revenues are primarily received from the entity's charges to the public for goods or services and such charges are based on rates regulated by a State or Federal governmental body.

Support and maintenance assistance means cash provided for the purpose of meeting food or shelter needs or in-kind support and maintenance as defined in § 416.1121(h). Support and maintenance assistance includes home energy assistance. Home energy assistance means any assistance related to meeting the costs of heating or cooling a home. Home energy assistance includes such items as payments for utility service or bulk fuels; assistance in kind such as portable heaters, fans, blankets, storm doors, or other items which help reduce the costs of heating and cooling such as conservation or weatherization materials and services; etc.

(c) What assistance we do not count as income. We do not count as income certain support and maintenance assistance received on or after October 1, 1984, by you or your ineligible spouse, parent, sponsor (or your sponsor's spouse) if you are an alien, or an essential person. We also do not consider certain support and maintenance assistance in determining a pro rata share of household operating expenses under § 416.1133. We do not count that assistance which is certified in writing by the appropriate State agency to be both based on need and—

(1) Provided in kind by a private nonprofit agency; or

(2) Provided in cash or in kind by—

(i) A supplier of home heating oil or gas;

(ii) A rate-of-return entity providing home energy; or

(iii) A municipal utility providing home energy.

[51 FR 39523, Oct. 29, 1986; 51 FR 43709, Dec. 3, 1986, as amended at 53 FR 35808, Sept. 15, 1988; 70 FR 6345, Feb. 7, 2005]