WSR 02-16-031

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed July 29, 2002, 3:32 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 02-09-049.

Title of Rule: Amending WAC 388-450-0010 The department takes some of your time-loss benefits if you get cash assistance while waiting for your claim to be processed, 388-450-0025 What is unearned income? and 388-450-0030 What is earned income?; and repealing WAC 388-450-0075 Income from time-loss compensation.

Purpose: These rules explain how the department treats time-loss benefits.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510.

Summary: These rules are being modified to simplify how we treat time-loss income. All time-loss benefits will be considered unearned income.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: This simplifies the rules and will eliminate confusion about the policy.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Veronica Barnes, DEAP, P.O. Box 45400, 1009 College Street S.E., Lacey, WA 98503, (360) 413-3071.

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 department will now treat all time-loss benefits as unearned income. This simplifies the rules and will eliminate confusion about the policy.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: WAC 388-450-0010 is amended to clarify how the department may take time-loss income to repay cash assistance; WAC 388-450-0025 is amended to reflect that all time-loss income is considered unearned income; WAC 388-450-0030 is amended to remove references of time-loss income as earned income; and WAC 388-450-0075 is repealed.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. These proposed rules do not have an economic impact on small businesses. It only affects DSHS client financial eligibility for cash assistance.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. The proposed rules are exempt under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii), "This section does not apply to... 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." The proposed rules relate only to client financial eligibility for cash assistance.

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

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Andy Fernando, DSHS Rules Coordinator, by September 6, 2002, phone (360) 664-6094, TTY (360) 664-6178, e-mail fernaax@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., September 10, 2002.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than September 11, 2002.

July 25, 2002

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

3098.1
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-16-044, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98)

WAC 388-450-0010   ((Liens against potential)) The department takes some of your time-loss ((compensation)) benefits if you get cash assistance while waiting for your claim to be processed.   ((This section applies to TANF/SFA, RCA, GA and TANF/SFA-related medical programs.

(1) By accepting public assistance, adult and minor clients assign to the department the right to recover time-loss compensation.

(2) When an assistance unit consists of unmarried parents only, the portion of cash assistance received by the injured parent and the injured parent's natural, adoptive or stepchildren is recoverable by the department.

(3) When a client or client's attorney claims allowable attorney fees and costs incidental to an increased award, the office of financial recovery (OFR) will:

(a) Determine what portion of the award, if any, resulted directly from the attorney's involvement;

(b) Determine the department's proportionate share of attorney fees and costs applicable to the duplicate coverage period; and

(c) Deduct the department's share of cost in subsection (b) of this section from the lien for duplicated assistance; or

(d) Issue the proportionate share refund to the attorney with a copy of the account summary to the client)) (1) Some people who are hurt and cannot work because of their injury can get time-loss benefits. The time-loss benefits are paid by an agency, such as the department of labor and industries or a private insurance company.

(2) If you get cash assistance while waiting for your time-loss benefit claim to be processed, you are required to let the department take some of your benefits as repayment for that cash assistance. We will take our portion of the time-loss benefits before you get yours. You agree to this when you sign the application and accept your cash benefits.

(3) The amount of your time-loss benefits that we take will not be more than the total amount of cash assistance you got while waiting for your claim to be approved.

(4) The amount we take will be less than the total amount if your assistance unit included another adult to whom you were not married. Then, the amount we take is limited to the amount we paid for you and your natural, adoptive or stepchildren.

(5) Before we take our portion from your time-loss benefits, the office of financial recovery (OFR) will tell you how much we are going to take.

(6) If you or your attorney claim that you are getting more time-loss benefits because of the help of your attorney, OFR will:

(a) First, figure out:

(i) How much of your time-loss benefits are a direct result of your attorney's work; and

(ii) Our proportionate share of your attorney's fees and costs for the amount we recover.

(b) Then, either:

(i) Subtract our share of your attorney's fees and costs from the amount we can have; or

(ii) Send your attorney their share of the time-loss benefits we have taken.

(c) Send a copy of the account summary to you.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-450-0010, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 99-17-025, filed 8/10/99, effective 10/1/99)

WAC 388-450-0025   What is unearned income((.))?   This section applies to ((TANF/SFA, RCA, GA, TANF/SFA-related medical and food assistance programs)) cash assistance, food assistance, and medical programs for families, children, and pregnant women.

(1) Unearned income is income ((a person receives)) you get from a source other than employment or self-employment. Some examples of unearned income ((include but are not limited to)) are:

(a) Railroad Retirement;

(b) Unemployment Compensation; ((or))

(c) Social Security benefits (including retirement benefits, disability benefits, and benefits for survivors);

(d) Time loss benefits as described in WAC 388-450-0010, such as benefits from the department of labor and industries (L&I); or

(e) Veteran Administration benefits.

(2) For food assistance ((programs, unearned income includes the)) we also count the total amount of cash benefits due ((the client prior to)) to you before any reductions caused by ((the client's failure)) your failure (or the failure of someone in your assistance unit) to perform an action required under a federal, state, or local means-tested public assistance program, such as TANF/SFA, GA, and SSI.

(3) When we count your unearned income, we count the amount you get before any taxes are taken out.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510. 99-17-025, 388-450-0025, filed 8/10/99, effective 10/1/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-450-0025, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 99-17-025, filed 8/10/99, effective 10/1/99)

WAC 388-450-0030   What is earned income ((definition.)) ?   ((Unless specifically stated,)) This section applies to ((TANF/SFA, RCA, GA, TANF/SFA-related medical and)) cash assistance, food assistance, and medical programs for families, children, and pregnant women.

(1) Earned income ((is:

(a) Income a person receives in the form of cash or in-kind, which is a gain or benefit to the person, when earned as a wage, salary, tips, gratuities, commissions, or profit from self-employment activities.

(b) Income over a period of time for which settlement is made at one time, such as sale of farm crops, livestock, or poultry.

(2) For food assistance programs only, income in-kind is excluded.

(3) Earned income from self-employment is determined as specified under WAC 388-450-0080.

(4) For TANF/SFA, RCA, GA-H, and TANF/SFA-related medical assistance, earned income includes time-loss compensation as specified in WAC 388-450-0075)) money you get from working. This includes:

(a) Wages;

(b) Tips;

(c) Commissions;

(d) Profits from self-employment activities as described in WAC 388-450-0080; and

(e) One-time payments for work you did over a period of time.

(2) For cash and medical assistance, we also consider you to have earned income if you work for something other than money, such as your rent.

(3) When we count your earned income, we count the amount you get before any taxes are taken out.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510. 99-17-025, 388-450-0030, filed 8/10/99, effective 10/1/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-450-0030, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


REPEALER

     The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed:
WAC 388-450-0075 Income from time-loss compensation.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office