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Resources - Cash and Family Medical


Revised October 1, 2013



WAC 388-470-0045How do my resources count toward the resource limits for cash assistance?
WAC 388-470-0055How do my resources count toward the resource limit for basic food?

WAC 388-470-0045

WAC 388-470-0045

Effective October 1, 2013

WAC 388-470-0045 How do my resources count toward the resource limits for cash assistance?

1.      We count the following resources toward your assistance unit's resource limits for cash assistance to decide if you are eligible for benefits under WAC 388-470-0005:

a.      Liquid resources not specifically excluded in subsection (2) below. These are resources that are easily changed into cash. Some examples of liquid resources are: 

                                i.      Cash on hand;

                              ii.      Money in checking or savings accounts;

                            iii.      Money market accounts or certificates of deposit (CDs) less any withdrawal penalty;

                             iv.      Available retirement funds or pension benefits, less any withdrawal penalty;

                               v.      Stocks, bonds, annuities, or mutual funds less any early withdrawal penalty;

                             vi.      Available trusts or trust accounts; or

                           vii.      Lump sum payments as described in chapter 388-455 WAC.

              viii.   Any funds retained beyond the month of receipt from conversion of federally protected rights or extraction of exempt  resources by members of a federally-recognized tribe that are in the form of countable resources.

b.      The cash surrender value (CSV) of whole life insurance policies.

c.      The CSV over fifteen hundred dollars of revocable burial insurance policies or funeral agreements.

d.      The amount of a child's irrevocable educational trust fund that is over four thousand dollars per child.

e.      Funds withdrawn from an individual development account (IDA) if they were removed for a purpose other than those specified in RCW 74.08A.220.

f.        Any real property like a home, land or buildings not specifically excluded in subsection (3) below.

g.      The equity value of vehicles as described in WAC 388-470-0070.

h.      Personal property that is not:

                                i.      A household good;

                              ii.      Needed for self-employment; or

                            iii.      Of "great sentimental value," due to personal attachment or hobby interest.

i.        Resources of a sponsor as described in WAC 388-470-0060.

j.         For cash assistance only, sales contracts.

2.      The following types of liquid resources do not count when we determine your eligibility:

a.      Bona fide loans, including student loans;

b.      Basic food benefits;

c.      Income tax refunds for twelve months from the date of receipt;

d.      Earned income tax credit (EITC) in the month received and for up to twelve months;

e.      Advance earned income tax credit payments;

f.        Federal economic stimulus payments that are excluded for federal and federally-assisted state programs;

g.      Individual development accounts (IDAs) established under RCW 74.08A.220;

h.      Retroactive cash benefits or TANF/SFA benefits resulting from a court order modifying a decision of the department;

i.        Underpayments received under chapter 388-410 WAC;

j.         Educational benefits that are excluded as income under WAC 388-450-0035;

k.      The income and resources of an SSI recipient;

l.     A bank account jointly owned with an SSI recipient if SSA already counted the money for SSI purposes;

m.    Foster care payments provided under Title IV-E and/or state foster care maintenance payments;

n.      Adoption support payments;

o.      Self-employment accounts receivable that the client has billed to the customer but has been unable to collect; and

p.      Resources specifically excluded by federal law.

 

3.      The following types of real property do not count when we determine your eligibility:

a.      Your home and the surrounding property that you, your spouse, or your dependents live in;

b.      A house you do not live in, if you plan on returning to the home and you are out of the home because of:

                                i.      Employment;

                              ii.      Training for future employment;

                            iii.      Illness; or

                             iv.      Natural disaster or casualty.

c.      Property that:

                                i.      You are making a good faith effort to sell;

                              ii.      You intend to build a home on, if you do not already own a home;

                            iii.      Produces income consistent with its fair market value, even if used only on a seasonal basis; or

                             iv.      A household member needs for employment or self-employment. Property excluded under this section and used by a self-employed farmer or fisher retains its exclusion for one year after the household member stops farming or fishing.

d.      Indian lands held jointly with the Tribe, or land that can be sold only with the approval of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

4.      If you deposit excluded liquid resources into a bank account with countable liquid resources, we do not count the excluded liquid resources for six months from the date of deposit.

5.      If you sell your home, you have ninety days to reinvest the proceeds from the sale of a home into an exempt resource.

a.      If you do not reinvest within ninety days, we will determine whether there is good cause to allow more time. Some examples of good cause are:

                                i.      Closing on your new home is taking longer than anticipated;

                              ii.      You are unable to find a new home that you can afford;

                            iii.      Someone in your household is receiving emergent medical care; or

                             iv.      Your children are in school and moving would require them to change schools.

b.      If you have good cause, we will give you more time based on your circumstances.

c.      If you do not have good cause, we count the money you got from the sale as a resource.

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.

CLARIFYING INFORMATION

*** As a result of implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), this clarifying page may no longer be effective for medical coverage applications received on or after 10/01/2013. Please see the ACA Transition Plan for more information. Clients who need to apply for medical coverage on or after 10/01/2013 should be referred to Washington Healthplanfinder.   ***

  1. Some examples of resources that are excluded for cash assistance programs are:

    1. Personal effects;

    2. Benefits from the Basic Food Program;

    3. LIHEAP payments;

    4. One burial plot for each AU member; and

    5. The income and resources of an SSI recipient.

  2. Some examples of lump sums for cash assistance are:

    1. Cash prizes;

    2. Awards;

    3. Lottery winnings;

    4. Refunds of cleaning, damage, security, or utility deposits; and

    5. Insurance or damage settlements, some or all of which may be excluded. See LUMP SUM PAYMENTS for more information.

  3. Sentimental Value Exemption

    The exemption of a resource due to “great sentimental value” is limited to personal property. Vehicles are counted or exempted as defined in WAC 388-470-0070.

  4. A trust fund is considered unavailable for cash assistance programs when:

    1. A household member cannot revoke the trust or change the beneficiary;

    2. The trustee administering the funds is not under the direction of a household member or is appointed by the court with court-imposed limitations on the use of the funds;

    3. The funds are used solely to make investments on behalf of the trust or pay for medical or educational expenses for a specific household member; and

    4. The investments made on behalf of the trust do not directly involve or assist any business or corporation under the control, direction, or influence of a household member.

    5. The client must petition the court to release part or all of a resource, including funds in blocked accounts or trusts. Review the status at each recertification/eligibility review.

  5. Real Property

    1. Public rights of way, such as roads that run through the surrounding property and separate it from the home, will not affect the exemption of the property.

    2. Definition of a “good faith effort to sell” real property:

      1. Listing the property with a real estate company;

      2. Actively showing the property;

      3. Placing signs on the property and ads in the newspaper; and

      4. Asking a price that is at or under fair market value (FMV).

Real and Personal Property Used for Self-Employment

  1. For cash assistance, real and personal property used for self-employment are excluded if:

    1. The property is necessary to restore the client's independence or will aid in rehabilitating the client or the client's dependents; and

    2. The client has an approved self-employment plan; and

    3. For WorkFirst participants, the self-employment enterprise is a component of the participant's approved Individual Responsibility Plan (IRP).

  2. Examples of real or personal property used in a self-employment business include:

    1. Farm Land;

    2. Farm Machinery;

    3. Livestock;

    4. Business Equipment; and

    5. Business Inventory.

  3. See the WorkFirst Implementation Handbook  for developing the IRP for a self-employed WorkFirst participant.

  4. For non-WorkFirst participants, an approved self-employment plan must include the following:

    1. A time frame that the client's business will produce enough income to reduce the assistance unit's need for cash assistance;

    2. A requirement for the client to give the department adequate verification to verify the business' assets and expenses on a monthly basis. See: Income - C. - Special Income Types

    3. A statement of understanding between the client and the department that the real and personal property of the business will be excluded as long as there is an agreed plan.

    4. If the client does not sign an agreed plan, the value of all real and personal property of the business will count toward the assistance unit's resource limit.


WORKER RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. When the value of a child’s irrevocable educational trust fund is over $4000, determine the reason it is over the limit:

    1. Disregard the amount over the limit that is due to interest, as long as it remains in the trust.

    2. If the trust exceeds the limit for reasons other than interest, establish a period of ineligibility. See: TRANSFER OF PROPERTY - to Qualify for Cash Assistance.


EXAMPLE

A child deposits the following amounts into an irrevocable educational trust:

  • June $800

  • July $1,600

  • August $1,600

As of 8/31/02, there is $4,000 in the irrevocable educational trust. The trust earns $16 in interest in the month of September, bringing the balance of the trust to $4,016. The funds in this trust are treated as follows:

  • Original $4,000: Unavailable resource.

  • $16 interest earned from the original $4,000: Unavailable as long as it remains held in trust.


EXAMPLE

The child in the example above deposits an additional $1,600 of her earnings into her irrevocable educational trust, bringing the balance to $5,616. The funds in the account are treated as follows:

  • Original $4,000: Unavailable resource.

  • $16 interest earned from the original $4,000: Unavailable as long as it remains held in trust.

  • Additional $1,600 deposit: Unavailable resource, unallowable transfer of property. Impose a period of ineligibility based on this dollar amount.

  1. If the client or child receives disbursements from the trust:

    1. Exclude any disbursements that are spent for educational expenses such as tuition, books, school supplies, and clothes for school.

    2. If the disbursements are not used for educational expenses:

      1. Treat the disbursements as a resource if the child or the child’s guardian owned or controlled the money before it was placed in the trust. If the amount of these disbursements causes the client’s resource to exceed the allowable limit, establish a period of ineligibility. See: TRANSFER OF PROPERTY - to Qualify for Cash Assistance.

      2. Treat the disbursements as unearned income if the child or the child’s guardian did not own or control the money before it was placed in the trust.


EXAMPLE

The trustee of a child’s irrevocable educational trust disburses $200 from the trust to the child to pay tuition for summer school. The money in the trust is from the child’s earnings. The $200 disbursement is excluded as both income and a resource.


EXAMPLE

The trustee of a child’s irrevocable educational trust disburses $200 from the trust to the child to buy a dog. The money in the trust was received as part of an insurance settlement and was deposited directly into the account from the insurance company, pursuant to a court order. The $200 is considered unearned income. 


WAC 388-470-0055

WAC 388-470-0055

Effective November 1, 2011

WAC 388-470-0055 How do my resources count toward the resource limit for basic food?

  1. For Basic Food, if your assistance unit (AU) is not categorically eligible (CE) under WAC 388-414-0001, we count the following resources toward your AU's resource limit to decide if you are eligible for benefits under WAC 388-470-0005
    1. Liquid resources. These are resources that are easily changed into cash. Some examples of liquid resources are:
      1. Cash on hand;
      2. Money in checking or savings accounts;
      3. Money market accounts or certificates of deposit (CDs) less any withdrawal penalty;
      4. Stocks, bonds, annuities, or mutual funds less any early withdrawal penalty;
      5. Available trusts or trust accounts; or
      6. Lump sum payments. A lump sum payment is money owed to you from a past period of time that you get but do not expect to get on a continuing basis.
    2. Nonliquid resources, personal property, and real property not specifically excluded in subsection (2) below.
    3. Vehicles as described in WAC 388-470-0075.
    4. The resources of a sponsor as described in WAC 388-470-0060.
  2. The following resources do not count toward your resource limit:
    1. Your home and the surrounding property that you, your spouse, or your dependents live in;
    2. A house you do not live in, if you plan on returning to the home and you are out of the home because of:
      1. Employment;
      2. Training for future employment;
      3. Illness; or
      4. Natural disaster or casualty.
    3. Property that:
      1. You are making a good faith effort to sell;
      2. You intend to build a home on, if you do not already own a home;
      3. Produces income consistent with its fair market value, even if used only on a seasonal basis;
      4. Is essential to the employment or self-employment of a household member. Property excluded under this section and used by a self-employed farmer or fisher retains its exclusion for one year after the household member stops farming or fishing; or
      5. Is essential for the maintenance or use of an income-producing vehicle; or
      6. Has an equity value equal to or less than half of the resource limit as described in WAC 388-470-0005.
    4. Household goods
    5. Personal effects;
    6. Life insurance policies, including policies with cash surrender value (CSV);
    7. One burial plot per household member;
    8. One funeral agreement per household member, up to fifteen hundred dollars;
    9. Pension plans or retirement funds not specifically counted in subsection (1) above;
    10. Sales contracts, if the contract is producing income consistent with its fair market value;
    11. Government payments issued for the restoration of a home damaged in a disaster;
    12. Indian lands held jointly with the Tribe, or land that can be sold only with the approval of the Bureau of Indian Affairs;
    13. Nonliquid resources that have a lien placed against them;
    14. Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC):
      1. For twelve months, if you were a basic food recipient when you got the EITC and you remain on basic food for all twelve months; or
      2. The month you get it and the month after, if you were not getting basic food when you got the EITC.
    15. Energy assistance payments or allowances;
    16. The resources of a household member who gets SSI, TANF/SFA, ABD assistance or PWA benefits;
    17. Retirement funds or accounts that are tax exempt under the Internal Revenue Code;
    18. Education funds or accounts in a tuition program under section 529 or 530 of the Internal Revenue Code; 
    19. Resources specifically excluded by federal law    [Ed. Note:  See Appendix] ; and
    20. Federal income tax refunds for twelve months whether or not you were receiving Basic Food assistance at the time you got the refund. 
  3. If you deposit excluded liquid resources into a bank account with countable liquid resources, we do not count the excluded liquid resources for six months from the date of deposit. Exception: Federal tax refunds are not counted for twelve months even when mixed with countable resources. 
  4. If you sell your home, you have ninety days to reinvest the proceeds from the sale of a home into an exempt resource.
    1. If you do not reinvest within ninety days, we will determine whether there is good cause to allow more time. Some examples of good cause are:
      1. Closing on your new home is taking longer than anticipated;
      2. You are unable to find a new home that you can afford;
      3. Someone in your household is receiving emergent medical care; or
      4. Your children are in school and moving would require them to change schools.
    2. If you have good cause, we will give you more time based on your circumstances.
    3. If you do not have good cause, we count the money you got from the sale as a resource.

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.

CLARIFYING INFORMATION

1.      Trusts and trust accounts:  A trust fund is considered unavailable for Basic Food when:

a.      A household member cannot revoke the trust or change the beneficiary;

b.      The trustee administering the funds is not under the direction of a household member or is appointed by the court with court-imposed limitations on the use of the funds;

c.      The funds are used solely to make investments on behalf of the trust or pay for medical or educational expenses for a specific household member; and

d.      The investments made on behalf of the trust do not directly involve or assist any business or corporation under the control, direction, or influence of a household member.

e.      The client must petition the court to release part or all of a resource, including funds in blocked accounts or trusts. Review the status at each recertification/eligibility review.

2.      Real Property

a.      Public rights of way, such as roads that run through the surrounding property and separate it from the home, will not affect the exemption of the property.

b.      Definition of a “good faith effort to sell” real property:

                                                        i.            Listing the property with a real estate company;

                                                      ii.            Actively showing the property;

                                                    iii.            Placing signs on the property and ads in the newspaper; and

                                                     iv.            Asking a price that is at or under fair market value (FMV).

3.      We do not count livestock as a resource if they are essential for self-employment.  We also exclude them if they are raised as pets or used for food.

4.      Retirement Accounts / Pension Plans:

Retirement funds, pension plans, and retirement accounts are excluded as a resource for Basic Food.  These retain their exclusion regardless of the client’s employment status. Below are some examples of retirement funds or pension plans that we exclude for Basic Food:

a.      Individual Retirement Accounts including SEP IRAs;

b.      Keogh plans;

c.      Federal Employee Thrift Savings plans;

d.      401(a) and 401 (k) plans (generally a cash-or-deferred arrangement that is limited to profit-making firms);

e.      403(a) and 403(b) plans (tax-sheltered annuities provided for employees of tax-exempt organizations and State and local educational organizations);

f.        408 and 408(a) plans (Roth IRAs);

g.       457 plans (plans for State and local governments and other tax-exempt organizations); and

h.      Section 501(c)(18) plans (retirement plans for union members consisting of employee contributions to certain trust that must have been established before June 1959).

5.      Education Accounts:

Funds in an education account or plan under section 529 and 530 of the Internal Revenue Code are exempt for Basic Food.  529 plans are often referred to as prepaid tuition or college savings plans.  A 530 plan is known as a Coverdell Education Savings Account and used to be called an Education IRA. 

 

6.      Some examples of lump sums for Basic Food are:

a.      Insurance settlements;

b.      Income tax refunds or rebates;

c.      Refunds of cleaning, damage, security, or utility deposits;

d.      VA Disability Pension annual adjustment payment; and

e.      Business and personal loans. We count the "payoff amount" that the bank or other financial institution wants to satisfy the loan.

7.      For Basic Food, all loans, except educational loans, are considered countable resources. This also includes:

a.      Cash withdrawn from a credit card account; and

b.      The available portion of secured credit cards. To determine the available portion:

                                                        i.            Determine that the client can actually access the funds by canceling the credit card; and

                                                      ii.            Subtract any amount owed to the credit card company for purchases.

Modification Date: October 1, 2013