WSR 99-19-161

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed September 22, 1999, 10:37 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 98-22-056.

Title of Rule: WAC 388-450-0162 The department uses countable income to determine if you are eligible and the amount of your cash and food assistance benefits, 388-450-0225 How the department calculates the benefit amount for the first month of eligibility for cash assistance, 388-455-0005 How lump sum payments affect benefits, 388-455-0010 How the department treats lump sum payments as a resource for cash assistance and TANF/SFA-related medical assistance, 388-455-0015 How the department treats lump sum payments as income for cash assistance and TANF/SFA-related medical assistance, and 388-406-0021 How the department decides if you are a migrant or seasonal farmworker and if you are destitute.

Purpose: Amend WAC 388-450-0225 to correct missing information and clarify existing policy. Create WAC 388-450-0162 to reflect prospective budgeting and provide one rule for cash and food assistance. Create WAC 388-455-0005, 388-455-0010, and 388-455-0015 to reflect prospective budgeting and provide new rules for budgeting lump sum payments. Amend WAC 388-406-0021 to clarify the definition of a migrant or seasonal farmworker and how to determine if they are destitute.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510.

Summary: See Purpose above.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: RCW 74.08.090 gives the department authority to make rules and regulations to ensure uniform administration of programs throughout the state. RCW 74.04.510 requires the department to adopt rules consistent with federal laws, rules and regulations relating to the food stamp program.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Veronica Barnes, Division of Assistance Programs, P.O. Box 45480, Olympia, WA 98504-5480, (360) 413-3071.

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: Changes rules to reflect department's choice of prospective budgeting as the sole method for budgeting income and deductions.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: WAC 388-450-0162 The department uses countable income to determine if you are eligible and the amount of your cash and food assistance benefits, 388-450-0225 How the department calculates the benefit amount for the first month of eligibility for cash assistance, 388-455-0005 How lump sum payments affect benefits, 388-455-0010 How the department treats lump sum payments as a resource for cash assistance and TANF/SFA-related medical assistance, 388-455-0015 How the department treats lump sum payments as income for cash assistance and TANF/SFA-related medical assistance, and 388-406-0021 How the department decides if you are a migrant or seasonal farmworker and if you are destitute.

Amend WAC 388-450-0225 to correct missing information and clarify existing policy. Create WAC 388-450-0162 to reflect prospective budgeting and provide one rule for cash and food assistance. Create WAC 388-455-0005, 388-455-0010, and 388-455-0015 to reflect prospective budgeting and provide new rules for budgeting lump sum payments. Amend WAC 388-406-0021 to clarify the definition of a migrant or seasonal farmworker and how to determine if they are destitute.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The changes as a result of this rule do not affect small businesses.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. These rules do not meet the definition of significant legislative rule.

Hearing Location: Lacey Government Center (behind Tokyo Bento Restaurant), 1009 College Street S.E., Room 104-B, Lacey, WA 98503, on October 26, 1999, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Paige Wall by October 12, 1999, phone (360) 664-6094, TTY (360) 664-6178, e-mail wallpg@dshs.wa.gov.

Submit Written Comments to: Paige Wall, Rules Coordinator, Rules and Policies Assistance Unit, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, fax (360) 664-6185, by October 26, 1999.

Date of Intended Adoption: No earlier than October 27, 1999.

September 20, 1999

Marie Myerchin-Redifer, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

2646.3
Chapter 388-455 WAC

LUMP SUM INCOME


NEW SECTION
WAC 388-455-0005
How lump sum payments affect benefits.

(1) For the purpose of determining benefits for cash assistance, temporary assistance for needy families (TANF)/state family assistance (SFA)-related medical assistance, and food assistance, a lump sum payment is money that the client receives but does not expect to receive on a continuing basis.

(2) For cash assistance and TANF/SFA-related medical assistance:

(a) The department counts payments awarded for wrongful death, personal injury, damage, or loss of property as resources as described in WAC 388-455-0010.

(b) We count all other lump sum payments as income as described in WAC 388-450-240.

(3) For food assistance, all lump sum payments are counted as resources as described in WAC 388-470-0055.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 388-455-0010
How the department treats lump sum payments as a resource for cash assistance and TANF/SFA-related medical assistance.

This section applies to cash assistance and TANF/SFA-related medical assistance.

(1) In the month the payment is received, the department does not count any amount of a lump sum payment awarded for:

(a) Wrongful death;

(b) Personal injury;

(c) Damage; or

(d) Loss of property.

(2) In the month following the month of receipt, we count the entire amount as a resource except for the portion of the payment designated for:

(a) Repair or replacement of damaged or lost property; or

(b) Medical bills.

(3) We do not count the portion described in subsection (2) of this section for sixty days following the month the payment is received. At the end of the sixty-day period, we count any amount that remains as a resource.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 388-455-0015
How the department treats lump sum payments as income for cash assistance and TANF/SFA-related medical assistance.

For cash assistance and TANF/SFA-related medical assistance, lump sum payments not awarded for wrongful death, personal injury, damage, or loss of property are counted as income. They are budgeted against the client's benefits according to the effective dates in WAC 388-418-0020. The rules in this section describe what portion is countable and when the department counts it. For rules on how lump sum payments awarded for wrongful death, personal injury, damage, or loss of property affect benefits, see WAC 388-450-0010.

(1) For cash assistance, we count all of the lump sum as income. When it is:

(a) Less than your payment standard plus additional requirements, we consider it as income in the month it is received.

(b) More than one month's payment standard plus additional requirements but less than two months:

(i) We consider the portion equal to one month's payment standard plus additional requirements as income in the month it is received; and

(ii) We consider the remainder as income the following month.

(c) Equal to or greater than the total of the payment standard plus additional requirements for the month of receipt and the following month, we consider the payment as income for those months.

(2) If you are ineligible or disqualified from receiving cash benefits and you receive a one-time lump sum payment:

(a) We allocate the payment to meet your needs as specified in WAC 388-450-0105; and

(b) The remainder is treated as a lump sum payment available to the eligible assistance unit members according to the rules of this section.

(3) For TANF/SFA-related medical assistance:

(a) We consider lump sum payments as income in the month of receipt.

(b) We consider any money that remains on the first of the next month as a resource.

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2647.2
NEW SECTION
WAC 388-450-0162
The department uses countable income to determine if you are eligible and the amount of your cash and food assistance benefits.

The department uses countable income to determine if the client is eligible and the amount of the cash and food assistance benefits.

(1) Countable income is all income that remains after we subtract the following:

(a) Excluded or disregarded income under WAC 388-450-0015;

(b) Deductions or earned income incentives under WAC 388-450-0170 through 388-450-0200;

(c) Allocations to someone outside of the assistance unit under WAC 388-450-0095 through 388-450-0160.

(2) Countable income includes all income that must be deemed or allocated from financially responsible persons who are not members of your assistance unit.

(3) For cash assistance:

(a) We compare your countable income to the payment standard in WAC 388-478-0020 and 388-478-0030.

(b) You are not eligible for benefits when your assistance unit's countable income is equal to or greater than the payment standard plus any authorized additional requirements.

(c) Your benefit level is the payment standard and authorized additional requirements minus your assistance unit's countable income.

(4) For food assistance:

(a) We compare your countable income to the monthly net income standard specified in WAC 388-478-0060.

(b) You are not eligible for benefits when your assistance unit's income is equal to or greater than the monthly net income standard.

(c) Your benefit level is the maximum allotment in WAC 388-478-0060 minus thirty percent of your countable income.

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AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 99-16-024, filed 7/26/99, effective 9/1/99)

WAC 388-450-0225
How ((to)) the department calculates the benefit amount for the first month of eligibility for ((TANF/SFA and RCA applicants)) cash assistance.

(1) ((The benefit amount for the first calendar month of eligibility for TANF/SFA and RCA approved applications is the sum of:

(a) The prorated grant amount; and

(b) Approved additional requirements.

(2) The grant amount is calculated by subtracting the countable income as described in WAC 388-450-0180 from the payment standard.

(a))) To determine the client's benefit amount for the first month of eligibility for cash assistance, the department compares the countable income to the payment standard as described in WAC 388-450-0162.

(2) Even if your countable income exceeds the payment standard, you can still receive additional requirements.

(3) When ((the)) your countable income is ((equal to or exceeds)) less than the payment standard ((and there are no approved additional requirements, the assistance unit is not eligible for cash assistance in the first month of eligibility.

(b) When the countable income is more than the payment standard and additional requirements are approved, the amount that exceeds the payment standard is subtracted from the additional requirements.

(c) When the countable income is less than the payment standard, the grant amount is prorated by:

(i))), we prorate your grant amount based on the date you are eligible.

(4) We do not prorate the approved additional requirements.

(5) We prorate your grant by:

(a) Dividing the grant amount by the number of days in the first month of eligibility; and

(((ii))) (b) Multiplying the figure in (((c)(i) of this subsection)) (4)(a) of this section by the number of days from the date of eligibility to the last day of the month((.

(3) The approved additional requirements are not prorated)).

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510.  99-16-024, 388-450-0225, filed 7/26/99, effective 9/1/99.  Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090.  98-16-044, 388-450-0225, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

2648.1
NEW SECTION
WAC 388-406-0021
How the department decides if you are a migrant or seasonal farmworker and if you are destitute.

(1) A migrant is a person who travels away from home on a regular basis, usually with a group of laborers, to seek employment in an agriculturally-related activity. A migrant household is a household that travels for this purpose.

(2) A seasonal farmworker is a person who:

(a) Does agricultural work on a farm for edible crops; and

(b) Is not required to be away from their permanent place of residence overnight.

(3) For seasonal farmworkers, agricultural work is field work in which the person:

(a) Plants;

(b) Cultivates; or

(c) Harvests the crop.

(4) A seasonal farmworker assistance unit is an assistance unit which receives its only countable income from:

(a) Seasonal farmwork;

(b) Unemployment compensation between seasons; or

(c) Interest earned on a checking or savings account.

(5) A migrant or seasonal farmworker is considered destitute when:

(a) The household's income for the month of application was received before the date of application and was from a source no longer providing income; or

(b) The household's income of the month of application is from a new source and the household will receive no more than twenty-five dollars during the ten calendar days from the date of application.

(6) A household member changing jobs but continuing to work for the same employer is considered to be receiving income from the same source.

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office