WSR 14-11-093
(Economic Services Administration)
[Filed May 21, 2014, 7:20 a.m.]
Original Notice.
Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 14-05-101.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is proposing to amend WAC 388-414-0001 Do I have to meet all eligibility requirements for Basic Food?
Hearing Location(s): Office Building 2, Lookout Room, DSHS Headquarters, 1115 Washington, Olympia, WA 98504 (public parking at 11th and Jefferson. A map is available at, on June 24, 2014, at 10:00 a.m.
Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than June 25, 2014.
Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504, e-mail, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5 p.m. on June 24, 2014.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jennisha Johnson, DSHS rules consultant, by June 10, 2014, TTY (360) 664-6178 or (360) 664-6094 or by e-mail
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) §273.2(j) contains rules regarding which households are considered categorically eligible based on the receipt of cash assistance benefits. Washington state is proposing to amend WAC 388-414-0001 to clarify this rule and fully comply with the federal regulation.
Proposed changes are not expected to impact eligibility and benefits for the Washington Basic Food program and the state-funded food assistance program (FAP) for legal immigrants as these rules and procedures are already in effect and being applied to Basic Food eligibility decisions. Under RCW 74.08A.120, rules for FAP shall follow exactly the rules of the federal food stamp program (SNAP) except for the provisions pertaining to immigrant status.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: The United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) enforces the provisions of the federal supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) as enacted in the 2008 Food and Nutrition Act and codified in the C.F.R. DSHS incorporates regulations from federal agencies, exercises state options, and implements approved waivers and demonstration projects by adopting administrative rules for food assistance administered as the Washington Basic Food program, the Washington combined application program (WASHCAP), and transitional food assistance.
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 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 74.08.090.
Rule is necessary because of federal law, 7 C.F.R. 273.2(j).
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 amendment only affects certain households served by DSHS who receive food assistance under Basic Food and cash assistance under TANF/SFA or aged, blind, or disabled programs by clarifying conditions for categorical eligibility status.
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 15, 2014
Katherine I. Vasquez
Rules Coordinator
AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 08-15-137, filed 7/22/08, effective 10/1/08)
WAC 388-414-0001 Do I have to meet all eligibility requirements for Basic Food?
(1) What is "categorically eligible" (CE)?
(a) Being categorically eligible (CE) means that you have already met requirements for the program. If you are CE, you do not have to meet every program requirement to be eligible for Basic Food.
(b) If your assistance unit (AU) is CE, you automatically meet the following requirements for Basic Food:
(i) Residency under WAC 388-468-0005;
(ii) Countable resource limit under WAC 388-470-0005;
(iii) Maximum gross monthly income under WAC 388-478-0060; and
(iv) Maximum net monthly income under WAC 388-478-0060.
(c) If your AU is CE and the information is available from another program, you do not need to provide the following for Basic Food:
(i) Social Security number information under WAC 388-476-0005; and
(ii) Sponsored alien information under WAC 388-450-0155.
(d) Being CE does not mean that your AU is guaranteed to get Basic Food benefits. If your AU is CE:
(i) You must still meet the other Basic Food program requirements under WAC 388-400-0040; and
(ii) If you meet the other program requirements, we must budget your AU's income to determine the amount of benefits your AU will receive.
(2) Who is categorically eligible for Basic Food?
Your Basic Food AU is CE when your household meets the conditions in subsection 2(a) or 2(b) below:
(a) Your AU's income that we do not exclude under WAC 388-450-0015 is at or under two hundred percent of the federal poverty guidelines we use for department programs.
(((a))) (i) The federal government publishes the federal poverty guidelines on the health and human services web site. These are currently posted at
(((b))) (ii) The department uses the monthly value of the income guidelines for the current year beginning the first of April every year.
(((c))) (iii) If your income is not over two hundred percent of the federal poverty guidelines, we provide your AU information about the department programs and resources in the community.
(b) Everyone in your AU receives one of the following cash assistance programs:
(i) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)/State Family Assistance (SFA) or Tribal TANF under WAC 388-400-0005 and WAC 388-400-0010;
(ii) Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD) cash assistance under WAC 388-400-0060;
(iii) Supplemental Security Income (SSI) under Title XVI of the Social Security Act; or
(iv) Diversion Cash Assistance (DCA) under WAC 388-432-0005. DCA makes the Basic Food AU CE for the month it receives DCA and the following three months.
(3) Who is not CE even if my AU meets the above criteria?
(a) Even if your AU is CE, members of your AU are not eligible for Basic Food if they:
(i) Are not eligible because of their alien or student status;
(ii) Were disqualified from Basic Food under WAC 388-444-0055 for failing work requirements;
(iii) Are not eligible for failing to provide or apply for a Social Security number;
(iv) Receive SSI in a cash-out state (state where SSI payments are increased to include the value of the client's food stamp allotment); or
(v) Live in an institution not eligible for Basic Food under WAC 388-408-0040.
(b) If a person in your AU is not eligible for Basic Food, we do not include them as an eligible member of your CE AU.
(c) Your AU is not CE if:
(i) Your AU is not eligible because of striker requirements under WAC 388-480-0001;
(ii) Your AU is ineligible for knowingly transferring countable resources in order to qualify for benefits under WAC 388-488-0010;
(iii) Your AU refused to cooperate in providing information that is needed to determine your eligibility;
(iv) The head of household for your AU failed to meet work requirements; or
(v) Anyone in your AU is disqualified because of an intentional program violation under WAC 388-446-0015.