SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)
[Filed January 22, 2018, 10:34 a.m.]
Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 17-18-082.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is proposing to amend WAC 388-418-0020 How does the department determine the date a change affects my cash and basic food benefits?
Hearing Location(s): On February 27, 2018, at 10:00 a.m., at Office Building 2, Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Headquarters, 1115 Washington, Olympia, WA 98504. Public parking at 11th and Jefferson. A map is available at https://www.dshs.wa.gov/sesa/rules-and-policies-assistance-unit/driving-directions-office-bldg-2.
Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than February 28, 2018.
Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504, email DSHSRPAURulesCoordinator@dshs.wa.gov, fax 360-664-6185, by 5:00 p.m., February 27, 2018.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jeff Kildahl, DSHS rules consultant, phone 360-664-6092, fax 360-664-6185, TTY 711 relay service, email Kildaja@dshs.wa.gov, by February 13, 2018.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: Changes proposed under this filing amend WAC 388-418-0020 to provide clarity for public assistance recipients and prevent unnecessary overpayments regarding when recipients submit changes to their cases.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: The department is proposing to amend WAC 388-418-0020 in order to include language clarifying when changes submitted online are accepted. This proposed amendment aligns with current language regarding submission of changes via other means.
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: Ezra Paskus, 712 Pear Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98504, 360-725-4611.
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."
This rule proposal, or portions of the proposal, is exempt from requirements of the Regulatory Fairness Act because the proposal:
Explanation of exemptions: The proposed rule does not have an economic impact on small businesses.
January 18, 2018
Katherine I. Vasquez
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 13-18-005, filed 8/22/13, effective 10/1/13)
WAC 388-418-0020How does the department determine the date a change affects my cash and basic food benefits?
(1) ((Unless otherwise specified,))The rules in this chapter refer to cash and basic food benefits unless otherwise specified.
(2) If you report a change that happened between the date you applied for benefits and the date we interview you under WAC 388-452-0005, we take this change into consideration when we process your application for benefits.
(3) If we learn about a change in your circumstances from another person, agency, or by matching with any number of systems, we determine the impact this change has on your benefits. We may request additional information under WAC 388-490-0005 or update your benefits based on this information.
(4) For cash and basic food programs, if you report a change in your income that we expect to continue at least a month beyond the month when you reported the change, we recalculate the income we estimated under WAC 388-450-0215 based on this change.
(5) Changes reported outside of normal business hours, including changes you submitted online, in person, or sent to us by fax, are considered received the next business day.
(6) When a change causes an increase in benefits, you must provide proof of the change before we adjust your benefits.
(a) If you give us the proof within ten days from the date we requested it, we increase your benefits starting the month after the month you reported the change.
(b) If you give us the proof more than ten days after the date we requested it, we increase your benefits starting the month after the month we got the proof.
(c) If you are eligible for more benefits and we have already sent you benefits for that month, we provide you the additional benefits within ten days of the day we got the proof.
(((6)))(7) When a change causes a decrease in benefits, we reduce your benefit amount without asking for proof.
(a) If you report a change within the time limits in WAC 388-418-0007, and you are not reporting this as part of a mid-certification review, we decrease your benefits starting the first month following the advance notice period. The advance notice period:
(i) Begins on the day we send you a letter about the change((,)); and
(ii) Is determined according to the rules in WAC 388-458-0025.
(b) If you do not report a change you must tell us about under WAC 388-418-0005, or you report a change later than we require under WAC 388-418-0007, we determine your eligibility as if you had reported this on time. If you received more benefits than you should, we set up an overpayment as described under chapter 388-410 WAC.
(((7)))(8) If we are not sure how the change will affect your benefits, we send you a letter as described in WAC 388-458-0020 requesting information from you.
(a) We give you ten days to provide the information. If you need more time, you can ask for it.
(b) If you do not give us the information in time, we will stop your benefits after giving you advance notice, if required, as described in WAC 388-458-0030.
(((8)))(9) Within ten days of the day we learn about a change, we send advance notice according to the rules in chapter 388-458 WAC and take necessary action to provide you the correct benefits. If you request a hearing about a proposed decrease in benefits before the effective date or within the notice period as described in WAC 388-458-0040, we wait to take action on the change.
(((9)))(10) If you disagree with a decision we made to change your benefits, you may request a fair hearing under chapter 388-02 WAC. The fair hearing rules in chapter 388-02 WAC do not apply for a "mass change." A mass change is when we change the rules that impact all recipients and applicants.
(((10)))(11) When you request a hearing and receive continued benefits:
(a) We keep giving you the same benefits you got before the advance notice of reduction until the earliest of the following events occur:
(i) For basic food only, your certification period expires;
(ii) The end of the month the fair hearing decision is mailed;
(iii) You state in writing that you do not want continued benefits;
(iv) You withdraw your fair hearing request in writing; or
(v) You abandon your fair hearing request; ((or))
(vi) An administrative law judge issues a written order that ends continued benefits prior to the fair hearing.
(b) We establish an overpayment claim according to the rules in chapter 388-410 WAC when the hearing decision agrees with the action we took.
(((11)))(12) Some changes have a specific effective date as follows:
(a) When cash assistance benefits increase because a person is added to your assistance unit, we use the effective date rules for applications in WAC 388-406-0055.
(b) When cash assistance benefits increase because you start paying shelter costs, we use the date the change occurred.
(c) When a change in law or regulation changes the benefit amount, we use the date specified by the law or regulation.