WSR 15-16-051
(Economic Services Administration)
[Filed July 29, 2015, 11:48 a.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: The department is proposing to amend rules under WAC 388-450-0015 What types of income are not used by the department to figure out my benefits?, 388-470-0045 How do my resources count toward the resource limits for cash assistance?, 388-470-0055 How do my resources count toward the resource limit for Basic Food?, and other related rules as may be required. The amendments propose to implement income and asset exclusions for ABLE (achieving a better life experience) tax-deferred accounts and associated distributions.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510, 74.08A.120, 7 C.F.R. 273.8(e) and 273.9(c).
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The ABLE accounts are a new tax-deferred account for 2015 created under the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014. These accounts are dedicated to provide for tax-deferred savings (nondeductible contributions) of up to $14,000 per year for individuals who became blind or disabled before age twenty-six.
Tax-free distributions from the ABLE account can be used to pay for housing, transportation, education, job training, and the like. The assets in an ABLE account are not counted toward an individual's eligibility to qualify for medicaid, supplemental security income, and other federal mean-tested benefits such as TANF and supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits. They are not mentioned in current program rules and must be added.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Services, regulates federal food benefits affected by this filing. No direct coordination is necessary. Adopted rules will be consistent with federal laws and regulations regarding filing and processing applications for food assistance under SNAP under 7 U.S.C. 2020 and 7 C.F.R. 273.8 and 273.9.
Process for Developing New Rule: DSHS welcomes the public to take part in developing the rules. Anyone interested should contact the staff person identified below. At a later date, DSHS will file a proposal with the office of the code reviser with a notice of proposed rule making. A copy of the proposal will be sent to everyone on the mailing list and to anyone who requests a copy.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Bob Thibodeau, P.O. Box 45440 [45470], Olympia, WA 98504-5470, phone (360) 725-4634, fax (360) 725-4904, e-mail
July 29, 2015
Katherine I. Vasquez
Rules Coordinator