WSR 10-05-085

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed February 15, 2010, 12:46 p.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: The department plans to amend WAC 388-450-0215 How does the department estimate my assistance unit's income to determine eligibility and benefits? and possible other related WACs.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510, 74.08.090.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Current WAC 388-450-0215 requires the department to budget income in the month of application using the anticipated monthly budgeting method based on actual income to be received by the assistance unit. The department is proposing to amend this rule to comply with the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) regulations under 7 C.F.R. 273.10 (c)(2)(i) which requires the department to use the conversion budgeting method whenever a full month's income is anticipated but is received on a weekly or biweekly basis. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has clarified that this rule also applies to the month of application. Changes made to the income budgeting method under WAC 388-450-0215 may also impact cash assistance, medical assistance, and other programs administered by the department.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The USDA FNS publish federal regulations for 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, 74.04.510, and 74.08A.120.

DSHS incorporates regulations from the federal agencies, exercises state options, and implements approved waivers of federal regulatory requirements by adopting administration rules for food assistance programs administered under the Washington state combined application program (WASHCAP) and the Washington Basic Food program.

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 Kim Chea, Program Manager, Community Services Division, P.O. Box 45470, Olympia, WA 98504-5470, phone (360) 725-4653, fax (360) 725-4905, e-mail kimberly.chea@dshs.wa.gov.

February 15, 2010

Don Goldsby, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

Washington State Code Reviser's Office