WSR 02-19-044

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed September 11, 2002, 8:25 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 02-09-073.

Title of Rule: WAC 388-450-0190 How does the department figure my shelter cost income deduction for food assistance? and 388-450-0195 Utility allowances for food assistance programs.

Purpose: The Division of Employment and Assistance Programs is amending the rules to comply with federal requirements to annually adjust the maximum shelter deduction and standard utility allowance for food assistance.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 7 C.F.R. 273.9.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 7 C.F.R. 273.9.

Summary: WAC 388-450-0190, explains how the excess shelter deduction is calculated and sets the maximum shelter deduction for households that do not include an elderly or disabled individual.

WAC 388-450-0195, indicates which utility allowance (if any) we use to determine the household's shelter deduction in WAC 388-450-0185.

This revision adopts the new maximum shelter deduction and standard utility allowance standards for federal fiscal year 2003 which begins on October 2, 2002.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) publishes new maximum shelter standards at the end of each federal fiscal year to be used in the next federal fiscal year. In addition, FNS requires the department to adjust the standard utility allowance each year.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: John Camp, Division of Employment and Assistance Programs, P.O. Box 45480, Olympia, WA 98504-5480, (360) 413-3232.

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

Rule is necessary because of federal law, 7 C.F.R. 273.9.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: See Purpose, Summary, and Reasons Supporting Proposal above.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: This revision adopts the federal shelter deduction and standard utility allowance for federal fiscal year 2003 that begins on October 1, 2002.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The changes only affect client eligibility for services and 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 and are exempt under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(iii), "Rules adopting or incorporating by reference without material change federal statutes or regulations."

Hearing Location: Office Building 2 Auditorium (DSHS Headquarters) (parking at 11th and Washington), 1115 Washington, Olympia, WA 98504, on October 22, 2002, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Andy Fernando, DSHS Rules Coordinator, by October 18, 2002, phone (360) 664-6094, TTY (360) 664-6178, e-mail FernAX@dshs.wa.gov.

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 fernaax@dshs.wa.gov, by 5:00 p.m., October 22, 2002.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than October 23, 2002.

September 6, 2002

Bonita H. Jacques

for Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

3167.1
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-21-059, filed 10/16/01, effective 12/1/01)

WAC 388-450-0190   How does the department figure my shelter cost income deduction for food assistance?   The department calculates your shelter cost income deduction as follows:

(1) First, we add up the amounts your assistance unit (AU) must pay each month for shelter. We do not count any overdue amounts, late fees, penalties or any amount you pay ahead of time as an allowable cost. We count the following expenses as an allowable shelter cost:

(a) Ongoing rent, lease, and mortgage payments;

(b) Property taxes;

(c) Homeowner's association or condo fees;

(d) Homeowner's insurance for the building only;

(((d))) (e) Utility allowance your AU is eligible for under WAC 388-450-0195;

(((e))) (f) Out-of-pocket repairs for the home if it was substantially damaged or destroyed due to a natural disaster such as a fire or flood;

(((f))) (g) Expense of a temporarily unoccupied home because of employment, training away from the home, illness, or abandonment caused by a natural disaster or casualty loss if your:

(i) AU intends to return to the home;

(ii) AU has current occupants who are not claiming the shelter costs for food assistance purposes; and

(iii) AU's home is not being leased or rented during your AU's absence.

(2) Second, we subtract all deductions your AU is eligible for under WAC 388-450-0185 (1) through (5) from your AU's gross income. The result is your AU's net income.

(3) Finally, we subtract one-half of your AU's net income from your AU's total shelter costs. The result is your excess shelter costs. Your AU's shelter cost deduction is the excess shelter costs:

(a) ((Up to a maximum of three hundred dollars if no one in your AU is elderly or disabled and you were found eligible for benefits prior to March 1, 2001; or

(b))) Up to a maximum of three hundred ((fifty-four)) sixty-seven dollars if no one in your AU is elderly or disabled and you were found eligible for benefits or were recertified for benefits either on or after March 1, 2001; or

(((c))) (b) The entire amount if someone in your AU is elderly or disabled, even if the amount is over three hundred ((fifty-four)) sixty-seven dollars.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510. 01-21-059, 388-450-0190, filed 10/16/01, effective 12/1/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510. 01-06-030, 388-450-

0190, filed 3/2/01, effective 4/2/01; 99-16-024, 388-450-0190, 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, 388-450-0190, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-21-059, filed 10/16/01, effective 12/1/01)

WAC 388-450-0195   Utility allowances for food assistance programs.   (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))) (a) 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 $((249)) 275
2 $((256)) 283
3 $((264)) 291
4 $((271)) 300
5 $((279)) 308
6 or more $((287)) 316

(((4))) (b) 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)) two hundred ((ninety-eight)) fifteen dollars.

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

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510. 01-21-059, 388-450-0195, filed 10/16/01, effective 12/1/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510. 00-22-065, 388-450-0195, filed 10/27/00, effective 11/1/00. 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