WSR 08-07-041

EMERGENCY RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed March 13, 2008, 3:51 p.m. , effective March 14, 2008 ]


Effective Date of Rule: March 14, 2008.

Purpose: The department is amending via an emergency rule WAC 388-424-0010 Citizenship and alien status -- Eligibility restrictions for the temporary assistance for needy families program and medical benefits, including nonemergency medicaid and the state children's health insurance program (SCHIP), 388-424-0020 How does my alien status impact my eligibility for the federally funded Washington Basic Food program benefits?, 388-466-0005 Immigration status requirements for refugee assistance, 388-466-0120 Refugee cash assistance, and 388-466-0130 Refugee medical assistance.

These amendments are necessary to allow Iraqi and Afghan special immigrants to be eligible for refugee cash assistance (RCA), refugee medical assistance (RMA), services and other entitlement benefits as allowed under federal law.

These amendments are in response to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008, which was signed into law on December 26, 2007, and the National Defense Bill which was signed by the president on January 28, 2008.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-424-0010, 388-424-0020, 388-466-0005, 388-466-0120, and 388-466-0130.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, and 74.08A.320.

Other Authority: The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008, signed into law on December 26, 2007, and the National Defense Bill, which was signed by the President on January 28, 2008.

Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest.

Reasons for this Finding: The amendments need to be made via an emergency rule filing since eligibility for special immigrants from Iraq or Afghanistan begins the date they enter the United States. Some individuals would receive limited assistance or no assistance at all if the department made the changes only via the regular rule filing process. The department is concurrently working on the regular rule-filing process.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 5, 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 0, 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 5, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: March 10, 2008.

Stephanie E. Schiller

Rules Coordinator

3951.4
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-23-013, filed 11/4/05, effective 1/1/06)

WAC 388-424-0010   Citizenship and alien status -- Eligibility restrictions for the temporary assistance for needy families program and medical benefits, including nonemergency Medicaid and the state children's health insurance program (SCHIP).   (1) To receive TANF or medical benefits you must meet all other eligibility requirements and be one of the following as defined in WAC 388-424-0001:

(a) A U.S. citizen;

(b) A U.S. national;

(c) An American Indian born outside the U.S.;

(d) A "qualified alien";

(e) A victim of trafficking; ((or))

(f) A Hmong or Highland Lao; or

(g) An Iraqi or Afghan Special Immigrant who was granted Special Immigrant status under section 101 (a)(27) of the INA. Iraqi Special Immigrants are eligible for eight months of federally-funded assistance from the date of entry into the United States. Afghan Special Immigrants are eligible for six months of federally-funded assistance from the date of entry into the United States.

(2) A "qualified alien" who first physically entered the U.S. before August 22, 1996 as described in WAC 388-424-0006(1) may receive TANF, nonemergency Medicaid, and SCHIP benefits.

(3) A "qualified alien" who first physically entered the U.S. on or after August 22, 1996 cannot receive TANF, nonemergency Medicaid, or SCHIP for five years after obtaining status as a qualified alien unless he or she is an alien as described under WAC 388-424-0006(4).

(4) An alien who is ineligible for TANF, nonemergency Medicaid, or SCHIP because of the five-year bar or because of their immigration status may be eligible for:

(a) Emergency benefits as described in WAC 388-436-0015 (consolidated emergency assistance program) and WAC 388-438-0110 (alien emergency medical program); or

(b) State-funded cash or chemical dependency benefits as described in WAC 388-424-0015 (SFA, GA and ADATSA) and medical benefits as described in WAC 388-424-0016; or

(c) Pregnancy medical benefits as described in WAC 388-462-0015; or

(d) Children's health program as described in WAC 388-505-0210.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.09.530, and 74.09.415. 05-23-013, 388-424-0010, filed 11/4/05, effective 1/1/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090. 04-15-004, 388-424-0010, filed 7/7/04, effective 8/7/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.08A.100, 74.09.080, and 74.09.415. 02-17-030, 388-424-0010, filed 8/12/02, effective 9/12/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, 74.09.530, and Public Law 106-395. 02-03-008, 388-424-0010, filed 1/4/02, effective 2/4/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.08A.100. 99-17-023, 388-424-0010, filed 8/10/99, effective 9/10/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-424-0010, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-505-0520 and 388-518-1805.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 04-15-004, filed 7/7/04, effective 8/7/04)

WAC 388-424-0020   How does my alien status impact my eligibility for the federally funded Washington Basic Food program benefits?   (1) If you are a U.S. citizen or U.S. national as defined in WAC 388-424-0001 and meet all other eligibility requirements, you may receive federal Basic Food benefits.

(2) If you are not a U.S. citizen or U.S. national, you must fall within (a), ((or)) (b), (c) or (d) of this subsection, and meet all other eligibility requirements, in order to receive federal Basic Food benefits:

(a) You are a member of one of the following groups of "qualified aliens" or similarly defined lawful immigrants as defined in WAC 388-424-0001:

(i) Amerasian;

(ii) Asylee;

(iii) Cuban or Haitian entrant;

(iv) Deportation or removal withheld;

(v) Refugee;

(vi) Victim of trafficking;

(vii) Noncitizen American Indian; or

(viii) Hmong or Highland Lao tribal member.

(b)(i) You are a member of one of the following groups of qualified aliens as defined in WAC 388-424-0001:

(A) Conditional entrant;

(B) Lawful permanent resident (LPR);

(C) Paroled for one year or more; or

(D) Victim of domestic violence or parent or child of a victim.

(ii) And, one of the following also applies to you:

(A) You have worked or can get credit for forty Social Security Administration (SSA) work quarters - as described in WAC 388-424-0008;

(B) You are an active duty personnel or honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. military or you are the spouse, unmarried surviving spouse, or unmarried dependent child of someone who meets this requirement, as described in WAC 388-424-0007(1);

(C) You receive cash or medical benefits based on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) criteria for blindness or disability;

(D) You have lived in the U.S. as a "qualified alien" as described in WAC 388-424-0001 for at least five years;

(E) You are under age eighteen; or

(F) You were lawfully residing in the U.S. on August 22, 1996 and were born on or before August 22, 1931.

(c) You are an Iraqi Special Immigrant who was granted Special Immigrant status under section 101 (a)(27) of the INA. Iraqi Special Immigrants are eligible for six months of federally-funded assistance from the date of entry into the United States.

(d) You are an Afghan Special Immigrant who was granted Special Immigrant status under section 101 (a)(27) of the INA. Afghan Special Immigrants are eligible for six months of federally-funded assistance from the date of entry into the United States.

(3) If you are ineligible for federal Basic Food benefits due to your alien status, you may be eligible for state Basic Food benefits (see WAC 388-424-0025).

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090. 04-15-004, 388-424-0020, filed 7/7/04, effective 8/7/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, and 74.04.510. 03-05-029, 388-424-0020, filed 2/10/03, effective 4/1/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, and H.R. 2646 Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002. 02-22-046, 388-424-0020, filed 10/30/02, effective 12/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510, S. 1150, the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998. 99-01-058, 388-424-0020, filed 12/11/98, effective 1/11/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-424-0020, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-518-1805.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-16-044, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98)

WAC 388-466-0005   Immigration status requirement for refugee assistance.   (1) To be eligible for refugee cash assistance (RCA) and refugee medical assistance (RMA), a person must prove, by providing documentation issued by the ((Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS))) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), that he or she was:

(a) Admitted as a refugee under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationalities Act (INA);

(b) Paroled into the U.S. as a refugee or asylee under section 212 (d)(5) of the INA;

(c) Granted conditional entry under section 203 (a)(7) of the INA;

(d) Granted asylum under section 208 of the INA;

(e) Admitted as an Amerasian Immigrant from Vietnam through the orderly departure program, under section 584 of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act, incorporated in the FY88 Continuing Resolution P.L. 100-212;

(f) A Cuban-Haitian entrant who was admitted as a public interest parolee under section 212 (d)(5) of the INA;

(g) From Iraq or Afghanistan and has been granted Special Immigrant status under section 101 (a)(27) of the INA.

(2) A permanent resident alien meets the immigration status requirements for RCA and RMA if the individual was previously in one of the statuses described in subsections (1)(a) through (((f))) (g) of this section.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-466-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-04-057, filed 1/30/02, effective 2/1/02)

WAC 388-466-0120   Refugee cash assistance (RCA).   (1) Who can apply for ((refuge)) refugee cash assistance (RCA)?

Any individual can apply to the department of social and health services (DSHS) for refugee cash assistance and have their eligibility determined within thirty days.

(2) How do I know if I qualify for RCA?

You may be eligible for RCA if you meet all of the following conditions:

(a) You have resided in the United States for less than eight months;

(b) You meet the immigration status requirements of WAC 388-466-0005;

(c) You meet the income and resource requirements under chapters 388-450 and 388-470 WAC;

(d) You meet the work and training requirements of WAC 388-466-0150; and

(e) You provide the name of the voluntary agency (VOLAG) which helped bring you to this country.

(3) What are the other reasons for not being eligible for RCA?

Even if you meet the eligibility requirements named in subsection (2) above you may be not eligible if you:

(a) Are eligible for temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI); or

(b) Have been denied TANF due to your refusal to meet TANF eligibility requirements; or

(c) Are employable and have voluntarily quit or refused to accept a bona fide offer of employment within thirty consecutive days immediately prior to your application for RCA; or

(d) Are a full-time student in a college or university.

(4) If I am an asylee, what date will be used as an entry date?

If you are an asylee, your entry date will be the date that your asylum status is granted. For example: You entered the United States on December 1, 1999 as a tourist, then applied for asylum on April 1, 2000, interviewed with the asylum office on July 1, 2000 and were granted asylum on September 1, 2000. Your entry date is September 1, 2000. On September 1, 2000, you may be eligible for refugee cash assistance.

(5) If I am a victim of human trafficking, can I be eligible for RCA?

(a) If you are an adult victim you are eligible for RCA to the same extent as a refugee, if you provide the original certification letter from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and meet eligibility requirements in subsection (2)(c) and (d) of this section. You do not have to provide any other documentation of your immigration status. Your entry date will be the date on your certification letter.

(b) If you are a child victim under eighteen years old you are eligible for benefits to the same extent as a refugees and do not need to be certified. DHHS issues a special letter for children. Children also have to meet income eligibility requirement.

(6) Does getting a onetime cash grant from a voluntary agency (VOLAG) affect my eligibility for RCA?

No. In determining your eligibility for RCA DSHS does not count a onetime resettlement cash grant provided to you by your VOLAG.

(7) What is the effective date of my eligibility for RCA?

The date DSHS has sufficient information to make eligibility decision is the date your RCA begins.

(8) When does my RCA end?

(a) Your RCA ends on the last day of the eighth month starting from the month of your arrival to the United States. Count the eight months from the first day of the month of your entry into the United States. For example, if you entered the United States on May 28, 2000, May is your first month and December 2000 is your last month of RCA.

(b) If you are from Afghanistan and were granted Special Immigrant status under section 101 (a)(27) of the INA, your RCA ends on the last day of the sixth month starting from the month of your arrival to the United States.

(c) If you get a job, your income will affect your RCA based on the TANF rules (chapter 388-450 WAC). If you earn more than is allowed by WAC 388-478-0035, you are no longer eligible for RCA. Your medical coverage may continue for up to eight months from your month of arrival in the United States (WAC 388-466-0130).

(9) Are there other reasons why RCA may end?

Your RCA also ends if:

(a) You move out of Washington state;

(b) Your unearned income and/or resources go over the maximum limit (WAC 388-466-0140); or

(c) You, without good cause, refuse to meet refugee employment and training requirements (WAC 388-466-0150).

(10) Will my spouse be eligible for RCA, if he/she arrives in the U.S. after me?

When your spouse arrives in the United States, DSHS determines his/her eligibility for RCA and/or other income assistance programs. Your spouse may be eligible for up to eight months of RCA based on his/her date of arrival into the United States. If you live together you and your spouse are part of the same assistance unit and your spouse's eligibility for RCA is determined based on your and your spouse's combined income and resources (WAC 388-466-0140). Spouses from Afghanistan who have been granted Special Immigrant status under section 101 (a)(27) of the INA, are eligible for RCA for a maximum of six months from the date of entry into the United States.

(11) Can I get additional money in an emergency?

If you have an emergency and need a cash payment to get or keep your housing or utilities, you may apply for the DSHS program called additional requirements for emergent needs (AREN). To receive AREN, you must meet the requirements in WAC 388-436-0002.

(12) Can I receive RCA if I was granted Special Immigrant status?

(a) If you are from Iraq and were granted Special Immigrant status under section 101 (a)(27) of the INA, and you meet all other eligibility requirements, you are eligible for RCA for up to eight months from the date of your entry to the United States.

(b) If you are from Afghanistan and were granted Special Immigrant status under section 101 (a)(27) of the INA, and you meet all other eligibility requirements, you are eligible for RCA for up to six months from the date of your entry to the United States.

(13) What can I do if I disagree with a decision or action that has been taken by DSHS on my case?

If you disagree with a decision or action taken on your case by the department, you have the right to request a review of your case or a fair hearing (WAC 388-02-0090). Your request must be made within ninety days of the decision or action.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.08A.320. 02-04-057, 388-466-0120, filed 1/30/02, effective 2/1/02.]

Reviser's note: The typographical errors in the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appear in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 04-05-010, filed 2/6/04, effective 3/8/04)

WAC 388-466-0130   Refugee medical assistance (RMA).   (1) Who can apply for refugee medical assistance?

Any individual can apply for refugee medical assistance (RMA) and have eligibility determined by the department of social and health services (DSHS).

(2) Who is eligible for refugee medical assistance?

(a) You are eligible for RMA if you meet all of the following conditions:

(i) Immigration status requirements of WAC 388-466-0005;

(ii) Income and resource requirements of WAC 388-466-0140;

(iii) Monthly income standards up to two hundred percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). Spenddown is available for applicants whose income exceeds two hundred percent of FPL (see WAC 388-519-0110); and

(iv) Provide the name of the voluntary agency (VOLAG) which helped bring you to this country, so that DSHS can promptly notify the agency (or sponsor) about your application for RMA.

(b) You are eligible for RMA if you meet one of the following conditions:

(i) Receive refugee cash assistance (RCA) and are not eligible for Medicaid or children's health insurance program (CHIP); or

(ii) Choose not to apply for or receive RCA and are not eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, but still meet RMA eligibility requirements.

(3) Who is not eligible for refugee medical assistance?

You are not eligible to receive RMA if you are:

(a) Already eligible for Medicaid or CHIP;

(b) A full-time student in an institution of higher education unless the educational activity is part of a department-approved individual responsibility plan (IRP);

(c) A nonrefugee spouse of a refugee.

(4) If I have already received a cash assistance grant from voluntary agency (VOLAG), will it affect my eligibility for RMA?

No. A cash assistance payment provided to you by your VOLAG is not counted in determining eligibility for RMA.

(5) If I get a job after I have applied but before I have been approved for RMA, will my new income be counted in determining my eligibility?

No. Your RMA eligibility is determined on the basis of your income and resources on the date of the application.

(6) Will my sponsor's income and resources be considered in determining my eligibility for RMA?

Your sponsor's income and resources are not considered in determining your eligibility for RMA unless your sponsor is a member of your assistance unit.

(7) How do I find out if I am eligible for RMA?

DSHS will send you a letter in both English and your primary language informing you about your eligibility. DSHS will also let you know in writing every time there are any changes or actions taken on your case.

(8) Will RMA cover my medical expenses that occurred after I arrived in the U.S. but before I applied for RMA?

You may be eligible for RMA coverage of your medical expenses for three months prior to the first day of the month of your application. Eligibility determination will be made according to Medicaid rules.

(9) If I am an asylee, what date will be used as an entry date?

If you are an asylee, your entry date will be the date that your asylum status is granted. For example, if you entered the United States on December 1, 1999 as a tourist, then applied for asylum on April 1, 2000, interviewed with the asylum office on July 1, 2000 and granted asylum on September 1, 2000, your date of entry is September 1, 2000. On September 1, 2000 you may be eligible for refugee medical assistance.

(10) When does my RMA end?

Your refugee medical assistance will end on the last day of the eighth month from the month of your entry into the United States. Start counting the eight months from the first day of the month of your entry into the U.S. For example, if you entered the U.S. on May 28, 2000, your last month is December 2000.

(11) What happens if my earned income goes above the income standards?

(a) If you are getting RMA, your medical eligibility will not be affected by the amount of your earnings;

(b) If you were getting Medicaid and it was terminated because of your earnings, we will transfer you to RMA for the rest of your RMA eligibility period. You will not need to apply.

(12) Will my spouse also be eligible for RMA, if he/she arrives into the U.S. after me?

When your spouse arrives in the U.S., we will determine his/her eligibility for Medicaid and other medical programs. Your spouse may be eligible for RMA; if so, he/she would have a maximum of eight months of RMA starting on the first day of the month of his/her arrival. Spouses from Afghanistan who have been granted Special Immigrant status under section 101 (a)(27) of the INA, are eligible for RMA for a maximum of six months from the date of entry into the United States.

(13) Can I receive RMA if I was granted Special Immigrant status?

(a) If you are from Iraq and were granted Special Immigrant status under section 101 (a)(27) of the INA, and you meet all other eligibility requirements, you are eligible for RMA for up to eight months from the date of your entry to the United States.

(b) If you were from Afghanistan and were granted Special Immigrant status under section 101 (a)(27) of the INA, and you meet all other eligibility requirements, you are eligible for RMA for up to six months from the date of your entry to the United States.

(14) What do I do if I disagree with a decision or action that has been taken by DSHS on my case?

If you disagree with the decision or action taken on your case by department you have the right to request a review of your case or request a fair hearing (see WAC 388-02-0090). Your request must be made within ninety days of the decision or action).

(((14))) (15) What happens to my medical coverage after my eligibility period is over?

We will determine your eligibility for other medical programs. You may have to complete an application for another program.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057. 04-05-010, 388-466-0130, filed 2/6/04, effective 3/8/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.08A.320. 00-21-065, 388-466-0130, filed 10/16/00, effective 11/1/00.]

Reviser's note: The typographical errors in the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appear in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office