WSR 12-09-047

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

(Community Services Division)

[ Filed April 16, 2012, 9:40 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 12-05-092.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 388-446-0020 What penalties will I receive if I break a food assistance rule on purpose?

Hearing Location(s): Office Building 2, Lookout Room, 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 May 22, 2012, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than May 23, 2012.

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 May 22, 2012.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jennisha Johnson, DSHS rules consultant, by May 8, 2012, TTY (360) 664-6178 or (360) 664-6094 or by e-mail at jennisha.johnson@dshs.wa.gov.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The proposed amendments will adopt penalties for Washington food assistance programs consistent with federal penalties for intentional program violations for the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP).

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Amendments proposed under this filing are needed to incorporate federal regulations regarding the allowable use of SNAP benefits. The amendments will provide penalty information to comply with C.F.R. 273.16 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd convictions of crimes that are an intentional program violation for food assistance benefits.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, 74.04.510, 74.04.770, 74.12.260, 74.08.580, 9.91.142, 7 C.F.R. 273.16.

Statute Being Implemented: 7 C.F.R. 273.16.

Rule is necessary because of federal law, 7 C.F.R. 273.16.

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

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Holly St. John, P.O. Box 45470, Olympia, WA, (360) 725-4895.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. These amendments are exempt as allowed under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii) which states in part, "this 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."

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, "this 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.["]

March 21, 2012

Katherine I. Vasquez

Rules Coordinator

4352.1
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 11-19-047, filed 9/13/11, effective 10/14/11)

WAC 388-446-0020   What penalties will I receive if I break a food assistance rule on purpose?   (1) Breaking a rule on purpose for food assistance is known as an intentional program violation (IPV) under WAC 388-446-0015. These rules apply to all DSHS food assistance programs including:

(a) Washington Basic Food program or Basic Food;

(b) The Washington combined application project (WASHCAP) under chapter 388-492 WAC;

(c) Transitional food assistance (TFA) under chapter 388-489 WAC; and

(d) The state-funded food assistance program (FAP) for legal immigrants.

(2) You will have an IPV if we have shown that you have committed an IPV in any of the following three ways:

(a) We establish that you committed an IPV through an administrative disqualification hearing (ADH) under WAC 388-446-0015;

(b) You signed a disqualification consent agreement that waives your right to an administrative disqualification hearing and ((accepts)) states you accept the IPV penalty; or

(c) A federal, state or local court found that you committed an IPV or found you guilty of a crime that breaks food assistance rules.

(3) We only apply a disqualification penalty to the person or persons who have committed an IPV. People who commit an IPV are disqualified from all food assistance benefits listed in subsection (1) of this section. If you commit an IPV you will not be eligible for food assistance:

(a) For a period of twelve months for the first violation;

(b) For a period of twenty-four months for the second violation;

(c) Permanently for the third violation.

(4) Special penalties for certain crimes - If you are convicted in a court of law for crimes that are an intentional program violation, we disqualify you for the period of time set in the court order. If the court order does not state a disqualification period, we set a disqualification period based on the crime you were convicted of committing:

(a) Drugs - If you are convicted in a federal, state, or local court of trading or receiving food benefits for a controlled substance, we disqualify you:

(i) For a period of twenty-four months for a first conviction; and

(ii) Permanently for a second violation.

(b) Weapons - If you are convicted in a federal, state or local court of trading your food assistance benefits for firearms, ammunition, or explosives, we permanently disqualify you from receiving food assistance on the first offense.

(c) Trafficking - If you are convicted in a federal, state, or local court of knowingly buying, selling, trading, or presenting for redemption food assistance benefits totaling five hundred dollars or more, we permanently disqualify you from receiving food assistance on the first offense.

(d) False identification - If you are convicted in a federal, state, or local court of providing false identification to receive benefits in more than one assistance unit, we disqualify you from receiving food assistance:

(i) For ten years on the first or second offense; and

(ii) Permanently for the third offense.

(e) Receiving benefits in more than one state - If you are convicted in a federal, state, or local court of providing false residency information to receive benefits in more than one household or state, we disqualify you from receiving food assistance:

(i) For ten years on the first or second offense; and

(ii) Permanently for the third offense.

(5) When we start a disqualification. The date of a disqualification depends on how a person was disqualified. We will send you a letter telling you when your disqualification period will start:

(a) ADH or consent agreement - If you were found to have committed an IPV in an administrative disqualification hearing or you signed a consent agreement waiving this hearing and accepting the disqualification, we start the disqualification period by the second month after we sent you a letter informing you of the disqualification.

(b) Conviction in court - If you are convicted in court of a crime that is an intentional program violation, your disqualification period in subsection (4) is in addition to any civil or criminal penalties. We disqualify you from food assistance within forty-five days of the court order unless this timing conflicts with the court order.

(6) Disqualifications apply in all states - If you have an IPV disqualification this stays with you until the penalty period is over, even if you move to another state:

(a) If we disqualify you from food assistance, you are also disqualified from receiving supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits in another state during the disqualification period.

(b) If you are disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for an IPV from another state, you can't receive food assistance in Washington during the disqualification period.

(7) Even though we only disqualify the persons who have committed an IPV from receiving food assistance benefits, all adults in the assistance unit are responsible to repay any benefits you were overpaid as described under WAC 388-410-0020 and 388-410-0025.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, 74.04.510, 74.04.770, 74.12.260, 74.08.580, 9.91.142, 7 C.F.R. 273.16, the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 as amended and 42 U.S.C. 601a; and 2011 c 42. 11-19-047, 388-446-0020, filed 9/13/11, effective 10/14/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-446-0020, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office