WSR 00-19-072

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed September 19, 2000, 3:18 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 99-18-041.

Title of Rule: WAC 388-450-0195 Utility allowances for food assistance programs.

Purpose: Updates utility allowances used to determine food assistance benefits and varies the heating/cooling utility allowance according to household size.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.510.

Statute Being Implemented: Section 5 (e)(7) of the Food Stamp Act of 1977.

Summary: Updates utility deduction amounts used to determine food assistance benefits and varies the heating/cooling utility allowance according to household size.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Federal regulations at 7 C.F.R. 273.9 (d)(6)(vi) requires states to annually review and adjust utility allowances to reflect changes in the cost of utilities.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Joan Wirth, Mailstop 45470, Olympia, Washington 98504-5470, (360) 413-3073.

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: Updates utility allowances to reflect current utility costs; these allowances are used to determine a household's food assistance benefits. The heating/cooling utility allowance varies by household size. Food assistance benefits may increase as a result of this change.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: WAC 388-450-0195, this proposal will increase utility allowance amounts to reflect current utility costs. The heating/cooling utility allowance varies by household size. The allowance is used to determine food assistance benefits and may enable households to get increased benefits.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This rule does not impact small businesses. DSHS is submitting this rule to comply with federal law. See RCW 19.81.061.

RCW 34.05.328 applies to this rule adoption. This rule is significant, but is exempt under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b).

Hearing Location: Lacey Government Center (behind Tokyo Bento Restaurant), 1009 College Street S.E., Room 104-B, Lacey, WA 98503, on October 24, 2000, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Kelly Cooper by October 17, 2000, phone (360) 664-6094, TTY (360) 664-6178, e-mail coopekd@dshs.wa.gov.

Submit Written Comments to: Identify WAC Numbers, Kelly Cooper, Rules Coordinator, Rules and Policies Assistance Unit, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, fax (360) 664-6185, by October 24, 2000.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not sooner than October 25, 2000.

September 15, 2000

Marie Myerchin-Redifer, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

2834.2
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 99-24-052, filed 11/29/99, effective 12/1/99)

WAC 388-450-0195
Utility allowances for food assistance programs.

((You can use the amounts in the chart below to calculate total shelter costs. Total shelter costs are used in calculating your food assistance benefits.))


((If you have to pay:)) ((Then, you can use the:))
((Separate heating or cooling costs)) ((Standard utility allowance [(SUA)] [(SEA)] of $220))
((Separate utility costs, but no heating or cooling costs)) ((Limited utility allowance [(LUA)] [(L.A.)] of $160))
((Separate costs for phone service only)) ((Telephone utility allowance [(TUA)] [(TA)] of $29))
(1) For food assistance programs, "utilities" include the following:

(a) Heating and cooking fuel;

(b) Cooling and electricity;

(c) Water and sewerage;

(d) Garbage and trash collection; and

(e) Basic telephone service.

(2) The department uses the amounts below if you have utility costs separate from your rent or mortgage payment. We add your utility allowance to your rent or mortgage payment to determine your total shelter costs. We use total shelter costs to determine your food assistance benefits.

(3) If you have heating or cooling costs, you get a standard utility allowance (SUA) that depends on your assistance unit's size.
Assistance Unit (AU) Size Utility Allowance
1 $230
2 $237
3 $244
4 $251
5 $258
6 or more $265
(4) If your AU does not qualify For the SUA and you have utility costs other than telephone costs, you get a limited utility allowance (LUA) of one hundred eighty-five dollars.

(5) If your AU has only telephone costs and no other utility costs, you get a telephone utility allowance (TUA) of thirty-one dollars.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.040.510 [74.04.510]. 99-24-052, 388-450-0195, filed 11/29/99, effective 12/1/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510. 99-09-055, 388-450-0195, filed 4/19/99, effective 5/20/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510 and 7 CFR 273.9 (d)(6). 99-01-069, 388-450-0195, filed 12/14/98, effective 1/14/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-450-0195, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office