WSR 97-17-069

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES

(Economic Services Administration)

(Public Assistance)

[Filed August 18, 1997, 3:58 p.m.]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 97-12-080.

Title of Rule: WAC 388-215-1620 Assistance units--Excluded persons, WAC 388-215-1650 Assistance to a minor, WAC 388-215-1660 Unmarried pregnant or parenting teens under age eighteen--Required living arrangement, and WAC 388-215-1670 Unmarried pregnant or parenting teens under age eighteen--Required school attendance.

Purpose: To comply with the state requirement in EHB 3901 (1997) that temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) be denied to unmarried pregnant or parenting teens under age 18 who are (1) not living with an adult relative or in a department-approved living arrangement, and (2) not progressing towards completion of a high school education or equivalent. It also excludes an adult parent from receiving TANF with a minor child when living with the other parent who is an unmarried teen and the living arrangement has not been approved by the department.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.12.255.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.12.255 and section 503, chapter 58, Laws of 1997.

Summary: State rules for the TANF program require that TANF cash assistance be denied to unmarried pregnant or parenting teens under age 18 who are not living in a department-approved living arrangement or progressing towards the attainment of a high school diploma. It also excludes an adult parent from receiving TANF with the eligible child when living with the other parent (unmarried teen) in an inappropriate living arrangement that includes elements of child rape.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: (1) It is required by state law. (2) Current TANF assistance unit rules encourage the continued exploitation of underage girls by adult males by allowing the adult father of a needy child to receive benefits even though the teen mother is denied benefits because the living arrangement is determined inappropriate.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Kevin Sullivan, WorkFirst Division, Lacey, Washington, (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 388-215-1620 Assistance units--Excluded persons, 388-215-1650 Assistance to a minor, 388-215-1660 Unmarried pregnant or parenting teens under age eighteen--Required living arrangement, and 388-215-1670 Unmarried pregnant or parenting teens under age eighteen--Required school [attendance]. To comply with state requirement in EHB 3901 (1997) that TANF be denied to unmarried pregnant or parenting teens under 18 who are (1) not living in a department-approved living arrangement, and (2) not progressing towards a high school diploma. It also excludes an adult parent from receiving TANF with a minor child when residing with the other parent (unmarried teen) if the living arrangement is determined inappropriate, which includes situations where elements of child rape exist.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Prior to this rule change, there were no living arrangement or school attendance requirements for unmarried pregnant teens as factors of eligibility for TANF. An adult parent who resided with their child and the other parent (unmarried teen) would still be included in the assistance unit with the child even though elements of child rape existed between the parents.

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 104-B, 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, 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: No sooner than September 24, 1997.

August 18, 1997

Merry A. Kogut, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order 3799, filed 10/26/94, effective 11/26/94)

WAC 388-215-1620 Assistance unit--Excluded persons ((excluded due to factors not related to need)). The department shall ((exclude from the assistance unit those persons)) not count people ineligible due to ((factors not related to)) program requirements other than need when deciding how many people are in an assistance unit. Exclusions include, but are not limited to:

(1) A recipient of SSI benefits;

(2) ((A child)) Children under eighteen who ((is)) are not deprived of parental support or care as defined under WAC 388-215-1300 through 388-215-1390;

(3) ((An)) Aliens who do not meet((ing)) the citizenship and alienage requirements (see WAC 388-215-1200);

(4) Adopted children receiving Title IV-E, state or local adoption assistance ((if inclusion of such children and their income)) when including them will result in a decrease in benefits to the assistance unit;

(5) Children who receive Title IV-E, state and local foster care maintenance payments except as provided for under WAC 388-215-1100 and 388-215-1120;

(6) ((A person under sanction for noncooperation with:

(a) The job opportunities and basic skills training (jobs) program (see WAC 388-215-1520); or

(b) The department's division of child support (see WAC 388-215-1400).

(7))) A child who does not live with a relative of specified degree as defined under WAC 388-215-1060 and 388-215-1080;

(7) An adult parent in a two-parent household when:

(a) The other parent is unmarried and under the age of eighteen; and

(b) The department determines the living arrangement is not appropriate under WAC 388-215-1660.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090. 94-22-031 (Order 3799), 388-215-1620, filed 10/26/94, effective 11/26/94; 94-10-065 (Order 3732), 388-215-1620, filed 5/3/94, effective 6/3/94. Formerly parts of WAC 388-24-050 and 388-26-145.]

Reviser's note: RCW 34.05.395 requires the use of underlining and deletion marks to indicate amendments to existing rules. The rule published above varies from its predecessor in certain respects not indicated by the use of these markings.

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 97-06-076, filed 2/28/97, effective 3/31/97)

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)) Minors may apply for TANF from the department.

(2) The department will inform a minor applicant that it will contact the minor's parent or guardian to ask whether they are willing to contribute to the support of the minor before authorizing assistance, unless the minor:

(a) Is married; or

(b) ((Is)) In the military ((service)); or

(c) ((Has been declared)) Is 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)) (3) When the legal guardian has a court-ordered responsibility ((for the)) to support ((of such)) a minor parent, the department ((shall treat such legal)) will use the 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)) to figure the amount of the grant according to WAC 388-218-1670.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055 and P.L. 104-193, Section 103 (a)(1) (1996). 97-06-076, 388-215-1650, filed 2/28/97, effective 3/31/97. 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.]

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 97-09-029, filed 4/10/97, effective 5/11/97)

WAC 388-215-1660 Unmarried ((minor parents)) pregnant or parenting teens under age eighteen--Required ((to live with adult relative or legal guardian)) living arrangement. (1) ((The department shall deny)) To be eligible for cash assistance ((to)), an unmarried ((minor parent, by excluding the needs of that individual in determining the need and payment amount of the assistance unit, if that individual and that individual's child do not reside in one of the living situations described in subsection (2) of this section)) pregnant or parenting teen under age eighteen and the teen parent's child must:

(a) Live in a home approved by the department; and

(b) Have a protective payee as required by WAC 388-265-1275.

(2) ((An unmarried minor parent and the minor parent's child must live in either:

(a))) The department will approve the home of a parent, legal guardian, or other adult relative ((of the minor parent; or

(b))), as defined under RCW 74.15.020(4), of the pregnant or parenting teen, unless:

(a) The pregnant or parenting teen has no living parent, legal guardian, or other adult relative that can be located, or if the parent, legal guardian, or other adult relative does not meet applicable state criteria to act as the individual's legal guardian or otherwise does not want the pregnant or parenting teen to reside with them; or

(b) The pregnant or parenting teen or teen parent's child is being or has been subjected to serious physical, emotional or sexual harm, abuse or exploitation in the home of the parent, legal guardian, or other adult relative; or

(c) Substantial evidence exists of an act or failure to act by the parent, legal guarding, or other adult relative that presents an imminent or serious harm to the pregnant or parenting teen or teen parent's child if they resided there; or

(d) The department determines that it is in the best interest of the teen parent's child or the pregnant teen to waive the requirement of living in the home of a parent, legal guardian, or other adult relative.

(3) If the home of a parent, legal guardian, or other adult relative is not available or suitable, the department will approve:

(a) A facility or home licensed under ((RCW)) chapter 74.15 RCW that provides a supportive and supervised living arrangement requiring residents to learn parenting skills((,)); or

(b) A maternity home((,)); or

(c) Other ((appropriate)) adult-supervised living arrangement((,)); or

(d) The client's current or proposed living arrangement if the department determines it is appropriate((, if:

(i) The minor parent has no living parent, legal guardian, or other adult relative that can be located, or if the parent, legal guardian, or other adult relative does not meet applicable state criteria to act as the individual's legal guardian or otherwise does not want the minor parent to reside with them; or

(ii) The minor parent or minor parent's child is being or has been subjected to serious physical, emotional or sexual harm, abuse or exploitation in the home of the parent, legal guardian, or other adult relative; or

(iii) Substantial evidence exists of an act or failure to act by the parent, legal guardian, or other adult relative that presents an imminent or serious harm to the minor parent or minor parent's child if they resided there; or

(iv) The department determines that it is in the best interest of the minor child to waive the requirement in subsection (2)(a) of this section.

(3) For the purposes of this section, an unmarried minor parent's living arrangement is not appropriate if, at the time of the minor parent's eligibility determination, the other natural parent of the minor parent's child:

(a) Resides in the home;

(b) Is at least eighteen years of age; and

(c) The minor parent and the adult parent meet the age criteria for the offenses of rape of a child in the first, second or third degree as set forth in RCW 9A.44.073, 9A.44.076 and 9A.44.079.

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

(4) The department will never approve a home that includes the other natural parent of the teen's child or unborn when:

(a) The unmarried pregnant or parenting teen is under age sixteen; and

(b) The other parent is eighteen or older and meets the age criteria for the offenses of rape of a child in the first, second, or third degree as set forth in RCW 9A.44.073, 9A.44.076 and 9A.44.079.

(5) If an unmarried pregnant or parenting teen is disqualified because of this rule:

(a) No child in the assistance unit will be disqualified; and

(b) If the teen parent has income, the department will use it to figure the amount of the child's grant according to WAC 388-218-1640.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055 and Public Law 104-193, Section 103 (a)(1) (1996). 97-09-029, 388-215-1660, filed 4/10/97, effective 5/11/97.]

Reviser's note: The typographical error in the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appears in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.

NEW SECTION

WAC 388-215-1670 Unmarried pregnant or parenting teens under age eighteen--Required school attendance. (1) In order to receive assistance, an unmarried pregnant or parenting teen under age eighteen who has not completed a high school education or General Equivalency Diploma (GED) must participate in educational activities leading to the attainment of a high school diploma or GED.

(2) A teen parent with a child under twelve weeks old is exempt from this rule.

(3) The school or program in which the unmarried pregnant or parenting teen is enrolled will set standards for satisfactory attendance that the teen has to meet.

(4) If an unmarried pregnant or parenting teen is disqualified because of this rule:

(a) No one else in the assistance unit is disqualified; and

(b) If the teen parent has income, the department will use it to figure the amount of the child's grant according to WAC 388-218-1640.

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