WSR 08-18-043



(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed August 29, 2008, 9:01 a.m. , effective October 1, 2008 ]

Effective Date of Rule: October 1, 2008.

Purpose: The department is amending WAC 388-470-0055 How do my resources count toward the resource limit for Basic Food? The current rule describes what resources must be counted and which ones are excluded when the department determines if a household is eligible for food stamp benefits. The 2008 Farm Bill, Public Law 110-234, has amended the Food Stamp Act to exclude certain retirement and educational accounts for the food stamp program effective October 1, 2008. The amendments made under this filing exclude these types of resources for households that are not categorically eligible for Basic Food and remain subject to the resource limits for the program.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-470-0055.

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

Other Authority: Public Law 110-234.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 08-15-060 on July 14, 2008.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: August 27, 2008.

Stephanie E. Schiller

Rules Coordinator

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 03-05-015, filed 2/7/03, effective 3/1/03)

WAC 388-470-0055   How do my resources count toward the resource limit for Basic Food?   (1) For Basic Food, if your assistance unit (AU) is not categorically eligible (CE) ((for Basic Food)) under WAC 388-414-0001, we count the following resources toward your AU's resource limit ((for Basic Food)) to decide if you are eligible for benefits under WAC 388-470-0005:

(a) Liquid resources. These are resources that are easily changed into cash. Some examples of liquid resources are:

(i) Cash on hand;

(ii) Money in checking or savings accounts;

(iii) Money market accounts or certificates of deposit (CDs) less any withdrawal penalty;

(iv) ((Keogh plans that do not involve a contractual agreement with someone outside of the assistance unit, less any withdrawal penalty;

(v) Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) less any withdrawal penalty;

(vi))) Stocks, bonds, annuities, or mutual funds less any early withdrawal penalty;

(((vii))) (v) Available trusts or trust accounts; or

(((viii))) (vi) Lump sum payments. A lump sum payment is money owed to you from a past period of time that you get but do not expect to get on a continuing basis.

(b) Nonliquid resources, personal property, and real property not specifically excluded in subsection (2) below.

(c) Vehicles as described in WAC 388-470-0075.

(d) The resources of a sponsor as described in WAC 388-470-0060.

(2) The following resources do not count toward your resource limit:

(a) Your home and the surrounding property that you, your spouse, or your dependents live in;

(b) A house you do not live in, if you plan on returning to the home and you are out of the home because of:

(i) Employment;

(ii) Training for future employment;

(iii) Illness; or

(iv) Natural disaster or casualty.

(c) Property that:

(i) You are making a good faith effort to sell;

(ii) You intend to build a home on, if you do not already own a home;

(iii) Produces income consistent with its fair market value, even if used only on a seasonal basis;

(iv) Is essential to the employment or self-employment of a household member. Property excluded under this section and used by a self-employed farmer or fisher retains its exclusion for one year after the household member stops farming or fishing; or

(v) Is essential for the maintenance or use of an income-producing vehicle; or

(vi) Has an equity value equal to or less than half of the resource limit as described in WAC 388-470-0005.

(d) Household goods

(e) Personal effects;

(f) Life insurance policies, including policies with cash surrender value (CSV);

(g) One burial plot per household member;

(h) One funeral agreement per household member, up to fifteen hundred dollars;

(i) Pension plans or retirement funds not specifically counted in subsection (1) above;

(j) Sales contracts, if the contract is producing income consistent with its fair market value;

(k) Government payments issued for the restoration of a home damaged in a disaster;

(l) Indian lands held jointly with the Tribe, or land that can be sold only with the approval of the Bureau of Indian Affairs;

(m) Nonliquid resources that have a lien placed against them;

(n) Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC):

(i) For twelve months, if you were a Basic Food recipient when you got the EITC and you remain on Basic Food for all twelve months; or

(ii) The month you get it and the month after, if you were not getting Basic Food when you got the EITC.

(o) Energy assistance payments or allowances;

(p) The resources of a household member who gets SSI, TANF/SFA, or GA benefits; ((and))

(q) Retirement funds or accounts that are tax exempt under the Internal Revenue Code;

(r) Education funds or accounts in a tuition program under section 529 or 530 of the Internal Revenue Code; and

(s) Resources specifically excluded by federal law.

(3) If you deposit excluded liquid resources into a bank account with countable liquid resources, we do not count the excluded liquid resources for six months from the date of deposit.

(4) If you sell your home, you have ninety days to reinvest the proceeds from the sale of a home into an exempt resource.

(a) If you do not reinvest within ninety days, we will determine whether there is good cause to allow more time. Some examples of good cause are:

(i) Closing on your new home is taking longer than anticipated;

(ii) You are unable to find a new home that you can afford;

(iii) Someone in your household is receiving emergent medical care; or

(iv) Your children are in school and moving would require them to change schools.

(b) If you have good cause, we will give you more time based on your circumstances.

(c) If you do not have good cause, we count the money you got from the sale as a resource.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510. 03-05-015, 388-470-0055, filed 2/7/03, effective 3/1/03; 99-16-024, 388-470-0055, 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, 388-470-0055, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office