WSR 03-15-026



(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed July 8, 2003, 4:26 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 03-07-042.

Title of Rule: WAC 388-452-0005 Do I have to be interviewed in order to get benefits?

Purpose: To update program language, clarify when an interview is required for cash or basic food benefits, and indicate when clients may have a telephone interview.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510.

Summary: This rule explains when clients must have an interview when applying for benefits, completing an eligibility review, or completing a recertification.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: These changes are necessary to clarify when clients do not need an interview, when a phone interview is acceptable, and when they must have a face-to-face interview.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation, and Enforcement: John Camp, 1009 College S.E., Lacey, WA 98504, (360) 413-3232.

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

Rule is necessary because of federal law, Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 273.2(e).

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: Rule: WAC 388-452-0005 Do I have to be interviewed in order to get benefits?

Purpose and Effect: See Purpose, Summary, and Reasons Supporting Proposal above.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: See Purpose, Summary, and Reasons Supporting Proposal above.

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 by modifying immigrant eligibility provisions to the sponsor deeming requirements for food assistance benefits.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. These amendments are 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." This rule adopts federal requirements mandated by Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 273.2(e), regarding when clients need to attend an interview for certification and recertification of benefit eligibility. The department also applies the same requirements for cash assistance and medical benefits for children, pregnant women and families.

Hearing Location: Blake Office Park (behind Goodyear Courtesy Tire), 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Rose Room, Lacey, WA 98503, on August 26, 2003, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Andy Fernando, DSHS Rules Coordinator, by August 22, 2003, 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, mail to P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, deliver to 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA, fax (360) 664-6185, e-mail, by 5:00 p.m., August 26, 2003.

Date of Intended Adoption: No earlier than August 27, 2003.

July 7, 2003

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-14-023, filed 6/21/02, effective 7/1/02)

WAC 388-452-0005   Do I have to be interviewed in order to get benefits?   (1) Unless you are applying for medical only ((or meet certain hardship criteria listed in subsection (8) below)), you or your authorized representative must have ((a face-to-face)) an interview with the department:

(a) At initial certification; and

(b) At least once every twelve months if your assistance unit (AU) is certified for twelve months or less.

(2) You ((are not required)) do not have to attend an interview ((when your application or review is just for)) if you are applying for or recertifying medical benefits only. If we deny your application for cash or Basic Food ((assistance)) because you did not ((appear for)) have an interview, we continue to process your request for medical benefits((:

(a) If you are pregnant;

(b) If you are a child under the age of nineteen;

(c) If you have a family with children under the age of nineteen; or

(d) If we have enough information to determine if you are eligible or can get the information by mail)).

(3) You will have just one interview even ((when you apply)) if you are applying for or have a review for benefits from more than one ((assistance)) program.

(4) If ((you are)) we do not ((interviewed)) interview you on the same day that we get your application, we schedule an interview appointment for you. We schedule your appointment the day we get your application or on the next business day if we get your application outside of our scheduled business hours, on a holiday or a weekend.

(5) We schedule an interview so your AU has at least ten days after the interview to provide needed verification:

(a) Before the end of the thirty-day processing period for applications; or

(b) Before your certification period ends for eligibility reviews.

(6) If you miss your first interview and ((request)) ask for another interview within thirty days of the date ((of your application)) you applied for benefits, we schedule a second interview for you.

(7) ((You or another person)) If you must have an interview for benefits, you or someone who can give us the information we need about your AU must ((attend)) participate in the interview. You may bring ((another)) any person ((to the interview.)) you ((may)) choose ((another person to go)) to ((the)) your interview ((for you when:

(a) You cannot come to the local office for us to decide if you are eligible for cash assistance; or

(b) You have an authorized representative as described in WAC 388-460-0005 for food assistance)).

(8) You may choose someone to take your place in your interview:

(a) For cash assistance if you cannot come to the local office for us to decide if you are eligible for benefits; or

(b) For Basic Food if the person is your authorized representative as described in WAC 388-460-0005.

(9) We usually have interviews at the local office. You can have a scheduled telephone interview ((or an interview in your home if attending)) if there is any reason you cannot attend an interview at the local office ((causes a hardship for you or your representative)). Examples of ((hardships)) reasons you may be unable to attend an interview include include:

(a) ((If your entire assistance unit is elderly or mentally or physically disabled;

(b) If you live in a remote area or have transportation problems;

(c) Severe weather;

(d) If someone in your AU is ill, or you have to stay home to care for an AU member;

(e))) Your work or training ((hours)) schedule make it ((difficult to come into the office)) inconvenient for you to attend an in-office interview during regular business hours;

(((f))) (b) You are unable to take time off of work to attend an in-office interview, because you would not get paid for this time or you fear you could lose your job;

(c) Someone in your AU is ill, or you have to stay home to care for an AU member;

(d) You are having transportation problems;

(e) You can't safely get to the office because of severe weather;

(f) You live in a remote area and can't easily get to the local office;

(g) All the people in your AU are elderly, mentally disabled, or physically disabled;

(h) Someone in your AU is affected by family violence such as physical or mental abuse, harassment, or stalking by the abuser; or

(((g))) (i) You have any other ((problem which would make)) situation that makes it difficult for you to come into the office for an interview.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 74.08.090. 02-14-023, 388-452-0005, filed 6/21/02, effective 7/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, and 74.09.530. 01-14-060, 388-452-0005, filed 6/29/01, effective 8/1/01; 00-22-087, 388-452-0005, filed 10/31/00, effective 12/1/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, 74.09.530 and 42 C.F.R. 435.907. 99-11-075, 388-452-0005, filed 5/18/99, effective 6/18/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-452-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-504-0420.]

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