WSR 02-15-118

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed July 18, 2002, 3:42 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Exempt from preproposal statement of inquiry under RCW 34.05.310(4).

Title of Rule: WAC 388-434-0010 How do I get recertified for food assistance benefits?

Purpose: The Division of Employment and Assistance Programs is amending the rule to comply with federal requirements on clients applying for food assistance after their certification period set in WAC 388-416-0005 has ended.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 7 C.F.R. 273.14.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 7 C.F.R. 273.14.

Summary: WAC 388-434-0010 explains what actions a client must take to continue receiving food assistance after their first certification period is over. It also explains the timeframes a client has to take these actions as well as the impact of missing the set deadlines.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) requires the department to have clients establish eligibility for food stamp benefits when the client's initial certification period has expired. This rule is necessary to inform clients how the date a client turns in their application can impact their continuing food assistance benefits.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: John Camp, Division of Employment and Assistance Programs, P.O. Box 45480, Olympia, WA 98504-5480, (360) 413-3232.

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

Rule is necessary because of federal law, 7 C.F.R. 273.14.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: WAC 388-434-0010 explains what actions a client must take to continue receiving food assistance after their first certification period is over. It also explains the timeframes a client has to take these actions as well as the impact of missing the set deadlines. This rule is exempt from filing a preproposal statement of inquiry under RCW 34.05.310 (4)(c), "rules adopting or incorporating by reference without material change federal statutes or regulations...." The rule adopts federal requirements under 45 C.F.R. 273.14 - Recertification.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: The change indicates that while a client must be recertified in order to continue receiving food stamp benefits, the department will not prorate the benefits for the first month of new certification period if the client turns in an application by the end of the previous certification period.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The changes only affect eligibility of department clients for assistance benefits, and as a result these rules do not affect small businesses.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. These rules are exempt under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii), "Rules of the department of social and health services relating only to client medical or financial eligibility and rules concerning liability for care of dependents."

Hearing Location: Blake Office Park (behind Goodyear Courtesy Tire), 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Rose Room, Lacey, WA 98503, on August 27, 2002, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Andy Fernando, DSHS Rules Coordinator, by August 23, 2002, phone (360) 664-6094, TTY (360) 664-6178, e-mail FernAX@dshs.wa.gov.

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 fernaax@dshs.wa.gov, by 5:00 p.m., August 27, 2002.

Date of Intended Adoption: No earlier than August 28, 2002.

July 17, 2002

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

3142.1
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-15-011, filed 7/6/01, effective 8/1/01)

WAC 388-434-0010   How do I get ((recertified for)) food assistance benefits after my certification period has ended?   To keep getting food assistance benefits after your certification period in WAC 388-416-0005 has ended, we must determine if you are still eligible for benefits. This is called recertification.

(1) To ((complete the recertification process)) be recertified for food assistance, you must:

(a) ((Submit)) Turn in and sign an application for benefits as required under WAC 388-406-0010. If you complete an electronic application, your signature is the password you use to complete the electronic application; ((and))

(b) Complete an interview if you are required to have an interview under WAC 388-452-0005; and

(c) Submit needed proof of your circumstances if we (((the department))) ask for it.

(2) ((You have thirty days after your certification period ends to complete the recertification process. However,)) If you reapply timely and ((complete the recertification process)) get recertified before your certification period ends, we will keep depositing your benefits ((continue to be deposited)) into your EBT (electronic benefit transfer) account on the same day of the month. To reapply timely, we must get your application ((no later than)) by:

(a) The fifteenth day of the last month of your certification period; or

(b) The fifteenth day after you get ((a notice of eligibility)) your approval letter for food assistance when your certification period is two months or less.

(3) When we decide if you are eligible for benefits, we will send you a letter to tell you that your benefits have been approved or denied as required under chapter 388-458 WAC. If you reapply timely and complete the ((recertification process)) steps required in subsection (1), you get ((a notice of)) the approval or denial letter:

(a) By the end of your current certification period if you completed the steps required in subsection (1) by the fifteenth day of the last month of your certification period; or

(b) By the thirtieth day after you got your last benefit amount ((in [if])) if you were certified for one month.

(4) ((If you reapply before your certification period ends, but fail to take a required action such as completing an interview or providing proof of your eligibility, we may deny your benefits:

(a) At that time; or

(b) At the end of the certification period; or

(c) At the end of thirty days)) If you do not turn in an application form by the end of your current certification period, you have not taken the action we require for you to get ongoing food assistance benefits. Your food assistance benefits stop at the end of your certification period..

(5) If you ((take the required action)) turn in your application before your certification period ends, we start your food assistance from the first of the month of your new certification period ((.

(6) If you take the required action within thirty days after your certification period ends, we start your food assistance from:

(a) The first of the month of your new certification period if we caused the delay; or

(b) The first of the month of your new certification period if we rescheduled a second interview per your request and you attended the rescheduled interview; or

(c) The date you take the required action.

(7) If you reapply after your certification period ends, your request is treated like an initial application and will be approved or denied under WAC 388-406-0035.

(8) See chapter 388-458 WAC for adequate notice and translation requirements)) after we determine if you are eligible for food assistance. If do not reapply timely, your benefits for the first month of your new certification period may be delayed.

(6) If you turn in your application after your certification period ends, we treat the application as a new application for benefits. We start your food assistance from the date you turned in the application after we determine if you are eligible for food assistance.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.05.057, and 74.08.090. 01-15-011, 388-434-0010, filed 7/6/01, effective 8/1/01; 98-16-044, 388-434-0010, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

Reviser's note: The typographical error in the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appears in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office