SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)
[Filed June 8, 2021, 5:19 p.m., effective June 8, 2021, 5:19 p.m.]
Effective Date of Rule: Immediately upon filing.
Purpose: The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, P.L. 116-260, enacted December 27, 2020, increased the minimum allotment for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (basic food) from $16.00 to $19.00. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, P.L. 117-2, enacted March 11, 2021, made this change effective through September 30, 2021.
Citation of Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-412-0015.
Other Authority: Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, P.L. 116-260, and American Rescue Plan of 2021, P.L. 117-2.
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: The Consolidated Appropriations Act, signed in December 2020, increased the minimum allotment from $16.00 to $19.00 temporarily, effective January 2021. The American Rescue Plan Act, signed in March 2021, extended this through the remainder of the federal fiscal year. This emergency rule is to codify this amount in WAC.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at the Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.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: May 25, 2021.
Katherine I. Vasquez
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 20-04-021, filed 1/27/20, effective 2/27/20)
WAC 388-412-0015General information about your food assistance allotments.
(1) Your monthly allotment under the Washington basic food program, food assistance program for legal immigrants (FAP), Washington combined application project (WASHCAP), or the transitional food assistance (TFA) program is the total dollar value of benefits your assistance unit (AU) receives for a calendar month.
(2) How we determine monthly allotments:
(a) We calculate your monthly allotment for federally funded basic food as described under WAC 388-450-0162.
(b) We calculate your monthly allotment for state-funded food assistance as described under WAC 388-400-0050.
(3) Maximum allotment:
(a) The maximum allotment for the number of people in your AU eligible for federally funded basic food benefits is described under WAC 388-478-0060.
(b) The maximum allotment for the number of people in your AU eligible for state-funded FAP benefits is set by the legislature in the biennial operating budget as described in WAC 388-400-0050.
(4) Prorated benefits in the first month. If we determine you are eligible for food assistance, your first month's benefits are calculated from the date you applied through the end of the month of your application. This is called proration and is based on a thirty-day month:
(a) If your prorated benefits for the first month are under ten dollars, you will not receive an allotment for the first month.
(b) If there was a delay in processing your application, we determine when your benefits start under WAC 388-406-0055.
(5) Combined allotment for first and second month's benefits. If you apply for benefits on or after the sixteenth of the month and we determine you are eligible for food assistance for both the first and second month, we will issue both months' benefits in one allotment.
(6) Minimum allotment. Unless it is the first month of your certification period and your benefits are prorated as described in subsection (4) of this section, your monthly allotment will be at least:
(a) ((Sixteen))Nineteen dollars if your AU has one or two members and at least one person is eligible for federally funded basic food; or
(b) ((Sixteen))Nineteen dollars if your AU has one or two members and all members of your AU are eligible for state-funded FAP.
(7) Use of food assistance benefits. Your food assistance benefits may only be used to buy eligible food items as described under WAC 388-412-0046. If you use your benefits in any other way, it is an intentional program violation under WAC 388-446-0015 and could result in fines, imprisonment, disqualification from receiving food assistance benefits, or any combination of these penalties.