WSR 00-04-092



(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed February 2, 2000, 10:22 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 99-24-025.

Title of Rule: WAC 388-490-0005 The department requires proof before authorizing benefits for cash, medical, and food assistance.

Purpose: This rule explains that clients must verify certain information before they can receive benefits. It describes when the department requires verification, what kind of verification is acceptable, and what will happen if the department does not receive the verification.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510.

Summary: This rule is being amended to clarify the department's policy regarding verification requirements. Establishing one standard will provide consistency throughout the state.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Veronica Barnes, Division of Assistance Programs, P.O. Box 45470, Olympia, WA 98504-5470, (360) 413-3071.

Name of Proponent: Department of Social and Health Services, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: See Summary above.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: WAC 388-490-0005 The department requires proof before authorizing benefits for cash, medical, and food assistance. The language is [as] in this rule was simplified to meet 97-02 standards.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This proposed rule does not have an economic impact on small businesses. It only affects DSHS clients.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. This rule does not fit the definition of a significant legislative rule.

Hearing Location: Lacey Government Center (behind Tokyo Bento Restaurant), 1009 College Street S.E., Room 104-B, Lacey, WA 98503, on March 7, 2000, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Paige Wall by February 25, 2000, phone (360) 664-6094, TTY (360) 664-6178, e-mail

Submit Written Comments to: Identify WAC Numbers, Paige Wall, Rules Coordinator, Rules and Policies Assistance Unit, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, fax (360) 664-6185, by March 7, 2000.

Date of Intended Adoption: April 1, 2000.

January 28, 2000

Marie Myerchin-Redifer, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-16-044, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98)

WAC 388-490-0005
((Documents or information needed to determine eligibility)) The department requires proof before authorizing benefits for cash, medical, and food assistance.

((The department requires clients to provide documents or information to establish the accuracy of a client's circumstances or statements. This is called mandatory verification and varies by program. The following requirements are for cash, food assistance and medical unless otherwise specified.

(1) A client has primary responsibility for providing information and verification.

(2) Time frames and notice requirements for requested information are stated in:

(a) WAC 388-406-0030 and 388-406-0035 for applicants; and

(b) WAC 388-418-0010 for recipients.

(3) The department requests verification from clients when it is needed to determine eligibility.

(4) The department accepts readily available verification that reasonably supports the client's statement or circumstances. Readily available means verification that can be obtained by the client within three working days.

(5) A client's signature on the application, eligibility review, or change of circumstance form gives the department consent to obtain supporting evidence from the following sources:

(a) A collateral contact. A collateral contact is an oral or written statement from someone outside of the assistance unit that confirms a client's circumstances; or

(b) A home visit.

(6) When a client is required to provide a document that requires a fee, the department will pay the fee.

(7) A client's benefits are not denied, terminated or delayed because of a failure to provide a specific type or form of verification.

(8) If all requested verification is not received, a client's eligibility is determined based on all available evidence.

(9) If eligibility cannot be determined from the available evidence that was provided, the client's benefits are denied or terminated.

(10) When verification was previously provided before and the document is not subject to change, a client is not required to provide the verification again. This applies when the department determines eligibility at:

(a) The next application;

(b) Reinstatement of a program; or

(c) Redetermination of eligibility)) This rule applies to cash, medical, and food assistance.

(1) When you first apply for benefits, the department may require you to provide proof of things that help us decide your eligibility. This is also called "verification." The types of things that need to be proven are different for each program.

(2) After that, we will ask you to give us proof when:

(a) You report a change; or

(b) When we find out that your circumstances have changed.

(3) Whenever we ask for proof, we will give you a notice as described in WAC 388-458-0001.

(4) You must give us the proof within the time limits described in:

(a) WAC 388-406-0030 and 388-406-0035 if you are applying for benefits; and

(b) WAC 388-458-0001 if you currently receive benefits.

(5) We will accept any proof that you can easily get when it reasonably supports your statement or circumstances. The proof you give to us must:

(a) Clearly relate to what you are trying to prove;

(b) Be from a reliable source; and

(c) Be accurate, complete, and consistent.

(6) We cannot make you give us a specific type or form of proof.

(7) If the only type of proof that you can get costs money, we will pay for it.

(8) If the proof that you give to us is questionable or confusing, we may:

(a) Ask you to give us more proof or provide a collateral contact (a "collateral contact" is a statement from someone outside of your residence that knows your situation);

(b) Schedule a visit to come to your home and verify your circumstances; or

(c) Send an investigator from the division of fraud investigations (DFI) to make An unannounced visit to your home to verify your circumstances.

(9) You give us permission to get collateral contacts from other people or agencies when you sign the application, eligibility review, or change of circumstances form.

(10) If you do not give us all of the proof that we have asked for, we will determine if you are eligible based on the information that we already have. If we cannot determine that you are eligible based on this information, we will deny or stop your benefits.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-490-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-504-0460.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office