WSR 09-17-098

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed August 18, 2009, 8:44 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 09-13-096.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is amending WAC 388-412-0025 How do I get my 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. A map or directions are available at http://www.dshs.wa.gov/msa/rpau/docket.html or by calling (360) 664-6094), on September 22, 2009, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than September 23, 2009.

Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, delivery 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA 98503, e-mail DSHSRPAURulesCoordinator@dshs.wa.gov, fax (360) 664-6185, by

5 p.m. on September 22, 2009.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jennisha Johnson, DSHS rules consultant, by September 8, 2009, TTY (360) 664-6178 or (360) 664-6094 or by e-mail at johnsjl4@dshs.wa.gov.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The purpose of this proposed rule change is to provide rules for making Basic Food and cash benefits electronic benefit transfer (EBT) transaction adjustments consistent with regulations under 7 C.F.R. 274.12 and Quest operating rules related to Basic Food and cash EBT benefits.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Federal regulations related to the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP aka: Basic Food in Washington state) and Quest operating rules require a process for making adjustments to household EBT accounts to correct transaction. The department is proposing to adopt rules to reflect the adjustment of Basic Food and cash benefit client debit transactions. Creating rules to support the FNS process will inform households on when the department will make adjustments for Basic Food and cash benefits.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510, 74.04.005, 74.08.090, and 74.08A.020.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510, 74.04.005, 74.08.090, and 74.08A.020.

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: Holly St. John, P.O. Box 45470, Olympia, WA 98504, (360) 725-4895.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The proposed rules do not have an economic impact on small businesses. The proposed rules make Basic Food and cash benefits electronic benefit transfer (EBT) transaction adjustments consistent with regulations under 7 C.F.R. 274.12 and Quest operating rules related to Basic Food and cash EBT benefits.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. The proposed rules are exempt as allowed under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii) which states in-part, "this 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."

August 13, 2009

Don Goldsby, Manager

Rules and Polices Assistance Unit

4137.2
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 07-04-029, filed 1/29/07, effective 3/1/07)

WAC 388-412-0025   How do I get my benefits?   (1) We send your cash benefits to you by either:

(a) Electronic benefit transfer (EBT), which is a direct deposit into a DSHS account that you access with a debit card called the Washington EBT Quest card;

(b) Electronic funds transfer (EFT), which is a direct deposit into your own bank account;

(c) A warrant (check) to a payee who is not approved for direct deposit; or

(d) A warrant (check) to you if you get:

(i) Diversion cash assistance (DCA) that cannot be paid directly to a vendor;

(ii) Additional requirements for emergent needs (AREN) that cannot be paid directly to a vendor;

(iii) Ongoing additional requirements (OAR) that cannot be paid directly to a vendor;

(iv) Clothing and personal incidentals (CPI) payments; or

(v) State supplemental payment (SSP) and you do not receive your benefit through EFT.

(2) We send your Basic Food benefits to you by EBT.

(3) We set up an EBT account for the head of household of each AU that receives benefits by EBT.

(4) You use a Quest debit card to access your benefits in your EBT account. You select a personal identification number (PIN) that you must enter when using this card.

(5) You must use your cash and Basic Food benefits from your EBT account. We do not convert cash or Basic Food benefits to checks.

(6) We deposit your Basic Food benefits into your EBT account by the tenth day of the month based on your Basic Food assistance unit number as described in WAC 388-412-0020.

(7) Unused EBT benefits: If you do not use your EBT account for three hundred sixty-five days, we cancel the cash and Basic Food benefits on your account.

(a) Replacing Basic Food benefits:

(i) We can replace cancelled benefits we deposited less than three hundred sixty-five days from the date you ask for us to replace your benefits.

(ii) We cannot replace cancelled benefits deposited three hundred sixty-five or more days from the date you ask us to replace your benefits.

(b) Replacing cash benefits: We can replace cancelled cash benefits for you or another member of your assistance unit. Cash benefits are not transferable to someone outside of your assistance unit.

(8) Replacing cash warrants: If we issued you cash benefits as a warrant we can replace these benefits for you or a member of your assistance unit. Cash benefits are not transferable to someone outside of your assistance unit.

(a) If we issued the benefits as a warrant one hundred sixty or fewer days ago, your local office can replace the warrant.

(b) If we issued the benefits as a warrant more than one hundred sixty days ago, the Office of Accounting Services can replace the warrant.

(9) Correcting your EBT balance: When you make a purchase with your EBT card a system error can occur where the purchase amount is not deducted from your EBT account. When the error is discovered the following will happen:

(a) You will be notified in writing of the system error before the money is removed from your account; and

(b) You will have ninety days to request an administrative hearing. If you ask for an administrative hearing within ten calendar days, the money will not be removed from your EBT account unless:

(i) You withdraw your administrative hearing request in writing;

(ii) You do not follow through with the administrative hearing process; or

(iii) The administrative law judge tells us in writing to remove the money.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510, 74.04.515, 74.08.090, and 7 C.F.R. 274.12. 07-04-029, 388-412-0025, filed 1/29/07, effective 3/1/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090. 05-17-089, 388-412-0025, filed 8/12/05, effective 9/12/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510. 03-22-038, 388-412-0025, filed 10/28/03, effective 12/1/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510 and 74.08.090. 02-18-105, 388-412-0025, filed 9/3/02, effective 10/4/02; 01-18-054, 388-412-0025, filed 8/30/01, effective 9/30/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-412-0025, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office