WSR 97-17-039




(Economic Services Administration)

(Public Assistance)

[Filed August 14, 1997, 9:55 a.m.]

Original Notice.

Exempt from preproposal statement of inquiry under RCW 34.05.310(4).

Title of Rule: WAC 388-55-030 Refugee cash assistance--Treatment of income and resources.

Purpose: Federal regulations at 45 CFR 400.61 and 400.102 require that consideration of income and resources for the refugee cash assistance (RCA) and refugee medical assistance (RMA) programs be based on aid to families with dependent children (AFDC) regulations at 45 CFR 233.20 (a)(3) through (11). Under federal welfare reform, AFDC was replaced by temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) program. States may establish TANF income and resource rules that are more liberal than those which were required under federal AFDC rules. The department's RCA and RMA income and resource rules are tied to its TANF (formally AFDC) rules by reference with exceptions noted to ensure compliance with federal regulations. Effective August 1, 1997, the department is changing income and resource rules for Washington's TANF program in response to state welfare reform legislation, EHB 3901 (1997). Because the new TANF rules create income and resource exemptions which exceed those allowed under federal AFDC rules, this issuance is necessary to ensure that the department's RCA/RMA income and resource rules continue to conform to federal AFDC rules as required by federal regulations.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.040.050 [74.04.050], 74.08.090.

Statute Being Implemented: EHB 3901 (1997), 45 CFR 400.61, 400.102, 233.20 (a)(3)-(11).

Reasons Supporting Proposal: State legislation.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Betty Brinkman, Lacey Government Center, (360) 413-3091.

Name of Proponent: Department of Social and Health Services.

Rule is necessary because of federal law, 45 CFR 400.61, 400.102, 233.20 (a)(3)-(11).

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: Specify how eligibility requirements for refugee cash assistance differ from TANF. The income exemption will be less than for TANF recipients.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Changes exempt resource values for vehicles and savings accounts for recipients.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. Affects only recipients of public assistance. This rule change does not impact small businesses. It only affects applicants and recipients of refugee cash assistance.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii) exempts the Department of Social and Health Services rules that relate only to client medical or financial eligibility.

Hearing Location: Lacey Government Center (behind Tokyo Bento restaurant), 1009 College Street S.E., Room 102, Lacey, WA 98503, on September 23, 1997, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Leslie Baldwin by September 12, 1997, phone (360) 902-0750, TTY (360) 902-8324, e-mail

Submit Written Comments to and Identify WAC Numbers: Leslie Baldwin, Rules Coordinator, Rules and Policies Assistance Unit, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, FAX (360) 902-8292, by September 23, 1997.

Date of Intended Adoption: September 24, 1997.

August 14, 1997

Edith M. Rice, Chief

Office of Legal Affairs

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order 3944, filed 2/9/96, effective 3/11/96)

WAC 388-55-030 Treatment of income and resources. (1) The ((department shall treat the)) income and resources of ((an applicant or recipient of)) RCA/RMA ((in accordance with provisions)) clients shall be treated according to the rules in chapters 388-216 WAC((, AFDC resources,)) and ((chapter)) 388-218 WAC, ((AFDC income)) except that RCA/RMA clients do not qualify for:

(a) The fifty percent gross earned income disregard allowed under WAC 388-218-1440. Instead, the first ninety dollars of an RCA/RMA client's monthly gross earned income shall be disregarded;

(b) The three thousand dollar savings account exemption allowed to recipients under WAC 388-216-2650;

(c) The exemption for a motor vehicle used to transport a physically disabled household member under WAC 388-216-2500; and

(d) The five thousand dollar vehicle equity value exemption under WAC 388-216-2650. Instead, the equity value exemption for a used and useful vehicle owned by an RCA/RMA client is one thousand five hundred dollars.

(2) ((With the exception of the thirty dollar and one-third earned income disregard, adult refugee recipients shall be eligible for earned income exemptions as specified in WAC 388-218-1420, regardless of assistance unit composition.

(3))) The department shall not consider resources which are unavailable, including property remaining in other countries, in determining eligibility for RCA/RMA.

(((4))) (3) The income of a refugee dependent child shall be treated as specified in WAC 388-218-1410.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20A.550 and 45 CFR 400 Subparts E, F and G. 96-05-009 (Order 3944), 388-55-030, filed 2/9/96, effective 3/11/96. Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20A.550. 83-13-069 (Order 1969), 388-55-030, filed 6/16/83.]

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