SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Policy and External Relations)
Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.
Purpose: The purpose of this proposal is to make these rules more consistent with case law, other Washington regulations, and Washington statutes that refer to the date of the department's action, conduct, or decision rather than to the date of its notice. It is also necessary to manage budget shortfalls, which will require swift programmatic changes and associated amendments to program rules. The proposed changes to chapter 388-02 WAC will enable the department to fulfill its due process obligation to notify parties of upcoming program changes before the associated amended program rules go into effect and will require application of those amended rules to any disputes about the department's action.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-02-0010 and 388-02-0220.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 34.05.310(4) [34.05.020].
Adopted under notice filed as WSR 12-06-073 on March 6, 2012.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 2, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 2, Repealed 0.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: April 17, 2012.
Katherine I. Vasquez
"Administrative law judge (ALJ)" means an impartial decision-maker who is an attorney and presides at an administrative hearing. The office of administrative hearings (OAH), which is a state agency, employs the ALJs. ALJs are not department employees or department representatives.
"BOA" means the board of appeals.
"Business days" means all days except Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays.
"Calendar days" means all days including Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays.
"Date of the department action" means the date when the department's decision is effective.
"Deliver" means giving a document to someone in person.
"Department" means the department of social and health services.
"Documents" means papers, letters, writings, or other printed or written items.
"DSHS" means the department of social and health services.
"DSHS or department representative" means an employee of the department, a department contractor, or an assistant attorney general authorized to represent the department in an administrative hearing. Department representatives include, but are not limited to, claims officers and administrative hearing coordinators.
"Final order" means an order that is the final department decision.
"Hearing" means a proceeding before an ALJ or review judge that gives a party an opportunity to be heard in disputes about department programs. For purposes of this chapter, hearings include administrative hearings, adjudicative proceedings, and any other similar term referenced under chapter 34.05 RCW, the Administrative Procedure Act, Title 388 of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), chapter 10-08 WAC, or other law.
"Initial order" is a hearing decision made by an ALJ that may be reviewed by a BOA review judge at either party's request.
"Judicial review" means a superior court's review of a final order.
"Mail" means placing a document in the mail with the proper postage.
"OAH" means the office of administrative hearings, a separate state agency from the department.
(1) The department or DSHS; or
(2) A person or entity:
(a) Named in a department action;
(b) To whom a department action is directed; or
(c) Allowed to participate in a hearing to protect an interest as authorized by law or rule.
"Prehearing conference" means a proceeding scheduled and conducted by an ALJ or review judge in preparation for a hearing.
"Prehearing meeting" means an informal voluntary meeting that may be held before any prehearing conference or hearing.
"Program" means a department organizational unit and the services that it provides, including services provided by department staff and through contracts with providers. Organizational units include, but are not limited to, administrations and divisions.
"Record" means the official documentation of the hearing process. The record includes recordings or transcripts, admitted exhibits, decisions, briefs, notices, orders, and other filed documents.
"Review" means a review judge evaluating initial orders entered by an ALJ and making the final agency decision as provided by RCW 34.05.464, or issuing final orders.
"Review judge" means a decision-maker with expertise in department rules who is an attorney and serves as the reviewing officer under RCW 34.05.464. In some cases, review judges conduct hearings and enter final orders. In other cases, they review initial orders and may make changes to correct any errors in an ALJ's initial order. After reviewing initial orders or conducting hearings, review judges enter final orders. Review judges are employed by the department, are located in the board of appeals (BOA), and are not part of the department program involved in the review. See WAC 388-02-0600 for information on the authority of a review judge.
"Rule" means a state regulation. Rules are found in the Washington Administrative Code (WAC).
"Should" means that an action is recommended but not required.
"Stay" means an order temporarily halting the department decision or action.
"You" means any individual or entity that has a right to be involved with the department hearing process, which includes a party or a party's representative. "You" does not include the department or its representative.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.020, 34.05.220. 11-04-074, § 388-02-0010, filed 1/31/11, effective 3/3/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.020, 34.05.220, 42 C.F.R. 431.10 (e)(3), 45 C.F.R. 205.100 (b)(3), chapter 34.05 RCW, Parts IV and V. 08-21-144, § 388-02-0010, filed 10/21/08, effective 11/21/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.020, chapter 34.05 RCW, Parts IV and V, 2002 c 371 § 211. 02-21-061, § 388-02-0010, filed 10/15/02, effective 11/15/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.020. 00-18-059, § 388-02-0010, filed 9/1/00, effective 10/2/00.]
(2) If no department rule applies, the ALJ or review judge must decide the issue according to the best legal authority and reasoning available, including federal and Washington state constitutions, statutes, regulations, and court decisions.
(3) When applying program rules regarding the substantive
rights and responsibilities of the parties (such as
eligibility for services, benefits, or a license), the ALJ and
review judge must apply the program rules ((
that were)) in
effect on the date of the department (( notice was sent))
action, unless otherwise required by other rule or law. If
the department amends (( the)) its notice of the action, the
ALJ and review judge must apply the rules (( that were)) in
effect on the date the (( initial notice was sent)) action was
taken, unless otherwise required by other rule or law.
(4) When applying program rules regarding the procedural rights and responsibilities of the parties, the ALJ and review judge must apply the rules that are in effect on the date the procedure is followed.
(5) Program rules determine the amount of time the department has to process your application for services, benefits or a license.
(6) The ALJ and review judge must apply the rules in this chapter beginning on the date each rule is effective.
(7) If you have a dispute with the department concerning the working connections child care (WCCC) program, the ALJ and review judge must apply the hearing rules in this chapter and not the hearing rules in chapter 170-03 WAC. The rules in this chapter apply to disputes between you and the department of social and health services.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.020, 34.05.220. 11-04-074, § 388-02-0220, filed 1/31/11, effective 3/3/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.020. 00-18-059, § 388-02-0220, filed 9/1/00, effective 10/2/00.]