WAC 388-418-0020

Effective October 1, 2013

WAC 388-418-0020 How 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. 

  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. When a change causes an increase in benefits, you must provide proof of the change before we adjust your benefits.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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. When a change causes a decrease in benefits, we reduce your benefit amount without asking for proof.

    1. 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:

      1. Begins on the day we send you a letter about the change, and

      2. Is determined according to the rules in WAC 388-458-0025.

    2. 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. 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.

    1. We give you ten days to provide the information. If you need more time, you can ask for it.

    2. 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. 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. 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 rules that impact benefits for all recipients and applicants.

  10. When you request a hearing and receive continued benefits:

    1. We keep giving you the same benefits you got before the advance notice of reduction until the earliest of the following events occur:

      1. For Basic Food only, your certification period expires;

      2. The end of the month the fair hearing decision is mailed;

      3. You state in writing that you do not want continued benefits;

      4. You withdraw your fair hearing request in writing; or

      5. You abandon your fair hearing request; or

      6. An administrative law judge issues a written order that ends continued benefits prior to the fair hearing.

    2. 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. Some changes have a specific effective date as follows:

    1. 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.

    2. When cash assistance benefits increase because you start paying shelter costs, we use the date the change occurred.

    3. When a change in law or regulation changes the benefit amount, we use the date specified by the law or regulation.

This is a reprint of the official rule as published by the Office of the Code Reviser. If there are previous versions of this rule, they can be found using the Legislative Search page.