National Academies Press: OpenBook

Measuring Poverty: A New Approach (1995)

Chapter: Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

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Suggested Citation:"Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)." National Research Council. 1995. Measuring Poverty: A New Approach. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4759.
Page 443

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APPENDIX D 443 adults whose own incomes meet the program's limit but whose families' incomes exceed it. The definition of countable income excludes unemployment compensation, child support, and welfare payments. Senior Community Service Employment Program People aged 55 and over with low-incomes are eligible for part-time community service jobs for which their wages are subsidized by the federal government. People meet the income eligibility criteria if their countable incomes are less than 125 percent of the federal poverty guidelines or if they are receiving regular cash welfare. Countable income is gross income minus welfare payments, disability payments, unemployment benefits, trade adjustment benefits, capital gains, certain veterans' payments, and one-time unearned income payments or unearned income payments of fixed duration. There is an extra $500 deduction for reenrollees. Senior Companions Volunteers at least 60 years of age, no longer in the regular work force, and of low-income are eligible for a stipend plus transportation and meal costs. The definition of low-income is the same as in the Foster Grandparents Program. Summer Youth Employment and Training Program Education, training, and summer jobs are available for economically disadvantaged youths aged 16-21 who are unemployed, underemployed, or in school, and, at local option, economically disadvantaged youths aged 14-15. The definition of economically disadvantaged is the same as in the Job Corps. Training for Disadvantaged Adults and Youth This program of education, training, and supportive services must have 90 percent of its participants who are economically disadvantaged. The definition of economically disadvantaged is the same as in the Job Corps. Energy Programs Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) LIHEAP is designed to help low-income households meet their energy- related expenses, including home heating or cooling bills, weatherization, and energy-related emergencies. The federal government makes block grants to the states, which have considerable discretion in regard to determining eligibility and benefits. States can elect to make LIHEAP payments to households that receive benefits from AFDC, SSI, or the Veterans' Administration. They can also provide benefits to households with incomes of less than 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines or 60 percent of the state's median income, whichever is greater. The income ceiling for eligibility cannot be less than 110 percent of the poverty guidelines. States must ensure that the largest benefits go to households with the

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Each year's poverty figures are anxiously awaited by policymakers, analysts, and the media. Yet questions are increasing about the 30-year-old measure as social and economic conditions change.

In Measuring Poverty a distinguished panel provides policymakers with an up-to-date evaluation of:

  • Concepts and procedures for deriving the poverty threshold, including adjustments for different family circumstances.
  • Definitions of family resources.
  • Procedures for annual updates of poverty measures.

The volume explores specific issues underlying the poverty measure, analyzes the likely effects of any changes on poverty rates, and discusses the impact on eligibility for public benefits. In supporting its recommendations the panel provides insightful recognition of the political and social dimensions of this key economic indicator.

Measuring Poverty will be important to government officials, policy analysts, statisticians, economists, researchers, and others involved in virtually all poverty and social welfare issues.

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