SHB 2363

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As of February 27, 2014

Title: An act relating to home and community-based services programs for dependents of military service members.

Brief Description: Concerning home and community-based services programs for dependents of military service members.

Sponsors: House Committee on Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs (originally sponsored by Representatives Muri, Seaquist, Zeiger, Morrell, Freeman, Christian, Kochmar, Dahlquist and Appleton).

Brief History: Passed House: 2/17/14, 96-0.

Committee Activity: Health Care: 2/25/14.


Staff: Kathleen Buchli (786-7488)

Background: The Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) within the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) serves clients in a variety of community and institutional settings. The level of support needed by DDA clients to assist them in their daily lives and help them participate in the community varies greatly across individuals. Others may receive services through residential programs in community living situations, or receive services in their own homes. Many services are offered to individuals based on need and available funding.

Active military members and their families and National Guard and Reserve members and their families are eligible for health care services managed by the federal Department of Defense. Military families with special needs are eligible for certain extended medical services while the member is in the military.

Summary of Bill: Children and spouses (dependents) of military service members who have been determined by the DDA to be eligible for developmental disability services retain eligibility so long as they remain legal residents of the state, regardless of whether they left the state due to the military member's assignment. The DDA must provide services for an eligible dependent after an assessment and approval of services has been made, if the dependent provides the military member's discharge papers and proof of the member's residence in the state. A dependent who has previously received services from the DDA may request services upon returning to the state from the military member's out-of-state assignment. The DDA must determine eligibility for the dependent upon return and allow for an appeal for any denial of services.

The Secretary of DSHS must request a waiver from the appropriate federal agency, currently the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, if necessary, to provide Medicaid services for this group of dependents.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: No.

Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: This was brought forward by the Department of Defense. We are looking at ways to enhance the lives of active duty military members. If we get this bill signed, we will be the first state to pass this. This bill will help military families. All stakeholders, including DSHS, have been involved in the drafting. This will have a huge impact on families with a member with a developmental disability. We need this bill because Washington has the highest per-capita rate of military families with a developmentally disabled member. This bill is critical; some families have been waiting for years for services and they do not want to go back to the bottom of the list if they move out of state.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Representative Muri, prime sponsor; Mark San Souci, Dept. of Defense State Liaison Office; Heather Hebdon, Partnerships for Action Voices for Empowerment, Specialized Training of Military Parents, Director; Tracy Kahlo, Partnerships for Action Voices for Empowerment.