WSR 02-04-057

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed January 30, 2002, 3:50 p.m. , effective February 1, 2002 ]

Date of Adoption: January 29, 2002.

Purpose: This proposal repeals WAC 388-466-0010 and adds two new sections, WAC 388-466-0120 and 388-466-0140. These additions parallel changes in federal rules that will treat refugee eligibility, income and resources according to the provisions of the TANF program. These changes are necessary in order to continue to meet the requirements for federal refugee funding.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 388-466-0010.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.08.090, 74.08A.320.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 02-01-102 on December 17, 2001.

Changes Other than Editing from Proposed to Adopted Version: Editorial changes only.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 2, Amended 0, Repealed 1; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 2, Amended 0, Repealed 1.

Other Findings Required by Other Provisions of Law as Precondition to Adoption or Effectiveness of Rule: Immediate implementation of these rules is necessary in order to comply with federal changes. If these rules do not go into effect it could result in the denial or miscalculation of benefits to needy clients.
Effective Date of Rule: February 1, 2002.

January 29, 2002

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

3028.4
NEW SECTION
WAC 388-466-0120   Refugee cash assistance (RCA).   (1) Who can apply for refuge cash assistance (RCA)?

Any individual can apply to the department of social and health services (DSHS) for refugee cash assistance and have their eligibility determined within thirty days.

(2) How do I know if I qualify for RCA?

You may be eligible for RCA if you meet all of the following conditions:

(a) You have resided in the United States for less than eight months;

(b) You meet the immigration status requirements of WAC 388-466-0005;

(c) You meet the income and resource requirements under chapters 388-450 and 388-470 WAC;

(d) You meet the work and training requirements of WAC 388-466-0150; and

(e) You provide the name of the voluntary agency (VOLAG) which helped bring you to this country.

(3) What are the other reasons for not being eligible for RCA?

Even if you meet the eligibility requirements named in subsection (2) above you may be not eligible if you:

(a) Are eligible for temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI); or

(b) Have been denied TANF due to your refusal to meet TANF eligibility requirements; or

(c) Are employable and have voluntarily quit or refused to accept a bona fide offer of employment within thirty consecutive days immediately prior to your application for RCA; or

(d) Are a full-time student in a college or university.

(4) If I am an asylee, what date will be used as an entry date?

If you are an asylee, your entry date will be the date that your asylum status is granted. For example: You entered the United States on December 1, 1999 as a tourist, then applied for asylum on April 1, 2000, interviewed with the asylum office on July 1, 2000 and were granted asylum on September 1, 2000. Your entry date is September 1, 2000. On September 1, 2000, you may be eligible for refugee cash assistance.

(5) If I am a victim of human trafficking, can I be eligible for RCA?

(a) If you are an adult victim you are eligible for RCA to the same extent as a refugee, if you provide the original certification letter from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and meet eligibility requirements in subsection (2)(c) and (d) of this section. You do not have to provide any other documentation of your immigration status. Your entry date will be the date on your certification letter.

(b) If you are a child victim under eighteen years old you are eligible for benefits to the same extent as a refugees and do not need to be certified. DHHS issues a special letter for children. Children also have to meet income eligibility requirement.

(6) Does getting a onetime cash grant from a voluntary agency (VOLAG) affect my eligibility for RCA?

No. In determining your eligibility for RCA DSHS does not count a onetime resettlement cash grant provided to you by your VOLAG.

(7) What is the effective date of my eligibility for RCA?

The date DSHS has sufficient information to make eligibility decision is the date your RCA begins.

(8) When does my RCA end?

(a) Your RCA ends on the last day of the eighth month starting from the month of your arrival to the United States. Count the eight months from the first day of the month of your entry into the United States. For example, if you entered the United States on May 28, 2000, May is your first month and December 2000 is your last month of RCA.

(b) If you get a job, your income will affect your RCA based on the TANF rules (chapter 388-450 WAC). If you earn more than is allowed by WAC 388-478-0035, you are no longer eligible for RCA. Your medical coverage may continue for up to eight months from your month of arrival in the United States (WAC 388-466-0130).

(9) Are there other reasons why RCA may end?

Your RCA also ends if:

(a) You move out of Washington state;

(b) Your unearned income and/or resources go over the maximum limit (WAC 388-466-0140); or

(c) You, without good cause, refuse to meet refugee employment and training requirements (WAC 388-466-0150).

(10) Will my spouse be eligible for RCA, if he/she arrives in the U.S. after me?

When your spouse arrives in the United States, DSHS determines his/her eligibility for RCA and/or other income assistance programs. Your spouse may be eligible for up to eight months of RCA based on his/her date of arrival into the United States. If you live together you and your spouse are part of the same assistance unit and your spouse's eligibility for RCA is determined based on your and your spouse's combined income and resources (WAC 388-466-0140).

(11) Can I get additional money in an emergency?

If you have an emergency and need a cash payment to get or keep your housing or utilities, you may apply for the DSHS program called additional requirements for emergent needs (AREN). To receive AREN, you must meet the requirements in WAC 388-436-0002.

(12) What can I do if I disagree with a decision or action that has been taken by DSHS on my case?

If you disagree with a decision or action taken on your case by the department, you have the right to request a review of your case or a fair hearing (WAC 388-02-0090). Your request must be made within ninety days of the decision or action.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 388-466-0140   Income and resources for refugee assistance eligibility.   (1) How does DSHS count my income and resources when determining my eligibility for refugee cash assistance?

We determine your eligibility for RCA using the TANF rules about income and resources in chapters 388-450 and 388-470 WAC, except we do not count a onetime resettlement cash payment provided to you by your voluntary agency (VOLAG).

(2) How does DSHS count my income and resources when determining my eligibility for refugee medical assistance?

We determine your eligibility for RMA using the TANF rules about income and resources in chapters 388-450 and 388-470 WAC, except as it stated below:

(a) Your monthly income can be up to two hundred percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL);

(b) A onetime resettlement cash payment provided to you by your VOLAG is not counted in determining your eligibility for RMA;

(c) Your RMA eligibility is determined on the basis of your income and resources on the date of your application (WAC 388-466-0130).

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REPEALER

     The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed:
WAC 388-466-0010 Treatment of income and resources for refugee assistance.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office