PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)
Subject of Possible Rule Making: The department is proposing to amend all necessary sections in TITLE 388 WAC to implement annual adjustments to standards for WASHCAP and the Washington Basic Food program. The proposed changes include updates to the following standards for federal fiscal year 2012: WAC 388-412-0015 General information about your Basic Food allotments, 388-450-0185 What income deductions does the department allow when determining if I am eligible for food benefits and the amount of my monthly benefits?, 388-450-0190 How does the department figure my shelter cost income deduction for Basic Food?, 388-450-0195 Does the department use my utility costs when calculating my Basic Food or WASHCAP benefits?, 388-478-0060 What are the income limits and maximum benefit amounts for Basic Food?, 388-492-0070 How are my WASHCAP food benefits calculated?, and any other related rules.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 74.04.005, 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510, 74.08.090, 74.08A.120.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: These standards are required by federal regulations and approved department waivers. Under federal regulations these standards must be adjusted annually in order to determine a client's eligibility and benefit level for the Washington Basic Food program or the WASHCAP.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) annually adjusts income and payment standards, the standard deduction, and maximum shelter deductions for the upcoming federal fiscal year. FNS also requires that the department adjust the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) utility allowance and WASHCAP standards on an annual basis. DSHS adopts the new FNS standards into administrative rule. The department adjusts WASHCAP standards as required under the department's approved waiver based on changes to the consumer price index.
The department will update the current standard utility allowance (SUA) for Basic Food, adjusting for inflation for the various utilities included in the SUA deduction and submitting proposed standards to FNS for approval. The standards approved by FNS will be adopted by the department for use in determining monthly benefits for Basic Food and WASHCAP.
Process for Developing New Rule: Negotiated rule making, 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, Policy Analyst, Community Services Division, P.O. Box 45470, Olympia, WA 98504-5470, phone (360) 725-4895, fax (360) 725-4904, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 5, 2011
Katherine I. Vasquez