WSR 97-17-068

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES

(Economic Services Administration)

(Public Assistance)

[Filed August 18, 1997, 3:55 p.m.]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 97-14-045.

Title of Rule: WAC 388-215-1630 Assistance units--Consolidation.

Purpose: To combine multiple temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) assistance units living with a single caretaker relative or relative married couple into one consolidated assistance unit.

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

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.005 and 74.04.050.

Summary: Both sibling and nonsibling children will be included in the same TANF assistance unit when living in the same home and being cared for by the same relative.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: It equalizes the treatment of sibling and nonsibling children in terms of grant payment. It will save the state's TANF program a considerable amount of money that can be used to serve more clients.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Kevin Sullivan, WorkFirst Division, (360) 413-3093.

Name of Proponent: Department of Social and Health Services, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: WAC 388-215-1630 Assistance units--Consolidation, combines multiple assistance units into one consolidated assistance unit when they live in the home of a single caretaker relative or relative married couple. It will equalize the treatment of sibling and nonsibling children in terms of grant payment and it will save state TANF program dollars. A consolidated assistance unit will receive less cash assistance than the same number of persons in multiple assistance units.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Currently, nonsibling children cannot be included in an assistance unit with sibling children even though living in the same household and being cared for by the same relative. Separate assistance units are established for the nonsibling children. This rule change will allow nonsibling children to be included in the same assistance unit with siblings in such living arrangements.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This rule change does not affect small businesses.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. Rules of the Department of Social and Health Services relating only to client medical or financial eligibility are exempt under RCW 34.05.328.

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 15, 1997, phone (360) 902-7540, TTY (360) 902-8324, e-mail lbaldwin@dshs.wa.gov.

Submit Written Comments to and Identify WAC Numbers: Leslie Baldwin, Department of Social and Health Services, Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504, by September 23, 1997.

Date of Intended Adoption: No sooner than September 24, 1997.

August 18, 1997

Merry A. Kogut, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

NEW SECTION

WAC 388-215-1630 Assistance units--Consolidation. (1) All assistance units established according to the rules in WAC 388-215-1600, 388-215-1610 and 388-215-1620, containing children who live in the home of the same caretaker relative or relative married couple (see WAC 388-215-1050 for the meaning of living in the home) will be combined into one consolidated assistance unit.

(2) Children do not have to be full, half, or adopted brothers or sisters to be part of the same consolidated assistance unit.

(3) When the caretaker relative has income or resources that make the consolidated assistance unit ineligible for cash benefits, the department shall terminate assistance for the caretaker relative and any children for whom they are financially responsible and continue assistance for the nonsibling children.

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