WSR 05-14-098

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed June 30, 2005, 4:23 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 05-08-091.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 388-492-0070 How are my WASHCAP (Washington combined application program) food benefits calculated?

Hearing Location(s): Blake Office Park East (behind Goodyear Courtesy Tire), Rose Room, 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA, on August 9, 2005, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than August 10, 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 fernaax@dshs.wa.gov, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5:00 p.m., August 9, 2005.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Stephanie Schiller, DSHS Rules Consultant, by August 5, 2005, TTY (360) 664-6178 or phone (360) 664-6097 or by e-mail at schilse@dshs.wa.gov.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The proposed amendments are necessary to clarify what information the department uses to calculate shelter cost standard deductions in WASHCAP. Also, the amendments indicate that the net income calculation is derived using a rounding method versus exact figures, consistent with the Basic Food program net income calculation.

Further, amendments are proposed to implement federal rules that require the department to adjust the shelter deduction standards for food benefits every year based on the consumer price index (CPI); this is also specifically reflected in the WASHCAP state plan waivers.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The current version does not clearly articulate all the possible basis of shelter cost information and does not describe the rounding method used when calculating the WASHCAP net income for the purposes of calculating benefit allotments. This results in confusion and inaccurate benefit calculations.

Federal rule requires CPI adjustments to occur annually for shelter standards as pertains to food benefit programs.

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.

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

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

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Rebecca Henrie, 1009 College S.E., Lacey, WA 98504, (360) 725-4615.

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 outlining the rules clients must meet in order to be eligible for the department's cash assistance or food benefit programs.

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.

June 29, 2005

Andy Fernando, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

3560.2
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-08-008, filed 3/25/05, effective 4/25/05)

WAC 388-492-0070   How are my WASHCAP food benefits calculated?   We calculate your food benefits as follows:

(1) We begin with your gross income.

(2) We subtract one hundred thirty-four dollars from your gross income to get your countable income.

(3) We figure your shelter cost ((as follows)) based on information we receive from Social Security Administration (SSA), unless you report a change as described under WAC 388-492-0080. If you pay:

(a) ((If SSA tells us you pay)) Three hundred ((nineteen)) twenty-nine dollars or more a month for shelter, we use three hundred ((twenty-nine)) forty dollars as your shelter cost; or

(b) ((If SSA tells us you pay)) Less than three hundred ((nineteen)) twenty-nine dollars for shelter, we use one hundred ((fifty-nine)) sixty-four dollars as your shelter cost; and

(c) We add the current limited utility allowance under WAC 388-450-0195 to determine your total shelter cost.

(4) We figure your shelter deduction by subtracting one half of your countable income from your shelter cost.

(5) We figure your net income by subtracting your shelter deduction from your countable income and rounding the resulting figure up from fifty cents and down from forty-nine cents to the nearest whole dollar.

(6) We figure your WASHCAP food benefits (allotment) by:

(a) Multiplying your net income by thirty percent and rounding up to the next whole dollar; and

(b) Subtracting the result from the maximum allotment under WAC 388-478-0060.

(c) If you are eligible for WASHCAP, you will get at least ten dollars in food benefits each month.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090. 05-08-008, 388-492-0070, filed 3/25/05, effective 4/25/05; 04-23-026, 388-492-0070, filed 11/8/04, effective 12/9/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510. 03-21-030, 388-492-0070, filed 10/7/03, effective 12/1/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510. 03-01-045, 388-492-0070, filed 12/10/02, effective 1/10/03; 02-15-148, 388-492-0070, filed 7/22/02, effective 9/1/02; 01-21-058, 388-492-0070, filed 10/16/01, effective 12/1/01.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office