SI KC00830.605 Home Energy Assistance and Support and Maintenance Assistance (HEA/SMA) (TN 25 -- 04/2008)

A. Background

SI 00830.605 and regulation 20 CFR 416.1157 provide for the exclusion of home energy assistance (HEA) and support and maintenance assistance (SMA) which has been certified by the appropriate state agency to be based on need, and is:

  • Provided in-kind by a private non-profit agency; 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.

The HEA/SMA received by an SSI claimant/recipient/deemor is excluded from countable income only when the designated state agency certifies that the assistance was based on need. State certification may be in the form of an individual certification of a particular case, or a “blanket” certification of a program or organization. A blanket certification serves as a precedent for assistance from the certified agency or program.

Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas have authorized SSA field office staff to certify whether agencies that provide energy assistance or support and maintenance meet the requirements for the HEA/SMA exclusion. Therefore, field offices will no longer be required to request the RO to obtain the state certification for agencies in Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas not appearing in the HEA/SMA Certification Precedent Lists on KCNet.

NOTE: Any pending actions in Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas field offices should be resolved by either checking the HEA/SMA Certification Precedent List on KCNet or making the certification determination per the instructions below.

B. Procedure for Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas HEA/SMA Determinations

When technicians identify an agency in Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, or Kansas providing needs-based assistance, as described above (also, see SI 00830.605), that is not already listed in the KCNet HEA/SMA Certification Precedent List , they should make a determination as to whether the HEA/SMA exclusion criteria are 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 needs based, you may certify that the HEA/SMA meets the criteria to be included.

  • If the agency is not well known, or there is a question about whether the assistance is based on need, and it is not listed in the KCNet HEA/SMA Certification Precedent List , contact the agency to determine whether the HEA/SMA criteria have been met.

C. Documentation Requirements for Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas HEA/SMA Certifications

1. Precedent exists on the KCNet HEA/SMA Certification Precedent List

If an organization is listed on the KCNet HEA/SMA Certification Precedent List this means that the agency was previously established as meeting the “based on need” criteria. Therefore, no further development of the organization is needed per SI 00830.605.

2. Precedent determination established (Organization not listed on the KCNet HEA/SMA Certification Precedent List)

Once the SSA Representative has made a determination regarding the excludability of the assistance provided by the organization, the determination must be documented as a precedent.

If you determine that the assistance can be excluded, the precedent must contain the following statement: “I certify based on the authority granted by the State of (fill in the name of the State) that the HEA (or SMA, as appropriate) was provided based on need by a qualified organization.”

Field offices must email or fax any new precedent determinations to the Center for Programs Support for addition to the KCNet HEA/SMA Certification Precedent List . The addition of the new precedents will serve as blanket determinations and m