63-236     Standard Utility Allowance (SUA)

 

Table of Content

 

Section

Definition

236.1

Homeless Shelter Deduction & SUA

236.2

Households Receiving Energy Assistance

236.3

SUA Adjustments Due to Cost-of-Living

236.4

x

 

63-236.1
Definition

The Standard Utility Allowance (SUA) is mandatory for all households, incurring heating or cooling costs separate, and apart from their rent or mortgage payments.  This includes residents of rental housing who are billed on a monthly basis by their landlords for actual usage as determined through individual metering.

The worker shall not prorate the SUA, when the CalFresh household lives with and shares utility expenses with an excluded/ineligible household member, or when the CalFresh household lives with and shares utility expenses with another household.  CalFresh eligible households will receive the full SUA when incurring heating or cooling costs.

Effective January 1, 2013 ALL CalFresh households are entitled to the SUA deduction as a result of receiving a nominal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) benefit of 10 cents. Refer to Section 63-236.3.

x

 

63-236.2
Homeless Shelter Deduction & SUA

Homeless households are eligible to receive the SUA because they receive the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) benefit (Section 63-236.3 below).

However, if the household incurs or reasonably expects to incur a shelter cost, they could receive the homeless shelter deduction instead of the SUA if this is more beneficial to the household.

If the household’s benefits are higher when allowing the SUA instead of the homeless shelter deduction, then the household will receive the SUA.

Refer to Section 63-234.

 

63-236.3
Households Receiving Energy Assistance

SUA will be allowed for households receiving payments (either directly or by a vendor) under the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Act (LIHEAA) of 1981.

Households receiving Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) assistance are entitled to SUA.

Beginning January 2013 ALL CalFresh recipients, including homeless households and households receiving benefits through the California Food Assistance Program (CFAP), will receive a nominal LIHEAP benefit of 10 cents.  The 10 cent LIHEAP benefit will be issued via their EBT account

·      To CalFresh applicants no later than the end of the month in which CalFresh benefits are authorized.

·      Continuing CalFresh households once every Federal Fiscal Year in October.

As a result, ALL CalFresh households are entitled to the SUA deduction as part of their CalFresh budget computation.

 

63-236.4
SUA Adjustments Due to Cost-of-Living

The SUA will be adjusted annually to reflect increases or decreases in the cost-of-living.  SUA annual adjustments will take effect each October 1 and are calculated based on the weighted average of the Fuel and Other Utilities Index of the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).

When the SUA is revised due to the annual adjustments, it will be applied to all households on the effective date of the revised SUA.  The change to the SUA is not to be considered a switch from the actual amounts to the SUA.

Refer to Section 63-1102 for the current SUA allowance amount.