WSR 11-11-089

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed May 18, 2011, 8:56 a.m. , effective June 18, 2011 ]


Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.

Purpose: The community services division is amending WAC 388-450-0215 How does the department estimate my assistance unit's income to determine eligibility and benefits?

This amendment eliminates the requirement for the department to budget actual income received, or expected to be received, by the assistance unit in the month of application using the anticipated monthly budgeting method. This amendment allows the department to average the household's income in the month of application if the income is also averaged for the rest of months in the certification period.

This rule filing meets guideline 3(a), required by federal law, of the Governor's Executive Order 10-06 because it is necessary to comply with the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Services (FNS), supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) regulations under 7 C.F.R. 273.10 (c)(2).

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-450-0215.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.500, 74.04.510, 74.08.090, 74.08A.120.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 11-07-075 on March 22, 2011.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: May 16, 2011.

Katherine I. Vasquez

Rules Coordinator

4284.1
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 11-03-001, filed 1/5/11, effective 2/5/11)

WAC 388-450-0215   How does the department estimate my assistance unit's income to determine my eligibility and benefits?   (1) We decide if your assistance unit (AU) is eligible for benefits and calculate your monthly benefits based on an estimate of your AU's gross monthly income and expenses. This is known as prospective budgeting.

(2) We use your current, past, and future circumstances for a representative estimate of your monthly income.

(3) We may need proof of your circumstances to ensure our estimate is reasonable. This may include documents, statements from other people, or other proof as explained in WAC 388-490-0005.

(4) We use one of two methods to estimate income:

(a) Anticipating monthly income (AM): With this method, we base the estimate on the actual income we expect your AU to receive in the month (see subsection (((5))) (6)); and

(b) Averaging income (CA): With this method, we add the total income we expect your AU to receive for a period of time and divide by the number of months in the period (see subsection (((6))) (7)).

(5) When determining eligibility for apple health for kids programs as listed in WAC 388-505-0210 or pregnancy medical as listed in WAC 388-462-0015, we can use the method most beneficial to your AU.

(6) Anticipating monthly income: We must use the anticipating monthly method:

(a) ((For the month you apply for benefits unless:

(i) We are determining eligibility for apple health for kids programs as listed in WAC 388-505-0210, or pregnancy medical as listed in WAC 388-462-0015. For apple health for kids and pregnancy medical we can use either method; or

(ii) You are paid less often than monthly (for example: you are paid quarterly or annually). If you are paid less often than monthly, we average your income for the month you apply. Section (6) explains how we average your income.

(b))) When we estimate income for anyone in your AU, if you or anyone in your AU receive SSI-related medical benefits under chapter 388-475 WAC.

(((c))) (b) When we must allocate income to someone who is receiving SSI-related medical benefits under chapter 388-475 WAC.

(((d))) (c) In the month of application, when you are a destitute migrant or destitute seasonal farmworker under WAC 388-406-0021. In this situation, we must use anticipating monthly (AM) for all your AU's income.

(((e))) (d) To budget SSI or Social Security benefits even if we average other sources of income your AU receives.

(((6))) (7) Averaging income: When we average your income, we consider changes we expect for your AU's income. We determine a monthly amount of your income based on how often you are paid:

(a) If you are paid weekly, we multiply your expected income by 4.3;

(b) If you are paid every other week, we multiply your expected income by 2.15;

(c) In most cases if you receive your income other than weekly or every other week, we estimate your income over your certification period by:

(i) Adding the total income for representative period of time;

(ii) Dividing by the number of months in the time frame; and

(iii) Using the result as a monthly average.

(d) If you receive your yearly income over less than a year because you are self employed or work under a contract, we average this income over the year unless you are:

(i) Paid on an hourly or piecework basis; or

(ii) A migrant or seasonal farmworker under WAC 388-406-0021.

(((7))) (8) ((If we used the anticipating monthly income method for the month you applied for benefits, we may average your income for the rest of your certification period if we do not have to use this method for any other reason in section (5))) We use the same method for each month in your certification period, including the month of application, unless:

(a) A full month's income is not anticipated in the month of application. In this situation, we budget your income in the month of application using the anticipated monthly (AM) method and average your income (CA) for the rest of the months in your certification.

(b) You are a destitute migrant or destitute seasonal farmworker. We must budget your income in the month of application using the anticipated monthly method, as required by subsection (6). We may average your income for the rest of the months in your certification period.

(((8))) (9) If you report a change in your AU's income, and we expect the change to last through the end of the next month after you reported it, we update the estimate of your AU's income based on this change.

(((9))) (10) If your actual income is different than the income we estimated, we don't make you repay an overpayment under chapter 388-410 WAC or increase your benefits unless you meet one of the following conditions:

(a) You provided incomplete or false information; or

(b) We made an error in calculating your benefits.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.057, and 74.08.090, and Apple Health for Kids Act (ESHB 2128); 42 U.S.C. 1305; Public Law 111-3 (Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009). 11-03-001, 388-450-0215, filed 1/5/11, effective 2/5/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 74.08.090. 08-02-054, 388-450-0215, filed 12/28/07, effective 2/1/08; 05-16-109, 388-450-0215, filed 8/2/05, effective 10/1/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510. 04-06-052, 388-450-0215, filed 3/1/04, effective 4/1/04; 03-21-029, 388-450-0215, filed 10/7/03, effective 11/1/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510. 99-23-083, 388-450-0215, filed 11/16/99, effective 1/1/00; 99-16-024, 388-450-0215, filed 7/26/99, effective 9/1/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-450-0215, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-505-0590.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office