WSR 11-20-098

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

(Division of Child Support)

[ Filed October 5, 2011, 8:12 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 11-14-098.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The division of child support (DCS) proposes to adopt changes to chapter 388-14A WAC to implement sections 9, 10 and 11 of ESSB 5921 (chapter 42, Laws of 2011), under which recipients of "child care subsidies or working connections child care (WCCC) subsidies" are required to seek child support enforcement services and cooperate with the department of social and health services, DCS unless granted good cause not to do so.

DCS adopted emergency rules under WSR 11-14-086, effective July 1, 2011, the effective date of ESSB 5921. In addition, the department of early learning (DEL), has adopted rules implementing ESSB 5921; those rules are available on the DEL web site at www.del.wa.gov.

New sections WAC 388-14A-2007 Does an application for subsidized child care automatically become an application for support enforcement services?, 388-14A-2042 What happens if I don't cooperate with DCS while I receive a child care subsidy? and 388-14A-2093 Who receives notice of DCS' intent to close a case when the custodial parent receives a child care subsidy or a working connections child care subsidy?; and amending WAC 388-14A-2040 Do I have to cooperate with the division of child support in establishing or enforcing child support?, 388-14A-2041 What happens if I don't cooperate with DCS while I receive public assistance?, 388-14A-2045 What can I do if I am afraid that cooperating with the division of child support will be harmful to me or to my children?, 388-14A-2050 Who decides if I have good cause not to cooperate?, and 388-14A-2075 What happens if the division of child support determines that I am not cooperating?

Hearing Location(s): Office Building 2, Auditorium, DSHS Headquarters, 1115 Washington, Olympia, WA 98504 (public parking at 11th and Jefferson. A map is available at http://www1.dshs.wa.gov/msa/rpau/RPAU-OB-2directions.html or by calling (360) 664-6094), on November 8, 2011, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than November 9, 2011.

Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, delivery 1115 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98504, e-mail DSHSRPAURulesCoordinator@dshs.wa.gov, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5 p.m. on November 8, 2011.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jennisha Johnson, DSHS rules consultant, by October 21, 2011, TTY (360) 664-6178 or (360) 664-6094 or by e-mail at johnsjl4@dshs.wa.gov.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: DCS is adopting changes to chapter 388-14A WAC to implement sections 9, 10 and 11 of ESSB 5921 (chapter 42, Laws of 2011), under which recipients of child care subsidies or WCCC subsidies are required to seek child support enforcement services and cooperate with the department of social and health services, DCS unless granted good cause not to do so.

Rules adopted by DEL provide that child care subsidy program clients must seek child support services from DCS unless the client can show good cause (either under WAC 388-422-0020 or under chapter 170-290 WAC).

These rules describe how DCS notifies the community services division (CSD) and DEL if a child care subsidy recipient fails to cooperate with DCS or closes his or her case; any sanctions for failure to cooperate are determined by CSD and/or DEL.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 34.05.020, 34.05.220, 74.08.090, 74.20.040 and ESSB 5921 (chapter 42, Laws of 2011).

Statute Being Implemented: Sections 9, 10 and 11 of ESSB 5921 (chapter 42, Laws of 2011), RCW 74.20.040, 74.20.330, and 43.215.135.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: Department of social and health services, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Nancy Koptur, DCS Headquarters, P.O. Box 9162, Olympia, WA 98507-9162, (360) 664-5065.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This rule does not have an economic impact on small businesses. It only affects individuals who have support obligations or individuals who are owed child support.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. The rule does meet the definition of a significant legislative rule but DSHS/DCS rules relating to the care of dependent children are exempt from preparing further analysis under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii).

September 28, 2011

Katherine I. Vasquez

Rules Coordinator

4315.4
NEW SECTION
WAC 388-14A-2007   Does an application for subsidized child care automatically become an application for support enforcement services?   (1) As a condition of receiving a child care subsidy, which includes any subsidy under chapter 43.215 RCW, including working connections child care (WCCC) or seasonal childcare (SCC), the applicant or recipient must seek child support enforcement services, unless the department or the department of early learning (DEL) finds that the applicant or recipient has good cause not to cooperate.

(a) An application for a child care subsidy does not automatically become an application for support enforcement services.

(b) The person receiving the child care subsidy must file a signed application for support enforcement services as described in WAC 388-14A-2000 and 388-14A-2010, unless the person is also receiving cash assistance.

(2) Payment for subsidized child care services constitutes an authorization to DCS to provide the recipient of the child care subsidy with support enforcement services, but the recipient must submit a signed application, as provided in subsection (1)(b) of this section.

(3) DCS collects, but does not retain, child support payments unless there is also an assignment of rights based on receipt of cash assistance or medical assistance.

(4) If DCS documents failure to cooperate by the custodial parent (CP), and that cooperation is essential for the next step in enforcement, DCS closes the child support enforcement case under WAC 388-14A-2080(8) or as that section may hereinafter be amended.

(5) If the person receiving the child care subsidy requests that DCS stop providing services and there is no current assignment of medical or support rights, DCS closes the child support enforcement case under WAC 388-14A-2080(4) or as that section may hereinafter be amended.

(6) If DCS closes a case as provided in subsection (4) or (5) of this section, DCS notifies the community services division (CSD) that the recipient of the child care subsidy has failed to cooperate with DCS. Any sanctions for failure to cooperate are determined by CSD or DEL.

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AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 06-03-120, filed 1/17/06, effective 2/17/06)

WAC 388-14A-2040   Do I have to cooperate with the division of child support in establishing or enforcing child support?   (1) You must cooperate with the division of child support (DCS) when you receive public assistance unless the department determines there is good cause not to cooperate under WAC 388-422-0020.

(2) You must cooperate with the division of child support (DCS) when you receive a child care subsidy, unless the department determines there is good cause not to cooperate under WAC 388-422-0020 or another rule of the department of early learning (DEL).

(3) As described in WAC 388-14A-2080, DCS may close a nonassistance case if the custodial parent (CP) fails to cooperate, if cooperation is essential for the next step in enforcement.

(4) For purposes of this section and WAC 388-14A-2075, cooperating with DCS includes cooperating with those acting on behalf of DCS (its "representatives"), namely the prosecuting attorney, the attorney general, or a private attorney paid per RCW 74.20.350. In cases where paternity is at issue, the custodial parent (CP) of a child who receives assistance must cooperate whether or not the parent receives assistance.

(((2))) (5) Cooperation means giving information, attending interviews, attending hearings, or taking actions to help DCS establish and collect child support. This information and assistance is necessary for DCS to:

(a) Identify and locate the responsible parent;

(b) Establish the paternity of the child(ren) on assistance in the CP's care; and

(c) Establish or collect support payments or resources such as property due the CP or the child(ren).

(((3))) (6) The CP must also cooperate by sending to DCS any child support received by the CP while on assistance, as required by RCW 74.20A.275 (3)(c). If the client keeps these payments, known as retained support, the CP must sign an agreement to repay under RCW 74.20A.275, and the CP must honor that agreement.

(((4))) (7) The cooperation requirements of subsections (1), (4) and (((2))) (5) above, but not subsection (((3))) (6), apply to a recipient of medicaid-only assistance.

(8) The cooperation requirements of subsections (2), (4) and (5) above, but not subsection (6), apply to a recipient of a child care subsidy.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.20A.310, 45 C.F.R. 302.31 and 302.33. 06-03-120, 388-14A-2040, filed 1/17/06, effective 2/17/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 34.05.310 (4)(d), 26.23.035, 74.20A.310. 03-20-072, 388-14A-2040, filed 9/29/03, effective 10/30/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 26.23.035, 74.20A.310. 01-03-089, 388-14A-2040, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01. Formerly WAC 388-14-201.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-03-089, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01)

WAC 388-14A-2041   What happens if I don't cooperate with DCS while I receive public assistance?   (1) If you receive public assistance, there may be penalties, called sanctions, for not cooperating with the division of child support (DCS). These sanctions and the noncooperation process are described in WAC 388-14A-2075. You may be sanctioned if:

(a) You do not go to scheduled interviews and answer questions;

(b) There is credible evidence showing that you could have given the information but did not;

(c) You have been giving inconsistent or false information without a good reason; or

(d) You refuse to sign or honor a repayment agreement under WAC 388-14A-2040(3).

(2) You must be given the opportunity to swear you do not have the information.

(3) You cannot be sanctioned because you provided information on a possible parent who was then excluded by genetic testing. In this event you must continue to cooperate in naming other possible parents and taking part in any resulting genetic testing.

(4) You may not be able to help DCS if you do not know, do not possess, or cannot reasonably obtain the requested information. To avoid a sanction, you must, under penalty of perjury, swear or attest to your lack of information in an interview held by DCS or its representative.

(5) If you fear that cooperation may cause harm to you or your children, you may contact the community services division (CSD) to claim good cause not to cooperate under WAC 388-422-0020.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 26.23.035, 74.20A.310. 01-03-089, 388-14A-2041, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01. Formerly WAC 388-14-202.]


NEW SECTION
WAC 388-14A-2042   What happens if I don't cooperate with DCS while I receive a child care subsidy?   (1) If the division of child support (DCS) closes your nonassistance case either at your request or based on your failure to cooperate while you are a recipient of a child care subsidy, DCS notifies the community services division (CSD) that your case was closed.

(2) Any sanctions for your failure to cooperate are determined by CSD or the department of early learning (DEL).

(3) If you fear that cooperation may cause harm to you or your children, you may contact the community services division (CSD) to claim good cause not to cooperate under WAC 388-422-0020 or under DEL rules.

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AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-03-089, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01)

WAC 388-14A-2045   What can I do if I am afraid that cooperating with the division of child support will be harmful to me or to my children?   (1) If a custodial parent (CP) receiving public assistance fears that the establishment or enforcement of support may result in harm to the CP or the children, the CP may be excused from the cooperation requirements. ((You can)) The CP must contact the community services division (CSD) to claim good cause not to cooperate under WAC 388-422-0020. ((Go to the community services office (CSO) to claim good cause.)) The CP may claim good cause:

(a) At the time of application for public assistance; or

(b) At any time thereafter.

(2) If a CP who is not receiving public assistance fears that the establishment or enforcement of support may result in harm to the CP or the children, the CP should tell the division of child support (DCS) that family violence is an issue in the case, so that DCS may take appropriate action. The CP may ask DCS to close the nonassistance support enforcement case.

(3) If a CP who receives a child care subsidy but does not receive public assistance claims good cause not to comply with the requirement to seek support enforcement services, the department of early learning (DEL) or CSD may grant good cause, either under WAC 388-422-0020 or under DEL rules.

(a) If the CP does not claim good cause at the time the child care subsidy is granted, the CP may later claim good cause by contacting CSD.

(b) If the CP requests DCS to close a nonassistance case, DCS notifies CSD that the case has been closed. The CP may claim good cause if CSD takes action to sanction the CP for closing the DCS case.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090. 01-03-089, 388-14A-2045, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-03-089, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01)

WAC 388-14A-2050   Who decides if I have good cause not to cooperate?   (1) The community services ((office (CSO))) division (CSD) decides whether you have good cause not to cooperate with the division of child support (DCS). You must tell CSD if you want to claim good cause.

(a) CSD determines good cause under WAC 388-422-0020 or under the rules adopted by the department of early learning (DEL).

(b) You may claim good cause at the time you apply for public assistance or for a child care subsidy, or at any time thereafter.

(2) When you make a claim of good cause not to cooperate, DCS does not take any action on ((the)) your case while ((the CSO)) CSD is reviewing your good cause claim.

(3) If you are not receiving public assistance but are applying for a child care subsidy, you may be granted good cause and not be required to apply for child support enforcement services.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090. 01-03-089, 388-14A-2050, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 03-20-072, filed 9/29/03, effective 10/30/03)

WAC 388-14A-2075   What happens if the division of child support determines that I am not cooperating?   (1) When the division of child support (DCS) or its representatives believe ((you are)) that a custodial parent (CP) who receives cash assistance or medical assistance is not cooperating as defined in WAC 388-14A-2040, DCS sends a notice to ((you)) the CP and to the community ((service office (CSO) stating)) services division (CSD) about the noncooperation ((and explaining)).

(a) The notice contains the following information:

(((a))) (i) How the noncooperation was determined, including what actions were required;

(((b))) (ii) What actions ((you)) the CP must take to resume cooperation;

(((c))) (iii) That this notice was sent to ((the CSO)) CSD;

(((d))) (iv) That ((you)) the CP may contact ((the CSO)) CSD immediately if ((you)) the CP disagrees with the notice, needs help in order to cooperate, or believes the actions required are unreasonable; and

(((e))) (v) That ((the CSO)) CSD may sanction ((you)) the CP by either reducing or terminating the grant.

(((2))) (b) ((The CSO)) CSD sends a notice of planned action to ((you)) the CP as provided by WAC 388-472-0005 (1)(i).

(((3))) (c) Either the notice of alleged noncooperation or ((the CSO's)) CSD's notice of planned action may serve as the basis for a sanction.

(((4))) (d) If the noncooperation was due to missing an interview without reasonable excuse, ((you)) the CP will be considered to be cooperating when ((you)) the CP appears for a rescheduled interview and either provides information or attests to the lack of information. DCS or its representative must reschedule the interview within seven business days from the date ((you)) the CP contacts them to reschedule an interview.

(((5))) (e) If the noncooperation was due to not taking a required action, cooperation resumes when ((you)) the CP takes that action.

(((6))) (2) There is no hearing right for a notice of noncooperation, but ((you can)) the CP may request a hearing on the sanction imposed by ((the CSO)) CSD.

(3) When DCS or its representatives believe that a CP who does not receive public assistance but does receive a child care subsidy is not cooperating, and that cooperation is essential for the next step in establishment or enforcement, DCS sends a notice of case closure to the CP.

(a) The notice of case closure contains the following information:

(i) That DCS cannot take the next step in establishment or enforcement because of the CP's failure to cooperate;

(ii) What actions the CP must take to resume cooperation;

(iii) The DCS will notify CSD of case closure;

(iv) That DCS may close the nonassistance case if the CP does not cooperate within sixty days; and

(v) That CSD may sanction the CP. Any sanctions for failure to cooperate are determined by CSD.

(4) If the CP takes the actions required to resume cooperation within sixty days, DCS leaves the case open and continues to establish or enforce the support obligation.

(5) The CP may request a hearing to contest case closure, as described in WAC 388-14A-2095.

(6) If DCS closes the case due to noncooperation, a CP who does not receive public assistance but does receive a child care subsidy may request a hearing on the sanction imposed by CSD.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 34.05.310 (4)(d), 26.23.035, 74.20A.310. 03-20-072, 388-14A-2075, filed 9/29/03, effective 10/30/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 26.23.035, 74.20A.310. 01-03-089, 388-14A-2075, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01. Formerly WAC 388-14-202.]


NEW SECTION
WAC 388-14A-2093   Who receives notice of DCS' intent to close a case when the custodial parent receives a child care subsidy?   (1) Unless the department finds good cause not to require it, a recipient of a child care subsidy who does not receive cash assistance or medical assistance must apply for support enforcement services.

(2) If the division of child support (DCS) intends to close the case because the custodial parent (CP) who receives a child care subsidy fails to cooperate as described in WAC 388-14A-2075(3), DCS sends a copy of the notice of intent to close the case to the CP. DCS also notifies the community services division (CSD).

(3) As provided in WAC 388-14A-2090, DCS does not send a notice of intent to close when the CP requests case closure. When DCS closes a case at the request of a CP who receives a child care subsidy, DCS sends a copy of the case closure notice to the CP, and also notifies CSD.

(4) Requesting case closure while receiving a child care subsidy counts as a failure to cooperate with DCS.

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