WSR 01-21-058

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

(Division of Employment and Assistance Programs)

[ Filed October 16, 2001, 3:44 p.m. , effective December 1, 2001 ]

Date of Adoption: October 12, 2001.

Purpose: Adopt the following rules to implement the Washington state combined application project (WASHCAP): WAC 388-492-0010 WASHCAP definitions, 388-492-0020 What is WASHCAP?, 388-492-0030 Who can get WASHCAP?, 388-492-0040 Can I choose whether I get WASHCAP or regular food assistance?, 388-492-0050 How do I apply for WASHCAP benefits?, 388-492-0060 How do I get may WASHCAP benefits?, 388-492-0070 How are my WASHCAP benefits calculated?, 388-492-0080 Where do I report changes?, 388-492-0090 How often does my WASHCAP case need to be reviewed?, 388-492-0100 How is my eligibility for WASHCAP reviewed?, 388-492-0110 What happens if my WASHCAP benefits end?, 388-492-0120 What happens to my WASHCAP benefits if I am disqualified?, and 388-492-0130 What can I do if I disagree with a decision the department made about my WASHCAP benefits?

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 01-18-091 on September 5, 2001.

Changes Other than Editing from Proposed to Adopted Version: Two definitions in WAC 388-492-0010 were removed because the information was duplicated in other sections of the chapter. WAC 388-492-0040 and 388-492-0070 were changed from the proposed version to be consistent with the federal waiver between the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service and DSHS. The department does no count utility costs to decide if a client may opt out of WASHCAP. All WASHCAP clients receive a standard utility allowance even if they do not have utility costs.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 13, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 13, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 13, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 13, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Effective Date of Rule: December 1, 2001.

October 12, 2001

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

2959.5
Chapter 388-492 WAC

WASHINGTON COMBINED APPLICATION PROJECT


NEW SECTION
WAC 388-492-0010   Washington combined application project (WASHCAP) definitions.   "Assistance unit" (AU) -- A person who gets SSI, meets the definition of living arrangement "A," has no earned income, and states that they buy and cook food on their own.

"Centralized unit" -- The unit that handles all WASHCAP cases for the state except for cases that get services from Home and community service office (HCS). The centralized unit or HCS office processes new applications for WASHCAP benefits and handles current WASHCAP cases.

"Pure SSI household" -- Every member of the assistance unit is eligible for SSI on their own behalf.

"SSA" -- Social Security Administration. A federal agency that issues all SSA and SSI cash benefits.

"SSI" -- Supplemental Security Income. The SSA federal cash grant program for aged, blind or disabled clients.

"WASHCAP" -- Washington state combined application project. A simplified food assistance program that automatically opens food assistance benefits for certain SSI clients.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 388-492-0020   What is WASHCAP?   WASHCAP stands for the Washington state combined application project. WASHCAP is a simplified food assistance program for clients that get SSI from SSA and meet some other basic requirements:

(1) If you live in Washington state and get SSI, SSA asks you if you want to get food assistance benefits. If you meet the requirements of WAC 388-492-0030, you will get your food assistance benefits through WASHCAP.

(2) If you are eligible for WASHCAP, SSA electronically sends us the information we need to open your benefits. You do not have to go to your local community services office to apply for food assistance benefits.

(3) If you want food assistance benefits right away, you must apply for regular food assistance benefits at your local community services office.

(4) While you get WASHCAP benefits, you must report all changes to SSA. SSA automatically shares your information with us.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 388-492-0030   Who can get WASHCAP?   (1) When you apply for food assistance, you can get WASHCAP benefits when you are eighteen years of age or older and:

(a) Get at least one dollar federal SSI benefits from SSA. We do not consider the state supplement as federal SSI benefits;

(b) Live alone or SSA considers you as a single household;

(c) Buy and cook your food separately from others you live with;

(d) Do not have any earned income; and

(e) If you live in an institution, SSA expects you to be there for less than ninety days.

(2) You are not eligible for WASHCAP if:

(a) You live in an institution for ninety days or longer;

(b) SSA expects you to live in an institution for ninety days or longer;

(c) SSA tells us you have earned income for more than three months in a row; or

(d) You are under age twenty-two and you live in the same home as your parents.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 388-492-0040   Can I choose whether I get WASHCAP or regular food assistance?   You can choose to have regular food assistance benefits instead of WASHCAP when:

(1) Your shelter costs are more than four hundred eighty dollars a month. We count the following items as a shelter cost:

(a) Rent or mortgage;

(b) Taxes;

(c) Homeowner's insurance (for the building only); and

(d) Mandatory homeowner's association or condo fees.

(2) Your out-of pocket medical expenses are more than thirty-five dollars a month; or

(3) You would get more benefits from being in the regular food assistance program.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 388-492-0050   How do I apply for WASHCAP benefits?   (1) You apply for WASHCAP at SSA when you apply for SSI. If you want food assistance, your SSA worker will ask you to complete a one-page application for WASHCAP when you have your SSI interview.

(2) If you are eligible for WASHCAP benefits, your benefits will start the first of the month after the month you start getting on-going SSI benefits.

(3) If you need food assistance in five days or less, you must apply for expedited service at the local CSO or HCS office. SSA may also take your application.

(4) If you want food assistance before you get SSI, you must apply for regular food assistance at:

(a) SSA;

(b) Your local community services office (CSO); or

(c) Your local home and community services (HCS) office if you get long-term care services.

(5) If you get regular food assistance, you will still get these benefits:

(a) Through the end of your certification period; or

(b) Until you are approved for WASHCAP benefits.

(6) If your regular food assistance ends before you are eligible for WASHCAP, you must reapply for these benefits.

(7) If you get regular food assistance and you become eligible for WASHCAP, we will automatically change your benefits to WASHCAP.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 388-492-0060   How do I get my WASHCAP benefits?   (1) If you are eligible for WASHCAP, you will get your food assistance benefits through electronic benefits transfer (EBT).

(2) The department issues your EBT food assistance benefits according to WAC 388-412-0025.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 388-492-0070   How are my WASHCAP benefits calculated?   We calculate your WASHCAP benefits as follows:

(1) We begin with your gross income. (Social Security tells us how much income you have.)

(2) We subtract a standard deduction of one hundred thirty-four dollars to get your countable income.

(3) We figure your shelter cost as follows:

(a) If Social Security tells us you pay two hundred ninety dollars or more a month for shelter, we use three hundred dollars as your shelter cost; or

(b) If Social Security tells us you pay less than two hundred ninety dollars a month for shelter, we use one hundred forty-four dollars as your shelter cost; and

(c) We add the current standard utility allowance under WAC 388-450-0195 to determine your total shelter cost.

(4) We figure your shelter deduction by subtracting one half of your countable income from your shelter cost.

(5) We figure your net WASHCAP income by subtracting your shelter deduction from your countable income.

(6) We figure your WASHCAP benefits (allotment) by:

(a) Multiplying your net WASHCAP income by thirty percent and rounding up to the next whole dollar; and

(b) Subtracting the result from the maximum allotment under WAC 388-478-0060.

(c) If you are eligible for WASHCAP, your assistance unit will get at least ten dollars food benefits each month.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 388-492-0080   Where do I report changes?   You report all changes to Social Security according to their reporting requirements. Social Security reports changes to your worker.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 388-492-0090   How often does my WASHCAP case need to be reviewed?   Your certification period is the amount of time your AU is eligible for WASHCAP benefits. We certify WASHCAP for up to twenty-four months.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 388-492-0100   How is my eligibility for WASHCAP reviewed?   (1) If SSA reviews your SSI eligibility, they will also complete your review for WASHCAP benefits. SSA sends us this information electronically.

(2) If SSA does not review your SSI eligibility, we will mail you a one-page application two months before your WASHCAP benefits end. You must complete and return this application to the WASHCAP unit or your local HCS office.

(3) We do WASHCAP reviews by mail.

(4) If we get your completed one-page application after your WASHCAP benefits end, we will reopen your benefits back to the first of the month if:

(a) We get your application form within thirty days from the end of your certification period; and

(b) You are still eligible for WASHCAP.

(5) If you are no longer eligible for WASHCAP benefits, we will decide if you are eligible for regular food assistance. We may ask you to give us more information or verification if we cannot make a decision with the information we have.

(6) If we get your completed one-page application form more than thirty days after your benefits end, we will open your WASHCAP benefits the first of the next month after you turn in your application and SSA shows you are eligible for WASHCAP in their system.

(7) If you want regular food assistance while you are waiting for WASHCAP benefits, you must apply for these benefits.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 388-492-0110   What happens if my WASHCAP benefits end?   (1) If your WASHCAP benefits end because you did not have the review required under WAC 388-492-0100, you must finish the required review or apply for food assistance benefits at your local office.

(2) If your WASHCAP benefits end because you are disqualified for food assistance under WAC 388-400-0040, you are not eligible for regular food assistance. If you get medical assistance, we will send your medical assistance case to your local office.

(3) If your WASHCAP benefits end because SSA stopped your SSI benefits:

(a) We will send you an application for regular food assistance and information about what you must verify in order to get benefits.

(b) You will still receive the same medical benefits until we decide what medical programs you are eligible for under WAC 388-418-0025.

(c) When we get your completed application, we will interview you over the phone. If we need more information to decide if you are eligible, we will tell you what we need.

(d) After we decide if you are eligible for regular food assistance, we will send your case to the local office.

(4) If your WASHCAP benefits end for any other reason:

(a) We will send you an application for regular food assistance along with:

(i) The address of your local office; and

(ii) Information about what you must verify in order to get benefits.

(b) If you get medical assistance, we will send your medical assistance case to the local office;

(c) For the office to decide if you are eligible for food assistance, you must:

(i) Finish the application process for food assistance under chapter 388-406 WAC; and

(ii) Have an interview for food assistance under WAC 388-452-0005.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 388-492-0120   What happens to my WASHCAP benefits if I am disqualified?   (1) If you are disqualified from receiving SSI for any reason, you will not be able to get WASHCAP food benefits. See WAC 388-492-0030, Who can get WASHCAP?

(2) If you are disqualified from receiving food assistance for any reason, you will not get WASHCAP food benefits. See WAC 388-400-0040(9) for persons disqualified.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 388-492-0130   What can I do if I disagree with a decision the department made about my WASHCAP benefits?   (1) If you disagree with a decision about your benefits, you may ask for a fair hearing.

(2) You can ask for a hearing by contacting the central unit, home community service office or any responsible department or office of administrative hearings employee.

(3) See chapter 388-08 WAC for information on the fair hearing process.

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office