WSR 11-21-026



(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed October 11, 2011, 11:23 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 11-08-069.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is proposing changes to WAC 388-470-0005 How do resources affect my eligibility for cash assistance, medical assistance, and 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 November 22, 2011, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: November 23, 2011.

Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, delivery 1115 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98504, e-mail, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5 p.m. on November 22, 2011.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jennisha Johnson, DSHS rules consultant, by November 8, 2011, 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: The proposed amendment increases the countable resources from $3,000 to $3,250 for household with an elderly or disabled person.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The proposed amendments update Basic Food standards for federal fiscal year (FY) 2012 in order to comply with requirements of the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), per SNAP Administrative Notice 11-37 "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program FY 2012 Asset Limit Increase for Household with an Elderly or Disabled Member."

These standards must be adjusted annually in order to determine a client's eligibility and benefit level for the Washington Basic Food program.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.005, 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510, 74.08.090.

Rule is necessary because of federal law, 7 C.F.R. 273.9.

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, (360) 725-4895.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW.

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, "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."

October 7, 2011

Katherine I. Vasquez

Rules Coordinator

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

WAC 388-470-0005   How do resources affect my eligibility for cash assistance, medical assistance, and Basic Food?   (1) The following definitions apply to this chapter:

(a) "We" means the department of social and health services.

(b) "You" means a person applying for or getting benefits from the department.

(c) "Fair market value (FMV)" means the price at which you could reasonably sell the resource.

(d) "Equity value" means the FMV minus any amount you owe on the resource.

(e) "Community property" means a resource in the name of the husband, wife, or both.

(f) "Separate property" means a resource of a married person that one of the spouses:

(i) Had possession of and paid for before they were married;

(ii) Acquired and paid for entirely out of income from separate property; or

(iii) Received as a gift or inheritance.

(2) We count a resource to decide if your assistance unit (AU) is eligible for cash assistance, family medical programs, or Basic Food when:

(a) It is a resource we must count under WAC 388-470-0045 and 388-470-0055;

(b) You own the resource. We consider you to own a resource if:

(i) Your name is on the title to the property; or

(ii) You have property that doesn't have a title; and

(c) You have control over the resource, which means the resource is actually available to you; and

(d) You could legally sell the resource or convert it into cash within twenty days.

(3) For cash assistance and family medical programs, you must try to make your resources available even if it will take you more than twenty days to do so, unless:

(a) There is a legal barrier; or

(b) You must petition the court to release part or all of a resource.

(4) When you apply for assistance, we count your resources as of:

(a) The date of your interview, if you are required to have an interview; or

(b) The date of your application, if you are not required to have an interview; or

(c) The first day of the month of application, for medical assistance.

(5) If your total countable resources are over the resource limit in subsection (6) through (13) of this section, you are not eligible for benefits.

(6) For cash assistance and applicants for family medical programs, we use the equity value as the value of your resources.

(a) Applicants can have countable resources up to one thousand dollars.

(b) Recipients of cash assistance can have an additional three thousand dollars in a savings account.

(7) Recipients of family medical programs do not have a resource limit.

(8) We do not count your resources for children's medical or pregnancy medical benefits.

(9) For SSI-related medical assistance, see chapter 388-475 WAC.

(10) For clients receiving institutional or wavered services, see chapters 388-513 and 388-515 WAC.

(11) If your household consists of more than one medical assistance unit (MAU), as described in WAC 388-408-0055, we look at the resources for each MAU separately.

(12) If your AU is categorically eligible (CE) as described in WAC 388-414-0001, you do not have a resource limit for Basic Food.

(13) If your AU is not CE under WAC 388-414-0001, your AU may have countable resources up to the following amount and be eligible for Basic Food:

(a) Three thousand two hundred fifty dollars if your AU has either an elderly or disabled individual; or

(b) Two thousand dollars for all other AUs.

(14) If you own a countable resource with someone who is not in your AU, we count the portion of the resource that you own. If we cannot determine how much of the resource is yours:

(a) For cash assistance, we count an equal portion of the resource that belongs to each person who owns it.

(b) For medical assistance and Basic Food, we count the entire amount unless you can prove that the entire amount is not available to you.

(15) We assume that you have control of community property and you can legally sell the property or convert it to cash unless you can show that you do not.

(16) We may not consider an item to be separate property if you used both separate and community funds to buy or improve it.

(17) We do not count the resources of victims of family violence when:

(a) The resource is owned jointly with members of the former household; or

(b) Availability of the resource depends on an agreement of the joint owner; or

(c) Making the resource available would place the client at risk of harm.

(18) You may give us proof about a resource anytime, including when we ask for it or if you disagree with a decision we made, about:

(a) Who owns a resource;

(b) Who has legal control of the resource;

(c) The value of a resource;

(d) The availability of a resource; or

(e) The portion of a property you or another person owns.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510. 03-05-015, 388-470-0005, filed 2/7/03, effective 3/1/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-470-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office