Effective Date of Rule: Immediately.
Purpose: To amend sections of chapter 170-290 WAC, Working connections (WCCC) and seasonal child care (SCC) subsidy programs, to comply with section 11 of ESSB 5921, enrolled as chapter 42, Laws of 2011 1st sp. sess., that took effect on July 1, 2011. Rules for the SCC programs are revised to:
|•||Require individuals who apply for or receive SCC subsidies to seek department of social and health services (DSHS) child support enforcement services, unless the individual has good cause not to cooperate, as a condition of receiving department of early learning (DEL) child care subsidy benefits; and|
|•||Provide a six-month eligibility period before a family receiving SCC benefits must recertify his or her income eligibility, although families must continue to report changes provided in the rules. The six-month provision will apply so long as enrollment in SCC is capped.|
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 170-290-3565, 170-290-3610, and 170-290-3660.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 43.215.060; chapter 43.215 RCW; section 501, chapter 265, Laws of 2006 (uncodified).
Other Authority: ESSB 5921 (chapter 42, Laws of 2011 1st sp. sess.); 2ESHB 1087 (chapter 50, Laws of 2011 1st sp. sess.); EHB 1248 (chapter 2, Laws of 2011 1st sp. sess.).
Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that in order to implement the requirements or reductions in appropriations enacted in any budget for fiscal year 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013, which necessitates the need for the immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the fiscal needs or requirements of the agency.
Reasons for this Finding: The legislature enacted ESSB 5921 to maintain compliance with and accountability for the federal temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) block grant requirements under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996, and to further reduce costs for the state's WorkFirst program. (WorkFirst is the state's "welfare-to-work" program encompassing several state agencies and programs, including certain DEL child care programs.)
ESSB 5921 was adopted as a WorkFirst "redesign" measure to restructure the program for better efficiency, to reduce fraud and to lower overall costs. According to the legislature's 2011-13 Operating Budget Overview - 2ESHB 1087: "During fiscal year 2012 (July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012) the WorkFirst programs are to be restructured and become performance based ... The budget also increases the number and visibility of fraud detection in public assistance programs through more staff and increased technology."
The overview document further describes savings estimated
at $62.9 million through TANF, WorkFirst and child care
subsidy changes contained in ESSB 5921 and 2ESHB 1087:
"TANF REDUCTIONS - $62.9 MILLION SAVINGS
The proposed budget makes several changes to the cash benefits program including: (1) implementing an income eligibility test for a care giver who is providing for a child outside of the child's home; and (2) applying the sixty-month time limit to any family where the parent is in the home. Major child care reductions include: (1) reduced child care for those whose WorkFirst participation is suspended; (2) moving to six-month certifications; and (3) requiring child support for Working Connections Child Care participants. WorkFirst savings is found through suspension of services and moving to performance based contracts. The budget estimates an $11.8 million ending fund reserve to pay for any unforeseen costs."
Section 11 of ESSB 5921 enacted two of the provisions noted in the budget overview document, by adding the following new subsections (2) and (3) to DEL's RCW 43.215.135:
"(2) As a condition of receiving a child care subsidy or a working connections child care subsidy, the applicant or recipient must seek child support enforcement services from the department of social and health services, division of child support, unless the department finds that the applicant or recipient has good cause not to cooperate.
(3) Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, an applicant or recipient of a child care subsidy or a working connections child care subsidy is eligible to receive that subsidy for six months before having to recertify his or her income eligibility. The six-month certification provisions applies only if enrollment in the child care subsidy or working connections child care program are capped."
The legislature appropriated funding and adopted provisos specifically for implementation of ESSB 5921 in the 2011-2013 Operating Budget Act, 2ESHB 1087. Also, under EHB 1248 (chapter 2, Laws of 2011 1st sp. sess.), the legislature extended the authority for agencies to adopt emergency rules to "... implement the requirements or reductions in appropriations enacted in any budget for fiscal year 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, or 2013..."
This rule meets the requirements of office of financial management guidance regarding Executive Order 10-06 suspending noncritical rule making, but allowing rules to proceed that are "required by state or federal law or required to maintain federally delegated or authorized programs;" and "necessary to manage budget shortfalls, maintain fund solvency, or for revenue generating activities."
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 3, 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 3, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: February 1, 2012.
Elizabeth M. Hyde
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 11-12-078, filed 5/31/11, effective 7/1/11)
WAC 170-290-3565 Consumers' responsibilities. When a ((
consumer)) person applies for or receives SCC program
subsidies, (( he or she)) the applicant or consumer must, as a
condition of receiving those benefits:
(1) Give DSHS correct and current information so that DSHS can determine the consumer's eligibility and authorize child care payments correctly;
(2) Choose a licensed or certified child care provider who meets requirements of WAC 170-292-3750;
(3) Leave the consumer's children with his or her provider while the consumer is in SCC approved activities outside of the consumer's home;
(4) Pay the provider for child care services when the consumer requests additional child care for personal reasons other than working or participating in SCC approved activities that have been authorized by DSHS;
(5) Pay the provider for optional child care programs for the child that the consumer requests. The provider must have a written policy in place charging all families for these optional child care programs;
(6) Pay, or make arrangements for someone to pay, the consumer's SCC copayment directly to the child care provider;
(7) Pay the provider the same late fees that are charged to other families, if the consumer pays a copayment late or picks up the child late;
(8) Sign his or her children in and out of child care as
provided in WAC 170-295-7030, 170-296-0520, or 170-151-460, as
applicable, for that type of provider; ((
(9) Provide the information requested by the DSHS fraud
early detection (FRED) investigator. If the consumer refuses
to provide the information requested within fourteen days, it
could affect his or her SCC program subsidies. If DSHS
determines a consumer is not cooperating by supplying the
requested information, the consumer will not be eligible for
SCC program subsidies. The consumer may become eligible again
when he or she meets SCC program requirements in part III of
(10) Seek child support enforcement services from the DSHS division of child support, unless DSHS finds that the applicant or consumer has good cause not to cooperate as defined under WAC 388-422-0020 or as provided in (a) of this subsection.
(a) For the purposes of this subsection, "good cause" also includes the following:
(i) The applicant or consumer has a current court order showing the child support amount ordered on behalf of the child who will receive the child care subsidy benefits;
(ii) The applicant or consumer already complies with child support enforcement services, either voluntarily or to meet other public assistance benefits requirements;
(iii) The applicants or consumers are married parents, or unmarried two-parent families with a child in common needing child care living in the same household;
(iv) The applicant or consumer is a single-parent family when the other parent is deceased;
(v) The applicant or consumer is a single-parent family when the other parent is incarcerated for one year or longer;
(vi) The applicants or consumers are both minor parents; or
(vii) The DSHS division of child support does not have jurisdiction over the child support case, such as for tribal child support cases or cases outside of the United States.
(b) Child support ordered on behalf of a child who will receive child care subsidy benefits does not affect the other children in the family who are not receiving child support. All other family size rules in WAC 170-290-0015 apply.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.215.060, 43.215.070, and chapter 43.215 RCW. 11-12-078, § 170-290-3565, filed 5/31/11, effective 7/1/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 43.215.060, 43.215.070, 2006 c 265, and chapter 43.215 RCW. 09-22-043, § 170-290-3565, filed 10/28/09, effective 12/1/09.]
(1) Wages and commissions earned from employment;
(2) Unemployment compensation;
(3) A TANF or other welfare grant;
(4) The following child support ((
(a) For applicants or consumers who are not receiving DSHS division of child support services because they are exempt for good cause under WAC 170-290-3565 (10)(a)(i), the amount as shown on a current court order; or
(b) For applicants or consumers who are receiving DSHS division of child support services, the amount as verified by the DSHS division of child support;
(5) Supplemental Security Income (SSI);
(6) Other Social Security payments, such as Social Security Administration (SSA) and Social Security disability insurance (SSDI);
(7) Refugee assistance payments;
(8) Payments from the Veterans' Administration;
(9) Pensions or retirement income;
(10) Payments from labor and industries (L&I), or disability payments;
(11) Lump sums as money a consumer receives from a one-time payment such as back child support, an inheritance, or gambling winnings;
(12) Other types of income not listed in WAC 170-290-3630; and
(13) Gross wages from employment or self-employment income as defined in WAC 170-290-0003. Gross wages include any wages that are taxable.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.215.060, 43.215.070, and chapter 43.215 RCW. 11-12-078, § 170-290-3610, filed 5/31/11, effective 7/1/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 43.215.060, 43.215.070, 2006 c 265, and chapter 43.215 RCW. 09-22-043, § 170-290-3610, filed 10/28/09, effective 12/1/09.]
(2) A consumer's eligibility may be for less than six months if requested by the consumer.
(3) A consumer's eligibility may end sooner than six months if:
(a) The consumer no longer wishes to participate in SCC; or
(b) DSHS terminates the consumer's eligibility as stated in WAC 170-290-3855.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.215.060, 43.215.070, and chapter 43.215 RCW. 11-12-078, § 170-290-3660, filed 5/31/11, effective 7/1/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 43.215.060, 43.215.070, 2006 c 265, and chapter 43.215 RCW. 09-22-043, § 170-290-3660, filed 10/28/09, effective 12/1/09.]