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Received energy subsidy

Codes and Frequencies

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HEATSUB indicates whether the household had been enrolled in or had received benefits from the Federal home heating and cooling assistance program at any time since the beginning of October of the previous year.

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides financial assistance to qualified households to help them pay heating costs. The program is funded by the Federal government and administered by the States under broad guidelines. In some states a household may automatically be eligible for this program if the members receive: (1) Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC); (2) Food Stamps; (3) Supplemental Security Income (SSI); or (4) certain Veterans' benefits.

(HEATVAL) gives the total value of energy assistance received in the past six months. (HEATPAY) specifies the form of payment for heat subsidy recipients. (NOHEAT) identifies households that reported being without heat for one or more days in the past six months, due to inability to pay the utility or fuel bill. (FUELHEAT) specifies the type of heating fuel used, for households receiving energy assistance.

For some variables relating to means-tested government assistance, including HEATSUB, information was collected only from households whose estimated income fell below a given threshold. During the first month that a household entered the survey, and one year later, the CPS interviewer asked the respondent to estimate the family's total income in the past twelve months, by choosing one of fourteen broad categories. Only households in which the members' combined income fell below a given level (e.g., under 30,000 dollars in the 1980s) were questioned about means-tested program benefits. Households with estimated incomes above the threshold were presumed to not qualify for or receive such benefits, and were not asked these questions, to limit the length of interviews. Households that were not questioned were coded as "no" for several variables relating to the receipt of means-tested benefits, including HEATSUB.

In the 1982-1987 samples, there are some interview households which were incorrectly been coded as NIU in the original data for this variable.


The variable is comparable across years.

Comparability with IPUMS-USA

HEATSUB in IPUMS-CPS relates to recipiency since October 1 of the previous year; HEATSUB in the 2000 C2SS in IPUMS-USA refers to recipiency during preceding 12 months.


  • All interviewed households and group quarters.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1982 – 2017 - - X - - - - - - - - -