WSR 02-16-032



(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed July 29, 2002, 3:34 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Exempt from preproposal statement of inquiry under RCW 34.05.310(4).

Title of Rule: WAC 388-470-0075 How is my vehicle counted for food assistance?

Purpose: This rule explains how the department treats vehicles for food assistance. Certain vehicles can be excluded in their entirety. If a vehicle cannot be completely excluded, we must count it towards the resource limit.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510.

Summary: The current rule is incorrect and does not accurately reflect federal regulations. This exposes us to payment errors and could potentially result in federal sanctions.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Veronica Barnes, DEAP, P.O. Box 45400, 1000 College Street S.E., Lacey, WA 98503, (360) 413-3071.

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

Rule is necessary because of federal law, 7 C.F.R. 237.8.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: This rule implements new federal regulations for the treatment of vehicles. This CR-102 proposed rule-making notice is being filed without prior filing of a CR-101 preproposal statement of inquiry. It is exempt under RCW 34.05.310 (4)(c), "rules that adopt or incorporate by reference without material change federal statutes or regulations..."

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: This rule now excludes any vehicle that has an equity value of less than $1500, as required by 7 C.F.R. 237.8 (e)(3)(i)(G).

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This proposed rule does not have an economic impact on small businesses. It only affects DSHS clients' financial eligibility for food assistance benefits.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. This rule is exempt as allowed under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii), which states in part, "(t)his section does not apply to... rules of the department of social and health services relating only to client medical or financial eligibility and rules concerning liability for care of dependents." The proposed rule affects DSHS clients financial eligibility for food assistance benefits.

Hearing Location: Blake Office Park (behind Goodyear Courtesy Tire), 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Rose Room, Lacey, WA 98503, on September 10, 2002, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Andy Fernando, DSHS Rules Coordinator, by August [September] 6, 2002, phone (360) 664-6094, TTY (360) 664-6178, e-mail

Submit Written Comments to: Identify WAC Numbers, DSHS Rules Coordinator, Rules and Policies Assistance Unit, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, fax (360) 664-6185, e-mail, by 5:00 p.m., September 10, 2002.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than September 11, 2002.

July 25, 2002

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-16-134, filed 7/31/01, effective 11/1/01)

WAC 388-470-0075   How is my vehicle counted for food assistance?   This rule applies to food assistance only.

(1) A vehicle is a motorized device that the client can use as a regular means of transportation.

(2) If you own a licensed vehicle we (the department) ((exclude)) do not count its entire value((, even when you are temporarily unemployed,)) if the vehicle ((is)):

(a) Has an equity value (Fair Market Value (FMV) minus what you owe on the vehicle) of one thousand five hundred dollars or less.

(b) Is used over fifty percent of the time ((for)) to make income((-producing purposes)). This includes vehicles such as a taxi, truck, or fishing boat. If you are a self-employed farmer or fisher and your self-employment ends, we ((continue to)) still exclude your vehicle for one year from the date you end your self-employment.

(((b))) (c) Is used to ((produce)) make income each year that is consistent with its ((fair market value ())FMV(())), even if used on a seasonal basis.

(((c) Necessary))

(d) Is needed for long-distance travel, other than daily commuting, for the employment of ((a household member whose resources are considered available to the assistance unit (AU), such as an ineligible alien or disqualified person.

(d) Needed for hunting or fishing to support the household)) an assistance unit (AU).

(e) Is used as ((the)) your AU's home.

(f) Is used to carry fuel for heating or water for home use when this is the primary source of fuel or water for ((the)) your AU.

(g) Is needed to transport a physically disabled AU member, no matter if the disability is permanent or temporary.

(((h) Likely to produce an equity value (FMV less what is owed on the vehicle) of no more than one thousand five hundred dollars.

(2) If your))

(3) For licensed ((vehicle is)) vehicles we did not ((excluded)) exclude in subsection (((1))) (2) above ((and the)), we subtract four thousand six hundred fifty dollars from the vehicle's FMV ((is)) and count the remaining amount toward the resource limit for:

(a) ((Less than four thousand six hundred fifty dollars, we exclude each)) One vehicle ((less than four thousand six hundred fifty dollars)) for each adult AU member no matter how it is used; and

(b) ((Greater than four thousand six hundred fifty dollars, we count the amount in excess of four thousand six hundred fifty dollars toward the resource limit for:

(i) One vehicle for each adult household member no matter how it is used; and

(ii))) Any vehicle ((a household)) an AU member under age eighteen uses to drive to work, school, training, or to look for work.

(((3))) (4) If you have other licensed vehicles, we count the larger value of the following toward ((the)) your AU's resource limit:

(a) FMV greater than four thousand six hundred fifty dollars; or

(b) Equity value (FMV ((less)) minus what is owed on the vehicle).

(((4))) (5) If you are a tribal member and drive an unlicensed vehicle on ((those reservations that don't)) a reservation that does not require vehicle licensing, we count or exclude your vehicle ((will be treated like)) as if it was a licensed vehicle.

(((5))) (6) For all other unlicensed vehicles we count the equity value towards ((the)) your AU's resource limit unless the vehicle is:

(a) Used to ((produce)) make income each year that is consistent with its FMV, even if used on a seasonal basis; or

(b) Work-related equipment ((necessary)) needed for employment or self-employment of a ((household)) member of your AU.

(((6) When excluding vehicles due to their equity value,))

(7) We do not add ((up)) the equity values of ((multiple)) different vehicles together to perform the equity test. We look at each vehicle ((is evaluated)) separately ((and compared to your resource limit. For vehicles evaluated using the FMV test, we add the values of multiple vehicles together and compare the result to your resource limit)). If a vehicle passes the equity test, we do not count it towards the resource maximum.

(8) After we determine the countable value of each vehicle, we add those values to your other countable resources to see if your resources are below your resource limit.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510. 01-16-134, 388-470-0075, filed 7/31/01, effective 11/1/01; 01-15-078, 388-470-0075, filed 7/17/01, effective 8/1/01; 99-16-024, 388-470-0075, 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, 388-470-0075, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office