Standards - Cash Assistance
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Standards - Cash Assistance


Revised January 7, 2014



Purpose: This section contains cash assistance need and payment standards, eligibility standards based on income, and standards for ongoing additional requirements.

WAC 388-478-0005Cash assistance need and payment standards and grant maximum.
WAC 388-478-0010Households with obligations to pay shelter costs.
WAC 388-478-0015Need standards for cash assistance.
WAC 388-478-0020Payment standards for TANF, SFA, and RCA.
WAC 388-478-0027What are the payment standards for Pregnant Women Assistance (PWA)?
WAC 388-478-0033What are the payment standards for Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD) cash assistance?
WAC 388-478-0035What are the maximum earned income limits for TANF, SFA, PWA, and RCA?
WAC 388-478-0050Payment standards for ongoing additional requirements.
WAC 388-478-0055How much do I get from my state supplemental payments (SSP)?
WAC 388-478-0057Year-end adjustments to the SSI state supplement.

WAC 388-478-0005
WAC 388-478-0005

Effective October 1, 2013

WAC 388-478-0005 Cash assistance need and payment standards and grant maximum.

  1. Need standards for cash assistance programs represent the amount of income required by individuals and families to maintain a minimum and adequate standard of living. Need standards are based on assistance unit size and include basic requirements for food, clothing, shelter, energy costs, transportation, household maintenance and operations, personal maintenance, and necessary incidentals. 

  2. Payment standards for assistance units in medical institutions and other facilities are based on the need for clothing, personal maintenance, and necessary incidentals (seeWAC 182-513-1300 and 182-515-1500 ).

  3. Need and payment standards for persons and families who do not reside in medical institutions and other facilities are based on their obligation to pay for shelter.

    1. Eligibility and benefit levels for persons and families who meet the requirements in 388-478-0010 are determined using standards for assistance units with an obligation to pay shelter costs.

    2. Eligibility and benefit levels for all other persons and families are determined using standards for assistance units who have shelter provided at no cost.

    3. For recent arrivals to Washington state who apply for temporary assistance for needy families (TANF), see WAC 388-468-0005.

  4. Starting July 1, 2012, the monthly cash assistance grant for an assistance unit cannot exceed the payment standard for family of eight listed in WAC 388-478-0020(1).

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

DSHS is required by state law [RCW 74.04.770] to establish, on an annual basis, standards of need for cash assistance programs.  These standards are based on studies of actual living costs for basic requirements.  They may vary by program and family size.  Separate standards may be established for assistance units with shelter provided at no cost.

Payment standards are based on assistance unit size and are used to determine eligibility and benefit levels for cash assistance.

The percentage difference between the need and payment standard for an assistance unit is called the ratable reduction.  Starting July 1, 2012, the grant payment cannot exceed the payment standard for a family of eight listed in WAC 388-478-0020

WAC 388-478-0020

Effective February 1, 2011

WAC 388-478-0020 Payment standards for TANF, SFA, and RCA.

  1. The payment standards for temporary assistance for needy families (TANF), state family assistance (SFA), and refugee cash assistance (RCA) assistance units with obligations to pay shelter costs are:  
Assistance Unit Size Payment Standard Assistance Unit Size Payment Standard
1 $305 6 $ 736
2 385 7 850
3 478 8 941
4 562 9 1,033
5 648 10 or more 1,123
  1. The payment standards for TANF, SFA, and RCA assistance units with shelter provided at no cost are:
Assistance Unit Size Payment Standard Assistance Unit Size Payment Standard
1 $185 6 $ 447
2 235 7 517
3 290 8 572
4 342 9 628
5 394 10 or more 683

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.

WAC 388-478-0010

WAC 388-478-0010

Effective September 1, 1999

WAC 388-478-0010 Households with obligations to pay shelter costs.

The monthly need and payment standards for cash assistance are based on a determination of assistance unit size and whether the assistance unit has an obligation to pay shelter costs.

Eligibility and benefit level is determined using standards for assistance unit with obligations to pay shelter costs.  An assistance unit has an obligation to pay shelter costs if one of the members:

  1. Owns, purchases or rents their place of residence, even if costs are limited to property taxes, fire insurance, sewer, water, or garbage; 

  2. Resides in a lower income housing project which is funded under the United States Housing Act of 1937 or Section 236 of the National Housing Act, if the household either pays rent or makes a utility payment instead of a rental payment; or

  3. Is homeless.  Homeless households include persons or families who:

    1. Lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; or

    2. Reside in a public or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations; or

    3. Live in temporary lodging provided through a public or privately funded emergency shelter program.

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

In August, 1990, a the Thurston County Superior Court entered an order in Washington Coalition for the Homeless v. Thompson which held that standards for assistance units with shelter provided at no cost could not be applied to persons and families who are "without assured free shelter."  The department's rule defining persons and families whose eligibility and payment levels must be based on standards for assistance units with obligations to pay shelter costs complies with the court order.


WAC 388-478-0015

WAC 388-478-0015

Effective January 1, 2014

WAC 388-478-0015 Need standards for cash assistance.

The need standards for cash assistance units are:

  1. For assistance units with obligation to pay shelter costs:

Assistance Unit Size

Need Standard

Assistance Unit Size

Need Standard

1

$ 1,189

6

$2,860

2

1,504

7

3,305

3

1,857

8

3,658

4

2,191

9

4,011

5

2,526

10 or more

4,364

  1. For assistance units with shelter provided at no cost:

Assistance Unit Size

Need Standard

Assistance Unit Size

Need Standard

1

$ 609

6

$1,465

2

770

7

1,693

3

951

8

1,873

4

1,122

9

2,054

5

1,293

10 or more

2,235

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.

WAC 388-478-0016

Error processing SSI file

WAC 388-478-0020

WAC 388-478-0020

Effective February 1, 2011

WAC 388-478-0020 Payment standards for TANF, SFA, and RCA.

  1. The payment standards for temporary assistance for needy families (TANF), state family assistance (SFA), and refugee cash assistance (RCA) assistance units with obligations to pay shelter costs are:  
Assistance Unit Size Payment Standard Assistance Unit Size Payment Standard
1 $305 6 $ 736
2 385 7 850
3 478 8 941
4 562 9 1,033
5 648 10 or more 1,123
  1. The payment standards for TANF, SFA, and RCA assistance units with shelter provided at no cost are:
Assistance Unit Size Payment Standard Assistance Unit Size Payment Standard
1 $185 6 $ 447
2 235 7 517
3 290 8 572
4 342 9 628
5 394 10 or more 683

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.

WAC 388-478-0027

WAC 388-478-0027

Effective November 1, 2011

WAC 388-478-0027 What are the payment standards for Pregnant Women Assistance (PWA)?

1.    The payment standards for PWA cash assistance program assistance units with obligations to pay shelter costs are:

Assistance Unit Size 

Payment Standard 

$197

2.    The payment standards for PWA cash assistance units with shelter provided at no cost are:

Assistance Unit Size 

Payment Standard 

$120

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.

WAC 388-478-0033

WAC 388-478-0033

Effective November 1, 2011

WAC 388-478-0033 What are the payment standards for Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD) cash assistance?

1.    The payment standards for Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD) cash assistance program assistance units with obligations to pay shelter costs are:


Assistance Unit Size 

Payment Standard 

$197

 $248 

 

2.    The payment standards for Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD) cash assistance units with shelter provided at no cost are:


Assistance Unit Size 

Payment Standard 

$120

 $152 

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.

WAC 388-478-0035

WAC 388-478-0035

Effective November 1, 2011

WAC 388-478-0035 What are the maximum earned income limits for TANF, SFA, PWA, and RCA?

To be eligible for temporary assistance for needy families (TANF), state family assistance (SFA), refugee cash assistance (RCA), or a pregnant women assistance (PWA), a family's gross earned income must be below the following levels: 

Number of Family Members Maximum Earned Income Level Number of Family Members Maximum Earned Income Level
1 $ 610 6 $1,472
2 770 7 1,700
3 955 8 1,882
4 1,124 9 2,066
5 1,295 10 or more 2,246

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

To determine a family's gross earned income, see WAC 388-450-0165.


WAC 388-478-0045

WAC 388-478-0045

Effective September 1, 1998

WAC 388-478-0045 Payment standard for persons in certain group living facilities.

  1. A monthly grant payment of thirty-eight dollars and eighty-four cents will be made to eligible persons in the following facilities:

    1. Congregate care facilities (CCF);

    2. Adult residential rehabilitation centers/adult residential treatment facilities (AARC/ARTF); and

    3. Division of developmental disabilities (DDD) group home facilities. 

  2. The payment covers the person's need for clothing, personal maintenance, and necessary incidentals (CPI).

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

The payment standard for TANF, SFA, PWA, ABD cash, and RCA recipients who are in medical institutions or other facilities for more than 90 days is the appropriate CPI amount.  See WAC 388-454-0015.


WAC 388-478-0050
WAC 388-478-0050

Effective September 1, 2000

WAC 388-478-0050 Payment standards for ongoing additional requirements.

An "ongoing additional requirement" is a continuing need that you have for which you require additional financial benefits in order to continue living independently.  The "payment standard" for ongoing additional requirement benefits is the amount of money needed to pay for these items or services.  We use the following payment standards for ongoing additional requirements approved under WAC 388-473-0020 through WAC 388-473-0060:

  1. Restaurant meals: $187.09 per month (or $6.04 per day with the payment rounded down to the nearest dollar amount); 

  2. Laundry: $11.13 per month;

  3. Service animal food: $33.66 per month;

  4. Home delivered meals: The amount charged by the agency providing the meals;

  5. Telephone: The local flat rate for the area; or the discounted amount established under the Washington telephone assistance program (WTAP) rate, whichever is less.

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.

WAC 388-478-0055

WAC 388-478-0055

Effective July 1, 2008

WAC 388-478-0055 How much do I get from my state supplemental payments (SSP)?

  1. The SSP is a payment from the state for certain SSI eligible people (see WAC 388-474-0012)

    If you converted to the federal SSI program from state assistance in January 1974 because you were aged, blind, or disabled, and have remained continuously eligible for SSI since January 1974, the department calls you a grandfathered client.  Social Security calls you a mandatory income level (MIL) client.

    A change in living situation, cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) or federal payment level (FPL) can affect a grandfathered (MIL) client.  A grandfathered (MIL) client gets a federal SSI payment and a SSP payment, which totals the higher of one of the following:

    1. The state assistance standard set in December 1973, unless you lived in a medical institution at the time of conversion, plus the federal cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) since then; or

    2. The current payment standard.

  2. The monthly SSP rates for eligible persons under WAC 388-474-0012 and individuals residing in an institution are:

SSP Eligible Persons Monthly SSP Rate
Individual (aged 65 and older) $46.00
Individual (blind as determined by SSA) $46.00
Individual with an ineligible spouse $46.00
Grandfathered (MIL)

Varies by individual based on federal requirements.
  Payments range between $0.54 and $199.77

medical institution Monthly SSP Rate
Individual $27.28

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.

WAC 388-478-0057

WAC 388-478-0057

Effective December 6, 2001

WAC 388-478-0057 Year-end adjustments to the SSI state supplement.

For the purposes of this rule, "we" refers to the department of social and health services.  We are required by federal law to maintain the total SSI state supplement payments at the same level each year, without an increase or decrease in total spending.  This may result in adjustment to your SSI state supplement benefits at the end of the year.  

  1. If there are unexpended funds, you will receive a one-time bonus payment, usually at the end of the calendar year.

  2. When there is a shortage in available funds, your state supplement benefits will be decreased.  The decrease will usually be spread out over multiple months to reduce the negative impact on you.

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.
Modification Date: January 7, 2014