WSR 02-08-059

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed April 1, 2002, 3:46 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 02-03-091.

Title of Rule: Amending WAC 388-406-0005 Can I apply for cash, medical, or food assistance?, 388-406-0010 How do I apply for benefits?, 388-406-0030 Do I need to submit other information after I apply for benefits? and 388-406-0035 How long does the department have to process my application?; and new section WAC 388-406-0012 What is the date of my application and how does it affect my benefits?

Purpose: The Division of Employment and Assistance Program is amending rules in chapter 388-406 WAC to incorporate alternative methods of filing an application, electronic signatures, and to rewrite rules for clarity. Repealing WAC 388-406-0025 as some information is obsolete. Incorporated relative areas of WAC 388-406-0025 into other sections of chapter 388-406 WAC.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 74.08.090.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 74.08.090.

Summary: Amending rules in chapter 388-406 WAC.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: To clarify and streamline existing policy and incorporate alternative methods of filing an application.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Vicky T. Robinson, DEAP, 1009 College Street S.E., Lacey, WA 98503, (360) 413-3031.

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

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: Amending rules in chapter 388-406 WAC to clarify and streamline existing policy and incorporate alternative methods of filing an application.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Incorporates alternative methods of filing an application for benefits, defines what the date of application is, and simplifies language while still maintaining required legal elements from Campbell vs. Rahm and Peterson vs. Rahm consent orders. Also, WAC 388-406-0025 is being repealed.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. Small businesses are not affected by these rules changes.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. These amendments are exempt under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii).

Hearing Location: Blake Office Park (behind Goodyear Courtesy Tire), 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Rose Room, Lacey, WA 98503, on May 7, 2002, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Andy Fernando, DSHS Rules Coordinator, by May 3, 2002, phone (360) 664-6094, TTY (360) 664-6178, e-mail fernaax@dshs.wa.gov.

Submit Written Comments to: Identify WAC Numbers, DSHS Rules Coordinator, Rules and Policies Assistance Unit, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, fax (360) 664-6185, e-mail fernaax@dshs.wa.gov, by 5:00 p.m., May 7, 2002.

Date of Intended Adoption: No earlier than May 8, 2002.

Margaret J. Partlow

for Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

3056.2
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-16-044, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98)

WAC 388-406-0005   ((Who may)) Can I apply((.)) for cash, medical, or food assistance?   ((Any person may file an application for)) (1) You can apply for any program benefit the department offers, including cash, medical, or food assistance.

(((1) For food assistance, applications may be made by a responsible household member or an authorized representative.))

(2) ((For medical and cash assistance, an application may be made by:

(a) Persons applying on their own behalf or on behalf of their dependents;

(b) A legal guardian or caretaker applying on behalf of a minor or incompetent person; or

(c) Any other person acting on behalf of the applicant when application cannot be made under one of the preceding methods. For cash assistance the person must indicate the reason the applicant is not able to apply on his or her own behalf.

(3) For GA-U and medical programs, a Washington state resident who is temporarily living out of the state may apply through a person or agency acting on the client's behalf)) You must meet certain eligibility requirements in order to receive a program benefit.

(3) You can apply for someone else if you are:

(a) A legal guardian, caretaker, or authorized representative applying on behalf of a dependent child, an incapacitated person, or someone who is deceased; or

(b) Acting on behalf of the applicant when the applicant can not apply for some other reason. We may ask why the applicant is unable to apply on their own behalf.

(4) You do not need to apply for medical benefits if you get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as we automatically open medical benefits for you.

(5) A person or agency may apply for GAU or medical assistance on your behalf if:

(a) You are temporarily living out of state; and

(b) You are a Washington state resident.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-406-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-504-0405 and 388-504-0410.]


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

WAC 388-406-0010   ((Filing an application.)) How do I apply for benefits?   (1) ((A person may file an application by submitting a written request for benefits using a form designated by the department, to the applicant's local community service office (CSO) in person or by mail.

(a) A person may file an application on the same day that benefits are requested when the request is made in the applicant's local CSO during regular business hours.

(b) A household applying for food, medical and/or cash assistance may do so by submitting a single request for benefits.

(c) For food assistance, a household consisting only of clients applying for or receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may file an application at the local Social Security Administration District Office (SSADO).

(d) Clients who receive SSI or who are otherwise determined eligible for Medicaid by the Social Security Administration will be authorized medical assistance without being required to file a separate application with the department.

(2) The request for benefits form must be as brief as administratively possible and seek information ordinarily known to the applicant, including:

(a) The name and address of the applicant;

(b) The type of assistance requested (i.e., food, medical and/or cash assistance);

(c) For medical and cash assistance:

(i) The applicant's telephone number, if known; and

(ii) The names, birthdates and social security numbers, if known, of all persons for whom assistance is requested; and

(d) For TANF and SFA, the names, birthdates and social security numbers, if known, of:

(i) All children under the age of nineteen who are living in the home and who are siblings of any child for whom assistance is being requested; and

(ii) All parents, if living in the home, of any child for whom assistance is requested.

(e) An application is required for a medically needy program client who requests eligibility beyond the certification period.

(3) To initiate an application, the filed request for benefits form must include:

(a) The name and address of the applicant; and

(b) The signature of the applicant or the applicant's representative)) You can apply for cash, food, or medical assistance by giving us an application form in person, by mail, by fax, or by completing an online application.

(2) If your entire household gets or is applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), then your household can file an application for food assistance at the local Social Security Administration District Office (SSADO).

(3) A legal guardian, caretaker, or authorized representative can apply for a dependent child or incapacitated person or someone unable to apply on their own behalf for some other reason.

(4) You can apply for cash, food, and medical assistance with just one application form.

(5) If you apply for benefits at a local office, we accept your application on the same day you come in. If you apply at the wrong office, we fax your application to the appropriate office no later than the next business day so that office receives your application on the same day we forward it.

(6) We accept your application for benefits if it has at least:

(a) For cash or medical assistance, the name, address, and signatures of the responsible adult household members or person applying on your behalf. A minor child may sign if there is no adult in the household. Signatures must be either handwritten, electronic or digital as defined by the department, or a mark if witnessed by another person; or

(b) For food assistance, the name, address, and signature of a responsible household member or person applying on your behalf.

(7) As a part of the application process, you may be required to:

(a) Complete an interview if one is required under WAC 388-452-0005;

(b) Give us the information we need to decide if you are eligible as required under WAC 388-406-0030; and

(c) Give us proof of information as required under WAC 388-490-0005 so we can determine if you are eligible.

(8) If you are eligible for necessary supplemental accommodation (NSA) services under chapter 388-472 WAC, we help you comply with the requirements of this section.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-406-0010, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-504-0405.]


NEW SECTION
WAC 388-406-0012   What is the date of my application and how does it affect my benefits?   The date of your application affects when your benefits start. The date of your application is the date the appropriate office receives your application unless:

(1) Your entire household gets or applies for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and requests food assistance at the local Social Security office, then the date of application is the date Social Security gets your application; or

(2) You apply outside of normal business hours, including online, dropped off, or by fax, then the date of your application is the next business day.

[]


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

WAC 388-406-0030   ((Requests for additional)) Do I need to submit other information((.)) after I apply for benefits?   ((An applicant is allowed at least ten calendar days to provide additional information required by the department to determine eligibility. This information will be requested in writing and may include supplemental forms and documents or statements verifying the applicant's circumstances as specified in chapter 388-490 WAC. The applicant is allowed additional time to provide requested information when:

(1) The applicant has requested, orally or in writing, additional time to provide the information; or

(2) The department determines the need for different or additional information following the initial interview or after having requested specific information. In these situations, the applicant will be:

(a) Provided with a written request for the additional information; and

(b) Allowed at least ten calendar days to provide the information.

(3) When the applicant for medical and cash assistance has not provided all of the requested information, the applicant will be:

(a) Provided with a written request for information still needed to determine eligibility; and

(b) Allowed at least ten calendar days to provide the information.

(4) All applicants who are assessed as needing NSA services will be assisted in complying with the requirements of this section as required under WAC 388-200-1300)) (1) When we get your application for benefits, we decide if other information is needed to determine your eligibility for benefits. If so, we give you:

(a) A written request for what is needed and for proof if required under WAC 388-490-0005; and

(b) At least ten calendar days to give us the information.

(2) If you ask orally or in writing for additional time to give us requested information, then we give you at least ten additional calendar days.

(3) If you give us some of the information we requested, we give you:

(a) A written request for what is needed to determine eligibility; and

(b) At least ten additional calendar days to give us the information.

(4) If you are eligible for necessary supplemental accommodation (NSA) services under chapter 388-472 WAC, we help you comply with the requirements of this section.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-406-0030, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 99-16-024, filed 7/26/99, effective 9/1/99)

WAC 388-406-0035   ((Time limits for processing applications.)) How long does the department have to process my application?   (1) ((The)) We must process your application ((process as defined in WAC 388-406-0050(1) must be completed)) as quickly as possible. We must respond promptly to your application and to any information you give us. We can not delay processing your request by using the time limits ((specified)) stated in this section ((cannot be used)) as a waiting period for determining eligibility.

(2) ((When applying the time limits specified in this section, day one is the date following the date:

(a) A request for benefits form is received by the department as specified under WAC 388-406-0010;

(b) A household consisting solely of persons eligible for SSI files a food assistance application at the SSADO; or

(c) An SSI recipient applying for food assistance is released from a public institution when the person filed an application with the SSADO before release.

(3) Time limits are in calendar days unless otherwise specified. Time limits for application process completion are no more than:

(a) Thirty days for TANF, SFA, RCA, consolidated emergency assistance program (CEAP), diversion cash assistance (DCA), and food assistance;

(b) Forty-five days for general assistance and alcohol and drug abuse treatment and shelter assistance (ADATSA); and

(c) Medical program benefits must be processed no more than:

(i) Sixty days when a disability decision is required;

(ii) Fifteen working days for pregnant women; and

(iii) Forty-five days for all other categories)) Unless your application is delayed under WAC 388-406-0040, we process your application for benefits within thirty calendar days, except:

(a) If you are pregnant, your medical must be processed within fifteen working days;

(b) General assistance (GAU), alcohol or drug addiction treatment (ADATSA), or medical assistance must take no more than forty-five calendar days; and

(c) Medical assistance requiring a disability decision must take no more than sixty calendar days.

(3) For calculating time limits, "day one" is the date following the date:

(a) An application for benefits is received by the department as specified under WAC 388-406-0010;

(b) Social Security gets a request for food assistance from a household in which all members either get or are applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI);

(c) You are released from an institution if you get or are authorized to get SSI and request food assistance through Social Security prior to your release.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510. 99-16-024, 388-406-0035, filed 7/26/99, effective 9/1/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-406-0035, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-504-0470.]


REPEALER

     The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed:
WAC 388-406-0025 Applicant to provide information needed to determine eligibility.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office