WSR 04-01-031

EXPEDITED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed December 8, 2003, 3:55 p.m. ]

Title of Rule: WAC 388-450-0215 How does the department estimate my assistance unit's income to determine my eligibility and benefits?

Purpose: Amend WAC 388-450-0215(7) to correct editing errors made in the last revision of this rule.

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

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

Summary: WAC 388-450-0215 describes how the department estimates an assistance unit's income in order to determine if clients are eligible for benefits and to calculate the benefits of eligible assistance units.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The editorial changes proposed in this filing will allow readers to better understand the rule. No substantive changes are being made under this filing.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: John Camp, Lacey Government Center, P.O. Box 45470, Olympia, WA 98504-4570, (360) 413-3232.

Name of Proponent: Department of Social and Health Services, Economic Services Administration, Division of Employment and Assistance Programs, governmental.

Rule is necessary because of federal law, Code of Federal Regulations, 7 C.F.R. 273.10.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: WAC 388-450-0215, describes how the department estimates an assistance unit's income in order to determine if clients are eligible for benefits and to calculate the benefits of eligible assistance units.

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

NOTICE

THIS RULE IS BEING PROPOSED UNDER AN EXPEDITED RULE-MAKING PROCESS THAT WILL ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR THE AGENCY TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS, PREPARE A SMALL BUSINESS ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT, OR PROVIDE RESPONSES TO THE CRITERIA FOR A SIGNIFICANT LEGISLATIVE RULE. IF YOU OBJECT TO THE USE OF THE EXPEDITED RULE-MAKING PROCESS, YOU MUST EXPRESS YOUR OBJECTIONS IN WRITING AND THEY MUST BE SENT TO Rules Coordinator, Rules and Policies Assistance Unit, Department of Social and Health Services, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850 , AND RECEIVED BY February 23, 2004.


December 3, 2003

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

3351.2
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 03-21-029, filed 10/7/03, effective 11/1/03)

WAC 388-450-0215   How does the department estimate my assistance unit's income to determine my eligibility and benefits?   The department uses prospective budgeting to determine if your assistance unit (AU) is eligible and to calculate your benefits.

(1) We determine if your AU is eligible for benefits and calculate your monthly benefits based on an estimate of your AU's income and expenses for that month. This is known as prospective budgeting.

(2) We base this estimate on what can be reasonably expected based on your current, past and future circumstances.

(3) We determine if our estimate is reasonable by looking at documents, statements, and other verification.

(4) We use two methods to estimate your AU's income:

(a) Anticipating monthly income: We estimate the actual amount of income you expect to receive in the month; and

(b) Averaging income: We estimate your income based on adding the total income you expect to receive for a period of time and dividing by the number of months in the time period.

(5) When we use the anticipating monthly method, we estimate the actual amount of income your AU expects to receive in the month. Your benefits will vary based on the income that is expected for that month.

(6) In general, you can choose which method we use to estimate your income. However, we must use the anticipating monthly method:

(a) For all your AU's income in the following circumstances:

(i) If you receive SSI-related medical benefits under chapter 388-475 WAC ((388-450-0150)); or

(ii) If you are a destitute migrant or destitute seasonal farmworker under WAC 388-406-0021, we must use the anticipating monthly method for the month your AU applied for benefits.

(b) For the income of any member of your AU who has income allocated to someone receiving SSI-related medical benefits under chapter 388-475 WAC ((388-450-0150));

(c) For the following sources of income to your AU:

(i) SSI;

(ii) Social Security benefits; or

(iii) Income your AU already received in the month that you applied for benefits. If we do not have to use the anticipating monthly method for any other reason, we may average this income for the remaining months of your certification or review period.

(7) When we use the averaging method, we take the expected changes in your AU's income into consideration so your benefits do not change as much:

(a) If you receive your income weekly or every other week, we convert this income ((converted)) to a monthly amount. If you are paid: ((If you are paid:))

(i) Weekly, we multiply your expected pay by 4.3; or

(ii) Every other week, we multiply your expected pay by 2.15.

(b) In most cases if you receive your income other than weekly or every other week, we estimate your monthly income by:

(i) Adding the total amount of income we expect you to receive for your certification or review period; and

(ii) Dividing by the number of months in the period of time.

(c) If you receive your yearly income over less than a year because you are self employed or work under a contract, we average this income over the year unless you are:

(i) Paid on an hourly or piecework basis; or

(ii) A migrant or seasonal farmworker under WAC 388-406-0021.

(8) If you report a change in your AU's income, and we expect the change to last for at least a month beyond the month you reported the change, we recalculate your AU's income based on this change.

(9) If your actual income is different than the income we estimated, we do not make you repay an overpayment under chapter 388-410 WAC or increase your benefits unless:

(a) You provided incomplete or false information; or

(b) We made an error in calculating your benefits.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, and 74.04.510. 03-21-029, 388-450-0215, filed 10/7/03, effective 11/1/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510. 99-23-083, 388-450-0215, filed 11/16/99, effective 1/1/00; 99-16-024, 388-450-0215, 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, 388-450-0215, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-505-0590.]

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