WSR 02-11-131



(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed May 21, 2002, 11:28 a.m. ]

     Original Notice.

     Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 02-01-008.

     Title of Rule: Amending WAC 388-460-0001 Who may be issued cash, child care, medical and food assistance benefits?; and new WAC 388-460-0020 Who is a protective payee?, 388-460-0025 Who can be a protective payee?, 388-460-0030 When is an emergency or temporary protective payee (TANF/SFA) used?, 388-460-0035 When is a protective payee assigned for mismanagement of funds?, 388-460-0040 When is a protective payee assigned to TANF/SFA pregnant or parenting minors?, 388-460-0045 Are clients in WorkFirst sanction status assigned protective payees?, 388-460-0050 When is a client transferred from a protective payee to guardianship?, 388-460-0055 What are the protective payee's responsibilities?, 388-460-0060 When are protective payee plans done?, 388-460-0065 When is the protective payee status ended and how is a protective payee changed?, and 388-460-0070 What are your fair hearing rights regarding protective payment?

     Purpose: This filing will migrate chapter 388-265 WAC into chapter 388-460 WAC to have all payee WACs in the same section and simplify the protective payee policy.

     Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050, and 74.08A.340.

     Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050, 74.08A.340, and WSR 99-14-043.

     Summary: These WACs will simplify the protective payee policy and introduce the following changes: Protective payees and their staff will now have to pass new more stringent criminal background checks; clients using EBT funds for the purposes of gambling will be assigned a protective payee to manage their funds; protective payee plans will now be required if a client has expenses other than rent and utilities; and clarifies that only minor parents that a [are] head of household must have a protective payee.

     Reasons Supporting Proposal: To simplify the language and to add new conditions for the protective payee program.

     Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Ian Horlor, Lacey Government Center, 1009 College Street S.E., Lacey, WA 98503, (360) 413-3247.

     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: The rule changes bring the protective payees into the same chapter as the other payees.

     The rule changes are to simplify and clarify how and when a protective payee is assigned. It clarifies who can be a protective payee and the requirements the protective payee must meet. The effect of the changes is to streamline and make more understandable the protective policy and process.

     Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: These WACs will simplify the protective payee policy and introduce the following changes:

Criminal background checks requirement for payees.
Using EBT funds for gambling results in a protective payee.
Revised when a protective payee plan is required.
Introduced new language to clarify that only minor parents that are a head of household must have a protective payee.

     No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. These rules do not affect small businesses.

     RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. The rules are exempt under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii).

     Hearing Location: Office Building 2 Auditorium (DSHS Headquarters) (parking at 12th and Washington), 1115 Washington, Olympia, WA 98504, on June 25, 2002, at 10:00 a.m.

     Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Andy Fernando, DSHS Rules Coordinator, by May [June] 21, 2002, phone (360) 664-6094, TTY (360) 664-6178, e-mail

     Submit Written Comments to: Identify WAC Numbers, DSHS Rules Coordinator, Rules and Policies Assistance Unit, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, fax (360) 664-6185, e-mail, by 5:00 p.m., June 25, 2002.

     Date of Intended Adoption: No sooner than June 26, 2002.

May 17, 2002

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

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

WAC 388-460-0001   ((Payee for)) Who may be issued cash, child care, medical and food assistance benefits((.))?   (1) Cash and child care assistance may be issued in the name of the following persons:

     (a) A client who is the recipient of the benefits;

     (b) An ineligible parent or other relative ((receiving)) getting benefits on behalf of an eligible child;

     (c) A person, facility, organization, institution or agency acting as a protective payee or representative payee for a client;

     (d) A guardian or agent acting on behalf of a client; or

     (e) A vendor of goods or services supplied to an eligible client.

     (2) When medical coverage accompanies cash assistance, the medical identification (MAID) card for the assistance unit members is issued in the name of the person listed as payee for the cash benefit.

     (3) For other medical assistance units, the MAID card is issued to the person named as the head of the assistance unit.

     (4) Food assistance benefits are issued to the person named as the head of the food assistance unit.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, § 388-460-0001, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

WAC 388-460-0020   Who is a protective payee?   (1) A protective payee is a person or an employee of an agency who manages client cash benefits to provide for basic needs -housing, utilities, clothing, child care, and food. They may also provide services such as training clients how to manage money.

     (2) Clients are assigned to protective payees for the following reasons:

     (a) Emergency or temporary situations where a child is left without a caretaker (TANF/SFA) per WAC 388-460-0030;

     (b) Mismanagement of money (TANF/SFA, GA, or WCCC) per WAC 388-460-0035;

     (c) Noncooperation with WorkFirst program requirements per WAC 388-310-1600 or 388-310-1650; or

     (d) Pregnant or parenting minors per WAC 388-460-0040.


WAC 388-460-0025   Who can be a protective payee?   (1) Clients may ask for a particular protective payee, but the department makes the final choice.

     (2) Protective payees must contract with the department, except for employees of the department who are assigned this function as part of their job duties.

     (3) The contracted protective payee and their staff must pass a criminal background check per WAC 388-06-0170, 388-06-0180 and 388-06-0190.

     (4) A departmental employee acting as a protective payee cannot:

     (a) Have the client in their caseload,

     (b) Have the client in the caseloads of other employees under their supervision,

     (c) Be responsible for determining or issuing benefits for the client,

     (d) Be the office administrator, or

     (e) Be a special investigator.

     (5) For TANF/SFA, a department employee cannot act as a protective payee when the department has legal custody or responsibility for placement and care of the child.


WAC 388-460-0030   When is an emergency or temporary protective payee (TANF/SFA) used?   An emergency or temporary protective payee is assigned when a caretaker relative or adult acting in loco parentis per WAC 388-454-0005 is not available to take care of and supervise a child due to an emergency.


WAC 388-460-0035   When is a protective payee assigned for mismanagement of funds?   (1) The decision to assign a person to a protective payee because of mismanagement of funds must be based on law or with proof the client is unable to manage their cash benefits. The proof must be current and show how this threatens the well being of a child or client on TANF/SFA, GA or WCCC. Examples of proof are:

     (a) Department employees or others observe that the client or client's children are hungry, ill, or not adequately clothed;

     (b) Repeated requests from the client for extra money for basic essentials such as food, utilities, clothing, and housing;

     (c) A series of evictions or utility shut off notices within the last twelve months;

     (d) Medical or psychological evaluations showing an inability to handle money;

     (e) An ADATSA alcohol/drug assessment establishing incapacity due to substance abuse;

     (f) Not paying an in home child care provider for services when payment has been issued to the client by the department for that purpose;

     (g) A complaint from businesses showing a pattern of failure to pay bills or rent;

     (h) Using public assistance electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card or cash obtained through EBT to purchase or pay for lottery tickets, pari-mutuel wagering, or any of the activities authorized under chapter 9.46 RCW.

     (2) A lack of money or a temporary shortage of money because of an emergency does not constitute mismanagement.

     (3) When a client has a history of mismanaging money, benefits can be paid through a protective payee or directly to a vendor.


WAC 388-460-0040   When is a protective payee assigned to TANF/SFA pregnant or parenting minors?   Pregnant or parenting minors must be assigned to protective payees if the clients are:

     (1) Head of a household;

     (2) Under age eighteen;

     (3) Unmarried; and

     (4) Pregnant or have a dependent child.


WAC 388-460-0045   Are clients in WorkFirst sanction status assigned protective payees?   (1) Clients in sanction status for noncooperation or nonparticipation in WorkFirst work activities are assigned to protective payees following the rules in WAC 388-310-1600 and 388-310-1650.

     (2) Clients in sanction status remain in protective payee status until they cooperate with WorkFirst and the sanction is removed, as long as they are receiving assistance.


WAC 388-460-0050   When is a client transferred from a protective payee to guardianship?   (1) In emergency cases where a person is physically or mentally unable to manage their own funds, the client is referred to other divisions of the department for full care, including guardianship.

     (2) In cases where a child is eligible for TANF/SFA and the caretaker relative does not use the benefits for adequate care of the child, the case can be referred to the attorney general to establish a limited guardianship.

     (3) Guardianships are used only if it appears there is a need for services that are expected to last longer than two years.

     (4) These guardianships are limited to management of DSHS benefits.

     (5) The protective payee plan is changed if a guardian is appointed. The guardian is designated as the payee.


WAC 388-460-0055   What are the protective payee's responsibilities?   The protective payee's responsibilities are to:

     (1) Manage client cash and child care assistance benefits to pay bills for basic needs, such as housing and utilities, or as directed in the protective payee plans;

     (2) Provide money management for client if this item is included in the protective payee plans;

     (3) Encourage clients to comply with WorkFirst and other program requirements, such as getting a job or attending school; and

     (4) Provide reports to the department on client progress.


WAC 388-460-0060   When are protective payee plans done?   A protective payee plan may be developed when a case is assigned to a protective payee.

     (1) A copy of the plan is provided to the protective payee and the client.

     (2) All cases, except for when a protective payee is assigned due to sanction status, must be reviewed:

     (a) After an initial three-month period; and

     (b) At least every six months beyond the initial period for on going cases.

     (3) Reviews include evaluation of:

     (a) The need for the client to continue in protective payee status; or

     (b) The need to change the plan; or

     (c) The client's potential to assume control of their funds (or be removed from protective payee status); and

     (d) Protective payee performance.


WAC 388-460-0065   When is the protective payee status ended and how is a protective payee changed?   A client may be removed from a protective payee status when a:

     (1) Protective payee requests the client be reassigned;

     (2) The department assigns a different protective payee; or

     (3) Protective payee is no longer required.


WAC 388-460-0070   What are your fair hearing rights regarding protective payment?   You have the right for a fair hearing if you disagree with the department's decision to:

     (1) Assign payment of benefits through a protective payee,

     (2) Continue the assignment,

     (3) Change the protective payee selected for you, or

     (4) Change the contents of your protective payee plan.



     The following sections of the Washington Administrative Code are repealed:
WAC 388-265-1150 Protective payee -- General information.
WAC 388-265-1155 Protective payee selection.
WAC 388-265-1200 Emergency and temporary protective payees (TANF/SFA).
WAC 388-265-1250 Protective payee or vendor payment due to mismanagement of money.
WAC 388-265-1275 Assigning TANF/SFA or GA pregnant or parenting minors to protective payee.
WAC 388-265-1300 Assigning TANF/SFA clients sanctioned for noncooperation or nonparticipation with WorkFirst activities to protective payees.
WAC 388-265-1375 Transfer from protective payees to guardianship.
WAC 388-265-1450 Protective payee responsibility and fees.
WAC 388-265-1500 Protective payee plans.
WAC 388-265-1600 Ending protective payee status and changing payees.
WAC 388-265-1650 Your fair hearing rights regarding protective payment.

© Washington State Code Reviser's Office