WSR 04-04-076

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed February 2, 2004, 4:07 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 02-09-074 on April 16, 2002.

Title of Rule: WAC 388-414-0001 Some food assistance units do not have to meet all eligibility requirements.

Purpose: Amending the rule to update program language, reflect categorical eligibility criteria consistent with federal requirements for the food stamp program, and extend categorical eligibility status to Basic Food assistance units who have income at or under the monthly gross income limit for Basic Food.

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

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 74.08.025.

Summary: This rule explains how clients who are eligible for benefits in another program may not have to meet all eligibility requirements to receive Basic Food. It also explains which clients cannot be considered categorically eligible for Basic Food.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The proposed amendments are necessary to be consistent with federal regulations for the food stamp program and extend categorical eligibility status to individuals and families who are not over the gross income standard for the Washington Basic Food program.

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(j).

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: See Title of Rule, 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 by clarifying who does not have to meet certain eligibility requirements for food benefits based on eligibility for another 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 states 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(j) regarding categorical eligibility status for food stamp benefits. The department also applies federal food stamp requirements other than citizenship and alien status for the state-funded portion of the Basic Food program.

Hearing Location: Blake Office Park (behind Goodyear Courtesy Tire), 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Rose Room, Lacey, WA 98503, on March 9, 2004, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Andy Fernando, DSHS Rules Coordinator, by March 5, 2004, phone (360) 664-6094, TTY (360) 664-6178, e-mail FernAX@dshs.wa.gov [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., March 9, 2004.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than March 10, 2004.

January 28, 2004

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

3363.1
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-07-054, filed 3/16/01, effective 3/29/01)

WAC 388-414-0001   ((Some food assistance units do not)) Do I have to meet all eligibility requirements((.)) for Basic Food?   (1) What is "categorical eligibility" (CE)?

(a) ((Some food assistance units do not have to meet all of the eligibility requirements for food assistance. The department calls this CE. If your food assistance unit is CE, you do not have to meet the following food assistance requirements because you have met them for another program:

(i) Resources;

(ii) Gross and net income standards;

(iii) Residency; and

(iv) Sponsored alien information.

(b) If you are a CE food assistance unit, you will still have your income budgeted to determine the amount of food stamps your assistance unit is eligible for.

(2) Who is CE for food assistance?

Your household is CE when:

(a) All members of your food assistance unit are getting general assistance (GA) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cash benefits on their own behalf;

(b) A member of your food assistance unit is getting or is authorized to get payments from the following programs and you all benefit from the assistance:

(i) Temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) cash assistance;

(ii) State family assistance (SFA); or

(iii) Diversion cash assistance (DCA). You are CE for the month you receive DCA and the three following months as long as you have one adult relative caretaker with a dependent child in the food assistance unit.

(c) You are receiving TANF/SFA cash assistance and no longer get assistance because your earnings are over the earned income limit in WAC 388-478-0035. You are CE for twenty-four months after your TANF/SFA cash assistance ends as long as you have one adult relative caretaker with a dependent child in the food assistance unit.

(3) Who are not considered CE even though the above criteria is met?

(a) A member of your food assistance unit is not CE who:

(i) Is not eligible because of his/her alien or student status;

(ii) Fails to follow work requirements;

(iii) Fails to provide or apply for a Social Security Number;

(iv) Is a SSI recipient in a cash-out state (state where SSI payments are increased to include the value of the food stamp allotment);

(v) Is not eligible for SSI on his/her own behalf since he/she is getting SSI as an essential person or as an ineligible spouse; or

(vi) Is living in an institution.

(b) If a person is not CE, he/she is not included as member in your CE food assistance unit.

(c) Your entire food assistance unit is not CE when your assistance unit:

(i) Is not eligible because of striker provisions;

(ii) Knowingly transferred resources for the purpose of qualifying for benefits;

(iii) Refuses to cooperate in providing information that is needed to determine your eligibility;

(iv) Has a head of the household that failed to meet work requirements; or

(v) Has a member that is not qualified because of an intentional program violation)) Categorical eligibility (CE) means that you have already met requirements for a program. If you are CE, you do not have to meet every program requirement to be eligible for Basic Food. If your assistance unit (AU) is CE, you automatically meet the following requirements for Basic Food:

(i) Countable resource limit under WAC 388-470-0005;

(ii) Maximum gross monthly income under WAC 388-478-0060; and

(iii) Maximum net monthly income under WAC 388-478-0060.

(b) Being CE does not mean that your AU is guaranteed to get Basic Food benefits. If your AU is CE:

(i) You must still meet the other Basic Food program requirements under WAC 388-400-0040; and

(ii) If you meet the other program requirements, we must budget your AU's income to determine the amount of benefits your AU will receive.

(2) Who is categorically eligible for Basic Food?

Your Basic Food AU is CE when:

(a) Every member of your AU gets either general assistance (GA), Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Support Act (ADATSA), or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cash benefits on their own behalf;

(b) Any member of your AU gets or is authorized to get payments from the following programs because we have determined that the entire AU benefits from someone receiving the assistance:

(i) Temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) cash assistance;

(ii) State family assistance (SFA); or

(iii) Diversion cash assistance (DCA). You are CE for the month you receive DCA and the three following months as long as you have one adult relative caretaker with a dependent child in the Basic Food AU.

(3) Who is not CE even if my AU meets the above criteria?

(a) Even if your AU is CE, members of your AU are not eligible for Basic Food if they:

(i) Are not eligible because of their alien or student status;

(ii) Were disqualified from Basic Food under WAC 388-444-0055 for failing work requirements;

(iii) Are not eligible for failing to provide or apply for a Social Security number;

(iv) Receive SSI in a cash-out state (state where SSI payments are increased to include the value of the client's food stamp allotment); or

(v) Live in an institution not eligible for Basic Food under WAC 388-408-0040.

(b) If a person in your AU is not eligible for Basic Food, we do not include them as an eligible member of your CE AU.

(c) Your AU is not CE if:

(i) Your AU is not eligible because of striker requirements under WAC 388-480-0001;

(ii) Your AU is ineligible for knowingly transferring resources in order to qualify for benefits under WAC 388-488-0010;

(iii) Your AU refused to cooperate in providing information that is needed to determine your eligibility;

(iv) The head of household for your AU failed to meet work requirements; or

(v) Anyone in your AU is disqualified because of an intentional program violation under WAC 388-446-0015; or

(vi) Anyone in your AU is ineligible for Basic Food under WAC 388-442-0010 because of a conviction for a drug-related felony.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.510. 01-07-054, 388-414-0001, filed 3/16/01, effective 3/29/01; 00-11-035, 388-414-0001, filed 5/10/00, effective 8/1/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-414-0001, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

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