WSR 02-12-068

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed May 31, 2002, 4:01 p.m. , effective June 1, 2002 ]

Date of Adoption: May 30, 2002.

Purpose: These rule changes are necessary to implement the policy for the sixty month time limit of TANF/SFA cases.

Amending WAC 388-484-0005 There is a five year (sixty month) time limit for TANF/SFA and GA-S cash assistance; and new sections WAC 388-484-0006 TANF/SFA time limit extension and 388-310-0350 WorkFirst -- Other exemptions from mandatory participation.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-484-0005.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.08A.010(4), 74.08A.340, 74.08.090, 74.04.050.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 02-09-075 and 02-09-076 on April 16, 2002.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 2, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 2, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Other Findings Required by Other Provisions of Law as Precondition to Adoption or Effectiveness of Rule: The first group of TANF/SFA clients will have received sixty months of TANF/SFA cash aid effective August 1, 2002. The department must authorize TANF/SFA time limit extensions in June and July 2002 to ensure continued cash aid for these low-income families. This action is required by state statute.
Effective Date of Rule: June 1, 2002.

May 30, 2002

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

3064.3
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-04-016, filed 1/26/01, effective 2/1/01)

WAC 388-484-0005   There is a five year (sixty-month) time limit for TANF, SFA and GA-S cash assistance.   (1) What is the sixty-month time limit?

(a) You can receive cash assistance for temporary assistance for needy families (TANF), state family assistance (SFA), and general assistance for pregnant women (GA-S) for a lifetime limit of sixty months. The time limit applies to cash assistance provided by any combination of these programs, and whether or not it was received in consecutive months.

(b) If you receive cash assistance for part of the month, it counts as a whole month against the time limit.

(c) If you have received cash assistance from another state on or after August 1, 1997, and it was paid for with federal TANF funds, those months will count against your time limit.

(d) The time limit does not apply to diversion cash assistance, support services, food assistance or Medicaid.

(2) When did the sixty-month time limit go into effect?

The sixty-month time limit applies to cash assistance received on or after August 1, 1997 for TANF and SFA. Although the GA-S program no longer exists, the time limit applies to GA-S cash assistance received from May 1, 1999 through July 31, 1999.

(3) Does the time limit apply to me?

The sixty-month time limit applies to you for any month in which you are a parent or other relative as defined in WAC 388-454-0010, or a minor parent emancipated through court order or marriage.

(4) Do any exceptions to the time limits apply to me?

The department does not count months of assistance towards the sixty-month time limit if you are:

(a) A nonneedy adult caretaker relative who is not a member of the assistance unit and you are receiving cash assistance on behalf of a child;

(b) An unemancipated pregnant or parenting minor living in a department approved living arrangement as defined by WAC 388-486-0005; or

(c) An American Indian or Native Alaskan adult and you are living in Indian country, as defined under 18 U.S.C. 1151, or an Alaskan Native village and you are receiving TANF, SFA, or GA-S cash assistance during a period when at least fifty percent of the adults living in Indian country or in the village were not employed. See WAC 388-484-0010.

(5) What happens if a member of my assistance unit has received sixty months of TANF, SFA, and GA-S cash benefits?

Once any adult or emancipated minor in the assistance unit has received sixty months of cash assistance, the entire assistance unit becomes ineligible for TANF or SFA cash assistance((. Some people may be)), unless you are eligible for an extended period of cash assistance ((based on hardship criteria to be developed by the department)) called a TANF/SFA time limit extension under WAC 388-484-0006.

(6) What can I do if I disagree with how the department has counted my months of cash assistance?

(a) If you disagree with how the department has counted your months of cash assistance, you may ask for a hearing within ninety days of receiving notice of the count.

(b) If your cash assistance is terminated after sixty months and you ask for a hearing as provided under chapter 388-02 WAC, your cash assistance will be continued during the course of your initial administrative appeal. You ((must repay the cash assistance, however,)) may be required to repay up to sixty days of cash assistance if the department's decision is found to be correct as described in WAC 388-410-0001 (3)(b).

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.005, 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, 74.08A.010, and 42 U.S.C. 608 (a)(7). 01-04-016, 388-484-0005, filed 1/26/01, effective 2/1/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.005, 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 99-08-050, 388-484-0005, filed 4/1/99, effective 5/2/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-484-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


NEW SECTION
WAC 388-484-0006   TANF/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, you may qualify for additional months of cash assistance. We call these additional months of TANF/SFA cash assistance a TANF/SFA time limit extension.

(2) Who is eligible for a TANF/SFA time limit extension?

You are eligible for a TANF/SFA time limit extension if you are on TANF or otherwise eligible for TANF and:

(a) You qualify for one of the exemptions listed in WAC 388-310-0350; or

(b) You:

(i) Are participating satisfactorily in the WorkFirst program (see chapter 388-310 WAC for a description of WorkFirst participation requirements); or

(ii) Meet the family violence option criteria in WAC 388-61-001 and are participating satisfactorily in specialized activities listed in your individual responsibility plan.

(c) If you are refusing to participate as required and you do not have a good reason under WAC 388-310-1600(4), you do not qualify for a regular TANF/SFA time limit extension but your family may qualify for a Child SafetyNet Payment extension, described in WAC 388-310-1650.

(3) Who reviews and approves an extension?

(a) Your case manager or social worker will review your case and we will use the case staffing process to determine which extension type will be approved. Case staffing is a process to bring together a team of multidisciplinary experts including relevant professionals and you to identify issues, review case history and information, and recommend solutions.

(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.

(c) During the case staffing, we will tell you about the different extensions. If you are in sanction (see WAC 388-310-1600), we will explain the consequences of continued nonparticipation and tell you the steps you must take to end the sanction. We will explain that continued failure to participate will result in your getting a Child SafetyNet Payment with additional restrictions after the sixtieth month.

(d) After the case staffing and before you reach your time limit, the department will send you a notice that tells you whether your extension was approved, how to request a fair hearing if you disagree with the decision, and any changes to your IRP that were made as a result of the case staffing.

(4) Do my WorkFirst participation requirements change if I receive a TANF/SFA time limit extension?

Your participation requirements do not change. You must still meet all of the WorkFirst participation requirements listed in chapter 388-310 WAC while you receive a TANF/SFA time limit extension.

(5) Do my benefits change if I receive a TANF/SFA time limit extension?

(a) You are still a TANF/SFA recipient. If you are:

(i) Receiving a regular TANF/SFA time limit extension, your cash assistance, services, or supports will not change as long as you continue to meet all other TANF/SFA eligibility requirements.

(ii) Receiving a Child SafetyNet Payment, your benefits will be different and are described in WAC 388-310-1650.

(b) During the 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 extension, your benefits will end.

(6) What happens if I stop participating in WorkFirst activities as required during a TANF/SFA time limit extension?

If you do not participate in the WorkFirst activities required in your individual responsibility plan, and you do not have a good reason under WAC 388-310-1600(4), the department will follow the sanction rules in WAC 388-310-1600, and will move you into Child SafetyNet Payment which will reduce your benefits (see WAC 388-310-1650).

(7) How long will a TANF/SFA time limit extension last?

(a) We will review your 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) then we will review your extension at least every twelve months;

(ii) If you are extended under WAC 388-484-0006 (2)(b) then we will review your extension at least every six months;

(iii) If you are extended under WAC 388-484-0006 (2)(c) then we will review your extension at least every twelve months.

(b) Your TANF/SFA time limit extension may be renewed for as long as you continue to meet the criteria to qualify.

(c) If during the extension period we get proof that your circumstances have changed, we may review your case and change the type of TANF/SFA time limit extension.

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3109.1
NEW SECTION
WAC 388-310-0350   WorkFirst -- Other exemptions from mandatory participation.   (1) When am I exempt from mandatory participation?

You are exempt from mandatory participation if you are:

(a) An older needy caretaker relative:

(i) You are fifty-five years of age or older and caring for a child and you are not the child's parent; and

(ii) Your age is verified by any reliable documentation (such as a birth certificate or a driver's license).

(b) An adult with a severe and chronic disability:

(i) The disability must be a severe and chronic mental, physical, emotional, or cognitive impairment that prevents you from participating in work activities and is expected to last at least twelve months; or

(ii) You have been assessed by a DSHS SSI facilitator as likely to be approved for SSI or other benefits and are applying for SSI or another type of federal disability benefit (such as Railroad Retirement or Social Security Disability); and

(iii) Your disability is verified by documentation from the division of developmental disabilities (DDD), division of vocational rehabilitation (DVR), home and community services division (HCS), division of mental health (MHD), and/or regional support network (RSN), or evidence from another medical or mental health professional; and

(iv) Your SSI application status may be verified through the SSI facilitator and/or state data exchange.

(c) Required in the home to care for a child with special needs when:

(i) The child has a special medical, developmental, mental, or behavioral condition; and

(ii) The child is determined by a public health nurse, physician, mental health provider, school professional, other medical professional, HCS, MHD, and/or a RSN to require specialized care or treatment that significantly interferes with your ability to look for work or work.

(d) Required to be in the home to care for another adult with disabilities when:

(i) The adult with disabilities cannot be left alone for significant periods of time; and

(ii) No adult other than yourself is available and able to provide the care; and

(iii) The adult with the disability is related to you; and

(iv) The disability is verified by documentation from DDD, DVR, HCS, MHD, and/or a RSN, or evidence from another medical or mental health professional.

(2) Who reviews and approves an exemption?

(a) If it appears that you may qualify for an exemption or you ask for an exemption, your case manager or social worker will review the information and we will use the case staffing process to determine whether the exemption will be approved. Case staffing is a process to bring together a team of multidisciplinary experts including relevant professionals and the client to identify participant issues, review case history and information, and recommend solutions.

(b) If additional medical or other documentation is needed to determine if you are exempt, your IRP will allow between thirty days and up to ninety if approved to gather the necessary documentation.

(c) Information needed to verify your exemption should meet the standards for verification described in WAC 388-490-0005. If you need help gathering information to verify your exemption, you can ask us for help. If you have been identified as needing NSA services, under chapter 388-472 WAC, your accommodation plan should include information on how we will assist you with getting the verification needed.

(d) After the case staffing, we will send you a notice that tells you whether your exemption was approved, how to request a fair hearing if you disagree with the decision, and any changes to your IRP that were made as a result of the case staffing.

(3) Can I participate in WorkFirst while I am exempt?

(a) You may choose to participate in WorkFirst while you are exempt.

(b) Your WorkFirst case manager may refer you to other service providers who may help you improve your skills and move into employment.

(c) If you decide later to stop participating, and you still qualify for an exemption, you will be put back into exempt status with no financial penalty.

(4) Does an exemption from participation affect my sixty-month time limit for receiving TANF/SFA benefits?

An exemption from participation does not affect your sixty-month time limit (described in WAC 388-484-0005) for receiving TANF/SFA benefits. Even if exempt from participation, each month you receive a TANF/SFA grant counts toward your sixty-month limit.

(5) How long will my exemption last?

Unless you are an older caretaker relative, your exemption will be reviewed at least every twelve months to make sure that you still meet the criteria for an exemption. Your exemption will continue as long as you continue to meet the criteria for an exemption.

(6) What happens when I am no longer exempt?

If you are no longer exempt, then:

(a) You will become a mandatory participant under WAC 388-310-0400; and

(b) If you have received sixty or more months of TANF/SFA, your case will be reviewed for an extension. (See WAC 388-484-0006 for a description of TANF/SFA time limit extensions.)

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office