FACT 34 (Mandatory Standard Utility Allowance - Mass Change)
Food Assistance Change Transmittal No. 34
April 13, 2009
FROM: Douglas E. Lumpkin, DIRECTOR
SUBJECT: Mandatory Standard Utility Allowance - Mass Change


OAC Rule: 5101:4-4-23

Previous policy: Prior to May 1, 2009, in accordance with rule 5101:4-4-23, the standard utility allowance, standard telephone allowance or actual utility costs are to be used to calculate an assistance group's utility deduction.

New policy: As of May 1, 2009, in accordance with rule 5101:4-4-23, there will be four utility allowances to be used when determining an assistance group's benefit allotment:

1. Standard Utility Allowance: deduction for the households that incur heating and

or cooling costs. The standard utility allowance includes the costs of heating

fuel, electricity, cooling costs, water, sewer, trash collection and telephone


2. Limited Utility Allowance: deduction for the households that incur two or more

utility expenses, none of which is a heating or cooling expense, but may

include a telephone expense.

3. Single Standard Utility Allowance: deduction for households that incur one utility

expense that is not a heating, cooling or telephone expense.

4. Single Telephone Allowance: deduction for households that only incur a

telephone expense.

With this policy change the utility allowance will no longer be prorated.

Along with the utility allowances the standard and shelter deductions are also included in rule 5101:4-4-23. The deduction amounts are no longer listed in the rule; instead we will notify the counties of the annual updates to these deductions by food assistance change transmittal. Below are the deduction amounts as of May 1, 2009. Please note the only changes are the new utility allowances.

Standard Utility Allowance

$586 (no change)

Single Telephone Allowance

$31 (no change)

Limited Utility Allowance


Single Standard Utility Allowance


Standard Deduction

(no change)

$144 for an AG size of 1 - 3 persons;

$147 for an AG size of 4 persons; and

$172 for an AG size of 5 persons; and

$197 for an AG size of 6 or more persons

Maximum Shelter Costs

$446 (no change)

Implementation: The new utility allowances will be implemented via a mass change on April 4, 2009. Any cases processed after April 4th will use the new methodology. Alerts will be generated for all cases which CRIS-E cannot update automatically and the eligibility worker will be required to run ED/BC for those cases to implement these changes. Each assistance group affected by this change will also receive a notice providing their new amount of benefits and their right to a fair hearing.