WSR 05-06-085



(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed March 1, 2005, 4:16 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 04-24-045.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 388-450-0195 Utility allowances for Basic Food programs.

Hearing Location(s): Blake Office Park East (behind Goodyear Courtesy Tire), Rose Room, 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA, on April 5, 2005, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than April 6, 2005.

Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504, delivery 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA, e-mail, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5:00 p.m., April 5, 2005.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Fred Swenson, DSHS Rules Consultant, by April 1, 2005, TTY (360) 664-6178 or (360) 664-6097.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The rule is being amended to meet federal criteria regarding eligibility for the limited utility allowance (LUA) for the food stamp program, administered as the Washington Basic Food program. Additional amendments have been made to improve clarity regarding qualifying utility expenses.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: United States Code of Federal Regulations. 7 C.F.R. 273.9 (d)(6)(iii)(A) defines the specific criteria necessary for LUA eligibility; the existing rule must be amended to be in compliance with the afore referenced C.F.R. governing food stamp utility allowances.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

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

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Rebecca Henrie, 1009 College S.E., Lacey, WA 98504, (360) 725-4615.

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 outlining the rules clients must meet in order to be eligible for the department's cash assistance or food benefit programs.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. 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."

February 23, 2005

Andy Fernando, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 04-23-025, filed 11/8/04, effective 12/9/04)

WAC 388-450-0195   Utility allowances for Basic Food programs.   (1) For Basic Food, "utilities" include the following:

(a) Heating ((and cooking)) or cooling fuel;

(b) ((Cooling and)) Electricity or gas;

(c) Water ((and)) or sewer;

(d) Well or septic tank installation/maintenance;

(e) Garbage ((and))/trash collection; and

(((e) Basic)) (f) 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 Basic Food benefits.

(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 $278
2 $287
3 $295
4 $304
5 $312
6 or more $321

(b) If your AU does not qualify for the SUA and you have any two utility costs ((other than telephone costs)) listed above, you get a limited utility allowance (LUA) of two hundred twenty-two dollars.

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

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057. 04-23-025, 388-450-0195, filed 11/8/04, effective 12/9/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510. 03-21-030, 388-450-0195, filed 10/7/03, effective 12/1/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090. 02-22-045, 388-450-0195, filed 10/30/02, effective 12/1/02. 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