PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)
Subject of Possible Rule Making: The Department of Social and Health Services Division of Employment and Assistance Programs will amend all necessary sections of Title 388 WAC to reduce reporting requirements under the department's simplified reporting initiative. Simplified reporting allows clients to have one set of reporting requirements based on the program benefits they receive. This optional change in reporting requirements will reduce the number of changes most clients have to report in their circumstances and make it easier for clients to remain eligible for benefits.
This could include changes to rules in any of the following chapters, Certification period requirements in chapter 388-416 WAC, Change of circumstances requirements in chapter 388-418 WAC, and any other sections necessary to implement simplified reporting for cash, basic food, and medical programs.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.500, 74.04.510, 74.08.090.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The rule changes under simplified reporting will allow clients to report fewer changes in their circumstances and make it easier for clients to stay connected with department benefits. Clients will report changes based on the most restrictive program reporting requirement that their assistance unit receives.
One goal of simplified reporting is to reduce the number of eligible clients who leave the basic food program after earning their way off of temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) benefits. Reducing reporting requirements will reduce the burden of receiving benefits from this nutrition program.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) publishes federal regulations for the food stamp program in the Federal Register. Rules published in the Federal Register are incorporated into the United States Code of Federal Regulations. FNS also issues administrative notices to inform states of new program requirements that are not yet in the United States Code of Federal Regulations. DSHS incorporates these regulations and exercises state options by adopting administrative rules for food assistance benefits in Washington state.
The department adopts regulations for cash, basic food, and medical assistance in a state plan that is consistent with federal requirements in public law, the code of federal regulations, and other federal guidance on department-administered programs.
Process for Developing New Rule: Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) welcomes the public to take part in developing the rules. Anyone interested should contact the staff person identified below. At a later date, DSHS will file proposed rules with the Office of the Code Reviser with a notice of proposed rule making. A copy of the proposal will be sent to everyone on the mailing list and to anyone who requests a copy.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting John Camp, Program Manager, Division of Employment and Assistance Programs, Lacey Government Center, P.O. Box 45470, Olympia, WA 98504-4570, phone (360) 413-3232, fax (360) 413-3493, e-mail CAMPJX@DSHS.WA.GOV.
August 18, 2003
Brian H. Lindgren, Manager
Rules and Policies Assistance Unit