WSR 99-16-024

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

(Division of Assistance Programs)

[ Filed July 26, 1999, 11:14 a.m. , effective September 1, 1999 ]

Date of Adoption: July 26, 1999.

Purpose: Correct inadvertent errors and omissions in the 388-400 series WAC and related rules. Amend 388-400 series WAC to reflect changes in program policy.

Added WAC 388-418-0012 to reflect requirement that clients be prospectively eligible for food assistance.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order:
New WAC Sections
WAC # WSR # Filing Date
388-418-0012 99-12-121 6-2-99
Repealed WAC Sections
WAC # WSR # Filing Date
388-478-0025 99-12-116 6-2-99
Amended WAC Sections
WAC # WSR # Filing Date
388-450-0100, 388-450-0106, 388-450-0116, 388-450-0140, 388-450-0160, 388-450-0185, 388-450-0190, 388-450-0200 99-12-116 6-2-99
388-470-0025, 388-470-0035, 388-470-0045, 388-470-0055, 388-470-0075, 388-482-0005, 388-412-0005, 388-412-0015, 388-416-0005 99-12-117 6-2-99
388-450-0005, 388-450-0215, 388-450-0220, 388-450-0225, 388-450-0235, 388-450-0250 99-12-118 6-2-99
388-450-0035, 388-450-0045, 388-450-0060, 388-450-0065, 388-450-0080, 388-450-0085 99-12-119 6-2-99
388-478-0010, 388-478-0060, 388-442-0010 99-12-120 6-2-99
388-418-0030, 388-406-0015, 388-406-0035, 388-406-0040, 388-406-0050 99-12-121 6-2-99

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 99-12-116, 99-12-117, 99-12-118, 99-12-119, 99-12-120, and 99-12-121, on June 2, 1999.

Changes Other than Editing from Proposed to Adopted Version: WAC 388-470-0075 (1)(g) revised to strike the words "an elderly or" in order to comply with federal rules.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 1, Amended 19, Repealed 1; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 1, Amended 37, Repealed 1.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 18, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 1, Amended 37, Repealed 1. Effective Date of Rule: September 1, 1999.

July 26, 1999

Marie Myerchin-Redifer

Manager

2587.2
NEW SECTION
WAC 388-418-0012
Prospective eligibility for food assistance.

(1) We determine eligibility for food assistance every month for all households based on the household’s expected circumstances. This is called prospective eligibility.

(2) Households must meet all eligibility requirements in WAC 388-400-0040 or 388-400-0045 in order to be eligible for food assistance unless the household meets the categorical eligibility (CE) requirements in WAC 388-414-0001.

[]

2581.2
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-16-044, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98)

WAC 388-418-0030
Notifying a recipient of intent to reduce, suspend or terminate assistance.

(1) For cash, medical and food assistance a ((recipient)) notice to reduce, suspend, or terminate assistance must be ((notified)) mailed to the recipient at least ten days in advance of ((an)) the action ((to reduce, suspend or terminate assistance)).  Certain types of circumstances do not require advance notice.

(2) When a ten day advance notice is not required:

(a) For cash assistance and medical, the notice must be mailed or given to the recipient by the date of the action to reduce, suspend or terminate the benefits.

(b) For food assistance, the notice must be mailed or given to the recipient by the date the benefits are received or should have been received.

(3) The ten day advance notice period is not required:

(a) For recipients of cash and food assistance when:

(i) The recipient's whereabouts are unknown and mail was returned by the post office marked no forwarding address;

(ii) The recipient requests termination;

(iii) The department has factual information that the assistance unit has moved to another state or will move to another state before the next benefits are issued; or

(iv) The recipient states in writing that they understand the information they provided will reduce, suspend or terminate their benefits.

(b) For cash and food assistance when the action is based on information provided on a monthly report.

(c) For cash assistance when:

(i) The department has factual information that the recipient or nonrecipient caretaker has died when no other caretaker is available;

(ii) A recipient child is removed from the home under a court order or is voluntarily placed in foster care by the adult caring for the child; or

(iii) A recipient was admitted or committed to an institution which makes them ineligible for benefits.

(d) When a cash assistance recipient's benefits are reduced or terminated because of long-term hospital stay or the recipient is placed in a nursing home.

(e) For food assistance only, when:

(i) The department has factual information that all assistance unit members have died;

(ii) The federal or state government makes mass changes;

(iii) The benefits are reduced because cash assistance is approved;

(iv) An assistance unit member is disqualified for an intentional program violation and the benefits of the remaining members are reduced or terminated because of this disqualification; or

(v) The department reduces the allotment to collect for an overpayment and the assistance unit already received advance notice.

(4) A separate notice is not required:

(a) For cash and food assistance when:

(i) Benefits were approved the recipient was notified of the amount of benefits for each month because the amounts varied.

(ii) The recipient was already notified when a supplemental payment or increased allotment to restore lost benefits would end.

(b) For cash assistance, when the recipient was already notified that an emergent need payment was for one month only.

(5) A client continues to receive the same benefits received prior to a ten-day advance notice of reduction, suspension or termination of benefits (continued benefits) when:

(a) The client requests a fair hearing during this ten-day period; and

(b) For food assistance only, the client's certification period has not expired.

(6) A client receives continued benefits through the end of the month the fair hearing decision is mailed unless:

(a) The client:

(i) States in writing that the assistance unit does not want continued benefits;

(ii) Withdraws the fair hearing request in writing; or

(iii) Abandons the fair hearing request; or

(b) An administrative law judge issues a written order that ends continued benefits prior to the fair hearing.

(7) For food assistance clients, continued benefits end when the certification period expires.

(8) Any continued benefits a client receives pending a fair hearing decision are considered an overpayment when the fair hearing decision agrees with the department's action.

(9) When eligibility for medical care is terminated the client is provided with advance and adequate written notice.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-418-0030, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-522-2205 and 388-525-2570.]

2579.3
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-16-044, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98)

WAC 388-406-0015
Expedited service for food assistance.

(1) ((Households eligible for)) Expedited service means a client will have verification postponed and receive food assistance benefits by the end of the fifth calendar day from the day after the date ((of)) the application is filed. The day after that date is day one.  ((For SSI recipients, this time frame begins on the date the:

(a) Applicant's local CSO receives the application of a noninstitutionalized SSI household; or

(b) Applicant is released from a public institution.

(2) Applicants are eligible for expedited service when the household:

(a) Has liquid resources of one hundred dollars or less and has gross monthly income under one hundred fifty dollars; or

(b) Has combined gross monthly income and liquid resources which are less than the household's current monthly rent and applicable utility allowance; or

(c) When all members are homeless; or

(d) Includes a destitute migrant or seasonal farmworker, as defined in WAC 388-406-0020, whose liquid resources do not exceed one hundred dollars.

(3) A household must provide verification of:

(a) The identity of the applicant; or

(b) The identity of the authorized representative who is applying for the household; and

(c) Other eligibility factors that can be verified within the five day time period specified in subsection (1) of this section.

(4) A household is not limited to the number of times it can receive expedited service if, following the last expedited certification, the household:

(a) Completes the postponed verification requirements; or

(b) Was certified by the regular nonexpedited processing methods.

(5) When a household is eligible for expedited service and an office interview is not required, the household will have:

(a) A telephone interview or home visit; and

(b) Still receive their benefits within the five-day expedited time period.

(6) A household is entitled to an agency conference within two working days from the date of denial for expedited service))

(2) The five-day period starts at a time after the date the application is filed in the following situations:

(a) The five-day period starts the date of the rescheduled interview when the client is screened as expedited service eligible and causes a delay by not showing for the initial interview;

(b) The five-day period starts the date identity is verified when the client causes a delay by not providing verification of identity at the interview; or

(c) The five-day period starts the date of the interview when the client:

(i) Waives the expedited interview and is found eligible for the service at the scheduled interview;

(ii) Is screened as ineligible for expedited service and later found eligible for the service at the scheduled interview; or

(iii) Does not request expedited service on the application and is found eligible for the service at the interview.

(3) For SSI recipients, the five-day period begins on the date the:

(a) Applicant’s local office receives the application of a noninstitutionalized SSI household; or

(b) Applicant is released from a public institution.

(4) When clients request expedited service on a recertification form, the five-day period:

(a) Starts the first day of the new certification period when the recertification is made prior to the end of the current certification period;

(b) Starts the first day of the new certification period or the date of interview, whichever is later, when the client causes a delay in the recertification; or

(c) Is the same as a new application when the recertification is made after the current certification period ends.

(5) Clients are eligible for expedited service when:

(a) The household has liquid resources of one hundred dollars or less and has gross monthly income under one hundred fifty dollars; or

(b) The household has combined gross monthly income and liquid resources which are less than the household's current monthly rent and applicable utility allowance; or

(c) All household members are homeless; or

(d) The household includes a destitute migrant or seasonal farmworker, as defined in WAC 388-406-0020, whose liquid resources do not exceed one hundred dollars.

(6) A household must provide verification of:

(a) The identity of the applicant; or

(b) The identity of the authorized representative who is applying for the household; and

(c) Other eligibility factors that can be verified within the five day time period specified in subsection (1) of this section.

(7) A household is not limited to the number of times it can receive expedited service if, following the last expedited certification, the household:

(a) Completes the postponed verification requirements; or

(b) Was certified by the regular nonexpedited processing methods.

(8) Households eligible for expedited service that are not required to have an office interview will:

(a) Have a telephone interview or home visit; and

(b) Still receive their benefits within the five-day expedited time period.

(9) A household is entitled to an agency conference within two working days from the date of denial for expedited service.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-406-0015, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


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

WAC 388-406-0035
Time limits for processing applications.

(1) The application process as defined in WAC 388-406-0050(1) must be completed as quickly as possible.  The time limits specified 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), ((and)) 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.

[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.]


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

WAC 388-406-0040
Delays in application processing.

(1) When the department discovers that a food assistance application has not been processed within the initial thirty day time limit, and:

(a) The department has sufficient information to determine eligibility, the application will be processed without further delay; or

(b) If additional information is needed to determine eligibility, the household will be:

(i) Mailed or given a written request for the additional information needed to determine eligibility; and

(ii) Allowed an additional thirty day period to provide the information.

(2) When a household files a joint application requesting food assistance and medical or cash assistance:

(a) Approval of the food assistance application cannot be delayed pending the processing of the application for medical or cash assistance; ((and))

(b) A new application for food assistance cannot be required if the application for medical or cash assistance is denied;

(c) Approval for a medical program is not delayed pending the processing of the application for cash or food assistance.

(3) For medical and cash assistance, application processing may be delayed only when good cause exists as specified in WAC 388-406-0045.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-406-0040, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-504-0480.]


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

WAC 388-406-0050
Completing the application process.

(1) Application processing is completed when the department makes an eligibility decision and:

(a) Authorizes benefits and, for food assistance, mails or gives a written approval notice to the applicant; or

(b) Mails or gives a written withdrawal or denial notice to the applicant.

(2) The applicant will be notified of the department's eligibility decision in writing.  A notice of denial or withdrawal must meet the adequate notice requirements in WAC 388-458-0005.

(3) For cash, medical, and food assistance, an applicant may voluntarily withdraw an application orally or in writing.

(4) For ((medical and)) cash assistance, an application is considered withdrawn when the applicant:

(a) Fails to appear for a scheduled interview required for eligibility determination; and

(b) Does not contact the department to reschedule the interview within thirty days from the date of application.

(5) For approved applications, the date the applicant becomes eligible for assistance is established according to WAC 388-406-0055.

(6) A decision to deny an application must be made according to the requirements of WAC 388-406-0060.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-406-0050, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-525-2505.]

2583.2
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-16-044, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98)

WAC 388-478-0010
Households with obligations to pay shelter costs.

The monthly need and payment standards for cash assistance are based on a determination of assistance unit size and whether the assistance unit has an obligation to pay shelter costs.

Eligibility and benefit level is determined using standards for assistance unit with obligations to pay shelter costs ((if the assistance unit)). An assistance unit has an obligation to pay shelter costs if one of the members:

(1) Owns, purchases or rents ((its)) their place of residence, even if costs are limited to property taxes, fire insurance, sewer, water, or garbage;

(2) Resides in a lower income housing project which is funded under the United States Housing Act of 1937 or Section 236 of the National Housing Act, if the household either pays rent or makes a utility payment ((in lieu)) instead of a rental payment; or

(3) Is homeless. Homeless households include persons or families who:

(a) Lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; or

(b) Reside in a public or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations; or

(c) Live in temporary lodging provided through a public or privately funded emergency shelter program.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-478-0010, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

2582.2
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 99-05-074, filed 2/17/99, effective 3/20/99)

WAC 388-478-0060
Income eligibility standards for food assistance.

(1) When ((an assistance unit receives)) all household members receive cash benefits (TANF, GA-U, GA-S, etc.) ((and)) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), they do not have to meet the income standard.

(2) All households (((assistance units))), based on their size, must have income at or below the limits shown in column B to be eligible for food assistance, except as follows:

(a) Column C is to be used when ((an assistance unit)) a household includes a person sixty years or older, or with disabilities;

(b) Column E is to be used when determining separate household status for an elderly person and a person with permanent disability, as described in WAC 388-408-0035 (1)(d).

EFFECTIVE 10-1-98
Column A

Household Size

Column B Maximum Gross Monthly Income Column C Maximum Net Monthly Income Column D Maximum Allotment Column E

165% of Poverty Level

1 $ 873 $ 671 $125 $1,107
2 1,176 905 230 1,492
3 1,479 1,138 329 1,877
4 1,783 1,371 419 2,262
5 2,086 1,605 497 2,647
6 2,389 1,838 597 3,032
7 2,693 2,071 659 3,417
8 2,996 2,305 754 3,802
9 3,300 2,539 848 4,187
10 3,604 2,773 942 4,572
Each Additional Member +304 +234 +94 +385

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.500, 74.04.510, 74.08.090.  99-05-074, 388-478-0060, filed 2/17/99, effective 3/20/99.  Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-478-0060, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

2599.1
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-16-044, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98)

WAC 388-442-0010
Felons.

(1) A person is not eligible for TANF/SFA, GA and/or food assistance if the person is:

(a) Fleeing to avoid prosecution, custody, or confinement after conviction of a crime, or an attempt to commit a crime which is considered a felony in the place from which they were fleeing; or

(b) Violating a condition of probation or parole as determined by an administrative body or court that has the authority to make this decision.

(2) A person is not eligible for TANF/SFA and/or food assistance if convicted of a felony committed after August 21, 1996 involving an element of possession, use, or distribution of an illegal drug, unless the person:

(a) Was convicted only of possession or use of an illegal drug; and

(b) Was not convicted of a felony for illegal drugs within three years of the latest conviction; and

(c) Was assessed as chemically dependent by a program certified by the division of alcohol and substance abuse (DASA); and

(d) Is taking part in or has completed a rehabilitation plan consisting of chemical dependency treatment and job services.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-442-0010, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

2584.2
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-16-044, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98)

WAC 388-450-0035
Educational benefits.

This section applies to TANF/SFA, RCA, GA, TANF/SFA-related medical and food assistance programs. Unless otherwise stated, exclusions and disregards of educational benefits apply to clients engaged in undergraduate studies only.

(1) ((A student can)) We exclude the educational assistance in the form of grants, loans or work study, issued from Title IV of the Higher Education Amendments (Title IV - HEA) and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) education assistance programs. Examples of Title IV - HEA and BIA educational assistance include but are not limited to:

(a) College work study (federal and state);

(b) Pell grants; and

(c) BIA higher education grants.

(2) We do not count the following types of educational assistance, in the form of grants, loans, or work study((, are not counted)) when determining a student's need:

(a) Assistance under the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act, P.L. 101-391 for attendance costs identified by the institution as specified in subsections (3) and (4) of this section; and

(b) Educational assistance made available under any program administered by the Department of Education (DOE) to an undergraduate student. Examples of programs administered by DOE include but are not limited to:

(i) Christa McAuliffe Fellowship Program;

(ii) Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program; and

(iii) Library Career Training Program.

(3) Educational assistance under subsection (2)(a) of this section is disregarded when used for the following attendance costs ((is not counted)) when a student is attending school less than half-time:

(a) Tuition;

(b) Fees; and

(c) Costs for purchase or rental of equipment, materials, or supplies required of all students in the same course of study.

(4) Educational assistance under subsection (2)(a) of this section ((for a student attending school at least half-time)) that is used for the following ((attendance costs)) expenses is disregarded in addition to the costs specified in subsection (3) of this section when the student is attending school at least half-time:

(a) Books;

(b) Supplies;

(c) Transportation;

(d) Dependent care; and

(e) Miscellaneous personal expenses.

(5) For TANF/SFA, RCA, GA, and TANF/SFA-related medical assistance, the amount of a student's remaining educational assistance equal to the difference between the student's appropriate need standard and payment standard is excluded.

(6) Any remaining income is unearned income and budgeted using the appropriate budgeting method for the assistance unit.

(7) When a student participates in a work study program that is not excluded by subsections (1) and (2) of this section, the income received is treated as earned income:

(a) Applying the applicable earned income disregards;

(b) For TANF/SFA, RCA, GA, and TANF/SFA-related medical assistance, excluding the difference between the student's appropriate need standard and payment standard; and

(c) Budgeting remaining income using the appropriate budgeting method for the assistance unit.

(8) When a student receives Veteran's Administration Educational Assistance:

(a) All applicable attendance costs are subtracted; and

(b) The remaining unearned income is budgeted using the appropriate budgeting method for the assistance unit.

(9) When a student participates in graduate school studies, educational assistance made available to the student is ((treated)) counted as ((unearned income)):

(a) Assistance from another agency for cash and medical assistance;

(b) Earned income for food assistance if there are work requirements; or

(c) Unearned income for food assistance if there are no work requirements.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-450-0035, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


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

WAC 388-450-0045
Income from employment or training programs.

This section applies to TANF/SFA, RCA, GA, and food assistance programs.

(1) Payments issued under the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) are ((treated)) considered as follows:

(a) Wages paid under JTPA including wages for on-the-job training are ((considered)) counted as earned income.

(b) For TANF/SFA, RCA, and GA assistance, needs based payments issued under JTPA including payments for on-the-job training are considered as follows:

(i) Payments which cover special needs not covered in the need standard are excluded.

(ii) Payments which duplicate items contained in the need standard are excluded up to the difference between the student's appropriate need standard and payment standard.

(c) For food assistance((,)):

(i) Living allowances and incentive payments under JTPA are excluded as income; and

(ii) Earnings received from on-the-job training programs under JTPA are:

(A) Counted as earned income for persons:

(I) Age nineteen and older; or

(II) Age eighteen or younger and not under parental control.

(B) Excluded income for persons eighteen years of age or younger and under parental control.

(2) Payments issued under the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993 (AmeriCorps) are ((treated)) considered as follows:

(a) For cash assistance, living allowances or stipends paid under AmeriCorps are ((considered)) counted as earned income.

(b) For food assistance, living allowances or stipends paid under AmeriCorps are excluded income.

(3) AmeriCorps/VISTA stipends and living allowances paid to VISTA volunteers under the Domestic Volunteer Act of 1973:

(a) For TANF/SFA, RCA, and GA assistance, are disregarded as income; and

(b) For food assistance, are ((disregarded)) counted as earned income((,)). The payments are disregarded if the client received:

(i) Food assistance or cash assistance at the time they joined the Title I program; or

(ii) An income disregard for the Title I program at the time of conversion to the Food Stamp Act of 1977. Disregard of Title I program income will continue through temporary interruptions in food assistance participation.

(4) For TANF/SFA, RCA, and GA assistance, needs based payments issued under AmeriCorps are ((treated like)) considered the same way as JTPA payments as provided in subsection (1)(b) of this section.

(5) For food assistance, training allowances from vocational and rehabilitative programs are counted as earned income when:

(a) Recognized by federal, state, or local governments; and

(b) Not a reimbursement.

(6) For training allowances received by GA-U clients:

(a) The earned income incentive and work expense deduction specified under WAC 388-450-0175 is applied when applicable; and

(b) For clients enrolled in a remedial education or vocational training course, the actual cost of uniforms or special clothing required for the course is deducted from the training allowance.

(7) Support service payments received by or made on behalf of WorkFirst participants are not considered income.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-450-0045, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


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

WAC 388-450-0060
Lump sum payments.

This section applies to TANF/SFA, RCA, GA, and TANF/SFA-related medical, and food assistance benefits. A one-time lump sum payment is ((treated)) considered as follows:

(1) Compensatory awards or related settlements are considered countable resources as provided in WAC 388-470-0080.

(2) For food assistance, nonrecurring lump sum payments are counted as a resource in the month received unless specifically excluded as a resource in WAC 388-470-0035.

(3) For all other one-time lump sum payments, the amount equal to the difference between the client's countable resources and the resource limit is disregarded as income. The remaining amount is called the net lump sum payment and affects the client's eligibility and benefit amount as provided in WAC 388-450-0240.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-450-0060, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


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

WAC 388-450-0065
Gifts--Cash and noncash.

A gift is an item furnished to a client without work or cost on his or her part.

(1) A cash gift is a gift that is furnished as money, cash, checks or any other readily negotiable form.

(a) For TANF/SFA, RCA, GA-S, GA-H, and TANF/SFA-related medical programs, cash gifts ((of up to)) totaling no more than thirty ((cumulative)) dollars per calendar quarter for each assistance unit member are disregarded as income.

(b) For GA-U ((and food assistance programs)), cash gifts are treated as unearned income.

(c) For food assistance programs:

(i) Cash gifts to the assistance unit are excluded if they total thirty dollars or less per quarter;

(ii) Cash gifts in excess of thirty dollars per quarter are counted in full as unearned income.

(2) For TANF/SFA, RCA, GA-S, GA-H, GA-U and TANF/SFA-related medical programs, a noncash gift is treated as a resource.

(a) If the gift is a countable resource, its value is added to the value of the client's existing countable resources and the client's eligibility is redetermined as specified in chapter 388-470 WAC.

(b) If the gift is an excluded or noncountable resource, it does not affect the client's eligibility or benefit level.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-450-0065, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


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

WAC 388-450-0080
Self-employment income--General rules.

This section applies to TANF/SFA, RCA, GA, TANF/SFA-related medical and food assistance programs.

(1) Self-employment earned income is used to reduce a client's need for assistance. The income is treated as earned income as provided in WAC 388-450-0030.

(2) Self-employment earned income is defined as gross business income minus total allowable business expenses as defined in WAC 388-450-0085.

(3) In order to establish eligibility for assistance, a self-employed client must maintain and make available to the department a record clearly documenting all business expenses and income.

(4) Income from the following is treated as self-employment income:

(a) Adult family home;

(b) Farming;

(c) Roomers and boarders;

(d) Rental and lease of personal property or real estate owned by the client((; and)) is counted as unearned income unless the following conditions are met:

(i) For TANF/SFA clients, the use of the property is part of an approved individual responsibility plan;

(ii) For food assistance clients, the client spends at least twenty hours per week managing the property; or

(iii) For RCA or GA clients, there are no specific requirements of a self-sufficiency plan or a set number of hours managing the property.

(e) Self-produced or supplied items.

(5) For food assistance, when two or more assistance units share a residence, the money paid from one assistance unit to the other assistance unit for shelter costs is roomer income when:

(a) One assistance unit owns or is buying the residence; or

(b) One assistance unit is renting a residence and charges the other assistance unit an amount that is in excess of the total cost of renting the residence.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-450-0080, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


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

WAC 388-450-0085
Self-employment income--Allowable expenses.

The following self-employment expenses are allowed as deductions from gross self-employment income for TANF/SFA, RCA, GA, medical and food assistance programs unless otherwise specified:

(1) Rent or lease of business equipment or property;

(2) Utilities;

(3) Postage;

(4) Telephone;

(5) Office supplies;

(6) Advertising;

(7) Business related insurance, taxes, licenses and permits;

(8) Legal, accounting, and other professional fees;

(9) For TANF/SFA, RCA, and GA assistance programs only, the cost of goods sold, including wages paid to employees producing salable goods, raw materials, stock, and replacement or reasonable accumulation of inventory, provided inventory has been declared exempt on the basis of ((an agreed plan pursuant to chapter 388-470 WAC)) the individual responsibility plan or other plan approved by the department;

(10) Repairs to business equipment and property, excluding vehicles;

(11) Interest on business loans used to purchase income-producing property or equipment;

(12) Gross wages and salaries paid to employees who are not:

(a) Producing salable goods; or

(b) A member of the assistance unit

(13) Commissions paid to agents and independent contractors;

(14) Seed, fertilizer, and feed grain for a self-employed farmer;

(15) Other reasonable and necessary costs of doing business;

(16) The cost of the place of business((.)):

(a) For TANF/SFA, RCA, GA, and medical assistance, if any portion of the client's home is used as the place of business, it must be used exclusively for business to be an allowable business expense. The percentage of the home used for business can be an allowable business expense;

(b) For food assistance, there is no requirement for a portion of the home to be used exclusively for business. The percentage of the home used for business can be an allowable business expense

(17) The following transportation expenses are allowed as a deduction from gross self-employment income:

(a) Actual, documented costs for:

(i) Gas, oil, and fluids;

(ii) Replacing worn items such as tires;

(iii) Registration and licensing fees;

(iv) Auto loan interest; and

(v) Business related parking and tolls; or

(b) A cost per mile established by the department.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-450-0085, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

2575.3
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-16-044, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98)

WAC 388-450-0005
Income--Ownership and availability.

(1) For TANF/SFA, RCA, GA, TANF/SFA-related medical and food assistance programs:

(a) All available income owned or possessed by a client is considered when determining the client's eligibility and benefit level.

(b) Ownership of income is determined according to applicable state and federal laws pertaining to property ownership and eligibility for assistance programs. For married persons, ownership of separate and community income is determined according to chapter 26.16 RCW.

(c) Income owned by a client is considered available when it is at hand and may be used to meet the client's current need. The gross amount of available income is counted in the month it is received.

(i) If income is usually available on a specific day, it is considered available on that date.

(ii) If income is usually received monthly or semi-monthly and the pay date changes due to a reason beyond the client’s control, such as a weekend or holiday, it is counted in the month it is intended to cover rather than the month it is actually received.

(iii) If income is usually received weekly or bi-weekly and the pay date changes due to a reason beyond the client’s control, it is counted in the month it is received.

(d) ((When the department determines that a client may be entitled to or have an interest in income which may be used to reduce the client's need for assistance, the client may be denied assistance when the client fails or refuses to make a reasonable effort to make the income available or receive the entitlement.

(i) A client's eligibility is not affected until the income is received as long as the client makes reasonable efforts to make potential income available; and

(ii) A client may choose whether to receive TANF/SFA or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

(e))) The income of a person who is not a member of a client's assistance unit may be considered available to the client under the rules of this chapter if the person is financially responsible for the client and lives in the home with the client. For medical programs, financial responsibility is described in WAC 388-408-0055.

(((f))) (e) For medical programs, the income of a financially responsible person, not living in the home is considered available to the extent it is contributed.

(((g))) (f) Funds deposited into a bank account which is held jointly by a client and another are considered income possessed by and available to the client unless:

(i) The client can show that all or part of the funds belong exclusively to the other account holder and are held or used solely for the benefit of that holder; or

(ii) The funds have been considered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) when determining the other account holder's eligibility for SSI benefits.

(g) Potential income is income a client may have access to that can be used to reduce the need for assistance. For cash and medical programs, when the department determines that a potential income source exists, the client may be denied assistance when the client fails or refuses to make a reasonable effort to make the income available.

(i) A client's eligibility is not affected until the income is received as long as the client makes reasonable efforts to make potential income available; and

(ii) A client may choose whether to receive TANF/SFA or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

(2) For TANF/SFA, RCA, GA and food assistance programs the income of an alien's sponsor is considered available to the alien under the rules of this chapter when determining the alien's eligibility and benefit level.

(3) For SSI-related medical:

(a) Income is considered available and owned when it is:

(i) Received; and

(ii) Can be used to meet the clients needs for food, clothing and shelter, except as provided in WAC 388-511-1130.

(b) Loans and certain other receipts are not defined as income for SSI-related medical purposes as described in 20 C.F.R. Sec. 416.1103.

(4) For medical programs, trusts are described in WAC 388-505-0595.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-450-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-505-0590 and 388-506-0610.]


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

WAC 388-450-0215
Prospective budgeting.

Unless specifically stated, this section applies to TANF/SFA, RCA, GA, medical and food assistance programs.

(1) Prospective budgeting means an assistance unit's benefit amount for the month is computed using the best estimate of income and circumstance for that month.

(2) Best estimate means a reasonable expectation and knowledge of current, past and future circumstances. For TANF/SFA, RCA and GA assistance:

(a) An overpayment is established if the income is underestimated; and

(b) A corrective payment is issued if the income is overestimated.

(3) For medical assistance programs, the assistance unit's income is always prospectively budgeted.

(4) For TANF/SFA, RCA, GA, and food assistance programs, an assistance unit's income and circumstances are prospectively budgeted:

(a) For the first two months of benefit eligibility;

(b) When the benefits have been closed for less than one month and were closed in the first prospectively budgeted month; or

(c) When the assistance unit's benefits are suspended, as defined in WAC 388-450-0245 and the assistance unit experiences a significant change in their income, such as loss of employment, in the budget or process month.

(5) For each month of benefit eligibility certain assistance units will have their income prospectively budgeted. This applies to assistance units in which:

(a) All adult members are elderly or disabled and do not have earned income or recent work history, as defined in WAC 388-404-0015, 388-400-0040 and 388-456-0010;

(b) ((The members are migrant workers. A migrant worker is a person who works in seasonal agricultural employment that requires the person to be away from their permanent place of residence overnight;

(c))) All members are homeless as defined in WAC 388-408-0050; ((or))

(c) The only countable income is received from migrant work; or

(d) For food assistance programs the only countable income is received from seasonal farm work((:

(i) A seasonal farm worker is a person working in seasonal agricultural employment but not required to be away from their permanent place of residence overnight; and

(ii) A seasonal farm worker assistance unit means an assistance unit which receives its only income from seasonal farm work or unemployment compensation)).

(6) ((Public)) Cash assistance income is budgeted prospectively.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-450-0215, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-505-0590.]


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

WAC 388-450-0220
Retrospective budgeting.

This section applies to all TANF/SFA, RCA, GA, and food assistance programs.

(1) Retrospective budgeting means the assistance unit's benefit amount for the payment month is computed using the actual income and circumstances of the budget month.

(a) The budget month is the month in which the income is received by the client.

(b) The process month is the month following the budget month. It is the month during which the department computes the client's benefit amount when income from the budget month is reported timely.

(c) The payment month is the month following the process month.

(2) After the first two months of benefit eligibility, an assistance unit's income and circumstances are retrospectively budgeted, except when the assistance unit:

(a) Is listed in WAC 388-450-0215(5); and

(b) Has discontinued income, as defined in WAC 388-450-0235.

(3) An assistance unit's initial month's benefits are retrospectively budgeted when:

(a) The assistance unit's benefits are reopened after being closed in error;

(b) The assistance unit's benefits are reopened after being closed less than one month and closed after the first initial month of eligibility; or

(c) ((A person with income is added to the assistance unit and their income had been allocated to the assistance unit; or

(d))) The assistance unit's benefits were suspended, as defined in WAC 388-450-0245, and:

(i) The first month of eligibility follows the month of suspension; and

(ii) The assistance unit has not experienced a significant change, as provided in WAC 388-450-0245((.

(4) Income from a discontinued source that was prospectively budgeted during the first two months of eligibility, may be excluded for retrospective budgeting as specified in WAC 388-450-0235)).

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-450-0220, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


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

WAC 388-450-0225
((Budgeting income for cash assistance)) How to calculate the benefit amount for the first month of eligibility for TANF/SFA and RCA applicants.

(1) The ((grant)) benefit amount for the first calendar month of ((application is computed as follows:

(1) All countable income to be budgeted during the first calendar month of eligibility is subtracted from the payment level plus authorized additional requirements; and

(2) The grant is prorated for the remaining number of days in the month beginning with the effective date of eligibility. This prorated figure is the benefit level for the first month of eligibility)) eligibility for TANF/SFA and RCA approved applications is the sum of:

(a) The prorated grant amount; and

(b) Approved additional requirements.

(2) The grant amount is calculated by subtracting the countable income as described in WAC 388-450-0180 from the payment standard.

(a) When the countable income is equal to or exceeds the payment standard and there are no approved additional requirements, the assistance unit is not eligible for cash assistance in the first month of eligibility.

(b) When the countable income is more than the payment standard and additional requirements are approved, the amount that exceeds the payment standard is subtracted from the additional requirements.

(c) When the countable income is less than the payment standard, the grant amount is prorated by:

(i) Dividing the grant amount by the number of days in the first month of eligibility; and

(ii) Multiplying the figure in (c)(i) of this subsection by the number of days from the date of eligibility to the last day of the month.

(3) The approved additional requirements are not prorated.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-450-0225, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


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

WAC 388-450-0235
Discontinued income.

(1) For TANF/SFA, RCA, GA, and food assistance programs, discontinued income ((means)) is income ((which)) that was previously available to the assistance unit but ((is no longer received)) has stopped.

(2) Discontinued income affects retrospectively budgeted households as defined in WAC 388-450-0220.

(3) When the income of an assistance unit was used to determine the benefit amount in the first two months of eligibility ((has)) and stopped in one of the initial months, the income is not used to determine benefits for the following months.

(((3))) (4) For food assistance ((programs, clients who report during the budget month that income stopped that month will not have the income counted for the)) discontinued income is not budgeted against the corresponding payment month if the client:

(a) Reports on the monthly report or ten days prior to the payment month that the income stopped during the budget month; and

(b) Begins to receive cash assistance or the cash grant increases as a result of the discontinued income.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-450-0235, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


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

WAC 388-450-0250
Income of a new assistance unit member.

This section applies to all TANF/SFA, RCA, GA, medical and food assistance programs.

(1) ((A client's income is treated as specified in chapter 388-418 WAC when the client enters)) When a new member is added to an assistance unit and that person has not received benefits in the last calendar month, the new member’s income is budgeted prospectively for the first two months of eligibility.

(2) When a recipient establishes a separate assistance unit:

(a) That client is removed from the prior assistance unit; and

(b) The method of income budgeting that was in effect in the prior assistance unit is used for the new assistance unit.

(3) When a person with income is added to the assistance unit and their income had been allocated to the assistance unit:

(a) For cash assistance continue to budget the income retrospectively;

(b) For food assistance:

(i) Discontinue the allocation effective the payment month; and

(ii) Budget the new member’s income prospectively for the first two months of eligibility.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-450-0250, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

2576.4
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-16-044, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98)

WAC 388-470-0025
Excluded resources for cash assistance.

The following resources do not count toward the resource limits for cash assistance:

(1) Adoption support payments when the adopted child is excluded from the assistance unit.

(2) Bona fide loans which means the loan is a debt a client owes and has an obligation to repay.

(3) Earned income tax credit and advanced earned income tax credit in the month received and the following month.

(4) ((For cash assistance only,)) Excess real property on which a client is not living:

(a) When, for a period not to exceed nine months, a client:

(i) Makes a good-faith effort to sell the excess property; and

(ii) Signs an agreement to repay the amount of benefits received or the net proceeds of the sale, whichever is less.

(b) Upon cash assistance approval, the agreement to repay is sent to office of financial recovery to file a lien without a specified amount; or

(c) Is used in a self-employment enterprise and meets the criteria in subsection (10) of this section.

(5) Food coupon allotment from the food assistance programs.

(6) Food service payments provided for children under the National School Lunch Act of 1966, PL 92-433 and 93-150.

(7) Foster care payments provided under Title IV-E((,)) and/or state ((or Local)) foster care maintenance payments.

(8) Housing and Urban Development (HUD) community development block grant funds.

(9) Income tax refunds are excluded in the month the refund is received.

(10) A bank account jointly owned with an SSI recipient when SSA counted the funds to determine the SSI recipient's eligibility.

(11) Real and personal property used in a self-employment enterprise if:

(a) The property is necessary to restore the client's independence or will aid in rehabilitating the client or the client's dependents; and

(b) The client has ((signed an agreed)) an approved self-employment plan ((with the department)); and

(c) For WorkFirst participants, the self-employment enterprise is a component of the participant’s approved individual responsibility plan (IRP).

(12) Retroactive cash benefits or TANF benefits resulting from a court order modifying a department policy.

(13) Self-employment-accounts receivable that a client bills to the client's customer but has been unable to collect.

(14) SSI recipient's income and resources.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-470-0025, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


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

WAC 388-470-0035
Excluded resources for food assistance.

The following resources do not count toward a client's resource limit.

(1) Earned income tax credit is excluded:

(a) In the month it is received and the following month if the person was not a food assistance recipient when the credit was received; or

(b) For twelve months when the person:

(i) Was a food assistance recipient when the credit was received; and

(ii) Remains a food assistance recipient continuously during this period.

(2) Essential property needed for employment or self-employment of a household member is excluded.  Property excluded under this section and used by a self-employed farmer or fisher retains its exclusion for one year after the household member stops farming or fishing.

(3) Excluded funds that are deposited in a bank account with countable funds continue to be excluded up to six months from the date of deposit.

(4) Governmental disaster payments to repair a damaged home when the household can be sanctioned if the funds are not used for this purpose.

(5) A home a client is living in including the surrounding property that is not separated by property owned by others is excluded.  Public right of ways do not affect this exclusion;

(6) A home that the household is not living in and surrounding property is excluded if the household:

(a) Is making a good faith effort to sell; or

(b) Is planning to return to the home and it is not occupied due to:

(i) Employment;

(ii) Training for future employment;

(iii) Illness; or

(iv) Unlivable conditions caused by a natural disaster or casualty.

(7) Any other property is excluded if the household:

(a) Has offered the property for sale through a professional real estate broker; and

(b) Has not declined an offer equivalent to fair market value.

(8) Indian lands that are held jointly by the tribe or can be sold only with the approval from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) are excluded;

(((8))) (9) Installment contracts:

(a) Installment contracts or agreements for the sale of land or property are excluded when they are producing income consistent with their fair market value;

(b) Value of property sold under an installment contract or held for security is excluded if the purchase price is consistent with fair market value.

(((9))) (10) Insurance policies and pension funds:

(a) Cash value of life insurance policies and pension funds (((excluding)), except IRAs and Keogh Plans(())), are excluded.

(b) Prepaid burial plans are excluded when the plan:

(i) Is death insurance as opposed to a bank account; and

(ii) Requires repayment for allowable withdrawals.

(((10))) (11) Land.  Where a client plans to build a permanent home or is excluded where their property is not separated by land owned by others.  The land is countable if the assistance unit owns another home.

(((11))) (12) A resource is excluded when it is owned by an assistance unit member who receives TANF/SFA or SSI.

(((12))) (13) Resources that are owned by persons who are not members of the household are excluded.

(((13))) (14) A resource is excluded when, if it is sold, would only result in a gain to the household of one-half of the applicable resource limit as defined under WAC 388-470-0005.  The resource must be something other than stocks, bonds, negotiable financial instruments, or a vehicle.

(((14))) (15) Prorated income for self-employed persons or ineligible students.  These monies retain their exclusion for the period of time the income is prorated even when commingled with other funds.

(((15))) (16) Real or personal property when:

(a) It produces yearly income that is equal to its fair market value even when used only on a seasonal basis;

(b) Secured by a lien for a business loan and the lien prevents the household from selling it; or

(c) It is directly related to the maintenance or use of a vehicle excluded in WAC 388-470-0075.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-470-0035, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


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

WAC 388-470-0045
Resources that are counted toward the resource limits for cash, food assistance and TANF/SFA-related medical programs.

(1) The following resources are counted toward the resource limits for cash, food assistance and TANF/SFA-related medical programs:

(a) Liquid resources such as cash on hand, monies in checking or savings accounts; or

(b) ((Motor home when not used as a residence; or

(d))) Stocks or bonds minus any early withdrawal penalty.

(2) For TANF/SFA, GA, and TANF/SFA-related medical, the entire value of a motor home is counted as a resource when not used as a residence. For food assistance, a motor home is treated as a vehicle as described in WAC 388-470-0075.

(3) A resource owned with a person other than a spouse, contract vendor, mortgage or lien holder (jointly owned) is counted as follows:

(a) For cash assistance and TANF-related medical, the client's share of the equity value; or

(b) For food assistance, resources jointly owned by separate assistance units are considered available in their entirety to each assistance unit.

(((3))) (4) A client may provide evidence that all or a portion of a jointly owned resource:

(a) Belongs to the other owner; and

(b) Is held for the benefit of the other owner.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-470-0045, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


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

WAC 388-470-0055
Resources that are counted for food assistance.

The net value of the following resources are counted toward an assistance unit's resource limit:

(1) Excluded funds that are deposited in an account with countable funds (commingled) for more than six months from the date of deposit.

(2) Lump sums such as insurance settlements, refunded cleaning and damage deposits.

(3) Resources of ineligible household members, as described in WAC 388-408-0035(9).

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-470-0055, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


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

WAC 388-470-0075
How vehicles are counted for food assistance.

(1) The entire value of a licensed vehicle even during periods of temporary unemployment is excluded if the vehicle is:

(a) Used over fifty percent of the time for income-producing purposes.  An excluded vehicle used by a self-employed farmer or fisher retains its exclusion for one year from the date the household member ends this self-employment.

(b) Used to produce income annually that is consistent with its fair market value (FMV).

(c) Necessary for long-distance travel that is essential to the employment of an assistance unit member whose resources are considered available to the assistance unit.  Vehicles needed for daily commuting are not excluded under this provision.

(d) Necessary for hunting or fishing to support the household.

(e) Used as the assistance unit's home.

(f) Used to carry fuel for heating or water for home use when this is the primary source of fuel or water for the assistance unit.

(g) Needed to transport a ((temporarily or permanently)) physically disabled household member.

(2) The FMV in excess of four thousand six hundred fifty dollars is counted toward the assistance unit's resource limit for the following licensed vehicles if not excluded in subsection (1) above:

(a) One per assistance unit regardless of use;

(b) Used for transportation to and from work, training, or education; or

(c) Used for seeking employment.

(3) For all other licensed vehicles, the larger value of the following is counted toward the assistance unit's resource limit:

(a) FMV in excess of four thousand six hundred fifty dollars; or

(b) Equity value.

(4) Unlicensed vehicles driven by tribal members on the reservation are treated like a licensed vehicle.

(5) For unlicensed vehicles the equity value is counted towards the assistance unit's resource limit unless the vehicle is:

(a) Used to produce income annually that is consistent with its FMV even if used on a seasonal basis; or

(b) Work-related equipment necessary for employment or self-employment of an assistance unit member.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-470-0075, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

2577.2
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-16-044, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98)

WAC 388-482-0005
Student status for food assistance.

(1) A food assistance client is considered a student when the client is:

(a) Aged eighteen through forty-nine years;

(b) Physically and mentally able to work; and

(c) Enrolled ((at least half time)) in an institution of higher education at least half-time as defined by the institution.

(2) An institution of higher education is:

(a) Any educational institution requiring a high school diploma or general education development certificate (GED);

(b) Business, trade or vocational schools requiring a high school diploma or GED; or

(c) A two-year or four-year college or university offering a degree but not requiring a high school diploma or GED.

(3) To be ((an)) eligible ((student in the)) for food assistance ((programs)), a student as defined in subsection (1) of this section must meet at least one of the following requirements:

(a) ((Work and receive pay for a average of twenty hours each week.  A self-employed student’s weekly earnings must be equal to or above the federal minimum wage multiplied by)) Be employed for a minimum of twenty hours per week.

(b) Work and receive money from a federal or state work study program;

(c) Be responsible for the care of ((their child)) a dependent household member age five or younger;

(d) Be responsible for the care of ((their child)) a dependent household member six through eleven years of age and the department has determined that there is not adequate child care available during the school year to allow the student to:

(i) Attend class and satisfy the twenty hour work requirement; or

(ii) Take part in a work study program.

(e) Be a single parent responsible for the care of ((their child)) a dependent household member eleven years old or younger even if child care is available;

(f) Be an adult who has parental control of a child eleven years of age or younger and neither the adult’s spouse nor the child’s parents reside in the home;

(g) Participate in the WorkFirst program as required under WAC 388-310-400;

(h) Receive benefits from TANF or SFA;

(i) Attend an institution of higher education through:

(i) The job training partnership act (JTPA);

(ii) Food assistance employment and training program (FS E&T);

(iii) An approved state or local employment and training program; or

(iv) Section 236 of the Trade Act of 1974.

(4) Student status:

(a) Begins the first day of the school term; and

(b) Continues through vacations.  Vacations include the summer when the student plans to return to school for the next term.

(5) If the only reason a student is eligible for food assistance is the participation in work study, the student becomes ineligible during the summer months if the student is not working and receiving money from work study.  Consider other student eligibility criteria during the summer months.

(6) Student status ends when a student:

(a) Graduates;

(b) Is suspended or expelled;

(c) Drops out; or

(d) Does not intend to register for the next school term other than summer.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-482-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

2596.2
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 99-02-039, filed 12/31/98, effective 1/31/99)

WAC 388-412-0005
General information about (([for])) cash assistance payments.

(1) Eligible clients may receive cash assistance by electronic benefit transfer (EBT) or ((warrants [Each separate assistance receives a separate cash benefit grant, even if there are multiple assistance units in the same residence].

(2))) warrant. Each separate assistance unit receives a separate cash benefit grant, even if there are multiple assistance units in the same residence.

(((3))) (2) A married couple who both receive any general assistance benefit must be considered one assistance unit. However, cash payments are made individually and will not exceed one half of the two-person GA-U standard.

(((4))) (3) Grants are rounded down to the next whole dollar amount with the following exceptions:

(a) Clothing and personal incidental (CPI) allowance; and

(b) Grants with a deduction for repayment of an overpayment.

(((5))) (4) Grant payments are not issued for under ten dollars except:

(a) Grants with a deduction for repayment of an overpayment;

(b) CPI allowances with income deducted; or

(c) Supplemental Social Security (SSI) interim assistance payments.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510, 74.08.090, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and S. 825, Public Law 104-193, Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.  99-02-039, 388-412-0005, filed 12/31/98, effective 1/31/99.  Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-412-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


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

WAC 388-412-0015
Food assistance allotments.

(1) A client's food assistance benefit amount is called an allotment. An allotment is the total dollar value of coupons an eligible assistance unit receives for a calendar month.

(2) Assistance units with no income receive the maximum allotment as described under the thrifty food plan (TFP) in WAC 388-478-0060. Assistance units with net income receive smaller amounts.

(3) When an assistance unit has income, the allotment is determined by:

(a) Multiplying the assistance unit's net monthly income by thirty percent and rounding ((down that amount)) up to the next whole dollar; and

(b) Subtracting the results from the thrifty food plan for the appropriate assistance unit size as specified in WAC 388-478-0060.

(4) Except for those described in WAC 388-406-0055 eligible assistance units receive benefits from the effective date of eligibility to the end of the first month. This is called proration and is based on a thirty-day month.

(5) In the first month of eligibility, assistance units do not receive an allotment when the amount is less than ten dollars.

(6) Eligible one and two person assistance units receive a minimum ten dollar allotment:

(a) After the first month of eligibility; or

(b) In the first month of eligibility when the CSO receives the assistance unit's application on the first day of the month.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-412-0015, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

2578.4
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-16-044, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98)

WAC 388-416-0005
Certification periods for food assistance.

A certification period is the specified amount of time the assistance unit is determined eligible.  Assistance units are certified for the following periods:

(1) ((Up to)) Not more than twenty-four months for assistance units without earned income ((and)) or cash assistance when all members are elderly;

(2) ((Up to)) Not more than twelve months for assistance units((:

(a) Receiving cash assistance;

(b) With earned income and required to report monthly; or

(c) Without)) with no earned income and all household members are disabled or elderly.

(3) ((Up to)) Not more than six months for assistance units:

(a) ((Assistance units)) Receiving cash assistance;

(b) With earned income and required to report monthly;

(c) With recent work history and required to report monthly; or

(((b) Assistance units)) (d) Not likely to have any changes.

(4) ((Up to)) Not more than three months for assistance units:

(a) Consisting of migrant((s)) seasonal farmworkers; ((or))

(b) ((All other assistance units)) Containing an able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD);

(c) Without any income and not receiving cash assistance;

(d) With expenses that exceed income received;

(e) That are homeless or staying in an emergency or battered spouse shelter:

(f) That are staying in a non-ADATSA drug and alcohol treatment center; or

(g) Not ((included)) identified in this section.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-416-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

2585.2
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-16-044, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98)

WAC 388-450-0100
Allocating income--Definitions.

The following definitions apply to the allocation rules for TANF/SFA, RCA, and GA programs:

(1) "Dependent" means a person who:

(a) Is or could be claimed for federal income tax purposes by the financially responsible person; or

(b) The financially responsible person is legally obligated to support.

(2) "Financially responsible person" means a parent, stepparent, adoptive parent, spouse or caretaker relative.

(3) A "disqualified assistance unit member" means a person who is:

(a) An unmarried pregnant or parenting minor under age eighteen who has not completed a high school education or general education development (GED) certification and is not participating in those educational activities which would lead to the attainment of a high school diploma or GED;

(b) An unmarried pregnant or parenting minor under age eighteen who is not living in a department-approved living situation; ((and))

(c) The financially responsible person who does not report to the department within five days of the date it becomes reasonably clear that the absence of a child will exceed ninety days;

(d) A person who has been convicted in federal or state court of having made a fraudulent statement or representation about their place of residence in order to receive assistance from two or more states at the same time as defined in WAC 388-446-0010; and

(e) A person who has been convicted of unlawfully receiving public assistance as defined under WAC 388-446-0005.

(((3) "Financially responsible person" means a parent, stepparent, adoptive parent, spouse or caretaker relative.))

(4) "Ineligible assistance unit member" means an individual who is:

(a) ((Is)) Ineligible for cash assistance due to citizenship/alien status requirement in ((chapter 388-424)) WAC 388-424-0005;

(b) ((Has been disqualified from receiving assistance under WAC 388-446-0010 based on a conviction in federal or state court of having made a fraudulent statement or representation with respect to their place of residence in order to receive assistance from two or more states at the same time;

(c) Has been disqualified from receiving assistance under WAC 388-446-0005 based on a conviction for unlawfully receiving public assistance;

(d) Has been disqualified from receiving)) Ineligible to receive assistance under WAC 388-442-0010 for having been convicted after August 21, 1996, under federal or state law, of possession, use or distribution of a controlled substance;

(((e) Is disqualified from receiving)) (c) Ineligible to receive assistance under WAC 388-442-0010 for fleeing to avoid prosecution or custody or confinement after conviction for a crime or attempt to commit a crime;

(((f) Is disqualified from receiving)) (d) Ineligible to receive assistance under WAC 388-442-0010 for violating a condition of probation or parole which was imposed under a federal or state law as determined by an administrative body or court of competent jurisdiction;

(((g) Is)) (e) The spouse of a woman who receives cash benefits from the GA-S program; ((and

(h) Is)) or

(f) The adult parent of a minor parent's child.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-450-0100, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-24-037, filed 11/24/98, effective 12/25/98)

WAC 388-450-0106
Allocating the income of a financially responsible person included in the assistance unit to household members excluded because of their alien status.

This section applies to TANF/SFA, RCA, RMA and TANF/SFA-related medical programs.

When a financially responsible person, as defined in WAC 388-450-0100(3), is included in the assistance unit, that person’s income is allocated to household members who are excluded from the assistance unit because of their alien status, as defined in WAC 388-450-0100 (4)(a), after allowing the following deductions:

(1) The fifty percent earned income incentive for TANF/SFA assistance units or the ninety dollar work expense deduction for RCA assistance units, if the income is earned;

(2) An amount equal to the difference between the payment standards:

(a) That would include the eligible assistance unit members and those individuals excluded from the assistance unit because of their alien status; and

(b) Only the eligible assistance unit members.

(3) The payment standard amount equal to the number of ineligible persons, as defined in WAC 388-450-0100 (4)(b) through (((h))) (f);

(4) An amount not to exceed the need standard, as defined in WAC 388-478-0015, for court or administratively ordered current or back support paid for legal dependents; and

(5) The employment related child care expenses for which the household is liable.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.005 and 74.08.090.  98-24-037, 388-450-0106, filed 11/24/98, effective 12/25/98.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-24-037, filed 11/24/98, effective 12/25/98)

WAC 388-450-0116
Allocating the income of a financially responsible person excluded from the assistance unit because of their alien status.

This section applies to TANF/SFA and RCA programs.

When a financially responsible person, as defined in WAC 388-450-0100(3), is excluded from the assistance unit because of their alien status, as defined in WAC 388-450-0100 (4)(a), that person’s income, after allowing the following deductions, is countable income available to the assistance unit:

(1) The fifty percent earned income incentive for TANF/SFA assistance units or the ninety dollar work expense deduction for RCA assistance units, if the income is earned;

(2) An amount equal to the difference between the payment standards:

(a) That would include the eligible assistance unit members and those individuals excluded from the assistance unit because of their alien status; and

(b) Only the eligible assistance unit members.

(3) The payment standard amount equal to the number of ineligible persons, as defined in WAC 388-450-0100 (4)(b) through (((h))) (f);

(4) An amount not to exceed the need standard, as defined in WAC 388-478-0015, for court or administratively ordered current or back support paid for legal dependents; and

(5) The employment related child care expenses for which the household is liable.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.005 and 74.08.090.  98-24-037, 388-450-0116, filed 11/24/98, effective 12/25/98.]


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

WAC 388-450-0140
Income of ineligible assistance unit members--Food assistance.

(1) When a food assistance ((unit)) household contains a person who is disqualified for intentional program violation or failure to meet work requirements as provided in chapter 388-444 WAC, all income of the disqualified person is included as part of the entire ((assistance unit's)) household's income:

(a) The standard deduction and allowable deductions for earned income, medical costs, dependent care, and excess shelter costs are applied; and

(b) The ((assistance unit's coupon allotment is)) households benefits are not increased as a result of the exclusion of the disqualified person.

(2) When ((an assistance unit)) a household contains a person who is ineligible due to alien status ((or)), felon status as described in WAC 388-442-0010, failure to sign the application attesting to citizenship or alien status, or who has been disqualified for refusal to obtain or provide a Social Security number:

(a) ((A share of)) The income of the ineligible person is ((counted as income to the eligible assistance unit members after prorating the income)) prorated among all household members((, including the ineligible member, and excluding)). The ineligible person's share is excluded, and the remainder is counted as income to the eligible household members;

(b) Apply the twenty percent earned income ((deduction is applied)) disregard to the ineligible person's earned income attributed to the ((assistance unit)) household; and

(c) Divide the portion of the ((assistance unit's)) household's allowable shelter ((and dependent care expense which is paid by or billed to the ineligible person is divided)) expenses evenly among all members of the ((assistance unit, provided)) household, when the ineligible members have income.

(3) The ineligible or disqualified ((assistance unit)) household member is not counted when determining the ((assistance unit's)) household's size for purposes of:

(a) Comparing the ((assistance unit's)) household's total monthly income to the income eligibility standards; and

(b) Computing benefits.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-450-0140, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


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

WAC 388-450-0160
Sponsored alien--Food assistance.

For food assistance, this section applies to aliens for whom a sponsor has signed an affidavit of support or similar statement on or after February 1, 1983:

(1) For the purpose of this rule, income of the sponsor means:

(a) Income of the sponsor; and

(b) Income of the sponsor's spouse when the spouse lives with the sponsor.

(2) Portions of the income of a sponsor ((and sponsor's spouse are)) is counted as unearned income and applied to the food assistance benefits of a sponsored alien ((if living with the sponsor)). The income of an alien's sponsor is available for three years following the alien's admission for permanent residence to the U.S.

(((2))) (3) The income of the alien's sponsor ((and sponsor's spouse)) must be verified by the client ((if the client is living with the sponsor)) at application or recertification for food assistance.

(((3))) (4) The available income is computed as follows:

(a) Total monthly earned and unearned income of the sponsor((and sponsor's spouse)):

(i) Minus twenty percent of the gross earned income; and

(ii) Minus the amount of the gross income eligibility standard for a household size equal to the sponsor, the sponsor's spouse, and all dependents.

(b) Plus any actual money paid to the alien by the sponsor or sponsor's spouse in excess of the amount computed in subsection (((3))) (4)(a) of this section is treated as unearned income.

(((4))) (5) The net income in subsection (((3))) (4) of this section is available to a sponsored alien who:

(a) Applies for and receives food assistance; or

(b) Is recertified for food assistance.

(((5))) (6) If the sponsored alien can show the sponsor is also sponsoring other aliens, the available income is divided by the number of sponsored aliens applying for, or receiving food assistance.

(((6))) (7) If an alien changes sponsors during the certification period, available income is reviewed based on the required information about the new sponsor as soon as possible after the information is supplied and verified by the client.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-450-0160, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

2586.4
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-16-044, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98)

WAC 388-450-0185
General information ((regarding)) about earned income disregard and income deductions for food assistance programs.

The following ((income deductions are used)) amounts are deducted from a household’s income to compute food assistance program benefits:

(1) ((A standard deduction of)) One hundred thirty-four dollars per household per month (standard deduction);

(2) ((An earned income deduction of)) Twenty percent of the household’s gross earned income (earned income disregard);

(3) ((A portion of the actual)) The amount of the household’s incurred or expected monthly ((amount of)) dependent care ((deduction)) expense:

(a) The care must be needed for an assistance unit member to seek, accept or continue employment; or

(b) The care must be needed for an assistance unit member to attend training or education ((preparatory)) in preparation for to employment; ((and))

(c) ((Not to exceed)) The expense must be payable to someone outside of the food assistance household; and

(d) The deduction cannot exceed:

(i) Two hundred dollars for each dependent ((one year of age or younger)) under two years of age; or

(((d) Not to exceed)) (ii) One hundred seventy-five dollars for each ((other)) dependent age two or older.

(4) ((A deduction for)) Nonreimbursable monthly medical expenses over thirty-five dollars incurred or ((anticipated)) expected to be incurred by an elderly or disabled household member as specified under WAC 388-450-0200.

(5) ((A deduction for)) Legally obligated child support paid for a person who is not a member of the household.

(6) Shelter costs as provided in WAC 388-450-0190.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-450-0185, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


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

WAC 388-450-0190
Shelter cost income deductions for food assistance.

(1) Shelter costs include:

(a) Rent, lease payments and mortgage payments; and

(b) Utility costs.

(2) Shelter costs are deducted from gross income if the costs are in excess of fifty percent of the assistance unit's income after deducting the standard, earned income, medical, child support, and dependent care deductions:

(a) For an assistance unit containing an elderly or disabled member the entire amount of excess shelter costs is deducted;

(b) For all other assistance units the excess shelter cost deduction cannot exceed two hundred ((and fifty)) seventy-five dollars.

(3) Shelter costs may include:

(a) Costs for a home not occupied because of employment, training away from the home, illness, or abandonment caused by casualty loss or natural disaster if the:

(i) Assistance unit intends to return to the home;

(ii) Current occupants, if any, are not claiming shelter costs for food assistance purposes; and

(iii) The home is not being leased or rented during the assistance unit's absence.

(b) Charges for the repair of the home which was substantially damaged or destroyed due to a natural disaster.

(c) The standard utility allowance ((or actual utility costs)) as provided in WAC 388-450-0195.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-450-0190, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


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

WAC 388-450-0200
Medical cost income deductions for food assistance.

(1) Excess medical and/or shelter deductions ((paid)) incurred by the client are allowed when a client:

(a) Is elderly or disabled;

(b) Received food assistance as a noncash assistance unit until becoming categorically eligible due to the receipt of SSI; or

(c) ((Became)) Becomes categorically eligible due to the receipt of SSI after noncash assistance food stamps were denied as provided under ((chapter 388-414)) WAC 388-414-0001.

(2) One-time medical expenses are averaged over the certification period((,)) or taken as a deduction at one time at the client's option.

(3) Anticipated medical expenses are averaged over the certification period.

(4) A medical expense deduction is not allowed when the expense is:

(a) A reimbursement;

(b) A vendor payment, except for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Act (LIHEAA) payments;

(c) Claimed after the initial billing, even though:

(i) Not reported when first due;

(ii) Included in the most recent billing; and

(iii) Actually paid.

(d) Allowed as a deduction once but not paid, and subsequently included in a repayment agreement;

(e) Included in a timely but defaulted repayment agreement and then included in a subsequent repayment agreement;

(f) Claimed by a client after presumptive SSI is denied;

(g) Considered overdue to the provider; or

(h) Already paid by a prospectively budgeted assistance unit.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-450-0200, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

2588.1
REPEALER

     The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed:
WAC 388-478-0025 TANF payment standards for recent arrivals to Washington state.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office