WSR 06-17-175

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed August 23, 2006, 9:27 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 06-11-059.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 388-450-0195 Utility allowances for Basic Food programs, 388-492-0040 Can I choose whether I get WASHCAP food benefits for Basic Food benefits?, and 388-492-0070 How are my WASHCAP benefits calculated?

Hearing Location(s): Blake Office Park East, Rose Room, 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA 98503 (one block north of the intersection of Pacific Avenue S.E. and Alhadeff Lane. A map or directions are available at http://www1.dshs.wa.gov/msa/rpau/docket.html or by calling (360) 664-6097), on September 26, 2006, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: No earlier than September 27, 2006.

Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504, delivery 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA 98503, e-mail fernaax@dshs.wa.gov, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5:00 p.m. on September 26, 2006.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Stephanie Schiller, DSHS Rules Consultant, by September 22, 2006, TTY (360) 664-6178 or (360) 664-6097 or by e-mail at schilse@dshs.wa.gov.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The rules provide standards used to determine monthly benefit levels for the Washington Basic Food program and the Washington combined application project (WASHCAP) program. The rules also indicate when a WASHCAP-eligible household may choose to participate in the Basic Food program.

The proposed changes update utility standards for Basic Food, the WASHCAP high cost shelter standard, the WASHCAP low cost shelter standard, the WASHCAP shelter threshold, and the standard for WASHCAP-eligible persons can choose to participate in the Basic Food based on high shelter costs. These rules will also be filed by emergency adoption effective October 1, 2006, because federal implementation timeframes do not allow sufficient time to make the changes using the regular adoption process.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: 7 C.F.R. 273.9 (d)(6)(iii)(B) and the approved waiver the department uses to administer the WASHCAP program requires the department to update the standards contained in these rules on an annual basis. The department updates the standards based on the consumer price index (CPI) and adopts new standards effective with the new federal fiscal year each October.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.005, 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.005, 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090.

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

Name of Proponent: Department of social and health services, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: John Camp, 1009 College S.E., Lacey, WA 98504, (360) 725-4116.

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 setting standards used to determine benefit levels for the Washington Basic Food program and WASHCAP and sets a standard to determine if WASHCAP-eligible persons may choose to participate in Basic Food.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. 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."

August 23, 2006

Andy Fernando, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

3784.1
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 06-10-056, filed 5/1/06, effective 6/1/06)

WAC 388-450-0195   Utility allowances for Basic Food programs.   (1) For Basic Food, "utilities" include the following:

(a) Heating or cooling fuel;

(b) Electricity or gas;

(c) Water or sewer;

(d) Well or septic tank installation/maintenance;

(e) Garbage/trash collection; and

(f) Telephone service.

(2) The department uses the amounts below if you have utility costs separate from your rent or mortgage payment. We add your utility allowance to your rent or mortgage payment to determine your total shelter costs. We use total shelter costs to determine your Basic Food benefits.

(a) If you have heating or cooling costs, you get a standard utility allowance (SUA) that depends on your assistance unit's size.


Assistance Unit (AU) Size Utility Allowance
1 $((307)) 298
2 $((316)) 307
3 $((325)) 316
4 $((334)) 325
5 $((344)) 334
6 or more $((353)) 343

(b) If your AU does not qualify for the SUA and you have any two utility costs listed above, you get a limited utility allowance (LUA) of two hundred ((forty-two)) thirty-eight dollars.

(c) If your AU has only telephone costs and no other utility costs, you get a telephone utility allowance (TUA) of ((thirty-nine)) thirty-eight dollars.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090. 06-10-056, 388-450-0195, filed 5/1/06, effective 6/1/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090, and 7 C.F.R. 273.9. 05-19-062, 388-450-0195, filed 9/16/05, effective 10/17/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090. 05-09-087, 388-450-0195, filed 4/19/05, effective 6/1/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057. 04-23-025, 388-450-0195, filed 11/8/04, effective 12/9/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510. 03-21-030, 388-450-0195, filed 10/7/03, effective 12/1/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090. 02-22-045, 388-450-0195, filed 10/30/02, effective 12/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510. 01-21-059, 388-450-0195, filed 10/16/01, effective 12/1/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510. 00-22-065, 388-450-0195, filed 10/27/00, effective 11/1/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.040.510 [74.04.510]. 99-24-052, 388-450-0195, filed 11/29/99, effective 12/1/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510. 99-09-055, 388-450-0195, filed 4/19/99, effective 5/20/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510 and 7 CFR 273.9 (d)(6). 99-01-069, 388-450-0195, filed 12/14/98, effective 1/14/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-450-0195, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

3785.1
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-18-036, filed 8/30/05, effective 10/1/05)

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

(1) Your nonutility shelter costs as defined in WAC 388-450-0190 (1)(a) through (d) are more than five hundred ((forty-four)) sixty-seven dollars a month;

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

(3) You chose to have Basic Food benefits instead of WASHCAP benefits prior to January 1, 2005.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090. 05-18-036, 388-492-0040, filed 8/30/05, effective 10/1/05; 05-08-009, 388-492-0040, filed 3/25/05, effective 4/25/05; 04-23-026, 388-492-0040, filed 11/8/04, effective 12/9/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510. 03-21-030, 388-492-0040, filed 10/7/03, effective 12/1/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510. 03-01-045, 388-492-0040, filed 12/10/02, effective 1/10/03; 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 05-17-155, filed 8/22/05, effective 10/1/05)

WAC 388-492-0070   How are my WASHCAP food benefits calculated?   We calculate your food benefits as follows:

(1) We begin with your gross income.

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

(3) We figure your shelter cost based on information we receive from Social Security Administration (SSA), unless you report a change as described under WAC 388-492-0080. If you pay:

(a) Three hundred ((twenty-nine)) forty-two dollars or more a month for shelter, we use three hundred ((forty)) fifty-four dollars as your shelter cost; or

(b) Less than three hundred ((twenty-nine)) forty-two dollars for shelter, we use one hundred ((sixty-four)) seventy-one dollars as your shelter cost; and

(c) We add the current limited 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 and rounding the resulting figure up from fifty cents and down from forty-nine cents to the nearest whole dollar.

(6) We figure your WASHCAP food 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, you will get at least ten dollars in food benefits each month.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090. 05-17-155, 388-492-0070, filed 8/22/05, effective 10/1/05; 05-08-008, 388-492-0070, filed 3/25/05, effective 4/25/05; 04-23-026, 388-492-0070, filed 11/8/04, effective 12/9/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510. 03-21-030, 388-492-0070, filed 10/7/03, effective 12/1/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510. 03-01-045, 388-492-0070, filed 12/10/02, effective 1/10/03; 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