WSR 08-11-087

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed May 20, 2008, 8:52 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 08-06-088.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is amending WAC 388-418-0007 When do I have to report changes in my circumstances[?], 388-454-0015 Temporary absence from the home, and 388-505-0220 Family medical eligibility.

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. A map or directions are available at http://www1.dshs.wa.gov/msa/rpau/docket.html or by calling (360) 664-6097), on June 24, 2008, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: No earlier than June 25, 2008.

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 schilse@dshs.wa.gov, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5:00 p.m., on June 24, 2008.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jennisha Johnson, DSHS rules consultant, by June 17, 2008, TTY (360) 664-6178 or (360) 664-6094 or by e-mail at johnsjl4@dshs.wa.gov.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The department is proposing to extend the definition of "temporary absence" from ninety to one hundred eighty days for the temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) and state family assistance (SFA) programs. The department is also proposing to provide concurrent TANF/SFA payments for the child, only when the children's administration has placed the child in the temporary care of an unlicensed relative caregiver or other caregiver and expects the child to be returned home to the primary caregiver in one hundred eighty days.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: These proposed policy changes promote family reunification and support relative placements.

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

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 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: Jenny Grayum, 712 Pear Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98503, (360) 725-4583.

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 extends the definition of temporary absence for TANF/SFA from ninety to one hundred eighty days.

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."

May 15, 2008

Stephanie E. Schiller

Rules Coordinator

3979.2
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 06-13-043, filed 6/15/06, effective 7/17/06)

WAC 388-418-0007   When do I have to report changes in my circumstances?   (1) If your household has a change of circumstances you are not required to report under WAC 388-418-0005, then you do not need to contact us about this change. If you tell us about this change, we take action based on the new information. This includes:

(a) Asking for more information we need to determine your eligibility and benefits under WAC 388-490-0005;

(b) Increasing your benefits when we have proof of a change that makes you eligible for more benefits; or

(c) Reducing or stopping your benefits based on the change.

(2) If you are applying for benefits and have had a change:

(a) After the date you applied but before your interview, you must report the change during your interview; or

(b) After you have been interviewed, you must report changes that we require someone who receives benefits to report as described under WAC 388-418-0005. You must report this change by the tenth day of the month following the month the change happened.

(3) If you receive cash assistance, medical, or Basic Food, you must report changes required under WAC 388-418-0005 by the tenth day of the month following the month the change happened.

(4) For a change in income, the date a change happened is the date you receive income based on this change. For example, the date of your first paycheck for a new job, or the date of a paycheck showing a change in your wage or salary.

(5) If we require you to complete a mid-certification review, you must complete the review to inform us of your circumstances as described under WAC 388-418-0011 in order to keep receiving benefits.

(6) If you receive TANF/SFA, and you learn that a child in your assistance unit (AU) will be gone from your home longer than ((ninety)) one hundred eighty days, you must tell us about this within five calendar days from the date you learn this information.

(a) If you do not report this within five days, the child's caretaker is not eligible for cash benefits for one month; and

(b) We continue to budget the ineligible person's countable income as described in WAC 388-450-0162 to determine the benefits for the people still in the AU.

(7) If you report changes late, you may receive the wrong amount or wrong type of benefits. If you receive more benefits than you are eligible for, you may have to pay them back as described in chapter 388-410 WAC.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090. 06-13-043, 388-418-0007, filed 6/15/06, effective 7/17/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, and 74.08.090. 05-11-074, 388-418-0007, filed 5/17/05, effective 7/1/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 2004 c 54. 04-19-134, 388-418-0007, filed 9/21/04, effective 10/1/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510. 03-21-028, 388-418-0007, filed 10/7/03, effective 11/1/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510. 01-11-109, 388-418-0007, filed 5/21/01, effective 7/1/01.]


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

WAC 388-454-0015   Temporary absence from the home.   ((The child or the caretaker is temporarily absent from the home as long as the caretaker continues to be responsible for the care and control of the child. Temporary absences cannot exceed ninety days except as described below. A caretaker must report a child's absence in excess of ninety days as required under WAC 388-418-0005. Temporary absences include:

(1) Receiving care in a hospital or public or private institution. If the temporary care exceeds ninety days, the assistance payment for the person is reduced to the CPI amount specified under chapter 388-478 WAC.

(2) Receiving care in a substance abuse treatment facility. If the care exceeds ninety days, the assistance payment for the person is reduced to the CPI amount specified under chapter 388-478 WAC.

(3) Visits in which the child or parent will be away for ninety days or less, including visits of a child to a parent who does not reside in the child's home.

(4) Placement of a child in foster care when the child's caretaker is receiving care in a residential treatment facility or for other reasons as determined by the division of children and family services (DCFS). DCFS must determine that the child is expected to return to the home within ninety days of the foster care placement.

(5) Placement of a child in foster care or in the temporary care of a relative, when:

(a) A parent or other relative applies for TANF or SFA on behalf of the child;

(b) DCFS has determined the child will be placed in the care of the applying relative within thirty days following the authorization of assistance; and

(c) No concurrent TANF or SFA payments are made for the child while in the temporary care of a relative.

(6) The child or caretaker is attending school or training as described in WAC 388-454-0020)) The temporary absence policy described in this WAC applies to the temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) and state family assistance (SFA) programs. In some situations, a child receiving TANF/SFA assistance can continue to be eligible for TANF/SFA cash assistance when there is a temporary separation of the child and the child's caregiver. There must be a clear expectation that the absence is temporary and the child is expected to be reunited with the family. Temporary absences cannot exceed one hundred eighty days except as described in (1)(a).

(1) For recipients, temporary absences include, but are not limited to:

(a) Receiving care in a hospital, substance abuse treatment facility, or other public or private institution. If the temporary care exceeds one hundred eighty days, the assistance payment for the person is reduced to the CPI amount specified under chapter 388-478 WAC.

(b) Visits less than one hundred eighty days, when the caregiver continues to maintain responsibility for the support and care of the child.

(c) Attending school or training as described in WAC 388-454-0020.

(d) Placement of a child in foster care or in the care of a relative or other adult, including when the child's primary caregiver is in a residential treatment facility. The division of children and family services (DCFS) must place the child and also determine that the child is expected to return to the primary caregiver within one hundred eighty days of the placement.

(2) For applicants, temporary absences include:

(a) When the child has been placed in unlicensed foster care or in the care of a relative or other adult and DCFS determines that the child will be returned to the home within one hundred eighty days.

(b) When the child is out of the home due to illness or hospitalization and the absence is not expected to exceed one hundred eighty days.

(3) For situations described in (1)(d) and (2)(a) of this WAC, concurrent TANF or SFA cash assistance can be made for the child, only when DCFS has placed the child in the temporary care of an unlicensed-relative or other caregiver or in foster care and expects the child to be returned home to the primary caregiver in one hundred eighty days.

(a) When the child goes into licensed foster care, the TANF/SFA grant to the parent continues.

(b) When the child goes into unlicensed care, whether with a relative or other caregiver, the TANF grant to the parent continues and the caregiver can also get a TANF grant as well.

(4) Situations that do not meet the criteria of a temporary absence include, but are not limited to:

(a) The adult or child is incarcerated for any length of time.

(b) The child has run away and there is no clear expectation of when the child will be returning home.

(c) A child is away attending school and does not meet the criteria outlined in WAC 388-454-0020.

(5) A caregiver must report a child's absence within five days that they become aware that the absence is going to be greater than one hundred eighty days as required under WAC 388-418-0005 and 388-418-0007.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-454-0015, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-16-127, filed 8/3/05, effective 9/3/05)

WAC 388-505-0220   Family medical eligibility.   (1) A person is eligible for categorically needy (CN) medical assistance when they are:

(a) Receiving temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) cash benefits;

(b) Receiving Tribal TANF;

(c) Receiving cash diversion assistance, except SFA relatable families, described in chapter 388-222 WAC;

(d) Eligible for TANF cash benefits but choose not to receive; or

(e) Not eligible for or receiving TANF cash assistance, but meet the eligibility criteria for aid to families with dependent children (AFDC) in effect on July 16, 1996 except that:

(i) Earned income is treated as described in WAC 388-450-0210; and

(ii) Resources are treated as described in WAC 388-470-0005 for applicants and 388-470-0026 for recipients.

(2) An adult cannot receive a family Medicaid program unless the household includes a child who is eligible for:

(a) Family Medicaid;

(b) SSI; or

(c) Children's Medicaid.

(3) A person is eligible for CN family medical coverage when the person is not eligible for or receiving cash benefits solely because the person:

(a) Received sixty months of TANF cash benefits or is a member of an assistance unit which has received sixty months of TANF cash benefits;

(b) Failed to meet the school attendance requirement in chapter 388-400 WAC;

(c) Is an unmarried minor parent who is not in a department-approved living situation;

(d) Is a parent or caretaker relative who fails to notify the department within five days of the date the child leaves the home and the child's absence will exceed ((ninety)) one hundred eighty days;

(e) Is a fleeing felon or fleeing to avoid prosecution for a felony charge, or is a probation and parole violator;

(f) Was convicted of a drug related felony;

(g) Was convicted of receiving benefits unlawfully;

(h) Was convicted of misrepresenting residence to obtain assistance in two or more states;

(i) Has gross earnings exceeding the TANF gross income level; or

(j) Is not cooperating with WorkFirst requirements.

(4) An adult must cooperate with the division of child support in the identification, use, and collection of medical support from responsible third parties, unless the person meets the medical exemption criteria described in WAC 388-505-0540 or the medical good cause criteria described in chapter 388-422 WAC.

(5) Except for a client described in WAC 388-505-0210 (4)(c)(i) and (ii), a person who is an inmate of a public institution, as defined in WAC 388-500-0005, is not eligible for CN or MN medical coverage.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, and 74.09.530. 05-16-127, 388-505-0220, filed 8/3/05, effective 9/3/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.08A.100, 74.09.080, and 74.09.415. 02-17-030, 388-505-0220, filed 8/12/02, effective 9/12/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050, [74.04.]055, and [74.04.]057. 01-11-110, 388-505-0220, filed 5/21/01, effective 6/21/01; 98-16-044, 388-505-0220, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-507-0740 and 388-522-2210.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office