WSR 08-02-054

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed December 28, 2007, 9:02 a.m. , effective February 1, 2008 ]


Effective Date of Rule: February 1, 2008.

Purpose: The department is amending WAC 388-450-0215 How does the department estimate my assistance unit's income to determine my eligibility and benefits? These amendments will provide provisions for budgeting income that is received less frequently than monthly (i.e., income received quarterly or annually). The proposed amendment also changes the budgeting requirements for children's and pregnancy medical programs. In addition, the section is updated to comply with the governor's plain talk initiative.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-450-0215.

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

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 07-22-064 on November 2, 2007.

Changes Other than Editing from Proposed to Adopted Version: Subsection (4) We use one of two methods to estimate ((your AU's)) income:

(a) Anticipating monthly income (AM): ((We estimate the actual amount of income you expect)) With this method, we base the estimate on the actual income we expect your AU to receive in the month (see subsection 5); and

(b) Averaging income (CA): ((We estimate your income based on adding the total income you expect to receive for a period of time and dividing)) With this method, we add the total income we expect your AU to receive for a period of time and divide by the number of months in the ((time)) period (see subsection 6).

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: December 21, 2007.

Stephanie E. Schiller

Rules Coordinator

3868.4
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-16-109, filed 8/2/05, effective 10/1/05)

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)) decide if your assistance unit (AU) is eligible for benefits and calculate your monthly benefits based on an estimate of your AU's gross monthly income and expenses. 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)) use your current, past, and future circumstances for a representative estimate of your monthly income.

(3) We ((determine if our estimate is reasonable by looking at documents, statements, and other verification)) may need proof of your circumstances to ensure our estimate is reasonable. This may include documents, statements from other people, or other proof as explained in WAC 388-490-0005.

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

(a) Anticipating monthly income (AM): ((We estimate the actual amount of income you expect)) With this method, we base the estimate on the actual income we expect your AU to receive in the month (see subsection (5)); and

(b) Averaging income (CA): ((We estimate your income based on adding the total income you expect to receive for a period of time and dividing)) With this method, we add the total income we expect your AU to receive for a period of time and divide by the number of months in the ((time)) period (see subsection (6)).

(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)) Anticipating monthly income: We must use the anticipating monthly method:

(a) For the month you apply for benefits unless:

(i) We are determining eligibility for children's medical programs as listed in WAC 388-505-0210 (3) through (6) or pregnancy medical as listed in WAC 388-462-0015. For children's and pregnancy medical we can use either method; or

(ii) You are paid less often than monthly (for example: you are paid quarterly or annually). If you are paid less often than monthly, we average your income for the month you apply. Section (6) explains how we average your income.

(b) When we estimate income for anyone in your AU, if you or anyone in your AU receive SSI-related medical benefits under chapter 388-475 WAC.

(c) When we must allocate income to someone who is receiving SSI-related medical benefits under chapter 388-475 WAC.

(d) When you are a destitute migrant or destitute seasonal farmworker under WAC 388-406-0021. In this situation, we must use anticipating monthly (AM) for all your AU's income.

(e) To budget SSI or social security benefits even if we average other sources of income your AU receives.

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

(a) For the month you apply for benefits, any income your AU receives in that month. If we do not have to use the anticipating monthly method for any other reason, we may average this income source for the remaining months of your certification period.

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

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

(c) 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;

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

(i) SSI; or

(ii) Social Security benefits)) Averaging income: When we average your income, we consider changes we expect for your AU's income. We determine a monthly amount of your income based on how often you are paid:

(a) If you are paid weekly, we multiply your expected income by 4.3;

(b) If you are paid every other week, we multiply your expected income by 2.15;

(c) In most cases if you receive your income other than weekly or every other week, we estimate your income over your certification period by:

(i) Adding the total income for representative period of time;

(ii) Dividing by the number of months in the timeframe; and

(iii) Using the result as a monthly average.

(d) 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.

(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 to a monthly amount. 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 expected income over the certification period by:

(i) Adding the total income in a representative time period;

(ii) Dividing by the number of pay periods in the time frame; and

(iii) Determining the monthly average from this amount.

(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)) If we used the anticipating monthly income method for the month you applied for benefits, we may average your income for the rest of your certification period if we do not have to use this method for any other reason in section (5).

(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)) through the end of the next month after you reported it, we update the estimate of your AU's income based on this change.

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

(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, 74.04.510, 74.08.090. 05-16-109, 388-450-0215, filed 8/2/05, effective 10/1/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510. 04-06-052, 388-450-0215, filed 3/1/04, effective 4/1/04; 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.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office