Change of Circumstances - TOC

Purpose:

This chapter describes what changes a client needs to report, how changes affect the monthly benefit level and what actions are needed. This chapter contains the following sections:

Reporting Requirements

Created on: 
Jan 05 2015

Revised June 22, 2022

Purpose:

WAC 388-418-0005 How will I know what changes to report?

WAC 388-418-0007 When do I have to report changes in my circumstances?


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-418-0005

  1. SSI / SSI-related medical benefits:
  • Reporting requirements for SSI-related medical benefits don't apply to a person receiving SSI medical (S01). SSI recipients report changes to the Social Security Administration.
  • A recipient of S01 medical and benefits from another program must report changes based on the requirements for the other program.
EXAMPLE:  A family receives S01 medical, TANF, and Basic Food benefits.  S01 medical does not follow the same reporting requirements as SSI-related medical (i.e., S02).  The family must report changes based on the cash reporting requirements.
  1. Reporting Requirements for Basic Food Simplified Reporting:
    1. Basic Food households must report when their income goes over 130 percent of the income poverty levels based on the number of eligible household members in their assistance unit. A household meets reporting requirements under simplified reporting when the household reports their income is above 130 percent of the income poverty level, but they remain eligible for Basic Food. The household doesn't have to report any other income changes until one of the following occurs:
      • The mid-certification review (MCR);
      • The eligibility review (ER); or
      • The household income is greater than 200 percent of the income poverty limit.
    2. Basic Food households must report when a member has a substantial lottery or gambling win. This information is not subject to simplified reporting rules. Households must report this change by the 10th of the following month after receiving the winnings.
  2. Reporting Requirements for State Supplemental Payment Program (SSP):
    SSP recipients don't have to report changes.
    We decide if someone is eligible for SSP based on information Social Security Administration (SSA) gives us through the State Data Exchange (SDX).
  3. Taking action on changes:
    When we receive information about someone's circumstances, we must determine the impact on the person's benefits. This includes determining how the source of information impacts the actions we take on the household's benefits and whether we are required to act on it. Depending on the reporting circumstances, we may have to contact the household, contact other parties, or ask for proof of the household's circumstances under WAC 388-490-0005.
    1. Client Reports:
      • Take action based on changes the person reports. This includes when someone volunteers information after we contact them.
      • Get proof of a household's circumstances if they report:
        • A decrease in income that increases their benefits;
        • A change in expenses that increases benefits; or
        • For Basic Food, a change in expenses that increases food benefits and the expenses are questionable given their income and other circumstances.
    2. Third-Party Reports:
      • Information reported by anyone other than the household is a third-party report.
      • We must verify information reported by a third-party that conflicts with the information reported at application or recertification if the information is a reportable change.
EXAMPLE: Annie receives Basic Food benefits and supplied an address in Tacoma on her application. One month after her application, Time calls and reports no person named Annie has ever lived at his address, the address Annie provided during her application. The information Tim supplied conflicts with the information Annie used at her certification. The worker is unable to contact Annie or the landlord. The worker sends a request letter to Annie's last known address.
  • When information reported by a third-party doesn't conflict with information provided at certification, we must determine if the household is required to report the change based on their benefit program.
    • Hold the information until the next Mid-Certification Review or Eligibility Review, whichever comes first, if it's information the household is not required to report.
EXAMPLE: Annie receives Basic Food benefits. Her neighbor Suzanne calls and reports Annie moved to Virginia. The worker correctly determines Annie doesn't need to report this information. The worker holds the information until Annie's upcoming Mid-Certification Review.
EXAMPLE: Same scenario as above but Annie receives TANF and Basic Food benefits. Although she is not required to report this change for Basic Food, she is required to report it for TANF. The worker sends a request for information letter to Annie's last known address.

For Basic Food only cases:

If the household

And the information

And the change happened

Then

Is required to report the change

  • Total monthly income exceeds the gross income standard;
  • Substantial lottery or gambling win; or
  • Work hours fall below 20 hrs/wk for person who must meet work requirements

Is verified upon receipt (information comes from the source: for example, SOLQ, UTAB, current employer or landlord) or a system match from the Social Security Admin (such as SDX), or National Directory of New Hires

Less than 60 days before the current month

Act on the change.

Is not verified upon receipt or a system match

Ask the household to verify the information and take appropriate action.

Is a system match (SSA, NDNH)

60 days or older

Act on the change.

Is not from one of those sources

Hold the information until the next MCR or recertification.

Is not required to report the change

Is verified upon receipt

Less than 60 days before

Act on the change.

Is not verified upon receipt

(no timeframe)

arrow

Hold the information until the next MCR or recertification.

If the third-party report shows that we certified or recertified the case using significantly conflicting information, we must verify the report and make the necessary case corrections.  This may involve creating overpayments or making a fraud referral.

EXAMPLE: Annie receives basic food benefits and supplied an address in Tacoma on her application. One month after her application, Tim calls and reports no person named Annie has ever lived at his address, the address Annie provided during her application. The information Tim supplied conflicts with the information Annie used at her certification. The worker is unable to contact Annie or the landlord. The worker sends a request letter to Annie's last known address.

EXAMPLE: Jacob reported at cert that his rent is $750.  It is not questionable, as he has enough earned income.  Later, Marco applies, listing the same address.  We find out Marco has lived there and, while the full rent is $750, he and Jacob have shared the rent equally for several months, prior to Jacob’s application.  If Marco’s information is correct, Jacob has an over-issuance.  We contact Jacob to clarify the issue and, if necessary, create the overpayment starting with certification.

Example of information that conflicts with, but does not significantly conflict with, information used at cert:

EXAMPLE:  Julie reports at cert that she is working 25-30 hours a week, and we verify this with the bookkeeper, using an average of 27.5 hours a week.  We later find out Julie has been working closer to 30 hours for several weeks, before her application.  Julie is required to report when her hours go under 20 hours a week.  Even though her hours were estimated incorrectly, this is not a significant conflict with the information used.  She still meets the work requirement, and the hours she is working are still within the estimate provided by the bookkeeper.

Examples of information changing after cert:

EXAMPLE: Annie receives basic food benefits. Her neighbor Suzanne calls and reports Annie moved to Virginia. The worker correctly determines Annie doesn't need to report this information. The worker holds the information until Annie's upcoming Mid-Certification Review.
EXAMPLE: Philip receives basic food. We receive a tickler from Employment Security Department in March that Philip was hired at Quick Stop Fuel and Food in December. Although we aren't certain if Philip would have to report this chance, we do know the information is over 60 days old. The worker holds this information in the case record to address at the next MCR or ER.

c. Changes Verified Upon Receipt:

  • Information reported from the primary source is "verified upon receipt". This information doesn't require secondary verification. Some examples include:
    • SOLQ;
    • UTAB;
    • A current employer; or
    • A landlord.
  • Some verified upon receipt sources update ACES automatically and generate alerts for the change. We don't need to take action on these alerts.

d. A Lottery or Gambling Win:

  • Information provided by the Washington State Lottery data match is verified upon receipt. Staff must take appropriate action to close the case if the client has winnings equal to or over the elderly or disabled resource limit for Basic Food. See Lottery or Gambling Disqualification for Basic Food.

e. Other Reports:

  • Tickles or alerts from sources not verified upon receipt are considered third-party reports. Determine how to treat these tickles or alerts based on how we treat third-party reports.

f. Department of Corrections Reports and Incarceration: We have to act on Department of Corrections match tickles. These matches are from a primary sources, however, because the tickles are based on data we receive once a month, we must verify the tickles data.

Use FORS to determine whether the client is still incarcerated. Remove the incarcerated client from the basic food or cash household with adequate notice if they are incarcerated more than 30 days.

When the department verifies a client is incarcerated over 30 days, we suspend EBT benefits to prevent fraudulent use. Take the following steps when receiving notification that someone is verified to be incarcerated over 30 days:

  • Submit a “Suspension of EBT benefits due to Incarceration” request
  • Document the actions taken and reason for suspension of the EBT account
  • Include canned text in the termination letter informing of the reason for termination and how to reactivate benefits

When a client contacts the department to report they are no longer incarcerated, request reactivation of benefits and document case action. Benefits will be available within 48 hours of notification they are no longer incarcerated. Contact to the department is also considered a request for reinstatement or application.

g. SSA Death Alerts

We must take action on alerts from SSA of a client's death. This information is not considered verified upon receipt. Use DOH web portal to verify a client's death.

h. Information known to the department:

Information considered known to the department doesn't need verification to affect a household's benefits. The "department" is any agency under the Department of Social and Health Services including:

  • Division of Child Support (DCS);
  • Aging and Long Term Support Administration (ALTSA);
  • Behavioral Health Administration (BHA);
  • Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA); and
  • Facilities, Finance & Analytics Administration.

It also includes programs within ESA.

EXAMPLE: A CSD worker is notified by an HCS worker that a Basic Food client has been placed in an Adult Family Home. With all their meals provided, Basic Food needs to close. As this information came from HCS, part of ALTSA, the CSD worker treats this as verified and closes the client's benefits. The move was not required to be reported, so no Basic Food overpayment exists.
EXAMPLE: A worker receives a tickler from Health Care Authority (HCA) worker that a household receiving TANF and Medicaid moved out of state. Because HCA is not a part of the department, the worker treats this information as a third-party report.
  1. ABAWD reporting requirement:

A household must report when a non-exempt ABAWD's hours of employment drop below 20 hours per week. This includes when the non-exempt ABAWD is the head of household for Basic Food. Only ABAWDs in King County (except those living on the Muckleshoot Reservation) are subject to this requirement. 

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-418-0005

The DMS E001 tickler uses EBT transaction data to identify EBT cash or food clients who may no longer be living in Washington because they are consistently using their benefits out of state. Out of state EBT transactions are defined as any EBT purchase, ATM withdrawal or manual voucher transaction at a non-Washington site that requires the use of an EBT card as part of the transaction. When this occurs, the residency may be questionable. 

Follow the E001 tickler handling process described in the CSD Procedures Handbook.


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-418-0007

  1. When a change happens:

    Non-Income Changes

    The date of a change is normally the date a change happens. Examples of this include the date:

    • Someone gets married;
    • A newborn comes home from the hospital; and
    • Someone moves to a new home.

    Income Changes The date of an income related change is the date someone receives income based on the change. Examples of this include the date:

    • On the first paycheck that reflects a wage increase; and
    • On the person's first paycheck for a new job.
EXAMPLE:  Sandy receives cash assistance and is hired for a new job on May 31st. She starts work on June 10th. Her first paycheck is July 5th. Because this is a change in income, we count the date of Sandy's first paycheck on July 5th as the date of the change.   She must tell us about this change by August 10th. If Sandy reports this change earlier, we act on the change based on when we expect her to receive the income.
EXAMPLE: Nick is hired for a new job on May 1st. He receives his first paycheck on June 1st. Nick must report this change of employment status and income by July 10th.
EXAMPLE: Stacey receives TANF and Basic Food. Her employee evaluation was on October 1st. Based on this evaluation, Stacey gets a promotion and a $1.25 hourly wage increase. The wage increase takes effect October 15th. She will receive the first check showing this increase on November 10th. Because this is a change in income, we count the date of Stacey's first paycheck on November 10th as the date of the change. Stacey must report this change to us by December 10th. - If Stacey reports this change earlier, we act on the change based on when we expect her to receive the income.
  1. Changes a client voluntarily reports:
    • We must act on changes reported by the household even if they didn't have to report it under WAC 388-418-0005. This includes asking for more information or proof of a change when we can't tell the impact on their benefits.
    • For Basic Food, under simplified reporting rules, clients do not have to report when they move until recertification or until the mid-certification review, whichever comes first. If they voluntarily report a move between mandatory reports or for another program, they must provide their new shelter costs. The new shelter costs do not need to be verified unless questionable. See "Worker Responsibilities" (4.) and (5.) below.
    EXAMPLE Larry receives Basic Food only. He calls and reports his monthly rent expense went from $300 to $500 monthly. The worker chooses to verify this change as"questionable" because the $500 plus utilities are so close to Larry's monthly income. The worker updates the shelter costs after they receive proof of the expense.
    EXAMPLE Ian receives TANF and Basic Food. He leaves a message with his worker reporting that he started a job and would like to close his TANF benefits today. Ian's worker closes TANF benefits based on the request. Since Ian reported he is now employed, his worker must follow up to see how this impacts his Basic Food benefits.
  2. Unverified changes that increase benefits:

    We ask for proof of a change if it increases a household's benefits. We only ask for proof of an increase in expenses if the expenses are questionable. We increase the AU's benefits based on the effective date rules under WAC 388-418-0020.

    • We don't update a household's case to increase benefits if they fail to give us requested verification of a reduction in income or an increase in expenses.
    • We don't close the case based on the household's failure to give proof of a change that would increase their benefits.

  3. Changes someone reports on an application or eligibility review:

    People may report a change in their circumstances on an eligibility review form or an application for benefits. If you receive an application or eligibility review form:

    1. Before the ER notice is mailed to the client in the second to last month of their certification period, treat this form as a change of circumstances.
    2. On or after the ER notice is mailed to the client in the second to last month of their certification period, treat this form as a request for review or recertification. See ELIGIBILITY REVIEWS AND RECERTIFICATIONS for procedures.
    3. In the month before the mid-certification review is due, use the information on the application / review form to complete the MCR for any related programs.
    4. For medical, you may use an application or review at any time to update the medical certification period.
    5. For handling additional applications received before initial application is processed see "Clarifying Information" #4 under WAC 388-406-0010 .
      EXAMPLE Susan's Basic Food certification period ends on July 31st. She turns in an Eligibility Review form for Basic Food only on May 31st. Because Susan turned in the ER before the 15th of the month before the month her certification period ends, we treat the form as a change of circumstance report.
  4. Temporary absence of an AU member: If an AU member is temporarily out of the home:
    • For cash and medical assistance, follow the rules in WAC 388-454-0015 to determine if the person is still eligible for benefits.
    • For Basic Food, follow the rules in WAC 388-408-0035 to determine if the person is still eligible for benefits.

  5. AU member moves out of Washington:

    Washington state residency is a requirement for most programs. If an AU member or the entire AU leaves the state, follow the rules in WAC 388-468-0005 to determine if they are still eligible for benefits.

WORKER RESPONSIBILITIES - WAC 388-418-0007

  1. During the application, recertification or eligibility interview:
    1. Tell clients what changes they must report and how much time they have to report the changes; and
    2. Explain how to report changes either in writing, online, by phone, or in person. (See RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES).
  2. ​When people report a change or when you learn of a change:
    1. Ask for more information or proof if needed. See LETTERS for the rules and the process on asking someone to take an action or give us information.
    2. Take action on the information using the effective date rules in WAC 388-418-0020.
    3. If we averaged their income under WAC 388-450-0215, recalculate this source of income if you expect this change to last at least a month beyond when you learn of the change.
    4. Document:
      1. The details of the change;
      2. The date we learned about the change or the date the change was reported;
      3. The impact on benefits; and
      4. The effective date for any change in benefits.
    5. Send written notice about the change based on requirements in LETTERS even if the benefits do not change.
  3. For Basic Food, if the household doesn't report a change in medical expenses, but you learn about a change:
    1. Do not contact the AU about the change;
    2. Act on the change only if you can get proof of the change from someone other than the AU; and
    3. Set an alert to get proof of the change at the next recertification. Update the Expense Page in ACES once you get proof of the medical expenses.
    4. Document in the ACES narrative whether or not we should use the medical expense at the next recertification.
NOTE: If you later approve medical assistance that covers a person's medical expenses, delete the medical expenses on the Expense Page and recalculate the person's Basic Food benefits.
  1. For Basic Food, when the client voluntarily reports a move in person or on the phone:
    1. Ask for the new out-of-pocket share of shelter costs associated with the new residence.
    2. Do not require verification of the new shelter expenses unless questionable.
    3. Make it clear that they don't need to wait for the first regular rental or utility payment to tell us the amount(s).
    4. Update and document the new shelter costs in ACES.
    5. Send notice to the client if there is a change in the benefit amount. Give advance notice if there is a decrease.\
  2. If the client reports a move in writing or we receive returned mail with a new forwarding address on the envelope:
    1. Attempt to contact the household by phone. If successful, follow instructions in (4.) above.
    2. If unable to contact by phone and in the month of an ER or MCR, do not send the household a general correspondence letter.
      1. Update the address;
      2. Re-send the return form(s) to the new address; and
      3. Wait to update shelter information until the ER or MCR.
    3. If unable to contact by phone and not in the month of an ER or MCR, send the household a general correspondence letter asking for the new shelter costs associated with the move.
      1. Include a statement in the letter warning the household we will remove the old shelter deduction from the budget and recalculate benefits using no shelter costs if new expenses aren't reported within 10 days.
      2. Make it clear in the letter they don't need to wait for the first regular rental or utility payment to tell us the amount(s); and
      3. Don't require verification of the new shelter expenses unless questionable.
    4. If the household responds to the letter:
      1. Update and document the new shelter costs in ACES; and
      2. Send notice to the household if there is a change in the benefit amount. Give advance notice if there is a decrease in benefits.
    5. If the household doesn't respond to the letter:
      1. Don't close the Basic Food AU;
      2. Remove the old shelter costs; and
      3. Send advance notice to the household if there is a change in the benefit amount.
NOTE: Do not use a "Request for Information" letter as this letter requires a Basic Food AU closure if the client does not respond.

Mid-Certification Reviews

For information on mid-certification reviews, please see the Mid-Certification Reviews section.


 

Top of Page

Effective Date - Change of Circumstances

Created on: 
Nov 09 2015

 

Revised July 1, 2021

WAC 388-418-0020 How does the department determine the date a change affects my cash and Basic Food benefits?


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-418-0020

1. Advance notice:

  •  LETTERS to determine advance notice time limits.

2. Overpayments due to not reporting or reporting late

See BENEFIT ERRORS and BENEFIT ERRORS – BASIC FOOD OVERPAYMENTS for information on how to set up an overpayment when someone did not report a change timely or when we did not make the change timely.

If someone does not report a change in circumstances required under WAC 388-418-0005, we determine if a client has an overpayment for each program based on that program’s reporting requirements.

·  For Basic Food, the household must report changes as required under WAC 388-418-0005(2).

·  If a Basic Food assistance unit would not have to report the change based on the AU's circumstances, we do not set up an overpayment even if the household had to report a change for another department program.

3. Mass changes

Mass changes are changes to eligibility rules.

Examples of mass changes include:

Changes to allotments or payment standards

Changes to income standards

Changes to the Basic Food maximum shelter deduction

Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) to SSI, Social Security, or VA benefits

Changes to the standard deduction for Basic Food

Changes to utility allowances for Basic Food

 

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-418-0020

  1. Temporary changes in income:

When a client reports a change in income that we do not expect to last at least a month beyond the month they reported the change, do not change their benefits. This includes having income over the gross income limit for Basic Food. Instead, take the following steps:

  1. Document the reported change, that the change is not expected to last at least a month beyond the date the client reported the change; and
  2. Leave the person's benefits unchanged.
  3. If the client is an ABAWD, we must determine if participation is met for each month (see Worker Responsibilities WAC 388-444-0030- Verifying Participation).

    1. If the client is now meeting participation when they were not before, document. Advise client of continued participation requirements.
    2. If the client is temporarily unable to meet participation, see Good Cause
NOTE: If you expect the change to last at least a month after the month the change was reported, adjust the person's income for the change. If we averaged this income, you must re-calculate the averaged income based on this new information.
EXAMPLE: On September 19th, Sue reports that her hours have increased because her co-worker is on medical leave through October 15th. We would not re-calculate Sue's income based on this report because the change won't last through the end of October.
EXAMPLE: On November 14th, Dan reports that he will be working full time for the holiday season through January 1st. We re-calculate Dan's income based on this report because we expect the change to last at least through the end of December.

2. Changes that cause an increase in benefits:

  • We require proof of a decrease in income before we update benefits based on the reported change, if the change will increase the household's benefits. We decide when to change benefits based on whether or not they provide the proof we asked for within ten days.  If they take more than ten days to provide this proof, we increase benefits starting the month after the month we received the proof even if they request more time to give us the proof.
  • If a change is reported through the online system on a weekend or holiday, the change is considered reported to the department on the first business day following the date the client entered the change online.  We increase the benefits starting the following month.  So if the client enters a change into their Client Benefit Account (CBA) on Saturday, March 30, the change would not take effect until May benefits.  We consider the change received Monday, April 1.
     
  • We require proof of expenses that will increase Basic Food benefits only if the expense is questionable.
     
  • If a person leaves a community residential facility or a medical institution after the first of the month and they have been receiving CPI monies per WAC 388-478-0006, the effective date for the change in benefits is the day they leave the facility. ACES calculates the benefit amounts as follows:  
  1. Divide the new grant amount payment standard by the number of days in the month.
  2. Multiply this amount by the number of days left in the month counting the date of discharge.
  3. Divide the CPI grant by the number of days in the month. 
  4. Multiply this amount and the remainder is multiplied by the number of days the person was in the facility.
  5. Add the amounts from #2 and #4 together.
  6. Subtract the CPI grant from the total #5. The two sums are added together and the CPI amount is subtracted from the total.

EXAMPLE: Billie is in an ARC (Adult Residential Care) facility and is receiving a CPI of $38.84 as an TANF recipient. Billie is released from the facility on April 10th and is eligible for a supplemental payment calculated as follows:

  1. $417 (benefit amount) divided by 30 (number of days in the month) = $13.90
  2. $13.90 x 21 (number of days left in the month, counting date of discharge) = $291.90
  3. $38.84 (CPI) divided by 30 (number of days in the month) = $1.29
  4. $1.29 x 9 (number of days the person was in the facility for the given month) = $11.65
  5. $291.90 + $11.65 = $303.55 which rounds up to $304.00
  6. $304.00 – 38.84 = $265.16 (ACES issues the exact amount for the BEG)

EXAMPLE: Charlie is an ABD recipient, who has been in an Adult Residential Treatment facility (ARTF) and receiving CPI $38.84. Charlie graduates and moved into clean and sober housing unit on October 13th and eligible for a supplemental payment calculated as follows:

  1. $197 divided by 31 = $6.35
  2. $6.35 x 19 days left in the month = $120.74
  3. $38.84 divided by 31 = $1.25
  4. $1.25 x 12 days in facility = $15.03
  5. $120.74 + 15.03 = $135.77 rounded up to $136.00
  6. $136.00 - 38.84 = $97.16 (ACES issues the exact amount for the BEG)
NOTE: If someone reports a change that would increase their benefits, but fails to provide the needed proof, we do not update the case to increase the AU's benefits. We also do not terminate the AU's benefits based on the missing proof. We continue to use the previous income and expenses until the next review / recertification.
NOTE: A reported one-time medical expense may have a different effective date as a deduction depending upon how the person chooses to have it budgeted.

3. Changes that reduce benefits:

When people report a change that will reduce their benefits, make the change to reduce their benefits (with advance notice). Do not require proof of the change. We will verify this information at the next eligibility review / recertification.

If the client is an ABAWD, consider how a change in their hours or income could impact their work registration status. If verification of participation is required, request it.

4. When someone reports multiple changes at one time:

When clients report multiple income-related changes at the same time, review each change separately to decide how the change impacts their eligibility and benefits.

EXAMPLE: Rebecca did not receive her March TANF or Basic Food benefits because she moved in February and did not report this change. Her mail was returned, "Moved, left no forwarding address". Her benefits closed without advanced notice on the last day of February.  On March 3rd, she reports her new address. In addition, Rebecca reports a new job. Reinstate her TANF and Basic Food back to March 1st. Give Rebecca 10 day's advanced and adequate notice regarding any benefit changes from the new job. Any reductions to her TANF and Basic Food would be effective in April.
EXAMPLE: Charles lost his job. He applied for TANF benefits and was approved. The first change is that Charles lost his job. The second is that he now receives TANF.  Charles losing the income from his job is a change that increases benefits. If Charles gives us proof of the change timely, we increase his benefits effective the first of the next month.  The second change was that he started to receive income from a new source. This is a change that decreases benefits. We reduce benefits effective the month after the change when this meets advance notice requirements.

EXAMPLE: Rico is returning to work after a temporary incapacity. Rico lives in a non-waived area and is now identified as a non-exempt ABAWD. Although we do not need income verification to decrease benefits, we do need work verification to determine if Rico will meet participation requirements.

5.  For Basic Food: When a newborn's date of birth is between the application date and interview date:

The newborn is eligible for benefits in the month of application effective the date of birth.  However, ACES does not correctly prorate benefits in the month of application when the newborn's application date is different than the rest of the household members.  When finalizing the case, you will need to exclude the baby in the first month and manually create a supplement for the newborn's portion.  The supplement amount is the difference between what the household is eligible to receive with and without the newborn, prorated from the date of birth.

To determine the supplement amount, take the following steps:

  1.  Determine how much the household is eligible to receive if the newborn was in the household at the time of application.
    •  Screen the newborn onto the Basic Food AU.  Use the date of birth as the application date.
    •  Go through "Start Interview" and "Process Application Months" as usual.
    •  Go into "Finalize" and start the finalize process.  Even though you screen the newborn in as of the date of birth, ACES 3G will open everyone (including the newborn) from the original application date.
    •  Make note of the benefit amount on the Food Eligibility Details screen for the month of application and back out (don't finalize!).   
  2. Determine how much the household is eligible to receive without the newborn in the month of application.
    •  Go into "Process Application Months" in the month of application only and code the newborn as a non-member on the Basic Food AU ID screen.
    •  Go into "Finalize" and finalize the case.
    •  The amount for the month of application should exclude the newborn.  The amount for the on-going months should include the newborn.
  3.  Take the difference between the amounts in Step 1 and Step 2 and divide by the number of days from the application date through the 30th.
    •  We always assume a 30-day month.
    •  Count the application date as day "one".
  4.  Multiply the result from Step 3 by the number of days from the newborn's date of birth through the 30th, and round down.  This is your BEG amount.
    •  We always assume a 30-day month.
    •  Count the newborn's date of birth as day "one".

EXAMPLE: A husband and wife apply for Basic Food on 07/10/10.  The wife gives birth on 07/20/10 and reported this information during their interview on 07/25/10.  The worker screens the newborn onto the AU.  After going through Steps 1 and 2, the worker determines that in the month of application, the household is eligible for $250 as a household of three (including the newborn) and  $180 as a household of two (excluding the newborn).  The worker finalizes the case and approves benefits as a household of two for the month of application, and a household of three for the rest of the certification period.

To figure out the BEG amount, the worker follows Step 3 and 4:

  • $250 - $180 = $70
  • $70 ÷ 21 days (from 07/10 through 07/30) = $3.33 per day
  • $3.33 x 11 days (from 07/20 through 07/30) = $36.63
  • The worker creates a BEG for $36.

NOTE: For information on how to create a BEG, see Benefit Error Group (BEG) in the ACES User Manual.

6.  For Basic Food: When someone (other than a newborn) moves into the household between the application date and interview date:

If someone moves into the household between the application date and interview date, that person is eligible for benefits effective the application date, along with the rest of the household members.

7.  Requests to add a person to an open case: 

  1. For Cash Assistance: When cash assistance benefits increase because a person is added to an assistance unit, use the effective date rules for applications in WAC 388-406-0055. See below to decide if you need an application or Eligibility Review (ER) form to add the new person to the current benefits:
  Cash Assistance

If someone asks to add an adult to their cash benefits, have the person complete an application or ER.

  • For cash, the responsible adult members of the AU must sign the application or ER.
  • We do not need a new application / ER form to add a child to TANF/SFA AU.
  Basic Food

 

We do not need a new application / ER form to add someone to the AU, unless the applicant is an ABAWD attempting to requalify.

 

  1. For Food Assistance: For Food Assistance: In a case of an ineligible ABAWD client regaining eligibility in an active AU:

See How do I lift an Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD) disqualification for a client on an active Basic Food AU?.

The client is eligible to receive a supplemental payment for the time they are eligible in application (requalifying) month.  To process the supplement:

EXAMPLE: A husband and wife apply for Basic Food on April 10th.  Currently the husband is active on the AU. The wife is an ineligible ABAWD on the AU. They are re-applying for benefits because she is now participating in a WIOA program and met her requalification hours on April 20th.
  1. Determine how much the household is eligible to receive if the wife was an eligible household member.
  2. Determine how much the household is eligible to receive without the wife. 
  3. The worker determines that in the month of application (requalification), the household is eligible for $355 as a household of two (including the wife) and $194 as a household of one (excluding the wife).  The worker finalizes the case and approves benefits as a household of one for the month of application (requalification), and a household of two for the rest of the certification period.
  4. Take the difference between the amounts in Step 1 and Step 2 and divide by the number of days from the requalification date through the 30th.
    • We always assume a 30-day month.
    • Count the requalification date as day "one".
  5.  Multiply the result from Step 3 by the number of days from the requalification date through the 30th, and round down.  This is your supplement amount.
    • We always assume a 30-day month.
    • Count the requalification date as day "one".
  6. To figure out the supplement amount, the worker follows steps 4 and 5.  

$355 - $194 = $161

$161 ÷ 30 days (from 04/01 through 04/30) = $5.3667 per day

$5.37 x 11 days (from 04/20 through 04/30) = $59.03

The worker creates a BEG for $59.

NOTE: For information on how to create a supplement, see Benefit Error Group (BEG) in the ACES User Manual.

8. Changes that cause a cash program change:

When clients report changes that makes them ineligible for the active cash program but eligible for another cash program, verify the change and process the cash program change without a new application or ER form unless it is required for other reasons.  See CSD Procedure Handbook – Change of Circumstances Processing (For staff only) for procedures. 

Examples:  Mary is receiving ABD and reports that her 9 year old child has moved back into her home.  Mary meets all eligibility requirements for TANF.  Verify that the child has returned to Mary’s home and terminate ABD with advance and adequate notice.  Screen in a TANF AU using procedures found in CSD Procedure Handbook – Change of Circumstances Processing (For staff only).    
Using the same scenario as above but Mary reports that the child’s father, Robert, also moved back into her home.  Since we are also adding an adult to the assistance unit, an application or ER form will be needed with the signatures of all responsible adult members of the AU.  Please see the table in #7 above for more details about when an application or ER form is needed.    

9.  Return Mail:
If you receive returned mail for someone and there is a new or forwarding address, take the following steps:

a. If the client's new address is in the State of Washington; refer to Worker Responsibility #5 for WAC 388-418-0007 in the Reporting Requirements section of the EAZ Manual.

b. If the client's new address is out of state, terminate benefits without advance notice as described in WAC 388-458-0030 (3)(b).

Note: When mail is returned by the post office, and there is no new or forwarding address, HIU will dispose of the envelope.

c. No other action is necessary until the household makes contact at the next eligibility,  or mid-certification review.

ACES Procedures

 

  See Interview
Add a Person: See Add a Person
Add a Program: See Add a Program
Update AU / Client Data: See Update Assistance Unit / Client Data
Terminating an AUs / Client's Benefits: See Close Assistance Unit / Client
Adverse Action: See Update Assistance Unit / Client Data
See Deny an Assistance Unit / Client