WSR 14-16-110
(Economic Services Administration)
[Filed August 6, 2014, 10:20 a.m.]
Original Notice.
Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 14-08-069.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is proposing changes to WAC 388-450-0162 How does the department count my income to determine if my assistance unit is eligible and how does the department calculate the amount of my cash and Basic Food benefits?
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 September 9, 2014, at 10:00 a.m.
Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than September 10, 2014.
Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504, e-mail, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5:00 p.m., September 9, 2014.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jeff Kildahl, DSHS rules consultant, by August 26, 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: The department is proposing to extend the current fifty percent earned income disregard to unearned income for families receiving child-only grants for the children in their care. This change will create equity between employed and retired caregivers in the child-only means-testing process. An additional proposed change related to medical assistance is needed to reflect the split between cash and medical assistance.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: This rule making is required to implement HB 2585 passed by the 2014 legislature.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090, 74.08A.010.
Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.12.037.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: DSHS, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Tom Berry, P.O. Box 45470, Olympia, WA 98504-5470, (360) 725-4617.
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 disregarding more income in the child-only TANF means-testing process.
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."
August 4, 2014
Katherine I. Vasquez
Rules Coordinator
AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 12-04-051, filed 1/30/12, effective 3/1/12)
WAC 388-450-0162 How does the department count my income to determine if my assistance unit is eligible and how does the department calculate the amount of my cash and Basic Food benefits?
(1) Countable income is all income your assistance unit (AU) or your child-only means-testing AU has after we subtract the following:
(a) Excluded or disregarded income under WAC 388-450-0015;
(b) For cash assistance, earned income incentives and deductions allowed for specific programs under WAC 388-450-0170, 388-450-0177, and ((388-450-0175)) 388-450-0178;
(c) For child-only means testing AUs only, the department will disregard fifty percent of all countable unearned income, in addition to the deductions in WAC 388-450-0170;
(((c))) (d) For Basic Food, deductions allowed under WAC 388-450-0185; and
(((d))) (e) Income we allocate to someone outside of the assistance unit under WAC 388-450-0095 through 388-450-0160.
(2) Countable income includes all income that we must deem or allocate from financially responsible persons who are not members of your AU under WAC 388-450-0095 through 388-450-0160.
(3) Starting November 1, 2011, we may apply child-only means-testing to determine eligibility and your payment standard amount.
(a) Child-only means-testing applies when you are a nonparental relative or unrelated caregiver applying for or receiving a nonneedy TANF/SFA grant for a child or children only, unless at least one child was placed by a state or tribal child welfare agency and it is an open child welfare case.
(b) For the purposes of child-only means-testing only, we include yourself, your spouse, your dependents, and other persons who are financially responsible for yourself or the child as defined in WAC 388-450-0100 in your assistance unit (AU). We call this your child-only means-testing AU.
(c) As shown in the chart below, we compare your child-only means-testing AU's total countable income to the current federal poverty level (FPL) for your household size to determine your child-only means-testing payment standard. Your child-only means-tested payment standard is a percentage of the payment standards in WAC 388-478-0020.
If your countable child-only means-testing AU income is:
Your child-only means-tested payment standard is equal to the following percentage of the payment standards in WAC 388-478-0020:
200% FPL or less
Between 201% and 225% of FPL
Between 226% and 250% of FPL
Between 251% and 275% of FPL
Between 276% and 300% of FPL
Over 300% of the FPL
The children in your care are not eligible for a TANF/SFA grant.
(d) If the children in your care qualify for a TANF/SFA grant once the child-only means-test is applied, the child's income is budgeted against the child-only means-tested payment standard amount.
(e) If the children in your care do not qualify for a TANF/SFA grant ((once the child-only means-test is applied)), they may still qualify for medical assistance ((as described in WAC 388-408-0055 and WAC 388-505-0210)). For Washington apple health coverage (medical assistance), go to Washington healthplanfinder to apply or see WAC 182-505-0210 for information regarding eligibility for children for Washington apple health.
(4) For cash assistance:
(a) We compare your countable income to the payment standard in WAC 388-478-0020 and 388-478-0033 or, for child-only means-tested cases, to the payment standard amount in subsection (3) of this section.
(b) You are not eligible for benefits when your AU's countable income is equal to or greater than the payment standard plus any authorized additional requirements.
(c) Your benefit level is the payment standard and authorized additional requirements minus your AU's countable income.
(5) For Basic Food, if you meet all other eligibility requirements for the program under WAC 388-400-0040, we determine if you meet the income requirements for benefits and calculate your AU's monthly benefits as specified under Title 7 Part 273 of code of federal regulations for the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP). The process is described in brief below:
(a) How we determine if your AU is income eligible for Basic Food:
(i) We compare your AU's total monthly income to the gross monthly income standard under WAC 388-478-0060. We don't use income that isn't counted under WAC 388-450-0015 as a part of your gross monthly income.
(ii) We then compare your AU's countable monthly income to the net income standard under WAC 388-478-0060.
(A) If your AU is categorically eligible for Basic Food under WAC 388-414-0001, your AU can have income over the gross or net income standard and still be eligible for benefits.
(B) If your AU includes a person who is sixty years of age or older or has a disability, your AU can have income over the gross income standard, but must have income under the net income standard to be eligible for benefits.
(C) All other AUs must have income at or below the gross and net income standards as required under WAC 388-478-0060 to be eligible for Basic Food.
(b) How we calculate your AU's monthly Basic Food benefits:
(i) We start with the maximum allotment for your AU under WAC 388-478-0060.
(ii) We then subtract thirty percent of your AU's countable income from the maximum allotment and round the benefit down to the next whole dollar to determine your monthly benefit.
(iii) If your AU is eligible for benefits and has one or two persons, your AU will receive at least the minimum allotment as described under WAC 388-412-0015, even if the monthly benefit we calculate is lower than the minimum allotment.