SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)
[Filed April 20, 2021, 8:36 a.m.]
Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 21-06-096.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is proposing amendments to WAC 388-484-0006 TANF/SFA time limit extensions.
Hearing Location(s): On May 25, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., at Office Building 2, Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Headquarters, 1115 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98504. Public parking at 11th and Jefferson. A map is available at https://www.dshs.wa.gov/office-of-the-secretary/driving-directions-office-bldg-2; or by Skype. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hearing may be held via Skype, see DSHS website for most up-to-date information.
Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than May 26, 2021.
Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504, email DSHSRPAURulesCoordinator@dshs.wa.gov, fax 360-664-6185, by 5:00 p.m., May 25, 2021.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jeff Kildahl, DSHS rules consultant, phone 360-664-6092, fax 360-664-6185, TTY 711 relay service, email Kildaja@dshs.wa.gov, by May 11, 2021.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: Proposed amendments will expand TANF time limit extensions to families experiencing homelessness, and caring for a homeless child, aligning with the McKinney-Vento definition of homelessness. Also proposed are amendments adding hardship criteria related to impacts from a state of emergency.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: The proposed amendments are necessary to implement 2SSB 6478 (chapter 320, Laws of 2020), and to support time limit extension hardship approvals during a state of emergency (such as the COVID-19 pandemic).
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: DSHS, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation, and Enforcement: Sarah Mintzer, P.O. Box 45470, Olympia, WA 98504-5770, 360-764-0050.
A school district fiscal impact statement is not required under RCW 28A.305.135
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328
. This amendment is 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."
This rule proposal, or portions of the proposal, is exempt from requirements of the Regulatory Fairness Act because the proposal:
Explanation of exemptions: These amendments do not impact small businesses. They only affect DSHS clients.
April 19, 2021
Katherine I. Vasquez
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 20-05-046, filed 2/13/20, effective 3/15/20)
WAC 388-484-0006TANF/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?
You are eligible for a hardship TANF/SFA time limit extension if you are on TANF, 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
(i) Are a supplemental security income recipient or a Social Security disability insurance recipient; or
(ii) Are at least sixty-five years old, blind as defined by the Social Security Administration or disabled as determined under chapter 388-449 WAC; or
(iii) 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
(iv) Are working in unsubsidized employment for thirty-two hours or more per week; or
(v) 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; or
(vi) Are homeless by reason of hardship, including when your family includes a child or youth who is without a fixed regular, and adequate nighttime residence
as described in ((RCW 43.185C.010(12)
))the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (Title 42. U.S.C. 11434a(2), chapter 119, subchapter VI, part B) as it existed on January 1, 2020; or
(vii) Are a resident of Washington state affected by a governor declared state of emergency.
(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) When I have an individual responsibility plan, do my WorkFirst participation requirements change 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), (b)(i) or (ii) then we will review your extension at least every twelve months;
(ii) If you are extended under WAC 388-484-0006 (2)(b)(iii), (iv), (v), or (vi) 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.