WSR 05-05-081



(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed February 15, 2005, 3:45 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 04-21-074.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 388-410-0001 What is a cash/medical assistance overpayment? and 388-416-0005 How long can I get Basic Food?

Hearing Location(s): Blake Office Park East (behind Goodyear Courtesy Tire), Rose Room, 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA, on March 22, 2005, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: No earlier than March 23, 2005.

Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504, delivery 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA, e-mail, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5:00 p.m., March 22, 2005.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Fred Swenson, DSHS Rules Consultant, by March 18, 2005, TTY (360) 664-6178 or (360) 664-6097.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: This proposal amends rules to reflect department policy regarding establishing certification periods for Basic Food as well as overpayments for cash and medical programs.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The changes are necessary to reflect department criteria for establishing certification periods for Basic Food and to reference new reporting time frames that impact whether or not a client has a cash or medical assistance overpayment based on a change in circumstances that was not reported to the department.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, Title 7 C.F.R. 273.10(f) and 273.12.

Rule is necessary because of federal law, Title 7 C.F.R. 273.10(f) and 273.12.

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

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: John Camp, 1009 College S.E., Lacey, WA 98504, (360) 725-4616.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The proposed rules do not have an economic impact on small businesses, they only affect DSHS clients by establishing how often clients must have their eligibility reviewed for Basic Food benefits and describes how a client's failure to report a change timely as required by the department may cause a cash or medical assistance overpayment.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. 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 filing adopts federal [rules] on certification periods for the food stamp program as set in 7 C.F.R. 273.10(f) and incorporates references new reporting timeframes under simplified reporting for the purposes of establishing overpayments for cash and medical assistance.

February 8, 2005

Andy Fernando, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 04-05-010, filed 2/6/04, effective 3/8/04)

WAC 388-410-0001   What is a cash/medical assistance overpayment?   (1) An overpayment is any cash or medical assistance paid that is more than the assistance unit was eligible to receive.

(2) There are two types of cash/medical overpayments:

(a) Intentional overpayments, presumed to exist ((when the client)) if you willfully or knowingly:

(i) ((Fails to report within twenty days a change in circumstances that affects eligibility)) Fail to report a change you must tell us about under WAC 388-418-0005 within the timeframes under WAC 388-418-0007; or

(ii) ((Misstates or fails)) Misstate or fail to reveal a fact affecting eligibility as specified in WAC 388-446-0001.

(b) Unintentional overpayments, which includes all other client-caused and all department-caused overpayments.

(3) If you request a fair hearing and the fair hearing decision is in favor of the department, then:

(a) Some or all of the continued assistance you get before the fair hearing decision must be paid back to the department (see WAC 388-418-0020); and

(b) The amount of assistance you must pay back will be limited to sixty days of assistance, starting with the day after the department receives your hearing request.

(4) If you receive child support payments directly from the noncustodial parent, you must turn these payments over to the division of child support (DCS). These payments are not cash assistance overpayments.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057. 04-05-010, 388-410-0001, filed 2/6/04, effective 3/8/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510 and 7 C.F.R. 273.9 (d)(6). 99-24-131, 388-410-0001, filed 12/1/99, effective 1/1/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-410-0001, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 04-19-134, filed 9/21/04, effective 10/1/04)

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

(a) Six months if your AU:

(i) Includes an able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD) who receives Basic Food in your AU and your AU does not live in an exempt area as described in WAC 388-444-0030;

(ii) Includes a person who receives ADATSA benefits as described in chapter 388-800 WAC;

(iii) Is considered homeless under WAC 388-408-0050; or

(iv) Includes a migrant or seasonal farmworker as described under WAC 388-406-0021.

(b) Twenty-four months if ((everyone)) all adults in your AU ((is)) are elderly persons or individuals with disabilities and no one in your AU has earned income ((or cash assistance)).

(c) Twelve months if your AU does not meet any of the conditions for six or twenty-four months.

(2) If your AU is homeless or includes an ABAWD when you live in a nonexempt area, we may shorten your certification period.

(3) We terminate your Basic Food benefits 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 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 2004 c 54. 04-19-134, 388-416-0005, filed 9/21/04, effective 10/1/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510. 03-22-039, 388-416-0005, filed 10/28/03, effective 12/1/03. 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.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office