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UTILITY DEDUCTIONS

ISSUE DATE: 10/2017

MFIP, MSA, GA, GRH:
No provisions.


DWP:

Allow actual verified utility expenses and the flat rate of $35 for telephone service, if applicable, in determining the amount of the grant. See 0022.12 (How to Calc. Benefit Level - MFIP/DWP/GA).


SNAP:

The utility costs a unit is responsible for are part of the shelter deduction. All SNAP units that incur utility costs are allowed 1 or more of the mandatory standard utility allowances. Allow the applicable standard utility allowance.

Never prorate a Utility Allowance.

ALLOW THE SINGLE UTILITY STANDARD OF $556 ONLY FOR UNITS:

That incur expenses for heating and/or cooling.

That incur only an excess heating or cooling expense.

That are a separate SNAP unit who shares heating/cooling expenses (no proration).

That receive Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) of more than $20 any time in the past 12 months and anywhere in the United States, regardless of whether they incur expenses for heating and/or cooling.

With an ineligible person (no proration).


The single utility standard includes heating, cooling, electricity, water, sewer, garbage, and phone.


FOR UNITS BILLED FOR NEITHER HEATING NOR COOLING:

Allow the electric standard of $172 per month for units billed for electricity.

Allow the phone standard of $41 per month for units billed for phone service. Do not allow actual phone expenses.

NOTE:
The phone standard can be allowed for cell phone expenses when the unit is billed monthly or buys a pre-paid card with a certain dollar value or number of minutes, AND the cell phone is their only phone.

If the unit incurs both electric and phone costs, both deductions may be used.


Do NOT allow a standard utility deduction when an ineligible student is responsible to pay and is the one paying the utility expense.

Do not allow a deduction when expenses are reimbursed by a source outside the unit, EXCEPT do allow a deduction for expenses reimbursed by the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or payments vendored from the client's funds.

A unit incurs a heating expense ONLY if it must pay for the actual fuel used for its primary source of heat. A unit incurs a cooling expense ONLY if it must pay electrical costs for operating an air conditioning system or room air conditioner and there is a reasonable expectation the unit will use air conditioning.

Households that receive HUD utility reimbursements and Farmers Home Administration (FMHA) Rental Assistance Program utility reimbursements may not claim the standard utility deduction unless they incur or are expected to incur heating or cooling costs exceeding the excluded HUD utility reimbursement amount in any month of the certification period. See 0017.15.81 (Utility Payments).

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