WSR 03-21-153

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed October 22, 2003, 8:19 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 03-17-063 dated September 2, 2003.

Title of Rule: WAC 388-484-0006 TANF/SFA time limit extensions and 388-310-0350 WorkFirst -- Other exemptions from mandatory participation.

Purpose: The proposed amendments will clarify under what conditions a client may receive an extension past the sixty-month limit and cross-references the time limit extensions.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050, and 74.08A.340.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.050 and 74.08A.340.

Summary: The rule outlines the conditions for a client to meet in order to receive an extension to the sixty-month time limit and adds a cross-reference to the exemptions WAC of the time limit WAC.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The change is to clarify under what conditions a client qualifies for an extension of the time limit and refers the client to this WAC from the exemptions WAC.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Ian Horlor, ESA-DEAP, 1009 College S.E., Lacey, WA 98504, (360) 413-3247.

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

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: Rule: WAC 388-484-0006 TANF/SFA time limit extensions and 388-310-0350 WorkFirst -- Other exemptions from mandatory participation.

Purpose and Effect: See Purpose, Summary, and Reasons Supporting Proposal above.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: See Purpose, Summary, and Reasons Supporting Proposal 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.

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 states in-part, "[t]his section does not 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." The proposed rule changes the conditions under which a person is eligible for the time-limit extension for WorkFirst assistance.

Hearing Location: Blake Office Park (behind Goodyear Courtesy Tire), 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Rose Room, Lacey, WA 98503, on November 25, 2003, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Andy Fernando, DSHS Rules Coordinator, by November 21, 2003, phone (360) 664-6094, TTY (360) 664-6178, e-mail fernaax@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. on November 25, 2003.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than November 26, 2003.

October 17, 2003

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

3326.1
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-12-068, filed 5/31/02, effective 6/1/02)

WAC 388-484-0006   TANF/SFA time limit extensions.   (1) What happens after I receive sixty or more months of TANF/SFA cash assistance?

After you receive sixty or more months of TANF/SFA cash assistance, you may qualify for additional months of cash assistance. We call these additional months of TANF/SFA cash assistance a TANF/SFA time limit extension.

(2) Who is eligible for a TANF/SFA time limit extension?

You are eligible for a TANF/SFA time limit extension if you are on TANF or otherwise eligible for TANF and:

(a) You qualify for one of the exemptions listed in WAC 388-310-0350; or

(b) You:

(i) Are participating satisfactorily in the WorkFirst program (see chapter 388-310 WAC for a description of WorkFirst participation requirements); or

(ii) Meet the family violence option criteria in WAC 388-61-001 and are participating satisfactorily in specialized activities listed in your individual responsibility plan.

(c) You have a temporary situation that prevents you from working or looking for a job. (For example, you may be unable to look for a job while you have health problems or if you are dealing with family violence.) You will receive a time-limited extension if:

(i) You have verification provided by an approved professional as determined by the department that your situation will last for at least six month; or

(ii) You have verification provided by an approved professional as determined by the department that your situation will last for less than six months and you have been approved by the department for an extension;

(iii) Your WorkFirst case manager conducts a hardship extension review to document your situation; and

(iv) You are participating in activities included in your individual responsibility plan to help your situation.

(d) If you are refusing to participate as required and you do not have a good reason under WAC 388-310-1600(4), you do not qualify for a regular TANF/SFA time limit extension but your family may qualify for a Child SafetyNet Payment extension, described in WAC 388-310-1650.

(3) Who reviews and approves an extension?

(a) Your case manager or social worker will review your case and we will use the case staffing process to determine which extension type will be approved. Case staffing is a process to bring together a team of multidisciplinary experts including relevant professionals and you to identify issues, review case history and information, and recommend solutions.

(b) This review will not happen until after you have received at least fifty-two months of assistance but before you reach your time limit.

(c) During the case staffing, we will tell you about the different extensions. If you are in sanction (see WAC 388-310-1600), we will explain the consequences of continued nonparticipation and tell you the steps you must take to end the sanction. We will explain that continued failure to participate will result in your getting a Child SafetyNet Payment with additional restrictions after the sixtieth month.

(d) After the case staffing and before you reach your time limit, the department will send you a notice that tells you whether your extension was approved, how to request a fair hearing if you disagree with the decision, and any changes to your IRP that were made as a result of the case staffing.

(4) Do my WorkFirst participation requirements change if I receive a TANF/SFA time limit extension?

Your participation requirements do not change. You must still meet all of the WorkFirst participation requirements listed in chapter 388-310 WAC while you receive a TANF/SFA time limit extension.

(5) Do my benefits change if I receive a TANF/SFA time limit extension?

(a) You are still a TANF/SFA recipient. If you are:

(i) Receiving a regular TANF/SFA time limit extension, your cash assistance, services, or supports will not change as long as you continue to meet all other TANF/SFA eligibility requirements.

(ii) Receiving a Child SafetyNet Payment, your benefits will be different and are described in WAC 388-310-1650.

(b) During the TANF/SFA time limit extension, you must continue to meet all other TANF/SFA eligibility requirements. If you no longer meet TANF/SFA eligibility criteria during your extension, your benefits will end.

(6) What happens if I stop participating in WorkFirst activities as required during a TANF/SFA time limit extension?

If you do not participate in the WorkFirst activities required in your individual responsibility plan, and you do not have a good reason under WAC 388-310-1600(4), the department will follow the sanction rules in WAC 388-310-1600, and will move you into Child SafetyNet Payment which will reduce your benefits (see WAC 388-310-1650).

(7) How long will a TANF/SFA time limit extension last?

(a) We will review your TANF/SFA time limit extension and your case periodically for changes in family circumstances:

(i) If you are extended under WAC 388-484-0006 (2)(a) then we will review your extension at least every twelve months;

(ii) If you are extended under WAC 388-484-0006 (2)(b) then we will review your extension at least every six months;

(iii) If you are extended under WAC 388-484-0006 (2)(c) then we will review your extension at least every twelve months.

(b) Your TANF/SFA time limit extension may be renewed for as long as you continue to meet the criteria to qualify.

(c) If during the extension period we get proof that your circumstances have changed, we may review your case and change the type of TANF/SFA time limit extension.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08A.010(4), 74.08A.340, 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 02-12-068, 388-484-0006, filed 5/31/02, effective 6/1/02.]

3325.1
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-12-068, filed 5/31/02, effective 6/1/02)

WAC 388-310-0350   WorkFirst -- Other exemptions from mandatory participation.   (1) When am I exempt from mandatory participation?

You are exempt from mandatory participation if you are:

(a) An older needy caretaker relative:

(i) You are fifty-five years of age or older and caring for a child and you are not the child's parent; and

(ii) Your age is verified by any reliable documentation (such as a birth certificate or a driver's license).

(b) An adult with a severe and chronic disability:

(i) The disability must be a severe and chronic mental, physical, emotional, or cognitive impairment that prevents you from participating in work activities and is expected to last at least twelve months; or

(ii) You have been assessed by a DSHS SSI facilitator as likely to be approved for SSI or other benefits and are applying for SSI or another type of federal disability benefit (such as Railroad Retirement or Social Security Disability); and

(iii) Your disability is verified by documentation from the division of developmental disabilities (DDD), division of vocational rehabilitation (DVR), home and community services division (HCS), division of mental health (MHD), and/or regional support network (RSN), or evidence from another medical or mental health professional; and

(iv) Your SSI application status may be verified through the SSI facilitator and/or state data exchange.

(c) Required in the home to care for a child with special needs when:

(i) The child has a special medical, developmental, mental, or behavioral condition; and

(ii) The child is determined by a public health nurse, physician, mental health provider, school professional, other medical professional, HCS, MHD, and/or a RSN to require specialized care or treatment that significantly interferes with your ability to look for work or work.

(d) Required to be in the home to care for another adult with disabilities when:

(i) The adult with disabilities cannot be left alone for significant periods of time; and

(ii) No adult other than yourself is available and able to provide the care; and

(iii) The adult with the disability is related to you; and

(iv) The disability is verified by documentation from DDD, DVR, HCS, MHD, and/or a RSN, or evidence from another medical or mental health professional.

(2) Who reviews and approves an exemption?

(a) If it appears that you may qualify for an exemption or you ask for an exemption, your case manager or social worker will review the information and we will use the case staffing process to determine whether the exemption will be approved. Case staffing is a process to bring together a team of multidisciplinary experts including relevant professionals and the client to identify participant issues, review case history and information, and recommend solutions.

(b) If additional medical or other documentation is needed to determine if you are exempt, your IRP will allow between thirty days and up to ninety if approved to gather the necessary documentation.

(c) Information needed to verify your exemption should meet the standards for verification described in WAC 388-490-0005. If you need help gathering information to verify your exemption, you can ask us for help. If you have been identified as needing NSA services, under chapter 388-472 WAC, your accommodation plan should include information on how we will assist you with getting the verification needed.

(d) After the case staffing, we will send you a notice that tells you whether your exemption was approved, how to request a fair hearing if you disagree with the decision, and any changes to your IRP that were made as a result of the case staffing.

(3) Can I participate in WorkFirst while I am exempt?

(a) You may choose to participate in WorkFirst while you are exempt.

(b) Your WorkFirst case manager may refer you to other service providers who may help you improve your skills and move into employment.

(c) If you decide later to stop participating, and you still qualify for an exemption, you will be put back into exempt status with no financial penalty.

(4) Does an exemption from participation affect my sixty-month time limit for receiving TANF/SFA benefits?

An exemption from participation does not affect your sixty-month time limit (described in WAC 388-484-0005) for receiving TANF/SFA benefits. Even if exempt from participation, each month you receive a TANF/SFA grant counts toward your sixty-month limit.

(5) How long will my exemption last?

Unless you are an older caretaker relative, your exemption will be reviewed at least every twelve months to make sure that you still meet the criteria for an exemption. Your exemption will continue as long as you continue to meet the criteria for an exemption.

(6) What happens when I am no longer exempt?

If you are no longer exempt, then:

(a) You will become a mandatory participant under WAC 388-310-0400; and

(b) If you have received sixty or more months of TANF/SFA, your case will be reviewed for an extension. (See WAC 388-484-0006 for a description of TANF/SFA time limit extensions.)

(7) For time-limited extensions, see WAC 388-484-0006.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08A.010(4), 74.08A.340, 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 02-12-068, 388-310-0350, filed 5/31/02, effective 6/1/02.]

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