Low-Income Home Energy Assistance:

States Cushioned Funding Cuts but Also Scaled Back Program Benefits

HRD-91-13: Published: Jan 24, 1991. Publicly Released: Jan 24, 1991.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed states' use of funds from the Department of Health and Human Services' Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), focusing on states': (1) response to LIHEAP funding cuts since 1986; and (2) compliance with such key program requirements as conducting outreach activities, targeting assistance, and establishing fiscal control procedures.

GAO found that states: (1) used oil overcharge funds, cut LIHEAP fund transfers to other block grants, and added their own funds to LIHEAP; (2) provided such other energy assistance programs as private fuel funds, energy credits, no-cost loans, moratoriums, and budgeting help; (3) scaled back some LIHEAP programs by reducing benefits and serving fewer households; and (4) generally complied with key LIHEAP requirements by conducting outreach activities, targeting benefits to the most needy households, and establishing fiscal controls to prevent erroneous payments.

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