WSR 97-17-088

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES

(Economic Services Administration)

(Public Assistance)

[Filed August 19, 1997, 3:22 p.m.]

Original Notice.

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

Title of Rule: WAC 388-220-0001, 388-220-0010, 388-220-0020, 388-220-0030 and 388-220-0040, state-funded TANF for legal immigrants, the state family assistance program.

Purpose: ESB 6098, which was signed into law by Governor Locke in April 1997, requires the department to provide a state-funded TANF program for legal immigrants who lose eligibility for the federally-funded temporary assistance to needy families (TANF) program due solely to their immigration status. The state-funded TANF program is called the state family assistance (SFA) program.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.08.090, chapter 57, Laws of 1997 (ESB 6098).

Statute Being Implemented: Chapter 57, Laws of 1997.

Summary: In order to comply with ESB 6098 (1997), the department will provide public assistance benefits under the SFA program to legal immigrants who lose eligibility for the federal TANF program because of their immigration status. With the exception of the immigration provisions of the federal welfare law, Public Law 104-193, eligibility criteria and benefit levels for SFA will mirror the requirements of the federal TANF program. This includes the five-year lifetime time limit and work requirements required for TANF. Eligible legal immigrants who can be considered for SFA include immigrants who are permanently residing in the United States under color of law (PRUCOL), and newly arriving immigrants who are prohibited from receiving federal TANF for five years after their date of entry.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: This is required under ESB 6098 (1997 state legislation).

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Tom Medina, WorkFirst Division, Lacey, Washington, (360) 413-3103.

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: Legal immigrants who lose eligibility for federal TANF due solely to their immigration status can be considered for the SFA program. With the exception of the immigration provisions, eligibility criteria and benefit levels will be the same as for the federal TANF program. Eligible legal immigrants who can be considered for SFA include immigrants who are permanently residing in the United States under color of law (PRUCOL), and immigrants who enter the United States after August 22, 1996, and who are subject to the five-year prohibition for TANF receipt.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Legal immigrants who are permanently residing in the United States under color of law, and certain immigrants who enter the United States after August 22, 1996, are no longer eligible to receive TANF under federal welfare reform. These clients can be considered for the state-funded SFA program.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The rule affects certain legal immigrants who apply for public assistance benefits under the TANF program and does not impact small business.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. RCW 34.05.328 exempts the Department of Social and Health Services rules that apply only to financial or medical eligibility.

Hearing Location: Lacey Government Center (behind Tokyo Bento restaurant), 1009 College Street S.E., Room 104B, 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) 902-0750, 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 98504-5850, 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

Chapter 388-220 WAC


STATE FAMILY ASSISTANCE

NEW SECTION

WAC 388-220-0001 Purpose of program. The state family assistance (SFA) program is a state-funded program providing for the needs of legal immigrants with dependent children who are ineligible for the temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) program because of their immigration status.

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NEW SECTION

WAC 388-220-0010 Summary of eligibility conditions. The department may provide SFA to a legal immigrant permanently residing in the United States who would be eligible for the federally funded TANF program but for his or her immigration status or the date his or her immigration status is adjusted to a category that meets the definition of a qualified alien as specified in WAC 388-215-1200.

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NEW SECTION

WAC 388-220-0020 Immigration status. For the purposes of the state family assistance (SFA) program, the department considers a person a legal immigrant who is:

(1) Lawfully admitted into the United States for permanent residence under the Immigration and Nationality Act; or

(2) Paroled into the United States under section 212 (d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act; or

(3) Granted conditional entry pursuant to section 203 (a)(7) of the Immigration and Nationality Act as in effect prior to April 1, 1980; or

(4) A Canadian Indian (a North American Indian born in Canada) who:

(a) Has at least fifty percent Indian blood; or

(b) Has less then fifty percent Indian blood and entered the United States prior to December 24, 1952; and

(c) Has maintained residence since entry; or

(5) An alien who is a victim of domestic violence, or whose child is a victim of domestic violence provided:

(a) The domestic violence has been committed by the alien's spouse or parent, or by a member of the spouse or parent's family residing in the same household of the alien; and

(b) The alien no longer resides with the person who committed the domestic violence; and

(c) The alien has a petition for adjustment of immigration status approved or pending with the Immigration and Naturalization Service; and

(d) The department determines that there is a substantial connection between the domestic violence and a need for public assistance benefits; or

(6) An alien not listed in a category above who is nonetheless permanently residing in the U.S. under color of law.

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NEW SECTION

WAC 388-220-0030 Five-year lifetime time limit. (1) Except as specified in subsection (3) of this section , the department must deny state family assistance (SFA) to any assistance unit that includes an adult who has received SFA, or a combination of SFA and TANF for a total of sixty months since August 1, 1997.

(2) An adult who may be excluded from the assistance unit for factors not related to need as specified in WAC 388-215-1620 cannot be excluded from the assistance unit due solely to having received SFA, or a combination of SFA and TANF for a total of sixty months.

(3) In calculating the number of months an adult family member has received SFA or TANF, the department will disregard any month in which the individual who received SFA or TANF was:

(a) A minor child who was not the head of a household or married to the head of a household; or

(b) Living in Indian country or in an Alaskan Native village, if during the month the individual received TANF, at least fifty percent of the adults living in Indian country or in the village were unemployed.

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NEW SECTION

WAC 388-220-0040 Need and payment standards. (1) In determining the need and payment amounts for an SFA assistance unit, the department will use the need and grant payment standards for the TANF program as specified in chapter 388-250 WAC.

(2) In determining the amount of a grant payment for SFA, the department shall use the income policies for the TANF program as specified in chapter 388-218 WAC.

(3) An assistance unit consisting of persons eligible for SFA and persons eligible for TANF shall receive a grant payment equal to the grant payment the assistance unit would receive if all assistance unit members were eligible for TANF.

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