WSR 03-06-046

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed February 28, 2003, 8:22 a.m. ]

Date of Adoption: February 25, 2003.

Purpose: These rules are being modified to: (1) Provide a clear explanation of circumstances under which client benefits will continue when there is disagreement with how the department counted the months on cash assistance towards the time limit; and (2) explain under what circumstances the department will change the number of months that count against the time limit.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-484-0005.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050, and 78.08A.340.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 02-17-110 on August 21, 2002.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.
Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.

February 25, 2003

Bonita H. Jacques

for Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

3155.1
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-12-068, filed 5/31/02, effective 6/1/02)

WAC 388-484-0005   There is a five year (sixty-month) time limit for TANF, SFA and GA-S cash assistance.   (1) What is the sixty-month time limit?

(a) You can receive cash assistance for temporary assistance for needy families (TANF), state family assistance (SFA), and general assistance for pregnant women (GA-S) for a lifetime limit of sixty months. The time limit applies to cash assistance provided by any combination of these programs, and whether or not it was received in consecutive months.

(b) If you receive cash assistance for part of the month, it counts as a whole month against the time limit.

(c) If you have received cash assistance from another state on or after August 1, 1997, and it was paid for with federal TANF funds, those months will count against your time limit.

(d) The time limit does not apply to diversion cash assistance, support services, food assistance or Medicaid.

(2) When did the sixty-month time limit go into effect?

The sixty-month time limit applies to cash assistance received on or after August 1, 1997 for TANF and SFA. Although the GA-S program no longer exists, the time limit applies to GA-S cash assistance received from May 1, 1999 through July 31, 1999.

(3) Does the time limit apply to me?

The sixty-month time limit applies to you for any month in which you are a parent or other relative as defined in WAC 388-454-0010, or a minor parent emancipated through court order or marriage.

(4) Do any exceptions to the time limits apply to me?

The department does not count months of assistance towards the sixty-month time limit if you are:

(a) ((A nonneedy)) An adult caretaker ((relative)), as described in WAC 388-454-0005 through 488-454-0010, who is not a member of the assistance unit and you are receiving cash assistance on behalf of a child;

(b) An unemancipated pregnant or parenting minor living in a department approved living arrangement as defined by WAC 388-486-0005; or

(c) An American Indian or Native Alaskan adult and you are living in Indian country, as defined under 18 U.S.C. 1151, or an Alaskan Native village and you are receiving TANF, SFA, or GA-S cash assistance during a period when at least fifty percent of the adults living in Indian country or in the village were not employed. See WAC 388-484-0010.

(5) What happens if a member of my assistance unit has received sixty months of TANF, SFA, and GA-S cash benefits?

Once any adult or emancipated minor in the assistance unit has received sixty months of cash assistance, the entire assistance unit becomes ineligible for TANF or SFA cash assistance, unless you are eligible for an extended period of cash assistance called a TANF/SFA time limit extension under WAC 388-484-0006.

(6) What can I do if I disagree with how the department has counted my months of cash assistance?

(a) If you disagree with how ((the department has)) we counted your months of cash assistance, you may ask for a hearing within ninety days of ((receiving notice of the count)) the date we sent you a letter telling you how many months we are counting.

(b) ((If your cash assistance is terminated after sixty months and you ask for a hearing as provided under chapter 388-02 WAC, your cash assistance will be continued during the course of your initial administrative appeal. You may be required to repay up to sixty days of cash assistance if the department's decision is found to be correct as described in WAC 388-410-0001 (3)(b))) You will get continued benefits (the amount you were getting before the change) if:

(i) You have used all sixty months of benefits according to our records;

(ii) Your cash assistance payment has been changed to a Child SafetyNet Payment, as described in WAC 388-310-1650; and

(iii) You ask for a hearing within the ten-day notice period, as described in chapter 388-458 WAC.

(c) If you get continued benefits and the administrative law judge (ALJ) agrees with our decision, you may have to pay back the continued benefits after the hearing, as described in chapter 388-410 WAC.

(7) Does the department ever change the number of months that count against my time limit?

We change the number of months we count in the following situations:

(a) You repay an overpayment for a month where you received benefits but were not eligible for any of the benefits you received. We subtract one month for each month that you completely repay. If you were eligible for some of the benefits you received, we still count that month against your time limit.

(b) We did not close your grant on time when the division of child support (DCS) collected money for you that was over your grant amount two months in a row, as described in WAC 388-422-0030.

(c) An ALJ decides at a fair hearing that we should change the number of months we count.

(d) You start getting worker's compensation payments from the department of labor and industries (L&I) and your L&I benefits have been reduced by the payments we made to you.

(e) You participated in the excess real property (ERP) program in order to get assistance and we collected the funds when your property sold.

(f) Another state gave us incorrect information about the number of months you got cash assistance from them.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08A.010(4), 74.08A.340, 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 02-12-068, 388-484-0005, filed 5/31/02, effective 6/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.005, 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, 74.08A.010, and 42 U.S.C. 608 (a)(7). 01-04-016, 388-484-0005, filed 1/26/01, effective 2/1/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.005, 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 99-08-050, 388-484-0005, filed 4/1/99, effective 5/2/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-484-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

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