WSR 21-21-031
(Economic Services Administration)
[Filed October 11, 2021, 2:42 p.m.]
Original Notice.
Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 21-13-157.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is proposing to amend WAC 388-449-0001 What are the disability requirements for the aged, blind, or disabled (ABD) program? and 388-449-0200 Am I eligible for cash assistance for aged, blind, or disabled (ABD) while waiting for supplemental security income (SSI)?
Hearing Location(s): On November 23, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., at Office Building 2, Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Headquarters, 1115 Washington [Street S.E.], Olympia, WA 98504. Public parking at 11th and Jefferson. A map is available at; or virtual. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hearings are being held virtually.
Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than November 24, 2021.
Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504, email, fax 360-664-6185, by 5:00 p.m., November 23, 2021.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Shelley Tencza, rules consultant, phone 360-664-6198, fax 360-664-6185, TTY 711 relay service, email [], by 5:00 p.m., November 9, 2021.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: These amendments clarify that persons eligible for services through the developmental disabilities administration (for a medical condition expected to last 12 months or more or result in death) are eligible for ABD. Amendments also clarify that good cause reasons for not participating in medical treatment for one's disabling condition(s) include, but are not limited to, reasons outlined in WAC 388-449-0200.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: See above.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.005, 74.04.050, 74.04.0052, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.04.655, 74.04.770, 74.08.043, 74.08.090, 74.08.335, 74.08A.100, 74.09.035, 74.09.530, 74.62.030, 41.05.021.
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: Sanela Maksic, P.O. Box 45470, Olympia, WA 98504, 425-272-3880.
A school district fiscal impact statement is not required under RCW 28A.305.135.
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. These rules are exempt as allowed under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii) which states in part, "[t]his 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:
Is exempt under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii).
Explanation of exemptions: These amendments do not impact small businesses. They only impact DSHS clients.
October 11, 2021
Katherine I. Vasquez
Rules Coordinator
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 15-03-031, filed 1/12/15, effective 2/12/15)
WAC 388-449-0001What are the disability requirements for the aged, blind, or disabled (ABD) program?
(1) For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:
(a) "We" and "us" refer to the department of social and health services.
(b) "You" means the applicant or recipient.
(c) "Disabled" means the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than twelve months with available treatment or result in death.
(d) "Physical impairment" means a diagnosable physical illness.
(e) "Mental impairment" means a diagnosable mental disorder. We exclude any diagnosis of or related to ((alcohol or drug abuse or addiction))a substance use disorder.
(2) We determine if you are likely to be disabled when:
(a) You apply for ABD cash benefits;
(b) You become employed;
(c) You obtain work skills by completing a training program; or
(d) We receive new information that indicates you may be employable.
(3) We determine you are likely to be disabled if:
(a) You are determined to meet SSA disability criteria by the Social Security Administration (SSA);
(b) You are determined to meet SSA disability criteria by disability determination services (DDDS) based on the most recent DDDS determination;
(c) The Social Security Administration (SSA) stops your supplemental security income (SSI) payments solely because you are not a citizen;
(d) You are eligible for services through the developmental disabilities administration (DDA) for a medical condition that is expected to last twelve months or more or result in death;
(e) You are eligible for long-term care services from the aging and long-term support administration for a medical condition that is expected to last twelve months or more or result in death; or
(((e)))(f) You are approved through the sequential evaluation process (SEP) defined in WAC 388-449-0005 through 388-449-0100. The SEP is the sequence of five steps. Step 1 considers whether you are currently working. Steps 2 and 3 consider medical evidence and whether you are likely to meet or equal a listed impairment under Social Security's rules. Steps 4 and 5 consider your residual functional capacity and vocational factors such as age, education, and work experience in order to determine your ability to do your past work or other work.
(4) If you have a physical or mental impairment and you are impaired by ((alcohol or drug addiction))a substance use disorder and do not meet the other disability criteria in subsection (2)(a) through (d) above, we decide if you are eligible for ABD cash by applying the sequential evaluation process described in WAC 388-449-0005 through 388-449-0100. You aren't eligible for ABD cash benefits if you are disabled primarily because of ((alcoholism or drug addiction))a substance use disorder.
(5) In determining disability, we consider only your ability to perform basic work-related activities. "Basic work-related activities" are activities that anyone would be required to perform in a work setting. They consist of: Sitting, standing, walking, lifting, carrying, handling, and other physical functions (including manipulative or postural functions such as pushing, pulling, reaching, handling, stooping, or crouching), seeing, hearing, communicating, remembering, understanding and following instructions, responding appropriately to supervisors and coworkers, tolerating the pressures of a work setting, maintaining appropriate behavior, and adapting to changes in a routine work setting.
(6) We determine you are not likely to meet SSI disability criteria if SSA denied your application for SSI or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) based on disability in the last twelve months unless:
(a) You file a timely appeal with SSA;
(b) SSA decides you have good cause for a late appeal; or
(c) You give us medical evidence of a potentially disabling condition that SSA did not consider or medical evidence confirming your condition has deteriorated.
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 12-10-042, filed 4/27/12, effective 6/1/12)
WAC 388-449-0200Am I eligible for cash assistance for aged, blind, or disabled (ABD) while waiting for supplemental security income (SSI)?
(1) You may receive ABD benefits while you are waiting to receive supplemental security income (SSI) benefits only when you:
(a) Have filed your SSI application with the Social Security Administration (SSA), follow through with SSA directions and requirements to process your application including keeping all interview and consultative examination appointments, and do not withdraw your application;
(b) Agree to assign the initial or reinstated SSI payment to us provided under WAC 388-449-0210;
(c) Are otherwise eligible according to WAC 388-400-0060; and
(d) Meet disability criteria listed in WAC 388-449-0001.
(2) To demonstrate your impairments are disabling despite medical treatment, you must participate in medical treatment for the impairments that keep you from working, unless you ((meet one of))have a good cause. Good cause includes, but is not limited to, the following ((good cause)) reasons:
(a) The treatment provider has identified a risk that the treatment may cause further limitations or loss of a function or an organ and you are not willing to take that risk;
(b) Treatment is not available because you can't obtain it without cost to you;
(c) You are so fearful of the treatment that your fear could interfere with the treatment or reduce its benefits; or
(d) You practice an organized religion that prohibits the treatment.
(3) If you refuse or fail to participate in medical treatment without good cause, your benefits ((will))may end and you will remain ineligible until you reapply and provide proof you are pursuing treatment as recommended.