WSR 11-17-075

EMERGENCY RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed August 16, 2011, 3:13 p.m. , effective August 16, 2011, 3:13 p.m. ]


Effective Date of Rule: Immediately.

Other Findings Required by Other Provisions of Law as Precondition to Adoption or Effectiveness of Rule: ESSB 5921, section 4, directs the department to establish income eligibility criteria for TANF benefits for a child, other than a foster child, who lives with a caregiver other than his or her parents.

Purpose: The department is amending WAC 388-418-0005 How will I know what changes to report? and 388-450-0162 How does the department count my income to determine if my assistance unit is eligible and calculate the amount of my cash and Basic Food benefits?

These changes are necessary to update existing regulations to establish income eligibility for nonparental child-only TANF grants required by ESSB 5921 that go into effect November 1, 2011.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-418-0005 and 388-450-0162.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.08.090, chapter 74.12 RCW.

Other Authority: ESSB 5921, section 4.

Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that state or federal law or federal rule or a federal deadline for state receipt of federal funds requires immediate adoption of a rule.

Reasons for this Finding: ESSB 5921, section 4, as signed by the governor on June 15, 2011, goes into effect November 1, 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Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 2, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 2, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: August 16, 2011.

Katherine I. Vasquez

Rules Coordinator

4319.2
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 11-02-071, filed 1/5/11, effective 2/5/11)

WAC 388-418-0005   How will I know what changes to report?   You must report changes to the department based on the kinds of assistance you receive. We inform you of your reporting requirements on letters we send you about your benefits. Follow the steps below to determine the types of changes you must report:

(1) If you receive assistance from any of the programs listed in subsection (1), you must report changes for people in your assistance unit under chapter 388-408 WAC, based on the first program you receive benefits from.

(a) If you receive long term care benefits such as a home and community based waiver (Basic, Basic Plus, CORE, Community Protection, COPES, New Freedom, Medically Needy), care in a medical institution (nursing home, hospice care center, state veterans home, ICF/MR, RHC) or hospice, you must tell us if you have a change of:

(i) Residence;

(ii) Marital status;

(iii) Living arrangement;

(iv) Income;

(v) Resources;

(vi) Medical expenses; and

(vii) If we allow you expenses for your spouse or dependents, you must report changes in their income or shelter cost.

(b) If you receive medical benefits based on age, blindness, disability (SSI-related medical), or ADATSA benefits, you need to tell us if:

(i) You move;

(ii) A family member moves into or out of your home;

(iii) Your resources change; or

(iv) Your income changes. This includes the income of you, your spouse or your child living with you.

(c) If you receive cash benefits, you need to tell us if:

(i) You move;

(ii) Someone moves out of your home;

(iii) Your total gross monthly income goes over the:

(A) Payment standard under WAC 388-478-0030 if you receive general assistance; or

(B) Earned income limit under WAC 388-478-0035 and 388-450-0165 for all other programs;

(iv) You have liquid resources more than four thousand dollars; or

(v) You have a change in employment. Tell us if you:

(A) Get a job or change employers;

(B) Change from part-time to full-time or full-time to part-time;

(C) Have a change in your hourly wage rate or salary; or

(D) Stop working.

(d) If you are a relative or nonrelative caregiver and receive cash benefits on behalf of a child in your care but not for yourself or other adults in your household, you need to tell us if:

(i) You move;

(ii) The child you are caring for moves out of the home;

(iii) ((The child's parent moves into your home;

(iv) The)) Anyone related to you or to the child you are caring for moves into or out of the home;

(iv) There is a change in the earned or unearned income of anyone in your child-only means-testing assistance unit, as defined in WAC 388-450-0162 (3)(b). You do not need to report changes in earned income for your dependent children who are in school full-time (see WAC 388-450-0070).

(v) There is a change in the recipient child's earned or unearned income ((changes)) (see WAC 388-450-0070 for how we count the earned income of a child);

(((v))) (vi) The recipient child has liquid resources more than four thousand dollars;

(vii) A recipient child in the home becomes a foster child or is no longer a foster child.

(e) If you receive family medical benefits, you need to tell us if:

(i) You move;

(ii) A family member moves out of your home; or

(iii) If your income goes up or down by one hundred dollars or more a month and you expect this income change will continue for at least two months.

(2) If you do not receive assistance from any of the programs listed in subsection (1), but you do receive benefits from any of the programs listed in subsection (2), you must report changes for the people in your assistance unit under chapter 388-408 WAC, based on all the benefits you receive.

(a) If you receive Basic Food benefits, you need to tell us if:

(i) If your household is a categorically eligible household as defined under WAC 388-414-0001, tell us if your total gross monthly income is more than two hundred percent of the federal poverty level; or

(ii) For all other households tell us if your total monthly income is more than the maximum gross monthly income as described in WAC 388-478-0060; or

(iii) Anyone who receives food benefits in your assistance unit and who must meet work requirements under WAC 388-444-0030 ((and)) has their hours at work go below twenty hours per week.

(b) If you receive children's medical benefits, you need to tell us if:

(i) You move; or

(ii) A family member moves out of the house.

(c) If you receive pregnancy medical benefits, you need to tell us if:

(i) You move; or

(ii) You are no longer pregnant.

(d) If you receive other medical benefits, you need to tell us if:

(i) You move; or

(ii) A family member moves out of the home.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090, and 74.08A.010. 11-02-071, 388-418-0005, filed 1/5/11, effective 2/5/11; 10-07-007, 388-418-0005, filed 3/4/10, effective 4/4/10. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, and 2007 c 522. 07-20-042, 388-418-0005, filed 9/26/07, effective 10/27/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090, and 74.08A.010. 05-19-060, 388-418-0005, filed 9/16/05, effective 11/1/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, 44.04.280. 05-09-021, 388-418-0005, filed 4/12/05, effective 6/1/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 2004 c 54. 04-21-026, 388-418-0005, filed 10/13/04, effective 11/13/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510. 04-06-026, 388-418-0005, filed 2/23/04, effective 3/25/04; 03-21-028, 388-418-0005, filed 10/7/03, effective 11/1/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510. 01-11-109, 388-418-0005, filed 5/21/01, effective 7/1/01; 99-23-034, 388-418-0005, filed 11/10/99, effective 1/1/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-418-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 09-07-054, filed 3/11/09, effective 4/11/09)

WAC 388-450-0162   How does the department count my income to determine if my assistance unit is eligible and how does the department calculate the amount of my cash and Basic Food benefits?   (1) Countable income is all income your assistance unit (AU) or your child-only means-testing AU has after we subtract the following:

(a) Excluded or disregarded income under WAC 388-450-0015;

(b) For cash assistance, earned income incentives and deductions allowed for specific programs under WAC 388-450-0170 and 388-450-0175;

(c) For Basic Food, deductions allowed under WAC 388-450-0185; and

(d) Income we allocate to someone outside of the assistance unit under WAC 388-450-0095 through 388-450-0160.

(2) Countable income includes all income that we must deem or allocate from financially responsible persons who are not members of your AU under WAC 388-450-0095 through 388-450-0160.

(3) Starting November 1, 2011, we may apply child-only means-testing to determine eligibility and your payment standard amount.

(a) Child-only means-testing applies when you are a nonparental relative or unrelated caregiver applying for or receiving a nonneedy TANF/SFA grant for a child or children only, unless at least one child was placed by a state or tribal child welfare agency and it is an open child welfare case.

(b) For the purposes of child-only means-testing only, we include yourself, your spouse, your dependents, and other persons who are financially responsible for yourself or the child as defined in WAC 388-450-0100 in your assistance unit (AU). We call this your child-only means-testing AU.

(c) As shown in the chart below, we compare your child-only means-testing AU's total countable income to the current federal poverty level (FPL) for your household size to determine your child-only means-testing payment standard. Your child-only means-tested payment standard is a percentage of the payment standards in WAC 388-478-0020.


If your countable child-only means-testing AU income is: Your child-only means-tested payment standard is equal to the following percentage of the payment standards in WAC 388-478-0020:
200% FPL or less 100%
Between 201% and 225% of FPL 80%
Between 226% and 250% of FPL 60%
Between 251% and 275% of FPL 40%
Between 276% and 300% of FPL 20%
Over 300% of the FPL The children in your care are not eligible for a TANF/SFA grant.

(d) If the children in your care qualify for a TANF/SFA grant once the child-only means-test is applied, the child's income is budgeted against the child-only means-tested payment standard amount.

(e) If the children in your care do not qualify for a TANF/SFA grant once the child-only means-test is applied, they may still qualify for medical assistance as described in WAC 388-408-0055 and WAC 388-505-0210.

(4) For cash assistance:

(a) We compare your countable income to the payment standard in WAC 388-478-0020 and 388-478-0030 or, for child-only means-tested cases, to the payment standard amount in subsection (3).

(b) You are not eligible for benefits when your AU's countable income is equal to or greater than the payment standard plus any authorized additional requirements.

(c) Your benefit level is the payment standard and authorized additional requirements minus your AU's countable income.

(((4))) (5) For Basic Food, if you meet all other eligibility requirements for the program under WAC 388-400-0040, we determine if you meet the income requirements for benefits and calculate your AU's monthly benefits as specified under Title 7 Part 273 of code of federal regulations for the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP). The process is described in brief below:

(a) How we determine if your AU is income eligible for Basic Food:

(i) We compare your AU's total monthly income to the gross monthly income standard under WAC 388-478-0060. We don't use income that isn't counted under WAC 388-450-0015 as a part of your gross monthly income.

(ii) We then compare your AU's countable monthly income to the net income standard under WAC 388-478-0060.

(A) If your AU is categorically eligible for Basic Food under WAC 388-414-0001, your AU can have income over the gross or net income standard and still be eligible for benefits.

(B) If your AU includes a person who is sixty years of age or older or has a disability, your AU can have income over the gross income standard, but must have income under the net income standard to be eligible for benefits.

(C) All other AUs must have income at or below the gross and net income standards as required under WAC 388-478-0060 to be eligible for Basic Food.

(b) How we calculate your AU's monthly Basic Food benefits:

(i) We start with the maximum allotment for your AU under WAC 388-478-0060.

(ii) We then subtract thirty percent of your AU's countable income from the maximum allotment and round the benefit down to the next whole dollar to determine your monthly benefit.

(iii) If your AU is eligible for benefits and has one or two persons, your AU will receive at least the minimum allotment as described under WAC 388-412-0015, even if the monthly benefit we calculate is lower than the minimum allotment.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090, 74.08A.120, and Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, Title 7 Part 273 of the C.F.R. 09-07-054, 388-450-0162, filed 3/11/09, effective 4/11/09. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, and 7 C.F.R. 273.9 and 273.10. 08-15-009, 388-450-0162, filed 7/3/08, effective 8/3/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510. 99-24-008, 388-450-0162, filed 11/19/99, effective 1/1/00.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office