45 CFR 233.53 - Support and maintenance assistance (including home energy assistance) in AFDC.
(a) General. At State option, certain support and maintenance assistance (including home energy assistance) may be excluded from income and resources.
(b) Definitions. The following definitions are limited to the support and maintenance assistance provisions of this section.
Appropriate State agency means the agency designated by the chief executive officer of the State to handle the State's responsibilities with respect to support and maintenance assistance under paragraph (c) of this section.
Based on need means that the assistance is given to or on behalf of an applicant or recipient for the purpose of support and maintenance (including home energy) and meets the criteria established by the State for determining the need for such assistance.
In kind assistance means assistance furnished in any form except direct cash payments to an applicant or recipient or direct payments to an applicant or recipient through other financial instruments which are convertible to cash.
Private, nonprofit organization 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 any assistance designed to meet the expenses of day to day living. Support and maintenance assistance includes home energy assistance. Home energy assistance means any assistance related to meeting the cost 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) Requirements for State Plans. If a State elects to exclude from income and resources support and maintenance assistance, the State plan for AFDC must as specified below:
(1) Provide that an appropriate State agency will certify that support and maintenance assistance is based on need (as defined in paragraph (b) of this section), and that such certification will be accepted for purposes of determining eligibility for and the amount of payments under the AFDC program.
(2) Provide that in joint AFDC/SSI households, support and maintenance assistance furnished to the household which is not excluded under this paragraph will be prorated on a reasonable basis to determine the amount provided to the AFDC assistance unit. The State plan must describe the method that will be used to prorate the assistance in these circumstances.
(3) Provide that the types and amount of support and maintenance assistance that are excluded when received by an AFDC applicant or recipient will also be excluded in determining the income and resources of a parent, stepparent, spouse or alien sponsor whose income is considered available to an AFDC applicant or recipient.
(4) Provide that the State may exclude, from income and resources, support and maintenance assistance (as defined in paragraph (b) of this section) which the appropriate State agency certifies is based on need, if the assistance is furnished by:
(i) A supplier of home heating gas or oil, regardless of whether the assistance is in cash or in kind; or
(ii) A municipal utility providing home energy, regardless of whether the assistance is in cash or in kind; or
(iii) A rate-of-return entity which provides home energy, regardless of whether the assistance is in cash or in kind; or
(iv) A private nonprofit organization, but only if such assistance is in kind.
(5) Provide that, if the State elects to exclude from income and resources any support and maintenance assistance, the State plan must:
(i) Describe the criteria that will be used to determine the need for the assistance;
(ii) Identify the types and amounts of assistance which will be excluded; and
(iii) Provide that any limitations will be made on a reasonable basis.