WSR 97-06-076

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES

(Economic Services Administration)

(Public Assistance)

[Filed February 28, 1997, 2:23 p.m.]

Date of Adoption: February 28, 1997.

Purpose: To comply with the federal requirement in Public Law 104-193 (1996) that temporary assistance to families (TANF) be denied to unmarried minor parents who have not completed a high school education and are not participating in activities leading to the attainment of a high school diploma or equivalent.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-215-1650 Assistance to a minor child.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050 and 74.04.055.

Other Authority: Public Law 104-193, Section 103 (a)(1) (1996).

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 97-03-055 on January 10, 1997.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 1, amended 0, repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.

February 28, 1997

Merry A. Kogut, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order 3732, filed 5/3/94, effective 6/3/94)

WAC 388-215-1650 Assistance to a minor child. (1) A minor is a person seventeen years of age and younger.

(2) Under state law, (chapter 74.13 RCW, Child welfare services), the department shall protect and care for homeless, dependent, or neglected children or children in danger of becoming delinquent.

(3) If a minor applies for assistance for himself or herself, the department shall determine eligibility for AFDC as required under this chapter. If an unmarried pregnant minor is requesting an abortion, parental consent is not required. The decision to proceed with an abortion rests solely with the minor. Involvement and/or consultation with parents in reaching this decision should be a matter of individual case judgment.

(4) Prior to authorizing assistance for a minor, the department shall determine the parent's ability to financially support and willingness to contribute. See WAC 388-506-0610 (1) and (2) for responsibility for medical care. Parental contact is not required when the minor applicant:

(a) Is married;

(b) Is in the military service;

(c) Has been declared emancipated by a court of competent jurisdiction prior to the application for assistance; or

(d) Is applying for medical assistance related to pregnancy.

(5) The minor's emancipation status is not an eligibility factor. The identification of emancipation status is necessary to determine if there is parental responsibility for support.

(6) The department shall inform the minor applicant that there will be communication with the minor's parents during the eligibility determination process in order to determine the parents' willingness to contribute to the support of the minor.

(7) If a minor parent and his or her child live with such minor's parent or parents, the department shall establish the assistance unit of the minor according to WAC 388-215-1600 through 388-215-1610. If the minor parent's parent is not included in the assistance unit of the minor parent, the department shall consider the income of such parent available to meet the needs of the minor parent as specified under WAC 388-218-1660 and 388-218-1680.

(8) If a minor parent's legal guardian has a court-ordered responsibility for the support of such minor parent, the department shall treat such legal guardian's income, with respect to determining the availability of such income to meet the needs of the minor parent, the same as the income of a minor parent's parent as specified in subsection (7) of this section.

(9) The department shall require an unmarried minor parent who has not completed a high school education (or its equivalent), and whose youngest child is at least twelve weeks old, to participate in educational activities leading to the attainment of a high school diploma or its equivalent, or participate in an alternative educational or training program that has been approved by the department. The following conditions apply:

(a) "Participate" means maintaining satisfactory attendance as required by the school or program in which the minor parent is enrolled.

(b) No TANF benefits will be issued for a minor parent who is not participating as required above. The eligibility of the minor parent's child is not affected by this rule.

(c) The income of a minor parent who is disqualified under this section shall be allocated under WAC 388-218-1640 as if the minor parent were ineligible due to sanction or noncooperation.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090. 94-10-065 (Order 3732), 388-215-1650, filed 5/3/94, effective 6/3/94. Formerly WAC 388-24-550.]

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