WSR 06-10-044

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed April 28, 2006, 4:25 p.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: The department plans to amend WAC 388-450-0045 How do we count income from employment and training programs?, related to treatment of income from VISTA programs.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510, 74.08.090.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service has issued guidance that the department must count payment/stipends from programs under the Domestic Volunteer Services Act of 1973, Titles I and II, as amended.

Payments under these titles including VISTA and Americorps VISTA must be counted as earned income if the VISTA participant did not receive food stamp benefits at the time they entered the service program. We exclude payments under these titles as income if the person already received Washington Basic Food program benefits at the time they join the service program.

The change is necessary to meet federal requirements for the food stamp program and comply with RCW 74.04.510.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) publishes federal regulations for the food stamp program in the federal register. Rules published in the federal register are incorporated into the United States Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). FNS also issues administrative notices and memos to inform states of program requirements that are not yet in CFR as well as standards that are not formally adopted under the federal rule-making process.

DSHS incorporates these regulations, federal standards, policy guidance, and exercises state options by adopting administrative rules for food assistance benefits in Washington state.

The department will propose and adopt amendments to WAC 388-450-0045 to be consistent with federal requirements.

Process for Developing New Rule: DSHS welcomes the public to take part in developing the rules. Anyone interested should contact the staff person identified below. At a later date, DSHS will file a proposal with the office of the code reviser with a notice of proposed rule making. A copy of the proposal will be sent to everyone on the mailing list and to anyone who requests a copy.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting John Camp, Policy Analyst, Division of Employment and Assistance Programs, P.O. Box 45470, Olympia, WA 98504-5470, phone (360) 725-4616, fax (360) 493-3493, e-mail campjx@dshs.wa.gov.

April 28, 2006

Andy Fernando, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

Washington State Code Reviser's Office