WSR 06-21-056

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed October 16, 2006, 10:02 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 06-17-130.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 388-418-0011 What is a mid-certification review, and do I have to complete one in order to keep receiving benefits?

Hearing Location(s): Blake Office Park East, Rose Room, 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA 98503 (one block north of the intersection of Pacific Avenue S.E. and Alhadeff Lane, behind Good Year Tire. A map or directions are available at http://www1.dshs.wa.gov/msa/rpau/docket.html or by calling (360) 664-6097), on November 21, 2006, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than November 22, 2006.

Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504, delivery 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA, e-mail fernaax@dshs.wa.gov, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5:00 p.m., November 21, 2006.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Stephanie Schiller, DSHS Rules Consultant, by November 17, 2006, TTY (360) 664-6178 or phone (360) 664-6097 or by e-mail at schilse@dshs.wa.gov.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: To update requirements for a mid-certification review to be considered complete for temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) and state family assistance (SFA).

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The changes are necessary to meet work verification requirements under federal Public Law 109-171 and TANF interim final rules issued on June 29, 2006.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.505, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.505, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090.

Rule is necessary because of federal law, Public Law 109-171, and TANF interim final rule published in the Federal Register - Volume 71, No. 125 on June 29, 2006.

Name of Proponent: Department of social and health services, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: John Camp, 1009 College S.E., Lacey, WA 98504, (360) 725-4616.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. These proposed rules do not have an economic impact on small businesses. The proposed amendments only affect DSHS clients by establishing eligibility rules to facilitate the department meeting federal reporting requirements of hours of participation. The rule impacts who must complete a mid-certification review and what is required for the department to consider the review as complete for purposes of determining ongoing eligibility.

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." These rules establish requirements for completing a mid-certification eligibility review in a manner that facilitates the department meeting federal requirements to verify actual hours of participation for households in the temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) program.

October 9, 2006

Andy Fernando, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

3803.1
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 06-13-043, filed 6/15/06, effective 7/17/06)

WAC 388-418-0011   What is a mid-certification review, and do I have to complete one in order to keep receiving benefits?   (1) A mid-certification review (MCR) is a form we send you to ask about your current circumstances. We use the answers you give us to decide if you are still eligible for benefits and to calculate your monthly benefits.

(2) If you receive cash assistance, family-related medical, or Basic Food benefits, you must complete a mid-certification review unless you meet one of the exceptions below:

(a) You do not have to complete a mid-certification review for cash assistance if you:

(i) Only receive Refugee Cash Assistance as described under WAC 388-400-0030; or

(ii) Have a review period of six months or less.

(b) You do not have to complete a mid-certification review for Basic food if:

(i) Your assistance unit has a certification period of six months or less; or

(ii) All adults in your assistance unit are elderly or disabled and have no earned income.

(3) When we send the review form:


If you must complete a MCR... We send your review form...
(a) For one program such as Basic Food or Family Medical. In the fifth month of your certification or review period. You must complete your review by the 10th day of month six.
(b) For two or more programs, and all program have a 12-month certification or review period. In the fifth month of your certification or review period. You must complete your review by the 10th day of month six.
(c) For Basic Food and another program when either program has a certification or review period between six and twelve months. In the fifth month of your Basic Food certification period when you receive Basic Food and another program. You must complete your review by the 10th day of month six of your Basic Food certification.

(4) If you must complete a mid-certification review, we send you the review form with questions about your current circumstances. You can choose to complete the review in on of the following ways:

(a) Complete the form and return it to us. For us to count your mid-certification review complete, you must take all of the steps below:

(i) Compete the review form, telling us about changes in your circumstances we ask about;

(ii) Sign and date the form;

(iii) Give us proof of any changes you report. If you report a change that will increase your benefits without giving proof of this change, we will not increase your benefits;

(iv) If you receive family medical benefits, give us proof of your income even if it has not changed; and

(v) Mail or turn in the completed form and any required proof to us by the due date on the review.

(b) Complete the mid-certification review over the phone. For us to count your mid-certification review as complete, you must take all of the steps below:

(i) Contact us at the phone number on the review form, telling us about changes in your circumstances we ask about;

(ii) Give us proof of any changes you report. We may be able to verify some information over the phone. If you report a change that will increase your benefits without giving proof of this change, we will not increase your benefits;

(iii) If you receive family medical benefits, give us proof of your income even if it has not changed; ((and))

(iv) If you receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and you are working or self employed, you must give us proof of your income and the hours you work even if it has not changed; and

(v) Mail or turn in any required proof to us by the due date on the review.

(c) Complete the application process for another program. If we approve an application for another program in the month you must complete your mid-certification review, we use the application to complete your review when the same person is head of household for the application and the mid-certification review.

(5) If your benefits change because of what we learned in your mid-certification review, the change takes effect the next month even if this does not give you ten days notice before we change your benefits.

(6) If you do not complete your required mid-certification review, we stop your benefits at the end of the month the review was due.

(7) Late reviews. If you complete the mid-certification review after the last day of the month the review was due, we process the review as described below based on when we receive the review:

(a) Mid-certification reviews you complete by the last day of the month after the month the review was due: We determine your eligibility for ongoing benefits. If you are eligible, we reinstate your benefits based on the information in the review.

(b) Mid-certification reviews you complete after the last day of the month after the month the review was due: We treat this review as a request to send you an application. For us to determine if you are eligible for benefits, you must complete the application process as described in chapter 388-406 WAC.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090. 06-13-043, 388-418-0011, filed 6/15/06, effective 7/17/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090. 05-09-020, 388-418-0011, filed 4/12/05, effective 6/1/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 2004 c 54. 04-19-134, 388-418-0011, filed 9/21/04, effective 10/1/04.]

Reviser's note: The typographical errors in the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appear in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office