SI DEN00830.605 DEN – Home Energy Assistance And Support And Maintenance Assistance
SI 00830.605 and regulation 20 CFR 416.1157(c) provide for the exclusion of home energy assistance (HEA) and support and maintenance assistance (SMA) which has been certified in writing by the appropriate State agency to be based on need, and is:
Provided in kind by a private non-profit agency such as described in 501(c) of the IRC (actual tax exempt certification by IRS is not required); or
Provided in cash or in kind by:
A supplier of home heating oil or gas; or
A rate-of-return entity providing home energy; or
A municipal utility providing home energy.
Each State in the Denver Region has authorized SSA to certify whether agencies that provide energy assistance or support and maintenance meet the requirements for the HEA/SMA exclusion. On file in the Denver Regional Office is an authorization letter from each State. Based on the State's authorization, SSA district offices in the Denver Region can certify whether an agency located in the Denver Region is providing assistance that meets the requirements for the HEA/SMA exclusion described above.
When you identify an agency in the Denver Region providing needs-based assistance as described in the two bullets in A. above, make a determination as to whether the HEA/SMA exclusion criteria is met. If you are familiar with the agency (e.g., well-known churches, charitable organizations, utility companies, food banks, etc.) and know that the assistance is based on need, you may certify that the HEA/SMA meets the criteria to be excluded. If the agency is not well known, or there is a question about whether the assistance is based on need and there is no office precedent, contact the agency, determine whether the HEA/SMA criteria is met, and put a copy of the determination in the claims file and the office's precedent file.
Always annotate the file with the following statement, “I certify based on the authority granted by the State of ________ that the HEA (or SMA, as appropriate) was provided based on need by a qualified organization.” Since each State has authorized SSA to make the written certification on their behalf, putting this statement in file meets the regulatory requirement for a written certification.