WSR 15-14-067
(Economic Services Administration)
[Filed June 26, 2015, 10:42 a.m.]
Original Notice.
Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 15-10-038.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is proposing to amend WAC 388-400-0040 Am I eligible for benefits through the Washington Basic Food program?
Hearing Location(s): Office Building 2, DSHS Headquarters, 1115 Washington, Olympia, WA 98504 (public parking at 11th and Jefferson. A map is available at, on August 4, 2015, at 10:00 a.m.
Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than August 5, 2015.
Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504, e-mail, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5:00 p.m., August 4, 2015.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jeff Kildahl, DSHS rules consultant, by July 21, 2015, phone (360) 664-6092, TTY (360) 664-6178, or e-mail
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The department is proposing to amend rules regarding the definition of "disabled" for supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) clients. The proposal is to amend the definition to include clients that receive state general assistance benefits.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: Food and Nutrition Service Code of Federal Regulations states that applicants or recipients of SNAP benefits that receive state general assistance funds are to be considered disabled for SNAP eligibility calculation purposes. The current above listed WAC does not reflect this.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.005, 74.04.500, 74.04.510, 74.04.515, 74.08A.120, and 7 C.F.R. 271.2.
Statute Being Implemented: 7 C.F.R. 271.2.
Rule is necessary because of federal law, 7 C.F.R. 271.2.
Name of Proponent: Department of social and health services, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation, and Enforcement: Ezra Paskus, 712 Pear Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98504, (360) 725-4611.
No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The proposed rule does not have an economic impact on small businesses. They only affect client eligibility for food benefits.
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, "this 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."
June 25, 2015
Katherine I. Vasquez
Rules Coordinator
AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 12-18-024, filed 8/27/12, effective 9/27/12)
WAC 388-400-0040 Am I eligible for benefits through the Washington Basic Food program?
The Washington Basic Food program (Basic Food) is a federally funded nutrition program to help low-income individuals and families buy food. This rule is a summary of the rules for Basic Food.
(1) When you apply for Basic Food, we decide who is in your assistance unit (AU) based on the requirements under WAC 388-408-0034 and 388-408-0035.
(2) To be eligible for Basic Food benefits, your AU must meet the eligibility requirements of:
(a) The most current version of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008;
(b) Federal regulations adopted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) related to the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP); and
(c) Standards FNS publishes each year for income limits, resource limits, income deductions, and benefit amounts for SNAP.
(3) To be eligible for Basic Food benefits, each AU member must:
(a) Meet the citizenship or alien status requirements of WAC 388-424-0020.
(b) Be a resident of the state of Washington as required under WAC 388-468-0005;
(c) Give us their Social Security number as required under WAC 388-476-0005;
(d) Give us proof of identity as required under WAC 388-490-0005;
(e) Meet the Basic Food work requirements under chapter 388-444 WAC; and
(f) Meet the eligibility criteria for strikers as described under WAC 388-480-0001.
(4) To be eligible for Basic Food, your AU must:
(a) Have total monthly income before taxes and deductions at or under the gross monthly income standard under WAC 388-478-0060. We don't use income that isn't counted under WAC 388-450-0015 as part of your AU's gross monthly income;
(b) Have net income at or under the net monthly income standard under WAC 388-478-0060. We subtract deductions allowed under WAC 388-450-0185 to determine your AU's net monthly income.
(c) Have resources we must count under WAC 388-470-0055 that are at or below your AU's resource limit under WAC 388-470-0005;
(d) Report changes of circumstances as required under WAC 388-418-0005; and
(e) Complete a mid-certification review and provide proof of any changes if required under WAC 388-418-0011.
(5) If your AU is categorically eligible for Basic Food under WAC 388-414-0001, your AU can have income over the gross or net income standard, and have resources over the resource limit and still be eligible for benefits.
(6) If your AU has income at or under the gross income standard or is categorically eligible for Basic Food, we determine if you are eligible for Basic Food and calculate your monthly benefits as described under WAC 388-450-0162.
(7) If an eligible person in your AU is elderly or disabled, some rules may help your AU to be eligible for Basic Food or to receive more Basic Food benefits. These include:
(a) Resources limits and excluding certain resources under chapter 388-470 WAC;
(b) An excess shelter deduction over the limit set for AUs without an elderly or disabled individual under WAC 388-450-0190;
(c) A deduction for a portion of the out-of-pocket medical expenses for the elderly or disabled individual as described under WAC 388-450-0200; and
(d) Being exempt from the gross monthly income standard under WAC 388-478-0060.
(8) For Basic Food, elderly means a person who is age sixty or older;
(9) For Basic Food, disabled means a person who:
(a) Receives SSI;
(b) Receives disability payments or blindness payments under Title I, II, XIV, or XVI of the Social Security Act;
(c) Receives disability retirement benefits from a state, local or federal government agency because of a disability considered permanent under section 221(i) of the Social Security Act;
(d) Receives state general assistance benefits based on blindness or disability criteria under chapter 388-449 WAC;
(e) Receives disability benefits from the Railroad Retirement Act under sections 2 (a)(1)(iv) and (v) and:
(i) Meets Title XIX disability requirements; or
(ii) Is eligible for medicare.
(((e))) (f) Receives disability-related medical assistance under Title XIX of the Social Security Act;
(((f))) (g) Is a veteran and receives disability payments based on one hundred percent disability;
(((g))) (h) Is a spouse of a veteran and:
(i) Either needs an attendant or is permanently housebound; or
(ii) Has a disability under section 221(i) of the Social Security Act and is eligible for death or pension payments under Title 38 of the U.S.C..
(10) If a person in your household attends an institution of higher education and does not meet the requirements to be an eligible student under WAC 388-482-0005, we do not count this person as a member of your AU under WAC 388-408-0035.
(11) If your AU currently receives food benefits under WASHCAP or lives on or near an Indian reservation and receives benefits from a tribal food distribution program approved by FNS, your AU is not eligible for food assistance benefits through the Washington Basic Food program.
(12) If a person in your AU is ineligible for any of the following reasons, we count the ineligible person's income as described under WAC 388-450-0140:
(a) Able-bodied adults without dependents who are no longer eligible under WAC 388-444-0030;
(b) Persons fleeing a felony prosecution, conviction, or confinement under WAC 388-442-0010;
(c) Persons who do not attest to citizenship or alien status as defined in WAC 388-424-0001;
(d) Persons who are ineligible aliens under WAC 388-424-0020;
(e) Persons disqualified for an intentional program violation under WAC 388-446-0015;
(f) Persons who do not provide a Social Security number when required under WAC 388-476-0005; or
(g) Persons who failed to meet work requirements under chapter 388-444 WAC.