WSR 98-21-025




(Economic Services Administration)

[Filed October 13, 1998, 3:02 p.m.]

Original Notice.

Exempt from preproposal statement of inquiry under RCW 34.05.310(4).

Title of Rule: WAC 388-450-0195 Utility allowances for food assistance programs.

Purpose: Update the utility deduction amounts used to calculate benefits for food assistance.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.510.

Statute Being Implemented: 7 CFR 273.9 (d)(6).

Summary: Updates the standard utility allowances to $211 and the limited utility allowance (LUA) to $158. These allowances or deductions are used to calculate benefits for food assistance.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: 7 CFR 273.9 (d)(6).

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Joan Wirth, Mailstop 45470, Olympia, WA 98504-5470, (360) 413-3073.

Name of Proponent: Department of Social and Health Services, governmental.

Rule is necessary because of federal law, 7 CFR 273.9 (d)(6).

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: Federal regulations (at 7 CFR 273.9 (d)(6)) require an annual review of the amounts used for utility deductions which are part of the food assistance benefit calculation. Because the utility deduction amounts have declined slightly, there will be some households with fewer benefits.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: In WAC 388-450-0195, the amount for the standard utility allowance is now $211; the amount for the limited utility allowance is now $158.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This rule does not impact small businesses.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. This rule does not meet the definition of a "significant legislative rule."

Hearing Location: Lacey Government Center (behind Tokyo Bento Restaurant), 1009 College Street S.E., Room 104-B, Lacey, WA 98503, on November 24, 1998, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Paige Wall by November 13, 1998, phone (360) 902-7540, TTY (360) 902-8324, e-mail

Submit Written Comments to: Identify WAC Numbers, Paige Wall, Rules Coordinator, Rules and Policies Assistance Unit, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, fax (360) 902-8292, by November 24, 1998.

Date of Intended Adoption: November 30, 1998.

October 13, 1998

Marie Myerchin-Redifer, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit


AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 98-16-044, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98)

WAC 388-450-0195  Utility allowances for food assistance programs. (1) ((The following utility allowances are used in calculating shelter costs:

(a) A standard utility allowance (SUA) for assistance units that incur any separate utility charges for heating or cooling costs;

(b) A limited utility allowance (LUA) for assistance units without heating or cooling costs, that incur utility charges other than telephone costs;

(c) A telephone utility allowance (TUA) for assistance units that incur any separate charges for phone service and not claiming the SUA or LUA.

(d) Actual utility costs if:

(i) Greater than the SUA or LUA; or

(ii) The assistance unit is not entitled to the SUA or LUA)) You can use the amounts in the chart below or use actual utility costs to calculate total shelter costs. Total shelter costs are used in calculating your food assistance benefits.

If you have to pay: Then, you can use the:
Separate heating or cooling costs Standard utility allowance (SUA) of $211
Separate utility costs, but no heating or cooling costs Limited utility allowance (LUA) of $158
Separate costs for phone service only Telephone utility allowance (TUA) of $29

(2) ((As provided in federal law:

(a) The SUA up to two hundred twenty-three dollars;

(b) The LUA up to one hundred sixty-four dollars;

(c) The TUA up to twenty-nine dollars)) Use actual utility costs if greater than the SUA or LUA or if you are not eligible for the SUA or LUA.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-450-0195, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]