WSR 02-21-062

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed October 15, 2002, 3:54 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

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

Title of Rule: WAC 388-492-0040 Can I choose whether I get WASHCAP or regular food assistance? and 388-492-0070 How are my Washington state combined application program (WASHCAP) benefits calculated?

Purpose: These amendments will change the shelter deduction and threshold at which WASHCAP eligible food assistance recipients can choose to receive regular food assistance. These changes are based on the increased cost-of-living standard.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510.

Summary: The shelter deduction standards for WASHCAP eligibility must be amended annually, in October. In addition, the threshold at which WASHCAP-eligible food assistance clients can choose to receive regular food assistance must be adjusted at the same time.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Under the terms of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)-approved WASHCAP waiver, the shelter deduction standards for WASHCAP eligibility and the threshold at which WASHCAP-eligible food assistance clients can choose not to receive WASHCAP benefits must be amended on a yearly basis to reflect the current cost-of-living as determined by FNS.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Valerie Vertz, 1009 College S.E., Lacey, WA 98504, (360) 413-3357.

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

Rule is necessary because of federal law, 7 C.F.R. 273.9.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: Rule: WAC 388-492-0040 Can I choose whether I get WASHCAP or regular food assistance? and 388-492-0070 How are my Washington state combined application program (WASHCAP) benefits calculated?

Purpose and Effect: The amendment will update the shelter deduction in determining benefit amounts and adjust the threshold at which WASHCAP-eligible clients can choose to receive regular food assistance instead of WASHCAP benefits.

This proposed rule-making notice is being filed without prior filing of a CR-101, preproposal statement of inquiry. A CR-101 is not required per RCW 34.05.310 (4)(c) for "rules adopting or incorporating by reference without material change federal statutes or regulations." These proposed rules adopt the requirements of federal rule (7 C.F.R. 273.9) contained in the WASHCAP waiver.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: WAC 388-492-0040(1) is modified to increase the shelter cost threshold from $480 to $499 a month. WAC 388-492-0070 (3)(a) is modified to increase the SSA shelter declaration from $290 to $302 and increases the department standard from $300 to $312.

WAC 388-492-0070 (3)(b) is modified to increase the SSA shelter declaration from $289 to $301 and increases the department standard from $144 to $150.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This proposed rule does not have an economic impact on small businesses, it only affects DSHS clients by adjusting the eligibility standards for WASHCAP benefits and the threshold at which clients can choose not to receive WASHCAP benefits.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. These amendments are exempt as allowed under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii) which states in-part, "(t)his section does not apply...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." These amendments are adjusting WASHCAP eligibility thresholds to provide recipients the option of receiving WASHCAP benefits or regular food assistance.

Hearing Location: Blake Office Park (behind Goodyear Courtesy Tire), 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Rose Room, Lacey, WA 98503, on November 26, 2002, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Andy Fernando, DSHS Rules Coordinator, by November 22, 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., November 26, 2002.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than November 27, 2002.

October 11, 2002

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

3168.2
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-15-148, filed 7/22/02, effective 9/1/02)

WAC 388-492-0040   Can I choose whether I get WASHCAP or regular food assistance?   You can choose to have regular food assistance benefits instead of WASHCAP benefits when:

(1) Your shelter costs are more than four hundred ((eighty)) ninety-nine dollars a month. We count the following items as a shelter cost:

(a) Rent or mortgage;

(b) Property taxes;

(c) Homeowner's insurance (for the building only); or

(d) Mandatory homeowner's association or condo fees.

(2) Your out-of pocket medical expenses are more than thirty-five dollars a month;

(3) You would get more benefits from being in the regular food assistance program; or

(4) You are waiting to receive WASHCAP benefits.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.57 [74.04.057], 74.04.500, 74.04.510. 02-15-148, 388-492-0040, filed 7/22/02, effective 9/1/02; 01-21-058, 388-492-0040, filed 10/16/01, effective 12/1/01.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-15-148, filed 7/22/02, effective 9/1/02)

WAC 388-492-0070   How are my Washington state combined application program (WASHCAP) benefits calculated?   We calculate your WASHCAP benefits as follows:

(1) We begin with your gross income. (Social Security Administration (SSA) tells us how much income you have.)

(2) We subtract one hundred thirty-four dollars from your gross income to get your countable income.

(3) We figure your shelter cost as follows:

(a) If SSA tells us you pay ((two)) three hundred ((ninety)) two dollars or more a month for shelter, we use three hundred twelve dollars as your shelter cost; or

(b) If SSA tells us you pay ((two)) three hundred ((eighty-nine)) one dollars a month or less for shelter, we use one hundred ((forty-four)) fifty dollars as your shelter cost; and

(c) We add the current standard utility allowance under WAC 388-450-0195 to determine your total shelter cost.

(4) We figure your shelter deduction by subtracting one half of your countable income from your shelter cost.

(5) We figure your net income by subtracting your shelter deduction from your countable income.

(6) We figure your WASHCAP benefits (allotment) by:

(a) Multiplying your net income by thirty percent and rounding up to the next whole dollar; and

(b) Subtracting the result from the maximum allotment under WAC 388-478-0060.

(c) If you are eligible for WASHCAP, your assistance unit will get at least ten dollars food benefits each month.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.57 [74.04.057], 74.04.500, 74.04.510. 02-15-148, 388-492-0070, filed 7/22/02, effective 9/1/02; 01-21-058, 388-492-0070, filed 10/16/01, effective 12/1/01.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office