The 2015 parameters for low-income energy-assistance program eligibility are household incomes not to exceed the greater of 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines or 60 percent of state median income. Guidelines prohibit program grantees from excluding households with incomes that fall below 110 percent of federal poverty guidelines.
The Federal Poverty Guidelines for 2015 range from $11,770 yearly income for a household of one to $24,250 for a household of four and $40,890 for a household of eight. These poverty guidelines cover the 48 lower states with corresponding income levels for Hawaii of $13,550, $27,890 and $47,010 and for Alaska, of $14,720, $30,320 and $ 51,120 respectively.
The low-income energy-assistance program targets households that include vulnerable adults and young children, who are most at risk for serious health problems if proper heating and cooling resources are not available. It also targets those with the lowest household incomes and the highest energy costs in an effort to prevent the use of high safety-risk alternative heating or cooling options.
U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services regulations allow State and Tribal programs, the grantees that administer the low-income energy-assistance program, to establish priorities, based on high energy costs in relation to income, within the income-eligibility parameters.