WAC 388-470-0005

Effective October 1, 2014

WAC 388-470-0005 How do resources affect my eligibility for cash assistance and Basic Food?

  1. The following definitions apply to this chapter: 

    1. "We" means the department of social and health services.

    2. "You" means a person applying for or getting benefits from the department.

    3. "Fair market value (FMV)" means the price at which you could reasonably sell the resource.

    4. "Equity value" means the FMV minus any amount you owe on the resource.

    5. "Community property" means a resource in the name of the husband, wife, or both.

    6. "Separate property" means a resource of a married person that one of the spouses:

      1. Had possession of and paid for before they were married;

      2. Acquired and paid for entirely out of income from separate property; or

      3. Received as a gift or inheritance.

  2. We count a resource to decide if your assistance unit (AU) is eligible for cash assistance or Basic Food when:

    1. It is a resource we must count under WAC 388-470-0045 and WAC 388-470-0055;

    2. You own the resource. We consider you to own a resource if:

      1. Your name is on the title to the property; or

      2. You have property that doesn't have a title; and

    3. You have control over the resource, which means the resource is actually available to you; and

    4. You could legally sell the resource or convert it into cash within twenty days.

  3. For cash assistance, you must try to make your resources available even if it will take you more than twenty days to do so, unless:

    1. There is a legal barrier; or

    2. You must petition the court to release part or all of a resource.

  4. When you apply for assistance, we count your resources as of:

    1. The date of your interview, if you are required to have an interview; or

    2. The date of your application, if you are not required to have an interview.

  5. If your total countable resources are over the resource limit in subsection (6) through (13) of this section, you are not eligible for benefits.

  6. For cash assistance, we use the equity value as the value of your resources.

    1. Applicants can have countable resources up to one thousand dollars.

    2. Recipients of cash assistance can have an additional three thousand dollars in a savings account.

  7. If your AU is categorically eligible (CE) as described in WAC 388-414-0001, you do not have a resource limit for basic food.

  8. If your AU is not CE under WAC 388-414-0001, your AU may have countable resources up to the following amount and be eligible for basic food:

    1. Three thousand two hundred fifty dollars if your AU has either an elderly or disabled individual; or

    2. Two thousand two hundred fifty dollars for all other AUs.

  9. If you own a countable resource with someone who is not in your AU, we count the portion of the resource that you own. If we cannot determine how much of the resource is yours:

    1. For cash assistance, we count an equal portion of the resource that belongs to each person who owns it.

    2. For Basic Food, we count the entire amount unless you can prove that the entire amount is not available to you.

  10. We assume that you have control of community property and you can legally sell the property or convert it to cash unless you can show that you do not.

  11. We may not consider an item to be separate property if you used both separate and community funds to buy or improve it.

  12. We do not count the resources of victims of family violence when:

    1. The resource is owned jointly with members of the former household; or

    2. Availability of the resource depends on an agreement of the joint owner; or

    3. Making the resource available would place the client at risk of harm.

  13. You may give us proof about a resource anytime, including when we ask for it or if you disagree with a decision we made, about:

    1. Who owns a resource;

    2. Who has legal control of the resource;

    3. The value of a resource;

    4. The availability of a resource; or

    5. The portion of a property you or another person owns.

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.