WSR 02-21-095

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES

[ Filed October 21, 2002, 4:37 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 99-03-040.

Title of Rule: Amending WAC 388-470-0005 How do resources affect my eligibility for cash, medical, and food assistance?, 388-470-0012 Does the department look at the resources of people who are not getting benefits?, 388-470-0045 How do my resources count toward the resource limits for cash assistance and family medical programs? and 388-470-0055 How do my resources county toward the resource limit or food assistance?; and repealing WAC 388-470-0010 How to determine who owns a resource, 388-470-0015 Availability of resources, 388-470-0020 Excluded resources, 388-470-0025 Excluded resources for cash assistance, 388-470-0030 Excluding a home as a resource, 388-470-0035 Excluded resources for food assistance, 388-470-0050 Resources that count, and 388-470-0065 Individual development accounts for TANF recipients.

Purpose: These rules explain how the department treats assets that clients may own.

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 simplified and consolidated to make it easier for clients to understand department policy regarding any resources they may own.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Prior to this change, clients had to read many different WACs to find out how resources affect their eligibility for assistance. This change will simplify that process.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Veronica Barnes, 1009 College S.E., Lacey, WA 98504, (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: Rule(s): See Title of Rule above.

Purpose and Effect: The following WACs are being revised to clarify and consolidate existing policy: WAC 388-470-0005, 388-470-0012, 388-470-0045, and 388-470-0055.

The following WACs are being repealed as this information is now contained in the other WACs listed above: WAC 388-470-0010, 388-470-0015, 388-470-0020, 388-470-0025, 388-470-0030, 388-470-0035, 388-470-0050, and 388-470-0065.

Proposal does not change existing rules. The only policy change being made with this simplification is to change how the department treats real property for cash and family medical programs. The policy for cash and family medical programs now mirrors the food assistance policy.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. These proposed rule changes do not have an economic impact on small businesses, they only affect DSHS clients by simplifying and consolidating rules to make it easier for clients to understand department policy regarding any resources they may own.

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 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."

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: Contact 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 21, 2002

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

3178.1
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-16-044, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98)

WAC 388-470-0005   How do resources affect my eligibility ((and limits.)) for cash, medical, and food assistance?   (1) ((A resource is personal property or real property or certain types of payments that are not considered income that is owned by and available to a client.

(2) A client may own and keep excluded resources or countable resources up to the resource limit.

(3) For SSI-related medical a resource is considered available when the client or spouse:

(a) Owns the resource; and

(b) Has the authority to convert the resource to cash; and

(c) Is not legally restricted from using the resource for the person's support and maintenance.

(4) For an SSI-related client a resource is available on the first day of the month following receipt of the resource.

(5) Available resources may be:

(a) Excluded which means it is not counted toward the resource limit;

(b) Partially excluded:

(i) The resource is not counted up to a specified dollar amount; but

(ii) Any amount over that amount is counted toward the resource limit; or

(c) Countable which means the entire value is counted toward the resource limit.

(6) For medical programs, if the household consists of more than one medical assistance unit (MAU), the resources for each MAU are considered according to the related program.

(7) An assistance unit's resources are determined by:

(a) Disregarding all excluded resources;

(b) Adding the value of:

(i) Resources that are in excess of the excluded dollar amounts; and

(ii) Resources that are countable; and

(c) Comparing the total countable resources to the applicable resource limit for the assistance unit;

(d) If the total resources exceed the applicable resource limit, the assistance unit's benefits are denied or terminated except for institutional medical programs as described in WAC 388-513-1395.

(8) The value of a resource is the equity value. The equity value is the amount a person could receive for the resource (fair market value) minus the legal amount still owing. Limits for countable resources are:

(a) For cash assistance and TANF-related medical, an eligible assistance unit's countable resources must be at or below one thousand dollars;

(b) For food assistance, an eligible assistance unit's countable resources must be at or below:

(i) Three thousand dollars for any household with an elderly member; or

(ii) Two thousand dollars for all other households.

(9) For food assistance, assistance units in which all members are receiving cash assistance or SSI do not have to meet the resource limits in subsection (8)(b) of this section)) 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 the department.

(c) "Fair market value (FMV)" means the price at which you could reasonably sell the resource.

(d) "Equity value" means the FMV minus any amount you owe on the resource.

(e) "Community property" means a resource in the name of the husband, wife, or both.

(f) "Separate property" means a resource of a married person that one of the spouses:

(i) Had possession of and paid for before they were married;

(ii) Acquired and paid for entirely out of income from separate property; or

(iii) Received as a gift or inheritance.

(2) We count a resource to decide if your assistance unit (AU) is eligible for cash assistance, medical programs for families, or food assistance when:

(a) It is a resource we must count under WAC 388-470-0045 and 388-470-0055;

(b) You own the resource. We consider you to own a resource if:

(i) Your name is on the title to the property; or

(ii) You have property that doesn't have a title.

(c) You have control over the resource, which means the resource is actually available to you; and

(d) You could legally sell the resource or convert it into cash within twenty days.

(3) When you apply for assistance, we count your resources as of:

(a) The date of your interview, if you are required to have an interview; or

(b) The date of your application, if you are not required to have an interview.

(4) If your total countable resources are over the resource limit in subsection (5) and (11) of this section, you are not eligible for benefits.

(5) For cash assistance and medical programs for families, we use the equity value as the value of your resources.

(a) Applicants can have countable resources up to one thousand dollars.

(b) Recipients of cash assistance can have an additional three thousand dollars in a savings account.

(c) Recipients of medical programs for families do not have a resource limit.

(6) We do not count your resources for children's medical or pregnancy medical benefits.

(7) For SSI-related medical assistance, see chapter 388-475 WAC.

(8) For clients receiving institutional or waivered services, see WAC 388-475-0250, chapter 388-513 WAC and 388-515 WAC.

(9) If your household consists of more than one medical assistance unit (MAU), we look at the resources for each MAU separately.

(10) If your AU is categorically eligible (CE) as described in WAC 388-414-0001, you do not have a resource limit for food assistance.

(11) If your AU is not CE under WAC 388-414-0001, your AU may have countable resources up to the following amount and be eligible for food assistance:

(a) Three thousand dollars if your AU has either an elderly or disabled individual; or

(b) Two thousand dollars for all other AUs.

(12) If you own a countable resource with someone who is not in your AU, we count the portion of the resource that you own. If we cannot determine how much of the resource is yours:

(a) For cash and medical assistance, we count an equal portion of the resource that belongs to each person who owns it.

(b) For food assistance, we count the entire amount.

(13) We assume that you have control of community property and you can legally sell the property or convert it to cash unless you can show that you do not.

(14) We may not consider an item to be separate property if you used both separate and community funds to buy or improve it.

(15) We do not count the resources of victims of family violence when:

(a) The resource is owned jointly with members of the former household;

(b) Availability of the resource depends on an agreement of the joint owner; or

(c) Making the resource available would place the client at risk of harm.

(16) You may give us proof about a resource anytime, including when we ask for it or you disagree if you disagree with a decision we made, about:

(a) Who owns a resource;

(b) Who has legal control of the resource;

(c) The value of a resource;

(d) The availability of a resource; or

(e) The portion of a property you or another person owns.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-470-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 99-09-053, filed 4/19/99, effective 5/20/99)

WAC 388-470-0012   ((How do)) Does the department look at the resources of ((an ineligible or disqualified person effect eligibility for cash assistance)) people who are not getting benefits?   (((1) As used in this section; ineligible, disqualified and financially responsible persons are defined in WAC 388-450-0100.

(2) When determining the cash eligibility of an assistance unit, the department includes the countable resources of a financially responsible person who lives in the home even when the person is ineligible or disqualified from receiving cash assistance)) Yes we do. We count the resources of certain people who live in your home, even if they are not getting assistance. Their resources count as part of your resources.

(1) For cash assistance, we count the resources of ineligible, disqualified, or financially responsible people as defined in WAC 388-450-0100.

(2) For food assistance, we count the resources of ineligible assistance unit (AU) members as defined in WAC 388-408-0035.

(3) For family and SSI-related medical assistance, we count the resources of financially responsible people as defined in WAC 388-408-0055.

(4) For long term care services, we count the resources of financially responsible people as defined in WAC 388-506-0620.

(5) For cash, medical, and food assistance, we also count the resources of an immigrant's sponsor as described in WAC 388-470-0060.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 99-09-053, 388-470-0012, filed 4/19/99, effective 5/20/99.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 99-16-024, filed 7/26/99, effective 9/1/99)

WAC 388-470-0045   How do my resources ((that are counted)) count toward the resource limits for cash((, food)) assistance and ((TANF/SFA-related)) family medical programs((.)) ?   (1) We count the following resources ((are counted)) toward ((the resource)) your assistance unit's resource limits for cash((, food)) assistance and ((TANF/SFA-related)) medical programs((:

(a) Liquid resources such as cash on hand, monies in checking or savings accounts; or

(b) Stocks or bonds minus any early withdrawal penalty.

(2) For TANF/SFA, GA, and TANF/SFA-related medical, the entire value of a motor home is counted as a resource when not used as a residence. For food assistance, a motor home is treated as a vehicle as described in WAC 388-470-0075.

(3) A resource owned with a person other than a spouse, contract vendor, mortgage or lien holder (jointly owned) is counted as follows:

(a) For cash assistance and TANF-related medical, the client's share of the equity value; or

(b) For food assistance, resources jointly owned by separate assistance units are considered available in their entirety to each assistance unit.

(4) A client may provide evidence that all or a portion of a jointly owned resource:

(a) Belongs to the other owner; and

(b) Is held for the benefit of the other owner )) to decide if you are eligible for benefits under WAC 388-470-0005:

(a) Liquid resources are resources that are easily changed into cash. Some examples of liquid resources are:

(i) Cash on hand;

(ii) Money in checking or savings accounts;

(iii) Money market accounts or certificates of deposit (CDs) less any withdrawal penalty;

(iv) Keogh plans that do not involve a contractual agreement with someone outside of the assistance unit, less any withdrawal penalty;

(v) Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) less any withdrawal penalty;

(vi) Simplified Employer Pension Plans (SEPs) less any withdrawal penalty;

(vii) Stocks, bonds, annuities, or mutual funds less any early withdrawal penalty;

(viii) Available trusts; or

(ix) Lump sum payments as described in chapter 388-455 WAC.

(b) The cash surrender value (CSV) of whole life insurance policies.

(c) The CSV over fifteen hundred dollars of revocable burial insurance policies or funeral agreements.

(d) The amount of a child's irrevocable educational trust fund that is over four thousand dollars per child.

(e) Funds withdrawn from an individual development account (IDA) if they were removed for a purpose other than those specified in RCW 74.08A.220.

(f) Sales contracts, real estate mortgages, and security interest.

(g) Any real property like a home, land or buildings not specifically excluded in subsection (2) below.

(h) The equity value of vehicles as described in WAC 388-470-0070.

(i) Resources of a sponsor as described in WAC 388-470-0060.

(2) The following types of real property do not count when we determine your eligibility:

(a) Your home and the surrounding property that you, your spouse, or your dependents live in;

(b) A house you do not live in, if you plan on returning to the home and you are out of the home because of:

(i) Employment;

(ii) Training for future employment;

(iii) Illness; or

(iv) Natural disaster or casualty.

(c) Property that:

(i) You are making a good faith effort to sell;

(ii) You intend to build a home on, if you do not already own a home;

(iii) Produces income consistent with its fair market value, even if used only on a seasonal basis; or

(iv) A household member needs for employment or self-employment.

(d) Indian lands held jointly with the Tribe, or land that can be sold only with the approval of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

(3) If you sell your home, you have ninety days to reinvest the proceeds from the sale of a home into an exempt resource.

(a) If you do not reinvest within ninety days, we will determine whether there is good cause to allow more time. Some examples of good cause are:

(i) Closing on your new home is taking longer than anticipated;

(ii) You are unable to find a new home that you can afford;

(iii) Someone in your household is receiving emergent medical care; or

(iv) Your children are in school and moving would require them to change schools.

(b) If you have good cause, we will give you more time based on your circumstances.

(c) If you do not have good cause, we count the money you got from the sale as a resource.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510. 99-16-024, 388-470-0045, filed 7/26/99, effective 9/1/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-470-0045, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 99-16-024, filed 7/26/99, effective 9/1/99)

WAC 388-470-0055   How do my resources ((that are counted)) count toward the resource limit for food assistance((.)) ?   ((The net value of the following resources are counted toward an assistance unit's resource limit:

(1) Excluded funds that are deposited in an account with countable funds (commingled) for more than six months from the date of deposit.

(2) Lump sums such as insurance settlements, refunded cleaning and damage deposits.

(3) Resources of ineligible household members, as described in WAC 388-408-0035(9))) (1) If your AU is not categorically eligible (CE) for food assistance under WAC 388-414-0001, we count the following resources toward your AU's resource limit for food assistance to decide if you are eligible for benefits under WAC 388-470-0005:

(a) Liquid resources are resources that are easily changed into cash. We consider the following types of resources to be liquid resources:

(i) Cash on hand;

(ii) Money in checking or savings accounts;

(iii) Money market accounts or certificates of deposit (CDs) less any withdrawal penalty;

(iv) Keogh plans that do not involve a contractual agreement with someone outside of the assistance unit, less any withdrawal penalty;

(v) Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) less any withdrawal penalty;

(vi) Simplified Employer Pension Plans (SEPs) less any withdrawal penalty;

(vii) Stocks, bonds, annuities, or mutual funds less any early withdrawal penalty;

(viii) Available trusts; or

(ix) Lump sum payments. A lump sum payment is money owed to you from a past period of time that you get but do not expect to get on a continuing basis.

(b) Nonliquid resources, personal property, and real property not specifically excluded in subsection (2) below.

(c) Vehicles as described in WAC 388-470-0075.

(d) The resources of a sponsor as described in WAC 388-470-0060.

(2) The following resources do not count toward your resource limit:

(a) Your home and the surrounding property that you, your spouse, or your dependents live in;

(b) A house you do not live in, if you plan on returning to the home and you are out of the home because of:

(i) Employment;

(ii) Training for future employment;

(iii) Illness; or

(iv) Natural disaster or casualty.

(c) Property that:

(i) You are making a good faith effort to sell;

(ii) You intend to build a home on, if you do not already own a home;

(iii) Produces income consistent with its fair market value, even if used only on a seasonal basis;

(iv) Is essential to the employment or self-employment of a household member;

(v) Is essential for the maintenance or use of an income-producing vehicle; or

(vi) Has an equity value of fifteen hundred dollars or less.

(d) Household goods

(e) Personal effects;

(f) Life insurance policies;

(g) One burial plot per household member;

(h) One funeral agreement per household member, up to fifteen hundred dollars;

(i) Pension plans or retirement funds not specifically counted in subsection (1) above;

(j) Sales contracts, if the contract is producing income consistent with its fair market value;

(k) Government payments issued for the restoration of a home damaged in a disaster;

(l) Indian lands held jointly with the Tribe, or land that can be sold only with the approval of the Bureau of Indian Affairs;

(m) Nonliquid resources that have a lien placed against them;

(n) Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC):

(i) For twelve months, if you were a food assistance recipient when you got the EITC and you remain on food assistance for all twelve months; or

(ii) The month you get it and the month after, if you were not getting food assistance when you got the EITC.

(o) Energy assistance payments or allowances;

(p) The resources of a household member who gets SSI, TANF/SFA, or GA benefits; and

(q) Resources specifically excluded by federal law.

(3) If you sell your home, you have ninety days to reinvest the proceeds from the sale of a home into an exempt resource.

(a) If you do not reinvest within ninety days, we will determine whether there is good cause to allow more time. Some examples of good cause are:

(i) Closing on your new home is taking longer than anticipated;

(ii) You are unable to find a new home that you can afford;

(iii) Someone in your household is receiving emergent medical care; or

(iv) Your children are in school and moving would require them to change schools.

(b) If you have good cause, we will give you more time based on your circumstances.

(c) If you do not have good cause, we count the money you got from the sale as a resource.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510. 99-16-024, 388-470-0055, filed 7/26/99, effective 9/1/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-470-0055, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


REPEALER

     The following sections of the Washington Administrative Code are repealed:
WAC 388-470-0010 How to determine who owns a resource.
WAC 388-470-0015 Availability of resources.
WAC 388-470-0020 Excluded resources.
WAC 388-470-0025 Excluded resources for cash assistance.
WAC 388-470-0030 Excluding a home as a resource.
WAC 388-470-0035 Excluded resources for food assistance.
WAC 388-470-0050 Resources that count.
WAC 388-470-0065 Individual development accounts for TANF recipients.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office