SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)
[Filed April 28, 2021, 4:19 p.m., effective April 28, 2021, 4:19 p.m.]
Effective Date of Rule: Immediately upon filing.
Purpose: The department is amending WAC 388-437-0005 Changes to food assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to define that households that receive a zero benefit are not eligible for emergency adjustments to food assistance benefit issuances implemented under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201, Section 2302).
Citation of Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-437-0005.
Other Authority: H.R. 6201.
Under RCW 34.05.350
the agency for good cause finds that state or federal law or federal rule or a federal deadline for state receipt of federal funds requires immediate adoption of a rule.
Reasons for this Finding: This emergency amendment is required to align department policies with an April 21, 2021, clarification issued by the United States Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201, Section 2302) related to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, to be implemented immediately.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at the Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: April 28, 2021.
Katherine I. Vasquez
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 21-07-098, filed 3/22/21, effective 4/22/21)
WAC 388-437-0005Changes to food assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Starting March 2020, assistance units (AUs) eligible ((for))to receive either federal or state-funded food assistance benefits, or both, will receive emergency allotments that bring the AU up to the maximum benefit for their household size.
(1) The amount is the maximum food assistance benefit allotment for your AU size under WAC 388-478-0060(1) less the amount received under WAC 388-450-0162 (4)(b).
(2) AUs receiving zero benefits due to income do not qualify for an emergency allotment unless the zero benefit is due to a prorated issuance in the first month of eligibility, as described in WAC 388-412-0015(4), with ongoing months above zero benefits.
(3) Emergency allotments will continue each month until:
(a) The secretary for health and human services rescinds the public health emergency declaration that was issued on January 27, 2020, under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act;
(b) The state-issued emergency or disaster declaration expires; or
(c) The food and nutrition service directs otherwise.
(((3)))(4) Emergency allotments for state-funded food assistance will continue each month, contingent on the availability of state funds.