WSR 11-14-082

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES

[ Filed July 1, 2011, 8:41 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 11-08-067.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is proposing to amend rules and adopt a new section regarding the allowable use of benefits for cash and food assistance programs for WAC 388-412-0005 General information about your cash benefits, 388-412-0015 General information about your Basic Food allotments, 388-412-0040 Can I get my benefits replaced, 388-446-0001 Cash and medical assistance fraud, 388-446-0015 Intentional program violation (IPV) and disqualification hearings for Basic Food, 388-446-0020 Food assistance disqualification penalties and 388-472-0005 What are my rights and responsibilities; and new section WAC 388-412-0046 What is the purpose of DSHS cash and food assistance benefits and how can I use my benefits?

Hearing Location(s): Office Building 2, Auditorium, DSHS Headquarters, 1115 Washington, Olympia, WA 98504 (public parking at 11th and Jefferson. A map is available at http://www1.dshs.wa.gov/msa/rpau/RPAU-OB-2directions.html

or by calling (360) 664-6094), on August 23, 2011, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than August 24, 2011.

Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, delivery 1115 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98504, e-mail DSHSRPAURulesCoordinator@dshs.wa.gov, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5 p.m. on August 23, 2011.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jennisha Johnson, DSHS rules consultant, by August 10, 2011, TTY (360) 664-6178 or (360) 664-6094 or by e-mail at jennisha.johnson@dshs.wa.gov.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: Amendments proposed under this filing are needed to incorporate federal regulations regarding the allowable use of supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits. Amendments provide definitions of trafficking, appropriate and legal use of food assistance benefits, and adopt federal regulations related to fraud, use of food assistance benefits, and penalties for trafficking of food assistance benefits. The amendments also incorporate department standards for use of DSHS cash assistance benefits consistent with restrictions regarding the use of EBT food and cash assistance by amending RCW 74.08.580. These changes are necessary to carry out the purposes of DSHS cash and food assistance programs.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: DSHS incorporates regulations from federal agencies, exercises state options, and implements approved waivers and demonstration projects by adopting administrative rules for the federal SNAP administered as the Washington Basic Food program. DSHS adopts rules for cash assistance conforming to federal regulations under Title 45 C.F.R., Title IV-A of the Social Security Act, Title 74 RCW and the approved TANF state plan.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, 74.04.510, 74.04.770, 74.12.260, 74.08.580, 9.91.142, 7 C.F.R. 273.16, the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 as amended, and 42 U.S.C. 601a.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, 74.04.510, 74.04.770, 74.12.260, 74.08.580, 9.91.142, 7 C.F.R. 273.16, the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 as amended, and 42 U.S.C. 601a.

Rule is necessary because of federal law, 7 C.F.R. 273.16, the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 as amended and 42 U.S.C. 601a.

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

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Holly St. John, P.O. Box 45470, Olympia, WA 98504-5470, (360) 725-4895.

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.

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."

July 1, 2011

Katherine I. Vasquez

Rules Coordinator

4301.6
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-02-015, filed 12/27/04, effective 1/27/05)

WAC 388-412-0005   General information about your cash benefits.   (1) Each separate cash assistance unit (AU) gets a separate benefit amount. If several AUs live in the same house, each AU gets a separate benefit amount.

(2) You cannot receive the same type of benefits in:

(a) Two states in the same month; or

(b) Two AUs in the same month; unless

(c) You left the AU to live in a shelter for battered women and children. See WAC 388-408-0045.

(3) If you are married and both you and your spouse get ((general assistance)) Disability Lifeline, you and your spouse are one AU.

(4) Your grant is rounded down to the next whole dollar amount unless:

(a) You get a clothing and personal incidental (CPI) allowance; or

(b) Your benefits are reduced to pay an overpayment.

(5) We do not issue any cash benefits if you are eligible for less than ten dollars unless:

(a) You get a CPI allowance;

(b) Your benefits are reduced to pay an overpayment; or

(c) You get Supplemental Social Security (SSI) interim assistance payments.

(6) You may use your cash benefits to pay for basic living expenses as detailed under WAC 388-412-0046 (1)(c).

(7) You may not use your electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards or cash obtained with EBT cards for any of the activities specified under WAC 388-412-0046 (1)(d).

(8) If you choose to withdraw your cash benefits using an automated teller machine (ATM), our EBT vendor may charge a fee for the transaction in addition to any charges by the bank or ATM owner.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090. 05-02-015, 388-412-0005, filed 12/27/04, effective 1/27/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510 and 74.08.090. 01-18-054, 388-412-0005, filed 8/30/01, effective 9/30/01; 99-16-024, 388-412-0005, filed 7/26/99, effective 9/1/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510, 74.08.090, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and S. 825, Public Law 104-193, Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. 99-02-039, 388-412-0005, filed 12/31/98, effective 1/31/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-412-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 09-14-018, filed 6/22/09, effective 7/23/09)

WAC 388-412-0015   General information about your ((Basic Food)) food assistance allotments.   (1) Your monthly ((Basic Food benefits are called an allotment. An allotment is the total dollar value of benefits your eligible assistance unit (AU) gets for a calendar month)) allotment under the Washington Basic Food program, food assistance program for legal immigrants (FAP), Washington combined application project (WASHCAP), or the transitional food assistance (TFA) programs is the total dollar value of benefits your assistance unit (AU) receives for a calendar month.

(2) ((If your AU does not have countable income as described under WAC 388-450-0162, you get the maximum allotment for the number of eligible people in your AU under WAC 388-478-0060)) How we determine monthly allotments:

(a) We calculate your monthly allotment as described under WAC 388-450-0162 if your AU has income;

(b) If your AU does not have countable income you receive the maximum allotment for the number of eligible people in your AU under WAC 388-478-0060.

(3) ((If your AU has countable income, we calculate your monthly allotment as described under WAC 388-450-0162)) Prorated benefits in the first month - If we determine you are eligible for food assistance, your first month's benefits are calculated from the date you applied through the end of the month of your application. This is called proration and is based on a thirty-day month:

(a) If your prorated benefits for the first month are under ten dollars, you will not receive an allotment for the first month.

(b) If there was a delay in processing your application, we determine when your benefits start under WAC 388-406-0055.

(4) ((If we determine you are eligible for Basic Food, your first month's benefits are from the date you applied for benefits through the end of the month of your application. If there was a delay in processing your application, we determine when your benefits start under WAC 388-406-0055. This is called proration and is based on a thirty-day month)) Combined allotment for first and second month's benefits - If you apply for benefits on or after the sixteenth of the month, and we determine you are eligible for food assistance, we issue both the first and second months benefits in one allotment if you are eligible for both months.

(5) ((If you apply for benefits on or after the sixteenth of the month, and we determine you are eligible for Basic Food, we issue both your first and second months benefits in one allotment if you are eligible for both months)) Minimum allotment - If your AU has one or two members, your monthly allotment will be at least sixteen dollars unless:

(a) It is the first month of your certification period;

(b) Your AU is eligible for only a partial month; and

(c) We reduced your first month's allotment below sixteen dollars based on the date you became eligible for food assistance under WAC 388-406-0055.

(6) ((If your prorated benefits for the first month are under ten dollars, you will not receive an allotment for the first month.

(7) If your AU has one or two members, your monthly allotment will be at least sixteen dollars unless:

(a) It is the first month of your certification period;

(b) Your AU is eligible for only a partial month; and

(c) We reduced your first month's allotment below sixteen dollars based on the date you became eligible for Basic Food under WAC 388-406-0055)) Use of food assistance benefits - Your food assistance benefits may only be used to buy eligible food items as described under WAC 388-412-0046. If you use your benefits in any other way, it is an intentional program violation under WAC 388-446-0015 and could result in fines, imprisonment, disqualification from receiving food assistance benefits, or any combination of these penalties.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090, 74.04.500, 74.08A.120, and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. 09-14-018, 388-412-0015, filed 6/22/09, effective 7/23/09. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090. 08-24-051, 388-412-0015, filed 11/25/08, effective 12/26/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090. 05-02-016, 388-412-0015, filed 12/27/04, effective 1/27/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510. 03-22-038, 388-412-0015, filed 10/28/03, effective 12/1/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510 and 74.08.090. 01-18-054, 388-412-0015, filed 8/30/01, effective 9/30/01; 99-16-024, 388-412-0015, 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, 388-412-0015, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 09-21-009, filed 10/8/09, effective 11/15/09)

WAC 388-412-0040   Can I get my benefits replaced?   Under certain conditions, we may replace your benefits.

(1) You may get your EBT cash and/or food assistance benefits replaced if:

(a) We make a mistake that causes you to lose benefits;

(b) ((Both your)) The EBT card ((and personal identification number (PIN) are)) mailed to you is stolen from the mail; you never had the ability to use the benefits; and you lost benefits;

(c) You left a drug or alcohol treatment facility on or before the fifteenth of the month and the facility does not have enough ((Basic Food)) food assistance benefits in their EBT account for one-half of the allotment that they owe you;

(d) Your EBT benefits that were recently deposited into an inactive EBT account were canceled by mistake ((along with your state benefits)); or

(e) ((Your)) The food that ((was)) your household purchased with ((Basic Food)) food assistance benefits was destroyed in a household disaster or misfortune.

(((2) If you want a replacement)) (i) For us to replace your benefits, you must report the loss to ((your local office)) the department within ten days from the date of the loss.

(((3) For Basic Food,)) (ii) We replace the amount of your loss, up to a one-month benefit amount.

(((4))) (2) We will not replace your benefits if your loss is for a reason other than those listed in subsection (1) above ((or)) if:

(a) We decided that your request is fraudulent;

(b) Your ((Basic Food)) food assistance benefits were lost, stolen or misplaced after you received them;

(c) You already ((got)) received two ((countable)) replacements ((of Basic Food benefits)) for food destroyed in household disaster or misfortune within the last five months; or

(d) You ((got)) received disaster ((food stamp)) supplemental nutrition assistance program (D-SNAP) benefits for the same month you requested a replacement for ((Basic Food)) food assistance.

(((5) Your replacement does not count if:

(a) Your benefits are returned to us; or

(b) We replaced your benefits because we made an error)) (3) EBT cards. It is your responsibility to keep track of your household's EBT card.

(a) If you have multiple EBT cards replaced, we may suspect you to be trafficking benefits as described under WAC 388-412-0046 (2)(d).

(b) If we suspect trafficking, we will refer your case for investigation by the office of fraud and accountability. Persons trafficking in food assistance benefits may be subject to fines, disqualification from food assistance, and legal action including criminal prosecution.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 74.08.090. 09-21-009, 388-412-0040, filed 10/8/09, effective 11/15/09. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, and 74.04.510. 08-14-047, 388-412-0040, filed 6/24/08, effective 7/25/08; 03-22-038, 388-412-0040, filed 10/28/03, effective 12/1/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510 and 74.08.090. 01-18-054, 388-412-0040, filed 8/30/01, effective 9/30/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-412-0040, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

4310.2
NEW SECTION
WAC 388-412-0046   What is the purpose of DSHS cash and food assistance benefits and how can I use my benefits?   (1) What is the purpose of DSHS cash benefits?

(a) DSHS cash assistance benefits are provided to low-income residents who qualify for public assistance programs. These benefits are intended to help pay for basic living expenses as described under RCW 74.04.770. TANF cash grants must be used for the sole benefit of the children, and we may require proof that you are using your TANF cash assistance to benefit your children as allowed under RCW 74.12.260.

(b) Your electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card or cash assistance benefits may only be used by you, an eligible member of your household, or an authorized representative/protective payee for the purposes of your cash assistance program. You are not allowed to sell, attempt to sell, exchange, or donate your EBT card or benefits to any other person or entity.

(c) You may use your cash benefits to pay a reasonable amount of basic living expenses such as:

(i) Shelter;

(ii) Utilities such as heating, telephone, water, sewer, garbage, and recycling;

(iii) Food;

(iv) Transportation;

(v) Clothing;

(vi) Household maintenance;

(vii) Personal hygiene;

(viii) Employment or school related items; and

(ix) Other necessary incidentals and items.

(d) It is not legal to use electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards or cash obtained with EBT cards to:

(i) Gamble. Gambling includes:

(A) The purchase of lottery tickets;

(B) The purchase of pull tabs;

(C) Use of punch boards;

(D) Purchase of bingo cards;

(E) Betting on horse racing;

(F) Participating in casino games; and

(G) Participating in other games of chance as found in chapters 9.46, 67.16 and 67.70 RCW.

(ii) Participate in or purchase any activities located in a tattoo, body piercing, or body art shop licensed under chapter 18.300 RCW;

(iii) Purchase cigarettes as defined in RCW 82.24.010 or tobacco products as defined in RCW 82.26.010;

(iv) Purchase any alcoholic items regulated under Title 66 RCW;

(v) Purchase or participate in any activities in any of the following locations:

(A) Taverns licensed under RCW 66.24.330;

(B) Beer/wine specialty stores licensed under RCW 66.24.371;

(C) Nightclubs licensed under RCW 66.24.600;

(D) Contract liquor stores defined under RCW 66.04.010;

(E) Bail bond agencies regulated under chapter 18.185 RCW;

(F) Gambling establishments licensed under chapter 9.46 RCW;

(G) Adult entertainment venues with performances that contain erotic material where minors under the age of eighteen are prohibited under RCW 9.68A.150;

(H) Any establishments where persons under the age of eighteen are not permitted.

(e) If you use your electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card or cash obtained from your EBT card illegally we may:

(i) Assign a protective payee to manage your cash assistance benefits under WAC 388-460-0035;

(ii) For households receiving TANF, require proof that your benefits are being used for the benefit of the children in the household;

(iii) Terminate your cash benefits; or

(iv) Pursue legal action, including criminal prosecution.

(2) What is the purpose of DSHS food assistance benefits?

(a) DSHS food assistance benefits including those from the Basic Food program, state funded basic food program for legal immigrants (FAP), Washington state combined application project (WASHCAP), and transitional food assistance (TFA) help low-income individuals and families have a more nutritious diet by providing food assistance benefits through EBT cards for eligible households to buy groceries.

(b) You, members of your household, or an authorized representative may use your food assistance benefits to buy food items for your household from food retailer authorized to accept supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).

(c) You can use your food assistance benefits to buy items such as:

(i) Breads and cereals;

(ii) Fruits and vegetables;

(iii) Cheese, milk, and other dairy products;

(iv) Meats, fish, poultry, and eggs;

(v) Most other food items that are not prepared hot foods; and

(vi) Seeds and plants that produce food.

(d) It is not legal to:

(i) Give your EBT card or benefits to anyone who is not in your food assistance household or your authorized representative.

(ii) Use food benefits on your EBT card for any purpose other than to buy food for eligible household members.

(iii) Exchange your food benefits for anything of value (trafficking). Examples of illegal trafficking include exchanging food benefits for cash, drugs, weapons or anything other than food from an authorized retailer.

(iv) Sell, attempt to sell, exchange, or donate your EBT card or any benefits to any person or entity.

(v) Sell or trade any food that was purchased using your food assistance benefits for cash, drugs, alcohol, tobacco products, firearms, or anything of value.

(vi) Use food benefits to buy nonfood items such as cigarettes, tobacco, beer, wine, liquor, household supplies, soaps, paper products, vitamins, medicine, or pet food.

(e) If you intentionally misuse your food assistance benefits, you may be:

(i) Disqualified for an intentional program violation under WAC 388-446-0015 and 388-446-0020. If you are disqualified you will lose your benefits for at least one year and up to a lifetime. The disqualification continues even if you move to another state.

(ii) Subject to fines.

(iii) Subject to legal action, including criminal prosecution. DSHS will cooperate with state, local and federal prosecuting authorities to prosecute trafficking in food assistance/SNAP benefits.

[]

4302.6
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-16-044, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98)

WAC 388-446-0001   ((Cash and medical assistance)) When does the department refer a cash, food assistance or medical case for prosecution for fraud((.))?   (1) ((All cash or medical assistance cases in which substantial evidence is found supporting a finding of fraud are referred to the county prosecuting attorney. The prosecuting attorney's office determines which cases are subject to criminal prosecution.

(2) An applicant or recipient is suspected of committing fraud if intentional misstatement or failure to reveal information affecting eligibility results in an overpayment)) We consider it fraud if you misrepresent your circumstances in order to be eligible for or to receive more benefits than you would receive based on your actual circumstances. This includes misrepresenting:

(a) Who is in the household;

(b) The income of people in your assistance unit;

(c) Your living expenses; or

(d) Other circumstances that impact your eligibility and monthly benefits.

(2) We suspect fraud if it appears that you received more benefits than you should have and it appears that you:

(a) Made an intentional misstatement about your circumstances that caused the incorrect benefits; or

(b) Intentionally failed to reveal information that impacts your eligibility.

(3) If we receive a report of fraud, we actively investigate the circumstances to determine if there is substantial evidence to support a finding of fraud. This includes referring the case for investigation by the office of fraud and accountability.

(4) If we have substantial evidence to support a finding of fraud for cash, food assistance or medical, we refer the case for prosecution. The prosecuting attorney's office decides which cases they will pursue for prosecution.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-446-0001, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-501-0140.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-23-082, filed 11/15/05, effective 1/1/06)

WAC 388-446-0015   What is an intentional program violation (IPV) and administrative disqualification hearings (ADH) for ((Basic Food)) food assistance.   (1) An intentional program violation (IPV) is ((defined as)) an act in which ((a person)) someone intentionally:

(a) ((Makes a false or misleading statement;)) Misrepresents, conceals or withholds facts in order to be found eligible for benefits or to receive more benefits than their actual circumstances would allow. This includes making a false statement regarding household circumstances.

(b) ((Misrepresents, conceals or withholds facts; or

(c) Acts in violation of the Food Stamp Act, the Food Stamp Program regulations, or any state statute relating to the use, presentation, transfer, acquisition, receipt, trafficking, or possession of food)) Acts in violation of the Food Nutrition Act of 2008, regulations for the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) under Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations or any state statute relating to the use, presentation, transfer, acquisition, receipt, trafficking, or possession of food assistance benefits.

(2) ((Basic Food clients suspected of committing)) If we suspect someone has committed an IPV ((are subject to referral)) we refer their case for an administrative disqualification hearing (ADH), if:

(a) The suspected IPV causes an over issuance of four hundred fifty dollars or more; or

(b) The suspected IPV is due to the trafficking of food benefits; and

(c) The person has not been referred for criminal proceedings((; and

(d) The person resides in Washington state, at the time of the referral; or

(e) The person resides outside Washington state, but is within one hour's reasonable drive to a CSO)).

(3) An administrative disqualification hearing (ADH) is a formal hearing to determine if a person committed an IPV. ADHs are governed by the rules found in chapter 388-02 WAC. However, rules in this section are the overriding authority if there is a conflict.

(4) A ((client who)) person suspected of an IPV can choose to waive their right to an ADH by signing a disqualification consent agreement that waives their right to the hearing and accepts the IPV penalty under WAC 388-446-0020.

(5) If someone commits one or more IPVs and is suspected of committing another, ((is referred)) we refer them for an ADH when the act of suspected violation occurred:

(a) After ((the department)) we mailed the disqualification notice to the client for the most recent IPV; or

(b) After criminal proceedings for the most recent IPV are concluded.

(((5) A person suspected of IPV is entitled to receive notice of an ADH at least thirty days in advance of the hearing date. The)) (6) When we suspect someone has committed an IPV, we refer their case for an administrative disqualification hearing (ADH). The office of administrative hearings (OAH) sends them notice of an ADH at least thirty days in advance of the hearing date. OAH sends the notice ((is sent)) by certified mail, or ((provided to the client by)) personal service ((and)). The notice will contain the following information:

(a) The date, time, and place of the hearing;

(b) The charges against the ((individual)) person;

(c) A summary of the evidence, and how and where ((the)) they may examine the evidence ((can be examined));

(d) A warning that a decision will be based ((solely)) entirely on the evidence ((provided by)) the department((,)) provides if ((the individual)) they fail((s)) to appear at the hearing;

(e) A statement that the ((individual)) person has ten days from the date of the scheduled hearing to show good cause for ((failure to appear at)) failing to attend the hearing and to ((request rescheduling)) ask for a new hearing date;

(f) A warning that a determination of IPV will result in a disqualification period; and

(g) A statement that if we schedule a telephone hearing ((is scheduled)), ((the individual)) they can request an in-person hearing by filing a request with the administrative law judge one week or more prior to the date of the hearing.

(((6))) (7) The department may combine an ADH and a regular hearing when the reason for both hearings is related.

(8) The person or a representative shall have the right to one continuance of up to thirty days if a request is filed ten days or more prior to the hearing date.

(((7))) (9) The ((hearing will be conducted and a decision rendered)) administrative law judge (ALJ) will conduct the ADH and render a decision even if the person or representative fails to appear, unless within ten days from the date of the scheduled hearing:

(a) The person can show good cause for failing to appear; and

(b) The person or representative requests the hearing be re-instated.

(((8))) (10) We may change a scheduled telephone hearing ((may be changed)) to an in-person hearing if this is requested ((one)) by the person or department representative at least a week ((or more)) in advance. ((If requested)) The person requesting a change less than one week in advance ((the person)) must show good cause for the requested change.

(((9))) (11) The ALJ issues a final decision as specified in WAC ((388-02-0215(5) and WAC 388-02-0527)) 388-02-0215 through 388-02-0525. The decision determines whether the department ((establishes)) had established with clear and convincing evidence that the person committed and intended to commit an IPV.

(((10))) (12) The department and the client each have the right to request a reconsideration of the decision as specified in WAC 388-02-0610 through 388-02-0635. The final order or the reconsideration decision is the final agency decision.

(((11) A client's)) (13) We will not implement a disqualification ((is not implemented)) and continue benefits ((continue)) at the current amount ((when)) if:

(a) The client can show good cause for not attending the hearing within thirty days from the date the disqualification notice was mailed; and

(b) An administrative law judge determines the client had good cause; or

(c) The client requests reconsideration or files a petition for judicial review to appeal the disqualification as specified in WAC 388-02-0530 (1) or (4).

(((12) An administrative disqualification hearing and a regular hearing can be combined when the cause for both hearings is related.))

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090, and 9.91.142. 05-23-082, 388-446-0015, filed 11/15/05, effective 1/1/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-446-0015, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


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

WAC 388-446-0020   What penalties will I receive if I break a food assistance ((disqualification penalties.)) rule on purpose?   (1) ((Disqualification penalties apply only to the person or persons found to have committed an intentional program violation (IPV) as follows:

(a) If the intentional program violation occurred in whole or in part after the household was notified of the following penalties:

(i) Twelve months for the first violation;

(ii) Twenty-four months for the second violation;

(iii) Permanently for the third violation.

(b) If the violation ended before the household was notified of the penalties in subsection (1)(a) of this section:

(i) Six months for the first violation;

(ii) Twelve months for the second violation;

(iii) Permanently for the third violation.

(2) The disqualification and penalty period for a person convicted in another state stays in effect until satisfied regardless of where a person moves.

(3) Multiple program violations are considered as one violation when determining the penalty for disqualification when the violations occurred before the department notified the household of the penalties, as described in subsection (1), (4) and (5) of this section.

(4) Disqualification penalties for persons convicted by a federal, state, or local court of trading or receiving food coupons for a controlled substance are:

(a) Two years for a first conviction; and

(b) Permanently for a second conviction.

(5) A first conviction by federal, state, or local court permanently disqualifies persons who:

(a) Trade or receive food coupons for firearms, ammunition, or explosives; or

(b) Knowingly buy, sell, trade, or present for redemption food coupons totalling five hundred dollars or more in violation of section 15 (b) and (c) of the Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended.

(6) Persons convicted of providing false identification or residency information to receive multiple coupon benefits are disqualified for ten years.

(7) When a court convicts a person of an IPV, the disqualification penalties specified in subsection (1) through (5) apply as follows;

(a) In addition to any civil or criminal penalties; and

(b) Within forty-five days of the date of conviction; unless

(c) Contrary to the court order.

(8) Disqualification penalties are applied after notifying the household of the disqualification, the effective date, the amount of benefits the household will receive during the disqualification period and the need to reapply when the certification period expires.

(9) Even though only the individual is disqualified, the food assistance household is responsible for making restitution for the amount of any overpayment)) Breaking a rule on purpose for food assistance is known as an intentional program violation (IPV) under WAC 388-446-0015. These rules apply to all DSHS food assistance programs including:

(a) Washington Basic Food program or Basic Food;

(b) The Washington combined application project (WASHCAP) under chapter 388-492 WAC;

(c) Transitional food assistance (TFA) under chapter 388-489 WAC; and

(d) The state-funded food assistance program (FAP) for legal immigrants.

(2) You will have an IPV if we have shown that you have committed an IPV in any of the following three ways:

(a) We establish that you committed an IPV through an administrative disqualification hearing (ADH) under WAC 388-446-0015;

(b) You signed a disqualification consent agreement that waives your right to an administrative disqualification hearing and accepts the IPV penalty; or

(c) A federal, state or local court found that you committed an IPV or found you guilty of a crime that breaks food assistance rules.

(3) We only apply a disqualification penalty to the person or persons who have committed an IPV. People who commit an IPV are disqualified from all food assistance benefits listed in subsection (1) of this section. If you commit an IPV you will not be eligible for food assistance:

(a) For a period of twelve months for the first violation;

(b) For a period of twenty-four months for the second violation;

(c) Permanently for the third violation.

(4) Special penalties for certain crimes - If you are convicted in a court of law for crimes that are an intentional program violation, we disqualify you for the period of time set in the court order. If the court order does not state a disqualification period, we set a disqualification period based on the crime you were convicted of committing:

(a) Drugs - If you are convicted in a federal, state, or local court of trading or receiving food benefits for a controlled substance, we disqualify you:

(i) For a period of twenty-four months for a first conviction; and

(ii) Permanently for a second violation.

(b) Weapons - If you are convicted in a federal, state or local court of trading your food assistance benefits for firearms, ammunition, or explosives, we permanently disqualify you from receiving food assistance on the first offense.

(c) Trafficking - If you are convicted in a federal, state, or local court of knowingly buying, selling, trading, or presenting for redemption food assistance benefits totaling five hundred dollars or more, we permanently disqualify you from receiving food assistance on the first offense.

(d) False identification - If you are convicted in a federal, state, or local court of providing false identification to receive benefits in more than one assistance unit, we disqualify you from receiving food assistance for ten years on the first offense.

(e) Receiving benefits in more than one state - If you are convicted in a federal, state, or local court of providing false residency information to receive benefits in more than one household or state, we disqualify you from receiving food assistance for ten years on the first offense.

(5) When we start a disqualification. The date of a disqualification depends on how a person was disqualified. We will send you a letter telling you when your disqualification period will start:

(a) ADH or consent agreement - If you were found to have committed an IPV in an administrative disqualification hearing or you signed a consent agreement waiving this hearing and accepting the disqualification, we start the disqualification period by the second month after we sent you a letter informing you of the disqualification.

(b) Conviction in court - If you are convicted in court of a crime that is an intentional program violation, your disqualification period in subsection (4) is in addition to any civil or criminal penalties. We disqualify you from food assistance within forty-five days of the court order unless this timing conflicts with the court order.

(6) Disqualifications apply in all states - If you have an IPV disqualification this stays with you until the penalty period is over, even if you move to another state:

(a) If we disqualify you from food assistance, you are also disqualified from receiving supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits in another state during the disqualification period.

(b) If you are disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for an IPV from another state, you can't receive food assistance in Washington during the disqualification period.

(7) Even though we only disqualify the persons who have committed an IPV from receiving food assistance benefits, all adults in the assistance unit are responsible to repay any benefits you were overpaid as described under WAC 388-410-0020 and 388-410-0025.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-446-0020, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 11-07-014, filed 3/8/11, effective 4/8/11)

WAC 388-472-0005   What are my rights and responsibilities?   For the purposes of this chapter, "we" and "us" refer to the department and "you" refers to the applicant or recipient.

(1) If you apply for or get cash, food or medical assistance benefits you have the right to:

(a) Have your rights and responsibilities explained to you and given to you in writing;

(b) Have us explain the legal use of DSHS benefits to you;

(c) Be treated politely and fairly no matter what your race, color, political beliefs, national origin, religion, age, gender, disability or birthplace;

(((c))) (d) Request benefits by giving us an application form using any method listed under WAC 388-406-0010. You can ask for and get a receipt when you give us an application or other documents;

(((d))) (e) Have your application processed as soon as possible. Unless your application is delayed under WAC 388-406-0040, we process your application for benefits within thirty days, except:

(i) If you are eligible for expedited services under WAC 388-406-0015, you get food assistance within seven days. If we deny you expedited services, you have a right to ask that the decision be reviewed by the department within two working days from the date we denied your request for expedited services;

(ii) If you are pregnant and otherwise eligible, you get medical within fifteen working days((.));

(iii) Disability lifeline (DL), alcohol or drug addiction treatment (ADATSA), or medical assistance may take up to forty-five days; and

(iv) Medical assistance requiring a disability decision may take up to sixty days.

(((e))) (f) Be given at least ten days to give us information needed to determine your eligibility and be given more time if you ask for it. If we do not have the information needed to decide your eligibility, then we may deny your request for benefits;

(((f))) (g) Have the information you give us kept private. We may share some facts with other agencies for efficient management of federal and state programs;

(((g))) (h) Ask us not to collect child support or medical support if you fear the noncustodial parent may harm you, your children, or the children in your care;

(((h))) (i) Ask for extra money to help pay for temporary emergency shelter costs, such as an eviction or a utility shutoff, if you get TANF;

(((i))) (j) Get a written notice, in most cases, at least ten days before we make changes to lower or stop your benefits;

(((j))) (k) Ask for an administrative hearing if you disagree with a decision we make. You can also ask a supervisor or administrator to review our decision or action without affecting your right to a fair hearing;

(((k))) (l) Have interpreter or translator services given to you at no cost and without delay;

(((l))) (m) Refuse to speak to a fraud investigator. You do not have to let an investigator into your home. You may ask the investigator to come back at another time. Such a request will not affect your eligibility for benefits; and

(((m))) (n) Get help from us to register to vote.

(2) If you get cash, food, or medical assistance, you are responsible to:

(a) Tell us if you are pregnant, in need of immediate medical care, experiencing an emergency such as having no money for food, or facing an eviction so we can process your request for benefits as soon as possible;

(b) Report the following expenses so we can decide if you can get more food assistance:

(i) Shelter costs;

(ii) Child or dependent care costs;

(iii) Child support that is legally obligated;

(iv) Medical expenses; and

(v) Self-employment expenses.

(c) Report changes as required under WAC 388-418-0005 and 388-418-0007.

(d) Give us the information needed to determine eligibility;

(e) Give us proof of information when needed. If you have trouble getting proof, we help you get the proof or contact other persons or agencies for it;

(f) Cooperate in the collection of child support or medical support unless you fear the noncustodial parent may harm you, your children, or the children in your care;

(g) Apply for and get any benefits from other agencies or programs prior to getting cash assistance from us;

(h) Complete reports and reviews when asked;

(i) Look for, get, and keep a job or participate in other activities if required for cash or food assistance;

(j) Give your ((medical identification card or letter of eligibility from us)) Provider One services card to your medical care provider; ((and))

(k) Cooperate with the quality control review process;

(l) Keep track of your EBT card for cash and food assistance and keep your personal identification number (PIN) secure. If you receive multiple replacement EBT cards, this may trigger an investigation to determine if you are trafficking benefits as described under WAC 388-412-0046 (2)(d); and

(m) Use your cash and food assistance benefits only as allowed under WAC 388-412-0046.

(3) If you are eligible for necessary supplemental accommodation (NSA) services under chapter 388-472 WAC, we help you comply with the requirements of this section.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510, 74.08.090, 74.08.010. 11-07-014, 388-472-0005, filed 3/8/11, effective 4/8/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055. 08-18-007, 388-472-0005, filed 8/22/08, effective 9/22/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 74.08.090. 02-14-023, 388-472-0005, filed 6/21/02, effective 7/1/02; 01-10-104, 388-472-0005, filed 5/1/01, effective 6/1/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510. 99-17-025, 388-472-0005, 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, 388-472-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-504-0430, 388-504-0440, 388-504-0450 and 388-505-0560.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office