WSR 02-15-147

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed July 22, 2002, 3:58 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 02-11-060.

Title of Rule: Chapter 388-422 WAC, Child support.

Purpose: The Division of Employment and Assistance Programs is amending these rules to correspond with the Division of Child Support (DCS) rules in revised chapter 388-14A WAC.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090.

Summary: Chapter 388-422 WAC, Child support. WAC 388-422-0005 explains assigning rights to child, spousal and medical support; WAC 388-422-0010 explains who must cooperate with DCS and what happens if cooperation is not met; WAC 388-422-0020 explains when a client is not required to cooperate with DCS; and WAC 388-422-0030 explains that a client is ineligible for TANF when their current child support collected by DCS exceeds the grant payment for two consecutive months.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: These rules were amended to correspond with DCS revisions to chapter 388-14A WAC.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Stephanie Del Camp, Division of Employment and Assistance Programs, P.O. Box 45480, Olympia, WA 98504-5480, (360) 413-3084; Implementation and Enforcement: Pam Raymond, Division of Employment and Assistance Programs, P.O. Box 45480, Olympia, WA 98504-5480, (360) 413-3087.

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: To amend ESA child support rules to correspond to DCS revisions to chapter 388-14A WAC.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: WAC 388-422-0005 explains assigning rights to child, spousal and medical support; WAC 388-422-0010 explains who must cooperate with DCS and what happens if cooperation is not met; WAC 388-422-0020 explains when a client is not required to cooperate with DCS; and WAC 388-422-0030 explains that a client is ineligible for TANF when their current child support collected by DCS exceeds the grant payment for two consecutive months.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The changes as a result of these rules do not affect small businesses. They will only affect client eligibility for services.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. These rules are exempt from significant legislative rule requirements per RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii), "rules of the department of social and health services relating only to client medical or financial eligibility...."

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: Not earlier than August 28, 2002.

July 18, 2002

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

3144.4
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-16-044, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98)

WAC 388-422-0005   ((Assignment of)) What happens to my child, spousal and medical support ((rights.)) when I get public assistance?   (1) ((To receive cash assistance under TANF, SFA, or GA-H, each client must assign to the state of Washington all rights to support for each person for whom the client is applying. This includes the rights to any support which has accrued before assignment is made. If a client fails to assign support rights for each person for whom assistance is requested, then cash assistance will be denied to the entire assistance unit.

(2) To receive medical assistance, each client must assign to the state of Washington all rights to medical support for each person for whom the client is applying. This includes the rights to any medical support which has accrued before assignment is made.

(3) Assignment is made when a client signs the application or accepts the cash or medical assistance.

(4) After assignment is made, a client must send any direct support they receive to the division of child support (DCS))) The following definitions apply to this chapter:

(a) "We" means the department of social and health services.

(b) "You" means a person applying for or getting benefits from us.

(c) "Benefits" mean family medical and related alien emergency medical (AEM), TANF or SFA cash assistance.

(d) "Support" means the money paid to meet a support order whether it is called child support, spousal support, alimony, maintenance, or medical support.

(e) "Medical support" means either or both:

(i) The set dollar amount for health care costs in a support order; or

(ii) Health insurance coverage for a dependent child.

(f) "Assistance unit" or "AU" means the group of people who live together and whose income and resources we count to decide your eligibility for benefits and the amount of those benefits.

(2) When you apply for TANF or SFA cash benefits, you must assign your rights to support as required under WAC 388-14A-2036. There are two types of assignment that you can make:

(a) Permanently assigned arrears. This is support owed to you but unpaid during any month in which you receive cash benefits. When collected, permanently assigned arrears are retained by the state for reimbursement of benefits paid. WAC 388-14A-2037 tells you more about permanently assigned arrears; and

(b) Temporarily assigned arrears. This is support owed to you but unpaid during any month prior to your applying for cash benefits. When collected, temporarily assigned arrears may be either distributed to you or retained by the state, depending on various conditions. WAC 388-14A-2038 tells you more about temporarily assigned arrears.

(3) You do not have to assign your rights to support when you apply for or get benefits from the following programs:

(a) Pregnancy medical;

(b) Newborn medical;

(c) Medical assistance for children only; or

(d) Family related alien emergency medical (AEM).

(4) You assign your rights to support when you sign the application for benefits, or accept cash or medical benefits.

(5) If you receive any support payments before you assign your rights to support, we count this as unearned income to your AU.

(6) If you receive any direct support payments after you assign your rights to support, you must send the support payments to the division of child support (DCS).

(7) If you keep any support payments you receive after you assign your rights to support, you will owe this money to DCS.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-422-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-505-0560.]


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

WAC 388-422-0010   ((Cooperation)) Do I have to cooperate with the division of child support((.))(DCS)?    (1) When ((applying for or receiving TANF, SFA, GA-H, or Medicaid, the following individuals must cooperate with the DCS in establishing paternity and collecting support as specified in WAC 388-14-201:

(a) All persons for whom benefits are applied for or received; and

(b) The caretaker relative or court-appointed guardian of a child for whom benefits are applied for or received.

(2) For TANF and SFA, if a caretaker relative fails to cooperate with DCS without good cause according to WAC 388-422-0020, the cash grant paid to the assistance unit will be reduced by twenty-five percent of what they would otherwise have received.

(3) For Medicaid, if a caretaker relative fails to cooperate with DCS without good cause according to WAC 388-422-0020, that individual will be denied medical assistance unless they are pregnant.

(4) Cooperation is determined by DCS)) you get benefits, you must cooperate with DCS as required under WAC 388-14A-2040.

(2) If you are a two-parent household, you and the other parent must help DCS establish paternity for each child in your AU.

(3) DCS determines whether you are cooperating with them. See WAC 388-14A-2041(1) for reasons why DCS might determine that you are not cooperating.

(4) If you get TANF or SFA and do not cooperate with DCS without good cause under WAC 388-422-0020:

(a) We reduce your cash benefits by twenty-five percent; and

(b) We stop your medical benefits unless you are pregnant. The children in your AU will continue to get medical.

(5) If you get family medical and do not cooperate with DCS without good cause, your medical will stop unless you are pregnant. The children in your AU will continue to get medical.

(6) If you are afraid to cooperate with DCS, see WAC 388-422-0020.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-422-0010, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-505-0560.]


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

WAC 388-422-0020   ((Good cause for not cooperating)) What if I am afraid to cooperate with the division of child support((.)) (DCS)?   (1) ((An individual described under WAC 388-422-0010 is not required to cooperate with DCS if the department finds that cooperation is against the best interest of the child for whom child support is sought. A client has the right to claim good cause for refusing to cooperate and the department must determine if the claim is valid.

(2) Cooperation is against the best interest of the child and cash assistance can be continued when:

(a) The individual's cooperation can reasonably be anticipated to result in serious physical or emotional harm to:

(i) The child; or

(ii) The caretaker relative, if it reduces the caretaker relative's capacity to adequately care for the child; or

(b) Establishing paternity or securing support would be harmful to the child who:

(i) Was conceived as a result of incest or forcible rape; or

(ii) Is the subject of legal adoption proceedings pending before a superior court; or

(iii) Is the subject of ongoing discussions between the parent and a public or licensed child placement agency to decide whether the parent will keep the child or put the child up for adoption. The discussions cannot have gone on for more than three months.

(3) When cash assistance cannot be continued because a client's claim of good cause does not meet the standard in subsection (2) of this section, medical assistance may be able to be continued. The standard for good cause for medical assistance is broader in that good cause can be based solely on the best interests of the:

(a) Child as in subsection (2) of this section; or

(b) Person who is being asked to cooperate.

(4) A client has twenty days from the date good cause is claimed to provide information and evidence to support the claim, unless it cannot be obtained within such time.

(5) A client has the right to:

(a) Be informed of their right to claim good cause for refusing to cooperate;

(b) Receive a determination of their good cause claim within thirty days of the date the claim is made, as long as the necessary information and evidence was provided to the department within twenty days;

(c) Receive assistance without delay while their good cause claim is pending a determination, if they have provided supportive evidence and information;

(d) Receive information on their right to ask for a fair hearing if the department denies the claim of good cause; and

(6) Approved good cause claims will be reviewed at least every six months to determine if good cause continues to exist)) You can ask to be excused from cooperating with DCS when you have good cause. You have good cause when you can prove that:

(a) Cooperating with DCS would result in serious physical or emotional harm to:

(i) The child; or

(ii) You, if it effects your ability to care for the child.

(b) Establishing paternity or getting support would be harmful to the child who:

(i) Was conceived as a result of incest or rape; or

(ii) Is the subject of legal adoption proceedings pending before a superior court; or

(iii) Is the subject of ongoing discussions between you and a public or licensed child placement agency to decide whether you will keep the child or put the child up for adoption. The discussions cannot have gone on for more than three months.

(2) Once you claim good cause, you have twenty days to give us the information that proves you have good cause not to cooperate with DCS. If you need to, you may ask for:

(a) More time to give proof; or

(b) Help in getting proof.

(3) While we review your good cause claim, DCS will not take any action to establish or enforce support on your case.

(4) You have the right to:

(a) Be told of your right to claim good cause for not cooperating with DCS;

(b) Get assistance while we are deciding your good cause claim, as long as you have given the proof needed to make a decision;

(c) Get a decision within thirty days from the date you made your good cause claim, as long as you have given the proof needed to make a decision within twenty days; and

(d) Get information on your fair hearing rights if we deny your good cause claim.

(5) If we approve your good cause claim, we review the claim at least every six months to decide if good cause still exists.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-422-0020, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-505-0570 and 388-505-0560.]


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

WAC 388-422-0030   ((Child)) What happens if my support ((in excess of the)) is more than my TANF ((grant payment.))or SFA cash benefit?   ((A TANF recipient is ineligible when current child support collected by the division of child support exceeds the TANF grant payment for two-consecutive months)) (1) If DCS collects current support that is more than your TANF or SFA cash benefit for two months in a row, your cash benefit stops at the end of the third month.

(2) See WAC 388-418-0025 for information on continued medical benefits.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-422-0030, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office