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ACT NO. 59

(S.98)

Home Heating Fuel Assistance Program

This act amends standards and procedures applicable to the home heating fuel assistance program administered by the Office of Home Heating Fuel Assistance. The definition of "households" eligible for assistance is amended to conform with federal law. Income eligibility criteria will permit an income disregard of $150 for each eligible household member. Benefits will be estimated by a "proxy table" to be developed by the Office. Households renting with heat included in the rent will receive a benefit amount equal to 30% of their estimated "proxy table" amount or $50 whichever is greater. Eligible individuals renting a room will receive a benefit amount of $50. The requirement of vendor payments is repealed. The application period is extended from August 31 to the end of February. The Office is authorized to negotiate with fuel suppliers for the most advantageous terms. The Secretary of Human Services is required to report to the General Assembly before the 2000 session with a study of program administration. Crisis benefit expenditures from federal funds are limited to $900,000 with any additional needs to be met from the home weatherization assistance program trust fund.

Effective Date: June 1, 1999