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The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 33 : Human Services

Chapter 026 : HOME HEATING FUEL ASSISTANCE

(Cite as: 33 V.S.A. § 2604)
  • § 2604. Eligible beneficiaries; requirements

    (a) The Secretary of Human Services or designee, by rule, shall establish household income eligibility requirements of beneficiaries in the Seasonal Fuel Assistance Program including the income of all residents of the household. The income eligibility requirements shall require that households have a gross household income no greater than 185 percent of the federal poverty level nor in excess of income maximums established by LIHEAP in order to be potentially eligible for benefits. To the extent allowed by federal law, the Secretary of Human Services or designee shall establish by rule a calculation of gross income based on the same rules used in 3SquaresVT, except that the Secretary or designee shall include additional deductions or exclusions from income required by LIHEAP.

    (b) The Secretary of Human Services or designee shall by procedure establish a table that contains amounts that will function as a proxy for applicant households' annual heating fuel cost for the previous year. The seasonal fuel expenditure estimates contained within the table shall closely approximate the actual home heating costs experienced by participants in the Home Heating Fuel Assistance Program. The table shall be revised not less frequently than every three years based on data supplied by certified fuel suppliers, the Department of Public Service, and other industry sources to the Office of Home Heating Fuel Assistance. The Secretary or designee shall provide a draft of the table to the Home Energy Assistance Task Force established pursuant to subsection 2602a(c) of this title and solicit input from the Task Force prior to finalizing the table.

    (c) In determining heating fuel costs of households:

    (1) Residents of housing units subsidized by the federal, State, or local government shall be deemed to have incurred no annual home heating fuel costs, except to the extent required by any federal law or regulation if federal funds are utilized for the Home Heating Fuel Assistance Program, and with the following additional exception. Housing unit residents who participate in Reach Up under chapter 11 of this title, or who receive Supplemental Security Income/Aid to the Aged, Blind, and Disabled (SSI/AABD), Emergency Assistance, or General Assistance benefits that are used in whole or in part to pay for their housing or utility costs and do not receive other federal, State, or local government assistance targeted specifically to their housing or utility needs shall, with the exception of households for which the cost of heat is supplied by the landlord, be assumed to incur annual home heating fuel costs and their eligibility for annual heating fuel assistance shall not be limited by this subsection.

    (2) The annual heating fuel cost for a household unit shall be only for the cost of the primary heating fuel source of the unit, which may be for wood, electricity, or any other fuel source, but annual heating fuel costs shall be only for the cost of heat and not include the cost of the fuel for any other uses of the household. (Added 1995, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 10, 1996; amended 1997, No. 2, § 68, eff. Feb. 12, 1997; 1997, No. 61, § 130a; 1999, No. 59, §§ 2, 3, eff. June 1, 1999; 1999, No. 66 (Adj. Sess.), § 56, eff. Feb. 8, 2000; 2007, No. 65, § 143; 2007, No. 172 (Adj. Sess.), § 14; 2009, No. 4, § 108, eff. July 1, 2008; 2009, No. 1 (Sp. Sess.), § E.324.3; 2009, No. 88 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 29, 2010; 2011, No. 75 (Adj. Sess.), § 112, retroactively eff. June 1, 2010; 2013, No. 50, § E.324.5; 2013, No. 89, § 18, eff. June 17, 2013; 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 56, eff. May 20, 2014; 2017, No. 85, § F.1, eff. June 28, 2017; 2019, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 298.)