WSR 97-20-124

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES

(Economic Services Administration)

(Public Assistance)

[Filed October 1, 1997, 9:53 a.m., effective November 1, 1997]

Date of Adoption: September 30, 1997.

Purpose: To adopt new Department of Social and Health Services rules to implement changes in welfare reform law at the state and federal level.

1. Adopted to establish a diversion assistance program to prevent some families from developing dependency on the temporary assistance for needy families (TANF): WAC 388-222-001, 388-222-010, and 388-222-020.

2. Adopted to establish a program to provide state funded TANF to certain legal immigrants: WAC 388-220-0001 and 388-220-0030.

3. Adopted to establish a food assistance program for certain legal immigrants: WAC 388-45-010.

4. Adopted to establish a program of individual development accounts for TANF participants: WAC 388-216-3000.

5. Adopted to combine multiple TANF assistance units living with a single caretaker relative or relative married couple into one consolidated assistance unit: WAC 388-215-1603 and 388-215-1670.

6. Adopted to establish different grant standards for household members who have resided in Washington less than twelve consecutive months prior to applying for assistance: WAC 388-250-1225.

7. Adopted to establish a gross earned income level for determining financial eligibility for employed TANF applicants: WAC 388-218-1735 and 388-250-1310.

8. Adopted to implement the Wellstone/Murray family violence amendment at Public Law 104-193, 408 (a)(7)(c)(iii) and EHB 103: WAC 388-61-001.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: For WAC 388-222-001, 388-222-010 and 388-222-020 is RCW 74.04.050, 74.08.090; for WAC 388-220-0001 and 388-220-0030 is RCW 74.08.090, chapter 57, Laws of 1997; for WAC 388-45-010 is RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.057, 74.08.090; for WAC 388-216-3000 is RCW 74.08.090, section 307, chapter 58, Laws of 1997; for WAC 388-215-1630 is RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.08.090; for WAC 388-250-1225 is RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.057, 74.08.090; for WAC 388-218-1735 and 388-250-1310 is RCW 74.08.090; for WAC 388-215-1670 is RCW 74.08.090; and for WAC 388-61-001 is RCW 74.04.050, 74.08.090, 74.04.057.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 97-17-068 and 97-17-069 on August 18, 1997; WSR 97-17-088, 97-17-089 and 97-17-090 on August 19, 1997; and WSR 97-17-098, 97-17-099, 97-17-101 and 97-17-103 on August 20, 1997.

Changes Other than Editing from Proposed to Adopted Version: As a result of a regulatory improvement review, the department has streamlined and simplified these rules to make them consistent with Governor Locke's and Secretary Quasim's executive orders on regulatory improvement. These rules are easier to understand, do not restate federal or state law, and the intent of the rule is more clear.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 13, amended 0, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Effective Date of Rule: November 1, 1997.

September 30, 1997

Jerry W. Friedman

Assistant Secretary

Economic Services Administration

Chapter 388-61 WAC


FAMILY VIOLENCE

NEW SECTION

WAC 388-61-001 What does the Family Violence Amendment mean for TANF recipients? The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), also known as the Welfare Reform Act, gave every state the option to have a program to address issues of family violence for temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) recipients.

(1) For TANF, it is family violence when a recipient, or family member or household member has been subjected by another family member or household member as defined in RCW 26.50.010 (1) to one of the following:

(a) Physical acts that resulted in, or threatened to result in, physical injury;

(b) Sexual abuse;

(c) Sexual activity involving a dependent child;

(d) Being forced as the caretaker relative of a dependent child to engage in nonconsensual sexual acts or activities;

(e) Threats of or attempts at, physical sexual abuse;

(f) Mental abuse;

(g) Neglect or deprivation of medical care, or

(h) Stalking.

(2) DSHS shall:

(a) Screen and identify TANF recipients for a history of family violence;

(b) Notify TANF recipients about the Family Violence Amendment both verbally and in writing;

(c) Maintain confidentiality as stated in RCW 74.04.060;

(d) Refer individuals needing counseling to supportive services;

(e) Waive WorkFirst requirements in cases where the requirements would make it more difficult to escape family violence, unfairly penalize victims of family violence or place victims at further risk of family violence. Requirements to be waived may include:

(i) Time limits for TANF recipients, for as long as necessary (after fifty-two months of receiving TANF);

(ii) Cooperation with the division of child support.

(f) Develop specialized work activities for clients meeting the definition of family violence in instances where participation in work activities would place the recipients at further risk of family violence.

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Chapter 388-45 WAC


THE STATE-FUNDED FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FOR LEGAL IMMIGRANTS

NEW SECTION

WAC 388-45-010 The state-funded food assistance program for legal immigrants. (1) Legal immigrants are eligible for the state-funded federal food stamp program for legal immigrants if they:

(a) Meet the alien status requirements of the Food Stamp Act in effect prior to August 22, 1996; and

(b) Are ineligible for federal food stamps due to the immigrant provisions of P.L. 104-193, as amended.

(2) The state program provides the same amount of benefits as the federal food stamp program. Some households may receive both state and federal food stamp. The total benefits for any household cannot exceed the federal food stamp amount for that household size.

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NEW SECTION

WAC 388-215-1630 Assistance units--Consolidation. (1) Assistance units include mandatory members as required under WAC 388-215-1600 and persons for whom assistance is requested at the option of the caretaker relative. All children included under WAC 388-215-1600 and 388-215-1610 and who live with the same caretaker relative or relative married couple are included in a single assistance unit.

(2) Children do not have to be full, half, or adopted brothers or sisters to be included in the same assistance unit.

(3) When a change of circumstances occurs which makes one or more assistance unit members ineligible for cash benefits, assistance is continued for all assistance unit members who remain eligible.

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NEW SECTION

WAC 388-250-1225 TANF payment standards for recent arrivals to Washington state. (1) Eligibility and benefit levels for TANF recipients are determined according to length of residency and payment standard requirements established under RCW 74.08.025 (amended in section 101, chapter 58, Laws of 1997).

(2) The length of residency requirement does not apply to a dependent child who lives with a caretaker relative if the relative has resided in Washington for twelve or more consecutive months prior to applying for TANF benefits for the child.

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NEW SECTION

WAC 388-218-1735 The maximum amount a TANF family can earn. (1) "Family members" includes everyone in the TANF assistance unit, and:

(a) Adults or children who would otherwise be included in the assistance unit under WAC 388-215-1600 but who do not meet TANF eligibility requirements;

(b) The unborn child of a woman in her third trimester of pregnancy; and

(c) When residing together, the husband of a woman in her third trimester of pregnancy.

(2) Gross earned income does not include exempt or disregarded income.

(3) Deduct from the gross earned income:

(a) Court or administratively ordered support paid to meet the needs of legal dependents, up to:

(i) The amount actually paid; or

(ii) A one-person need standard for each legal dependent.

(b) Authorized ongoing additional requirement payment as defined in chapter 388-225 WAC, Special payments.

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NEW SECTION

WAC 388-250-1310 Maximum earned income levels. (1) Effective November 1, 1997, the department will use the following maximum earned income levels for temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) clients:

Number of Maximum Earned

Family Members Income Levels

1 $ 698

2 880

3 1,092

4 1,284

5 1,480

6 1,682

7 1,942

8 2,150

9 2,360

10 or more 2,566

(2) To calculate a family's gross earned income apply rules defined in WAC 388-218-1735.

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Chapter 388-220 WAC


STATE FAMILY ASSISTANCE

NEW SECTION

WAC 388-220-0001 Purpose of program. As authorized by state law under ESB 6098 (1997); chapter 57, Laws of 1997, the state family assistance (SFA) program is a state-funded program providing for the needs of legal immigrants with dependent children who are ineligible for the temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) program because of their immigration status.

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NEW SECTION

WAC 388-220-0030 State family assistance eligibility. (1) To qualify for state family assistance (SFA), individuals must:

(a) Be lawfully admitted for permanent residence or otherwise reside permanently in the United States under color of law; and

(b) Meet all TANF requirements except for immigrant status eligibility rules specified in U.S.C. Title 8, Sections 1611, 1612, 1613, and 1641.

(2) The department will deny SFA to any assistance unit that includes an adult who has received SFA, TANF, or a combination of SFA and TANF for a total of sixty months since August 1, 1997.

(3) In calculating the number of months an adult family member has received SFA or TANF, the department will disregard any month in which the individual who received SFA or TANF was:

(a) A minor child who was not the head of a household or married to the head of a household; or

(b) Living in Indian country or in an Alaskan Native village, if during the month the individual received TANF, at least fifty percent of the adults living in Indian country or in the village were unemployed.

(4) For an assistance unit which includes both SFA and TANF recipients, the assistance unit's combined SFA and TANF grant payment cannot exceed the TANF grant payment level for their household size.

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Chapter 388-222 WAC


DIVERSION ASSISTANCE

NEW SECTION

WAC 388-222-001 Definitions. "Adult." Any person age eighteen or older.

"Bona fide need." An actual, established need a family has for living expenses.

"Crisis." A family situation that the family can take care of if they receive help with one or more bona fide needs as defined in this chapter.

"DCA benefit begin date/month." The date/month of application or the date/month in which TANF or SFA eligibility exists if the applicant is not TANF or SFA eligible in the application month.

"Diversion assistance." The array of government and community services and resources, including diversion cash assistance (DCA), that is available to help some low income families so that the family does not have to go on temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) or state family assistance (SFA).

"Diversion cash assistance." A state-funded program that can provide up to fifteen hundred dollars of brief emergency money to TANF or SFA eligible families who are in crisis and have a bona fide need(s).

"Family." At least one TANF or SFA eligible adult(s), any other people who must be included with that adult(s) in one TANF or SFA assistance unit, and any caretaker adult(s) who would be included in the TANF or SFA assistance unit but is ineligible because of TANF disqualification, citizenship status or any other reason.

"Unsubsidized job." A job in which the government does not give the employer any money to help pay the wage or salary of the person who has the job.

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NEW SECTION

WAC 388-222-010 Diversion cash assistance (DCA). To get DCA, the family has to:

(1) Meet all the eligibility rules for TANF or SFA that are in chapters 388-215, 388-216, 388-217, and 388-218 WAC except:

(a) The family does not have to meet the TANF or SFA work requirements that are in chapter 388-310 WAC; and

(b) The family does not have to meet the child support rules, including cooperating with division of child support, that are in WAC 388-215-1400 through 388-215-1490; and

(c) TANF or SFA recipients who are terminated and who apply for DCA within thirty days of termination are treated as applicants; and

(d) After the family is determined eligible for DCA their countable income and resources will not be used to decide how much DCA the family can receive.

(2) Meet all the other eligibility requirements of DCA including:

(a) The family must be in crisis as defined in this chapter;

(b) The family must have a bona fide need. Bona fide needs include, but are not limited to:

(i) Child care bills;

(ii) Rent payments;

(iii) Transportation costs;

(iv) Food costs, unless an adult member of the family has been disqualified for food stamps;

(v) Medical costs, unless an adult member is not eligible because of noncooperation with third party liability (TPL) requirements; or

(vi) Money needed to get or keep an unsubsidized job.

(c) The family must provide proof that the bona fide needs exist;

(d) The amount of DCA the family receives can not be more than the cost of the bona fide need(s) and must keep the family from going on TANF;

(e) The family has to have, or be likely to get, enough income or other resources that a reasonable person could expect the family to support themselves for at least twelve months.

(3) All money, except TANF and SFA, and all services which the federal government pays for, that can be used to meet the family's crisis, should be used before DCA is used.

(4) An family cannot get DCA if:

(a) Any adult member of the family is ineligible for TANF or SFA due to disqualification, drug conviction, lump sum income rule, or any other reason, except receipt of Supplemental Security Income (SSI);

(b) All adult family members are ineligible for TANF or SFA due to receipt of SSI; or

(c) Any adult member has received TANF/SFA in the current DCA benefit month or has received DCA within the past twelve months.

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NEW SECTION

WAC 388-222-020 Diversion cash assistance payments. (1) When all other DCA eligibility requirements are met, an assistance unit can get DCA payment for bona fide needs that occur prior to or during the thirty-day period following the benefit begin date.

(2) DCA will be paid directly to vendor(s) whenever possible.

(3) If a DCA adult recipient reapplies for TANF or SFA:

(a) Eligibility is determined without regard to the DCA payment if twelve months or more have gone by since the DCA benefit month.

(b) A DCA loan is established if fewer than twelve months have gone by since the DCA benefit month. The DCA loan is one-twelfth of the DCA received multiplied by the number of months that are left before the twelve months have gone by.

(4) The DCA loan has to be repaid having five percent of the TANF or SFA grant taken out of the TANF or SFA check each month.

(5) DSHS collects back the DCA loan solely by grant deduction.

(6) If the adult(s) who has to pay the loan goes off TANF or SFA before the loan is repaid, collection of the loan is suspended unless the adult(s) goes back on TANF or SFA. If the family goes back on TANF or SFA collection of the loan is resumed.

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NEW SECTION

WAC 388-216-3000 Individual development account. (1) The department will not use funds from an individual development account established under section 307, chapter 58, Laws of 1997 when determining TANF eligibility.

(2) If funds are withdrawn from an individual development account for a purpose other than those defined in section 307, chapter 58, Laws of 1997, the department will use the funds to determine eligibility according to WAC 388-216-2000, Resources--Eligibility.

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NEW SECTION

WAC 388-215-1670 Unmarried pregnant or parenting teens under age eighteen--Required school attendance. (1) In order to receive assistance, an unmarried pregnant or parenting teen under age eighteen who has not completed a high school education or General Equivalency Diploma (GED) must participate in educational activities leading to the attainment of a high school diploma or GED.

(2) A teen parent with a child under twelve weeks old is exempt from this rule.

(3) The school or program in which the unmarried pregnant or parenting teen is enrolled will set standards for satisfactory attendance that the teen has to meet.

(4) If an unmarried pregnant or parenting teen is disqualified because of this rule:

(a) No one else in the assistance unit is disqualified; and

(b) If the teen parent has income, the department will use it to figure the amount of the child's grant according to WAC 388-218-1640.

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