WSR 09-11-078

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed May 18, 2009, 9:04 a.m. , effective June 18, 2009 ]


Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.

Purpose: The department is amending WAC 388-448-0050 PEP step II -- How we determine the severity of mental impairments, the amendments replace obsolete and outdated medical descriptions and references.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-448-0050.

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

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 08-22-054 on November 3, 2008.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.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: May 18, 2009.

Stephanie E. Schiller

Rules Coordinator

4038.1
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 00-16-113, filed 8/2/00, effective 9/1/00)

WAC 388-448-0050   PEP step II -- How we determine the severity of mental impairments.   If you are diagnosed with a mental impairment by a professional described in WAC 388-448-0020, we use information from the provider to determine if your impairment prevents you from being ((gainfully employed)) able to work. ((We review the psychological evidence to determine the severity of your mental impairment.))

(1) We review the following psychological evidence to determine the severity of your mental impairment ((is based on)):

(a) Psychosocial and treatment history records;

(b) Clinical findings of specific abnormalities of behavior, mood, thought, orientation, or perception;

(c) Results of psychological tests; and

(d) Symptoms observed by the examining practitioner that show ((impairment of)) how your impairment affects your ability to perform basic work-related activities.

(2) We exclude diagnosis and related symptoms of alcohol or substance abuse or addiction;

(3) If you are diagnosed with mental retardation, the diagnosis must be based on the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). The following test results determine the severity rating:


Intelligence Quotient (IQ) Score Severity Rating
85 or above 1
71 to 84 3
70 or lower 5

(((3))) (4) If you are diagnosed with a mental impairment with physical causes, we assign a severity rating based on the most severe of the following ((three)) four areas of impairment:

(a) Short term memory ((defect for recent events)) impairment;

(b) ((Impoverished, slowed, perseverative thinking, with confusion or disorientation)) Perceptual or thinking disturbances; ((or))

(c) Disorientation to time and place; or

(d) Labile, shallow, or coarse affect.

(((4))) (5) We base the severity of ((the)) a functional ((psychotic or nonpsychotic)) disorder((, excluding alcoholism or drug addiction,)) on a clinical assessment of the intensity and frequency of symptoms that:

(a) ((Clinical assessment of these twelve symptoms: Depressed mood, suicidal trends, verbal expression of anxiety or fear, expression of anger, social withdrawal, motor agitation, motor retardation, paranoid behavior, hallucinations, thought disorder, hyperactivity, preoccupation with physical complaints)) Affect your ability to perform basic work related activities; and

(b) ((Clinical assessment of the intensity and pervasiveness of your symptoms and their effect on work activities)) Are consistent with a diagnosis of a mental impairment as listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV).

(((5))) (6) We base the severity rating for a functional mental impairment on accumulated severity ratings for the ((twelve)) symptoms in subsection (((4)(a))) (5)(a) of this section as follows:


Symptom Ratings or Condition Severity Rating
(a) The functional mental impairment is diagnosed with psychotic features;

(b) You have had two or more hospitalizations for psychiatric reasons in the past two years;

(c) You have had more than six months of continuous psychiatric hospital or residential treatment in the past two years;

(d) The overall assessment of symptoms is rated three; or

(e) At least three symptoms are rated three or higher.

3
(f) The overall assessment of symptoms is rated four; or

(g) At least three symptoms are rated four or five.

4
(h) The overall assessment of symptoms is rated five; or

(i) At least three symptoms are rated five.

5

(((6))) (7) If you ((have more than one type of)) are diagnosed with any combination of mental retardation, mental impairment with physical causes, or functional mental impairment, we assign a severity rating as follows:

Condition Severity Rating
(a) Two or more disorders with ratings of three; or

(b) One or more disorders rated three; and one rated four.

4
(c) Two or more disorders rated four. 5

(((7))) (8) We deny incapacity when you ((do not have)) haven't been diagnosed with a significant physical impairment and your overall mental severity rating is one or two;

(((8))) (9) We approve incapacity when you have an overall mental severity rating of five((, regardless of whether you have a physical impairment)).

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090. 00-16-113, 388-448-0050, filed 8/2/00, effective 9/1/00.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office