WSR 03-19-069



(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed September 12, 2003, 3:57 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 03-15-024.

Title of Rule: WAC 388-406-0015 Can I get food assistance right away?

Purpose: To amend the rule to be consistent with federal regulations for food stamp expedited service.

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: This rule reflects the program's change in name from food stamps or food assistance to basic food, makes a correction to the interpretation of the standard utility allowance (SUA), clarifies the length of time a client has to provide postponed verification, and tells the client what income is used to determine eligibility for expedited service.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Only certain kinds of income are counted when considering a client for expedited services. Clients are also entitled to the appropriate standard utility allowance when determining eligibility for expedited service and need correct information about timely returning postponed verification. Food assistance is now called basic food in Washington state. When a food assistance WAC is amended for any reason, all references to food assistance or food stamps are changed to basic food.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Carole McRae, 1009 College S.E., Lacey, WA 98504, (360) 413-3074.

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

Rule is necessary because of federal law, 7 C.F.R. 273.2.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: Rule: WAC 388-406-0015 Can I get food assistance right away?

Purpose and Effect: See Purpose and Summary above.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: See Purpose and Summary above.

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.

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." This rule adopts federal rules mandated by Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 273.2 regarding how a person qualifies to be financially eligible for basic food expedited service. The department also applies the same requirements to the state-funded portion of the Washington basic food program.

Hearing Location: Blake Office Park (behind Goodyear Courtesy Tire), 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Rose Room, Lacey, WA 98503, on October 21, 2003, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Andy Fernando, DSHS Rules Coordinator, by October 17, 2003, phone (360) 664-6094, TTY (360) 664-6178, e-mail

Submit Written Comments to: Identify WAC Numbers, DSHS Rules Coordinator, Rules and Policies Assistance Unit, mail to P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, deliver to 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA, fax (360) 664-6185, e-mail, by 5:00 p.m., October 21, 2003.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than October 22, 2003.

September 5, 2003

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-20-068, filed 9/30/02, effective 10/31/02)

WAC 388-406-0015   Can I get Basic Food ((assistance)) right away?   (1) When the department gets your Basic Food ((assistance)) application, we look at your circumstances to see if you can get benefits within five calendar days. This is called "expedited service."

(2) To get expedited service, you must provide proof of who you are and meet one of ((these three)) the following conditions:

(a) ((You)) Have ((available cash of one hundred dollars or less and have)) gross monthly income (before taxes), minus exclusions as defined in WAC 388-450-0015, of under one hundred fifty dollars and have available cash of one hundred dollars or less; or

(b) ((Your)) Have gross monthly income (before taxes), minus exclusions as defined in WAC 388-450-0015, plus available cash ((is)) of less than ((the)) your total ((of your)) shelter costs ((such as your)) (rent or mortgage and utilities); or

(c) ((You are)) Be a destitute migrant or seasonal farm worker household, ((as defined in)) under WAC 388-406-0021, and your household's available cash ((does not exceed)) is one hundred dollars or less.

(3) To determine the amount of utilities ((to)) we use to decide if you can get expedited services, we allow((:

(a) The appropriate)) the utility allowance your AU is eligible for under WAC 388-450-0195((, if you have heating or cooling costs and the appropriate utility allowance is greater than the amount you pay; or

(b) The amount you pay, if it is greater than the appropriate utility allowance)).

(4) If you are eligible for expedited service and are not required to have an office interview under WAC 388-452-0005, you can:

(a) Have a telephone interview or a home visit; and

(b) Still get benefits within five days.

(5) If you are ((an applicant)) applying for Basic Food, "day one" of your five-day expedited service period starts on the:

(a) Day after the date you filed your application ((is filed)); ((or))

(b) ((Date of the rescheduled interview when you are screened as expedited service eligible but do not show up for your initial interview; or

(c))) Date you are released from a public institution; or

(((d))) (c) Date of your interview ((when)) if you:

(i) ((Waive)) Waived your expedited interview and we decide you are ((found)) eligible for expedited service during your rescheduled interview; or

(ii) ((Are)) Were screened as ineligible for expedited service and we later ((found)) decide you are eligible for the service during your interview; or

(iii) ((Do not request)) Did not ask for expedited service on the application and ((are found)) we decide you are eligible for the service during your interview.

(6) If you get expedited service ((and are found eligible for food assistance)), we give you benefits for ((no more than two months. If we give you benefits and we)) one or two months depending on when you applied. If we need additional information to decide if you are eligible for continued benefits and you applied:

(a) On or before the fifteenth of the month, you have up to thirty days from the date ((you applied)) of application to give us the information; or

(b) On or after the sixteenth of the month, you have until the end of the second month to give us the information.

(7) If you have received expedited service in the past, you can get this service again if you meet the requirements listed in subsection (2) above and you:

(a) Gave us all the information we needed to prove eligibility for your last expedited service benefit period; or

(b) Were certified under normal processing standards after your last expedited certification.

(8) If you reapply ((and request expedited service)) before your certification period ends, you are not eligible for expedited service.

(9) If you reapply after your certification period ends ((and request expedited service,)) your five-day expedited service period is the same as a new application.

(10) If you are denied expedited service, you can ask for a department review of ((your case)) our decision. We review the decision within two working days ((from the date we denied you expedited service)).

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, and 20 C.F.R. 416.2130. 02-20-068, 388-406-0015, filed 9/30/02, effective 10/31/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510 and 74.08.090. 01-18-036, 388-406-0015, filed 8/28/01, effective 10/1/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510 and Section 11 (e)(9) of the Food Stamp Act. 00-06-015, 388-406-0015, filed 2/22/00, effective 4/1/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510. 99-16-024, 388-406-0015, 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, 388-406-0015, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

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