WSR 09-13-096

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed June 17, 2009, 7:35 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: The department is proposing to add rules under chapter 388-412 WAC, Benefits issuances, in order to provide rules for making Basic Food and Cash benefits electronic benefit transfer (EBT) transaction adjustments consistent with regulations under 7 C.F.R. 274.12 and quest operating rules related to Basic Food and Cash EBT benefits.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510, 74.04.005, 74.08.090, 74.08A.020.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Federal regulations related to the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP aka: Basic Food in Washington state) and quest operating rules require a process for making adjustments to household EBT accounts to correct transaction. The department is proposing to adopt rules to reflect the adjustment of Basic Food and Cash benefit client debit transactions. Creating rules to support the food and nutrition service (FNS) process will inform households on when the department will make adjustments for Basic Food and Cash benefits.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: Congress authorized the SNAP under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008. Prior to October 1, 2008, SNAP was known as the food stamp program. On February 17, 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was signed into law. This law makes changes to the SNAP eligibility and benefit level for households in Washington receiving benefits under the Basic Food and Washington state combined application program (WASHCAP) programs.

The United States Department of Agriculture, FNS publish federal regulations for the SNAP in the federal register. Rules published in the federal register are incorporated into the United States Code of Federal Regulations. FNS also issues administrative notices and interim guidance to inform states of new program requirements that are not yet in the United States Code of Federal Regulations.

The state legislature authorizes the department to administer the food stamp program and food assistance program for legal immigrants under RCW 74.04.500 and 74.04.510.

DSHS incorporates regulations from the federal agencies, related state statutes, and exercises state options by adopting administrative rules for food assistance program administered under WASHCAP, Washington Basic Food and Cash programs.

Process for Developing New Rule: DSHS welcomes the public to take part in developing the rules. Anyone interested should contact the staff person identified below. At a later date, DSHS will file a proposal with the office of the code reviser with a notice of proposed rule making. A copy of the proposal will be sent to everyone on the mailing list and to anyone who requests a copy.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Holly St. John, Program Manager, Community Services Division, P.O. Box 45470, Olympia, WA 98504-5470, phone (360) 725-4895, fax (360) 493-3493, e-mail stjohhc@dshs.wa.gov.

June 17, 2009

Stephanie E. Schiller

Rules Coordinator

Washington State Code Reviser's Office