WSR 06-07-076

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed March 13, 2006, 4:27 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 06-03-018.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 388-426-0005 Client complaints.

Hearing Location(s): Blake Office Park East, Rose Room, 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA 98503 (one block north of the intersection of Pacific Avenue S.E. and Alhadeff Lane, behind Goodyear Tire. A map or directions are available at http://www1.dshs.wa.gov/msa/rpau/docket.html or by calling (360) 664-6097), on April 25, 2006, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than April 26, 2006.

Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504, delivery 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA 98503, e-mail fernaax@dshs.wa.gov, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5:00 p.m., April 25, 2006.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Stephanie Schiller, DSHS Rules Consultant, by April 21, 2006, TTY (360) 664-6178 or (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 changes are to update the department's process related to addressing complaints about department decisions and violations of a person's civil rights. The proposal also updated contact information for complaints to the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The changes proposed under this filing will be to adopt updated civil rights guidance from the United States Department of Agriculture consistent with regulations for the food stamp program under Title 7 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations and guidance issued by the United States Department of Health and Human Services or the temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) program.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.04.515, 74.08.090.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.04.515, 74.08.090.

Rule is necessary because of federal law, 7 C.F.R. 272.6.

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) 725-4116.

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."

March 7, 2006

Andy Fernando, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

3644.1
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 04-03-050, filed 1/15/04, effective 2/15/04)

WAC 388-426-0005   ((Client complaints.)) How do I make a complaint to the department?   (((1) Clients who believe they have been discriminated against by the department for reason of race, color, creed, political affiliation, national origin, religion, age, gender, disability, or birthplace have the right to file a complaint. Clients can file discrimination complaints with the:

(a) DSHS, Division of Access and Equal Opportunity, PO Box 45012, Olympia, WA, 98504;

(b) Administrator, Food and Nutrition Services, 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22302; or

(c) Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington D.C., 20250.

(2) Clients with a complaint about a department decision or action have the right to present their complaint, in writing, to a supervisor.

(a) Within ten days of the receipt of the complaint:

(i) A decision will be made on the client's complaint; and

(ii) The client will be sent written notice of the decision, including information about the right to further review by the local office administrator.

(b) Clients not satisfied with the decision of a supervisor have the right to present a written complaint to the local office administrator. Within ten days of the receipt of the complaint:

(i) A decision will be made on the complaint, and

(ii) The client will be sent written notice of the decision.

(c) Written notice of the administrator's decision concludes the complaint procedure.

(d) The filing of a written complaint does not prevent a client from requesting a fair hearing under chapter 388-02 WAC.

(e) Clients have the right to speak to a worker's supervisor or have a decision or action reviewed by the supervisor, whether or not a formal complaint has been filed)) If you do not agree with a decision we made or an action we took, you can make a complaint. We address your concerns based on the nature of your complaint.

Civil Rights:

(1) We will not discriminate based on your race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, religion, or political beliefs. This agrees with:

(a) Federal law and policy of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that ban discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability; and

(b) The Food Stamp Act and USDA policy, which bans discrimination on religion or political beliefs.

(2) To file a complaint that we discriminated based on your race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, religion, or political beliefs, contact USDA or HHS:


Write:
USDA HHS
Director, Office of Civil Rights Director, Office for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W. Room 506-F
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
Or call:
USDA HHS
(800) 795-3272 (voice); or (202) 619-0403 (voice); or
(202) 720-6382 (TTY). (202) 619-3257 (TTY).
USDA and HHS are equal opportunity providers and employers.

Complaints about our decisions or actions:

(3) If you do not agree with a decision we made or an action we took, you may use our complaint process:

(a) Supervisor review: You may give a supervisor a written complaint. We will:

(i) Make a decision about your written complaint within ten days of the date we get it; and

(ii) Send you a letter telling you what we decided and that you may have another review by the local office administrator if you ask for it.

(b) Administrator review: If you do not accept the decision you get from a supervisor, you may give the local office administrator a written complaint. We will:

(i) Make a decision about your written complaint within ten days of the date we get it; and

(ii) Send you a letter telling you what we decided.

(4) When we send you a letter with the administrator's decision, this ends the complaint process.

(5) If you file a written complaint, you may still ask for a fair hearing under chapter 388-02 WAC.

(6) You may always speak with your worker's supervisor or have them review your worker's decision even if you do not file a formal complaint.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057. 04-03-050, 388-426-0005, filed 1/15/04, effective 2/15/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510. 99-17-025, 388-426-0005, filed 8/10/99, effective 10/1/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-426-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office