Program Summary - Washington Basic Food Program
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Program Summary - Washington Basic Food Program


Revised June 20, 2014



Purpose: The Washington Basic Food Program (Basic Food) helps low-income individuals and families have a more nutritious diet by adding Basic Food benefits to your household's income.

WAC 388-400-0040Am I eligible for benefits through the Washington Basic Food program?

Basic Food is Washington's name for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which was formerly known as the Food Stamp Program.  Basic Food benefits are federally funded through the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).

WAC 388-400-0040
WAC 388-400-0040

Effective July 1, 2012

WAC 388-400-0040 Am I eligible for benefits through the Washington Basic Food program?

The Washington Basic Food program (Basic Food) is a federally-funded nutrition program to help low-income individuals and families buy food. This rule is a summary of the rules for Basic Food.

1.    When you apply for Basic Food, we decide who is in your assistance unit (AU) based on the requirements under WAC 388-408-0034 and WAC 388-408-0035.

2.    To be eligible for Basic Food benefits, your AU must meet the eligibility requirements of:

a.    The most current version of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008;

b.    Federal regulations adopted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) related to the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP); and

c.    Standards FNS publishes each year for income limits, resource limits, income deductions, and benefit amounts for SNAP.

3.    To be eligible for Basic Food benefits, each AU member must:

a.    Meet the citizenship or alien status requirements of WAC 388-424-0020.

b.    Be a resident of the state of Washington as required under WAC 388-468-0005;

c.    Give us their Social Security number as required under WAC 388-476-0005;

d.    Give us proof of identity as required under WAC 388-490-0005;

e.    Meet the Basic Food work requirements under chapter 388-444 WAC; and

f.     Meet the eligibility criteria for strikers as described under WAC 388-480-0001.

4.    To be eligible for Basic Food, your AU must:

a.    Have total monthly income before taxes and deductions at or under the gross monthly income standard under WAC 388-478-0060. We don't use income that isn't counted under WAC 388-450-0015 as part of your AU's gross monthly income;

b.    Have net income at or under the net monthly income standard under WAC 388-478-0060. We subtract deductions allowed under WAC 388-450-0185 to determine your AU's net monthly income.

c.    Have resources we must count under WAC 388-470-0055 that are at or below your AU's resource limit under WAC 388-470-0005;

d.    Report changes of circumstances as required under WAC 388-418-0005; and

e.    Complete a mid-certification review and provide proof of any changes if required under WAC 388-418-0011.

5.    If your AU is categorically eligible for Basic Food under WAC 388-414-0001, your AU can have income over the gross or net income standard, and have resources over the resource limit and still be eligible for benefits.

6.    If your AU has income at or under the gross income standard or is categorically eligible for Basic Food, we determine if you are eligible for Basic Food and calculate your monthly benefits as described under WAC 388-450-0162.

7.    If an eligible person in your AU is elderly or disabled, some rules may help your AU to be eligible for Basic Food or to receive more Basic Food benefits. These include:

a.    Resources limits and excluding certain resources under chapter 388-470 WAC;

b.    An excess shelter deduction over the limit set for AUs without an elderly or disabled individual under WAC 388-450-0190;

c.    A deduction for a portion of the out-of-pocket medical expenses for the elderly or disabled individual as described under WAC 388-450-0200; and

d.    Being exempt from the gross monthly income standard under WAC 388-478-0060.

8.    For Basic Food, elderly means a person who is age sixty or older;

9.    For Basic Food, disabled means a person who:

a.    Receives SSI;

b.    Receives disability payments or blindness payments under Title I, II, XIV, or XVI of the Social Security Act;

c.    Receives disability retirement benefits from a state, local or federal government agency because of a disability considered permanent under section 221(i) of the Social Security Act;

d.    Receives disability benefits from the Railroad Retirement Act under sections 2 (a)(1)(iv) and (v) and:

                                          i.    Meets Title XIX disability requirements; or

                                        ii.    Is eligible for medicare.

e.    Receives disability-related medical assistance under Title XIX of the Social Security Act;

f.     Is a veteran and receives disability payments based on one hundred percent disability;

g.    Is a spouse of a veteran and:

                                          i.    Either needs an attendant or is permanently housebound; or

                                        ii.    Has a disability under section 221(i) of the Social Security Act and is eligible for death or pension payments under Title 38 of the USC.

10. If a person in your household attends an institution of higher education and does not meet the requirements to be an eligible student under WAC 388-482-0005, we do not count this person as a member of your AU under WAC 388-408-0035.

11. If your AU currently receives food benefits under WASHCAP or lives on or near an Indian reservation and receives benefits from a tribal food distribution program approved by FNS, your AU is not eligible for food assistance benefits through the Washington Basic Food program.

12. If a person in your AU is ineligible for any of the following reasons, we count the ineligible person's income as described under WAC 388-450-0140:

a.    Able-bodied adults without dependents who are no longer eligible under WAC 388-444-0030;

b.    Persons fleeing a felony prosecution, conviction, or confinement under WAC 388-442-0010;

c.    Persons who do not attest to citizenship or alien status as defined in WAC 388-424-0001;

d.    Persons who are ineligible aliens under WAC 388-424-0020;

e.    Persons disqualified for an intentional program violation under WAC 388-446-0015;

f.     Persons who do not provide a Social Security number when required under WAC 388-476-0005; or

g.    Persons who failed to meet work requirements under chapter 388-444 WAC.

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.

See USDA Food and Nutrition Service website for a list of the tribes and their points of contacts in Washington State that participate in the federal Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR or "commodities").  Individuals receiving FDPIR commodities from these tribal organizations are ineligible to receive Basic Food.
Modification Date: June 20, 2014