An individual development account program is hereby established within the department for the purpose of facilitating the creation by sponsoring organizations of individual development accounts for low-income individuals.
(1) The department shall select sponsoring organizations to establish and monitor individual development accounts using the following criteria:
(a) The ability of the sponsoring organization to implement and administer an individual development account program, including the ability to verify a low-income individual's eligibility, certify that matching deposits are used only for approved purposes, and exercise general fiscal accountability;
(b) The capacity of the sponsoring organization to provide or raise funds to match the contributions made by low-income individuals to their individual development accounts;
(c) The capacity of the sponsoring organization to provide or arrange for the provision of financial counseling and other related services to low-income individuals;
(d) The links the sponsoring organization has to other activities and programs related to the purpose of chapter 402, Laws of 2005; and
(e) Such other criteria as the department determines are consistent with the purpose of chapter 402, Laws of 2005 and ease of administration.
(2) An individual development account may be established by or on behalf of an eligible low-income individual to enable the individual to accumulate funds for the following purposes:
(a) The acquisition of postsecondary education or job training;
(b) The purchase of a primary residence, including any usual or reasonable settlement, financing, or other closing costs;
(c) The capitalization of a small business. Account moneys may be used for capital, land, plant, equipment, and inventory expenses or for working capital pursuant to a business plan. The business plan must have been developed with a business counselor, trainer, or financial institution approved by the sponsoring organization. The business plan shall include a description of the services or goods to be sold, a marketing strategy, and projected financial statements;
(d) The purchase of a computer, an automobile, or home improvements; or
(e) The purchase of assistive technologies that will allow a person with a disability to participate in work-related activities.
(3) An eligible low-income individual participating in the program must contribute to an individual development account. The contributions may be derived from earned income or other income, as provided by the department. Other income shall include child support payments, supplemental security income, and disability benefits.
(4) A sponsoring organization may authorize a low-income individual for whom an individual development account has been established to withdraw all or part of the individual's deposits for the following emergencies:
(a) Necessary medical expenses;
(b) To avoid eviction of the individual from the individual's residence;
(c) Necessary living expenses following loss of employment; or
(d) Such other circumstances as the sponsoring organization determines merit emergency withdrawal.
The low-income individual making an emergency withdrawal shall reimburse the account for the amount withdrawn within twelve months of the date of withdrawal or the individual development account shall be closed.
(5) Funds held in an individual development account established under RCW 43.31.450
shall not be used in the determination of eligibility for, or the amount of, assistance in any state or federal means-tested program.
(6) The department shall adopt rules as necessary to implement chapter 402, Laws of 2005, including rules regulating the use of individual development accounts by eligible low-income individuals. The department's rules shall require that funds held in an individual development account are to be withdrawn only for the purposes specified in subsection (2) of this section or withdrawn as permitted for emergencies under subsection (4) of this section.
(7) Nothing in this section shall be construed to create an entitlement to matching moneys.