WSR 12-01-112

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

(Community Services Division)

[ Filed December 21, 2011, 9:43 a.m. ]

Supplemental Notice to WSR 11-22-102.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 11-18-100.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is proposing to amend WAC 388-484-0005 There is a five-year (sixty-month) time limit for TANF, SFA and GA-S cash assistance and 388-484-0006 TANF/SFA time limit extensions, to count months an ineligible parent receives a TANF/SFA grant for his or her child but is ineligible to receive TANF/SFA assistance towards the parent's sixty month TANF/SFA time limit. Note: This supplemental notice clarifies the rules proposed under WSR 11-22-102 that implement sections 1, 6 and 29 of ESSB 5921, Laws of 2011.

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 January 24, 2012, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than January 25, 2012.

Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, delivery 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA 98503, e-mail DSHSRPAURulesCoordinator@dshs.wa.gov, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5 p.m. January 24, 2012.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jennisha Johnson, DSHS rules consultant by January 10, 2012, 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: The department is proposing to count months an ineligible parent receives a TANF/SFA grant for his or her child but is ineligible to receive TANF/SFA assistance towards the parent's sixty month TANF/SFA time limit.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: These changes are required by sections 1, 6 and 29 of ESSB 5921, Laws of 2011, and are necessary to comply with the department's appropriation for the 2011-2013 biennium, per RCW 34.05.350 as amended by EHB 1248 and as documented in the 2011-2013 TANF/WorkFirst spending plan.

Note: After the initial notice of proposed rule making was filed, the community services division determined that additional changes in WAC 388-484-0005 and 388-484-0006 were necessary to implement sections 1, 6 and 29 of ESSB 5921, Laws of 2011. This supplemental notice clarifies changes to the rules proposed under WSR 11-22-102. In particular, the amended proposed rule deletes an effective date from a prior rule codification, to further clarify the rule changes are implementing new legislation contained in sections 1, 6 and 29 of ESSB 5921, Laws of 2011, that did not go into effect until September 1, 2011.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090 and chapters 74.08A and 74.12 RCW.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090 and chapters 74.08A and 74.12 RCW.

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: Sandy Jsames, P.O. Box 45470, Olympia, WA 98504-5470, (360) 725-4648.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The proposed rule does not have an economic impact on small businesses. The proposed rule is necessary to comply with the department's appropriation for the 2011-2013 biennium, per RCW 34.05.350 as amended by ESSB [EHB] 1248 and as documented in the 2011-2013 TANF/WorkFirst spending plan.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. These amendments are exempt as allowed under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii) which states in-part, "[t]his section does not apply to ... rules of the department of social and health services relating only to client medical or financial eligibility and rules concerning liability for care of dependents." The proposed rule counts months an ineligible parent receives a TANF/SFA grant for his or her child but is ineligible to receive TANF/SFA assistance towards the parent's sixty month TANF/SFA time limit.

December 15, 2011

Katherine I. Vasquez

Rules Coordinator

4320.4
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 10-24-013, filed 11/18/10, effective 12/19/10)

WAC 388-484-0005   There is a five-year (sixty-month) time limit for TANF, SFA and GA-S cash assistance.   (1) What is the sixty-month time limit?

(a) You can receive cash assistance for temporary assistance for needy families (TANF), state family assistance (SFA), and general assistance for pregnant women (GA-S) for a lifetime limit of sixty months. The time limit applies to cash assistance provided by any combination of these programs, and whether or not it was received in consecutive months.

(b) If you receive cash assistance for part of the month, it counts as a whole month against the time limit.

(c) If you have received cash assistance from another state on or after August 1, 1997, and it was paid for with federal TANF funds, those months will count against your time limit.

(d) The time limit does not apply to diversion cash assistance, support services, food assistance or medicaid.

(2) When did the sixty-month time limit go into effect?

The sixty-month time limit applies to cash assistance received on or after August 1, 1997 for TANF and SFA. Although the GA-S program no longer exists, the time limit applies to GA-S cash assistance received from May 1, 1999 through July 31, 1999.

(3) Does the time limit apply to me?

(a) The sixty-month time limit applies to you for any month in which you are an ineligible parent or a parent or other relative as defined in WAC 388-454-0010, or a minor parent emancipated through court order or marriage.

(b) An ineligible parent is a natural, adoptive or step parent as defined in WAC 388-454-0010 who receives a TANF/SFA grant for his or her child but is ineligible to receive TANF/SFA assistance.

(4) Do any exceptions to the time limits apply to me?

The department does not count months of assistance towards the sixty-month time limit if you are:

(a) An adult caretaker, other than an ineligible parent, as described in WAC 388-454-0005 through 388-454-0010, who is not a member of the assistance unit and you are receiving cash assistance on behalf of a child;

(b) An unemancipated pregnant or parenting minor living in a department approved living arrangement as defined by WAC 388-486-0005; or

(c) An adult and you are living in Indian country, as defined under 18 U.S.C. 1151, or an Alaskan native village and you are receiving TANF, SFA, or GA-S cash assistance during a period when at least fifty percent of the adults living in Indian country or in the village were not employed. See WAC 388-484-0010.

(5) What happens if an ineligible parent in the home or a member of my assistance unit has received sixty months of TANF, SFA, and GA-S cash benefits?

Once any adult or emancipated minor in the assistance unit has received sixty months of cash assistance, or an ineligible parent in the home has received sixty months of cash assistance for themselves or their child, the entire assistance unit becomes ineligible for TANF or SFA cash assistance, unless ((you)) they qualify for a hardship extension and are eligible for an extended period of cash assistance called a TANF/SFA time limit extension under WAC 388-484-0006.

(6) What can I do if I disagree with how the department has counted my months of cash assistance?

(a) If you disagree with how we counted your months of cash assistance, you may ask for a hearing within ninety days of the date we sent you a letter telling you how many months we are counting.

(b) You will get continued benefits (the amount you were getting before the change) if:

(i) You have used all sixty months of benefits according to our records; and

(ii) You ask for a hearing within the ten-day notice period, as described in chapter 388-458 WAC.

(c) If you get continued benefits and the administrative law judge (ALJ) agrees with our decision, you may have to pay back the continued benefits after the hearing, as described in chapter 388-410 WAC.

(7) Does the department ever change the number of months that count against my time limit?

We change the number of months we count in the following situations:

(a) You repay an overpayment for a month where you received benefits but were not eligible for any of the benefits you received. We subtract one month for each month that you completely repay. If you were eligible for some of the benefits you received, we still count that month against your time limit.

(b) We did not close your grant on time when the division of child support (DCS) collected money for you that was over your grant amount two months in a row, as described in WAC 388-422-0030.

(c) An ALJ decides at an administrative hearing that we should change the number of months we count.

(d) You start getting worker's compensation payments from the department of labor and industries (L&I) and your L&I benefits have been reduced by the payments we made to you.

(e) You participated in the excess real property (ERP) program in order to get assistance and we collected the funds when your property sold.

(f) Another state gave us incorrect information about the number of months you got cash assistance from them.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, and chapters 74.08A and 74.12 RCW. 10-24-013, 388-484-0005, filed 11/18/10, effective 12/19/10. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, and chapter 74.08A RCW. 06-10-034, 388-484-0005, filed 4/27/06, effective 6/1/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057. 04-05-010, 388-484-0005, filed 2/6/04, effective 3/8/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050, and 78.08A.340. 03-06-046, 388-484-0005, filed 2/28/03, effective 3/31/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08A.010(4), 74.08A.340, 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 02-12-068, 388-484-0005, filed 5/31/02, effective 6/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.005, 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, 74.08A.010, and 42 U.S.C. 608 (a)(7). 01-04-016, 388-484-0005, filed 1/26/01, effective 2/1/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.005, 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 99-08-050, 388-484-0005, filed 4/1/99, effective 5/2/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-484-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 10-24-013, filed 11/18/10, effective 12/19/10)

WAC 388-484-0006   TANF/SFA time limit extensions.   (1) What happens after I receive sixty or more months of TANF/SFA cash assistance?

After you receive sixty or more months of TANF/SFA cash assistance according to WAC 388-484-0005, you may qualify for additional months of cash assistance. We call these additional months of TANF/SFA cash assistance a hardship TANF/SFA time limit extension.

(2) Who is eligible for a hardship TANF/SFA time limit extension?

((Effective February 1, 2011,)) You are eligible for a hardship TANF/SFA time limit extension if you are on TANF ((or)), are otherwise eligible for TANF, or are an ineligible parent, and you have received sixty cumulative months of TANF and:

(a) You are approved for one of the exemptions from mandatory participation according to WAC 388-310-0350 (1)(a) through (d) or you are an ineligible parent who meets the criteria for an exemption from mandatory WorkFirst participation; or

(b) You:

(i) Are a supplemental security income recipient or a social security disability insurance recipient; or

(ii) Have an open child welfare case with a state or tribal government and this is the first time you have had a child dependent under RCW 13.34.030 in this or another state or had a child a ward of a tribal court; or

(((ii))) (iii) Are working in unsubsidized employment for thirty-two hours or more per week; or

(((iii))) (iv) Document that you meet the family violence option criteria in WAC 388-61-001 and are participating satisfactorily in specialized activities needed to address your family violence according to a service plan developed by a person trained in family violence or have a good reason, as described in WAC 388-310-1600(3) for failure to participate satisfactorily in specialized activities.

(3) Who reviews and approves a hardship time limit extension?

(a) Your case manager or social worker will review your case and determine whether a hardship time limit extension type will be approved.

(b) This review will not happen until after you have received at least fifty-two months of assistance but before you reach your time limit or lose cash assistance due to the time limit.

(c) Before you reach your time limit or lose cash assistance due to the time limit, the department will send you a notice that tells you whether a hardship time limit extension will be approved when your time limit expires and how to request an administrative hearing if you disagree with the decision.

(4) ((Do)) When I have an individual responsibility plan, do my WorkFirst participation requirements change ((if)) when I receive a hardship TANF/SFA time limit extension?

(a) Even if you qualify for a hardship TANF/SFA time limit extension you will still be required to participate as required in your individual responsibility plan (WAC 388-310-0500). You must still meet all of the WorkFirst participation requirements listed in chapter 388-310 WAC while you receive a hardship TANF/SFA time limit extension.

(b) If you do not participate in the WorkFirst activities required by your individual responsibility plan, and you do not have a good reason under WAC 388-310-1600, the department will follow the sanction rules in WAC 388-310-1600.

(5) Do my benefits change if I receive a hardship TANF/SFA time limit extension?

(a) You are still a TANF/SFA recipient or an ineligible parent who is receiving TANF/SFA cash assistance on behalf of your child and your cash assistance, services, or supports will not change as long as you continue to meet all other TANF/SFA eligibility requirements.

(b) During the hardship TANF/SFA time limit extension, you must continue to meet all other TANF/SFA eligibility requirements. If you no longer meet TANF/SFA eligibility criteria during your hardship time limit extension, your benefits will end.

(6) How long will a hardship TANF/SFA time limit extension last?

(a) We will review your hardship TANF/SFA time limit extension and your case periodically for changes in family circumstances:

(i) If you are extended under WAC 388-484-0006 (2)(a) then we will review your extension at least every twelve months;

(ii) If you are extended under WAC 388-484-0006 (2)(b) then we will review your extension at least every six months.

(b) Your hardship TANF/SFA time limit extension may be renewed for as long as you continue to meet the criteria to qualify for a hardship time limit extension.

(c) If during the extension period we get proof that your circumstances have changed, we may review your case and determine if you continue to qualify for a hardship TANF/SFA time limit extension. When you no longer qualify for a hardship TANF/SFA time limit extension we will stop your TANF/SFA cash assistance. You will be notified of your case closing and will be given the opportunity to request an administrative hearing before your benefits will stop.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, and chapters 74.08A and 74.12 RCW. 10-24-013, 388-484-0006, filed 11/18/10, effective 12/19/10. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, and chapter 74.08A RCW. 06-10-034, 388-484-0006, filed 4/27/06, effective 6/1/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050, and 74.08A.340. 03-24-057, 388-484-0006, filed 12/1/03, effective 1/1/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08A.010(4), 74.08A.340, 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 02-12-068, 388-484-0006, filed 5/31/02, effective 6/1/02.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office