WSR 13-12-075



(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed June 5, 2013, 8:55 a.m. ]

     Original Notice.

     Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 13-08-075.

     Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is proposing to amend WAC 388-408-0035 Who is in my assistance unit for Basic Food?

     Hearing Location(s): Office Building 2, Lookout Room, DSHS Headquarters, 1115 Washington, Olympia, WA 98504 (public parking at 11th and Jefferson. A map is available at, on July 9, 2013, at 10:00 a.m.

     Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than July 10, 2013.

     Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504, e-mail, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5 p.m. on July 9, 2013.

     Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jennisha Johnson, DSHS rules consultant, by June 11, 2013, TTY (360) 664-6178 or (360) 664-6094 or by e-mail at

     Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The DSHS community services division is proposing to amend rules under WAC 388-408-0035 to align Basic Food assistance unit rules with federal regulations regarding minor children not living with their parents.

     Reasons Supporting Proposal: This rule change is an effort to be responsive to advocate concerns about homeless youth being able to access SNAP benefits. The intent with the rule making is to be less prescriptive in the text of the rule. Under current rules, a child living in the home of a nonparental adult who is not providing for them financially must be included in the adult's Basic Food assistance unit (AU) if they do not have adequate income. The proposed change, adopting the less restrictive language of the C.F.R., is intended to allow a homeless youth to be considered a separate AU even if they have little or no income.

     Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.500, and 74.08.090.

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

     Rule is necessary because of federal law, 7 C.F.R. § 273.1.

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

     Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Robert Thibodeau, 712 Pear Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98504, (360) 725-4634.

     No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. These proposed rules do not have an economic impact on small businesses. The proposed amendment only affects DSHS program denial letter preparation procedures to align them with procedures described in other rule sections.

     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."

May 29, 2013

Katherine I. Vasquez

Rules Coordinator

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 10-13-047, filed 6/9/10, effective 8/1/10)

WAC 388-408-0035   Who is in my assistance unit for Basic Food?   (1) For Basic Food, a person must be in your assistance unit (AU) if they live in the same home as you and:

     (a) Regularly buy food or prepare meals with you; or

     (b) You provide meals for them and they pay less than a reasonable amount for meals.

     (2) If the following people live with you, they must be in your AU even if you do not usually buy or prepare food together:

     (a) Your spouse;

     (b) Your parents if you are under age twenty-two (even if you are married);

     (c) Your children under age twenty-two;

     (d) The parent of a child who must be in your AU;

     (e) A child (other than a foster child) under age eighteen who doesn't live with their parent unless the child:

     (i) Is emancipated; or

     (ii) ((Gets a TANF grant in their own name; or

     (iii))) Is not financially dependent on an adult in the AU ((because they get and have control of income of at least the TANF payment standard under WAC 388-478-0020(2) before taxes or other withholdings)).

     (3) If any of the people in subsections (1) or (2) already receive transitional food assistance under chapter 388-489 WAC, you can only receive benefits if they choose to reapply for Basic Food as described in WAC 388-489-0022.

     (4) If you live in an institution where you may be eligible for Basic Food under WAC 388-408-0040, we decide who is in your AU as follows:

     (a) If the facility is acting as your authorized representative under WAC 388-460-0015, we include you and anyone who must be in your AU under subsection (2) of this rule; or

     (b) If you apply for benefits on your own, we include you, anyone who must be in your AU under subsection (2) of this rule, and other residents you choose to apply with.

     (5) Anyone who must be in your AU under subsection (1) or (2) is an ineligible AU member if they:

     (a) Are disqualified for an intentional program violation (IPV) under WAC 388-446-0015;

     (b) Do not meet ABAWD work requirements under WAC 388-444-0030.

     (c) Do not meet work requirements under WAC 388-444-0055;

     (d) Do not provide a Social Security number under WAC 388-476-0005;

     (e) Do not meet the citizenship or alien status requirements under chapter 388-424 WAC;

     (f) Are fleeing a felony charge or violating a condition of parole or probation under WAC 388-442-0010.

     (6) If your AU has an ineligible member:

     (a) We count the ineligible member's income as part of your AU's income under WAC 388-450-0140;

     (b) We count all the ineligible members resources to your AU; and

     (c) We do not use the ineligible member to determine your AU's size for the maximum income amount or allotment under WAC 388-478-0060.

     (7) If the following people live in the same home as you, you can choose if we include them in your AU:

     (a) A permanently disabled person who is age sixty or over and cannot make their own meals if the total income of everyone else in the home (not counting the elderly and disabled person's spouse) is not more than the one hundred sixty-five percent standard under WAC 388-478-0060;

     (b) A boarder. If you do not include a boarder in your AU, the boarder cannot get Basic Food benefits in a separate AU;

     (c) A person placed in your home for foster care. If you do not include this person in your AU, they cannot get Basic Food benefits in a separate AU;

     (d) Roomers; or

     (e) Live-in attendants even if they buy or prepare food with you.

     (8) If someone in your AU moves out of your home for at least a full issuance month, they are not eligible for benefits as a part of your AU, unless you receive transitional food assistance.

     (9) For transitional food assistance, your TFA AU includes the people who were in your Basic Food AU for the last month you received:

     (a) Temporary assistance for needy families;

     (b) State family assistance; or

     (c) Tribal TANF benefits.

     (10) If someone received Basic Food or food stamps in another AU or another state, they cannot receive benefits in your AU for the same period of time with one exception. If you already received Basic Food, food stamp, or transitional food assistance benefits:

     (a) In another state, you are not eligible for Basic Food for the period of time covered by the benefits you received from the other state; or

     (b) In another AU, you are not eligible for Basic Food in a different AU for the same period of time;

     (c) In another AU, but you left the AU to live in a shelter for battered women and children under WAC 388-408-0045, you may be eligible to receive benefits in a separate AU.

     (11) The following people who live in your home are not members of your AU. If they are eligible for Basic Food, they may be a separate AU:

     (a) Someone who usually buys and prepares food separately from your AU if they are not required to be in your AU; or

     (b) Someone who lives in a separate residence.

     (12) A student who is ineligible for Basic Food under WAC 388-482-0005 is not a member of your AU.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510, 74.04.515, 74.08.090, 74.08A.010, and 74.08A.903. 10-13-047, § 388-408-0035, filed 6/9/10, effective 8/1/10. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090. 05-19-061, § 388-408-0035, filed 9/16/05, effective 11/1/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 2004 c 54. 04-14-040, § 388-408-0035, filed 6/29/04, effective 7/30/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510. 04-06-025, § 388-408-0035, filed 2/23/04, effective 4/1/04; 03-19-118, § 388-408-0035, filed 9/16/03, effective 11/1/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510. 01-21-060, § 388-408-0035, filed 10/16/01, effective 12/1/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, § 388-408-0035, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]