WSR 03-19-112

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed September 16, 2003, 4:28 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 03-15-024 on July 8, 2003.

Title of Rule: WAC 388-406-0005 Who may apply?, 388-406-0010 Filing an application, 388-406-0021 How the department decides if you are a migrant or seasonal farmworker and if you are destitute, 388-406-0035 How long does the department have to process my application?, 388-406-0040 What happens if the processing of my application is delayed?, 388-406-0055 When do my benefits start?, 388-406-0060 What happens when my application is denied?, 388-406-0065 Can I still get benefits even after may application is denied?, and 388-416-0005 How long can I get food assistance?

Purpose: The department is amending rules to clarify the process of applying for and approving benefits for department programs and explain how the department determines a client's certification period for basic food.

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

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

Summary: These rules explain how to apply for benefits from the department, how long the department has to process an application, what happens if an application is processed late, and what happens when an application is denied for department programs. WAC 388-416-0005, explains how long a client can receive basic food benefits before they must reapply for benefits.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: These changes are necessary to clarify the department's application process and how we determine how long of a certification period we assign for basic food.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: John Camp, 1009 College S.E., Lacey, WA 98504, (360) 413-3232.

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

Rule is necessary because of federal law, Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 273 - 273.2.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: Rule: See Title of Rule above.

Purpose and Effect: See Purpose and Summary above.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: See Purpose and Summary above.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This proposed rule does not have an economic impact on small businesses; it only affects DSHS clients by clarifying the application process for department programs and how we determine the length of a certification period for the Washington basic food program.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. These amendments are exempt as allowed under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii) which state in part, "[t]his section does not apply to....rules of the department of social and health services relating only to client medical or financial eligibility and rules concerning liability for care of dependents." This rule adopts federal requirements mandated by Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 273, 273.2 regarding the application process and certification periods for federal food stamp benefits. The department also applies the same requirement for the state-funded portion of the Washington basic food program.

Hearing Location: Blake Office Park (behind Goodyear Courtesy Tire), 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Rose Room, Lacey, WA 98503, on October 21, 2003, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Andy Fernando, DSHS Rules Coordinator, by October 17, 2003, phone (360) 664-6094, TTY (360) 664-6178, e-mail FernAX@dshs.wa.gov.

Submit Written Comments to: Identify WAC Numbers, DSHS Rules Coordinator, Rules and Policies Assistance Unit, mail to P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, deliver to 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA, fax (360) 664-6185, e-mail fernaax@dshs.wa.gov, by 5:00 p.m., October 21, 2003.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than October 22, 2003.

September 12, 2003

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

3312.1
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-11-137, filed 5/21/02, effective 7/1/02)

WAC 388-406-0005   Can I apply for cash, medical, or Basic Food ((assistance))?   (1) You can apply for any ((program)) benefit the department offers, including cash assistance, medical assistance, or Basic Food ((assistance)).

(2) You must meet certain eligibility requirements in order to receive a program benefit.

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

(a) A legal guardian, caretaker, or authorized representative applying ((on behalf of)) for:

(i) A dependent child((,));

(ii) An incapacitated person((,)); or

(iii) Someone who is deceased((; or)).

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

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

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

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

(b) You are a Washington state resident.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 74.08.090. 02-11-137, 388-406-0005, filed 5/21/02, effective 7/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-406-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-504-0405 and 388-504-0410.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-11-137, filed 5/21/02, effective 7/1/02)

WAC 388-406-0010   How do I apply for benefits?   (1) You can apply for cash((, food, or)) assistance, medical assistance, or Basic Food by giving us an application form in person, by mail, by fax, or by completing an online application.

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

(3) If you are incapacitated, a dependent child, or cannot apply for benefits on your own for some other reason, a legal guardian, caretaker, or authorized representative can apply for ((a dependent child or incapacitated person or someone unable to apply on their own behalf for some other reason)) you.

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

(5) If you apply for benefits at a local office, we accept your application on the same day you come in. If you apply at ((the wrong)) an office that does not serve the area where you live, we send your application to the appropriate office ((no later than)) by the next business day so that office receives your application on the same day we send it.

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

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

(b) For Basic Food ((assistance)), the name, address, and signature of a responsible ((household)) member of your AU or person applying ((on your behalf)) for you as an authorized representative under WAC 388-460-0005.

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

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

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

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

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

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 74.08.090. 02-11-137, 388-406-0010, filed 5/21/02, effective 7/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-406-0010, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-504-0405.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-11-137, filed 5/21/02, effective 7/1/02)

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

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

(2) You apply outside of normal business hours, including applications you submitted online, dropped off, or sent to us by fax((, then)) The date of your application is the next business day.

(3) You request Basic Food benefits when you have applied for benefits through another department program, but we have not made a decision on the application. We call this a "pending application." If you ask for Basic Food benefits when you have a pending application for another program:

(a) We use your application for the other program, but we use the date you requested food benefits as your date fo application for Basic Food; and

(b) You must provide us the necessary information to determine if you are eligible for Basic Food, even if we did not need this information for the other program.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 74.08.090. 02-11-137, 388-406-0012, filed 5/21/02, effective 7/1/02.]

Reviser's note: The spelling error in the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appears in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 99-24-008, filed 11/19/99, effective 1/1/00)

WAC 388-406-0021   How ((the department decides if you are)) does being a migrant or seasonal farmworker ((and if you are destitute.)) affect my application for Basic Food?   The rules in this section apply to Basic Food assistance.

(1) A migrant farmworker is a person who travels away from home on a regular basis, usually with a group of other workers, to seek employment in an agriculturally((-)) related activity. A migrant assistance unit is an assistance unit that travels for this purpose.

(2) A migrant assistance unit (AU) is an AU that travels for this purpose.

(3) A seasonal farmworker is a person who:

(a) Does agricultural work on a farm for edible crops; and

(b) Is not required to be away from their permanent place of residence overnight in order to perform this work.

(((3) For seasonal farmworkers,))

(4) Agricultural work is field work in ((which the person:

(a) Plants;

(b) Cultivates; or

(c) Harvests the)) either planting, cultivating, or harvesting a crop.

(((4) An assistance unit is considered))

(5) We consider your AU a seasonal farmworker ((assistance unit)) AU if it receives its only countable income from:

(a) Seasonal farmwork;

(b) Unemployment compensation between seasons; or

(c) Interest ((earned)) your AU earns on a checking or savings account.

(((5) A)) (6) Your migrant or seasonal farmworker is ((considered)) destitute ((when)) if:

(a) ((The assistance unit's)) Your AU received your income for the month of application ((was received)) before the date ((of application and was from a)) you applied for benefits and the source of this income no longer ((providing)) provides income; or

(b) ((The assistance unit's)) Your AU's income ((of)) for the month of application is from a new source and ((the assistance unit)) your AU will not receive more than twenty-five dollars during the ten calendar days from the date ((of application)) you applied for benefits.

(((6) A household member changing))

(7) If someone in your AU changes jobs but ((continuing to work)) still works for the same employer ((is considered)), we consider them to be receiving income from the same source.

(8) If your AU is a migrant or seasonal farmworker AU, and your certification period ends, we do not prorate your benefits for the first month of your new certification period unless your certification period ended more than a month before you turned in your application to recertify your benefits.

(9) If your migrant or seasonal farmworker AU is destitute:

(a) We may exclude some of your income for the month you applied for benefits under WAC 488-450-0230; and

(b) We budget your AU's income for the month you applied for benefits using the anticipating monthly method under WAC 388-450-0215.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510. 99-24-008, 388-406-0021, filed 11/19/99, effective 1/1/00.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-11-137, filed 5/21/02, effective 7/1/02)

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

(2) Unless your application is delayed under WAC 388-406-0040, we process your application for benefits within thirty calendar days, except:

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

(b) If you are applying for general assistance (GA-U), alcohol or drug addiction treatment (ADATSA), or medical assistance, we must ((take no more than)) process your application within forty-five calendar days; and

(c) If you are applying for medical assistance ((requiring)) that requires a disability decision, we must ((take no more than)) process your application within sixty calendar days.

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

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

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

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

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 74.08.090. 02-11-137, 388-406-0035, filed 5/21/02, effective 7/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510. 99-16-024, 388-406-0035, filed 7/26/99, effective 9/1/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-406-0035, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-504-0470.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-14-023, filed 6/21/02, effective 7/1/02)

WAC 388-406-0040   What happens if the processing of my application is delayed?   (1) We process your application for benefits as soon as possible. We do not intentionally delay processing your application for benefits for any reason. If we have enough information to decide eligibility for:

(a) Basic Food ((assistance, then)), we promptly process your request for ((food assistance)) benefits even if we need more information to determine eligibility for cash or medical;

(b) Medical assistance, ((then)) we promptly process your request for medical even if we need more information to determine eligibility for cash or Basic Food ((assistance)).

(2) If your application for Basic Food assistance is not processed within the first thirty days and we have enough information to determine eligibility, ((then)) we promptly process your application. If additional information is needed to determine eligibility, we give you:

(a) A written request for the additional information; and

(b) An additional thirty days to provide the information.

(3) If we have not processed your application for Basic Food ((assistance has not been processed)) by the sixtieth day and you are responsible for the delay, ((then)) we deny your request for benefits. If we are responsible for the delay, ((then)) we:

(a) Promptly process your request if we have the information needed to determine eligibility; or

(b) Deny your request if we don't have enough information to determine eligibility. If we deny your request we notify you of your right to file a new application and that you may be entitled to benefits lost. If you reapply by the sixtieth day of your first application and are eligible, we give you benefits lost from:

(i) The date of your first application if we caused the delay in the first thirty days; or

(ii) The month following the month of your first application if you caused the delay in the first thirty days.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 74.08.090. 02-14-023, 388-406-0040, filed 6/21/02, effective 7/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510. 99-16-024, 388-406-0040, filed 7/26/99, effective 9/1/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-406-0040, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-504-0480.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-14-023, filed 6/21/02, effective 7/1/02)

WAC 388-406-0055   When do my benefits start?   The date we approve your application affects the amount of benefits you get. If you are eligible for:

(1) Cash assistance, your benefits start:

(a) The date we have enough information to make an eligibility decision; or

(b) No later than the thirtieth day for TANF, SFA, or RCA; or

(c) No later than the forty-fifth day for general assistance (GAU).

(2) Basic Food ((assistance)), your benefits start from the date you applied unless:

(a) You are recertified for Basic Food ((assistance, then)). If you are recertified for Basic Food, we determine the date ((we start)) your benefits ((is)) start under WAC ((388-434-0020)) 388-434-0010;

(b) ((We were unable to process your application)) You applied for Basic Food while living in an institution. If you apply for Basic Food while living in an institution, the date you are released from the institution determines your start date as follows. If you are expected to leave the institution:

(i) Within thirty days ((because of a delay on your part. If you caused the delay, then we approve your benefits starting the first day of the month following the month of application if you submit required verification by the end of the second thirty-day period, even if we denied your application; or)) of the date we receive your application, your benefits start on the date you leave the institution; or

(ii) More than thirty days from the date we receive your application, we deny your application for Basic Food. You may apply for Basic Food again when your date of release from the institution is closer.

(c) We ((denied)) were unable to process your application ((for food assistance and your assistance unit becomes categorically eligible (CE))) within ((sixty)) thirty days ((from the date you applied, then the date we approve food assistance is the date you become CE. You are CE if you meet the criteria specified in WAC 388-414-0001)) because of a delay on your part. If you caused the delay, but submit required verification by the end of the second thirty-day period, we approve your benefits starting the first day of the month following the month you applied for benefits. We start your benefits from this date even if we denied your application for Basic Food.

(d) We initially denied your application for Basic Food and your assistance unit (AU) becomes categorically eligible (CE) within sixty days from the date your applied. If your AU becoming CE under WAC 388-414-0001 makes you eligible for Basic Food, the date we approve Basic Food is the date your AU became CE.

(3) Medical assistance, the date your benefits start is stated in chapter 388-416 WAC.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 74.08.090. 02-14-023, 388-406-0055, filed 6/21/02, effective 7/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-406-0055, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-14-023, filed 6/21/02, effective 7/1/02)

WAC 388-406-0060   What happens when my application is denied?   (1) We (the department) deny your application for cash, medical, or Basic Food ((assistance)) benefits if:

(a) You do not show for your interview appointment for cash or Basic Food ((assistance)) if required under WAC 388-452-0005 ((and)), you have not rescheduled, and your application is over thirty days old; or

(b) We do not have the information we need to determine your eligibility within ten days of ((request)) requesting the information from your assistance unit (AU) under WAC 388-414-0001, and you did not ask for additional time to give us the information; or

(c) Your entire ((assistance unit)) AU does not meet certain eligibility criteria to get benefits; or

(d) For Basic Food ((assistance)), your application has not been processed by the sixtieth day because of a delay on your part.

(2) If we deny your application, you do not get benefits unless:

(a) You mistakenly apply for benefits you already get; or

(b) We reconsider your eligibility under WAC 388-406-0065 and you are eligible to get benefits.

(3) We can reconsider if you are eligible for benefits under the requirements of WAC 388-406-0065 even after your application is denied.

(4) We give or send a letter to you explaining why your application was denied as required under WAC 388-458-0011.

(5) If you disagree with our decision about your application, you can ask for a fair hearing. If we deny your application because we do not have enough information to decide that you are eligible, the hearing issue is whether you are eligible using:

(a) Information we already have; and

(b) Any more information you can give us.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 74.08.090. 02-14-023, 388-406-0060, filed 6/21/02, effective 7/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and C.F.R. 273.2(h1d), waiver October 10, 1984. 00-13-076, 388-406-0060, filed 6/19/00, effective 7/20/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-406-0060, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-504-0485.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-14-023, filed 6/21/02, effective 7/1/02)

WAC 388-406-0065   Can I still get benefits even after my application is denied?   (1) If we (the department) deny your application for benefits, we can redetermine your eligibility for benefits without a new application if:

(a) For cash or medical assistance, you give us the information we need within thirty days from the date we denied your application;

(b) For Basic Food ((assistance)):

(i) You give us the information we need ((by the end of the month following the month you applied)) within sixty days of the date you applied for benefits; or

(ii) You become categorically eligible for Basic Food ((assistance)) under WAC 388-414-0001 within sixty days of the date you applied for benefits.

(2) For medical assistance, if the thirty days to reconsider your application under subsection (1) of this section has ended you can still get benefits without a new application if:

(a) You ((timely)) request a fair hearing timely; and

(b) You give us the information needed to determine eligibility and you are eligible.

(3) If you are eligible for cash or Basic Food ((assistance)), we decide the date your benefits start according to WAC 388-406-0055. If you are eligible for medical assistance, we decide the date your benefits start according to chapter 388-416 WAC. For all programs the eligibility date is based on the date of your original application that was denied.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 74.08.090. 02-14-023, 388-406-0065, filed 6/21/02, effective 7/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-406-0065, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-504-0485.]

3313.1
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-11-107, filed 5/21/01, effective 7/1/01)

WAC 388-416-0005   How long can I get Basic Food ((assistance))?   (1) The length of time the department determines your assistance unit (AU) is eligible to get Basic Food ((assistance)) is called a certification period. The department (we) may certify your AU for up to:

(a) Twenty-four months if everyone in your AU is elderly and no one in your AU has earned income or cash assistance.

(b) Twelve months if everyone in your AU is disabled or elderly and no one in your AU has earned income.

(c) Six months if your AU has:

(i) Cash assistance; or

(ii) Earned income; or

(iii) Income, household circumstances, and deductions that are not likely to change.

(d) Three months for all other AUs, including ((AUs with)) when your AU has:

(i) A migrant or seasonal farmworker;

(ii) An able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD);

(iii) No income or cash assistance;

(iv) Expenses that are more than the income the AU gets;

(v) Homeless individuals or AU members staying in an emergency or family violence shelter;

(vi) ((An AU)) A member who is staying in a non-ADATSA drug and alcohol treatment center.

(2) We may shorten or lengthen your certification period to match your cash or medical assistance end date unless you have already received the maximum certification allowable for your AU.

(3) We terminate your certification period when:

(a) We get proof of a change that makes your AU ineligible; or

(b) We get information that your AU is ineligible; and

(c) You do not provide needed information to verify your AU's circumstances.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510. 01-11-107, 388-416-0005, filed 5/21/01, effective 7/1/01; 99-16-024, 388-416-0005, filed 7/26/99, effective 9/1/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-416-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

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