WSR 10-11-037



(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed May 11, 2010, 1:47 p.m. ]

     Original Notice.

     Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 10-06-061.

     Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The community services division is proposing to implement new proration procedures for Basic Food standard utility allowances (SUA) by changing or adding language to WAC 388-450-0140 How does the income of an ineligible assistance unit member affect my eligibility and benefits for Basic Food?

     Hearing Location(s): Office Building 2, Auditorium, DSHS Headquarters, 1115 Washington, Olympia, WA 98504 (public parking at 11th and Jefferson. A map is available at or by calling (360) 664-6094), on June 22, 2010, at 10:00 a.m.

     Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than June 23, 2010.

     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, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5 p.m. on June 22, 2010.

     Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jennisha Johnson, DSHS rules consultant, by June 8, 2010, TTY (360) 664-6178 or (360) 664-6094 or by e-mail at

     Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: USDA Food and Nutrition Service final rules for the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) of 2002 (farm bill) final rule announcement included new procedures for not allowing the proration of mandatory standard utility allowances (SUA) for eligible assistance unit members when there are ineligible members that have income and pay part of the utility expenses.

     Reasons Supporting Proposal: The rule changes are needed to comply with the FSRIA final rule clarification and bring Washington's Basic Food program rules in line with new federal regulations and secure federal financial support for program benefits.

     Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 74.08.090.

     Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.005, 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 74.08.090.

     Rule is necessary because of federal law, C.F.R. § 273.1 and 273.9 (d)(1).

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

     Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Robert Thibodeau, 712 Pear Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98504, (360) 725-4634.

     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 allowing the full SUA in the Basic Food benefit calculation for eligible assistance unit members when an ineligible member has income and pays part of the utility expenses.

     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."

May 11, 2010

Katherine I. Vasquez

Rules Coordinator

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 04-14-040, filed 6/29/04, effective 7/30/04)

WAC 388-450-0140   How does the income of an ineligible assistance unit member affect my eligibility and benefits for Basic Food?   The department decides who must be in your assistance unit (AU) under WAC 388-408-0035. If an AU member is ineligible for Basic Food under WAC 388-408-0035, this affects your AU's eligibility and benefits as follows:

     (1) We do not count the ineligible member(s) to determine your AU size for the gross monthly income limit, net monthly income limit, or maximum allotment under WAC 388-478-0060.

     (2) If an AU member is ineligible because they are disqualified for an intentional program violation (IPV), they failed to meet work requirements under chapter 388-444 WAC, or they are ineligible fleeing felons under WAC 388-442-0010:

     (a) We count all of the ineligible member's gross income as a part of your AU's income; and

     (b) We count all of the ineligible member's allowable expenses as part of your AU's expenses.

     (3) If an AU member is an ineligible ABAWD under WAC 388-444-0030, is ineligible due to their alien status, failed to sign the application to state their citizenship or alien status, or refused to get or provide us a Social Security number:

     (a) We allow the twenty percent earned income disregard for the ineligible member's earned income;

     (b) We prorate the remaining income of the ineligible member among all the AU members by excluding the ineligible member's share and counting the remainder to the eligible members; and

     (c) We divide the ineligible member's allowable expenses evenly among all members of the AU when the ineligible member has income except that we do not divide the standard utility allowance (SUA). We allow the full SUA based on the total number of members in your AU.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 2004 c 54. 04-14-040, § 388-450-0140, filed 6/29/04, effective 7/30/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510. 02-06-089, § 388-450-0140, filed 3/1/02, effective 3/26/02; 01-21-060, § 388-450-0140, filed 10/16/01, effective 12/1/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510. 99-16-024, § 388-450-0140, 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, § 388-450-0140, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

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