Eligibility A-Z Manual (EA-Z)

The Eligibility A-Z (EA-Z) Manual provides administrative rules and procedures for staff to determine initial and ongoing eligibility for people applying for and receiving cash and food assistance in Washington State and provides links to medical assistance eligibility information.

Eligibility A-Z (EA-Z) Manual Revisions

Created on: 
Dec 20 2022
Rev # Chapter / Section Issue Date
1286 Reporting Requirements July 15, 2024
1285 Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) July 12, 2024
1284 SUN Bucks July 11, 2024
1283 Replacement June 28, 2024
1282 Social Security Numbers (SSN) June 14, 2024
1281 Basic Food Employment & Training  June 11, 2024
1280 Assistance Units - Cash Assistance Programs May 3, 2024
1279 Treatment of Income Chart April 26, 2024
1278 Categorical Eligibility for Basic Food April 1, 2024
1277 Ongoing Additional Requirements (OAR) April 1, 2024
1276 Cash Assistance April 1, 2024
1275 Eligibility A-Z (EA-Z) WAC (Rules) Index April 1, 2024
1274 Pandemic EBT March 27, 2024
1273 Cash Assistance Programs March 15, 2024
1272 Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund March 14, 2024
1271 Civil Rights March 4, 2024
1270 Reporting Requirements March 1, 2024
1269 Able Bodied Adults without Dependents February 28, 2024
1268 Cash Assistance Programs February 14, 2024
1267 Filing an Application February 12, 2024
1266 Public Benefit Eligibility for Survivors of Certain Crimes February 5, 2024
1265 Reporting Requirements February 1, 2024
1264 Interview Requirements January 31, 2024
1263 Mid Certification Reviews January 31, 2024
1262 Certification Periods - Basic Food January 31, 2024
1261 Utility Chart January 31, 2024
1260 ABD Clients Residing in Eastern or Western State Hospital or Civilly Committed to a Community-Based Facility January 26, 2024
1259

How Vehicles Count Toward the Resource Limit for Cash and Food

January 24, 2024
1258 How Resources Count January 24, 2024
1257 Self Employment January 18, 2024
1256 Definitions January 5, 2024
1255 Transitional Food Assistance January 5, 2024
1254 ABAWD and Basic Food Work Registration Revisions January 1, 2024
1253 State Median Income Chart December 22, 2023
1252 Reason Codes 400 December 18. 2023
1251 Income Special Types December 18, 2023
1250 Emergency Assistance Programs - AREN December 18, 2023
1249 Effective Date - Change of Circumstance December 18, 2023
1248 Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program December 18, 2023
1247 Diversion Cash Assistance December 18, 2023
1246 Allocation and Deeming December 18, 2023
1245 Mid Certification Review November 21, 2023
1244 Expedited Service for Basic Food November 7, 2023
1243 Fraud November 6, 2023
1242 Basic Food Overpayments November 6, 2023
1241 Filing an Application October 16, 2023
1240 Cash and Medical Assistance Overpayment Descriptions October 10, 2023
1239 Diaper Related Payment October 9, 2023
1238

Income - Effect of Income and Deductions on Eligibility and Benefit Level

October 1, 2023
1237 Confidentiality- Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) for Domestic Violence Victims  September 29, 2023
1236 Immigration Law Center (NILC) Guide September 27, 2023
1235 Social Security Number  August 24, 2023
1234 Social Security Number Requirements August 24, 2023
1233 Replacement  August 23, 2023
1232 Student Status August 14, 2023
1231 Pandemic EBT July 6, 2023
1230 ABAWDs - Abled-Bodied Adults Without Dependents July 1, 2023
1229 Hearing Requests May 22, 2023
1228 Administrative Hearing Coordinator's Role May 22, 2023
1227 Reporting Requirements May 22, 2023
1226 Living with a Relative or Guardian May 19, 2023
1225 Lottery or Gambling Disqualification for Basic Food May 16, 2023
1224 When and How Benefits Are Delivered May 10, 2023
1223 ABD Clients Residing in Eastern or Western State Hospital May 5, 2023
1222 Eligibility Review Requirements for Cash, Food and Medical Programs May 1, 2023
1221 Eligibility Reviews/Recertifications - Requirements for Food and Cash Programs May 1, 2023
1220 Public Benefit Eligibility for Survivors of Certain Crimes April 26, 2023
1219 Assistant Units - Basic Food (Authorized EBT Treatment Centers) April 21, 2023
1218 Administrative Disqualification Hearings for Food Assistance April 11, 2023
1217 Overview April 6, 2023
1216 Categorical Eligibility for Basic Food April 1, 2023
1215 Basic Food Overpayments February 27, 2023
1214 Civil Rights and Complaints February 27, 2023
1213 Foster Care/Relative Placement/Adoption Support/Juvenile Rehabilitation/Unaccompanied Minor Program February 10, 2023
1212 TANF/SFA Temporary Absence February 10, 2023
1211 Living with a Relative or Guardian February 10, 2023
1210 Treatment of Income Chart February 7, 2023
1209 Citizenship and Alien Status Requirements for all Programs- Definitions February 2, 2023
1208 State Median Income Chart February 1, 2023
1207 Treatment of Income Chart January 30, 2023
1206 How Resources Count January 26, 2023
1205 Basic Food Work Requirements - Work Registration, Basic Food Work Registration Exemptions January 13, 2023
1204 Treatment of Income Chart January 3, 2023
1203 Basic Food Employment and training program January 3, 2023
1202 Basic Food Work Requirements - Disqualification December 20, 2022
1201 Treatment of Income Chart December 12, 2022
1200 Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD) Cash November 1, 2022
1199 Treatment of Income Chart October 3, 2022
1198 Income - Effect of Income and Deductions on Eligibility and Benefit Level October 1, 2022
1197 Program Summary: Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD) Cash  September 14, 2022
1196 ABD Clients Residing in Eastern or Western State Hospital September, 1 2022
1195 Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) Program August 5, 2022
1194 Assistance Units- Cash Programs July 27, 2022
1193 Citizenship and Alien Status-Public Benefit Eligibility for Survivors of Certain Crimes July 1, 2022
1192 Citizenship and Alien Status- Restrictions for State Medical Benefits June 29, 2022
1191 Reporting Requirements  June 22, 2022
1190 Standards: Cash Assistance July 1, 2022
1189 Cash Assistance Programs June 17, 2022
1188 Child Support June 6, 2022
1187 Social Security Numbers (SSN) May 16, 2022
1186 Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund (PEAF) April 11, 2022
1185

Categorical Eligibility for Basic Food

April 1, 2022
1184 Benefits for Survivors of Certain Crimes February 1, 2022
1183 TANF/SFA Time Limits February 1, 2022
1182 Living with a Relative or Guardian January 1, 2022
1181 State Median Income December 10, 2021
1180 Child Support December 9, 2021
1179 Living with a Relative or Guardian December 9. 2021
1178 Living with a Relative or Guardian October 8, 2021
1177 Reporting Requirements October 1, 2021
1176 400 Series Reason Code Protocols October 1, 2021
1175 Categorical Eligibility for Basic Food October 1, 2021
1174 Income - Effect of Income and Deductions on Eligibility and Benefit Level October 1, 2021
1173 Lottery or Gambling Disqualification for Basic Food September 30, 2021
1172 WorkFirst Orientation September 20,2021
1171 Quality Assurance September 17, 2021
1170 Living with a Relative or Guardian September 1, 2021
1169 Reporting Requirements - FORs Reporting July 29, 2021
1168 Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) Program July 23, 2021
1167 WorkFirst Sanctions - Participation July 1, 2021
1166 Treatment of Income Chart July 1, 2021
1165 Diversion Cash Assistance July 1, 2021
1164 Completing the Process July 1, 2021
1163 Income - Special Types July 1, 2021
1162 Allocation and Deeming July 1, 2021
1161 Transitional Food Assistance July 1, 2021
1160 Effective Date - Change of Circumstances  July 1, 2021
1159 Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP) July 1, 2021
1158 ABAWDs- Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents June 08, 2021
1157 Income Special Types May 28, 2021
1156 Verification May 28, 2021
1155 Decision Trees - Cash and Medical Decision Tree May 4, 2021
1154 Emergency Food Supplements May 3, 2021
1153 Emergency Food Supplements April 20, 2021
1152

Basic Food Work Requirements - Good Cause

April 14, 2021
1151

ABAWDs- Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents

April 14, 2021
1150

Categorical Eligibility for Basic Food

April 1, 2021
1149 Interview Requirements March 26, 2021
1148 Citizenship and Alien Status – Work Quarters March 26, 2021
1147 Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) Program March 26, 2021
1146 Completing the Process March 4, 2021
1145

Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET) Program

February 25, 2021
1144 Student Status February 23, 2021
1143

Food Assistance Program for Legal Residents (FAP)

February 18, 2021
1142 Mid Certification Reviews February 17, 2021

1141

Disaster Cash Assistance Program February 11,2021 
1140 400 Series Reason Code Protocols February 10, 2021
1139 Emergency Food Supplements February 3, 2021
1138 Standards: Cash Assistance February 2, 2021
1137 Student Status January 15, 2021
1136 Treatment of Income Chart January 7, 2021
1135 Treatment of Income Chart December 28, 2020
1134 Treatment of Income December 28, 2020
1133 Child Support December 28, 2020
1132 Treatment of Income Chart December 8, 2020
1131 Cash Assistance Programs December 8, 2020
1130 TANF November 30, 2020
1129 Eligibility Reviews/ Food Assistance Recertifications - Requirements for Cash Assistance and Medical Programs November 20, 2020
1128 Certification Periods - Basic Food November 20, 2020
1127 Mid Certification Reviews November 20, 2020
1126 Social Security Numbers (SSN) November 12, 2020
1125

Fraud

November 2, 2020
1124 Basic Food Employment and Training Program (BFET) October 29, 2020
1123 State Median Income October 22, 2020
1122 Assistance Units - Basic Food October 13, 2020
1121 200 Series Reason Code Protocols October 5, 2020
1120 Treatment of Income Chart September 17, 2020
1119 Emergency Food Supplements September 11, 2020
1118 Disaster Cash Assistance September 11, 2020
1117 Treatment of Income Chart September 2, 2020
1116 Emergency Food Supplements September 1, 2020
1115 WorkFirst Orientation September 1, 2020
1114 Abled Bodied Adults Without Dependents - Regaining Eligibility August 13, 2020
1113 Authorized Representative - Food Assistance August 6, 2020
1112 Information about Letters July 16, 2020
1111 Reporting Requirements July 16, 2020
1110 Assistance Units - Basic Food July 16, 2020
1109 Pandemic EBT Benefits July 2, 2020
1108 Eligibility A-Z WAC (Rules) Index July 1, 2020
1107 200 Series Reason Code Protocols July 1, 2020
1106 Effective Date - Change of Circumstances July 1, 2020
1105 Standards - Cash Assistance July 1, 2020
1104 Standards July 1, 2020
1103 Pandemic EBT Benefits June 21,2020
1102 Pregnancy and Cash Assistance Eligibility June 11, 2020
1101 Program Summary - Pregnant Women Assistance (PWA) June 11, 2020
1100 500 Series Reason Code Protocols June 4, 2020
1099 Equal Access (Necessary Supplemental Accommodations) June 1, 2020
1098 Diversion Cash Assistance May 28, 2020
1097 Verification May 21, 2020
1096 Basic Food May 21, 2020
1095 Mid-Certification Reviews May 21, 2020
1094 Eligibility Reviews / Food Assistance Recertifications - Process for Basic Food May 21, 2020
1093 Certification Periods - Basic Food May 21, 2020
1092 Emergency Food Supplements May 18, 2020
1091 Citizenship and Alien Status Requirements for all Programs - Definitions May 6, 2020
1090 Income - Effect of Income and Deductions on Eligibility and Benefit Level May 6, 2020
1089 Reporting Requirements May 6, 2020
1088 Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program- CEAP May 6, 2020
1087 Emergency Food Supplements April 28, 2020
1086 Income - Treatment of Income Chart April 27, 2020
1085 Social Security Numbers (SSN) April 16, 2020
1084 Emergency Food Supplements April 16, 2020
1083 Disaster Cash Assistance Program April 8, 2020
1082 Abled Bodied Adults Without Dependents - Regaining Eligibility April 6, 2020
1081 Emergency Food Supplements March 31, 2020
1080 Categorical Eligibility for Basic Food March 31, 2020
1079 Abled Bodied Adults Without Dependents - Regaining Eligibility March 30, 2020
1078 Limited English Proficiency March 23, 2020
1077 Income - Effect of income on Eligibility and Benefit Level March 23, 2020
1076 Interview Requirements March 23, 2020
1075 Administrative Disqualification Hearings for Food Assistance March 23, 2020
1074 Transitional Food Assistance March 23, 2020
1073 Assistance Units – Basic Food March 20, 2020
1072 Good Cause March 16, 2020
1071 Self Employment Income March 10, 2020
1070 Filing an Application March 10, 2020
1069 Basic Food Work Requirements Exemptions March 5, 2020
1068 Basic Food Work Requirements- Work Registration March 5, 2020
1067 Verification Charts March 5, 2020
1066 Verification March 5, 2020
1065 Interview Requirements March 5, 2020
1064 Mid Certification Reviews March 5, 2020
1063 Eligibility Reviews/ Food Assistance Recertifications - Process for Basic Food March 5, 2020
1062 Food Assistance Program March 5, 2020
1061 Good Cause March 5, 2020
1060 Expedited Services for Basic Food March 5, 2020
1059 Change of Circumstances- Effective Date March 5, 2020
1058 Abled Bodied Adults Without Dependents March 5, 2020
1057 Child Support March 4, 2020
1056 Civil Rights and Complaints March 2, 2020
1055 Living with a Relative or Guardian February 27, 2020
1054 Mid Certification Reviews February 12, 2020
1053 Verification Charts February 12, 2020
1052 Lottery or Gambling Disqualification for Basic Food January 21, 2020
1051 Reporting Requirements January 21, 2020
1050 Verification Charts January 21, 2020
1049 100-500 Series Reason Code Protocols January 21, 2020
1048 400 Series Reason Code Protocols January 21, 2020
1047 Categorical Eligibility for Basic Food January 21, 2020
1046 Treatment of Income Chart December 30, 2019
1045 Verification December 27, 2019
1044 Budgeting November 26, 2019
1043 State Median Income Chart November 20, 2019
1042 Income - Effect of income on Eligibility and Benefit Level November 1, 2019
1041 Diversion Cash Assistance September 16, 2019
1040 Information Needed to Determine Eligibility September 11, 2019
1039 Assistance Units - Basic Food September 11, 2019
1038 Pregnancy and Women's Health July 29, 2019
1037 Pregnant Women Assistance July 29, 2019
1036 WorkFirst Sanctions - Participation July 29, 2019
1035 Verification Chart July 29, 2019
1034 Student Status July 29, 2019
1033 Access to Chemical Dependency Treatment July 18, 2019
1032 Completing the Process July 18, 2019
1031 Categorical Eligibility for Basic Food July 18, 2019
1030

Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) Referral  

July 16, 2019
1029

FamLink- What is the FamLink interface? How often does the FamLink interface run?

July 10, 2019
1028 Assistance Units - Basic Food July 1, 2019
1027 Reporting Requirements July 1, 2019
1026 Additional Requirements for Emergent Needs (AREN) May 10, 2019
1025 Loss, Theft, Destruction or Non-Receipt of a Warrant April 25, 2019
1024 Special Income Types April 23, 2019
1023 Income - Effect on Eligibility and Benefit Level April 22, 2019
1022 Citizenship and Alien Status - For Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) April 16, 2019
1021 Citizenship and alien status - Date of Entry            April 16, 2019
1020 Cash and Medical Assistance Overpayment Descriptions April 30.2019
1019 Diversion Cash Assistance March 26, 2019
1018 Categorical Eligibility for Basic Food April 1, 2019
1017 Income - Effect of income on Eligibility and Benefit Level March 1, 2019
1016 Cash Assistance Programs March 1, 2019
1015 Working Family Support February 7, 2019
1014 Resources - Cash February 1, 2019
1013 Treatment January 24, 2019
1012 Income - Effect of Income on Eligibility and Benefit Level January 22, 2019
1011 State Median Income Chart December 18, 2018
1010 Treatment of Income Chart November 1, 2018
1009 Authorized Representative - Food Assistance October 18, 2018
1008 Treatment of Income Chart- Child support October 15, 2018
1007 Income Special Types September 20, 2018
1006 PWA- Clarifying Information August 31, 2018
1005 Transfer of Property for Cash and Basic Food August 24, 2018
1004 Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program - CEAP August 6, 2018
1003 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families summary page August 1, 2018
1002 Diversion Cash Assistance summary page August 1, 2018
1001 Cash Assistance July 13, 2018
1000 Verification Charts July 2, 2018
999 Living with a Relative or Guardian June 20, 2018
998 Cash Assistance July 1, 2018
997 Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program - CEAP July 1, 2018
996 Income- Effect of income on Eligibility and Benefit Level July 1, 2018
995 Reporting Requirements May 30, 2018
994 Filing an Application March 20, 2018
993 Authorized Representative - Food, Cash and Medical Benefit Issuances March 12, 2018
992 Income - Effect of Income on Eligibility and Benefit Level March 12,  2018
991 Emergency Assistance Programs - Additional Requirements for Emergent Needs (AREN) January 31, 2018
990 Income Special Types January 22, 2018
989 Residency Requirements January 22, 2018
988 Basic Food Work Requirements - ABAWD- Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents January 10, 2018
987 Income - Effect of income on Eligibility and Benefit Level January 2, 2018
986 Income- Table of Contents- Self Employment Income January 2, 2018
985 State Median Income January 2, 2018
984 Income - Treatment October 20, 2017
983 Income - Treatment of Income Chart October 20, 2017
982   Effective Date of Change September 26, 2017
981 Budgeting September 13, 2017
980 Expedited Service for Basic Food August 28, 2017
979 Temporary Absence August 7, 2017
978 Mid Certification Reviews July 31, 2017
977 Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting  
976 Use of Benefits - Benefit Issuance July 17, 2017
975 Temporary Absence July 11, 2017
974 Child Support June 29, 2017
973 Self Employment Income June 21, 2017
972 Fraud June 12, 2017
971 Income - Effect of income on Eligibility and Benefit Level May 16, 2017
970 Transfer of Property for Cash and Basic Food May 11, 2017
969 TANF/SFA Temporary Absence May 11, 2017
968 TANF/SFA Minor Parents May 11, 2017
967 TANF/SFA Time Limit Overview and Indian Disregard May 11, 2017
966 TANF/SFA Time Limits Chapter May 11, 2017
965

Eligibility Review Requirements for Cash Assistance and Medical Programs / Eligibility Reviews/ Food Assistance Recertifications - Requirements for Cash Assistance and Medical Programs

April 17, 2017
964 Program Summary / Working Family Support April 17, 2017
963 Treatment of Income Chart March 2, 2017
962 Income Special Types March 2, 2017
961 Basic Food Overpayments March 1, 2017
960 Income - Effect of income on Eligibility and Benefit Level January 9, 2017
959 Interview Requirements January 4, 2017
958 Transfer of Property for Cash and Basic Food - State Median Income December 30, 2016
957 Income- Table of Contents- Self Employment Income- Mileage reimbursement January 3, 2017
956 State Median Income Chart December 30, 2016
955 Fraud December 19, 2016
954 Expedited Service for Basic Food December 7, 2016
953 Cash Assistance Programs November 28, 2016
952 Basic Food Work Requirements - Unsuitable Employment and Quitting a Job November 18, 2016
951

ABAWDs- Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents

November 15, 2016
950 Self Employment Income November 15, 2016
949 Eligibility Review Requirements for Cash Assistance and Medical Programs: Eligibility Reviews/Food Assistance Recertifications – Requirements for Cash Assistance and Medical Programs November 1, 2016
948 Income Special Types October 20, 2016
947 Relative Placement Codes Excluded from Means Testing October 17, 2016
946 Time Limits for Processing October 17, 2016
945 TANF/SFA Time Limits: Indian Country Disregard October 11, 2016
944 Basic Food Work Requirements - Good Cause October 4, 2016
943 TANF/SFA Time Limits: Indian Country Disregard October 1, 2016
942 TANF - Program Summary - Tribal TANF September 8, 2016
941 TANF - Program Summary August 26, 2016
940 Interview Requirements August 25, 2016
939 Time Limit Overview August 5, 2016
938 Mid Certification Review August 5, 2016
937 Change of Circumstances - Effective Date August 5, 2016
936 Income - Effect of income on Eligibility and Benefit Level August 2, 2016
935 Diversion Cash Assistance Program Summary August, 1, 2016
934 Interview Requirements July 29, 2016
933 Citizenship and Alien Status - Definitions June 28, 2016
932 Fleeing Felons June 20, 2016
931 Income - Effect of income on Eligibility and Benefit Level May 17, 2016
930 Basic Food Work Requirements - Abled-Bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWD) May 12, 2016
929 Program Summary- Working Family Support April 29, 2016
928 500 Series Reason Code Protocols April 29, 2016
927 400 Series Reason Code Protocols April 29, 2016
926 Basic Food Work Requirements - Unsuitable Employment and Quitting a Job April 26, 2016
925 Income - Effect of income on Eligibility and Benefit Level April 06, 2016
924 Diversion Cash Assistance March 31, 2016
923 Exception to Rule March 31, 2016
922 Verification Charts March 29, 2016
921 Refugee Cash Assistance March 16, 2016
920 Verification Chart March 10, 2016
919 Transitional Food Assistance March 7, 2016
918 Time Limits for Processing February 8, 2016
917 Effective Date - Change of Circumstance February 4, 2016
916 Replacements January 28, 2016
915 State Median Income Chart December 30, 2015
914 Change of Circumstance December 8, 2015
913 Pregnant Women Assistance December 8, 2015
912 Mid-Certification Reviews October 19, 2015
911 Applications for Assistance - Time Limits for Processing October 12, 2015
910 Applications for Assistance - Filing an Application October 5, 2015
909 Income - Treatment of Income Chart September 16, 2015
908 Self Employment Income September 4, 2015
907 Citizenship and Alien Status – Social Security Number Requirements August 21, 2015
906 Refugee Cash Assistance August 14, 2015
905 Letters July 31, 2015
904 Income - Special Types July 30, 2015
903 Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP) July 30, 2015
902 Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP) July 20, 2015
901 Standards - Cash Assistance July 20, 2015
900 Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP) July 20, 2015
899 Income Special Types July 20, 2015
898 Income - Treatment July 20, 2015
897 Self-Employment Income July 20, 2015
896 Food Assistance Program for Legal Immigrants (FAP) July 2, 2015
895 Benefit Issuances and Use of Benefits - Replacements June 19, 2015
894 Change of Circumstances - Effective Date June 19, 2015
893 Change of Circumstances - Effective Date June 5, 2015
891 Categorical Eligibility for Basic Food March 19, 2015
890 Citizenship and Alien Status - For Food Benefits January 28, 2015
889 Interview Requirements January 14, 2015
888 Change of Circumstances - Reporting Requirements January 12, 2015
887 WorkFirst Sanctions - Participation December 10, 2014
886 Basic Food Work Requirements - Unsuitable Employment and Quitting a Job October 29, 2014
885 Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET) Program October 24, 2014
884 Verification August 5, 2014
883 Verification July 22, 2014
882 Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) July 14, 2014
881 Assistance Units - Basic Food July 2, 2014
880 Change of Circumstances - Reporting Requirements and Residency Requirements July 2, 2014
879 Fleeing Felons June 26, 2014
878 Income - Effect on Eligibility and Benefit Level June 20, 2014
877 Assistance Units - Basic Food June 20, 2014
876 Basic Food Work Requirements - BFET Payments for Related Expenses April 24, 2014
875 Benefit Errors - Basic Food Overpayments April 18, 2014
874 Applications for Assistance - Expedited Service for Basic Food March 28, 2014
873 Benefit Errors - Basic Food Overpayments March 20, 2014
872 Benefit Errors - Basic Food Overpayments March 20, 2014
871 Benefit Issuances - Use of Benefits and Fraud March 20, 2014
870 Mid-Certification Reviews January 27, 2014
869 Applications for Assistance - Completing the Process January 6, 2014
868 Basic Food Work Requirements - Unsuitable Employment and Quitting a Job November 22, 2013
867 Basic Food Work Requirements - ABAWD September 16, 2013
866 Assistance Units - Basic Food September 6, 2013
865 Interview Requirements July 13, 2013
864 Benefit Errors - Basic Food Overpayments July 11, 2013
863 Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) May 31, 2013
862 Citizenship and Alien Status April 15, 2013
861 Citizenship and Alien Status - Definitions April 15, 2013
860 Income Special Types April 11, 2013
859 Treatment of Income Chart April 9, 2013
858 Application for Assistance March 27, 2013
857 Application for Assistance - Filing an Application March 27, 2013
856 Income - Allocation and Deeming March 18, 2013
855 Refugee Cash Assistance Program(RCA), Immigration Status Requirements for Refugee Assistance, Income and Resources for Refugee Assistance Eligibility January 24, 2013
854 Applications for Assistance - Filing an Application January 17, 2013
853 Long-Term Care January 14, 2013
852 Long-Term Care January 11, 2013
851 Income - Treatment of Income Chart and Resources - Cash and Family Medical ( and Basic Food) January 11, 2013
850 Income - Treatment of Income Chart January 9, 2013
849 Long-Term Care November 22, 2012
848 Long-Term Care November 22, 2012
847 Long-Term Care November 22, 2012
846 Long-Term Care November 28, 2012
845 Long-Term Care November 27, 2012
844 Long-Term Care November 22, 2012
843 Mid-Certification Reviews October 31, 2012
842 Medical Assistance October 22, 2012
841 Refugee Cash Assistance Program(RCA), Immigration Status Requirements for Refugee Assistance, and Income and Resources for Refugee Assistance Eligibility October 13, 2012
840 Letters October 5, 2012
839 Applications for Assistance - Filing an Application September 21, 2012
838 Applications for Assistance September 14, 2012
837 Authorized Representative - Food Assistance September 14, 2012
836 Basic Food Work Requirements - ABAWD August 26, 2012
835 Authorized Representative - Food Assistance August 6, 2012
834 Authorized Representative - Food Assistance August 6, 2012
833 Authorized Representative - Food, Cash and Medical Benefit Issuances August 3, 2012
832 Authorized Representative - Food Assistance July 17, 2012
831 Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET) Program June 26, 2012
830 Citizenship and Alien Status - For Food Benefits June 29, 2012
829 Program Summary - Food Assistance Program for Legal Immigrants (FAP) June 29, 2012
828 Benefit Errors – Cash and Food Assistance Underpayments June 15, 2012
827 Standards – Cash Assistance July 1, 2012
826 Long-Term Care July 1, 2012
825 Student Status May 25, 2012
824 Long-Term Care May 21, 2012
823 Letters – 500 Series Reason Code Protocols May 21, 2012
822 Benefit Errors – Basic Food Overpayments May 21, 2012
821 Program Summary - Pregnant Women Assistance May 14, 2012
820 Long-Term Care May 14, 2012
819 Medical Assistance - Medical Redetermination (Repealed) May 1, 2012
818 Long-Term Care April 5, 2012
817 Long-Term Care April 5, 2012
816 Long-Term Care April 5, 2012
815 Long-Term Care April 1, 2012
814 Diversion Cash Assistance March 29, 2012
813 Income – Allocating and Deeming March 29, 2012
812 Long-Term Care March 26, 2012
811 Medical Assistance and Long-Term Care March 26, 2012
810 Long-Term Care March 23, 2012
809 Long-Term Care March 23, 2012
808 Long-Term Care March 22, 2012
807 Income - Budgeting March 14, 2012
806 Eligibility Reviews/Food Assistance Recertification – Process for Basic Food March 12, 2012
805 Applications for Assistance – Expedited Service for Basic Food February 22, 2012
804 Income – Special Types February 17, 2012
803 Income – Self Employment February 14, 2012
802 Emergency Assistance Programs - Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP) February 1, 2012
801 WorkFirst - Sanctions December 1, 2011
800 WorkFirst - Sanctions December 1, 2011
799 Basic Food - Work Requirements January 4, 2012
798 Income – Self Employment December 12, 2011
797 Medical Assistance December 14, 2011
796 Various - Medical Care Services Changes (Repealed) November 1, 2011
795 Good Cause (Repealed) November 1, 2011
794 Certification Periods – Basic Food October 14, 2011
793 Student Status October 14, 2011
792 Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) October 7, 2011
791 Basic Food Work Requirements - ABAWD October 1, 2011
790 Benefit Errors – Basic Food Overpayments September 9, 2011
789 Citizenship and Alien Status September 7, 2011
788 Citizenship and Alien Status September 1, 2011
787 Quality Assurance August 29, 2011
786 Application for Assistance – Completing the Process August 27, 2011
785 Limited English Proficiency (LEP) August 11, 2011
784 Quality Assurance August 1, 2011
783 Filing an Application July 18, 2011
782 Mid Certification Reviews August 1, 2011
781 Requirement to Cooperate with Quality Assurance (Repealed) August 1, 2011
780 Diversion Cash Assistance July 1, 2011
779 Washington Combined Application Project (WASHCAP) July 1, 2011
778 Benefit Errors - Alien and Alien Sponsor Overpayments June 17, 2011
777 Income - Special Types April 29, 2011
776 Income - Treatment April 21, 2011
775 Benefit Issuances and Use of Benefits - Replacement April 20, 2011
774 Residency Requirements April 13, 2011
773 Rights and Responsibilities April 8, 2011
772 Applications for Assistance – Expedited Service for Basic Food April 8, 2011
771 Washington Combined Application Project (WASHCAP) April 8, 2011
770 Fleeing Felons March 31, 2011
769 Letters - Reason Codes March 16, 2011
768 Income - Treatment February 11, 2011
767 Applications for Assistance – Time Limits for Processing February 1, 2011
766 Standards - Cash Assistance February 1, 2011
765 Emergency Assistance Programs – Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP) February 1, 2011
764 Emergency Assistance Programs – Additional Requirements for Emergent Needs (AREN) February 1, 2011
763 Emergency Assistance Programs – Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP) February 1, 2011
762 Verification February 6, 2011
761 Income - Special Types - Community Jobs February 1, 2011
760 Reporting Requirements February 6, 2011
759 Citizenship and Alien Status - Definitions January 19, 2011
758 Citizenship and Alien Status - Sample SSN Request Letter January 12, 2011
757 Program Summary - Washington Basic Food Program, Citizenship and Alien Status, Basic Food - Work Requirements, and Income - Effect of income on Eligibility and Benefit Level January 21, 2011
756 Income (Repealed) January 11, 2011
755 Citizenship and Alien Status - Definitions December 22, 2010
754 Diversion Cash Assistance January 1, 2011
753 Basic Food Work Requirements - ABAWD January 1, 2011
752 Transfer of Property for Cash and Basic Food and State Median Income Chart January 1, 2011
751 Standards - Cash Assistance January 1, 2011
750 Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) December 21, 2010
749 Basic Food Work Requirements December 18, 2010
748 WASHCAP December 18, 2010
747 Citizenship and Alien Status – For Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Medicaid and Medical Assistance December 1, 2010
746 Citizenship and Alien Status - For State Cash Programs and Chemical Dependency Treatment December 1, 2010
745 Citizenship and Alien Status - Restrictions for State Medical Benefits - Medical Care Services and Pregnancy Medical December 1, 2010
744 Healthcare for Workers with Disabilities - HWD November 8, 2010
743 SSI-Related Medical General (Repealed) November 8, 2010
742 Letters October 12, 2010
741 Diversion Cash Assistance October 1, 2010
740 Emergency Assistance Programs - Additional Requirements for Emergent Needs (AREN) October 1, 2010
739 WorkFirst Sanctions - Participation October 1, 2010
738 Food Stamp Employment and Training (Repealed) and Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET) Program October 1, 2010
737 Change of Circumstances - Effective Date August 12, 2010
736 Benefit Issuances and Use of Benefits - When and How Benefits are Delivered August 3, 2010
735 Income - Budgeting August 3, 2010
734 Transitional Food Assistance August 1, 2010
733 Assistance Units - Basic Food August 1, 2010
732 ABAWDs - Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents July 22, 2010
731 Emergency Assistance Programs - Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program - CEAP July 21, 2010
730 Change of Circumstances and Change of Circumstances - Effective Date August 1, 2010
729 Income - Allocation and Deeming August 1, 2010
728 Income August 1, 2010
727 Income - Allocation and Deeming August 1, 2010
726 Applications for Assistance - Filling an Application July 19, 2010
725 Medical Assistance Programs - Emergency Assistance - Psychiatric Indigent Inpatient (PII) (Repealed) July 16, 2010
724 Assistance Units - Cash Assistance Programs July 1, 2010
723 Assistance Units - Basic Food and Assistance Units - Cash Assistance Programs July 1, 2010
722 Assistance Units - Basic Food and Assistance Units - Cash Assistance Programs July 1, 2010
721 Benefit Errors - Basic Food Overpayments July 1, 2010
720 Applications for Assistance - Completing the Process July 1, 2010
719 Change of Circumstances July 1, 2010
718 Applications for Assistance - Filling an Application July 1, 2010
717 SSI-Related Clarifying (Repealed) June 2, 2010
716 Citizenship and Alien Status May 26, 2010
715 Benefit Issuances – Medical Services Card (Repealed) May 14, 2010
714 Verification April 21, 2010
713 Assistance Units - Basic Food April 12, 2010
712 Verification April 1, 2010
711 Citizenship and Alien Status - For Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Medicaid April 1, 2010
710 Medical April 6, 2010
709 Citizenship and Alien Status - Definitions April 2, 2010
708 Verification March 30, 2010
707 Verification Charts March 17, 2010
706 Medical March 1, 2010
705 Change of Circumstances - Effective Date March 1, 2010
704 Reporting Requirements April 1, 2010
703 Certification Periods - Basic Food March 24, 2010
702 Verification January 27, 2010
701 Interview Requirements January 22, 2010
700 Treatment of Income January 1, 2010
699 Program Summary - General Assistance - Unemployable (Repealed) November 17, 2009
698 Income - Effect of Income on Eligibility and Benefit Level November 15, 2009
697 Income - Treatment November 15, 2009
696 Benefit Issuances and Use of Benefits - Replacement November 15, 2009
695 Medical Assistance October 26, 2009
694 Treatment of Income October 8, 2009
693 Managed Health Care - GAU Managed Care Expansion (Repealed) October 15, 2009
692 Long-Term Care October 1, 2009
691 Applications for Assistance - Filling an Application September 28, 2009
690 Income - Budgeting September 25, 2009
689 Income October 1, 2009
688 Fleeing Felons September 4, 2009
687 Long-Term Care September 4, 2009
686 Long-Term Care July 28, 2009
685 Citizenship and Alien Status - For Food Benefits July 8, 2009
684 Citizenship and Alien Status - For Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Medicaid July 8, 2009
683 Long-Term Care July 6, 2009
682 Long-Term Care July 6, 2009
681 Long-Term Care July 6, 2009
680 Long-Term Care July 1, 2009
679 TANF/SFA Temporary Absence June 17, 2009
678 Chemical Dependency - Eligibility (Repealed) June 23, 2009
677 Payees on Benefit Issuances - Protective Payees May 19, 2009
676 Income - Allocation and Deeming May 8, 2009
675 Long-Term Care May 1, 2009
674 Refugee Assistance Program - Medical Assistance April 27, 2009
673 Refugee Assistance Program - Cash Assistance April 27, 2009
672 Refugee Assistance Program - Immigration Status Requirements April 27, 2009
671 Citizenship and Alien Status - For Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Medicaid April 27, 2009
670 Long-Term Care April 23, 2009
669 Long-Term Care April 23, 2009
668 Long-Term Care April 10, 2009
667 Emergency Assistance Programs - Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP) April 14, 2009
666 Benefit Issuances and Use of Benefits - When and How Benefits are Delivered April 10, 2009
665 Long-Term Care April 1, 2009
664 Incapacity Determination - Process (Repealed) April 1, 2009
663 Limited English Proficiency (LEP) March 4, 2009
662 Long-Term Care March 4, 2009
661 Exception to Rule February 23, 2009
660 Exception to Rule February 19, 2009
659 Income - Allocation and Deeming February 9, 2009
658 Long-Term Care January 27, 2009
657 Long-Term Care January 14, 2009
656 Long-Term Care January 6, 2009
655 Long-Term Care January 6, 2009
654 Long-Term Care December 31, 2008
653 Long-Term Care December 31, 2008
652 Washington Telephone Assistance Program December 18, 2008
651 Standards January 1, 2009
650 Long-Term Care December 10, 2008
649 Transfer of Property for Cash and Basic Food November 18, 2008
648 Income - Treatment November 26, 2008
647 Long-Term Care December 1, 2008
646 Foster Care/Relative Placement/Adoption Support/Juvenile Rehabilitation/Unaccompanied Minor Program November 14, 2008
645 Long-Term Care October 31, 2008
644 Medical Assistance October 20, 2008
643 Medical RE-DETERMINATION (Repealed) October 1, 2008
642 Benefit Issuances - Basic Food October 1, 2008
641 Categorical Eligibility for Basic Food October 1, 2008
640 Standards - Basic Food October 1, 2008
639 Income - Effect of Income on Eligibility and Benefit Level October 1, 2008
638 WASHCAP October 1, 2008
637 Medical Assistance October 1, 2008
636 Emergency Assistance Programs - Disaster Cash Assistance Program October 1, 2008
635 Long-Term Care September 24, 2008
634 Long-Term Care September 23, 2008
633 Long-Term Care September 16, 2008
632 Long-Term Care August 20, 2008
631 Long-Term Care August 4, 2008
630 Ongoing Additional Requirements (OAR) July 23, 2008
629 Payees on Benefit Issuances - Protective Payees July 23, 2008
628 Long-Term Care July 1, 2008
627 Standards - Cash Assistance July 1, 2008
626 Long-Term Care June 23, 2008
625 Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP) July 1, 2008
624 Long-Term Care June 18, 2008
623 Standards - Cash Assistance July 1, 2008
622 Standards - Cash Assistance June 11, 2008
621 Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP) June 11, 2008
620 Long-Term Care May 2, 2008
619 Long-Term Care April 22, 2008
618 Long-Term Care April 22, 2008
617 Long-Term Care April 18, 2008
616 Student Status April 7, 2008
615 GA-U Program Summary (Repealed) January 30, 2008
614 Age Requirements January 30, 2008
613 Long-Term Care February 1, 2008
612 Income - Budgeting February 1, 2008
610 Long-Term Care January 1, 2008

 

Notification of Rule Changes

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Community Services Division (CSD)

Draft Rule (WAC) Changes – When State or Federal law changes, we update the Washington Administrative Code (WACs).  Drafts of the changes are available for your comments and ideas.  Your ideas matter to us.

Rule (WAC) Filings – When we update the Washington Administrative Code (WACs), they are published by the Code Revisers Office but we can send these directly to you.  You’ll find CR-101s (notice of an intent to change a rule), CR-102s (drafts of our changes) and CR-103s (notice that the change is being implemented).

 

Eligibility A-Z (EA-Z) WAC (Rules) Index

Updated: April 1, 2024

Purpose: 

This page lists the Washington Administrative Codes (WACs) used throughout the Eligibility A-Z Manual. Use the "Find on this Page" (Ctrl+F) feature to quickly search for a WAC number or title. 

 
388-002-0495 What is equitable estoppel?
 
388-106-0045 When will the department authorize my long-term care services?
 
388-271-0010 What are limited English proficient (LEP) services?
388-271-0020 What are the department's responsibilities in providing me with an interpreter?
388-271-0030 What are the department's responsibilities in providing me with written communication in my primary language?
 
388-273-0010 Purpose of the Washington Telephone Assistance Program
388-273-0020 Who may receive Washington Telephone Assistance Program (WTAP)?
388-273-0025 Benefits you receive as a WTAP participant.
388-273-0030 How You Can Apply for WTAP.
388-273-0035 What We Reimburse the Local Telephone Company.
 
388-310-1600 WorkFirst-Sanctions.
388-310-1650 WorkFirst--Child SafetyNet Payments.
 
388-400-0005 Who is eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families?
388-400-0010 Who is eligible for State Family Assistance?
388-400-0030 Who is eligible for refugee cash assistance?
388-400-0040 Am I eligible for benefits through the Washington Basic Food program?
388-400-0050 If I am not eligible for federal benefits through Washington Basic Food Program because of my alien status, can I receive state-funded Basic Food?
388-400-0047 Am I eligible for the heat and eat program?
388-400-0050 If I am not eligible for federal benefits through Washington Basic Food program because of my alien status, can I receive benefits through the state-funded food assistance program?
388-400-0055 Who is eligible for the Pregnant Women Assistance (PWA) program?
388-400-0060 Who is eligible for aged, blind, or disabled (ABD) cash assistance?
388-400-0065 Housing and Essential Needs (HEN)
388-400-0070 Who is eligible for referral to the Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) program?
 
388-404-0005 How does a child's age and attendance in school affect their eligibility for TANF and SFA?
388-404-0015 Definition of elderly person for food and cash assistance programs
 
388-406-0005 Can I apply for cash or Basic Food? 
388-406-0010 How do I apply for cash assistance or Basic Food benefits?
388-406-0012 What is the date of my application and how does it affect my benefits?
388-406-0015 Can I get Basic Food right away?
388-406-0021 How does being a migrant or seasonal farmworker affect my application for Basic Food?
388-406-0030 Do I need to submit other information after I apply for benefits?
388-406-0035 How long does the department have to process my application?
388-406-0040 What happens if the processing of my application is delayed?
388-406-0045 Is there a good reason my application for cash assistance has not been processed?
388-406-0050 How do I know when my application is processed?
388-406-0055 When do my benefits start?
388-406-0056 When does my eligibility for referral to the Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) program begin
388-406-0060 What happens when my application is denied?
388-406-0065 Can I still get benefits even after my application is denied?
 
388-408-0005 What is a cash assistance unit?
388-408-0015 Who must be in my assistance unit?
388-408-0020 When am I not allowed to be in a TANF or SFA assistance unit?
388-408-0025 When can I choose who is in my TANF or SFA assistance unit?
388-408-0030 What children must be in the same TANF or SFA assistance unit?
388-408-0034 What is an assistance unit for Basic Food?
388-408-0035 Who is in my assistance unit for Basic Food?
388-408-0040 How does living in an institution affect my eligibility for Basic Food?
388-408-0045 Am I eligible for Basic Food if I live in a shelter for battered women and children?
388-408-0050 Does the department consider me as homeless for Basic Food benefits?
388-408-0060 Who is in my assistance unit for Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD) cash assistance?
388-408-0070 Who is included in my assistance unit when the department determines eligibility for referral to the Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) program?
 
388-410-0001 What is a cash assistance overpayment?
388-410-0005 Cash assistance overpayment amount and liability
388-410-0010 Repayment of grant overpayment occurring prior to April 3, 1982, and resulting from department error
388-410-0015 Recovery of cash assistance overpayments by mandatory grant deduction
388-410-0020 What happens if I receive more Basic Food or WASHCAP benefits than I am supposed to receive?
388-410-0025 Am I responsible for an overpayment in my assistance unit?
388-410-0030 How does the department calculate and set up my Basic Food or WASHCAP overpayment?
388-410-0033 How and when does the department collect a Basic Food or WASHCAP overpayment?
388-410-0035 Are alien and alien sponsors jointly responsible for cash and food assistance overpayments?
388-410-0040 Cash and food assistance underpayments.
 
388-412-0005 General information about your cash benefits.
388-412-0010 Endorsing the warrant.
388-412-0015 General information about your food assistance allotments.
388-412-0020 When do I get my benefits?
388-412-0025 How do I receive my benefits?
388-412-0030 Returning a warrant.
388-412-0035 Loss, theft, destruction or nonreceipt of a warrant issued to clients and vendors.
388-412-0040 Can I get my benefits replaced?
388-412-0046 What is the purpose of DSHS cash and food assistance benefits and how can I use my benefits?
 
388-414-0001 Do I have to meet all eligibility requirements for Basic Food?
 
388-416-0005 How long can I get Basic Food?
 
388-418-0005 How will I know what changes to report?
388-418-0007 When do I have to report changes in my circumstances?
388-418-0011 What is a mid-certification review, and do I have to complete one in order to keep receiving benefits?
388-418-0020 How does the department determine the date a change affects my cash and Basic Food benefits?
 
388-420-0010 Alcohol and drug treatment centers.
 
388-422-0005 What happens to my child and spousal support when I get public assistance?
388-422-0010 Do I have to cooperate with the division of child support (DCS)?
388-422-0020 What if you are afraid that cooperating with the division of child support (DCS) may be dangerous for you or the child in your care?
388-422-0030 What happens if my support is more than my TANF or SFA cash benefit?
 
388-424-0001 Citizenship and alien status - Definitions
388-424-0006 Citizenship and alien status - Date of Entry
388-424-0007 Citizenship and alien status - Armed Services or Veteran Status
388-424-0008 Citizenship and alien status - Work Quarters
388-424-0009 Citizenship and alien status - Social Security Number (SSN) Requirements
388-424-0010 Citizenship and alien status - Eligibility for TANF.
388-424-0015 Immigrant eligibility restrictions for the State Family Assistance, ABD cash and PWA programs. 
388-424-0020 How does my alien status impact my eligibility for federally-funded Basic Food benefits?
388-424-0025 How does my alien status impact my eligibility for state-funded benefits under the Washington Basic Food Program?
388-424-0030 How does my alien status impact my eligibility for state-funded benefits under the food assistance program?
 
388-426-0005 How do I make a complaint to the department?
 
388-428-0010 Request for address disclosure by a parent when a child is living with a nonparental caretaker
 
388-432-0005 Can I get help from DSHS for a family emergency without receiving monthly cash assistance?
 
388-434-0005 How often does the department review my eligibility for benefits?
388-434-0010 How do I get Basic Food benefits after my certification period has ended?
 
388-436-0002 If my family has an emergency, can I get help from DSHS to get or keep our housing or utilities?
388-436-0015 Consolidated emergency assistance program (CEAP).
388-436-0020 CEAP assistance unit composition.
388-436-0025 Eligibility conditions for CEAP--Job refusal.
388-436-0030 How does my eligibility for other possible cash benefits impact my eligibility for CEAP?
388-436-0035 Income and resources for CEAP.
388-436-0040 Excluded income and resources for CEAP.
388-436-0045 Income deductions for CEAP.
388-436-0050 Determining financial need and benefit amount for CEAP.
388-436-0055 What is the Disaster Cash Assistance Program (DCAP)?
388-436-0060 How much money can I receive from the Disaster Cash Assistance Program (DCAP)?
 
388-437-0001 Disaster food stamp program.
 
388-440-0001 Exception to rule.
388-440-0005 How am I informed of the decision my request to the department for an exception to rule?
 
388-442-0010 How does being a fleeing felon impact my eligibility for benefits?
 
388-444-0005 Am I required to work or look for work in order to be eligible for Basic Food?
388-444-0010 Who is exempt from work registration while receiving Basic Food?
388-444-0015 How can the Basic Food Employment and Training (BF E&T) program help me find work?
388-444-0020 REPEALED
388-444-0025 What expenses will the department pay to help me participate in BF E&T?
388-444-0030 Do I have to work to be eligible for Basic Food benefits if I am an able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD)?
388-444-0035 Who is exempt from ABAWD work requirements?
388-444-0040 Can I volunteer for an unpaid work program in order to meet the work requirements under WAC 388-444-0030?
388-444-0045 How does an ABAWD regain eligibility for Basic Food after being closed for the three-month limit?
388-444-0050 What is good cause for failing to meet Basic Food work requirements?
388-444-0055 What are the penalties if I refuse or fail to meet Basic Food work requirements?
388-444-0060 What is unsuitable employment for Basic Food work requirements?
388-444-0065 Am I eligible for Basic Food if I quit my job or reduce my work effort?
388-444-0070 What is good cause for quitting my job or reducing my work effort?
388-444-0075 What are the penalties if I quit a job or reduce my work effort without good cause?
 
388-446-0001 When does the department refer a cash or food assistance case for prosecution for fraud?
388-446-0005 Disqualification period for cash assistance
388-446-0010 TANF disqualification period for fraud convictions of misrepresenting interstate residence
388-446-0015 What is an Intentional program violation (IPV) and administrative disqualification hearings (ADH) for food assistance.
388-446-0020 What penalties will I receive if I break a food assistance rule on purpose?
 
388-447-0001 What are the incapacity requirements for referral to the Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) program?
388-447-0005 What evidence does the department consider to determine incapacity?
388-447-0010 What medical evidence do I need to provide?
388-447-0020 How does the department assign severity ratings to my impairments?
388-447-0030 Progressive Evaluation Process Step I - How does the department review the medical evidence required for an incapacity determination?
388-447-0040 Progressive Evaluation Process Step II - How does the department determine the severity of mental impairments?
388-447-0050 Progressive evaluation process step III — How does the department determine the severity of physical impairments?
388-447-0060 Progressive evaluation process step IV — How does the department determine the severity of multiple impairments?
388-447-0070 Progressive evaluation process step V — How does the department determine the impact of a mental impairment on my ability to function in a work environment?
388-447-0080 Progressive evaluation process step VI — How does the department determine the impact of a physical impairment on my ability to function in a work setting?
388-447-0090 Progressive evaluation process step VII — How does the department determine ability to perform past work?
388-447-0100 Progressive evaluation process Step VIII — How does the department determine ability to perform other work?
388-447-0110 When does my eligibility for referral to the housing and essential needs (HEN) program end?
388-447-0120 How does alcohol or drug dependence affect my eligibility for referral to the housing and essential needs (HEN) program?
 
388-449-0001 What are the disability requirements for the Aged, Blind or Disabled (ABD) program?
388-449-0005 Sequential Evaluation Process Step 1 -- How does the department determine if you are performing substantial gainful employment?
388-449-0010 What evidence do we consider to determine disability?
388-449-0015 What medical evidence do I need to provide?
388-449-0020 How does the department evaluate functional capacity for mental health impairments?
388-449-0030 How does the department evaluate functional capacity for physical impairments?
388-449-0035 How does the department assign severity ratings to my impairment? 
388-449-0040 How does the department determine the severity of mental impairments?
388-449-0045 How does the department determine the severity of physical impairments?
388-449-0050 How does the department determine the severity of multiple impairments?
388-449-0060

Sequential Evaluation Process step II - How does the department review medical evidence to determine if I am eligible for benefits?

388-449-0070 Sequential Evaluation Process step III — How does the department determine if you meet SSA listing of impairments criteria?
388-449-0080

Sequential Evaluation Process step IV — How does the department evaluate if I am able to perform relevant past work?

388-449-0100 Sequential Evaluation Process step V — How does the department evaluate if I can perform other work when determining disability?
388-449-0150 When does my eligibility for the Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD) cash benefits end?
388-449-0200 Am I eligible for cash assistance for Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD) while waiting for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
388-449-0210 What is interim assistance and how do I assign it to the department?
388-449-0220 How does alcohol or drug dependence affect my eligibility for the ABD cash and Pregnant Women Assistance programs?
388-449-0225 Am I required to participate in vocational rehabilitation services if I receive an ABD cash grant?
 
388-450-0005 How does the department decide if I own a type of income and if this income is available to meet my needs?
388-450-0010 The department takes some or all of your time-loss benefits if you get cash assistance while waiting for your claim to be processed
388-450-0015 What types of income are not used when figuring out my benefits?
388-450-0025 What is unearned income?
388-450-0030 What is earned income?
388-450-0035 Educational Benefits
388-450-0040 Native American benefits and payments.
388-450-0045 How do we count income from employment and training programs?
388-450-0050 How does your participation in the community jobs (CJ) program affect your cash assistance and Basic Food benefits?
388-450-0055 How does needs-based assistance from other agencies or organizations count against my benefits?
388-450-0065 Gifts - Cash and noncash.
388-450-0070 How do we count the earned income of a child?
388-450-0080 What is self-employment income?
388-450-0085 Does the department count all of my self-employment income to determine if I am eligible for benefits?
388-450-0095 Allocating income--General.
388-450-0100 Allocating income--Definitions.
388-450-0105 Allocating the income of a financially responsible person included in the assistance unit.
388-450-0106 How does the department count my income if someone in my family cannot get assistance because of their alien status?
388-450-0112 Does the department allocate the income of an ABD cash client to legal dependents?
388-450-0113 Does the department allocate income of a housing and essential needs (HEN) referral recipient to legal dependents?
388-450-0115 Does the department allocate the income of a financially responsible person who is excluded from the assistance unit?
388-450-0116 How does the department count my income if I cannot get assistance because I am an alien ?
388-450-0120 Does the department allocate the income of financially responsible parents to a pregnant or parenting minor?
388-450-0130 Does the department allocate the income of a nonapplying spouse to a caretaker relative?
388-450-0137 Does the department allocate income of an ineligible spouse to an ABD cash client?
388-450-0138 Does the department allocate income of an ineligible spouse to a housing and essential needs (HEN) referral recipient?
388-450-0140 How does the income of an ineligible assistance unit member affect my eligibility and benefits for Basic Food?
388-450-0145 Income of a person who is not a member of a food assistance unit.
388-450-0155 How does being a sponsored immigrant affect my eligibility for cash and food assistance programs?
388-450-0156 When am I exempt from deeming?
388-450-0160 How does the department decide how much of my sponsor's income to count against my benefits?
388-450-0162 How does the department count my income to determine if my assistance unit is eligible and how does the department calculate the amount of my cash and Basic Food benefits?
388-450-0165 Gross earned income limit for TANF / SFA.
388-450-0170 Does the department provide an earned income deduction as an incentive for persons who receive TANF/SFA to work?
388-450-0177 Does the department offer an income deduction for the ABD cash program as an incentive for clients to work?
388-450-0178 Does the department offer an income deduction for housing and essential needs (HEN) referral applicants and recipients as an incentive to work?
388-450-0185 What income deductions does the department allow when determining if I am eligible for food benefits and the amount of my monthly benefits?
388-450-0190 How does the department figure my shelter cost income deduction for Basic Food? 
388-450-0195 Does the department use my utility costs when calculating my Basic Food or WASHCAP benefits? 
388-450-0200 Will the medical expenses of elderly persons or individuals with disabilities in my assistance unit be used as an income deduction for Basic Food?
388-450-0215 How does the department estimate my assistance unit's income to determine my eligibility and benefits?
388-450-0225 How are my assistance unit's benefits calculated for the first month I am eligible for cash assistance?
388-450-0230 What income does the department count in the month I apply for Basic Food when my assistance unit is destitute?
388-450-0245 When are my benefits suspended?
 
388-452-0005 Do I have to be interviewed in order to get benefits?
388-452-0010 What does the family violence amendment mean for TANF recipients?
 
388-454-0005 Can I get TANF or SFA benefits for the child living with me?
388-454-0006 The department makes background checks on adults who are acting in place of a parent without court-ordered custody.
388-454-0010 Do I have to be related to a child in order to get TANF or SFA for the child?
388-454-0015 Temporary absence from the home
388-454-0020 Temporary absence to attend school or training
388-454-0025 The department notifies a child's parent when we approve assistance and the child is living with someone other than their parent
 
388-455-0005 How do lump sum payments affect benefits?
388-455-0010 When and how does the department treat lump sum payments as a resource for cash assistance programs?
388-455-0015 When and how does the department treat lump sum payments as income for cash assistance programs?
 
388-458-0002 The department of social and health services (DSHS) sends you letters to tell you about your case.
388-458-0006 DSHS sends you a letter when you withdraw your application.
388-458-0011 DSHS sends you a denial letter when you can't get benefits.
388-458-0016 DSHS sends you an approval letter when you can get benefits.
388-458-0020 You get a request letter when we need more information.
388-458-0025 We send you a change letter if the amount of benefits you are getting is changing.
388-458-0030 We send you a termination letter when your benefits stop.
388-458-0035 Why do you give me ten days notice before you reduce or stop my benefits?
388-458-0040 What happens if I ask for a fair hearing before the change happens?
388-458-0045 Will I get other kinds of letters?
 
388-460-0001 Who may be issued cash, child care, medical and Basic Food benefits?
388-460-0005 Can I choose someone to apply for Basic Food for my assistance unit?
388-460-0010 Do I have an authorized representative for Basic Food if I live in a treatment center or group home?
388-460-0015 Who will the department not allow as an authorized representative for Basic Food?
388-460-0020 Who is a protective payee?
388-460-0025 Who can be a protective payee?
388-460-0030 When is an emergency or temporary protective payee (TANF/SFA) used?
388-460-0035 When is a protective payee assigned for mismanagement of funds?
388-460-0040 When does the department assign a protective payee assigned to TANF/SFA or PWA pregnant or parenting minors?
388-460-0045 Are clients in WorkFirst sanction status assigned protective payees?
388-460-0050 When is a client transferred from a protective payee to guardianship?
388-460-0055 What are the protective payee's responsibilities?
388-460-0060 When are protective payee plans done?
388-460-0065 When is the protective payee status ended and how is a protective payee changed?
388-460-0070 What are your fair hearing rights regarding protective payment?
 
388-462-0010 Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) or State Family Assistance (SFA) eligibility for pregnant women.
388-462-0020 Breast and cervical cancer treatment program (BCCTP) for women--Client eligibility
 
388-464-0001 Am I required to cooperate with quality assurance?
 
388-466-0005 Immigration status requirements for refugee cash assistance
388-466-0120 Refugee cash assistance (RCA)
388-466-0140 Income and resources for refugee cash assistance eligibility
388-466-0150 Refugee employment and training services
 
388-468-0005 Residency
 
388-470-0005 How do resources affect my eligibility for cash assistance and Basic Food?
388-470-0012 Does the department look at the resources of people who are not getting benefits?
388-470-0045 How do my resources count toward the resource limits for cash assistance?
388-470-0055 How do my resources count toward the resource limit for basic food?
388-470-0060 How does the department decide how much of my sponsor's resources affect my eligibility for cash and food assistance?
388-470-0070 How vehicles are counted toward the resource limit for cash assistance.
388-470-0075 How is my vehicle counted for food assistance?
 
388-472-0005 What are my rights and responsibilities?
388-472-0010 What are necessary supplemental accommodation services (NSA)?
388-472-0020 How does the department decide if I am eligible for NSA services?
388-472-0030 How can I get NSA services?
388-472-0040 What are the department's responsibilities in giving NSA services to me?
388-472-0050 What if I don't accept or follow through with program requirements because I'm not able to or I don't understand them?
 
388-473-0010 What are ongoing additional requirements and how do I qualify?
388-473-0020 When do we authorize meals as an ongoing additional requirement?
388-473-0040 Food for service animals as an ongoing additional requirement.
388-473-0050 Telephone services as an ongoing additional requirement.
388-473-0060 Laundry as an ongoing additional requirement.
388-473-0070 Transportation as an ongoing additional requirement.
388-473-0080 Medically related items or services as an ongoing additional requirement.
 
388-474-0001 What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and who can get it?
388-474-0010 How does being a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) client affect your cash assistance eligibility?
388-474-0012 What is a state supplemental payment and who can get it?
388-474-0020 What can an Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD) cash assistance client expect when Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits begin?
 
388-476-0005 Social security number requirements.
 
388-478-0005 Cash assistance need and payment standards and grant maximum.
388-478-0006 The clothing, personal maintenance, and necessary incidentals (CPI) payment standard for cash assistance.
388-478-0015 Need standards for cash assistance.
388-478-0020 Payment standards for TANF, SFA, and RCA.
388-478-0027 What are the payment standards for Pregnant Women Assistance (PWA)?
388-478-0033 What are the payment standards for Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD) cash assistance?
388-478-0035 What are the maximum earned income limits for TANF, SFA, PWA, and RCA?
388-478-0050 Payment standards for ongoing additional requirements.
388-478-0055 How much do I get from my state supplemental payments (SSP)?
388-478-0057 Year-end adjustments to the SSI state supplement.
388-478-0060 What are the income limits and maximum benefit amounts for Basic Food?  
388-478-0090 What are the monthly income limits for the Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD) cash assistance and Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) Referral program?
 
388-480-0001 Does being on strike impact my eligibility for the Washington Basic Food Program?
 
388-482-0005 How does being a student of higher education impact my eligibility for the Washington Basic Food Program?
 
388-484-0005 There is a five year (sixty-month) time limit for TANF, SFA and GA-S cash assistance
388-484-0006 TANF/ SFA time limit extensions
388-484-0010 How does the five year (sixty-month) time limit for TANF, SFA and GA-S apply to adults living in Indian country?
 
388-486-0005 Unmarried pregnant or parenting minors - Required living arrangement
388-486-0010 Unmarried pregnant or parenting minors - Required school attendance
 
388-488-0005 Transfer of property to qualify for cash assistance
388-488-0010 Transfer of property to qualify for food assistance
 
388-489-0005 Who is Eligible for Transitional Food Assistance?
388-489-0010 How is my Transitional Food Assistance Benefit Calculated?
388-489-0015 How Long Will My Household Receive Transitional Food Assistance?
388-489-0020 Am I Required to Report Changes in My Household's Circumstances while on Transitional Food Assistance?
388-489-0022 What happens if I reapply for Basic Food while receiving transitional food assistance?
388-489-0025 Can My Transitional Food Assistance Benefits End before the End of My Five-Month Transition Period?
 
388-490-0005 The department requires proof before authorizing benefits for cash and Basic Food.
 
388-492-0020 What are WASHCAP food benefits and what do I need to know about WASHCAP?
388-492-0030 Who can get WASHCAP?
388-492-0040 Can I choose whether I get WASHCAP food benefits or Basic Food benefits?
388-492-0050 How do I apply for WASHCAP?
388-492-0060 How do I get my WASHCAP food benefits?
388-492-0070 How are my WASHCAP food benefits calculated?
388-492-0080 Where do I report changes?
388-492-0090 How often do my WASHCAP food benefits need to be reviewed?
388-492-0100 How is my eligibility for WASHCAP food benefits reviewed?
388-492-0110 What happens if my WASHCAP food benefits end?
388-492-0120 What happens to my WASHCAP benefits if I am disqualified?
388-492-0130 REPEALED
 
388-493-0010 Working family support.
 
388-494-0010 Diaper related payment.
 
388-865-0217 Psychiatric indigent inpatient program

 

ABD Clients Residing in Eastern or Western State Hospital or Civilly Committed to a Community-Based Facility

Revised on: January 26, 2024

Purpose 

Eastern or Western State Hospital

Individuals residing in Eastern or Western State Hospital are potentially eligible for the Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD) program if they meet all other eligibility criteria per WAC 388-400-0060. If ABD is approved, individuals are eligible for a clothing, personal maintenance, and necessary incidentals (CPI) monthly grant up to $41.62. 

At Admission/ABD application: Eastern and Western State Hospital staff help patients submit ABD cash applications after their admission. Hospital staff will only submit ABD applications for patients who are civilly committed or “not guilty by reason of insanity.” Home and Community Services (HCS) and Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) staff process ABD applications (and recertifications) for patients age 20 or under and age 65 and over (Title 19). CSD staff process applications (and recertifications) for patients age 21-64.  

At Discharge: Eastern and Western State Hospital staff help patients submit food/cash applications at discharge. HCS and DDA staff process discharge applications (and ABD recertifications) for patients discharging to their services/care. Remaining discharge applications (and ABD recertifications) are processed by CSD staff.

 

Civilly Committed to a Community-Based Facility

At ABD Application: Patients who are civilly committed to a treatment facility managed by the Behavioral Health Administration, such as Maple Lane, Oak Cottage, or Olympic Heritage, will need to complete a financial interview and provide medical evidence. These facilities do not have an interview waiver or presumptive eligibility per WAC 388-449-0001 and WAC 388-434-0005.

If ABD is approved, individuals are eligible for a clothing, personal maintenance, and necessary incidentals (CPI) monthly grant up to $41.62.

NOTE: For ABD recipients who are discharged from Eastern and Western State Hospital to a community-based facility, see Clarifying Information #1 for WAC 388-449-0150.

 

Interview and Medical Evidence Requirements

Facility Name

Public Institution?

Facility Type

Financial Interview Required?

Medical Evidence Required?

Eastern/Western State Hospital

Yes

Institution for Mental Disease

No

No

Oak Cottage

No

Institution for Mental Disease

Yes

Yes

Maple Lane

No

Institution for Mental Disease

Yes

Yes

Olympic Heritage

No

Institution for Mental Disease

Yes

Yes

 

See the following WACs for additional information:

  • WAC 388-400-0060: Who is eligible for aged, blind or disabled (ABD) cash assistance?   

  • WAC 388-400-0070: Who is eligible for referral to the housing and essential needs (HEN) program?  

  • WAC 388-434-0005: How often does the department review my eligibility for benefits?  

  • WAC 388-449-0001: What are the disability requirements for the aged, blind, or disabled (ABD) program?  

  • WAC 388-449-0150: When does my eligibility for aged, blind, or disabled (ABD) cash benefits end?

  • WAC 388-449-0200: Am I eligible for cash assistance for aged, blind, or disabled (ABD) while waiting for supplemental security income (SSI)?  

  • WAC 388-452-0005: Do I have to be interviewed in order to get cash and basic food benefits? 

  • WAC 388-478-0006: The clothing, personal maintenance, and necessary incidentals (CPI) payment standard for cash assistance.  

  • WAC 388-478-0033: What are the payment standards for aged, blind, or disabled (ABD) cash assistance?  

Clarifying Information

WAC 388-400-0060: Who is eligible for aged, blind, or disabled (ABD) cash assistance?

  1. You may be eligible for ABD if you reside in Eastern or Western State Hospital or are civilly committed to a community-based facility and meet all other eligibility requirements.

  2. You are not eligible for ABD if you are in the custody of or confined in a public correctional facility such as a state prison, or city, county or tribal jail, including placement in a work release program.

  3. Forensic patients are individuals who have been admitted to Eastern or Western State Hospitals through the criminal justice system. 

    1. Patients who have been determined “not guilty by reason of insanity” (NGRI) have had their competency restored, completed their court process, pleaded NGRI and have been adjudicated. These patients are potentially eligible for ABD. 

    2. Competency evaluation and restoration patients are committed under RCW 10.77. Competency is the ability of the person to understand and participate in the court process. This population have not had their crimes adjudicated and are considered in custody of or confined to a public correctional facility. These individuals are not eligible for ABD.  

WAC 388-434-0005: How often does the department review my eligibility for benefits?  

  1. Specialized eligibility staff review financial eligibility for ABD recipients residing in Eastern or Western State Hospital every 24 months and at discharge.

WAC 388-449-0001: What are the disability requirements for the aged, blind, or disabled (ABD) program?  

  1. We consider civilly committed Eastern or Western State Hospital patients as likely to be disabled. Specialized eligibility staff finalize applications for these patients without a disability determination from social services staff.

  2. We consider Eastern or Western State Hospital patients who have been determined “not guilty by reason of insanity” (NGRI) as likely to be disabled. NGRI patients have had their competency restored, completed their court process, pleaded NGRI and have been adjudicated.

  3. A disability determination is required for applicants who are civilly committed to a community-based facility.

WAC 388-449-0150: When does my eligibility for aged, blind, or disabled (ABD) cash benefits end?

  1. We review eligibility for ABD recipients discharging from Eastern or Western State Hospital. This applies whether the recipient is discharged to the community or to a community-based facility such as Oak Cottage, Olympic Heritage or Maple Lane.  

    1. Specialized eligibility staff must complete an early eligibility review (ER). Completing the ER changes the certification period from 24 months back to 12 months.

    2. An interview is not required in this situation since the recipient is residing in a public institution when they submit the eligibility review form. An ABD desk review should be completed. An interview is required if the recipient is applying for food at discharge.

    3. Social Services staff must complete a disability determination based on medical evidence.

  2. ABD recipients who are civilly committed to a community-based facility and are discharged to the community during the certification period don’t need to complete a new application or early review. Since they were approved for ABD based on financial eligibility and medical evidence, discharge from a facility is treated as a change of circumstance. See Worker Responsibilities #2 - WAC 388-418-0020.

WAC 388-449-0200: Am I eligible for cash assistance for aged, blind, or disabled (ABD) while waiting for supplemental security income (SSI)?

  1. ABD recipients who reside in Eastern or Western State Hospital are not required to sign an interim assistance reimbursement authorization.

  2. ABD recipients who reside in Eastern or Western State Hospital are not required to file an application for SSI.

WAC 388-452-0005: Do I have to be interviewed in order to get cash and basic food benefits?

  1. Interviews for ABD cash applicants and recipients who reside in Eastern or Western State Hospital at application and eligibility review (ER) are not required. These applications and reviews are worked by specialized staff only.

  2. Interviews are required for ABD cash applicants who are civilly committed to a community-based facility.

  3. Specialized eligibility staff complete an ABD desk review at discharge from Eastern or Western State Hospital. An interview is not required since the recipient is residing in a public institution.

*Visit the ABD Clients Residing in Eastern or Western State Hospital page in the Social Services Manual for clarifying information about medical evidence.*

Related Procedures (Staff Only) 

  • ABD Inpatient Discharging from a State Hospital
  • ABD for Inpatient Customers at State Hospitals

Administrative Disqualification Hearings for Food Assistance

Revised: April 11, 2023

Purpose:

WAC 388-446-0015  What is an Intentional program violation (IPV) and administrative disqualification hearings (ADH) for food assistance.

  • Clarifying Information, Administrative Hearing Coordinator Responsibilities, and Final Agency Decision


Clarifying Information:

WAC 388-446-0015 - Intentional Program Violation (IPV) and Administrative Disqualification Hearings (ADH) for Food Assistance

1. An Intentional Program Violation (IPV) of the Food Assistance program can be determined by a decision in an Administrative Disqualification Hearing (ADH) or by a decision of the court in a criminal prosecution.

2. A person suspected of an IPV can choose to waive their right to an ADH by signing a Waiver of Administrative Disqualification Hearing (Form 12-212) to accept the IPV penalty under WAC 388-446-0020.

3. The department must decide whether to refer an IPV instance for prosecution or for an ADH; both procedures shall not be pursued at the same time. Upon completion of an ADH, the department may choose to then refer the case for prosecution.

4. Separate instances of suspected IPV may be combined into one complaint that totals more than $85 for current recipients, or $125 or more for inactive recipients. See FRAUD

5. The department must prove the IPV with "clear and convincing evidence". This means that the evidence must establish that it is highly probable the actions that resulted in the overpayment were intentional.

 

Administrative Hearings

Purpose: 

This category will provide an explanation of the following elements regarding Administrative Hearings.

Overview

Revised April 6, 2023

DSHS Hearing Rules are found in chapter 388-02 WAC.  

Clients have the right to receive written notice of their administrative hearing rights at the time of application, denial, termination, suspension, grant reduction or notification of overpayment. [see RCW 74.08.080].

Clients have the right to be represented or to represent themselves at an administrative hearing.

The client who requests an administrative hearing is called the appellant.  However, in an Administrative Disqualification Hearing food assistance case the department requests the hearing and the client is called the respondent.


Clarifying Information:

Administrative Hearing Coordinators (AHCs) with the Community Services Division (CSD), Home and Community Services Division (HCS), and Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) manage hearing requests related to their programs. CSO Administrators (CSOAs) have the authority to resolve issues with clients prior to an administrative hearing.

Not every complaint received about a department action is a request for an administrative hearing. Refer to information in WAC 388-426-0005 for complaints that aren’t appropriate for an administrative hearing.

Administrative Law Judges (ALJs), employed by the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), conduct Administrative hearings. OAH is a separate agency from DSHS. Administrative hearings are held in person or by teleconference call. OAH is responsible for scheduling administrative hearings and sending a notice of the date and time for the administrative hearing to all participants.

The DSHS Board of Appeals (BOA) is responsible for reviewing the initial hearing decisions when reconsideration is requested by either the department or the appellant.

Exception: The department can’t request reconsideration on Basic Food decisions.

The client has the right to request judicial review of a final DSHS hearing decision.

 

Administrative Hearing Coordinator's Role

Revised May 22, 2023

DSHS Hearing Rules are found in chapter 388-02 WAC.

The following is a summary of general duties assigned to an Administrative Hearing Coordinator (AHC).

To find out the name of the Administrative Hearing Coordinator (AHC) in Community Services Division (CSD) regions / offices, please contact:

Danielle LeMier, Administrative Hearings Program Coordinator
Operations, Community Services Division
360-338-2721
Email: Danielle.LeMier@dshs.wa.gov


Clarifying Information: 

The AHC acts as the liaison, in cases involving Administrative Hearings, between the CSO and:

  • The appellant
  • The appellant's representative
  • The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH)
  • The DSHS Board of Appeals (BOA)
  • The Health Care Authority (HCA)
  • The Community Services Division (CSD)
  • The Office of the Assistant Attorney General (AAG)
  • Children's Administration (CA)
  • The Office of Fraud and Accountability (OFA)
  • Other agencies or individuals involved in specific hearings.

The AHC must maintain the appearance of fairness in the Administrative Hearing process. The following guidelines apply:

  1. Communication with Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), department witnesses, appellants their witnesses and representatives must be on a professional level.
  2. Any communication between the AHC and an ALJ regarding a specific hearing must include the appellant and/or their representative. Private conversations with an ALJ about an administrative hearing (ex-parte communications) are strictly prohibited, unless it involves a safety issue. See RCW 34.05.455.

Administrative Hearing Coordinator (AHC) Responsibilities: 

  1. Maintain the hearing case file to include the  following specific information:
    1. Name and client ID of appellant;
    2. Date of request for hearing;
    3. Hearing Issue;
    4. Name of appellant representative, if any;
    5. Pre-Hearing meeting (PHM) activities, if any;
    6. Scheduled date of hearing;
    7. Continuances requested;
    8. Date and result of hearing decision; and
    9. Date of request for review and/ or reconsideration.
  2. Document hearing actions on ACES narrative.
  3. Determine eligibility for continued benefits under WAC 388-458-0040.
  4. Give notice to Office of Financial Recovery (OFR) to stop recovery when an administrative hearing about an overpayment has been requested.
  5. Represent the Department at the voluntary Pre-Hearing Meeting, Pre-Hearing Conference, and the Administrative Hearing.
  6. Contact the division program manager for Administrative Hearings to determine whether an AAG should be present at an administrative hearing. Notify the OAH of any accommodation needed due to client Equal Access (EA) status.
  7. Notify the OAH if interpreter services are requested for Limited English Proficient (LEP) clients.
  8. Prepare the DSHS 09-354(X), Administrative Hearing Report or similar document as an attachment to exhibits (Administrative Hearing Packet).
  9. Provide copies of the Administrative Hearing Packet to all parties.
  10. Coordinate and conduct pre-hearing meetings or pre-hearing conference activities.
  11. Arrange for subpoenas to be issued by the AAG, when necessary.
  12. Distribute copies of hearing decisions as necessary to program managers.
  13. Coordinate implementation of hearing decisions.
  14. Prepare petition for review or request for Board of Appeals (BOA) reconsideration of initial decision or response to appellant petition as appropriate.

Exception: The department cannot request BOA reconsideration for Basic Food hearing decisions.  See 7 CFR 273.15(q)(2).

Continued Benefits

Created on: 
Jun 26 2018

Revised October 28, 2015

Purpose:

If a client meets continued benefits eligibility requirements, the client receives the level of benefits they were receiving prior to the administrative hearing request until the hearing decision is issued.

If the hearing decision affirms the department action (i.e. reduction, suspension, or termination of benefits) the continued benefits paid to the client pending the administrative hearing may become an overpayment for the client.  See WAC 388-458-0040.

Clarifying Information:

  1. Continued benefits for clients are governed by WAC 388-458-0040.
  2. Continued benefits are authorized at the benefit level the client was receiving before the action was taken by the department which resulted in the hearing request.
  3. Clients must be notified in writing of their eligibility for continued benefits.

Administrative Hearing Coordinator (AHC) Responsibilities:

1. Review each administrative hearing request to determine eligibility for continued benefits.

Note: A client is eligible for continued benefits at the level of benefits they were receiving before the department took the action that reduced, suspended, or terminated their benefits, until the end of the month when the hearing decision was issued, unless:

  a) The client failed to request the administrative hearing within the 10 day period after the change letter was mailed by the department.

  b) The client’s Basic Food certification has ended.

  c) The client’s Medical Certification Period has ended.

  d) The client requested in writing that the department not give them continued benefits.

  e) The client withdrew their administrative hearing request.

2. When the AHC determines the client is eligible for continued benefits.

  a) Reinstate terminated benefits or make changes to the ACES record to cancel a reduction or suspension of benefits.

  b) Send notice of eligibility to client which includes the following information:

       i) Benefits have been continued based on your hearing request;

       ii) Some or all of the continued benefits may be considered an overpayment if the department action is affirmed; and

       iii) If you do not wish to receive continued benefits, you must make that request to the department in writing.

2. If the AHC determines that the client is not eligible for continued benefits, send an ACES letter general correspondence letter (0050-01).  The following information should be included:

  a) Why continued benefits cannot be authorized, citing the regulation; and

  b) The information regarding Administrative Hearing rights.

3. Call the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) to schedule an expedited administrative hearing when clients appeal the hearing decision regarding continued benefits.

4. Notify the Social Service Specialist /Case Manager when continued benefits terminate.

5. AHC will establish overpayments that result from the payment of continued benefits to clients, if appropriate.

Financial Services Specialist (FSS)/Case Manager Responsibilities:

1. Continue to process all case actions or changes that do not apply specifically to the administrative hearing issue. 

2. Notify the AHC of any case actions or changes that result in a reduction, suspension or termination of cash, food, or medical benefits.

Equitable Estoppel

Revised October 28, 2015

 


Clarifying Information: 

Equitable Estoppel is a legal principle which means that, in certain cases, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) can order the department to stop doing something because it is not fair to a client i.e. overpayment.  See WAC 388-02-0495.

In 2012, the department, in consultation with Legal Services, the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of Administrative Hearings, developed a stipulation and agreed order of dismissal to be used to take the place of a formal administrative hearing and written decision by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), in cases where the client raises the  equitable estoppel defense to eliminate an overpayment.

Appellants may raise the equitable estoppel as a defense in administrative hearings.

Exception:  The equitable estoppel defense cannot be applied for overpayments related to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Food Assistance Program (FAP) or the Washington Combined Application Program (WASHCAP) as the principle of equitable estoppel is considered contrary to federal law.  Because FAP and WASHCAP are required to mirror federal law it cannot be used for these programs. See WAC 388-410-0025.  

The Stipulation and Agreed Order of Dismissal should be considered for cases which meet all of the following conditions:

  1. The sole issue for the administrative hearing is the fairness of the collection of an overpayment, and
  2. Neither party (appellant or department) is disputing any fact affecting the outcome of the case. There is agreement about the amount and the facts of the overpayment; and
  3. The department is satisfied that all elements of estoppel have been established by the appellant with "clear, cogent, and convincing" evidence. This means that the fact is proven by the evidence to be highly probable.

Cases must be determined individually based on each unique set of facts. The purpose of the stipulation is to avoid unnecessary administrative hearings. An administrative hearing is unnecessary only when the department agrees that the appellant has established the case for equitable estoppel and the appellant agrees to the facts of the overpayment. If either party, the AHC (or other department representative) or the appellant, disputes any fact affecting the outcome of the case, an administrative hearing should be held and a formal decision made by the ALJ.

Administrative Hearing Coordinator (AHC) Responsibilities:

Review each hearing request, consulting with supervisors as appropriate, to determine if equitable estoppel is a factor. If yes, apply the following guidelines to determine if the case is appropriate for use of the stipulation and agreed order.

Guidelines for Establishment of Equitable Estoppel:

Element #1:

An admission, statement, or act by the department, which is inconsistent with a later claim. The department makes a statement, takes an action, or fails to act and later finds that they were incorrect. The client is informed after the fact that the error was made.

Factors which may be used as evidence of element #1:

  1. The department had all the information available to correctly determine eligibility
  2. The client received the benefits
  3. The department has assessed an overpayment.

Element #2:

An action by the client on the faith of the department's admission, statement or act. The client must have taken some action that was reasonable given the circumstances; e.g. cashed the check and spent the money.

Factors which may be used as evidence of element #2:

  • The client's belief in the department's action was reasonable.

EXAMPLE:

 Client receives a letter informing him that his check will be $400. Client has reported income correctly and has no reason to suspect that the amount might be an error. 

The benefit is no longer available. Document the facts using the best verification obtainable, including the client's statements when necessary. 

Element #3:

An injury to the client arising from permitting the department to contradict or repudiate such admission, statement or act.The client experiences either a loss or a detrimental change in their position because the department reverses a decision regarding eligibility. Depending on the specific circumstances of the case, the imposition of a debt that could not be anticipated or avoided by the client may establish injury.

Factors which may be used as evidence of injury:

The client made financial decisions or plans based on a reasonable belief that the benefits they received were correct:

  1. Spent the money on items they would not have otherwise bought and which are not an available resource.

  2. Paid outstanding debts they would not otherwise have paid

  3. Failed to use an available family or community resource due to the receipt of the benefits. Food Banks, help from relatives, the Salvation Army.

    EXAMPLE:

    The client receives TANF medical benefits for several months before the department discovers the family is ineligible. The client acted in good faith and is without fault. The family used private medical providers during the period in question based on a reasonable belief that they were entitled to medical assistance. The family did not use the free medical clinic in their town that was available and could have met their medical needs. Injury can be established based on the failure to use an available community resource.
     

    When determining injury, the effects of non-cash benefits, such as training and childcare can and should be considered.

    The appellant and the department must be in agreement regarding the establishment of injury. If the appellant and the department cannot agree on the nature or extent of the injury, the case should go to hearing.

Element #4:

Equitable estoppel is necessary to prevent a manifest injustice.The overpayment is clearly unfair to the client based on the way that it occurred and repayment would compromise the client's ability to meet basic needs.

Factors which can be used as evidence of element #4:

  1. The client cannot repay the overpayment without drawing on funds needed for basic requirements. Document income and expenditures. Verify only questionable amounts.

  2. It is clear that the client acted in good faith by following the rules required to maintain eligibility for public assistance.

    a) The client reported income timely and accurately

          b) The overpayment was solely due to department error; and

          c) The client has "clean hands". That is, without fault. The client fulfilled all their responsibility to inform the department of changes in their circumstances.

Element #5: 

Applying equitable estoppel will not impair the exercise of governmental powers. Element #5 will be considered to be met unless there is an extraordinary circumstance. This element must be considered on a case by case basis. The cumulative effect of equitable estoppel applied to many cases is not permitted. 

Administrative Hearing Coordinator (AHC) Procedures:

When the appellant and the department (AHC and their supervisor) agree that equitable estoppel should be applied, the AHC:

  1. Completes and signs The Agreed Order and Stipulation, DSHS-EE ORDER 1/98 (currently available from CSD headquarters) and,
  2. Contacts the appellant to review and sign the stipulation, and
  3. Submits the stipulation to the ALJ for review and signature at least 3 days prior to the administrative hearing.

Although it is best to obtain agreement for the stipulation before the administrative hearing, it is not always be possible. The order can be done either in pre-hearing meeting with the appellant (and representative) on the day of the administrative hearing or on the record with the ALJ presiding. It still saves time required for administrative hearing and written decision.

When the signed order is received from the ALJ, the AHC must forward a copy to the Office of Financial Recovery (OFR).

 

Hearing Requests

Revised May 22, 2023

DSHS Hearing Rules are found in chapter 388-02 WAC


Clarifying Information:

  1. The client or their representative may request an administrative hearing. The request should be made within in 90 days of the date of the notice of the department decision. After 90 days, a hearing request may only be accepted after an ALJ determines there was good cause for not requesting the hearing within 90 days.
  2. Hearing requests don’t need to be in any particular form and can be made to any department employee or the Office of Administrative Hearings OAH.   Note: Provider hearing requests must be made in writing and submitted to the Office of Financial Recovery (OFR).
  3. Hearing requests can be made by:
       a. Calling the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) at (877) 501-2233 or the OAH Call Center at (800) 583-8271;
       b. Writing to:
               Office of Administrative Hearings
               PO Box 42489
               Olympia, WA 98504-2489
       c. Requesting online at the OAH Website, https://oah.wa.gov, then click the How do I Request a hearing link to get started;
       d. Faxing your request to OAH at (360) 664-8721; or
       e. Visiting any DSHS office and making an oral request, completing a Request for Hearing form, or providing 
           any other written statement for a hearing. 
  4. Hearing requests should include the department decision being appealed, the date the client was notified of the department decision, and why the client is dissatisfied with the department decision.
  5. Any communication with the department indicating dissatisfaction with a department decision should be treated as a hearing request.
  6. Hearing requests must be forwarded to the (OAH) for scheduling regardless of the date of the hearing request. See RCW 74.08.080

Public Benefits Specialist/Case Manager Responsibilities:

  1. Respond to the client and document in the ACES narrative when a client contacts the department regarding an adverse department decision.
  2. Explain the reasons for the department decision.
  3. Describe what rules apply to the department decision.
  4. Try to resolve the issue(s) with the client, but, if unable to resolve the issue(s) offer the client a supervisor conference, if appropriate.
  5. Inform the client of their right to an administrative hearing.
  6. Offer a Request for Hearing, DSHS 5-013(X) or take request over the phone
  7. Offer to complete an electronic Administrative Hearing Request form for the customer or provide the paper Request for Hearing form DSHS 5-013(X), if the the client prefers. Document the client's decision in ACES. 

Administrative Hearing Coordinator (AHC) Responsibilities:

  1. Maintain record of all hearing requests until scheduled.
  2. Contact client to clarify the hearing request, if necessary.
  3. Forward all hearing requests to the OAH for scheduling. 
    • If the client is Equal Access, include a copy of Accommodation plan with the hearing request.
    • If the client is Limited English Proficiency, include primary language information with the hearing request.
  4.  Document the receipt of a hearing request in ACES narrative.
 

Pre-Hearing Conference With An Administrative Law Judge

Created on: 
Sep 16 2015

Purpose:

A Pre-Hearing Conference is a formal proceeding conducted on the record by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to prepare for an administrative hearing.

Clarifying Information: 

1.      The pre-hearing conference (PHC) may be required by an ALJ or requested by any party.  It is an essential step in the administrative hearing process.  See WAC 388-02-0200 – What Happens During a Pre-Hearing Conference.

2.      Attendance at the pre-hearing conference is mandatory for the parties.  If clients do not attend the pre-hearing conference, the ALJ may dismiss the hearing request or enter a default order against the client.

3.      An ALJ may conduct the pre-hearing conference in person, by telephone conference call, or in any other manner acceptable to the parties.

Note:  Mandatory Pre-Hearing Conferences do not apply to Basic Food cases.  See 7 CFR 273.15(d).  

Administrative Hearings Coordinator Responsibilities:

Notify all staff who are scheduled to participate in the pre-hearing conference of the date and time of the PHC.

Administrative Hearings Coordinator Procedures:

When participating in a pre-hearing conference: 

1.    Explain the facts on which the decision is based.

2.    Discuss the rules, which the department relied on when making the decision the client is appealing. Make copies of the cited rules available on request.

3.   Review the evidence that the department relied on and how it relates to the client's situation. 

 

Post Pre-Hearing Conference:

The Administrative Law Judge enters a written pre-hearing conference order describes actions taken, changes to documents, any agreements reached, and any ruling of ALJ.  The pre-hearing order determines if and how the administrative hearing is conducted, whether it will be in person, by telephone conference, or other means.

 

 

Pre-Hearing Meeting With the DSHS Representative

Created on: 
Sep 16 2015

Revised October 29, 2015

Pre-Hearing Meeting With the DSHS Representative

Purpose: 

The Pre-Hearing Meeting is an informal, voluntary meeting conducted by the DSHS Representative and the Client and/or Representative prior to an Administrative Hearing to attempt to resolve the issues at the lowest possible level. 

See WAC 388-02-0175 - What is a Pre-Hearing Meeting? 

Clarifying Information: 

1.    The pre-hearing  meeting (PHM) ensures that hearings are held only in cases that cannot be resolved under current policy.
2.    The (PHM) is not designed to take the place of an administrative hearing. It is an opportunity for the client and/or their representative and the  Administrative Hearing Coordinator (AHC) to clarify the issue for hearing, correct errors and make agreements.
3.    The  PHM is not mandatory and does not need to be lengthy or formal. 
4.    The PHC can be held by telephone or in person. 
5.    The client has a right to decline a PHM.

Administrative Hearings Coordinator Responsibilities: 

1.    Attempt telephone contact immediately with the client for a  PHM as soon as possible after receiving the request for an administrative hearing; or  
2.    Use the DSHS 02-527(x) Pre-hearing Meeting Letter, ACES letter FHC2 Pre-hearing Meeting Notification or local CSO letter to schedule pre-hearing meeting when the telephone attempt is unsuccessful.
3.    Arrange for interpreter services or other accommodation as required. 
4.    Document on the ACES narrative when a client declines a PHM.

 

Administrative Hearings Coordinator Procedures: 

The AHC should be prepared to meet at least once, either in person or by telephone, with the client and/or the representative before the administrative hearing. Additional contacts should be scheduled as needed.
1.    When conducting a pre-hearing meeting: 

       a.    Attempt to identify and define the issues.
       b.    Explain the facts on which the decision is based.
       c.    Discuss the result the client expects from the administrative hearing.
       d.    Explain the client's right to representation and the local contact for free legal services.
       e.    Discuss the rules, which the department relied on when making the decision the client is appealing. Make copies of the cited rules available on    request.
       f.    Review the evidence that the department relied on and how it relates to the client's situation.
       g.    Attempt to resolve areas of factual dispute by reviewing the case record, ACES record or other documentation.
       h.    Allow the client an opportunity to provide additional information and/or documents that were not considered in the original decision.
       i.    Correct any CSO errors that are identified.
       j.    Coordinate with Regional staff for clarification of regulations, policies or procedures as needed.
       k.    Review alternative methods for helping the client, including community resources and the possibility of an Exception to Rule.
       l.    Review the hearing procedures, including testimony, swearing of witnesses and presentation of evidence.
       m.    Answer any general questions the client has regarding the hearing process.
       n.    Submit new or additional evidence provided by the appellant to the original decision maker or their supervisor for an amended decision, if appropriate. (See WAC 388-406-0060 (3) for application denials.)

2.    If a resolution is reached and the client wishes to withdraw the hearing request: 
       a.    Have the client complete a DSHS 02-528(X) Withdrawal of  Administrative Hearing which specifies the reason for the withdrawal and any agreements made by the  AHC or other CSO staff which resulted in the withdrawal:
       b.    For verbal withdrawals: 
              1)    Have the client complete a DSHS 02-528(X) as in (a) above or send the form to the client with instructions to complete as in (a) above.

              2)    Notify the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) immediately if the written withdrawal will not be received by OAH before the hearing is scheduled.

3.    Forward the original copy of the withdrawal to the OAH. Give one copy to the client and put one copy in the CSO hearing file.

Preparation

Revised October 28, 2015

DSHS Hearing Rules are found in chapter 388-02 WAC.

Clarifying Information:

Effective preparation for an administrative hearing includes a complete review of the department record. Documents are identified for their potential use as exhibits at the administrative hearing. Witnesses should be interviewed and prepared for their testimony. Errors in the record should be corrected. Client notices that are incomplete or do not meet advance or adequate requirements must be corrected and reissued before the administrative hearing.

The administrative hearing preparation is the responsibility of the Administrative Hearing Coordinator (AHC).

The Administrative Hearing report and proposed exhibits (Administrative Hearing Packet) should be made available to the client and their representative as soon as possible before the administrative hearing. The client may have seen the documents. However, the documents will be in a different format and may not look familiar to the client.

If an interpreter is involved, the Administrative Hearing Packet should be given to the interpreter in advance of the administrative hearing, if possible.

Evidence:

  1. Evidence can be in the form of documents or testimony.
  2. Documentary evidence can come from different sources. Documents which can be used as evidence in an administrative hearing include, but are not limited to:

a) Letters/notes provided by the client or others.

b) Applications, MSR, or other forms signed by the client.

c) Medical reports, employer statements, collateral statements or other documents provided by a third party and used by the department in the eligibility decision.

d) Financial computations, ACES screen prints including CAFI, MAFI and FSFI, Progressive Evaluation Process worksheets

e) Notices or letters sent by the department to the client either through ACES or manual notes.

f) Verification documents provided by the client (landlord statement, wage stubs).

     3. Testimony is provided by witnesses who have direct knowledge of facts related to the issue for hearing. It is appropriate to use a witness when the witness can testify:

a) That a document is authentic because the witness either prepared the document or observed the preparation;

b) About the source of a document because the witness either received the document or observed its receipt;

c) About his or her own actions;

d) About the actions of others; or

e) About statements made by the appellant to the witness.

Presenting the Case

Revised October 28, 2015

Clarifying Information:

  1. See WAC 388-02-0215  through WAC 388-02-0245 for the responsibilities of the Administrative Law Judge.
  2. The case is presented to the ALJ and generally consists of the following sections:

          a) Opening statement

          b) Presentation of the evidence

          c) Closing statement

    3. The ALJ's decision can only consider documents that have been formally entered into the record of the hearing.

    4. Either the client or the department may object to the admission of any document into the record. The ALJ will usually rule immediately regarding an objection.

   5. An objection should be raised if a document:

      a) Has been altered, or

      b) Is not what it is purported to be, or

      c) Is not relevant to the issue for hearing e.g. a medical report, which is not current.

Administrative Hearing Coordinator (AHC) Responsibilities: 

  1. Prepare the opening statement:

         a) Identify the action or department decision being contested;

         b) Explain the circumstances which led to the action or  department decision;

         c) Cite the specific regulation or statute which was applied in the department decision; and

        d) Explain how the documents and the witnesses if any will provide evidence to support the departments' position.

    2. Present the evidence:

       a) Introduce documentary evidence; explain how it relates to the facts of the case.

       b) Introduce and question witnesses. Ask questions that allow the witness to explain what he or she knows about the case.

      c) Present material in an orderly, logical manner. Consider if it is best to present the case in chronological sequence.

     d) Explain how the department came to know the facts of the case.

     e) Explain the reasons for the department decision and the regulations and/or statutes which support the decision.

     f) Show the steps taken to comply with regulations and notice requirements.

    g) Explain the actions taken by the department after the administrative hearing was requested, including whether or not a pre-hearing meeting was held. If a pre-hearing meeting was not held, be prepared to tell and document to the ALJ the number times the department attempted to contact the client before the administrative hearing.

     3. Closing statement:

        a) Briefly summarize the department's view of the case and review the regulations/statutes which support the department actions

      b) Explain why the ALJ should rule in favor of the department.

Note: If new information is raised by the client during the administrative hearing, it is appropriate for the AHC to respond to the new information. In addition, the AHC may ask that the department be allowed additional time to respond to the new evidence if it is extensive or it raises issues which were not presented in the original client hearing request.

Special Procedures on Non-Grant Medical Assistance and Health Care Authority hearings

Revised October 28, 2015

Clarifying Information:

Effective July 1, 2011, the Health Care Authority (HCA) became the single state Medicaid agency responsible for all medical assistance programs (Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act), State Children’s Health Insurance (S-CHIP) program (Title XXI of the federal Social Security Act), and Medical Care Services (MCS) programs. These programs are collectively known as the “Medical Services Programs.” Through an interagency agreement between HCA and DSHS, DSHS continues to provide all the services it previously provided in managing these cases. However, the legal jurisdiction for the Medical Services Programs moved from RCW 74.08.080 to RCW 74.09.741.  The AHC who previously represented the Department in these cases now represents the Health Care Authority as the HCA Hearing Representative. The Office of Administrative Hearings schedules these hearings as an HCA Hearing and will send a notice of the hearing to the DSHS AHC. If you have questions, please call the HCA Appeals Administrator at (360) 725-1254.

There are some hearings that are scheduled on the CSO docket but involve decisions made by other divisions, agencies or administrations, including:

  • Non Grant Medical Assistance decisions made by Division of Disability Determination Services (DDDS).
  • Medical Assistance decisions made by the Health Care Authority regarding:
  1. Creation of a single state Medicaid agency:

    a) Medical equipment and services, or

         b) Managed care eligibility or services, or

         c) Restricted use of medical care, or

        d) Coordination of Benefits or Third Party Liability issues.

In some cases, someone may represent the department from the agency or office that made the decision (e.g. issue related to denial of a medical service or choice of a managed care plan).

In some cases, the AHC will act as the agency representative, and the other office or agency will provide a witness to testify regarding the decision.

2. Transfer of administrative hearing rules for medical services programs from WAC 388-02 to WAC 182-526:

HCA now has its own hearing rules separate from DSHS hearing rules. Any hearing involving a medical services program will fall under the hearing rules listed in WAC 182-526. These rules are effective February 1, 2013. This means any hearing held on or after that date is subject to the rules listed in WAC 182-526.

Other important changes to the WACs include the following:

  • Definition updates for Limited English Proficiency clients and interpreters (WAC 182-526-0010, 182-526-0120 through 182-526-0150);
  • Clarification of the terms send (182-526-0040), serve (182-526-0045) and file (182-526-0070) in relation to documents for a hearing;
  • Pre-hearing conferences must still be granted if requested at least 7 business days before the scheduled hearing. The rule changed so the pre-hearing conference order must be served at least fourteen calendar days before the hearing, which may prevent OAH from having the pre-hearing conference on the same day as the hearing, unless parties voluntarily waive the timeliness requirements.

Administrative Hearing Coordinator Responsibilities:

There are several offices within the Health Care Authority (HCA) that make decisions that are subject to administrative hearings. It is important to contact the appropriate office as soon as a notice of hearing is received to coordinate representation

A. Medical assistance hearings:

  1. For hearings involving medical services, equipment, transportation, managed care enrollment, and Patient Review and Coordination (PRC) program, contact the HCA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals at: MS 45504, 360-725-1254 or 1-800-351-6827.
  2. The HCA staff may act as the agency’s representative for these cases, coordinate testimony of medical consultants, help you obtain additional medical information, and arrange medical examinations, if necessary.
  3. The HCA Appeals Administrator will coordinate review and implementation of hearing decisions as required by HCA.
  4. The DSHS AHC acts as liaison between HCA’s staff and the Appellant and their representative if required. For example, if the Appellant requests an in-person hearing and it is scheduled at the local CSO, the DSHS AHC may assist the ALJ and the Appellant during the hearing because HCA staff participates in the hearing telephonically from Olympia, WA.
  5. For insurance issues, contact HCA’s Revenue, Recovery and Premium Payment Section or HCA’s Coordination of Benefits (COB) Section, as appropriate:
    • COB Health Units: 1-800-562-3022 ext # 16134
    • COB Casualty Unit: 1-800-562-3022 ext # 15462
    • RRPS Premium Payment: 1-800-562-3022 ext # 15473
  6. For eligibility and policy issues, when clarification is required, contact the regional eligibility representative in the Office of Medicaid, Medicare, Eligibility & Policy (OMMEP), Eligibility Policy and Service Delivery (EPSD) - MS 45534.
  7. For hearings involving SCHIP (F07), Take Charge (P06), BCCTP (S30) or other cases assigned to CSO 76 contact Susie Bahr 360-725-1724  MS 45531
  8. For hearings involving a cash AND medical program, such as TANF or ABD, the AHC will need to cite the correct hearing rules when necessary, which may mean citing both the HCA hearing rules and the DSHS hearing rules. The administrative law judge will also need to use the correct rules when entering and serving an order. All ALJ decisions on HCA cases must be "initial orders", not "final orders."

B. Non-grant medical assistance (NGMA) hearings: 

The AHC acts as the agency representative, and a DDDS employee provides testimony to support the decision. Clients have up to 90 days to request a hearing on a NGMA decision. As soon as the hearing request is received:

  1. If the original denial is affirmed in the DDDS review process, consult with the DDDS hearing supervisor who will assign someone to testify in support of the denial.
  2. Notify the appellant if the original DDDS decision is reversed in the DDDS review process.
  3. Coordinate requested continuances from either the appellant or DDDS with the local OAH office. Continuances are often necessary in these cases to obtain additional medical information. It is important that the AHC keep all parties informed of the status of the case prior to the hearing.
  4. Notify DDDS of the scheduled date and time of the hearing.
  5. Forward the DSHS 14-144 and the DDDS original decision packet in hard copy to the appropriate DDDS office. Attach any new medical documentation and release of information authorizations, if appropriate.  (Do not use the automated BarCode referral process for administrative hearing reviews.)
  6. Initiate reconsideration of the original decision by completing in hard copy a DSHS 14-144, Transmittal Summary, and check the box for the Administrative Hearing Review. The reconsideration is a required step in the DDDS process prior to hearing. Request continuances as appropriate to allow sufficient time for the reconsideration.

NOTE: A hearing request is not always needed for the Department to review a NGMA decision.  Clients may ask for a review within 30 days of the initial denial if medical evidence exists that was not used to make the original decision.  Please follow the above steps and note on the referral that it is a reconsideration of denial.

DDDS Hearings Contact:

Michael Magill 
Disability Hearings Manager
(360) 664-7394

MS 45550

The Decision

Revised October 28, 2015

DSHS Hearing Rules are found in chapter 388-02 WAC.

Clarifying Information:

Once a hearing request has been scheduled, a decision must be issued by the ALJ. 

Administrative Hearing Coordinator (AHC) Responsibilities: 

When a hearing decision is received by the department:

  1. Document the AHCS with the docket number, the type of decision, and the date of mailing.

  2. Include any other information necessary for a complete record.

  3. Summarize the hearing decision in the ACES narrative.

1. Order of dismissal: Issued when an appellant withdraws the hearing request or does not appear at the scheduled time for the administrative hearing.  An appellant can request that an Order of Dismissal be vacated or canceled. If the Order of Dismissal is vacated, the administrative hearing will be reinstated. Document the circumstances that led to the dismissal so that the department can respond in those cases.

a.  Default/no show: If the administrative hearing notice was correctly addressed and the appellant failed to appear, document the AHCS and ACES narrative and file the hearing decision with any related documents in the case record.  

If the notice of hearing was not correctly addressed or there is some other reason that the notice of hearing was not properly delivered, contact the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) and provide them with the correct address or other information needed to deliver the notice of hearing.

b.  Withdrawal: Document the AHCS, ACES narrative and file the hearing decision, with the request for withdrawal and any other related documents attached in the case record.

​2.  Initial decision: The initial decision is issued by the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who presided at the administrative hearing. The initial hearing decision becomes the final hearing decision if it is not appealed by either party within 21 days of the date that it is mailed.

The ALJ who conducted the administrative hearing is responsible for writing the initial hearing decision and mailing a copy to all parties. It is appropriate to follow up with the ALJ if the decision is delayed. No details of the case can be discussed before the hearing decision is issued.

The Health Care Authority (HCA) is responsible for administrative hearings involving medical equipment or medical services. Refer questions about these hearing decisions to the HCA Appeals Manager, MS 45503. (See Special Procedures in this category.)

HCA shall not implement hearing decisions concerning medical procedures, medical equipment, or dental services until a final order is issued. The HCA Appeals Manager will coordinate these cases

3.  Reversed decisions: When the department decision is reversed, immediately:

a. Authorize benefits for an applicant effective with the date of eligibility determined in the hearing decision.

b. Reinstate benefits for a recipient at the level paid prior to the hearing request, if the benefits are not already being continued, or at the level determined correct by the initial hearing decision.

c. Adjust overpayments or take any other action addressed in the initial hearing decision.

4.   Stay: When the department disagrees with the initial hearing decision, request a stay of the action per the initial hearing decision.

5.  Affirmed decisions:  When the department decision is affirmed, immediately:

a. Terminate the continued benefits. Adequate notice must be provided to the appellant. Advance notice is not required.

b. Review the period of continued benefits, and establish an overpayment, as appropriate.

c. Distribute the hearing decision to other offices or divisions (OFR, WorkFirst Division, etc.), as appropriate.

6.  Petition for review of initial decision: The AHC is responsible for filing a petition to review in cases involving public assistance cash and eligibility for medical assistance.

The Health Care Authority (HCA) is responsible for filing petitions for review in cases involving medical equipment, medical services, or MAGI medical cases. The HCA Appeals Manager at: MS 45503 coordinates the cases.

6.  AHC petitions for review to the DSHS Board of Appeals (BOA):

     a.  After implementing the initial hearing decision, determine if a review is appropriate:

  1. Consult with CSO supervisors or administrator, as appropriate
  2. Consult with regional trainers or program staff, if necessary
  3. See chapter 388-02 WAC, which gives a full explanation of the BOA review judge's authority.

     b.  If the department decides to petition the BOA fir a review of the initial hearing decision, prepare a memorandum for the BOA Board of Appeals, MS  45803 which includes:

  1. Appellant's name and docket number,
  2. All areas in which the department believes the ALJ erred. See chapter 388-02 WAC for the review standard. The review judge usually only addresses areas that have been raised in the petition for review. Refer to findings of fact and conclusions of law by the number assigned in the hearing decision.
  3. Cite WAC's, findings of fact or evidence in the record that support the department argument.
  4. New evidence which affects the hearing decision, and could not have been provided by the AHC at the hearing with reasonable diligence.
  5. A request asking the review judge to find in the department's favor.
  6. Refer to chapter 388-02 WAC for complete instructions regarding distribution and time frames for a petition for reconsideration.

7.  Appellant petition for review:

a. Do not reinstate continued benefits pending a review of the initial hearing decision requested by the appellant.

b. Review the appellant's petition to determine if a response is appropriate. A response may not be required if the appellant raises issues which are irrelevant or which are outside the authority of the ALJ, e.g., issues relating to the behavior of department workers.

c. If a response is required, prepare a memorandum to the Board of Appeals, MS 45803, which includes:

  1. The appellant's name and the docket number,
  2. A response which speaks only to the issues raised by the appellant,
  3. Argument(s) which supports the finding in the initial hearing decision.

d. Refer to chapter 388-02 WAC  for complete instructions regarding distribution and time frames for a response to a petition for review.

8. Receipt of review decision from BOA:

a. Implement the BOA review decision immediately.

b. See chapter 388-02 WAC to determine if a request for reconsideration is appropriate.

c. If a request for reconsideration is appropriate, prepare a memorandum to the Board of Appeals, MS 45803 including the specific reason why the department does not agree with the BOA review decision.

9. Judicial Review: The appellant has the right to request judicial review of the final agency decision in superior court. Instructions regarding requesting judicial review are attached to the BOA review decision. If an appellant asks about  judicial review, they should be advised to seek legal counsel and referred to the local legal services office.

Age Requirements

Revised April 29, 2013

Purpose: 

This chapter explains age and school requirements for a child to be eligible for TANF or SFA and the definition of "elderly" for food assistance programs.

WAC 388-404-0005 How does a child's age and attendance in school affect their eligibility for TANF and SFA?

WAC 388-404-0015 Definition of elderly person for food and cash assistance programs.


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-404-0005

  1. When a child turns 18:

    1. They are considered an adult and can receive assistance for themselves and their children.

    2. They must participate full-time in a secondary education program or an equal level of vocational training to be eligible for assistance.

    3. The child's eligibility for TANF/SFA ends on the last day of the month in which the child turns 18 if the child:

      1. Is not participating in their education on a full-time basis.

      2. Has met the basic requirements to complete the education or training program even if they haven't gone though the official graduation ceremony.

  2. Needy caretaker relative of a child receiving SSI:

If the only child that meets the TANF/SFA age requirement gets SSI, the child parent or needy caretaker relative can get TANF or SFA for their own needs as long as the child meets the requirements of WAC 388-404-0005.

  1. Education:

    See VERIFICATION for information on how to verify a child's age or school attendance.

    See TEEN PARENTS for the school attendance requirements for TANF and SFA AUs that have an unmarried parent under the age of 18. 

    1. If a child is on summer vacation, we count the child as participating if they:
      1. Didn't finish the basic requirements to complete the program; and
      2. Are enrolled or intend to enroll as a full-time student for the next academic year.
    2. If a nineteen or 20 year old student attends only English as a Second Language classes or participated in non-state approved home schooling, as defined by RCW 28A.225.010(4), the student is not eligible for SFA.
    3. A child in special education meets the school's definition of disabled and the requirements of WAC 388-404-0005(3) and is eligible for SFA. 

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-404-0005

  1. ACES will generate an alert to notify the worker that a child is nearing their 18th birthday.  Review the case record when you get the alert.
  2. Verify the child's age, school attendance, and the date the child is expected to complete school as needed.

    1. If the child will have their 18th birthday during a summer vacation month, contact the school before the end of the school year to find out when the child will complete the program.  Update ACES based on the information provided by the school.

    2. Verify that the child:

      1. Is in a program that will lead to getting their diploma, GED, or equal level of vocational or technical training;

      2. Is making satisfactory progress toward completing the program; and

      3. Meets the institution's attendance requirement for a full-time student.

    3. Set an alert in ACES to follow up with the school as needed if:

      1. The school is not certain about the date they expect the child to complete their education; or

      2. Based on case history, you expect the child may not participate through the entire review period. 


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-404-0015

See WAC 388-408-0035  to decide if an elderly and disabled person can be in a separate food assistance unit.

See WAC 388-416-0005 to decide how long to certify an AU when all members are elderly.

See WAC 388-450-0190  for information on the food assistance shelter deduction for AUs with an elderly or disabled member.

See WAC 388-450-0200  to decide if an elderly food assistance client can have an income deduction for their out-of-pocket medical expenses over $35.

See WAC 388-470-0005  for the maximum resource limit for AUs with an elderly member. 

 

ACES Procedures 

  • See Interview - (DEM2) – Client Demographic 2 Screen for student status.
  • See Interview - (ALAS) – Aliens, Students and Medically Indigent Screen for education level, school name, completion date, and special ed. exemption.

Applications for Assistance

Purpose:

This chapter includes rules and procedures for processing applications for cash, medical and food assistance. It includes the following sections and rules:

Filing an Application

Created on: 
Mar 11 2020

Created on: March 11, 2020
Revised February 12, 2024

Purpose: 

This section explains who can apply for benefits, how to apply for benefits and the minimum amount of information that must be provided to start the application process.

WAC 388-406-0005  Can I apply for cash or Basic Food?

·Clarifying Information and Worker Responsibilities

WAC 388-406-0010  How do I apply for cash assistance or Basic Food benefits?

·Clarifying Information and Worker Responsibilities

WAC 388-406-0012  What is the date of my application and how does it affect my benefits?

·Clarifying Information and Worker Responsibilities


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0005

1. Applications by others:

For cash and Basic Food, third parties (i.e., persons not applying for themselves or their legal dependents) may apply for other persons. To apply on someone's behalf, third parties must:

  1. Be familiar enough with the applicant's circumstances to complete the application accurately; and
  2. Tell us why they are applying on behalf of the applicant to help us identify if the applicant should receive Equal Access (EA) services under chapter 388-472 WAC. Examples of when someone might apply for another person include when the applicant is:
    1. Physically or mentally ill or otherwise incapacitated;
    2. A minor child;
    3. Subjected to domestic violence;
    4. For Basic Food, living in a qualified DDD group home or qualified Drug & Alcohol treatment facility; or
    5. For ABD cash temporarily residing outside the state.
NOTE: While many others can apply for benefits on behalf of clients, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) restrictions prevent us from discussing the applicant’s personal health information with the person making the application unless the representative has power of attorney for the applicant or the applicant has signed a DSHS 14-012(x), Consent form.

2.  Authorized representative:

An authorized representative can be any adult who isn’t a member of the AU and has sufficient knowledge of the applicant's circumstances to act on the their behalf. In general, the applicant chooses who will be their authorized representative. For more information, see Authorized Representative – Food Assistance and Authorized Representative - Food, Cash and Medical Benefit Issuances | DSHS (wa.gov)

3.  Applications while in a public institution:​

  1. Prior to release from a public institution, residents may apply for public assistance. Expedited eligibility -- determinations for food benefits and timely access to medical assistance is available for applicants with mental disorders before release from confinement. A Medical ID card is sent to the facility so that the client can leave the institution with the ID card in hand. The goal is to provide eligible people with a medical assistance identification card on the date they are released, whenever possible.
  2. Transitional Outreach ABD Program (TOAP) applications must be tracked for reporting purposes.

4.  Program Options for Justice Involved Individuals

Department of Corrections (DOC) and county and city jails have a variety of programs that may be used in placing offenders outside public institutions. The Program Options for Inmates Matrix, accessed from the staff desk aids page, is intended to clarify how placement in a correctional options program affects a person's eligibility for public assistance benefits. 

 

Worker Responsibilities -  WAC 388-406-0005

FOR NON-COMPLIANCE SANCTION (NCS) APPLICATIONS:

See  WorkFirst Sanctions-Participation


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0010

The following topics related to the above WAC are discussed below:

Application Forms

  1. Opportunity to apply:
    1. Local offices must make application forms readily available and provide a form to anyone requesting one. Applying for benefits is separate from any other program requirements. We can't refuse to give an application form to a client because they aren't meeting other program requirements or for any other reason.
  2. Application filing:

We can't require applicants to use a specific form to request benefits. Examples of typical requests for benefits include:

  1. The ACES Request for Benefits (RFB);
  2. ACES 3G Interactive Interview Declaration (IID) with telephonic signatures. Telephonic signatures are captured when an applicant contacts the customer service contact center and requests benefits but hasn't submitted a paper application. Staff complete an ACES 3G IID while on the phone with the applicant. Two telephonic attestation scripts are needed to complete the telephonic signature for an application or review.
    1. The first telephonic attestation script captures the date of the application, interactively screening an application into ACES 3G.
    2. A second telephonic attestation script completes the the telephonic signature after the IID is reviewed and the applicant confirms the information is correct.
  3. The name, address, and signature on the DSHS 14-001(X) Application for Benefits form;
  4. The name, address, and signature on the DSHS 14-078(X) Eligibility Review form; or
  5. Part 1 of the online application.
  6. Another form of written request that includes a name, address, and signature.
EXAMPLE  Bob sends a letter requesting Basic Food benefits that includes his name, address and signature, and we receive it on October 1st. We send Bob an interview appointment letter and he calls for an interview appointment on October 7th. We pend his Basic Food for a completed IID which he returns with his signature on October 15th. Bob meets all eligibility requirements. His Basic Food starts October 1st.
NOTE  We can't require the use of a specific form to request benefits. But we do require that clients complete an Application for Benefits, Eligibility Review, or IID form to complete their application These forms require physical signatures or telephonic signatures. These forms contain information we must provide to our clients according to federal and state law.

   3. Adding a request for assistance to a pending application or eligibility review for another  program:

  1. Applicant or recipient can add a request for any cash or food benefits to a pending application or an unprocessed eligibility review verbally without submitting a new 14-001 or 14-078.
  2. The applicant or recipient may make the request in writing by checking the appropriate boxes on the 14-001 or 14-078 form and, dating and initialing the form.
  3. Use the date the applicant or recipient added the new request as the date of application for the new program. See WAC 388-406-0012.
  4. If application or eligibility review for the other program has already been processed, the applicant or recipient must submit a new request for benefits.
EXAMPLE Jenny has a pending application for Basic Food. At her intake interview she requests TANF. Add the TANF application to the Basic Food and note the date of request in the ACES narrative.
EXAMPLE Sam has a pending application for ABD cash. At his intake interview the worker makes him aware that he may be eligible for Basic Food. He decides to pursue Basic Food. Add the Basic Food application to the ABD cash and note the date of request in the ACES narrative.
EXAMPLE Maria has a pending application for Basic Food. At her telephone intake interview, the worker makes her aware that she may be eligible for cash benefits. She decides to add a TANF request. Add the TANF application to the pending Basic Food and note the date of request in the ACES narrative. If signatures are missing in the form, follow procedures to collect and document the telephonic signature

   4. Handling multiple applications from the same household:

  1. This applies to additional applications received before we determine eligibility on the first application:
    1. Don't deny the additional application(s).
    2. Review the application(s) for impact on eligibility or benefit level and whether the household is applying for any additional programs that weren't selected on the first application.
    3. If the household isn’t applying for additional programs, document the case that additional application(s) were received and that the department is still considering eligibility under the original application date.
    4. Treat the application as a new application for the additional programs only and continue to consider any requests for programs which are still pending under the original application date.
    5. Document in ACES and explain any additional information used to determine eligibility and/or benefit level.
    6. Don't extend the Standards of Promptness period for the original application.

       

      NOTE: If the additional application is received before we determine eligibility on the first application but isn’t acted on until after the first application has been denied, follow procedures under (b.) below.

5)  This applied to additional applications received after we determine eligibility on the first application:

  1. If we denied the first application, treat this as an initial application according to WAC 388-406-0010 except, for Basic Food, if we denied the first application due to lack of information, treat this as a reapplication and follow procedures under WAC 388-406-0040 (6)
  2. If we approved the first application, review the additional application(s) to determine if household circumstances have changed. Take appropriate actions on any changes reported.
  3. Deny additional applications for the same program and same persons to avoid duplicate participation.

NOTE: When denying additional applications as described in (c.) above, avoid creating a new AU if an old AU is available.

Name, Address, and Signature Requirements

  1. Name & address:

An application is received without a name or address, make a reasonable effort to contact the applicant. If the applicant is in the office, we ask for an address where they can be contacted.

Applications Marked “Homeless”:

If we receive an application that includes a name and signature, but is marked "homeless" and doesn’t indicate a mailing address, it is still considered a valid application and must be screened. Make a reasonable attempt to locate an address or phone number for the applicant. Do this can by searching the electronic case record, case narrative or remarks, online directories, etc. Even if contact information isn’t available, an appointment letter must be sent to the applicant. Address the letter in the applicant's name to General Delivery for the town indicated on the application. If no town is indicated, send the appointment letter to the applicant by General Delivery for the nearest town. The application must be processed in accordance with the Standards of Promptness guidelines in WAC 388-406-0035.

  1. Signatures:
    1. For cash or Basic Food, an authorized representative may sign an application if the applicant is unable to apply on their own behalf or is unable to sign the application. See Authorized Representative - Food, Cash and Medical Benefit Issuances | DSHS (wa.gov)
      1. For all cash programs, a responsible adult member of the assistance unit (AU) must sign the application, even if only one is applying. 
      2. If both parents of the minor children are living in the home with the minor children, both parents must sign unless one is incapacitated and unable to sign the application.
      3. For Basic Food, the signature of one responsible AU member is required unless a current authorized representative (AREP) signs instead. Note: Unless an AREP is durable power of attorney (DPOA), the AREP designation is limited to one certification period.
      4. A minor child may sign the application if there is no adult in the AU.  
      5. A mark is an acceptable signature if another person witnesses it.
      6. Online applications for cash or Basic Food are electronically signed when transmitted. The password used to complete the online application is an electronic signature.
      7. Applications received without a signature must be signed either at the time of the interview or by mail. See matrix below for signature requirements and date of application for various programs.  

For Medical applications, please refer to the application section of the Apple Health Manual.

Application Received

Online - for cash or Basic Food

In-person, mailed, emailed, faxed, dropped off, or scanned

Interactive Interview Declaration (IID) in person or by phone (telephonic signature)

Application Signed?

Yes
Always electronically signed when transmitted.

May or may not be signed.  If not signed, see “Action to Take.”

Yes, when the client signs the printed IID or when both attestation scripts have been read and the client has verbally attested to the accuracy of IID content by phone.

Date of Application

Date received or next business day if received after business hours

If signed, date received or next business day if received after business hours.

 

If not signed, see "Action to Take".

 

For cash and food assistance, the signature on the front page of the application after the applicant's name counts as a signature for the purpose of establishing a date of application.

 

If two-parent household applying for cash, at least one parent's signature is required to establish the date of application.

The date the client verbally attests to the first script by phone.

For cash and food assistance, the first attestation after collecting the applicant’s name and address counts as a signature for purpose of establishing a date of application.

If only the first attestation script is obtained during a call, see “Action to Take”.

If a two-adult household is applying for cash, at least one adult’s signature is required to establish the date of application.

 

 

Action to Take

Interview if required or conduct desk review. 

If applying for cash and a 2-parent household with minor children, obtain other parent's signature at interview or mail back for signature.

If not signed, have client sign at interview (if the client is in the office) or mail back for signature.  The date we receive the signature is the date of application for food assistance.  If applying for cash and a 2-parent household, obtain the other parent's signatures.

If only the first verbal attestation is obtained prior to the interview, the second attestation is required to complete the telephonic signature after review of the IID.

If applying for cash and a 2-adult household, obtain the other adult’s signature during the telephonic attestation or pend, mailing the IID back for the second signature.

Other requirements

For cash, both adult signatures are required in a two adult household.

 

For cash, both adult signatures are required in a two adult household.

 

For cash, both adults must sign the IID in a two adult household.

For cash, both adults must attest to the second signature script in a two adult household.

Cash Applications: If we receive an application without a name, address, or a signature to file, we accept the application and take whatever action we can to contact the client to obtain the information needed to officially file the application. We must take action on all applications, even if there is information missing that is needed to file the application such as a name, address, or a signature.
Basic Food Applications: If we receive an application without a signature, do not screen in. Send the client a general correspondence letter detailing the signature requirements and attach an application.

Informational Handouts and Supplemental Forms:

  1. For all applicants:
  2. For cash:
  3. Assistance for applicants with children:
    • Women, Infants and Children (WIC) pamphlet to applicants who are pregnant, postpartum, or who have children under age five. Pamphlets are available to local WIC offices.
  4. Additional Requirements for Emergent Needs or the Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program - CEAP:

See EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE - Additional Requirements for Emergent Needs (AREN)or EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE - Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program - CEAP for forms needed when the applicant applies for benefits from these programs.

Interview

See INTERVIEW REQUIREMENTS and Documentation.

Special Situations

See APPLICATIONS FOR ASSISTANCE – Special Situations for the following situations:

  • Trial visit program
  • Applications for MSP from Social Security Administration Interface (LIS file)

 

Worker Responsibilities

Forms that must be reviewed with the household at the time of interview:

Rights and Responsibilities

Review form DSHS 14-113(X), Client Rights and Responsibilities with the household:

  1. Face to Face Interviews

When conducting a face-to-face interview, explain the rights and responsibilities to the applicant and ask them to sign form DSHS 14-113 to acknowledge that they understand them. Send the document as file only to be scanned into the client’s Electronic Case Record (ECR).

      2.  Phone Interviews:

When conducting phone interviews, explain the rights and responsibilities to the applicant, send them a copy of form DSHS 14-113, and request them to sign and return the document (do not hold up benefit issuance waiting for this form).

Your DSHS Cash or Food Assistance Benefits

For cash or food assistance benefits, review form DSHS 14-520, Your DSHS Cash or Food Assistance Benefits with the household:

       1.  Face to Face Interviews:

When conducting a face-to-face interview, explain the allowable use of benefits to the applicant and ask them to sign DSHS 14-520 to acknowledge that they understand the restrictions and penalties for illegal use. Send the document as file only to be scanned into the client’s Electronic Case Record (ECR).

        2.  Phone Interviews:

When conducting phone interviews, explain the allowable use of benefits to the applicant, send them a copy of form DSHS 14-520, and request them to sign and return the document (do not hold up benefit issuance waiting for this form).

 


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0012

Processing Basic Food and Cash Applications for Applicants Receiving Benefits from Another State during Month of Application

When applicants apply for Basic Food or Cash and they received benefits from another state during the application month, this doesn’t change the date of application:

  • Deny the application for the initial month (and second month if necessary) if they have already received or will receive SNAP or TANF benefits from the other state for that month(s).
  • If Basic Food or Cash benefits can be approved for the ongoing months and the benefit start date isn’t more than sixty days from the initial application date, a new application isn’t needed..

Worker Responsibilities -  WAC 388-406-0012

  1. Date stamping the application:
    1. Date stamp the application, the same day we receive the application; or
    2. The next business day if we received the application outside of normal business hours.
  2. Adding a request for Basic Food to a pending application:

If the applicant has a pending application for one of our programs and requests Basic Food, use the application the applicant provided for the other program. The date the applicant requested food benefits is the date of application for Basic Food.

  1. Do not require the applicant to complete another application. If you need additional information to determine eligibility for Basic Food, request the necessary information;
  2. Document the request for Basic Food and the date the applicant requested the benefits; and
  3. Add a program for Basic Food.
NOTE: If you have already processed the application for the other program(s), the client will need to apply for Basic Food separately. See Clarifying Information #4 under WAC 388-406-0010 for details about handling multiple applications from the same household.

 


 

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Expedited Service for Basic Food

Revised November 7, 2023

Purpose:

This section lists the emergent conditions needed to get benefits under the Washington Basic Food Program (Basic Food) within seven calendar days. This section also includes Basic Food expedited service requirements and certification procedures.

WAC 388-406-0015 Can I get Basic Food right away?

WAC 388-406-0021 How does being a migrant or seasonal farmworker affect my application for Basic Food?


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0015

EXAMPLE:  Bob applies for Basic Food and meets expedited service criteria. He reports $100 income from his parents and $350 monthly income through AmeriCorps. Since we exclude AmeriCorps under WAC 388-450-0015(1)(g), his gross income is $100. Bob is eligible for expedited service.
  1. Gross monthly income: 
    Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) defines “gross monthly income” as income before taxes less excluded income. We don't consider excluded income when determining expedited eligibility. See WAC 388-450-0015 for excludable income.
  2. Resources 
    We must consider countable liquid resources under WAC 388-470-0055 when determining eligibility for expedited services, even if the client is categorically eligible under WAC 388-414-0001.
  3. Request for Basic Food:
    Applicants request Basic Food by:
    • Checking “Food” on the application; or
    • Checking “Other” and indicating they want or need food on their application. See WAC 388-406-0010 for information on what constitutes an application.
EXAMPLE:  Joe checks “Food” on the application form. Consider this a request for Basic Food.
EXAMPLE:  Petra checks “Other” on the application form and indicates she needs food. Consider this a request for Basic Food.
EXAMPLE:  John doesn't check “Food” nor does he request food next to “Other” on his application form. Don't consider this as a request for Basic Food.
  1. Screening and Determining Eligibility for Expedited Service
    1. Households entitled to expedited services must be interviewed and receive benefits within seven calendar days of filing an application. If the seventh day falls on a day when the office is closed (holiday, temporary layoff), benefits must be issued the working day prior to the office closure.
    2. To identify households entitled to expedited service, we review the application to determine whether the circumstances meet one of the Expedited Service criteria under WAC 388-406-0015 (2). We must consider the household’s circumstances at the time of application, including work registration sanctions or disqualifications, when we are making the determination.
    3. We screen for expedited service eligibility on the day we receive each application. If we receive an application outside of normal business hours, we screen for expedited service on the next business day.
    4. All applicants, not interviewed on the date they apply, are sent an interview appointment letter (11-01) after screening to contact us for an eligibility interview within 7 days of the date of application. 
    5. We determine expedited service eligibility for all Basic Food applicants during the interview.
      1. Except for identification, verification that isn't available at the time of the interview is postponed (see Postponed Verification and Required Verification sections for more information).
      2. A person who wasn't screened as expedited or who waives the expedited interview can be determined expedited at the interview and receive benefits within seven days.
      3. A person who was screened as expedited but who is determined not expedite eligible at the interview must be processed under regular procedures.
NOTE:  Applicants can't waive being screened for expedited service and don't have to ask for expedited service screening. 
NOTE:   Not all households are eligible for the Standard Utility Allowance (SUA). When comparing an AU's gross income and available cash resources to their total shelter cost, use the appropriate utility allowance as a part of their shelter cost.
 NOTE: ABAWD Cases: 
  • If an ABAWD does have non-qualifying months available they can be considered for expedited services.

  • Clients who have been disqualified for Basic Food due to not meeting ABAWD participation requirements aren't eligible for expedited services until they have requalified.

  • Expedited cases can be approved with postponed verification for proof of out of state non-qualifying months.

EXAMPLE:  Mark, who is a non-US citizen has income of $1000 per month. He declares no resources. His rent is $1200 per month. Mark has a WA ID card. He states that he has an LPR card but he doesn’t have it readily available.  In this case, we must approve expedited benefits and issue an 'Expedited Approval Letter (02-24)' for all outstanding verifications including immigration status.
EXAMPLE: A 3-person household applied on August 1st and reported anticipated income of $500 for the month, plus rent of $450 and the SUA.  At the interview, you find out that the household has anticipated income of $1,000. Since the income is greater than rent plus the SUA the household isn't eligible for expedited issuance. Process this application as a non-expedited application.
EXAMPLE: Don is unemployed and has no resources. He lives for free in a trailer in the back of his uncle's house. Don's parent's send Don $250 monthly to help out. With no utility expenses, Don is coded as ZUA.  He isn't eligible for expedited service because his monthly income from his parents exceeds his countable expenses at time of application.
EXAMPLE: Jude files an application on Monday, May 23rd and meets expedited service criteria. The office is closed on Friday, May 27th for a temporary layoff day and Monday, May 30th for a holiday. The office is regularly closed for the weekend. Because the seventh day falls on a day the office is closed, expedited benefits must be issued by Thursday, May 26th (the working day prior to the office closure). To meet the seven day timeframe, Jude is interviewed on May 26th and is issued expedited benefits the same day.
EXAMPLE: Linda applies for Basic Food on March 25th and doesn't appear to meet the expedited criteria based on the information she provides on her application. At her interview on April 10th, she indicates that her circumstances have changed and her situation in April appears to meet the expedited criteria. Because expedited services are based on the circumstances at the time the person applies, we evaluate whether to provide expedited issuance based on the March information.
EXAMPLE: Teresa mails in her application and it is received on July 2nd. Based on the information available, Teresa doesn't appear to meet expedited. When she completes her interview on July 10th, the worker finds that Teresa did actually meet one of the criteria. We provide expedited issuance and use July 10th as the date of discovery for expedited services.
 EXAMPLE: Ira is attempting to requalify for Basic Food after being terminated for non-participation under ABAWD rules. He would otherwise meet the expedited criteria based on the information he provided on his application. Ira must provide verification that he has met requalification before benefits can be issued. The application is denied and Ira is provided the DSHS Form 11-034b with information on how to requalify.
  1. Screening an institutionalized client for Expedited Service:
    Applications from persons living in an institution are denied unless the person will be released within 30 days of submitting the application. Use the date of release from the institution as the date of request and as the expedited service start date.
    1. If the applicant is eligible for expedited service, provide an interview within seven calendar days of the date of request; and 
    2. If the client is eligible for Basic Food, issue benefits within seven calendar days of the date of request.
EXAMPLE: Olivia files an application on May 6th. She is in the hospital and isn't eligible for Basic Food until released from the hospital on May 16th. The date of request for Basic Food is May 16th; the date of her release from the hospital. Her answers to the screening questions suggest that she meets Expedited Service criteria. Further review of the information Olivia provided supports this finding. We must interview Olivia and issue benefits by May 23rd.
  1. Destitute migrant or seasonal farm workers:
    To determine if a client is a destitute migrant or seasonal farm worker use WAC 388-406-0021, then see WAC 388-450-0230 for information about budgeting income in the month of application.
EXAMPLE: Kate applies for Basic Food, and the answers to the screening questions suggest that her household may not meet Expedited Service criteria. A further review of income sources indicates that she has income in excess of the Expedited Service criteria that you can't exclude.
  • Deny expedited service; and
  • Process the case using regular processing standards.
EXAMPLE: Mary applies for Basic Food, meets expedited service criteria and is interviewed the same day. At the interview, she states she doesn't have identification but previously received benefits in another state. We call the other state and ask them to fax a copy of her identification, which they say will take about a week. Mary's boyfriend is at the interview with her. Since the boyfriend isn't a member of Mary's Basic Food household, we can take a statement from him as collateral contact verification of her identity and issue benefits the same day. All other verification is postponed including further verification of Mary's identity.
  1. Denying Expedited Service:
    1. If at the interview we determine a household isn't eligible for expedited issuance and more information is needed to determine eligibility:
      1. Inform the client that they don't meet the criteria for expedited issuance with postponed verification; and
      2. Explain how to get a department review of the decision (see WAC 388-406-0015(10)). 
NOTE:Clients who have been disqualified for Basic Food due to not meeting ABAWD participation requirements arn't eligible for expedited services until they have requalified. 
  1. Required Verification:
    1. Verification of identity of the applicant (and authorized representative if the head of household isn't at the interview) is the only required verification to issue benefits on an expedited case. All other verification can be postponed.
      1. Identity can be verified with available documents, through interfaces such as SOLQ, or through a collateral contact. Photo ID isn't required.
      2. Delay benefit issuance only when there is no means to establish identity.
    2. When all required verification to determine eligibility is available at the interview, issue benefits and establish an appropriate certification period (see WAC 388-416-0005 ).
  2. Postponed Verification:
    1. When verification is postponed, issue benefits as described in WAC 388-406-0015(6) based on the information available.
    2. Send a letter of limited approval and request the client provide the missing information for continued eligibility to be determined. The letter also functions as a denial notice should the client fail to provide all of the verification listed in the letter timely.
    3. The denial of ongoing benefits can be reconsidered if all of the required information is provided within the timeframes listed in subsection (6) of the WAC. The letter will reflect the correct timeframes. Don't send another request letter with a new timeframe if the client provides only part of the required verification.
    4. If all postponed verification isn't received timely (within thirty days or the end of the second month), the client isn't eligible for ongoing benefits without a break in benefits. If the client turns in the postponed verification untimely, but before the 60th day after the date of application, refer to WAC 388-406-0055 (4) (c) to determine the reconsideration date of benefits.
    5. It is possible for a client to receive expedited benefits and not be eligible for on-going Basic Food when the postponed verification is provided. We must send clients a denial letter if we determine they are ineligible from the verification.

Applicants who meet expedited criteria and are eligible for Basic Food can get benefits even if they don't have all the necessary verification to determine eligibility. We must attempt to verify as much information as possible at the interview prior to postponing verification (see Verification).

EXAMPLE: Edward applies for Basic Food May 6th (on or before the 15th of the month), and meets expedited service criteria. He is eligible for expedited Basic Food with postponed verification and benefits are issued for May only. Edward must provide postponed verification by June 5th (the 30th day from the date of request for Basic Food) to be eligible for ongoing benefits without a break in benefits.
EXAMPLE: Martina applies for Basic Food May 16th and meets expedited service criteria. She is eligible for expedited Basic Food with postponed verification and is issued Basic Food for May and June. Martina must provide postponed verification by the end of the second month after the date of request for Basic Food (June 30th) to be eligible for ongoing benefits without a break in benefits.

 

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-406-0015

  1. Record the date each application is received, or the next business day if received after business hours.
  2. When the application is received, screen for expedited eligibility using the responses to the expedited screening questions on page one of the application (part one for the online application). Review other information on the application as needed to identify expedited households.
  3. Whenever possible, interview clients who apply in person and meet expedited service criteria the same day the applications are received. The interview can be conducted by telephone.
  4. Issue benefits the same day to households determined expedited.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0021

EXAMPLE: Seasonal farmworker client applied for Basic Food on April 22nd and hasn't received income in the month of April. The client has no available cash resources. The client states he has worked two 8-hour days for this period at $7 an hour. He expects to get this income on April 26th ($7/hr x 8hrs x 2 days = $112). The AU's shelter expenses for April are $200.00. The farmworker client isn't destitute because they will receive over $25.00 within ten days of their date of application. Since they have income and available resource s under their shelter costs, the client is eligible for expedited service under WAC 388-406- 0015.
EXAMPLE: Seasonal farmworker client applies for Basic Food. The client isn't currently working and has no other income. The client states that they will work as soon as the farms start hiring. The client has always worked this season over the past several years and averages $900.00 income each month. We would consider this client destitute because they don't have a source of income identified.
EXAMPLE: Migrant farmworker client arrived in the state on July 1st and was hired by a grower to pick cherries on July 2nd. On July 3rd, the client applied for Basic Food. The client was unsure of when he would be paid, and the worker was unable to contact the grower. The client was told that the farmer pays everyone when the harvest is complete. The client wasn't sure how much longer the harvest would take. In this example, the client is destitute. Based on the information available to us, we don't know when the worker will be paid or exactly how much. We can't be reasonably certain that the client will receive more than $25 within ten days of July 3rd, the date of application.
EXAMPLE: Migrant farmworker client arrived in the state on July 1st and was hired by a grower to pick cherries on July 2nd. On July 3rd, the client applied for Basic Food. The client states he averages about twelve boxes a day but was unsure of when or how much he would be paid. The worker contacted the grower by phone and confirmed that the client was hired and worked on July 2nd. The grower stated that they expect to have work for the client through the rest of the month. According to the grower, the client will be paid weekly, beginning July 10th. The grower confirms that the client averages 12 boxes each day. He pays $3.50/box and the client will work 6 days/week. The first check will be for five days (12 boxes/day x $3.50/box x 5 days = $210). In this example, the client isn't destitute. Because we have confirmed that the client will be paid on July 10th, we are reasonably certain that the client will receive more than $25 within ten days of July 3rd, the date of application.
EXAMPLE: Seasonal farmworker client applied for benefits on May 2nd. A grower hired the client, but the client isn't sure when work will start. The client must check with the grower each day to see if the harvest has started. The financial worker calls the grower and confirms that the client has been hired and says that work will start the next day, if the weather is good. The grower states that if all goes well, the client will be paid on May 9th and should receive over $25. In this example, work is uncertain. The client **is destitute. * * The uncertainty around the harvest and when the client will start work prevents us from being reasonably certain that the client will receive more than $25 within ten days of May 2nd, the date of application.
EXAMPLE: Client applied for benefits on May 2nd. The client works for the same grower every year. The financial worker calls the grower and confirms that the client has been hired and says that work will start on Monday May 5th. The grower states that first check will be paid on May 9th and client is expected to produce 10 boxes/day and will be paid for three days work at $3.50/box for the first week ($3.50x30=$1 05). The client agrees with the estimate.
EXAMPLE: Farmworker client arrived in Washington from California on June 16th. The client worked in California and was paid every Friday. They were last paid $ 90 on June 14, and won't be paid on June 21st. This income is from a terminated source, because the client doesn't expect to be paid by the California grower for the remainder of June or in July.
EXAMPLE: A seasonal farmworker applies on March 6th. They anticipate income on a weekly basis from their employer starting on March 22nd. The client last received wages from this employer on January 18th. We consider the income from this employer as income from a new source.
EXAMPLE:  Client arrived in Washington from California on June 16th and applied for Basic Food on June 17th. The client worked in California and was paid $200 on June 14th from a terminated source. The client expects to be paid in Washington on June 28th from a new source. In this example, the client is destitute . They won't receive more than $25 from their new source of income within ten days of the date the client applied for benefits. In this scenario, don’t count the income the client expects to receive on June 28th. See WAC 388-450-0230.
  1. General information regarding seasonal farmworkers:
    1. A seasonal farmworker can work all year round and still be considered a seasonal farmworker.
    2. The unemployment compensation a seasonal farmworker may receive doesn't have to be from seasonal farmwork.
    3. We don't average a migrant or seasonal farmworker's income when determining if they are destitute.
    4. Seasonal farmworkers may be required to meet ABAWD participation.
  2. Eligibility for expedited service:
    1. Destitute farm worker assistance units (AUs) with under $100 are eligible for expedited service.
    2. Migrant and seasonal farmworkers who aren't destitute may receive expedited service based on other criteria under WAC 388-406-0015.
  3. Earnings from a previous season:
    Don't use a previous season's information unless it reflects what the client anticipates for the current season.
  4. The source of a farmworker's income:
    Consider the grower, not the crew chief, as the source of income.
  5. Farmworkers with income from a new source:
    We consider a farmworker who has income from a new source destitute unless it is reasonably certain that the farmworker will receive more than $25 in income within ten calendar days of the date of application.
  6. Employer's statement of likely work:
    An employer’s statement that the client will likely have work shouldn't be considered a guarantee that the client will work and receive more than $25. Farm work is uncertain because harvests may be delayed or interrupted by weather problems. There also may be times when a grower discovers they need less labor than originally predicted.
  7. Income from a terminated source:
    Consider income to be from a source no longer providing income when:
    1. The AU is usually paid at least once a month and income from that source isn't expected for the remainder of the month of application or the following month; or
    2. The AU is paid less often than monthly, such as quarterly, and the household won't receive the next payment in the month it would normally be received.
  8. Income from a new source:
    Consider income to be from a new source when:
    1. The household is paid at least monthly and received $25 or less from that source in the 30 days prior to the date of application; or
    2. The household is paid less often than monthly, such as quarterly, and received $25 or less from that source since the last regular pay date.
  9. Income from a terminated source and a new source in the same month:
    A farmworker AU may receive income from a source no longer providing income and a new source in the same month and still be considered destitute.
  10. Travel advance:
    If a migrant/seasonal farmworker client gets an advance from an employer to cover travel costs, we don't consider the advance when deciding if the client is destitute.
    1. We exclude the travel funds if they are a reimbursement for travel expenses.
    2. If the funds are an advance on wages and not a reimbursement for travel, we budget the advance as earned income.
  11. Budgeting income:
    1. For the standard rule on how to budget a client's income, see WAC 388-450-0215.
    2. For the rule about budgeting a destitute client's income, see WAC 388-450-0230.

 

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-406-0021

  1. Document the decision on a client's destitute status:
    Document your decision on whether or not a migrant/seasonal farmworker client is destitute. If you exclude any income under WAC 388-450-0230 document that this income was excluded.
  2. Document income:
    Always document the income you budgeted for the AU. 

ACES Procedures

See Process Application Month

See Finalize Application

See Basic Food Program - Expedited Services

Time Limits for Processing

Revised October 17, 2016

Purpose:

This section includes rules and procedures related to application processing time limits and processing delays.

WAC 388-406-0035 How long does the department have to process my application?

WAC 388-406-0040 What happens if the processing of my application is delayed?

WAC 388-406-0045 Is there a good reason my application for cash or medical assistance has not been processed?


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0035

If an applicant for food assistance completes their interview late in the application process and we still need some information to determine eligibility, take the following steps:

  1. Notify the client during interview  that we must have the required information/verification no later than the 30th day from their application date, otherwise they will not receive benefits for the application month. List the 10 day deadline to provide verification. 
  2. Tell the client we can reconsider a denied application if we have the information/verification by day 60. We will prorate benefits for the second month starting the date we receive the required information/verification.
EXAMPLE: Cliff applies for Basic Food on November 1st. He interviews on November 25th. The worker pends for verification. The worker enters December 10th as the due date on the RFI letter, but explains to Cliff that we will deny the application on December 1st unless we have all the verification required to determine his eligibility. The worker also explains that we can approve benefits from the date the verification is received if we receive all verification to determine eligibility by the 60th day from the application date
NOTE: For further information and canned text, see the Procedures Manual.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0040

ACES will  deny a food program application by the 30th day, or next business day if the 30th day falls on a weekend or holiday, even if the household requests additional time to provide information.  See WAC 388-406-0040, #4. 

Applications processed after the 30-day standard of promptness are considered untimely even if the household had the interview before the 30th day and we needed verification to determine eligibility for benefits.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0045

For cash and medical assistance applications, good cause exists only when the local office meets all processing requirements and the client causes a delay in the process.

EXAMPLE Client applies for TANF. We schedule an interview appointment timely. The client does not appear for the appointment. The client requests a second appointment on the 29th day following the date of application. Because the client caused the delay, good cause for not processing the application within 30 days exists.
EXAMPLE Mark applies for ABD cash on August 17th. He is scheduled to be released from Walla Walla Correctional facility on September 1st. His forty-five days ends on September 30th. We receive the medical evidence and establish disability on September 28th. He is released on October 5th. Mark is eligible for benefits beginning October 5th. The client caused the delay, so good cause for not processing the application within 45 days exists. (See: Applications for Assistance - Completing the Process)

ACES Procedures

See:

  • Standards of Promptness
  • Standards of Promptness - When is there good cause for not processing an application by the SOP date?

Filing Applications - Special Situations

Revised August 28, 2018

Purpose:

This section contains applications procedures for special situations, including when an applicant is temporarily out of state and the Trial Visit Program.


Worker Responsibilities

  1. The Trial Visit Program is part of a treatment plan for clients in institutions. The institution determines if the client is able to participate in the program. If assistance is needed before the client can participate in the program, the CSO serving the client's institution will initiate the application.
    1. Administrative Disability Review Committee: Each institution will designate a liaison to coordinate with the CSO when an approved trial visit client is in need of public assistance. At least ten days prior to the scheduled release date, the liaison will provide the CSO with a completed Application for Benefits, DSHS 14-001(X) and related supplements. In addition, the liaison will provide:
  2. Determine eligibility for a Medicare Savings Program (MSP) and, if requested, all other medical programs.
    1. Review ACES instructions for auto-screened MSP application.
    2. WA State SSI Related income and resource rules differ from SSA LIS income and resource rules so S03 cannot be auto-opened without an application.
    3. ACES sends a LTR 023-02 and a 14-001 application form.
    4. If client returns the application form, look to see if medical is requested. If so, determine eligibility for all medical programs.
    5. If medical is not checked, determine eligibility for only the Medicare Savings Programs (ie S03, S04, S05 and S06).
    6. The Standard of Promptness (SOP) count begins from the date DSHS received the SSA/LIS input file. ACES is programmed to apply the correct SOP date.
    7. Estate Recovery rules apply to all medical programs except MSP.
  3. Denying automated MSP applications.
    1. ACES will auto-deny MSP applications with LTR 004-05 and reason code 230 after 30 days when an application is not returned.
    2. Do not deny for failure to provide information prior to the automated ACES denial.

Completing the Process

Revised July 22, 2024

Purpose:

This section contains rules and procedures related to application approvals, denials and withdrawals, including notification requirements, eligibility effective dates for approved applications, limits on denial actions, and when we may reconsider a denied application.

WAC 388-406-0050 How do I know when my application is processed?

WAC 388-406-0055 When do my benefits start?

WAC 388-406-0060 What happens when my application is denied?

WAC 388-406-0065 Can I still get benefits even after my application is denied?


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0055

Basic Food and Transitional Food Assistance:

Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) provides five months of basic food benefits as a fixed benefit amount for families leaving TANF or Tribal TANF. When someone moves out of a TFA household, they aren't automatically removed from the TFA assistance unit.

Federal rules don't allow people to receive benefits under the Food Stamp program in more than one household at the same time. This includes basic food and TFA.

  • When an active member of a TFA AU moves away and applies for basic food in a different household, we must remove the applicant from the TFA AU before starting basic food or adding them to someone else’s basic food AU.
  • The applicant is eligible for basic food effective the first of the month after they were removed from the TFA AU with advance notice.
EXAMPLE: Mark, Heidi and Lance receive TFA with a certification period of March through July. On April 3rd, Lance moves out and is approved to receive basic food with his girlfriend Amber. Their worker removes Lance from Mark and Heidi’s TFA AU effective April 30th. Lance is added to Amber’s benefits effective May 1st.
EXAMPLE: Same scenario as above, but Amber applies to add Lance to her basic food on April 25th. We don't have time to provide Mark and Heidi 10 days adverse-action notice and remove Lance from their TFA benefits by April 30th.Their worker removes Lance from Mark and Heidi’s TFA AU effective May 31st. Lance is added to Amber’s benefits effective June 1st.
ABD cash: If the date of release from the facility or institution is beyond the forty-five day processing period, the beginning date of assistance is the date the applicant is released or approved, whichever is later.
EXAMPLE: Mark applies for ABD cash on August 17th. He is scheduled to be released from Walla Walla Correctional facility on September 1st. His forty-five days ends on September 30th. We receive the medical evidence and establish disability on September 28th. He is released on October 5th. Mark is eligible for benefits beginning October 5th.

Worker Responsibilities -WAC 388-406-0055

  1. For approved applications processed outside the applicant’s catchment area, transfer the case record to the correct CSO and notify the applicant of the CSO address and phone number.Use ACES Letter 023-03 - Information/Action Request for Transfer. 
  2. For applicants ineligible for benefits because they are institutionalized, open:
    1. Basic Food from the date:
      1. Of release from the institution, if released within 30 days from the date of application and we have the information needed to determine eligibility; or
      2. We have the information needed to determine eligibility, if released within 30 days from the date of application, and the information was received after the 30th day but before the 60th day, and the delay was caused by the applicant.
    2. Cash assistance from the date:
      1. Of release if released within 30 days from the date of application and we have the information needed to determine eligibility for TANF, SFA, PWA, or RCA; or
      2. Of release if the release date is past the forty-fifth day processing deadline; or
      3. We have the information needed to determine eligibility, but no later than the 30th day for TANF, SFA, PWA, or RCA.
NOTE: The system doesn't use an applicant's date of release from an institution or the date delayed verification was received as the start date for basic food. If the application is already screened, deny the existing application and re-screen basic food using the applicant's release date, or the date delayed verification was received, as the date of application.
EXAMPLE: Cody applies for basic food on May 1st. We schedule the appointment for May 20th and give them until May 30th to provide information needed to determine eligibility. On June 3rd we deny the application. Cody gives us the needed information on June 12th. Good cause doesn't exist. Since Cody caused the delay, open basic food from June 12th. Don't request a new application to open benefits.
EXAMPLE: Same scenario as Example 1, except we schedule the appointment on June 1st. Cody is given until June 11th to provide information and doesn’t provide it until June 13th. Since the delay is our fault because we didn’t schedule an appointment timely (see WAC 388-452-0005 (6)), we must open benefits from the date of application (May 1st).
EXAMPLE: Taylor applies for basic food on July 1st and is interviewed the same day. The application is denied on July 15th for failure to provide information. Taylor submits the required information on August 10th and is determined to be eligible. Approve benefits effective August 10th. When rescreening the AU, use August 10th as the new application date.
EXAMPLE: Same as the previous scenario, except Taylor submits the information on July 20th. Rescreen and start benefits from the date of application (July 1st) because the information was received within 30 days.
EXAMPLE: Sam applied for basic food on May 15th. They were interviewed on May 20th and asked to provide additional information by May 30th. They were determined eligible for Equal Access and contacted the department to get assistance in obtaining the required verification. The department was able to help obtain the verification on June 24th. The application wasn't processed within 30 days, but Sam was eligible for EA and cooperated with the department to obtain the required verification. Open benefits effective the date of application (May 15th).

Processing an NCS Application:

See WORKER RESPONSIBILITIES Non-Compliance Sanctions (NCS) Re-Applicants


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0060

For basic food, when the thirty-day period ends on a weekend or a holiday the denial notice is sent the first working day after the thirtieth day.

Worker Responsibilities -WAC 388-406-0060

If a basic food applicant doesn't show for the required eligibility interview within the 7-day interview window:

  1. ACES sends a Notice of Missed Interview informing the applicant to contact the department by phone or in person for an interview by the 30th day.
  2. ACES automatically denies a pending basic food AU in overnight processing on the 30th day from date of application regardless of whether an interview has been initiated. If the 30th day falls on a weekend or a holiday, the denial occurs in overnight processing on the next business day.
NOTE: If an applicant is applying for classic medical as well as other programs, they aren't required to interview for the classic medical. Most other programs require an interview. The worker must manually track the other assistance units and deny the application on the correct date.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0065

Processing Basic Food Applications for Individuals Ineligible Due to Duplicate Participation

When applicants apply for basic food and are ineligible for benefits during the month of application because they received benefits from another state:

  •  Deny the application for the initial month (and second month if necessary) if they have already received or will receive SNAP benefits from the other state for that month(s).
  •  If basic food benefits can be approved for the ongoing months and the benefit start date is not more than sixty days from the initial application date, a new application isn't needed.
    EXAMPLE: Theo moved to Washington from Nevada and applies for benefits on 3/15. We interview them on 4/2 and determine they are financially eligible at the time, except that they received 3/2021 and 4/2021 benefits from the other state. We have verified that they won't receive benefits in 5/2021. Correctly deny basic food for March and April for duplicate participation and approves benefits for May 2021 and ongoing. Use the initial application until May 14.

Worker Responsibilities -WAC 388-406-0065

  1. Reconsidering a Denied Application
    If the applicant provides only part of the information we need per the timelines in WAC 388-406-0065 (1), take the following actions:
  2. Review the case to see if we can determine eligibility for each program based on what we have received; and
  3. Send the applicant a letter advising of our reconsideration decision for each program. This includes:
    1. An approval letter if we can determine they're eligible;
    2. A new denial letter if we are able to determine they're ineligible; or
    3. A second denial letter indicating the original denial reason and effective date stands and why.

EXAMPLE: We request verification of income, residence, and utilities due by 5/15. This isn't provided, and we send a denial letter on 5/20. The applicant then provides the residence and income verification on 5/30. This is within 30 days of the denial, and is sufficient to determine eligibility. We approve benefits from the appropriate date and advise the applicant in the approval letter that utilities weren't considered in the benefit decision, as that requested verification wasn't provided.
EXAMPLE: Same as above, but the applicant provides only the income verification. This information shows them to be over the program’s gross income standard. We send a new denial letter to the applicant advising of the change in denial reason.
EXAMPLE: Same as above, but the applicant provides only the residence verification. We can't determine eligibility without the income information. We send a letter to the applicant advising that we received the partial information, but the denial from 5/20 stands as we still don't have the income and utility verification we require.
  1. NCS Re-applicants who failed to complete their 28 day participation:

Top of Page

Information Needed to Determine Eligibility

Revised September 11, 2019

Purpose:

This section includes rules and procedures on what happens when a client applies for benefits and the department needs other information to determine eligibility.

WAC 388-406-0030 Do I need to submit other information after I apply for benefits?


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0030

EXAMPLE Rayanna applies for food assistance on July 8th and has her interview on July 15th. The worker pends the food assistance for verification of income, due by July 25th. On July 25th, Rayanna requests extra time. If the worker determines the client is cooperating, the worker should extend the due date at least 10 days but may extend the due date more, to between August 4th (10 more days) and August 7th (30th day of application) without penalty. If Rayanna requests the due date to be extended past the 30th day of application, then we must deny the application by August 7th and would delay the start date of benefits as applicable in WAC 388-406-0040.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-406-0030

  1. See verification. Whenever possible, obtain verification by phone. For cash, food, and long-term care programs, verify an applicant's circumstances if needed to determine eligibility.
  2. Use cross-matches and alerts whenever possible to verify a client’s income or expenses.
  3. Do not request a specific form to determine eligibility. For example, do not request a landlord statement. Instead, ask for what is needed to determine eligibility such as an address, household composition, and shelter costs. Give or send the client any departmental or approved local-office forms that would help give us the information we need to determine eligibility.
  4. See WAC 388-406-0040 for what to do if the application process is delayed.
  5. When requesting further verification or requesting missing verification, allow a ten-day extension on the due date as under WAC 388-406-0030, #4, as long as the client is not refusing to cooperate and/or the application processing time limits under WAC 388-406-0040 haven't passed.
  6. If the application process has been delayed due to the household interviewing late in the 30 day processing period, we cannot give a ten day extension.
  7. The application must be denied by the 30th day (first business day after the 30th day if it falls on a weekend or holiday) if we don't have all the information we need to determine eligibility and the delay has been caused by the household.

Assistance Units

Revised December 8, 2011

Purpose: 

To describe what an assistance unit is and how it is formed for cash, medical and food assistance programs. The following sections are contained in this chapter.

Assistance Units - Basic Food

Revised May 22, 2023

Purpose:

This section shows who must be in an assistance unit (AU) for the Washington Basic Food Program and explains how certain living arrangements impact a client's AU and eligibility for Basic Food.

WAC 388-408-0034 - What is an assistance unit for Basic Food?

WAC 388-408-0035 - Who is in my assistance unit for Basic Food?

WAC 388-408-0040 - How does living in an institution affect my eligibility for Basic Food?

WAC 388-408-0045 - Am I eligible for Basic Food if I live in a shelter for battered women and children?

WAC 388-408-0050 - Does the department consider me as homeless for Basic Food benefits?


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-408-0035

  1. Buying and Preparing food:
    1. This rule (formerly known as the “purchase and prepare concept”) applies to the typical shopping and food preparation arrangements of the people who live in the home. Persons who normally buy and prepare their food separately can be in separate AUs if they do not have to be in the same AU for some other reason. This rule does not force people to be in the same AU if they occasionally share a meal or share insignificant items such as seasonings. It also doesn’t force people to be in the same AU if they buy food and make meals separately, but eat their meals together.
    2. Persons sharing a residence can be separate households when they regularly buy food and prepare meals separately.

Persons sharing a residence must be one Basic Food household when they:

  • Buy food together;
  • Prepare meals together; or
  • Buy food and prepare meals together.
EXAMPLE: Kari and Steve are unmarried and share an apartment. They pool their resources for grocery shopping, but don’t normally prepare meals together because they work opposite shifts. Since they buy food together, Steve and Kari would be a single AU for Basic Food.
EXAMPLE: Art and Larry share an apartment. Larry prefers a vegan diet and Art typically eats a meat-based fare. Because of their different diets, they normally do not buy or prepare food together. They take turns buying salt, pepper, and spices that they both use. Since Art and Larry do not normally buy and prepare food together, they are separate AUs for Basic Food.
  1. Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) AUs:

When a mandatory member as described in WAC 388-408-0035 moves into the home of an AU already receiving benefits under TFA, this person cannot be added to the TFA AU unless the household opts out of TFA to apply for regular Basic Food. The new member cannot receive benefits separately if they are required to be in the AU under the WAC. Refer to WAC 388-489-0015 for more information.

EXAMPLE: Mandy, Pete, and Lucy receive Transitional Food Assistance benefits from March 1st through July 31st. In April, Mike moves into the home. Mike normally buys and prepares food with the family. Based on the food arrangements, Mike can’t be a separate AU from Mandy and the others. Since Mandy receives Transitional Food Assistance, the family would have to reapply for Basic Food to see if adding Mike to Basic Food would give them more benefits than they would get under TFA. If Mandy chooses not to reapply for Basic Food, Mike cannot get Basic Food on his own.
EXAMPLE: Ruth and her son Kenny receive Transitional Food Assistance from January 1st through May 31st. In March, Ruth’s younger son Bryce and his father Charlie move into the home. Charlie and Bryce are currently Basic Food recipients. Based on Bryce’s relationship to his parents, Charlie and Bryce cannot continue to receive Basic Food on their own. Ruth and Kenny could choose to remain on TFA, but Charlie and Bryce would no longer be eligible for Basic Food until the TFA expired. Otherwise, Ruth and Kenny would have to opt out of TFA and re-apply as one Assistance Unit for Basic Food with Charlie and Bryce.
  1. Buying and Preparing food – Temporary arrangements based on no food money:

If a client does not currently buy and prepare food separately from others in the home **only** because they have no food or money to buy food, they may be a separate AU from the others in the home if they are not required to be in the same AU under WAC 388-408-0035 (2) **and** they intend to buy and prepare food separately from the others.

EXAMPLE: Bob applied for Basic Food on January 5th. He is homeless and staying at his friend’s house. Because he has no food or food money, he currently prepares the food his friend has purchased. The agreement between the two of them is that Bob will buy and prepare his own food as soon as he is able to do so. Because Bob and his friend are not required to be in the same AU based on relationship, and the two plan to buy and cook food separately as soon as the client has food money, they can be separate AUs for Basic Food. We use January 5th, the date Bob applied for Basic Food, as the date of application.
  1. Homeless Youth:

If a minor is homeless and is temporarily living at the residence of an adult who is not their parent and does not provide for them financially, they are not considered to be under parental control and can be their own assistance unit.

Examples of when a minor is not under parental control include, but are not limited to, when the minor is:

  • Receiving a TANF grant as the person's own payee; or
  • Receiving, as the person's own payee, gross income equal to or exceeding the TANF grant payment standard; and
  • Living in the home of a non-parental adult temporarily with no intention to remain permanently.

A minor is not required to have a residence or income to be eligible for Basic Food. A child should not be considered "financially dependent" unless the child receives significant and sustained financial or other in-kind support from a non-parental adult.

If the minor regularly buys and prepares food with others, everyone who does must be in the same assistance unit for Basic Food.

While there are no special eligibility requirements for homeless youth, they must be provided the same rights, protection, and accommodations as homeless individuals, including the exception to the requirement to verify residency. Other important considerations include:

  • Homeless youths' living arrangements are often different than many other households, as they commonly share the housing of others in temporary, informal conditions.
  • Unlike foster or kinship care, the non-parental adults have no legal responsibility or authority to control the youth. They provide temporary shelter, which may be inadequate and often unsafe for the youth. Youth may move on a weekly or even daily basis.
  • There isn't a minimum age requirement to apply for Basic Food. If there isn't an adult exercising parental control of a minor, the minor can apply on their own behalf.
  • Homeless youth may not have readily available photo ID. Just as with adults, we can accept a collateral contact to verify identity as needed and we must assist the youth in gathering needed verification.
  • There is no requirement to provide information about persons outside of their household including the youth's parents. We would only request information on their parent's whereabouts if the individual circumstances of the case are questionable.
  • Temporary living arrangement refers to an arrangement which will last less than 90 days.
NOTE: While homeless youth can apply on their own and are not considered to be under parental control of an adult in the household who isn’t supporting them, staff are still required to report if they receive information of potential abuse or neglect of a minor. To report abuse or neglect, contact 1-866-END HARM. (1-866-363-4636)
  1. When a minor child doesn't live with an adult:

If a minor child doesn't live with an adult, we decide whom to include in the AU as if the minor child was an adult. A minor child who lives alone is independent of an adult even if they have been assigned a payee.

  1. When a minor child lives with their payee:

If a minor has a payee, but they get and have control of income of at least the TANF payment standard in WAC 388-478-0060 (2), we consider them as financially independent from unrelated adults in the home.

If the payee has control of the minor’s income such as deciding which bills to pay and shopping for the minor, the child is not financially independent and must be in the adult’s AU.

  1. When parents have shared custody of a child:

An individual can only be in one AU during a given month. A child may get Basic Food in the AU where they are "living". We do not use a set number of hours or days someone must sleep in the home to decide if a child is living in the home. If a child stays with their parents who do not live together, we decide where the child lives based on the actual living arrangements.

  1. If the child lives in one home 51% of the time, and the other home for the rest of the time, they can only get Basic Food in the home where they live 51% of the time. This is true even if the parent the child lives with the majority of the time doesn't apply for benefits.
  2. If a child lives with two people for an equal amount of time, the child can get benefits in the AU that applies for benefits first.
  1. Unmarried parents of a child in common:

If a child lives with both parents, both parents must be in the AU regardless of whether or not the parents buy and cook food together. An unmarried parent cannot choose to be excluded from the AU if the other parent has applied for Basic Food for the child.

EXAMPLE: Jane applies for Basic Food for herself and her ten-year old child. The child’s father, who is not married to Jane, lives in the home, but wants to be excluded from the AU. The child’s father claims to buy and prepare food separately from Jane and his child. WAC 388-408-0035 requires Jane and her child to be in the same AU. The same rule requires the child and her father to be in the same AU. Because of this, all three must be in the same Basic Food AU.
  1. Adults living at the same address as their parents:

If a person age 18 through 21 lives at the same address as their parents, this person can be a separate AU from the parents only if they have separate living, cooking, and sanitation facilities.

EXAMPLE: An 18-year-old woman lives in a basement apartment at her parent’s residence. The apartment has a small kitchen, living room, and bathroom that only the 18-year-old uses. If this person usually buys and cooks her food separately from her parents, she can be a separate AU.
EXAMPLE: Applicant, age 21, lives in a camper in the parent’s yard. The camper does not have a bathroom (only a porta-potty) so the applicant uses the bathroom in the parent’s residence for showers. This person is not a separate AU.

 Also see WASHCAP rules (WAC 388-492-0030, (1)(c)(ii)) for SSI recipients, ages 18 through 21 living with a parent.

  1. Spouses who live at the same address:

If someone lives at the same address as their spouse, this person can be a separate AU from their spouse only if they have separate living, cooking, and sanitation facilities.

EXAMPLE: Husband and wife are separated. The wife lives in the house, but the husband lives in a trailer on the property. They both claim to buy and cook their food separately from each other. The trailer has separate heating, cooking, and sanitation facilities that the husband uses. The husband and wife can be separate AUs.
EXAMPLE: Husband and wife are separated. The husband lives in the house and the wife lives in a trailer on the property. The trailer has separate heating, cooking, and sanitation facilities, but the wife makes her meals in the house because the trailer only has a hot plate. The husband and wife cannot be separate AUs, because they use some of the same cooking facilities.

11.  Same-Sex Legally Married Couples:  

As of July 28, 2014, legally married same-sex couples are treated the same as heterosexual married couples and fall under the definition of "spouses" for the purposes of determining who buys and prepares food together and are in the same food assistance AU.

12.  Child living with biological parent:

Adoption ends a biological parent's parental rights as well as their legal and financial responsibilities to the child. If a child who has been adopted lives in the same home as one of their biological parents, we do not consider it any different than if they were living with an unrelated adult.

We determine if the child is in the same AU as their biological parent based whether or not the child is financially independent from their biological parent, and the arrangements for buying and preparing food.

NOTE: If a minor child is under another person’s guardianship and also lives with a biological parent that is not financially responsible for the child’s care and well-being under court order, consider reviewing if an Exception to the Rule (ETR) is applicable.

13.  Live-in attendants:

a.  A client does not have to be a paid employee to be a live-in attendant.

b.  Someone who must be in a client's AU under WAC 388-408-0035 (2) cannot be in a separate AU even if this person is a live-in attendant.

14.  Income of an elderly and disabled AU member's spouse:

a.  If an elderly and disabled person can't buy and cook their own food, but they want to be a separate AU, we compare the income of the other people who live in the home to the 165% standard.

b.  We don't count the income of the elderly and disabled person's spouse in the above step because spouses who live in the same home must always be in the same AU.

15.  Home-monitored AU members:

For Basic Food, AU members who live at home and are being monitored by the court or the Department of Corrections are not considered as living in an institution. They can get Basic Food benefits if they meet all other eligibility requirements.

16.  Clients living in a group home:

Clients who live in certain group homes may be eligible for Basic Food even though they are living in an institution. See WAC 388-408-0040 to determine if a client living in a group home can receive Basic Food.

17.  State-Funded Basic Food AUs:

We use the same rules to build an AU for state-funded Basic Food as we do for federally funded benefits.

 

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-408-0035

Deciding if a Boarder Pays a Reasonable Amount for Meals

  1. Use only the amount the boarder pays for meals to decide if they pay a reasonable amount.
  2. If you can't decide how much the boarder pays for meals, use the amount they pay for both meals and lodging.
  3. Decide if the boarder pays a reasonable amount for meals as follows:
    1. If the boarder gets two or more meals a day, the boarder must pay at least the maximum allotment under WAC 388-478-0060 for the boarder's AU size
    2. If the boarder gets one meal a day, the boarder must pay at least two-thirds of the maximum allotment for the boarder's AU size.
  4. If the boarder pays a reasonable amount for food, the AU that provides the board can choose if they will include the boarder in their AU. Do not allow boarder to be a separate AU.
  5. If the boarder doesn't pay a reasonable amount for food, they don't meet the definition of a boarder for Basic Food. In this situation the AU that provides the board must include the boarder in their AU.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-408-0040

  1. Federally subsidized housing for the elderly:

    For someone to be eligible for Basic Food based on living in federally subsidized housing for the elderly, the housing must meet both of the following two conditions:

    1. The facility must be expressly for the elderly; and

    2. The facility must be federally subsidized.

  2. Optional meal plans:

    If a residence offers an optional meal plan as a part of their normal services, we only consider a resident to be living in an institution for Basic Food if they choose to get their meals through the optional plan.

    If someone chooses to get the majority of their meals through an optional meal plan, the person is living in an institution. For this person to be eligible for Basic Food benefits, the institution must meet the requirements of WAC 388-408-0040 .

  3. When someone in an ineligible institution may get Basic Food:

    A person who lives in an institution that provides meals may be eligible for Basic Food benefits when:

    1. The person living in the institution can't eat the institution's meals because they need a special diet; and

    2. The institution is unable or unwilling to provide the special diet.

  4. Release from a hospital or other institution:
    1. A person in a hospital or other ineligible institution is not eligible for Basic Food until they are released from the institution.
    2. If someone applies for Basic Food while in an ineligible institution and they are released within 30 days, we use the date of release as their date of application for Basic Food.
  5. Group living arrangements that are not Qualified Group Homes:

    Some group living arrangements are not qualified group homes, but we don’t consider them institutions, because the facility doesn’t prepare the majority of meals for the persons living there. In this case, we look at the client’s living arrangements and whether or not they buy and fix food together to determine who must be in the AU under WAC 388-408-0035.

  6. Supported Living Providers / ITS Homes:

    A Supported Living Provider (formerly Intensive Tenant Support Services or ITS Home) provides services to DDA clients and is licensed by DDA.

    1. Most clients who receive services through one of these providers receive home care or live-in attendant services and are not a licensed group home. These persons are not living in an institution. We look at requirements under WAC 388-408-0035 to determine who must be in a client’s AU.
    2. Some Supported Living Providers also run qualified DDD group homes. Since these clients are living in a qualified DDA group home, they can receive Basic Food.
NOTE: Knowing that a client gets services from a Supported Living Provider does not tell you if the client is in a qualified group home. To determine if the institution is eligible for Basic Food, review the group home files in ACES. 
  1. Nonprofit Drug & Alcohol Treatment Centers Authorized as FNS retailers:

Drug or alcohol treatment centers certified by FNS as eligible for Basic Food: (Nonprofit facility authorized as a retailer under 7 CFR §278.1(e))

  • Behavioral Health Resources - Harvest Home, Olympia, WA 98506
  • The Center for Alcohol & Drug Treatment, Wenatchee, WA 98807
  • Evergreen Recovery Centers, Everett, WA 98201
  • Holman Recovery Center, Arlington, WA 98223
  • Lifeline Connections, Vancouver, WA 98668
  • New Horizon Care Center dba Isabella House, Spokane, WA 98220
  • New Horizon Care Center dba Sun Ray Court, Spokane, WA 99220
  • Seattle Drug and Narcotic Center (SEADRUNAR), dba Key Recovery and Life Skills Center, Seattle, WA 98168
  • Triumph Treatment Services - Beth's Place, Yakima, WA 98902
  • Triumph Treatment Services - Casita Del Rio, Yakima, WA 98902
  • Triumph Treatment Services - Inspirations, Yakima, WA 98902
  • Triumph Treatment Services James Oldham, Buena, WA 98921
  • Triumph Treatment Services Riel House, Yakima, WA 98902
  1. DOH licensing and certification of nonprofit drug and alcohol treatment facilities:

A facility's status as "DOH licensed and certified" in this section only refers to the facility having a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) / Basic Food endorsement.

Drug and alcohol treatment centers endorsed by DOH as eligible for Basic Food:

(Nonprofit facility authorized as a retailer under 7 CFR §237.11(e))

  • Adult & Teen Challenge Women's Center, Graham, WA 98338
  • Adult & Teen Challenge International Pacific NW Center,  Renton, WA 98338
  • Adult & Teen Challenge Men's Center Spokane, WA 99224
  • Adult & Teen Challenge PNW, Pasco, WA 99302
  • The Salvation Army ARP, Seattle, WA 98178
  1. Nonprofit shelters for the homeless:

According to the Washington Department of Commerce's Housing Division/ Homeless Programs and the Washington State Coalition for the Homeless, there are no "for-profit" shelters for the homeless in the state of Washington. We can assume that all the homeless shelters in Washington are non-profit for the purposes of determining eligibility for homeless applicants.


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-408-0045

The rules for women and children living in domestic violence shelters (shelters for battered women and children) should be interpreted to include men and their children who are victims of domestic violence. The term "shelters for battered women and children" can be interpreted to mean "shelters for battered persons and their children".

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-408-0045

  1. If clients are already receiving benefits in an AU, remove those who are in the shelter from their previous AU.
  2. Tell the client they can:
    1. Use Basic Food benefits to buy meals prepared by the shelter if the shelter is authorized by Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to accept them; or
    2. Designate an employee of the facility as an authorized representative when the shelter purchases food for shelter residents at retail stores.
NOTE: Clients who are in a shelter for battered women and children are often not able to access resources they legally own. Remember to exclude resources that aren't available to the client under WAC 388-470-0005

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-408-0050

If the AU is homeless at the time of application or recertification, we consider the AU homeless for the entire certification period.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-408-0050

The 90-Day Period for Temporary Living Arrangements

  1. Start a new 90-day count when the client:
    1. Moves from the residence of one person to the residence of another person if the client is living there on a temporary basis; or
    2. Moves out of their current residence (for at least one day) and later moves back into that residence.
  2. Count the 90-day period consecutively from the date the client moved into their current temporary residence.

ACES Procedures

  • Assistance Units
  • Basic Food

Cash Assistance Programs

Revised May 3, 2024

Purpose:

This section contains rules and procedures on how to decide who is in an assistance unit for TANF, SFA, PWA, ABD cash and HEN referral.

WAC 388-408-0005 What is a cash assistance unit?

WAC 388-408-0015 Who must be in my assistance unit?

WAC 388-408-0020 When am I not allowed to be in a TANF or SFA assistance unit?

WAC 388-408-0025 When can I choose who is in my TANF or SFA assistance unit?

WAC 388-408-0030 What children must be in the same TANF or SFA assistance unit?

WAC 388-408-0060 Who is in my assistance unit for Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD) cash assistance?

WAC 388-408-0070 Who is included in my assistance unit when the department determines eligibility for referral to the housing and essential needs (HEN) program?

For more complete details see these EA-Z Manual chapters: APPLICATION and INTERVIEW REQUIREMENTS OTHER HELPFUL INFORMATION


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-408-0005

For cash programs, we decide who is in the AU at application and when someone moves in or out of the home. We make this decision before we look at financial eligibility requirements.

In general, we decide who to include in the AU based on the relationship of people living in the home and whether they meet eligibility requirements other than income or resources. We may allocate the income of someone in the home excluded from the AU to people in the AU if the excluded person is financially responsible for someone in the AU.


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-408-0015

  1. Home-monitored clients for TANF/SFA:

    A client that lives in the home but is under home monitoring or home detention ordered by the courts or the Department of Corrections is living in the home. We do not consider them as inmates of a public institution. Clients that live in a public institution aren't eligible for TANF under WAC 388-400-0005.

  2. How a child's adoption affects the relationship between a child and their siblings:

    Adoption ends the legal relationship between biological siblings.

EXAMPLE Doug and Wendy have legally adopted their 12-year-old grandchild Tom. They have taken in Tom's little sister Lisa, but haven't adopted her. Doug and Wendy want TANF for Lisa as non-needy caretaker relatives. Because his grandparents legally adopted Tom, we do not recognize Tom and Lisa as having a legal relationship as siblings.
NOTE: If Doug and Wendy wanted assistance for both Tom and Lisa, the four of them would all be in the same AU as required under WAC 388-408-0030.
  1. How a child's adoption affects the relationship between a child and their biological parent(s):
    1. Adoption ends the legal relationship between a child and the biological parents.
EXAMPLE Grandparents have legally adopted their grandchild. The biological mother has since moved into the household. The biological mother would like to apply for TANF for herself and the child excluding the adoptive parents in the AU. Because the child’s grandparents have legally adopted him or her, we do not recognize the biological mother and child as having a legal relationship.
  1. When a child is placed in a permanent guardianship:
    1. WAC 388-450-0100  explains the financially responsible person is legally obligated to support the dependent and defines the financially responsible person as a parent, stepparent, adoptive parent, spouse or caretaker relative.  WAC 388-450-0105 says the income of a financially responsible person is countable to meet the needs of the assistance unit.  If a child is permanently placed with a guardian and the guardian now has legal and financial responsibility for the child, they must both be included in the AU. 

EXAMPLE Blessica is applying for TANF for her granddaughter Mahalia. Blessica provides documentation she has temporary custody of Mahalia while her dad is incarcerated. Since Blessica is not Mahalia’s parent and she isn’t legally or financially responsible for Mahalia, she can apply for a non-needy TANF grant for Mahalia.

EXAMPLE Six months later Blessica reports Mahalia won’t be going back to her parents’ home and provides a document verifying she’s now receiving the Guardianship Assistance Program (GAP) subsidy and has accepted legal and financial responsibility for Mahalia. Since Blessica is now financially responsible for Mahalia, we can’t exclude her from the TANF AU.   

NOTE: If Blessica wanted assistance for Mahalia, she would need to apply for benefits for both of them. 

 

  1. When a pregnant minor or minor parent lives with their parents:
    It doesn't change who we include in the AU if a pregnant or minor parent who lives with their parent gets married, starts military service, or gets emancipated by court order.
  2. How we apply the AU rules in some common situations:
    1. A married woman applies for assistance for herself and her two children from a previous marriage. She lives with her husband. She has a child in common with her husband and he has a child by a previous marriage. She doesn't want assistance for her husband, his child, or the common child. We must include all of the children in the AU because the husband must be included as he is the natural father of two of the kids and the stepfather of the other two.
    2. A grandmother applies for cash assistance for her grandchild as a non-needy relative. The minor parent of the grandchild lives in the home as well. Since you can't separate a child from their parent that lives in the home, we must include the minor parent in the AU. In this case, we would include the minor parent and allocate the income of their parent to the AU.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-408-0020

If a financially responsible person cannot be in the AU under WAC 388-408-0020, we allocate the income of this person to the AU. How we allocate this income varies based on why the person is ineligible. See INCOME - Allocation and Deeming.

If a minor parent gets Title IV-E foster care, the minor parent's child is not eligible for TANF or SFA. The foster care payment includes the child's needs.

Adoption support

Adoption support is money given to families that adopt children with special needs. This money is intended to help the family with the special expenses that these children have.

For cash, this money is excluded because it is assistance from another agency that does not cover ongoing living expenses. See WAC 388-450-0055 for more information.

For Basic Food, this money is budgeted as countable unearned income.

 

Guardianship Assistance Program (GAP)

Guardianship Assistance GAP, also known as guardianship income, is money given to caregivers who accept permanent guardianship of a child. These caregivers have accepted permanent legal and financial responsibility for the child in their care and therefore must be included in the TANF AU.  The Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) determined these children have special needs.  This money is intended to help the family with the special expenses for the children.  The income is considered the children’s income.

For cash, this money is excluded because it is assistance from another agency that does not cover ongoing living expenses. See WAC 388-450-0055 for more information.

For Basic Food, this money is budgeted as countable unearned income.


Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-408-0025

  1. Parent or caretaker relative of a child that gets SSI:
    In order to decide if an AU member is eligible for TANF, count a child who gets SSI as an "eligible child" even though the child isn't eligible for TANF. Don't include the SSI child's income, resources, or needs when you determine the AU's eligibility and grant amount. If the parent of an SSI child asks for assistance as a needy caretaker relative, don't include the parent's spouse or other children in the AU unless the parent wants assistance for them.
  2. Relatives who are not the child's parent:
    1. If a non-parent relative chooses to get TANF instead of foster care payments, they can choose whether or not to be in the AU based on their needs.
    2. If a non-parent relative chooses to get foster care payments for a child in their care and the relative needs financial assistance, count the child a "dependent child" to make the relative eligible for TANF or SFA. Don't include the foster child's income, resources, or needs when you determine the AU's eligibility and grant amounts.
    3. If a couple is married and applying as a needy relative for a child who is not their child, only one of the relatives can be a recipient on the grant. The non-parental caregiver and their spouse cannot both be on the grant.
    4. If a non-parent relative chooses to get TANF for multiple siblings in their care, they can choose to exclude one or more siblings as a “recipient" if they have income or including that sibling would cause TANF ineligibility.
EXAMPLE  Heka, a grandparent is the caretaker for their two grandchildren, Jorga and Malcolm, who are half-siblings. Jorga receives Social Security Survivors Benefits. Heka can choose not to include Jorga in the assistance unit and not count them in the needs.

EXAMPLE A child, Mohammad is living with their half-sibling, Liam and Liam's mother, Astrid, who is not the parent of Mohammad and has no financial responsibility for this child. Astrid is working and has income. Astrid can choose to apply for non-needy TANF for Mohammad and not include Liam in the needs, since including herself and Liam would cause the assistance unit to be over income for TANF.

  1. Child in common of unmarried parents:
    Unmarried parents who live together may choose to exclude their common child if either or both parents are a TANF or SFA recipient.
EXAMPLE Olivia and her two children, Sofia and Luka, get TANF and live with the mothers' boyfriend, Artem who is not the father of the children. Olivia gives birth to her and Artem's child, Ana. Since Olivia is a TANF recipient and not married to Artem, she can choose whether or not to include the Ana in the assistance unit. If we include Ana, we must include Artem. If Artem has income or resources, it may be the best for the household to not include their common child, Ana.

NOTE: In this example, if Artem and common child Ana are added to the TANF assistance unit, they are all recipients. If Artem gains employment, the household may choose to exclude Artem and Ana from the TANF assistance unit, while Olivia and her other two children, Sofia and Luka continue receiving a TANF grant. 

EXAMPLE Two unrelated TANF families get assistance and live together. Household 1 is Kelly and her two children, Jacob and Althea. Household 2 is Adriel and his two children, Abigail and Isabella. Kelly and Adriel welcome their newborn, Samuel, and now have a child in common, who they want to exclude from being on assistance. Because both parents are recipients of assistance, they do not have the option to exclude their newborn, Samuel, and remain in separate assistance units. They need to become one TANF household (one assistance unit) as required under WAC 388-408-0030.
EXAMPLE Alex and their significant other, Cam, their child, Kimani and Cam's child, Camilla, apply for TANF. Nobody is active on TANF or SFA. Cam applies for TANF for himself and his child, Camilla only. He doesn't want to include the common child, Kimani, because Alex gets UC and can provide for their child. As an applicant, Cam doesn't have the choice to exclude their child Kimani. All four people are required to be in the assistance unit.

NOTE: In this example, if the entire household is eligible when we include Alex's income, the household can choose to exclude Alex and Kimani, as we can consider this a recipient assistance unit. If the family is eligible in the month of application, you can consider them as recipients and exclude the child, Kimani and co-parent, Alex before you issue benefits.

EXAMPLE Susan applies for assistance for herself and her two children from a previous marriage. She lives with her husband Doug and his child from a previous marriage - Timmy. The couple doesn't have a child in common. She doesn't want assistance for Doug or Timmy because he works and gets child support. Even though we can exclude Timmy from the AU because he is the other children's stepbrother, we must include Doug because he is the stepfather of Susan's two children. If we exclude Timmy, we would allocate some of Doug's earned income to Timmy. See INCOME - Allocation and Deeming.

 

  1. What happens when a TANF AU with an optional household member has a change in circumstances?  

Families can always change the status of optional TANF AU members.  In some cases, removing the optional AU member from the TANF AU may increase the benefits to the family. 

EXAMPLE  Anita has no income and is unable to work.  She is getting a 3-person, needy TANF grant for herself and her two nephews.  Anita is later approved for SSA disability benefits of $1,080 a month.
  • If Anita remains on the AU as needy, the TANF closes for the entire household due to excess countable income.
  • However, Aunt Anita is an optional AU member so we can opt her off the TANF grant. Her income would not be counted and she can continue to get a non-needy TANF grant for her two nephews.  
EXAMPLE 20-year old, Sally is getting a non-needy TANF grant for her minor sibling Kelly after their parents pass away. After a few months, Kelly starts receiving $1,200 in SSA survivor benefits.
  • Kelly is not an optional AU member so we budget the SSA benefits when determining TANF eligibility, this family would be over the income limit for TANF.
EXAMPLE Alonso is receiving a non-needy TANF for his 17-year-old niece Grace.  Grace turns 18 years old in May. Her demographics screen indicates she is scheduled to graduate high school in June of the same year. We must determine if Grace will complete high school in June:
  • Grace is not an optional AU member.  Send a request for information letter requesting verification that Grace is still attending full time high school and making satisfactory progress.
  • If Grace is no longer in school, she is no longer eligible for TANF, with no eligible minors in the AU, the TANF would terminate.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-408-0030

  1. If we don't have to include a child in the AU under WAC 388-408-0015, give the caretaker relative, guardian, or custodian the choice whether or not they'd like to include the child in the TANF/SFA AU.
  2. Explain to the household that the child cannot receive TANF/SFA in a separate assistance unit.
EXAMPLE Aunt Buella applies for TANF for her niece, Dorothy and nephew, Sammi who are cousins. Aunt Buella  doesn't want assistance. Set up a two-person assistance unit for Dorothy and Sammi.
EXAMPLE Married couple, Kennedy and Adhel apply as needy relatives for their two grandsons, Andrey and Markese, who are cousins to each other. Even though Kennedy claims to be the caretaker of one child and Adhel claims to be the caretaker of the other, we must include the two children, Andrey and Markese in the same assistance unit.
EXAMPLE Aslyn applies for TANF for their child, Jana and nephew, Gavin. Since Ashlyn is the caretaker relative for both children and is the parent of one, include all three people in the same assistance unit.
EXAMPLE Grandparent Terri and two grandchildren, Tristan and Chloe receive a three-person grant. Her husband, Charles starts to get retirement benefits. We allocate $950 of the retirement benefits to the assistance unit because Charles is financially responsible for Terri. Because the grandparents aren't financially responsible for their grandchildren, don't terminate assistance due to the excess income. Remove Terri from the grant and continue assistance for the grandchildren, Tristan and Chloe.
EXAMPLE Te-Hina receives a three-person grant for herself, her daughter, Nika and nephew, Aman. Te-Hina starts working and has monthly gross earnings of $2,100. This makes the household over income. Review options to remove Te-Hina and Nika from the grant to continue cash assistance (one-person grant) for her nephew, Aman. When the income of an optional assistance unit member reduces the grant payment to a level which is less than what the other assistance members would get if the individual with income were not included. Inform the household of the option to request termination from the assistance unit for the member with income. By making this choice, the household would get more cash. If the person with income is an adult, this also preserves their time-limited TANF eligibility. Add the following free form text to the ACES notice: "Your family may be better off financially if you stop getting a cash grant for (Name of person receiving the income). To find out, call the number listed above."
EXAMPLE Sampson gets a three-person grant with daughter, Nikkiesha and nephew, Youssouf. Sampson starts working and has gross earnings of $1,000 per month. When we budget the income, the assistance unit is eligible for a grant of $206. However, if Sampson chooses to end TANF for self and child, Nikkiesha, they could get a one-person grant of $450 for nephew, Youssouf and preserve TANF eligibility under the 60-month lifetime limit.
NOTE: There are some valid values you can't enter in the Financial Responsibility field. ACES enters these values after you finalize the action. Make sure that all the following conditions are true before you use the non-member valid value [NM]: - The person isn't part of the AU; - The person isn't financially responsible for anyone in the AU; and - We don't have to count the person's income or resources when we determine the AU's eligibility or benefits.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-408-0060

  1. For justice involved individual, reference the following Desk Aids:
    1. Program Options for Inmates (Staff use only)
    2. Desk Aid - Sentencing Alternatives – Offenders with Minor Children (Staff use only)
  2. For information on ABD case processing, reference Aged, Blind, or Disabled Cash Assistance (ABD) | DSHS (wa.gov) in the ACES Manual.
  3. If an AU with a disabled adult is over income for TANF because of a child’s income, the disabled adult may be eligible for ABD cash. We don’t allocate the child’s income to the parent because the child isn’t financially responsible for the parent. See WAC 388-450-0100
EXAMPLE A disabled parent applies for TANF for herself and her daughter. The daughter gets a monthly SSA death benefit of $650. This income makes the AU ineligible for TANF. Since the client is disabled and ineligible for TANF, she may be eligible for ABD cash. The daughter is not in the AU and the death benefit is not allocated to the AU.

ACES Procedures

See Assistance Unit (AU)

Authorized Representative - Food Assistance

Revised August 6, 2020

Purpose:

This section explains authorized representative rules specific for Basic Food and describes when an authorized representative is required for someone in a treatment center or group home.

WAC 388-460-0005 Can I choose someone to apply for Basic Food for my assistance unit?

WAC 388-460-0010 Do I have an authorized representative for Basic Food if I live in a treatment center or group home?

WAC 388-460-0015 Who will the department not allow as an authorized representative for Basic Food?


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-460-0005

  1. How clients designate an authorized representative:
    A client can designate an authorized representative by completing the appropriate section on the DSHS 14-001 Application for Benefits, DSHS 14-078 Eligibility Review, Washington Connection online application, or by completing a DSHS 14-532 Authorized Representative form.
  2. Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers:
    If a client receives food assistance in a qualified drug and alcohol treatment center, the treatment center must be the authorized representative.
  3. DSHS PBS Staff as Authorized Representatives for Basic Food:
    DSHS Public Benefit Specialist (PBS) staff may not act as an authorized representative or Alternate Card Holder for a household’s Basic Food benefits.
    1. Staff having access to change benefits due to their position and acting on behalf of the household is a direct conflict of interest.
  4. Verification:
    The identity of an authorized representative is a mandatory verification at application. See Verification Charts.
  5. Alternative Card Holders:
    With the exception of a FNS certified drug and alcohol treatment center or group home, an authorized representative does not receive a Quest card or have the ability to access the AU's benefits. If a client needs someone outside of their AU to access the benefits, see information on Alternate Card Holders in When and How Benefits are Delivered.
  6. Individuals who have Power of Attorney for a client:
    1. If an individual has Power of Attorney for a client, the person can be the client's authorized representative without the client having to specifically designate them as the authorized representative.
    2. If an individual has limited Power of Attorney, the Power of Attorney document must specifically give the person authority to act on the client's behalf for managing financial matters. If the document doesn't give the person this authority, the client must name the person as their authorized representative if they want them to act on their behalf.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-460-0005

Authorized Representatives on Multiple Accounts:

ACES does not monitor or create reports on individuals who are authorized representatives for multiple cases. If you learn that a person is an authorized representative for multiple AUs and suspect the representative is misusing the client's benefits, refer the case to the Office of Fraud Accountability. See FRAUD.


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-460-0010

  1. When a facility acts as an authorized representative for persons in a group home or drug and alcohol treatment center, one person from the facility usually acts on behalf of all the clients in that facility or group home.
  2. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) regulates the facilities in their use of client's Basic Food benefits. For current FNS certified treatment centers, see WAC 388-408-0040 Clarifying Information.
  3. Upon leaving a group home or drug and alcohol treatment center, a Basic Food client may be entitled to a returned allotment of:
    1. One-half of the benefits if they leave a treatment center or group home on or prior to the 15th of the month;
    2. A prorated amount based on the number of days remaining in the month if they leave a treatment center on or after the 16th of the month (NOTE: Not applicable to a group home); or
    3. All of the benefits if the treatment center or group home did not spend any Basic Food benefits on the behalf of the residents who leave.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-460-0015

Persons currently disqualified for an Intentional Program Violation (IPV) may not be an authorized representative for Basic Food.

  • In most cases, the disqualification of an authorized representative takes place as the result of a fraud investigation. 
  • IPVs from Washington and other states are also captured in USDA Food and Nutrition Service's Electronic Disqualified Recipient Subsystem (eDRS).

The head of household for the food assistance AU may request an administrative hearing when the person they have named as their authorized representative is disqualified from being an authorized representative. See ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-460-0015

  • When you learn than a current Authorized Representative or one newly selected by the household has an IPV, Use letter 050-01 General Correspondence to inform both the client and the authorized representative of the disqualification action.
  • Inform the client why the authorized representative is disqualified and of the client's right to an administrative hearing.

Additional Information

For additional information on Authorized Representatives, see AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE - FOOD, CASH, AND MEDICAL BENEFIT ISSUANCES.

Authorized Representative - Food, Cash and Medical Benefit Issuances

Created on: 
May 16 2018

Revised March 12, 2018

Purpose:

This chapter defines an authorized representative (AREP) and provides instruction on: What form to use in order to code someone in ACES or the ECR as an AREP. When to require the DSHS 14-012(x) consent form. When to require the DSHS 17-063 authorization form or HCA 80-020 authorization for the release of information form. When it's permissible to share information without consent. How to identify and code an AREP in our automated systems.


Definition

An AREP can be any adult who is not a member of the AU who is sufficiently aware of the household circumstances and is authorized by the household to act on behalf of the client for eligibility purposes. If an individual AREP is representing an organization, other individuals from that organization within the same department may also act as an AREP. An AREP assists the client with the application, recertification, and general eligibility processes.

NOTE: In everything we do, we need to maintain confidentiality. For example, King County Public Health is a large organization and while any employee from the Access and Outreach department may be authorized to act as an AREP on behalf of the organization, individuals from other departments within their organization are not authorized to represent the organization as an AREP.

An AREP is not authorized to receive health information about clients unless they have power of attorney or have been named on the completed and signed DSHS 14-012(x) consent form.

An AREP can share any information relevant to eligibility; however, the department can only share information with the AREP that is necessary for the purposes of determining financial eligibility.

An AREP can receive letters, including the income computation sheet, renewal forms, and ProviderOne services cards if the client has authorized the sharing of such correspondence.

What form is used for an AREP?

The client can identify an AREP on the application, eligibility review form, or DSHS 14-532 authorized representative form. The DSHS 14-532 authorized representative form shall be used when a client is authorizing an AREP at a time other than at application or eligibility review. The AREP information shall be reviewed at recertification. See WORKER RESPONSIBILITIES.

AREPs are not automatically eligible to be an EBT Alternate Card Holder for Basic Food or cash benefits. Both the client and Alternate Card Holder must complete and sign the DSHS 27-130 form. Please refer to the EBT Manual for more information.

Please refer to the Payees on Benefit Issuances - Authorized Representatives chapter, WAC 388-460-0005 through 460-0015 for AREP rules specific to the Basic Food (SNAP) program.

NOTE: The DSHS 14-532 AREP form is not required when the AREP has Power of Attorney or Legal Guardianship. Power of Attorney and Legal Guardianship must be verified.

Legal Guardianship is designated by coding the AREP screen Rep Type field in ACES with the following:

  • Cash and Medical : CG or GN
  • Basic Food: AD or NA

Power of Attorney for cash, medical, and basic food is designated by coding the AREP screen Rep Type field in ACES with AD or NA.

NOTE: When a child age 18 or younger is institutionalized and the facility is applying on their behalf, the DSHS 14-532 AREP form or the designation of the facility as an AREP on the application or eligibility review is not required when the individual is: a. In a court ordered, out-of-home placement under chapter 13.34 RCW; or b. Involuntarily committed to an in patient treatment program by a court order under chapter 71.34 RCW.

When is a DSHS 14-012(x) Consent form necessary?

The DSHS 14-012(x) consent form is a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant form designed for use by the client to authorize an exchange of information outside of basic eligibility information shared with an AREP. See AREP definition above. The 14-012(x) is the correct form for authorizing the sharing of specified confidential information between specified parties for a specified period of time.

HIPAA restrictions prevent us from discussing the client's individual health information with an AREP unless a current signed DSHS 14-012(x) consent form is in the record.

NOTE: Every signed consent form is unique so it is critical that the authorized information, designated parties, and effective dates be carefully reviewed before releasing information.

When is the DSHS 17-063 Authorization or HCA 80-020 Authorization for Release of Information form necessary?

The DSHS 17-063 authorization form and the HCA 80-020 authorization for release of information form are HIPAA compliant forms designed for use by the client to authorize the release of existing documents to a specified individual or agency. These forms allow the disclosure of a designated set of records from the individual's DSHS or HCA file. The Public Disclosure Unit is responsible for approving or denying requests for disclosure of confidential information.

For more information see Confidentiality and Public Disclosure.

When is it permissible to share information without consent?

There are times when we can share confidential client data without the client's permission:

  • When release is required by law (commonly by court order or subpoena); or
  • When the information is needed from DSHS to administer a DSHS program and get needed services to a client (example; verification for a child care provider; however, only share information that would be necessary for the provider to provide child care).

To learn more about when it is permissible to share client information please refer to DSHS Administrative Policy 5.02, Section D;4.

EXAMPLE:  The designation of an individual as AREP on the application: A mom with one child applies for family medical. She names her adult daughter as AREP on the application form. The adult daughter named as the AREP may only receive information necessary to determine financial eligibility and other information related to the benefits such as certification periods, benefit issuances, etc.
NOTE: In this example the AREP section of the application does not specify which letters the AREP is designated to receive. Further communication or clarification with the client may be necessary and should be documented in remarks behind the AREP screen in ACES.
EXAMPLE:  The designation of an AREP verses the authorization of sharing specified medical information: A client is receiving ABD cash benefits. The client's mom has been designated as the AREP on the most current application. There is also a signed DSHS 14-012 consent form on file authorizing the exchange of medical information between DSHS and the medical provider. The AREP (mom) is not included on the DSHS 14-012 consent form. The AREP calls DSHS requesting information on her daughter's medical treatment plan. The department cannot share that information with the AREP because DSHS is only authorized to share medical information with the medical provider. As the AREP, the mom is not entitled to this information because it is not related to the purpose of determining financial eligibility.
NOTE: Naming the medical provider on the signed DSHS 14-012 consent form does not make them an AREP. Only the client's mom should be coded as an AREP.
EXAMPLE:  The designation of an agency as AREP on the application: A hospitalized patient applies for medical benefits designating the hospital as an AREP on the application. Because there is no DSHS 14-012 consent form authorizing the exchange of medical information, the department can only share information necessary to determine financial eligibility.
EXAMPLE:  The designation of an AREP and the authorization of sharing specified medical information: A hospitalized patient applies for the ABD program. The hospital is named as an AREP on the application. The client has also signed a DSHS 14-012 consent form authorizing the sharing of medical information between the two agencies. The hospital and the department can exchange information necessary to determine financial eligibility and they can also exchange medical information specified on the DSHS 14-012 consent form.
NOTE: Naming the hospital on the signed DSHS 14-012 consent form does not make them an AREP; however, since the hospital is also name as an AREP on the application, they should be coded as an AREP in ACES.

Worker Responsibilities

For information regarding AREP for Long-Term Care cases see: Long-Term Care AREP or WAC - Long-Term Care for Families and Children.

  1. An AREP may receive letters/notices/forms/warrants/EFT/ProviderOne service cards or they may have permission to only discuss the case and not receive any written correspondence. Record the representative's name and address on the AREP screen in ACES. The REP Type code on the AREP screen determines what forms, letters, etc. they receive. See the Authorized Representative Payee Chart.

  1. Check the AREP information coded in ACES at each review. Make sure it's consistent with what the client indicated on the review form. AREP designation isn't valid after the certification period. Delete coded AREP information if you can't confirm with the client that it's still valid. Document extensions or changes to the designated AREP in ACES.
  2. Clients must complete a DSHS 14-532 AREP form when designating a new AREP. Don't add the new AREP until we receive:
    1. the completed DSHS 14-532 AREP form; 
    2. written confirmation from the client; or
    3. a signed Eligibility Review form with completed AREP section.

 Completing the DSHS 14-532 AREP form isn't required if the client is confirming or making changes to their current AREP.

 4. Clients should make an initial designation of an AREP on the application, review, or DSHS 14-532 AREP form. Clients can make changes to an AREP's information, such as address or phone number verbally but we must clearly document these changes in the case record.


ACES Procedures

Authorized Representative/Protective Payee

Automated Client Eligibility System (ACES)

Revised June 26, 2014

Purpose:

ACES is an acronym for the Automated Client Eligibility System. This system is used by the State of Washington's Department of Social and Health Services. ACES supports the operations of the department by integrating DSHS programs under a single, client-based, on-line system. The ACES system is a tool for determining eligibility, issuing benefits, management support, and sharing of data between agencies.

ACES Instruction in this Manual

The links to specific sections in the ACES User Manual are provided throughout the Eligibility A-Z Manual. See the ACES User Manual.

Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET) Program

Created on: 
Jun 11 2024

Revised June 11,2024

Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET) Program

WAC 388-444-0015 How can the Basic Food Employment and Training (BF E&T) program help me find work?

 Clarifying Information - WAC 388-444-0015

What is BFET?

Basic Food Employment & Training (BFET) assist federally funded Basic Food (SNAP) participants gain skills, training or work experience to increase their ability to attain a living wage career.  BFET services are available from all WA State community and technical colleges as well as many community-based organization (CBO) providers including the Employment Security Department (ESD). Additional information on the type of services and benefits is located on the BFET public websitewww.dshs.wa.gov/bfet

 Who can receive BFET services?

Most clients who receive federally funded Basic Food (SNAP) and are at least 16 years old can receive BFET services. Even clients with college education may benefit from retraining or job search services.

 How can BFET help pay for college?

BFET students should utilize other forms of funding for tuition whenever possible. Typically, all students who attempt to enroll into BFET will be asked by the college to apply for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as part of the enrollment process for BFET.

Who can't receive BFET services? 

Clients receiving the following programs:

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF);
  • State Food Assistance Program (FAP);
  • LEP Pathway;
  • Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA)*; or
  • Career Ladder for Educated and vocationally Experienced Refugees (CLEVER)

* RCA recipients are not eligible for BFET, however there is one exception. In counties where there are no LEP Pathway providers, RCA recipients may receive BFET services from community colleges. RCA recipients may not receive services from college providers in counties in which there is at least one LEP Pathway provider, although exceptions may be made under extenuating circumstances. Extenuating circumstances may include limited provider capacity, distance from the provider, and/or client request for a particular provider.

BA (Bachelor of Arts or Science) educational degrees, also known as four year degrees are not eligible through the BFET program so clients seeking these degrees should not be referred to BFET.

Do clients have to participate in BFET?

No. BFET is voluntary and intended to focus resources on the most motivated individuals Services are available for exempt and non-exempt clients who are eligible for federal SNAP benefits living in Washington.

NOTE:
There are clients categorized as Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWD) who do have additional work requirements in order to stay eligible for Basic Food benefits. BFET is an option to fulfill this requirement, though is not mandatory. To learn more about ABAWDs please see https://www.dshs.wa.gov/esa-1

How does a student become eligible for Basic Food through BFET?

If a client appears to be an ineligible student, give the client basic information about BFET to help decide if they could become eligible for Basic Food. Refer to WAC 388-482-0005 for student eligibility. BFET recipients who are college students are typically eligible students (pending other Basic Food eligibility factors).

How do I find a list of current BFET providers?

See our public web site for a list of BFET Providers and the counties in which they offer services.

BFET Processes and Procedures

How does a Basic Food client receive BFET services?

DSHS staff will provide the client with a referral to BFET provider(s) with their contact information... You can find a list of current BFET Providers at the following:  BFET Brochures, EJAS BFET Referral tool, or the BFET public website.

Once the referral is received, the BFET Provider will determine if the perspective individual is SNAP eligible and will complete an intake to determine appropriate BFET services. The BFET Provider will address the referral with appropriate EJAS coding.

If the perspective individual is enrolling in a BFET college program and appears eligible for BFET, but is not yet on SNAP, then the college will complete the 10-501 Referral Form to be submitted to DSHS. This form tells DSHS the client will be accepted into BFET upon approval of SNAP benefits, so the client should be considered an eligible student. The college will open the BFET components in eJAS after SNAP is approved.

If client was closed for ABAWD requirements they must meet requalifying requirements as outlined in ABAWD participating in BFET. https://www.dshs.wa.gov/esa/basic-food-work-requirements/abawds-able-bodied-adults-without-dependents.

How do I know a client is participating in the BFET program?

Barcode has a BFET indicator in red at the top of the client’s ECR. If you have access, you can also review their information in their electronic case record in eJAS. The BFET program uses the FI component to distinguish BFET participants from other programs that use eJAS. Components are open based on the actual activity of the client, such as BK (supervised job search), BG (vocational education) or BR (job retention). Components reflect the scheduled hours per week for each activity and dates of participation.

Verification of participation from BFET provider: This can be a verbal verification or a provider document.

ACES Procedures

Work Registration

  • Interview - (WORK) Work Registration / Participation Screen
  • Basic Food - Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD)

 

 

 

BFET - Reimbursement of Participant Expenses

Revised October 29, 2020

BFET - Reimbursement of Participant Expenses

Purpose:

WAC 388-444-0025 What expenses will the department support to help me participate in BF E&T?


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-444-0025

  1. BFET - Reimbursement of Participant Expenses BFET Participant Reimbursements:

People participating in BFET may be able to receive support services through their provider to help them participate in the program including but not limited to:

  • Transportation, including repairs;
  • Clothing;
  • Tools or other specialized accessories for certain professions;
  • Books; and
  •  Housing assistance;

The availability of these support services is depended on each BFET provider and the funding they have available.

 

NOTE: 
Earlier receipt of Work First support services or current receipt of post-TANF support services does not impact eligibility for the participant reimbursement

       2.  Dependent care allowance - Non-ABAWD participants only:

  • Allowed to BFET participant’s ages 16 through 59 with dependents.
  • Allowed for children up to age 12.
  • Subject to funds availability by the Child Care Subsidy Programs (CCSP) and/or BFET.
  • Must follow all other rules as established by CCSP unless the funding is directly from BFET.

https://www.dcyf.wa.gov/services/early-learning-providers/subsidy

Basic Food - Work Requirements

Purpose:

This section provides rules and instructions for Basic Food work requirements and the Basic Food Employment and Training Program (BFE&T). BFE&T services are voluntary and apply to non-TANF clients receiving federal SNAP Benefits. Work Requirements for nonexempt ABAWDs are not voluntary.

A. BASIC FOOD WORK REQUIREMENTS - Work Registration

WAC 388-444-0005 Am I required to work or look for work in order to be eligible for Basic Food?

B. BASIC FOOD WORK REGISTRATION EXEMPTIONS

WAC 388-444-0010 Who is exempt from work registration while receiving Basic Food?

C. BASIC FOOD EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING (BFET)

WAC 388-444-0015 How can the Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET) program help me find work?

D. BFET PAYMENTS FOR RELATED EXPENSES

WAC 388-444-0025 What expenses will the department pay to help me participate in BFET?

E.   ABAWDs - Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents

WAC 388-444-0030 Do I have to work to be eligible for Basic Food benefits if I am an able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD)?
WAC 388-444-0035

Who is exempt from ABAWD work requirements?

WAC 388-444-0040

Can I volunteer for an unpaid work program in order to meet the work requirements under WAC 388-444-0030?

WAC 388-444-0045

How does an ABAWD regain eligibility for Basic Food after being closed for the three-month limit?

F.   BASIC FOOD WORK REQUIREMENTS - GOOD CAUSE

WAC 388-444-0050 What is good cause for failing to meet Basic Food work requirements?

G.  BASIC FOOD WORK REQUIREMENTS - DISQUALIFICATION

WAC 388-444-0055 What are the penalties if I refuse or fail to meet Basic Food work requirements?

H.   BASIC FOOD WORK REQUIREMENTS - UNSUITABLE EMPLOYMENT AND QUITTING A JOB

WAC 388-444-0060 What is unsuitable employment for Basic Food work requirements?
WAC 388-444-0065

Am I eligible for Basic Food if I quit my job or reduce my work effort?

WAC 388-444-0070

What is good cause for quitting my job or reducing my work effort?

WAC 388-444-0075

What are the penalties if I quit my job or reduce my work effort without good cause?

I.  APPENDIX I -  ABAWD participation requirements by location     

J. Current Partners - BFET Partner Colleges and Agencies 

Basic Food Work Requirements - Work Registration

Revised: September 1st, 2023

Purpose:

WAC 388-444-0005 Am I required to work or look for work in order to be eligible for Basic Food?

 

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-444-0005

Exempt clients (per WAC 388-444-0010) are not required to register for work, so they are not work registrants.

Non-exempt clients are people who receive Basic Food and must be registered for work. They are considered work registrants, and further divided into two groups:

Work Registrants 

  • Clients age 16 through 59 who do not meet an exemption listed in WAC 388-444-0010 must register for work and meet Work Registration requirements.
  • There are no time limits for non-ABAWD work registrants.
  • Participation in Employment & Training is voluntary in Washington State.
  • Work registrants who voluntarily quit a job or reduce their work hours below 30 hours a week without good cause will face a penalty
  • DSHS registers the clients for work by completing the Work Registration page in ACES/3G.

 

 Work Registrants Who are ABAWDs

  • Able Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD) are a subset of Work Registrants who must meet further requirements in order to remain eligible for benefits.
  • Able-bodied adults ages 18 through 50 beginning September 1, 2023 (and 52 beginning October 1st, 2023), without dependents, and without a physical or mental disability preventing them from working, and who live in an non-waived area, are required to participate in specific activities outlined in the ABAWD WACs to stay eligible for Basic Food and avoid the three month time limit.    
  • ABAWD clients are referred to options to meet their participation requirements.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-444-0005

  1. During application, add a person or eligibility review, or another change that impacts work registration, determine if members of the Basic Food household are non-exempt work registrants or exempt.
  2. For any exempt work registrants, code the most appropriate exemption per current procedure.
  3. For any non-exempt work registrant, determine if the client(s) is considered ABAWD.
  4. If a WorkFirst household is sanctioned, determine whether or not the sanctioned persons are exempt from Basic Food work requirements.  Disqualify non-participating members of the TANF household from receiving Basic Food unless they are exempt under WAC 388-444-0010.
  5.  Read the Work Registration Script(s), referring to any household members in the assistance unit that are work registrants. Perform any necessary referrals to employment and training opportunities. 
  6. Ensure the Consolidated Work Registration Notice populates in the letters for the household. 

 

Basic Food Work Registration Exemptions

Revised January 1, 2024

Purpose:

WAC 388-444-0010 Who is exempt from work registration while receiving Basic Food?

  • Clarifying Information

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-444-0010

  1. We apply and code personal exemptions (such as child under six, etc.) in all areas of the state.  There is no geographic or regional exemption for Basic Food work registration.
  2. The exemption for drug or alcohol addiction only applies when the participation in this program would prevent the individual from meeting the work requirement or participating in an employment/training program the required number of hours.
  3. The exemption for employment or self-employment is applied if either situation occurs: 
    1. Client is earning 30 x Federal Minimum wage ($7.25/hr in 2024) a week averaged monthly. 
    2. Client is working over 30 hours a week averaged monthly. 
  4. We must register non-exempt persons who receive state-funded FAP benefits even though they cannot receive federally- funded BFET services.
    1. The one exception is WAC 388-444-0010(9). If the client does not have authorization to work in the United States they can be exempt from work registration rule. 
  5. Caring for an incapacitated person exemption: The incapacitated person does not have to be related, or in the household.
  6. ABAWD is a small subset population of Work Registrants that have extra requirements; therefore, specific ABAWD exemptions (such as pregnancy or waived counties) under WAC 388-444-0035 that apply to those extra requirements do NOT apply to work registration in general. See ABAWD Chapter.
EXAMPLE: A Work Registrant who is also ABAWD attends a methadone clinic once a month for a total of two hours in order to refill a methadone prescription. The client does not attend any additional counseling or treatment. This drug addiction treatment and rehabilitation program does not prevent the client from meeting the work requirements or participating in an employment or training program.
EXAMPLE: A Work Registrant who is also an ABAWD enters a specialized hospital for treatment for addiction. As part of the program, the client is expected to live at the hospital and receive treatment for the next 30 days. Since the client is enrolled in a program that does not allow the client to leave the hospital, this program prevents the ABAWD from meeting the work requirements or participating in an employment or training program.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-444-0010

  1. Screen for work registration status:
    1. Determine the client's exempt or non-exempt status for work registration. See WAC 388-444-0010; and
    2. Code work exemption information on the WORK screen for every person age 16 and over.
  2. Volunteering for BFET Services:
    All clients who receive federally-funded Basic Food (SNAP) benefits may volunteer for E&T services. As a volunteer they may:
    1. Receive supportive services (see BFET Reimbursement of Participation Expenses); 
    2. Meet eligibility requirements (see Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET) Program); and 
    3. Not be disqualified for not cooperating with the program.
  3. Verifying a Personal Exemption
    1. Accept a client's statement of employment status or job availability unless the information is questionable.
    2. To verify questionable information have the client provide:
      1. Evidence of the claimed exemption; or
      2. The name and contact information of an acceptable collateral source who can be contacted for further verification.
    3. If a client claims to be physically or mentally unable to work and the client's statement is questionable, verify the claim by:
      1. Proof of permanent disability benefits issued by a public or private source; or
      2. A statement from a qualified professional or their staff; or
      3. A medical verification through DSHS form 10-353 (Document Request for Medical Condition and Residual Functional Capacity) or DSHS form 14-541 (ABAWD Requirement: Medical Report). Find forms in English and other languages on our forms website: https://www.dshs.wa.gov/office-of-the-secretary/forms
      4. Do not refer to an SSI facilitator for purposes of Basic Food disability verification.
        NOTE: A client qualifies for the personal disability exemption if they are a veteran receiving 100% disability benefits.
        NOTE: Washington Paid Family & Medical Leave (PFML), L&I, other Worker’s Compensation or Private disability insurance benefits can be used as verification for this exemption.
    4. For self-employment the client must provide records to show the hours and income worked. (See Self Employment Income chapter). 
    5. An adult may claim a child under 6, as their exemption, if they have a majority (50% or more) parental responsibility to care for that child. In households with multiple adults, any adult that has a valid claim to majority parental responsibility for the child can claim the exemption. Allow the client to change their election of who is claiming the child under 6 as an exemption up to once per month if necessary; however, the change of election may not be utilized as a means to remove an individual's work registration food disqualification (by becoming exempt).

ABAWDs- Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents

ABAWDs- Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents

January 1, 2024

Purpose:

WAC 388-444-0030 What additional work requirements and time limits is an able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD) subject to in order to be eligible for Basic Food?

WAC 388-444-0035 Who is exempt from ABAWD time limits and minimum work requirements?

WAC 388-444-0040 Can I volunteer for an unpaid work program in order to meet the work requirements under WAC 388-444-0030?

WAC 388-444-0045 How does an ABAWD regain eligibility for Basic Food after being closed for the three-month limit?  

Administrative Hearing Procedures


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-444-0030

Countable Months

  • countable month or non-qualifying month refers to any month an ABAWD receives Basic Food benefits for the full benefit month while not:
    • Exempt from the 3-month time limit;
    • Fulfilling ABAWD work requirements;
    • Covered by a waiver of the ABAWD time limit; and
    • Exempted for the month using one of the State’s 12 percent exemption.
  • A client must participate in a qualifying program for a full month. Otherwise, the month will count as a non-participation month. A client who doesn’t participate for three months will become ineligible for Basic Food

36-Month Period

  • The current 36-month time limit period began January 1, 2024 and ends December 31, 2026. Another 36-month period will begin January 1, 2027.
NOTE: 
ABAWDs and households that contain ABAWDs receive a certification period as described under WAC 388-416-0005, but they can’t receive more than three full months of benefits without meeting the ABAWD work requirements. 

Moving Between Non-Waived and Waived Areas

A waived area:

A non-waived area:

  • Exempt from ABAWD work requirement time limit.
  • Must meet ABAWD work requirements to stay eligible for Basic Food.
  • An ABAWD becomes exempt from ABAWD work requirements when they move to a waived area effective the month they report the move to the Department.
  • An ABAWD must meet ABAWD work requirements or have a personal exemption if they move from a waived to a non-waived area during the 36-month period. Participation requirements apply in the first full month of benefits after the information is known to the Department.
  • If a client has previously used countable months during the same 36-month period, those months of non-participation, still count toward the three-month limit.
NOTE:
Moving between waived and non-waived areas doesn’t reset the 3-out-of-36 month clock. If an ABAWD loses eligibility for Basic Food due to the three-month limit and later moves to a waived area, they are eligible to receive Basic Food while living in any waived area.
EXAMPLE:
Jolene is an ABAWD who was living in a waived area. She reported the move to a non-waived area September tenth. Her participation requirements begin October first. If she doesn’t meet participation requirements in the month of October she will either use a non-qualifying month, or if she doesn’t have non-qualifying months available her case will be terminated.  

State Funded Food Assistance Program (FAP) Clients

  • FAP follows the same rules as federally funded food assistance except for citizenship requirements (WAC 388-400-0050 #2). To maintain eligibility, FAP recipients who meet the definition of ABAWD in non-waived areas are required to:
    • Work;
    • Participate in an approved employment and training program;
    • Volunteer (unpaid work);
    • Participate in workfare; or
    • Qualify for a personal exemption
NOTE:
FAP clients aren’t eligible for BFET. See the list of other state approved employment and training activities.

Activities to Meet Participation 

  1. Employment or Work: 
  • Work means providing a paid service to an employer or self-employment.
  • This also includes in-kind work and rental income, based on the actual number of hours the client works.
  • The wage offered by an employer shouldn’t be less than the state minimum wage or in-kind goods or service of equal value.
  • Self-employed persons must work 20 hours or more per week (averaged monthly or 80 hours per month) to meet the ABAWD work requirement using the federal minimum wage. Annual hours cannot be averaged for ABAWD participation. 
  • ABAWDs must work at least 80 hours per month to avoid gaining countable months.  
  1. ABAWD Participation in BFET
  • Participating in Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET) in a non-waived area can be used to meet work requirements for ABAWDs as an approved Employment and Training Program.  
  • Enrolling in BFET BEFORE Basic Food Closes due to the three-month limit:
    • If an ABAWD client enrolls in BFET before the end of their 3rd month of non-participation in work requirements, the participant will qualify for an exemption until they are ready to participate enough hours that their participation meets the 20-hour work requirement. 
  • Attempt to Enroll in BFET AFTER Basic Food Closes due to the three-month limit: 
    • Only clients who are receiving Basic Food can participate in BFET. Therefore, a client can’t use BFET to requalify for Basic Food. 
  • In order to requalify for Basic Food and be eligible for BFET, the client must requalify within 30 days of application by:
    • Working for 80 hours; or
    • Participating for 80 hours in another approved employment or training activity; or
    • Completing the number of required Workfare volunteer hours.
    • Once the client has been approved for Basic Food, they may engage in employment and training in BFET.
  1. Job Search and Job Search Training Services for ABAWDs
  • Job search hours are only countable for less than half of the total time a client is engaged in employment and training activities*.
  • For example, if a client is participating in BFET twenty hours a week, then only up to nine hours of Job Search or Job Search Training counts as “participation” for ABAWD requirements.  The other eleven must be in one of the other activities: Basic Education, Vocational Education, or Life Skills.
  • If clients are unable to meet the hourly requirement in BFET, they may still participate in Workfare to meet participation. More details are in the Combining Work and/or Training to meet requirements section.
  • Job Search and Job Search Training activities done under the supervision of a WIOA program, do count in their entirety toward the 80 hours of participation. Some BFET providers are WIOA partners, but not all.

WIOA Program (non-college)

Zachary is participating in the following activities:

  • Job search training: 40 hours monthly
  • Job search: 20 hours monthly
  • Basic Education: 20 hours monthly
  • The total countable hours are 80. Zachary is meeting the work requirement.

Non-WIOA Program (Non-College)

Zachary is participating in the following activities:

  • Job search training -  40 hours monthly
  • Job search - 20 hours monthly
  • Basic Education - 20 hours monthly
  • The total countable hours are:
    • 59 hours
      • 39 of the Job search training;
      • 0 of the Job search, and;
      • 20 hours of Basic Education).
  • In order to meet participation requirements the client would have to complete an additional 21 hours of non-Job Search or non-Job Search Training activities, unpaid work, or work.
  • Alternatively, the client could participate in Workfare for the required number of hours to meet the work activity independently from the E&T program.
 
  1. Other State approved Employment and Training programs for ABAWD Participation
  1. Participate in Unpaid Work
  • Unpaid work includes in kind work or unpaid as a volunteer at a State, local, religious, or community non-profit organization. An ABAWD must volunteer a total of 80 hours in a month.
  • Volunteering can also occur in other formats within the community.  The following applies to unpaid work:
    • Participation is optional in non-waived counties.
    • Allows clients to work under supervision to gain valuable work experience and meet ABAWD work requirements.
    • Cannot be counted if also used to meet court appointed or legal obligations.
    • Can be combined with work and work programs to fulfill the 80 hour per month requirement.
    • Cannot be combined with Workfare hours to meet work requirements, as Workfare is a stand-alone activity.
  • ABAWDs can requalify for Basic Food Assistance using unpaid work hours. They must meet a total of 80 hours of work, or volunteer, or combination of the two within 30 days. Once verified, ABAWDs are eligible for benefits based on the date of verification or date of application.

    6. Proof of Participation

  • Mandatory ABAWD client’s need to provide proof of their ABAWD work requirement participation to DSHS by the tenth of the month following participation for the following activities:
    • Employment and Training;
    • Unpaid work;
    • Work hours, if working less than 80 hours a month; and
  • If clients are meeting participation by working 80 hours a month, they are responsible to report if their hours drop below 20 hours a week. They aren’t required to submit work verification monthly.
  • We have created a form to assist clients in providing this proof: ABAWD Activity Form #01-205.  (Available in our eight supported languages at https://www.dshs.wa.gov/office-of-the-secretary/forms). 
NOTE: We cannot require a particular type or form of verification. See WAC 388-490-0005
  • Collateral Contacts:
    • Collateral contact can come from:
      • Workfare site supervisor
      • Employment and Training case manager or advisor
      • Volunteer site coordinator
    • Collateral contact must include:
      • Client name identification
      • Calendar month reporting
      • Activities performed
      • Number of hours in the month participating in activity
      • Name and signature of the person verifying the information

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-444-0030

Identifying an ABAWD

  • Staff must check Work Registration and ABAWD status at application, eligibility review, and when there is a change in the Assistant Unit impacting the status of a household member. This includes but isn’t limited to:
    • Residential address change (waived vs non-waived areas);
    • Age;
    • Children entering or exiting the AU;
    • Pregnancy;
    • Student Status;
    • Disability or incapacity;
    • Change in employment hours, pay rate or status;
    • Change in immigration status; or
    • Change in program participation.

Out of State Countable Months

  • Staff must verify any non-qualifying months received when there is evidence the ABAWD received food benefits in another state.   Staff update clients’ Work Registration Details page if the client didn’t participate during Washington's current 36-month period.
  • The current 36-month time limit period began January 1, 2024 and ends December 31, 2026. Another 36-month period will begin January 1, 2027. 
  • A written or verbal statement from the other state agency of countable months is acceptable proof. Check for out of state countable months at application even if the client is moving to a waived area in Washington. 
  • Verify with each state the number of months the ABAWD has received benefits without participating in work requirements; and
  • Input the non-qualifying months the other state reported after 1/1/2024. Document the information.
  • Expedited cases can be approved with postponed verification for out of state verification.
NOTE: 
We count months accumulated in another state even if we would have considered the client exempt in Washington State.
EXAMPLE:
Joe is an ABAWD who moved to a waived area in Washington State from Idaho where he previously received benefits. He is applying for benefits in Washington. The worker verifies Joe accrued two countable months in Idaho, as he didn’t participate while living in a non-waived area.
The worker records Joe's two countable months in Idaho on the Work Registration Details page despite Joe moving to a waived area in Washington.  
EXAMPLE:
Darren is an ABAWD who moved to a non-waived area in Washington State from Idaho where he previously received benefits. He is applying for benefits in Washington. He moved on the 5th of June.  His participation requirements begin July 1st. If he doesn’t meet participation requirements in the month of July he will either use a non-qualifying month, or if he doesn’t have non-qualifying months available, an overpayment must be established.

Monitoring ABAWD Participation 

  • Eligibility staff are responsible to:
    • Determine if participation was required.
    • Determine if client met participation (review proof if required).
    • Take case action as appropriate including entering non-qualifying months for any full benefit month when the client failed to participate.
    • Document and provide client with notification as appropriate.

Combining Work and/or Training to meet requirements

  • The options for meeting work participation requirements are:
    • Participate in paid employment for 80 hours a month (20 hours a week average); or 
    • Participate in an approved training program for 80 hours a month(20 hours a week average); or
    • Participate in unpaid work for 80 hours a month (20 hours a week average); or
    • Participate in a combination of work and back to work activities (1 - 3 above) to make a total of 80 hours a month or an average of 20 hours per week; and/or;
    • Volunteer in Workfare for the calculated required number of hours per month. This activity can’t be combined with options 1-4.
EXAMPLE:
Joanna is an ABAWD living in non-waived area. She has a job where she works 10 hours a week. This alone isn’t enough hours to meet the ABAWD Policy requirements. She receives $100 a month in Basic Food benefits. Joanna has four* choices to continue receiving Basic Food benefits:

- Increase the number of hours she is working to 80 hours a month;
- Participate in an approved training program for at least ten hours a week average (to make a total of 80 hours a month in work and training) ;
- Participate in unpaid work for at least ten hours a week average (to make a total of 80 hours a month in work and training); or
- Volunteer at a Workfare agency for a specified number of hours per month based on local minimum wage. (If local minimum wage is $18.29/hr this would only be 5 hours, as $100 / $18.29/hr. = 5.68 or 5 hours rounded down)
- If Joanna becomes exempt or moves to a waived area, she also may be eligible to continue to receive food benefits.

 

NOTE:
We cannot require a particular type or form of verification. See WAC 388-490-0005.

Good Cause:

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-444-0035

ABAWD Information 

  • A client is an Able Bodied Adult without Dependents (ABAWD) if they are able to work and have no children in their Assistance Unit (AU). ABAWDs may receive Basic Food benefits for three out of every 36 months if they aren’t meeting work requirements and they don’t qualify for an exemption.
  • If a client is exempt from work registration rules under WAC 388-444-0010 they are exempt from ABAWD participation. However there are further exceptions that a client may meet under WAC 388-444-0035.
NOTE: 
Some areas of the state may be waived from ABAWD time limits.

See the ABAWD website for more information about waived and non-waived areas.   

Children in the home  

  • When an Assistance Unit (AU) includes a member under age 18, all adults in the AU are exempt from ABAWD participation regardless of their responsibility to care for the child. Sometimes the child may not be eligible due to alien status or failure to provide their Social Security number; this doesn’t affect the ABAWD status of the adults in the home.  If the child isn’t on the AU, such as in a roommate situation where the adults purchase and prepare separately, the client is an ABAWD.
NOTE:
If there is a child in the AU there are no ABAWDs. However, this doesn’t automatically exempt the adult(s) in the AU from work registration.
Correctly code the work screen to reflect the adult(s) work registration status.
EXAMPLE:
 Dylan and his child Nathan receive Basic Food. Nathan is turning 18 in the month of May and is no longer in school.  Both will become ABAWDs effective June 1st, unless otherwise exempt.
EXAMPLE:
 Aunt Nicholle is caring for her niece Christina, who is seven years old, during the summer. Christina is a part of Nicholle’s AU during these months. Christina is returning to her home September 13th. Nicholle will become an ABAWD effective October 1st, unless otherwise exempt.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Clients

TANF clients aren’t subject to ABAWD participation time limits because they have children or meet the pregnancy exemption for ABAWD participation.  Do not code them as an ABAWD. 

Waived Areas

ABAWD clients living in waived areas are exempt from participation. See more about this in the Moving Between Non-Waived and Waived Areas section.

Discretionary Exemptions 

  • Every Federal Fiscal Year the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awards an amount of discretionary exemptions to each state. The state has the authority to determine how the exemptions can be used to exempt ABAWD clients from the time limit.
  • Washington State will use discretionary exemptions to exempt mandatory ABAWDs:
    • Living on the Snoqualmie tribal reservation.
    • Living on the Muckleshoot tribal reservation.
    • Who wouldn’t receive timely termination notice due to LEP translations.

Participation Exceptions

ABAWD participation exceptions are reasons that an ABAWD client is not able to participate in work or work activities for 80 hours a month. When documenting, always select the exemption or exception that will last for the longest period of time. Exempt Area is only used when the individual lives in a waived county and doesn’t qualify for a different exemption or exception. 

  • Pregnancy
    • Pregnancy is an exception to ABAWD participation.  Once the client’s due date is entered in the Expected Due Date field, the Work Registration page will automatically suggest the pregnancy exception.
    • When the due date has passed, workers will be responsible for updating work registration status of those in the household.
  • Paid Family Medical Leave
    • Clients who receive PFML are considered temporary incapacitated whether it is for themselves or to care for a family member.  
  • Veterans
    • Veterans of the U.S. Armed forces or reserves (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Space Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard) qualify for an exception from the ABAWD participation rules regardless of discharge status.
  • Homeless
    • Clients experiencing homelessness qualify for an exception to ABAWD participation. Clients may experience homelessness differently from others. Homelessness will also be consistent (but not limited to) WAC 388-408-0050.
  • Foster Care Alumni
    • Individuals who were in foster care on their 18th birthday and are 24 years of age or younger. ACES will recognize Foster Care Alumni receiving D26 medical as qualifying for the exception. Foster Care Alumni recently relocating to Washington may contact the Health Care Authority to have eligibility determined for D26 healthcare coverage.

NOTE:
The following status’ are work registration exemptions:

  • Caretaker of a child under six or an incapacitated person
  • L&I or other Worker’s Compensation
  • Private disability insurance benefits
  • Veterans Disability Benefits (100%)
  • Participating in LEP Pathway or CLEVER programs through the Office of Refugee and Immigration Assistance

Worker Responsibilities- WAC 388-444-0035

  • We determine who is exempt from ABAWD work requirements by reviewing the client’s circumstances. Priority of exemptions:
    • If more than one exemption can apply, we use the exemption that last the longest.
    • Only if no other exemption applies, do we exempt clients for living in a waived area.
    • If the ABAWD does not have a personal exemption or exception, they may be eligible for one of the approved exemption slots under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) discretionary exemption rule as determined by Community Services Division, Food Programs and Policy.

 Unable To Work

Not able to Work 80 Hours a Month.

  • Unable to work means that the client is physically or mentally not able to work at least 80 hours a month as required by ABAWD rules
  • If a client states they are unable to work and there isn’t a reason to question the claim, document that the client is “exempt from ABAWD participation due to not being able to work” and use the appropriate coding on the work screen for this.
  • Staff should use prudent person and their observations when determining if the client’s statement about their ability to work is questionable. Staff must document their decision.
  • Questions Workers Might Ask:
    • What kind of work do you usually do? Are you able to do that work right now?
    • When was the last time you worked?
    • What barriers prevent you from working?

Questionable

  • If the client’s statement is questionable, attempt to get a collateral contact from someone aware of the person’s circumstances/condition. If you cannot make this contact by telephone, you can advise the client to get collateral contact from a reliable source and provide DSHS 14-541.  (https://www.dshs.wa.gov/office-of-the-secretary/forms).  
NOTE:
We cannot require a particular type or form of verification. See WAC 388-490-0005.
  • Collateral contact can come from:
    • A medical professional: nurse, doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist, etc.;
    • Drug or alcohol treatment professional; or
    • Any reliable medical source that is familiar with the circumstances that make the client unable to work twenty hours a week.
  • Collateral contact must include:
    • Information regarding the client’s ability to work 80 hours a month (or 20 hours a week).
    • Estimated time period the client will be prevented from working 80 hours a month.
  • We review temporary incapacity exemptions at mid-certification review, recertification, or when the client reports a change in their ability to work.
NOTE:
Documentation may be signed or stated by any of the following: physician, physician’s assistant, designated representative of the physician’s office, nurse practitioner, osteopath, licensed or certified psychologist, drug and alcohol abuse counselor, certified mental health counselor, licensed independent clinical social worker, licensed certified social worker, or certified midwife. For the purposes of verifying an individual’s participation in a rehab or counseling program (Section 2), the director of the program or the individual’s counselor may also sign this statement.
NOTE:
A person’s inability to work does not have to be for a specific duration of time to meet the exemption. If their inability to work exceeds their current certification, then staff will ask about the client’s ability to work during their next re-certification.
Clients that are ineligible due to having used their three non-qualifying months are not eligible based on an unverified questionable exemption claim, even if the client is expedited.  Clients that are ineligible due to having used their three non-qualifying months are not eligible based on an unverified questionable exemption claim, even if the client is expedited.  

 

Aged, Blind, Disabled (ABD)/ Housing Essential Needs (HEN)

NOTE: 
For the purposes of documenting ABAWD personal exemptions in the system “Temporarily Incapacitated” or the “TI” coding is equal to “unable to work.”  This is not the same as ABD or HEN definitions of incapacity determined by social workers. Eligibility staff are able to use prudent person to determine if a client is unable to sustain work given their circumstances. If a client is denied ABD/HEN, review work registration status to ensure correct coding.
EXAMPLE: 
On March 14th, a worker reviews John’s denial for ABD/HEN and determines that he is an ABAWD who doesn’t qualify for the "federally/state determined disabled" exemption. The worker will review the case to see if there is enough evidence in the case for John to qualify for a temporary incapacity based on being unable to work. If there is not reasonable documentation to support the unable to work claim, the worker will code John’s Work Registration Page as exempt area.  
EXAMPLE:
On September 10, a worker reviews Amed’s denial for ABD/HEN due to “No medical evidence from an acceptable medical source”. The worker will review the case to see if there is enough evidence in the case for Amed to qualify for a temporary incapacity based on being unable to work. Amed has past medical evidence and documentation in the case to support his statement that he is unable to work 80 hours a month. The worker will code Amed’s Work Registration Page as temporarily incapacitated.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-444-0040

  • Workfare is unpaid work performed by an ABAWD for a public or private non-profit organization. Workfare is available to non-exempt ABAWDs in non-waived areas only. Workfare isn’t available to non-ABAWDs.  
  • Volunteer work in the community - ABAWDS can meet their work requirement by completing volunteer hours at a non-profit or public agency.
  • ABAWD clients must participate based on the household's food benefit allotment divided by the state or local minimum wage (rounded down):
    • Effective January 1, 2024:
  • An ABAWD may volunteer at any non-profit agency that agrees to provide Workfare opportunities for ABAWDS to meet their work requirements. The non-profit must have a current DSHS Workfare Contract.
  • Clients must receive a referral from DSHS to that site before their hours will begin to “count” toward participation
  • Clients can contact us to receive a referral to a Workfare site.
  • Clients report their monthly hours to DSHS to verify their participation by returning a completed ABAWD Activity Report (DSHS Form 01-205) or other valid verification.
  • The verification can be turned into DSHS in the following ways:
    • Fax 1-888-338-7410;
    • Drop off at the CSO; or
    • Mail it to:
      • DSHS CSD Customer Service Center
      • PO Box 11699
      • Tacoma, WA 98411-6699
  • If you are a non-profit agency interested in becoming a Workfare site please inquire with ABAWD@dshs.wa.gov. Workfare agencies agree to verify that the ABAWD has met their hourly requirement. Upon verification, we will not count a month against the three-month limit. The Workfare agencies also agree to notify DSHS when a participant is no longer participating as planned.

Worker Responsibilities – WAC 388-444-0040

We route communication about Workfare to the Workfare Unit who match clients up with appropriate Workfare agencies for their abilities and needs.  Staff follow the referral instructions in the CSD Procedures Handbook. When determining the amount of hours a client must complete when requalifying, use the calculated prorated amount.

EXAMPLE:
- Dominque lost benefits due to not participating. Dominque applied on July 10th and would like to volunteer at a Workfare site to meet requalification. The anticipated prorated benefit amount is $100.  She lives in an area using the current state minimum wage, $16.28/hr.   100 ÷ 16.28 = 6.14 hours.
- Dominque must volunteer for 6 hours (rounded down) of Workfare in order to qualify for benefits back to her application date.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-444-0045

Ineligibility Due to Failure to Meet ABAWD Requirements

If a client exhausts the 3-out-of-36 months eligibility limit, we must terminate the person's Basic Food benefits as soon as we become aware of this information. We must also deny this person Basic Food at application or recertification if they do not have a personal exemption and they do not live in a waived area, unless they have requalified under Regaining Eligibility.

NOTE:
Clients that are ineligible due to having reached the three month time limit are not eligible until they have requalified, even if the client meets expedited criteria.   

If a client is terminated for non-participation, the person is an ineligible household member. We include this person's income in the Basic Food Assistance Unit as described under WAC 388-450-0140 How does the income of an ineligible assistance unit member affect my eligibility and benefits for food assistance?  More information in the Allocation & Deeming chapter.

Regaining Eligibility

  • There are no limits to the number of times a client can regain eligibility. 
  • An ABAWD may regain eligibility by working and/or participating in approved training a total of 80 hours within a 30 consecutive day period.
  • The 30 day period may:
    • Begin as early as 30 days prior to the date of application, or
    • End as late as 30 days after the date of application.
    • However, all 80 hours must be within 30 consecutive days.
  • If an applicant applies having met the 80 hours within the 30 consecutive days prior to date of application, and meets all other eligibility factors, the client is eligible effective the date of application.
  • If an applicant applies before meeting the full 80 hours, they are ineligible.
    • Deny the application.
    • When the client verifies that the full 80 hours was met, within a 30 consecutive day period ending no later than 30 days after date of application, rescreen the application using the requalifying date as the date of application.
    • If a client does not provide verification by the 30th day after the application, they will need to provide a new application.

Eligibility for a Second 3-month period for ABAWDs WAC 388-444-0045(1) & (3). 

There are two three-month periods an ABAWD can receive Basic Food benefits without participation.

  1. The first set are the initial non-qualifying months.
    1. A non-qualifying month refers to any month an ABAWD receives Basic Food benefits for the full benefit month while not:
      1. Exempt from the 3-month time limit;
      2. Fulfilling ABAWD work requirements;
      3. Covered by a waiver of the ABAWD time limit; and
      4. Exempted for the month using the State’s discretionary exemptions
    2. These months do not need to be consecutive.
       
  2. The second set of months are the subsequent months.
    1. These months are only able to be used by an ABAWD who has used their initial non-qualifying months, has regained eligibility, and active on Basic Food.
    2. They start the month the client stops participating.
    3. The client receives three full consecutive benefit months regardless of participation status.
    4. If the client is not participating in an activity or exempt by the end of the third month, the benefits will terminate.
  1. The ABAWD cannot begin the subsequent 3-month period if they are disqualified for a reason other than ABAWD non-participation (such as a job quit). The client must regain eligibility in order to receive the subsequent months.

After Subsequent Months are used:

  1. Client is participating at the end of the Subsequent Months.
    1. Client is eligible for Basic Food as long as they participate and meet other Basic Food rules.
    2. Clients must provide proof monthly if they are using Workfare, employment and training, or unpaid work to meet participation.
  2. Client is not participating at the end of the Subsequent Months
    1. Client must reapply and meet eligibility factors. (Regaining Eligibility)

NOTE:
The department cannot consider the eligibility of an ABAWD client who has used the initial and subsequent months and does not regain eligibility by participating or becoming exempt until the next 36-month period. 

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-444-0045

Monitoring ABAWD Participation information found in Worker Responsibilities-WAC 388-444-0030.

Adding an Ineligible ABAWD back into the Household

If an ABAWD client regains eligibility by meeting requirements in the Regaining Eligibility section, food benefits begin for this client effective the date:

  • The application date; or
  • The date the hourly requirement is met, whichever is later.

NOTE:
Benefits must be prorated based on this date.

See more about how to add a client back onto a household in the Change of Circumstances: Effective Date Chapter.


Administrative Hearings

  • If an ABAWD requests an administrative hearing:
    • The client's three-month clock is paused by removing the 3rd non-qualifying month and benefits will continue until there is a hearing decision. 
    • If the Department is upheld, the original 3rd non-qualifying month is counted and the case will close establishing an overpayment; or
    • If the client is upheld, benefits received are retained and we will review ABAWD participation status for the on-going month.

ACES Procedures

The ACES Manual is housed on the internal network accessible by staff.

See Chapters Basic Food Assistance - Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD)

Basic Food Work Requirements - Good Cause

Revised January 1, 2024

Purpose: 

WAC 388-444-0050 What is good cause for failing to meet Basic Food work requirements?

  • Worker Responsibilities


Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-444-0050

When you are informed that a non-exempt Basic Food client has not complied with work requirements:

For Mandatory Work Registrants

  1. Begin the good cause process no later than 10 calendar days from the date you are notified on noncompliance, by sending a letter to the client. The letter must include:
    1. A description of the non-compliance; and
    2. The date by which the client must contact the worker to provide good cause for non-compliance. (This date should not exceed 10 calendar days from the date the notice is sent.)
NOTE:
If the client does not respond within 10 calendar days, determine that good cause does not exist. Refer to step 3 below.
  1. Determine good cause for clients not meeting the work registration requirements described in WAC 388-444-0005, #3.
  2. When good cause does not exist the client must be disqualified. See Disqualification.
  3. Inform disqualified clients how they may regain eligibility for Basic Food.
  4. Volunteers for Basic Food E&T components (services) who fail to participate are not disqualified.

For ABAWDs

  1. Good cause is considered when determining if a mandatory ABAWD client has met the participation requirements.
  2. Consider an ABAWD to have met the work requirement if they have a temporary absence from work that causes them to not meet the required hours of participation and they have not lost their job.
  3. Good cause includes unexpected circumstances beyond the individual’s control, such as:
    • Illness;
    • Care for another household member;
    • A household emergency; or
    • The unavailability of transportation.
      NOTE:
      A household emergency can cover a range of unexpected events such as fire, extreme weather or domestic violence event.
NOTE:
Unavailability of transportation does not refer to a lack of transportation due to living in a remote area.
  1. Document the reason for good cause in the case notes. Good cause should not exceed two months in a row. If the frequency of good cause requests become questionable, a worker can ask the the client to provide collateral contact for the exemption. Assess the client for a personal exemption if it appears that the good cause reason will last for longer than two months.
  2. If you determine there is no good cause, record non-qualifying work months as described in Worker Responsibilities WAC 388-444-0030 – Monitoring Participation

EXAMPLE:

Rita is an ABAWD who lives a remote area in a non-waived county. She had a vehicle to get to her part time job, but it is in need of repairs and is not drivable. She calls to report that she will not be able to meet the required number of hours for ABAWD. The worker does not change the ABAWD Participation status but records the Good Cause decision in the case remarks and explains to Rita that Good Cause is limited. The worker refers Rita to a BFET provider in her area to explore options for aid to repair her vehicle.

 

EXAMPLE:

Sahar is an ABAWD who lives in a non-waived county. She is volunteering at a Workfare site in the next town over. She usually takes the bus to the location. There is a snowstorm which has caused the buses to not run in her neighborhood. She does not feel safe walking to a farther bus stop. Sahar calls to report that she will not be able to meet her volunteer hours for that month. The worker does not change the ABAWD Participation status but records the Good Cause decision in the case remarks..

 

EXAMPLE:

Parker is an ABAWD who lives in a non-waived county. He reports that he is not going to be able to work for a few months because he has broken his leg. This is not a case of Good Cause, instead, the worker should evaluate Parker for a personal exception for being unable to work.

 

Basic Food Work Requirements - Disqualification

Revised December 20, 2022

Purpose: 

WAC 388-444-0055 What are the penalties if I refuse or fail to meet Basic Food work requirements.

  • Clarifying Information and Worker Responsibilities

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-444-0055

The disqualification rules and procedures are for Basic Food non-exempt work registrants only. Please see Section E, ABAWDS for disqualification rules and procedures for able-bodied adults without dependents.

 

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-444-0055

  1. At the time the worker determines that a comparable sanction will be applied, or benefits denied because of lack of cooperation with a comparable program (Work First, unemployment compensation, or Refugee Assistance) work requirements, the worker must:
    1. Review the client's circumstances to determine if any Basic Food work registration exemptions apply.  See WAC 388-444-0010 
    2. If the client meets an exemption then the client continues to receive Basic Food benefits;
    3. If the client does not have a work registration exemption, the worker must notify the client that a Basic Food work requirements disqualification will be applied unless the client complies with the comparable program requirements
    4. When disqualifying a client for non-compliance with a comparable program, notify the non-exempt client that:
      1. Basic Food work requirements must be met within 10 days of the notice;
      2.  Basic Food work requirements can only be met by cooperating with the comparable program requirements;
      3. The disqualification period is determined under WAC 388-444-0055.
  2. If the client complies with the comparable program requirements within the 10 day notice, then the client is once again exempt from Basic Food work registration or ABAWD requirements.
  3. If the client does not comply with the comparable program requirements within the 10 day notice, the client is disqualified from receiving Basic Food benefits.
  4. Apply the disqualification in the month following the 10-day advance notice.  Enter the following information in free form text:
    1. The reason for the disqualification;
    2. The period of disqualification;
    3. The disqualification only ends if the client complies with [name of comparable program] requirements or serve the appropriate disqualification period. See WAC 388-444-0055 for when to end the disqualification period.
  5. Apply the disqualification the first month following the 10-day notice of adverse action

 

Procedures for Disqualifying a Client

  1. Enter non-cooperation in ACES as described in the ACES Procedures at the end of this section.
  2. If the disqualified client leaves the Basic Food program before the disqualification starts, impose the disqualification when:
    1. The person reapplies; and
    2. Start the disqualification period with the first full month of certification.
  3. If a disqualified person leaves the program before completing the disqualification period:
    1. The person serves any remaining time of disqualification when the person applies for benefits; and
    2. Start the remaining disqualification period with the first full month of certification.

 

Regaining Eligibility

  1. If otherwise eligible, a client regains Basic Food benefits when they complete their penalty period.
  2. A disqualified client is treated as an ineligible household member. See INCOME
  3. For a one person household, the client must reapply for benefits. A household of two or more will have the client's portion of benefits restored.

 

Ending a Disqualification When a Client Becomes Exempt During the Penalty Period

A disqualification ends and the client may again receive benefits effective the first of the month following report of the change when the client becomes exempt during the penalty phase.

NOTE:
A disqualification for failing to comply with Basic Food work requirements is not canceled because of a disqualification for noncompliance with some other Basic Food program requirement. Multiple disqualifications may run at the same time.

Examples for AUs receiving Basic Food while an adult is in a BF Work Registration penalty period:

Example 1: Tessa is in a BF work requirement penalty period and, begins attending school, becomes responsible for caring for a child under age six, or meets another Basic Food Work Registration exemption.  Tessa can begin receiving Basic Food again, if otherwise eligible, effective the first of the month following the reported change. Update Tessa’s Work Registration Details in ACES Case Actions with the new status in the ongoing month.

Example 2: Ellery is in WorkFirst sanction. They agree to a new IRP and begin to participate during their second BF work requirement penalty period. This changes Ellery’s status to exempt due to participating in a cash program even if the full WF sanction period has not been served. The BF disqualification will end and, if otherwise eligible, Ellery may receive benefits effective the first of the month after the change.

 Fair Hearing Procedures

When a person requests a fair hearing within 10 days of the issuance of the Notice of Adverse Action, and the certification period has not expired, benefits will continue.

  1. If the hearing goes against the client, and the client received continued benefits, DSHS will establish an overpayment;
  2. Give the client 10-day advance notice;
  3. The disqualification period begins the first of the month following the 10-day notice.

ACES Procedures

 

See Interview (WORK) screen

See Disqualified or Sanctioned Assistance Unit or Client - Quitting a Job

 

Basic Food Work Requirements - Unsuitable Employment and Quitting a Job

Revised November 18, 2016

Purpose: 

WAC 388-444-0060 What is unsuitable employment for Basic Food work requirements?

WAC 388-444-0065 Am I eligible for Basic Food if I quit my job or reduce my work effort?

WAC 388-444-0070 What is good cause for quitting my job or reducing my work effort?

WAC 388-444-0075 What are the penalties if I quit a job or reduce my work effort without good cause? 

  • Clarifying Information and Worker Responsibilities

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-444-0075

The rules for quitting a job or reducing work effort below thirty hours per week apply to both Basic Food applicants and recipients.

General Requirements

  1. The following requirements apply to all Basic Food clients 16 through 59 years old who:
    1. Quit a job or reduce  their work effort within 30 days of application.
    2. Quit a job or reduce  their work effort after an application for benefits was submitted but before  benefits are certified.
    3. Quit a job or reduce their work effort during certification.
    4. Would have been required to register for work at the time of quit or reduction of work effort.
  2. The following situations are not considered a voluntary job quit:
    1. Terminating a self-employment enterprise; and
    2. Resigning at the request of the employer.

       3.   We cannot disqualify  a recipient or applicant for less than the penalty time period unless they become exempt from work registration as described in WAC 388-444-0075 (5).

The penalties for quitting a job or reducing hours are:

  1. First time - one benefit month;
  2. Second time – three benefit months;
  3. Three or more times - six benefit months.
EXAMPLE:
Sherry applies for benefits on December 20th, she quit her last job on November 30th without good cause. This is her first offense. December is Sherry’s  one-month penalty even though the benefits are prorated. ACES will approve ongoing benefits as long as Sherry is otherwise eligible.
Same as above but it’s Sherry’s second offense. ACES will deny all three months: current, ongoing, and the third month (December – February). Sherry can reapply at any time but will not be eligible for benefits again until March.

Worker Responsibilities -WAC 388-444-0075

 Verifying and Documenting a Voluntary Job Quit or Reduction in Work Effort 

  1. Verify the client's claim of good cause if questionable.
  2. Whenever possible, verification should be accepted from but not limited to:
    1. The previous employer;
    2. An employee organization or union; or
    3. A grievance committee or organization.
  3. Disqualify a client that doesn’t have good cause from the date of application following ACES procedures below.
  4. For a recipient without good cause, send the notice of adverse action and apply the disqualification the first of the month following the 10-day advance notice.

NOTE:
Do not delay benefits to an otherwise eligible person beyond the normal processing time while awaiting a good cause determination.

 


ACES PROCEDURES

See Disqualified / Sanctioned Assistance Unit / Individual - Quitting a Job Without Good Cause

Benefit Errors

Revised August 4, 2011

Purpose: 

This category is about how to identify incorrect benefit payments and how to establish and refer for collection cash, medical and food assistance overpayments. The rules and procedures for identifying and correcting underpayments are also in this category.

WAC 388-410-0001  What is a cash / medical assistance overpayment?

WAC 388-410-0005  Cash and medical assistance overpayment amount and liability

WAC 388-410-0010  Repayment of grant overpayment occurring prior to April 3, 1982, and resulting from department error

WAC 388-410-0015  Recovery of cash assistance overpayments by mandatory grant deduction

WAC 388-410-0020  What happens if I receive more Basic Food or WASHCAP benefits than I am supposed to receive?

WAC 388-410-0025  Am I responsible for an overpayment in my assistance unit?

WAC 388-410-0030  How does the department calculate and set up my Basic Food or WASHCAP overpayment?

WAC 388-410-0033  How and when does the department collect a Basic Food or WASHCAP overpayment?

WAC 388-410-0035  Are alien and alien sponsors jointly responsible for cash and food assistance overpayments?

WAC 388-410-0040  Cash and food assistance underpayments.

Alien and Alien Sponsor Overpayments

Revised June 3, 2011

Purpose:

WAC 388-410-0035  Are alien and alien sponsors jointly responsible for cash and food assistance overpayments?


Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-410-0035

If the department determines that an assistance unit’s overpayment amount needs to be modified because of an error, the worker should refer to the ACES manual Benefit Error Group, Modify a BEG – Underpayment or Overpayment.


ACES Procedures

See Benefit Error Group (BEG) – Modify a BEG – Underpayment or Overpayment

Basic Food Overpayments

Created on: 
Feb 27 2023

Revised November 6, 2023

WAC 388-410-0020 What happens if I receive more Basic Food or WASHCAP benefits than I am supposed to receive?

WAC 388-410-0025 Am I responsible for an overpayment in my assistance unit?

WAC 388-410-0030 How does the department calculate and set up my Basic Food or WASHCAP overpayment?

WAC 388-410-0033 How and when does the department collect a Basic Food or WASHCAP overpayment?


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-410-0020

  1. Examples of an Administrative Error (AE) overpayment include when we:
    1. Didn’t act timely on a reported or known change in circumstances;

    2. Made a mistake in determining the AU’s eligibility or benefits;

    3. Incorrectly issued duplicate benefits;

    4. Issued allotments after the end of the AU's certification period without redetermining the AU's eligibility;

    5. Didn’t disqualify a client for an IPV on time as required under chapter 388-446 WAC;

    6. Made an incorrect change to the case or failed to make a needed change that caused the department to make an incorrect decision on the AU's eligibility or benefit amount.

  2. Examples of an Inadvertent Household Error (IHE) include when the AU:
    1. Understood what they were required to report; or

    2. Failed to report a change or provided inaccurate and incomplete information, but without the intent to get more food assistance than they were eligible to receive.

  3. Examples of an Intentional Program Violation (IPV) include when a client does any of the following on purpose:
    1. Makes an oral or written false or misleading statement that affects their benefits;

    2. Misrepresents, conceals, or withholds facts; or

    3. Violates the Food Stamp Act, Basic Food regulations, or any state laws that cover:

      1. How someone can get, have, and use Basic Food benefits or EBT cards; or

      2. The transfer of Basic Food benefits or EBT cards; or

      3. Trafficking.

NOTE: See chapter 388-446 WAC for information and rules on IPV disqualification hearings and penalties. WAC 388-446-0015 explains that an administrative disqualification hearing (ADH) is a formal hearing to determine if a person committed an IPV. Eligibility staff can't write an overpayment as IPV until an ADH or court hearing is held and the outcome determines an IPV was committed and caused the overpayment. See Fraud chapter: Clarifying Information #6 under WAC 388-446-0001.

  1. Date of awareness:
    The Date of Awareness is the earlier of the:
    1. Date the overpayment is processed (Benefit Error Group (BEG) status is changed to OP and the letter is sent), or
    2. Date a request for information letter is sent to validate the overpayment.
  2. Date of discovery:

The Date of Discovery is the date we have adequate information to validate the AU has an overpayment, and determine the amount overpaid. It isn't the date of a system-generated (BEG), because these only give enough information to identify a potential overpayment.

The date we "open" the BEG in ACES is the official date of discovery.  The exception to this rule is Basic Food errors discovered through the federal Quality Control review process.  The official date of discovery for a QC error is the date the QC error report in a client’s electronic case record (ECR).

  1. Date of establishment: The date staff establishes an overpayment, sends the household notification of the claim, and refers the case to the Office of Financial Recovery (OFR) for collections. The date of the overpayment letter is the official date of establishment.
     
  2. Timeframes to set up overpayments :

We must process at least 90% of all overpayments by the end of the calendar quarter after the quarter we discover an overpayment. A claim isn't timely if we sent the AU an overpayment letter later than the last day of the quarter after the quarter in which we "opened" the overpayment BEG.  Even though we can set up a valid overpayment after the timely processing period, federal rules require the department to meet this timeframe. 

NOTE: Potential overpayments discovered by the Basic Food quality assurance (QA) process must be "priority". Every attempt must be made to establish overpayments within federal time limits after the payment errors associated with these overpayments have been finalized by the Division of Program Integrity (DPI).

To ensure that staff review potential overpayments and promptly act on this information, the department monitors BEG lists. 

 

Claims Establishment Timeline

 

1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

4th Quarter

If your date of discovery is in:

January;
February; or
March

April;
May; or
June

July;
August;
September

October;
November; or
December

You must establish the claim by:

June 30th

September 30th

December 31st

March 31st

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To measure if we are meeting federal timeliness standards for establishing overpayments, staff compares the dates an overpayment BEG was "opened" to the date we sent the overpayment letter.

EXAMPLE

  1. If we discover an overpayment on February 6th (1st quarter) we must set up the overpayment by June 30th (end of the 2nd quarter).

  2. If we discover an overpayment on June 28th (2nd quarter) we must set up the overpayment by September 30th (end of the 3rd quarter).

 8.   Other program reporting requirements and Basic Food overpayments:

If someone doesn't report a change in circumstances required under WAC 388-418-0005, we determine if there is 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 wouldn't have to report the change based on the AU's circumstances, we don't set up an overpayment even if the household had to report a change for another department program.

EXAMPLE: Julie, Spencer, and their two children receive TANF and Basic Food. They fail to report that Spencer got a job earning $900 monthly. Spencer received his first paycheck on August 25th. We discover this information in November.
TANF: The family was required to report getting a job for TANF. We determine amount of TANF benefits the family was eligible for if they reported the change timely on September 10th and set up an overpayment for October and November.
Basic Food: The new job didn't cause the family to go over the income limit for a family of four. Since they didn't have to report this change for Basic Food, we don't set up an overpayment.

EXAMPLE: Diane receives TANF and Basic Food for herself and her daughter. Diane doesn't report she has switched to full-time status at work and now earns $2,500 monthly. Her paycheck on April 30th puts her over the income limit for Basic Food. We discover this information in July.
TANF: Diane was required to report the change in employment status and going over the earned income limit for TANF. We treat this change as if Diane had reported it timely on May 10th. We would set up an overpayment for the TANF benefits the AU received in June and July.
Basic Food: Diane’s $2,500 monthly income is over the income limit for a two-person AU. Since she was required to report this change for Basic Food, we set up a Basic Food overpayment for benefits the AU received in June and July.


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-410-0025

Even though all adult members of an AU with an overpayment are liable for the full overpayment, OFR tracks payments to ensure that we don't collect more than the amount of the overpayment.


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-410-0030
 

  1. Calculating the Overpayment
    1. The overpayment amount is the difference between what the client received and what they were eligible to receive.

      1. For Administrative Errors where the household has earned income, apply the earned income deduction to all earned income, reported or unreported.

      2. For Inadvertent Household Errors with unreported earnings, don’t apply the earned income disregard to the portion of earnings that wasn’t reported timely.

Example: Tori has been working at Target part time with income budgeted for Basic Food. Her income increased above 130% of the FPL but the increase wasn’t reported timely.
To calculate the overpayment continue to allow the 20% deduction on the reported income, but not on the unreported portion of the earnings.

    iii. For trafficking, the overpayment amount will be provided by the court or in a signed agreement.

b. When determining an overpayment amount, subtract any outstanding underpayment from an overpayment to get the net overpayment amount.
 

  1. Overpayment timeframes: For both AE and IHE overpayments, review 12 months from the date of awareness.
Example: Millie provides a change of circumstance form reporting new income on November 10, 2022. The form is processed on March 10, 2023 (4 months later). The lookback period spans the 12 months prior to awareness, back to March 2022.
Example: Deangelo is completing an eligibility review. TALX shows income exceeded 130% FPL starting 18 months ago that was not budgeted. This income ended and all income was properly budgeted during the 12-month lookback period. The current worker doesn’t need to pursue this overpayment as it ended prior to the 12-month lookback period.
  1. Overpayments discovered by QC Reviews:  If the department discovered an overpayment or ineligibility for benefits through the federal QC process we must set up an overpayment regardless of the amount. 
     
  2. Overpayments discovered outside the QC Review process: If we didn't discover the overpayment through the federal QC process, we set up an overpayment if:

    1.  The responsible household members still receive Basic Food or WASHCAP benefits and the overpayment is over $85; or

    2.  The overpayments total more than $125 and the responsible household members don’t receive Basic Food or WASHCAP.

    3. The thresholds remain the same when the overpayment will be referred as IPV.

NOTE: Overpayments discovered through internal audits, Management Evaluation reviews, or any payment accuracy initiatives aren’t considered as discovered through the federal QC process.
  1. OFR collects on established debts regardless of the amount.  The $85 and $125 thresholds related to QC findings apply to whether or not we establish an overpayment for Basic Food or WASHCAP. OFR collects on established overpayments regardless of the amount. This includes when we:

    1. Set up an overpayment for an AU who no longer receives Basic Food; or

    2. Modify an existing overpayment.

OFR is the point of contact for “compromising” (reducing) overpayment balances or making decisions on waiving overpayment collections. Clients must be referred to OFR for these requests.

  1. Trafficking claims are for the entire amount trafficked.
 NOTE: During the Public Health Emergency, Basic Food households were issued monthly emergency allotments in addition to the regular benefit allotment. Overpayments of the emergency allotments are established when the AU was totally ineligible for regular food assistance. In that situation, both the regular allotment and the emergency supplement are included in the overpayment, subject to the threshold amounts listed above.  

When overpaid but still eligible, the emergency supplement isn’t increased to make up the overpaid amount.

 


 

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-410-0033

  1. Repaying an overpayment:

    1. The Department collects from the client by reducing Basic Food benefits. Clients can also repay an overpayment by paying the OFR directly.

    2. The adults in the overpayment assistance unit share the responsibility for repaying an overpayment even if they later belong to different assistance units.

    3. We consider a person who receives Basic Food or WASHCAP benefits as having the ability to repay an overpayment.

  2. When can an overpayment be reduced:

    1. The CSO can reduce an overpayment debt only if the overpayment was incorrectly calculated for an amount larger than is actually owed.

    2. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) can order an overpayment debt waived or reduced to correct an overpayment that was calculated in error.  An ALJ doesn't have the authority to reduce or waive an overpayment based on hardship. 

    3. OFR can reduce an established overpayment:

A person responsible for an overpayment may be able to negotiate a reduction of the debt. OFR is the secretary's designee for the department under RCW 43.20A.110 and uses criteria under RCW 43.20B.030 to determine if an overpayment should be reduced or dismissed  as allowed under Title 7 CFR §273.18(c)(7)  

i. OFR OFR determines if a reduction of the debt would be cost effective for the department instead of continuing collections through other means.

ii. Normally, reducing the debt is cost effective only if the person is willing to pay the remaining debt off in full.

iii. People can contact OFR to negotiate a reduction in the overpayment by calling at 800-562-6114.

  1. OFR takes the necessary steps to collect the overpayment. This includes allotment reduction, installment payments, and lump sums, as well as other means of collection.

We don’t recover an existing overpayment from the first month's benefits of a newly-approved application for WASHCAP or Basic Food. We do recover an overpayment from the first month of an AU's certification period if we recertified the AU with no break in eligibility. How overpayments are collected:

 

NOTE: If we remove Basic Food benefits from a client's EBT account through the expungement process, OFR will reduce the client's overpayment by the amount we expunged from the client's EBT account.

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Cash and Food Assistance Underpayments

Revised July 27, 2012

WAC 388-410-0040 Cash and food assistance underpayments.


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-410-0040

Effect of Underpayments on Resources: The unspent amount of a cash assistance underpayment is not included in computing the value of a household's nonexempt resources in the month the underpayment is reimbursed or in the following month.

Date of Discovery for Department Errors: When the underpayment is discovered by the department, the date of discovery is the date we have adequate information to validate the household has an underpayment and determine the amount the household was underpaid.  It is not the date the department received information or verification.

EXAMPLE While processing an eligibility review on 1/01/12, the worker discovers that the household provided verification on 6/01/10 of a decrease in their direct support payments.  The date of discovery is 1/01/12.  The department can establish an underpayment for the 12 month period prior to 1/01/12.  The household can request an administrative hearing if they think the underpayment should be for more than the allowable 12 month period.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-410-0040

  1. Repay all underpayments that are not applied toward reducing an overpayment.
  2. Document in the ACES narrative, any request received, oral or written, from an assistance unit indicating a belief they were entitled to more benefits than were received.
  3. To restore unpaid food assistance benefits, determine the amount the household was eligible to receive during each month in which there was an error. Disregard any months in which the household was not certified except those months where benefits were lost due to an incorrect denial or termination.
  4. Restore food assistance benefits back to the date of application when a delay past the first 30 days is the fault of the department.
  5. Upon discovering an underpayment, check the history file to determine if an outstanding balance on an overpayment remains. If so, complete a notice to Office of Financial Recovery indicating the adjustment to the overpayment balance from a restoration of unpaid benefits.
  6. If a cash or food assistance underpayment is in excess of any overpayment or remaining overpayment balance, create a beg for the excess amount to the appropriate assistance unit.

Cash and Medical Assistance Overpayment Descriptions

Revised October 10, 2023

Purpose:

WAC 388-410-0001 What is a cash assistance overpayment?

WAC 388-410-0005 Cash assistance overpayment amount and liability


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-410-0001

1.      Intentional Overpayment: 

  1. The result of the client's willful knowing concealment of information or failure to reveal information resulting in an overpayment.

2.     Unintentional Overpayment: 

a.   An unintentional client error overpayment is based on the condition that although caused by the client, there was no intent to obtain or retain assistance for which the client knew they were not eligible.

b.   An unintentional department error overpayment is the direct result of omission, neglect, or error by the department in taking action on information affecting the amount of benefits for which a client is eligible.

c.   An unintentional technical error is an overpayment not directly caused by department error or client error. These types of overpayments are due to effective dates and procedural requirements. Following are examples of technical errors:

  1. Administrative Hearings:  Continued assistance pending a fair hearing results in an overpayment when the decision of the Department is upheld.  Continued assistance overpayments can't be established for more than 60 days' worth of benefits from the date the administrative hearing was requested.
  2. Ten-Day  Advance Notice:  When advance notice requirements for termination or a reduction in benefits results in a payment of benefits for which the client isn't eligible, the resulting one-time payment is an overpayment.

3.   Strikers:

Prior to July 1, 1999, an overpayment exists for any month in which a member of a TANF/SFA household is on strike on the last day of that month.  Starting with July 1999 benefits, there are no overpayments based solely on a member of the TANF/SFA assistance unit being on strike.

4.    Prospective Budgeting:

An overpayment exists when a client intentionally understates their estimated income for the first 2 months of eligibility.  See WAC 388-450-0215.

5.    When Someone Fails to Report a Change of Circumstances Required for Cash Only:

When someone doesn't report a change of 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.

If the person was not required to report a change for Basic Food or medical benefits, we do not set up an overpayment for these programs based on the unreported change. This is true even if we would have reduced benefits if the household reported the change.

EXAMPLE Julie, Spencer, and their two children receive TANF and Basic Food. They failed to report Spencer got a job Earning $900 monthly. Spencer received his first paycheck on August 25th. We discovered this information in November. 
TANF: The family was required to report getting a job for TANF. We determine the amount of TANF benefits the family was eligible for if they'd reported the change timely, by September 10th, and set up an overpayment for Julie and Spencer for October and November.
Basic Food:The new job didn't cause the family to go over the gross income limit for a family of four. Since they didn't have to report this change for Basic Food, we don't set up an overpayment. ABD cash grants that are subsequently duplicated by receipt of SSI benefits for the same period are considered an unintentional overpayment and are subject to recovery. See WAC 388-474-0020.
ABD​: Cash grants that are subsequently duplicated by receipt of SSI benefits for the same period are considered an unintentional overpayment and are subject to recovery. See WAC 388-474-0020.

6.    Diaper Related Payments (DRP):

DRP is not pro-rated and all overpayments will be for the full amount issued in the ineligible month(s). DRP will only have an overpayment if the assistance unit was completely ineligible for DRP (i.e., no child under 3 in the household and/or the assistance unit wasn’t eligible for TANF)

 

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-410-0001

  1. Don't establish an intentional overpayment when the overpayment is directly due to any omission, neglect, or error by the department unless:
    1. The client kept the assistance; and
    2. Knew or had reason to believe they weren't eligible for the assistance.
  2. Establish an intentional overpayment for funds that were authorized to replace lost, unendorsed warrants when it is later determined the claimed loss was false. See WAC 388-412-0035.

 Clarifying Information - WAC 388-410-0005

  1. All adult members of a cash assistance unit are responsible for overpayments incurred after January 1, 1982 provided they were members of the assistance unit at the time of the overpayment.

  2. The amount of an overpayment can be reduced by the amount of any unpaid underpayments in any period prior to the month in which the overpayment is computed.

  3. As of May 1, 2019 children will no longer be included when establishing an overpayment for cash.

  4. On child-only TANF cases, the overpayment is established for the adult receiving the grant.

EXAMPLE Oksana receives a non-needy TANF grant for her nephew Vyktor. Vyktor had been living with his dad but was placed by CPS in Oksana’s home. Dad had an overpayment that was being recouped at 10% from the grant he was receiving for himself and Vyktor. Once dad’s TANF grant closed, the overpayment was no longer being recouped and did not follow Vyktor to the non-needy grant that Oksana receives for Vyktor.
EXAMPLE: Kathy is receiving a non-needy TANF grant for Patty, her grandchild. On June 4, Patty moves back in with her mom. Kathy doesn’t report the change until her review on August 8. An overpayment would be established for Kathy for July and August as Kathy was required to report within five days of Patty moving out. Patty’s mom applies for TANF in October, the overpayment that was established for Kathy would not follow Patty.
  1. When a non-needy caretaker relative or guardian is assessed an overpayment for a child who isn't currently part of the assistance unit:

    1. We'll no longer recoup the overpayment by means of mandatory grant reduction.

    2. Alert the Office of Financial Recovery (OFR) when a caregiver is in this situation by sending an email to DSHS RE OFR Client Overpayment.  This email must include the:

      1. Caregivers name and client ID,

      2. Date of the original overpayment letter and

      3. Text explaining we must no longer recoup the overpayment from the cash grant.

    3. Once OFR learns about this change, they will stop the automatic deductions from the TANF grant and pursue other means of collection.

      EXAMPLE: Zack was receiving non-needy TANF for his grandson Thomas and an overpayment was established. Once Thomas left the household the grant was closed and the recoupment ended. The following year Zack applied for his other grandchild, Katy. Because the prior overpayment wasn’t related to an error in benefits for Katy, no reductions will be assessed to the non-needy TANF grant for Katy. Staff will alert OFR that Thomas is no longer part of the assistance unit. Two months later, Thomas returns to Zack’s home and is added to the non-needy TANF grant. Staff will alert OFR that the child is back in the home.  The prior overpayment would now be reduced from the grant.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-410-0005

Verification of Overpayment

  1. The department will attempt to verify all pertinent information when an overpayment has occurred.
  2. If the verification obtained is incomplete, the department will contact the recipient to obtain an explanation of the circumstances to clarify the overpayment.
  3. If the recipient fails to cooperate, the department will make an independent determination based on all available information and initiate recovery of the overpayment.
    1. If an employer does not respond to a request for a statement of earnings in a timely manner the department may file a Subpoena Request without a FRED or DFI referral.

Invalid Overpayment

  1. When the department determines that it has mistakenly charged an assistance unit with an overpayment, the department will cancel the overpayment account and credit any amount paid to any other outstanding debt obligation.
  2. The client will be notified of the error and of the amount credited to any existing debt obligation. If any balance remains from the amount paid by the client the department will refund the balance to the assistance unit.
  3. If the department determines that an assistance unit’s overpayment amount needs to be modified because of an error, the worker should refer to the ACES manual, Benefit Error Group (BEG) - Modify a BEG - Overpayment or Underpayment.

Establishing Overpayments

  1. Once an overpayment is verified, determine the assistance program involved in the cash, medical or food assistance overpayment. Determine the amount of the overpayment using the following criteria:
    1. Reconstruct eligibility in cases where the client failed to report information or where reported information was not acted upon.
    2. Consider the change as it would have been considered if reported and acted upon timely.
  2. If all criteria specified in WAC 388-410-0005 (3) (a)&(b) are met do not refer cases to Office of Financial Recovery.

Eligibility for Other Programs

  1. Financial Assistance:  Reduce the amount of an overpayment by the amount of cash assistance a client would have received if eligible for another cash program during the period of the overpayment.
  2. Medical Assistance:
    1. Redetermine eligibility for medical assistance beginning the first of the month in which ineligibility occurs.
    2. If the assistance unit was ineligible for any medical assistance, all medical expenses paid by the Health Care Authority (HCA) for the period of ineligibility are an overpayment.
    3. If the assistance unit was eligible for the Medically Needy Program the overpayment is:
      1. The amount the assistance unit would have been required to spend-down before medical expenses would have been paid for the overpayment period.
      2. The difference between those medical payments covered by the CN program and those covered by the MN program.
      3. Scope of care determinations are referred to HCA.
    4. If the assistance unit was eligible for the Psychiatric Indigent Inpatient Program (PII), the overpayment is:
      1. The amount paid by HCA up to the deductible; plus
      2. Any additional amount the assistance unit would have been required to spend down; plus
      3. The difference between medical payments covered by the CN program and those covered under the PII program.

Establishing Overpayments for vendors

  1. If it is determined that a vendor has been overpaid, an overpayment must be established.Overpayments for vendors are processed by the Office of Financial Recovery (OFR). 

    1. Staff will complete form DSHS 18-398A and email the form to OFR at vendorop@dshs.wa.gov.

    2. OFR will establish the overpayment in their system and mail a copy of the DSHS 18-398A to the vendor.


ACES Procedures

  • Benefit Error Group (BEG) - Confirm a BEG Overpayment
  • Benefit Error Group (BEG) - Modify a BEG –  Overpayment or Underpayment

Recovery Through Mandatory Grant Reductions

Revised March 25, 2011

WAC 388-410-0015 Recovery of cash assistance overpayments by mandatory grant deduction


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-410-0015

Grant Deductions

  1. A grant deduction is a specified dollar amount used to recover grant overpayments. If the amount is more than the mandatory deduction standard (10 per cent) for intentional grant overpayments, it must be agreed to by the client.
  2. Five percent mandatory deductions are used for unintentional grant overpayments
  3. A grant deduction to temporarily reduce the standard 5 or 10 per cent deduction can be used if an exception to policy due to hardship is approved.
  4. A grant deduction can be taken in addition to, or instead of, a 5 or 10 per cent deduction.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-410-0015

  1. If the recipient requests a fair hearing regarding the assessment of the overpayment or the monthly deduction of overpayment during the advance notice period, notify OFR to discontinue collection.
  2. Reimburse the client as soon as possible for any underpayment resulting from erroneous monthly deductions.

Repayments for Overpayments Prior to April 3, 1982

Revised March 25, 2011

Purpose:

WAC 388-410-0010 Repayment of grant overpayment occurring prior to April 3, 1982, and resulting from department error


 Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-410-0010

  1. If recovery of the overpayment is determined to be inequitable;
    1. Determine the months that the overpayment occurred, but do not compute the amount of the overpayment.
    2. Complete a DSHS 06-094(X), Overpayment Letter (Liability Waived), and notify the client.
    3. Document the reason for the decision in the narrative in ACES.
  2. If recovery of the overpayment is not determined to be inequitable:
    1. Follow normal overpayment recovery procedures; and
    2. Notify the client the reason the overpayment was not waived.
  3. Revoke the waiver and establish an overpayment if it is later determined the requirements specified in WAC 388-410-0010 (1) (a-e) were not met.

Benefit Issuances and Use of Benefits

Purpose:

This section describes how the department issues benefits, requirements to endorse warrants, how and when the department provides benefits, the allowable use of cash and food assistance benefits, and the replacement of benefits and Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards.

Use of Benefits - Benefit Issuances

Created on: 
Jun 09 2017

Revised November 21, 2023

Purpose:  

This section describes how the department issues benefits, requirements to endorse warrants, how and when the department provides benefits, the allowable use of cash and food assistance benefits, and the replacement of benefits. 

WAC 388-412-0046  What is the purpose of DSHS cash and food assistance benefits and how can I use my benefits?

WAC 388-460-0035  When is a protective payee assigned for mismanagement of funds?


Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-412-0046

1.    Use of Cash and Food Assistance Checklist

a.      Review the 'Your DSHS Cash or Food Benefits' form 14-520' with clients during the interview process at application and eligibility review to ensure that the household understands:

i.  The allowable use of DSHS benefits;

ii.  The illegal uses, including the purchase of marijuana and/or marijuana-based products with EBT cards or cash from the EBT cards; and

iii.  The penalties for illegal use of benefits.

b.    Request that the head of household or authorized representative sign the 14-520 and send the document as file only for the client's electronic case record (ECR).

If the client refuses to sign the form or fails to return the signed form, don't deny the application or terminate assistance.  Signing the form isn't a condition of eligibility.

2.    Referrals to the Office of Fraud and Accountability (OFA)

Refer allegations of reported misuse of cash or food assistance benefits to OFA utilizing the Barcode referral for FRED.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-460-0035

  1. A protective payee will be assigned when the Office of Fraud Accountability (OFA) determines that a customer has used their EBT cash assistance two or more times in a prohibited location.

When a worker receives the DSHS-FRED form from OFA identifying use in a prohibited location, review the ECR for prior offenses (document type FR)

  1. If there is a prior offense, a protective payee must be assigned. 

  2. The worker will:

    1. Notify Social Services Specialists through Barcode tickle to @SOC

  3. The Social Services Specialist will:

    1. Assign a protective payee (see Payees on Benefit Issuances - Protective Payees)

    2. Input a -COMM tickle to 900@FIN for input of protective payee information into ACES

  4. The worker who receives the tickle will:

    1. Input the Authorized Representative information under Contact Information in ACES 3G

 

 

 

Basic Food - Benefit Issuances

Revised March 25, 2011

Purpose:

WAC 388-412-0015 General information about your Basic Food allotments.


 Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-412-0015

Prorating Benefits

Subtract the date of application from 31 and divide the result by 30. Multiply the result by a full month benefit amount.Round down to the nearest dollar.

EXAMPLE The date of application is the 20th of the month. The assistance unit is eligible for $200 for a full month. 
31 - 20 = 11
11 ÷ 30 = .367
0.367 x $200 = $73.40
$73.40 = $73.00 (the prorated amount)

Cash Assistance - Benefit Issuances

Revised March 25, 2011

Purpose:

WAC 388-412-0005 General information about your cash benefits


ACES Procedures

  • Additional Requirements Emergent Need (AREN)
  • Diversion Cash Assistance

When and How Benefits are Delivered

Created on: 
May 04 2018

Revised May 10, 2023

WAC 388-412-0020 When do I get my benefits?

WAC 388-412-0025 How do I receive my benefits?


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-412-0025

NOTE: State and federal regulations don't allow cash or food benefits to be transferred to individuals who weren't a part of the AU. These benefits aren't part of the deceased recipient's estate. 

The Office of Accounting Services (OAS) holds funds from cash benefits issued to someone in the form of a state warrant (check). Warrants are stale-dated at the 180 days from issuance based on the statute of limitations.   

The DSHS Office of Financial Recovery automatically uses expunged Basic Food benefits to reduce a recipient's outstanding overpayment balance.

NOTE: See the EBT Training Manual for additional information on expunged benefits.

Normally we require the US Postal Service (USPS) to return DSHS mail if the post office knows that the client doesn't live at the residence. However, if a household requests USPS to hold their mail due to a temporary absence (i.e., vacation or hospital stay), the post office may hold mail that we send.

  1. Washington’s Quest Card:
    1. Most initial EBT cards and all Alternate Cardholder cards are issued over the counter by the local office.  Replacement cards can be issued over the counter at the request of the cardholder. When a customer reports their EBT card was “lost or stolen”, deactivate the current card immediately before authorizing a new one in Barcode for local office pickup, or using ACES.Online to mail a card. See EBT Manual 1.A.13.4 for how to immediately deactivate a customer’s EBT card in the EBT vendor’s system.
    2. Recipients requesting a replacement card or who are unable to come to the office for an initial card, receive their cards by mail through the EBT card vendor. Mailed cards could take seven to ten business days to arrive.
  2. Headquarters Replacements: In some circumstances replacement EBT cards must be issued and mailed by Headquarters staff. If the EBT vendor has the wrong address and/or the case is closed, please check to see if the case meets the criteria under “Headquarters Replacements” in the CSD Procedure Handbook.
    Note: EBT cards with raised numbers for blind or visually impaired recipients must be mailed by Headquarters.
  3. Suspending EBT benefits: If the department receives verified notification that the only member of a one-person household has been incarcerated over 30 days, suspend the EBT account. For processing instructions on suspension and reactivation of EBT accounts for justice involved recipients please see EBT Manual section 1.C.17 and 1.C.18.
  4. When EBT benefits can be canceled (Pending Voids): A "pending void" applies to a window of time between ACES deadline and when the funds become available to the recipient. You cannot void a partial amount except in one circumstance. Generally, the full issuance amount must be voided.
    1. To process a "pending void", the issuance must have occurred for the benefit month and the cash or Basic Food case has subsequently been closed for one of the following ACES reason codes:
      1. (244) (248) Head of household not eligible (Every individual has to be closed with reason code 244, causing the AU to be closed for reason code 248 before the pending void action applies).
      2. (557) AU request (Reason Code 557 voids all benefits if entered at the AU level or partial benefits at the recipient level).
      3. (210) (248) Failed residency requirements (Every individual has to be closed with reason code 210, causing the AU to be closed for reason code 248 before the pending void action applies).
  5. EBT benefits can be recovered from EBT account prior to be expunged:
    Benefits may be removed from an account when we discover that a client is deceased and there are no other eligible members.  If the client died prior to the issuance month for cash benefits, we attempt a pending void to get the benefits back.  If we cannot complete a pending void, follow instructions in the EBT manual under 4.8.A EBT Recovery Process to contact EBT headquarters staff using Barcode to remove the issuance month’s benefits.  The case is then closed in ACES (See ACES User Manual,  Close an Assistance Unit/Client, Manually Close an AU/Client).
  6. Canceled (expunged) benefits:
    Benefits in an EBT cash or food account that are canceled (expunged) if there is no withdrawal/debit from the account for 274 days.  Cash and Basic Food accounts age separately depending on the last withdrawal date from the specific account. A debit in one account does not update the inactive status of the other account.
    1. Replacing expunged benefits.
      1. Expunged cash benefits may be replaced to the head of household or any other remaining household member at any time. Follow instruction in the EBT manual under 410 Replacement of EBT Benefits to Clients.
      2. Expunged food benefits cannot be replaced.
    2. Replacement of warrants (checks):
      1. Recipients can have a stale-dated warrant replaced by contacting the local office or calling OAS at (360) 664- 5753.
      2. OAS holds funds from stale-dated warrants for two years. After two years, they send the funds to the Department of Revenue to hold until the payee claims these benefits.
      3. OAS does not replace any other type of benefit.
  7. Types of allotments:
    1. An initial allotment is the first allotment issued to an assistance unit during a month.
    2. A supplemental allotment is any allotment after the initial allotment in a month including an issuance of benefits for a past period that a recipient was eligible to get (restoration of lost benefits).  This does not include replacement of lost benefits.
  8. Drug and alcohol treatment center as alternate card holder:
    If a client receives Basic Food benefits while they are a resident of a qualified drug and alcohol treatment center under WAC 388-408-0040, the facility will be an alternate card holder even if the client does not sign to authorize them as an alternate card holder.

 

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-412-0025

Clients may have their cash assistance deposited directly into a checking or savings account by completing the Direct Deposit Enrollment - DSHS 14-432 and returning the completed form to the address on page 2 of the form, along with a pre-printed voided check, pre-printed deposit slip, or a printout from the financial institution, as this is required to complete the enrollment process.

A client who wants another person to have access to their benefits must authorize the person to be an alternate card holder.

NOTE: A Quest card for an alternate card holder can't be mailed.  The person must come into the CSO to pick up the card.  There isn't a mechanism in EBT card vendor's system to mail it.

If a responsible member of the AU cannot access the benefits for the AU because the head of household cannot complete and sign the Alternate Card Holder Authorization due to incapacity or other circumstances, document the circumstances in the case record and authorize the issuance of a Quest card for the responsible member as an alternate card holder.

If a recipient contacts you about wanting to stop receiving their benefits through EFT (Direct Deposit), you have two options to assist the client.  You may delete the banking information on the EFTR screen in ACES main-frame, or you may inform the client to call the toll free number at 1-888-235-2954.

Checks for cash benefits can be mailed to a Post Office box or the CSO when a payee meets WAC 388-412-0025(1)(c) and makes this request in writing.  If a recipient requests that checks be mailed to an address other than their residence address:

  1. Inactive accounts: If you receive an ACES alert that a recipient's EBT account has been inactive for 60 days contact the recipient to determine why they have not used their benefits.
    1. If they don't know how to use their EBT card, explain how to access their benefits;
    2. If they don’t need the benefits, ask the recipient if there is other income or resources available to them.
    3. Explain that if they don’t use their account for a period of 274 days the benefits in their EBT account are expunged.
    4. Inactive benefits are automatically expunged from the recipients' accounts after 274 days of nonuse.
  2. Direct deposit or Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT):  
    1. When recipient, or a financial institution, returns the completed form and corresponding documents to you, send the form and corresponding documents to the Tacoma HIU by:
      1. Forwarding the form and documents to MS (Mail Stop) N27-26; or
      2. Faxing this form to 1-888-338-7410.
    2. Provide the recipient with the toll free number to call if they have questions about EFT:  1-888-235-2954.
  3. Recipient chooses an alternate card holder:
    1. Explain to the recipient that an alternate card holder has access to all of the benefits in the recipient's EBT account (cash or food access only, if the client requests it);
    2. If the recipient wants to authorize another person to be an Alternate Card Holder, have the client complete and sign the DSHS 27-130, Alternate Card Holder Authorization; and
    3. When the form is returned, authorize the issuance of a Quest card for the alternate cardholder.
  4. Assigning an alternate card holder in special circumstances:  See EBT Manual 2.12.E.
  5. Recipient wants to end or change EFT:
    If a recipient wants to make a change to their EFT, provide them with the following phone number so they can have the change made: 1-888-235-2954.
    For details on Eligibility Worker procedures stopping/deleting EFT for active cash AUs, please refer to Chapter 10.8, section C (1) of the EBT Manual. For details on the procedures for written requests to EBT State HQ, please go to section C (2).
  6. Post Office Box for Warrants:
    1. Verify the recipient’s current living situation;
    2. Evaluate the recipient’s reasons for wanting the check mailed;
    3. Notify the recipient of the decision;
    4. Make the necessary changes in ACES, if approved;
    5. Notify the appropriate staff of the address change;
    6. Document the action taken; and
    7. Create an alert to review the situation at least once every six months.
  7. Combined issuance:
    Food benefits are issued at the same time for the month of application and the following month when a household applies on or after the 16th of the month.

ACES Procedures

See Issuances

Loss, Theft, Destruction or Non-Receipt of a Warrant to Clients or Vendors

Revised April 25, 2019

WAC 388-412-0035 Loss, theft, destruction or nonreceipt of a warrant issued to clients and vendors.


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-412-0035

  1. The department does not replace lost or stolen cash. Do not replace a warrant which was endorsed by the payee as this is considered to be the same as cash.
  2. Before replacing a warrant we must learn if it was redeemed. The Division of Finance and Financial Recovery (DFFR) can determine whether a warrant was endorsed and redeemed. If a warrant was redeemed but the client claims they have not received or endorsed the warrant, the worker will not replace the warrant and must notify the Office of Accounting Services (OAS).
  3. If a client makes numerous requests for replacement warrants staff must investigate the need for a protective payee and establish one if it is in the best interest of the client to do so.
  4. If the original warrant is redeemed by the state treasurer, the department takes the necessary action to collect repayment.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-412-0035

Reported loss:

  1. The worker:
    1. Gets all facts surrounding the report of loss;
    2. Explains to the client that in cases where the Office of Fraud and Accountability (OFA) determines that both the original and replacement warrants are endorsed by the client:  
      1. An intentional overpayment is established;
      2. The grant is reduced by ten percent each month until the overpayment is recouped; and
      3. They may be referred to the county prosecutor for criminal prosecution.
    3. Assesses the reported facts and make a judgment of the validity of the report using the following sources:
      1. The Registration and Control of Negotiable (RCN) program to determine if the warrant returned to the CSO; If it was not returned:
      2. Email the following information to DFFR at DSHS RE ESA SW DFFR AP/AR to determine if the warrant was redeemed.
        1. Warrant number;
        2. Date on the warrant;
        3. Amount of the warrant; and
        4. Payee name.
    4. Requires the payee to report the non-receipt or theft to the post office or police, as appropriate and documents how this was verified (such as a police report);
      1. Ask the payee to sign a DSHS 07-008(X) Affidavit of Lost, Stolen, or Destroyed Warrant. Follow the form’s instruction for distribution of the form to complete the cancellation.
    5. If the payee is on the phone, give them the option of having CSD mail them the form, or coming into the office to complete the form.
  2. If DFFR reports the warrant was not redeemed, the worker must take the following actions to replace the warrant, they:
    1. Cancel the warrant in the RCN system.  See RCN warrant cancellation in the Barcode manual.
    2. Forward the DSHS 07-008(X) to the assigned Office Support staff to cancel the warrant in the RCN system following the instructions on the form.
    3. Authorizes a replacement warrant within five working days from when the decision was made;
    4. Documents all actions taken in ACES 3G, and
    5. Informs the client using the general correspondence letter of the action taken.
  3. If DFFR reports the warrant was redeemed, the worker does not replace the warrant.  Follow instructions 1 and 2 below for Redeemed warrants and affidavits of forged endorsement and document all actions taken in ACES 3G.
NOTE: See the ACES User manual Replacement Benefit for Cash Case for instructions on how to process a warrant replacement.

Redeemed warrants and affidavits of forged endorsement:  If the department learns the original warrant that was replaced is redeemed, request a copy of the signed warrant from DFFR for the payee to examine.

  1. When the CSO receives this copy, the worker sends a general correspondence letter to the payee within 10 days asking the payee to come to the CSO to examine the signature.
  2. When the payee examines the signature and declares it is a forgery, the worker:
    1. Has the payee sign a DSHS 09-052(X), Affidavit of Forged Endorsement in the presence of a notary; and
    2. Sends the DSHS 09-052(X) with a copy of the DSHS 07-008(X) to OAS.
  3. If the payee declares the signature is theirs or does not respond, the worker:
    1. Determines if there was intent to commit fraud;
    2. Establishes an overpayment if the payee benefitted from both the original and replacement warrants; and
    3. Sends OFA an automated FRED referral through the Clients Electronic Case Record (ECR) if there was intent to commit fraud.
  4. If a vendor declares the signature is theirs, the worker:
    1. Completes the DSHS 18-398A and emails the Office of Financial Recovery (OFR) at vendorop@dshs.wa.gov to establish the vendor overpayment; and
    2. Contacts OFA at  ReportFraud@dshs.wa.gov  to determine if there was intent to commit fraud.  The email should include:
      1. The nature of the suspected fraud,
      2. The date of the suspected fraudulent activity,
      3. Names and contact information for the payee,
      4. Monetary impact and
      5. If the overpayment was initiated.

Office of Accounting Services

Central Operations, SOL Desk
PO Box 45845
MS:  45845
Olympia, WA  98405-5845

 

NOTE: The payee may have signed both warrants but the may not have realized that they did due to confusion or mental deficiency. If unsure of intent, establish the overpayment based on OFA's findings.
  1. If the payee is not sure if the signature is theirs, or they do not come into the office to examine the signature, the worker:
    1. Initiates a FRED referral though the Client's Electronic Case Record (ECR).
    2. If the payee is a vendor, contact OFA at ReportFraud@dshs.wa.gov  determine if there was intent to commit fraud.
    3. Takes the appropriate action based on OFA's findings;
    4. If they are in the office, has the payee sign the DSHS 09-052(X), when OFA determines that the payee did not redeem both warrants; and
    5. Sends the DSHS 09-052(X) to OAS..

Replacing Out-of-Date SSP Warrants

1. If a payee reports an out-of-date warrant, do not replace the warrant.

2. Ask the payee to sign a DSHS 07-008(X) Affidavit of Lost, Stolen, or Destroyed Warrant.
3. Send the notarized affidavit along with the warrant and a note asking to replace the warrant to OAS.  Follow the instructions on the form.

NOTE: CSD staff will only replace a warrant if that warrant was not endorsed by the payee and was not cashed.  If the warrant was endorsed by the payee, the warrant is not replaced.  If the original warrant was cashed or is out-of-date, the payee completes the DSHS 07-008 (X) and OAS will make a determination if the warrant will be replaced.

Requesting Copies of Warrants:

  1. To receive a copy of a warrant, email DFFR at DSHS RE ESA SW DFFR AP/AR and include the following information:
    1. Warrant number;
    2. Date on the warrant;Amount of warrant;
    3. Amount of warrant; and
    4. Payee Name.

 

Endorsing the Warrant

Revised March 25, 2011

Purpose:

WAC 388-412-0010  Endorsing the warrant.

Replacement

Replacement

Revised June 28, 2024

Purpose:

WAC 388-412-0040 Can I get my benefits replaced?


Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-412-0040

  1. When a client reports the loss of benefits from their EBT account:
    1. Review the client's EBT account to verify benefits were issued;
    2. Determine if we can replace this type of loss;
      1. Loss due to administrative error;
      2. Food purchase with Basic Food benefits destroyed in a household disaster or misfortune;
      3. Food destroyed in a federally declared disaster when the food was purchased with Basic Food benefits: (See DISASTER SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISANCE PROGRAM (D-SNAP)
      4. Food and cash benefits stolen via card skimming, card cloning and other similar fraudulent methods.
  2. Loss due to administrative error:
    1. ​​If the department makes an error that causes a loss of benefits to the client such as linking a Quest card to another client's account, we replace those lost benefits.
    2. Eligibility staff will initiate the replacement in Barcode.
    3. EBT staff will take the steps necessary to replace the benefits and can help identify who incorrectly used the benefits.
  3. Replacement of Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) for cash benefits:
    1. ​​When a client reports they didn’t get a deposit of cash benefits in an account, tell the client to call the Direct Deposit Input Unit at 1-888-235-2954.
    2. Do not take any further actions or replace the cash benefits unless the EFT Manager notifies you.
  4. Food destroyed in a household disaster or misfortune when the food was purchased with Basic Food benefits: 
    1. ​​A household disaster or misfortune includes events such as a house fire, long-term power outage (4 hours or greater), flood, other weather-related mishaps, refrigerator/freezer breakdown, or Public Service Power Shutoff (PSPS) caused by reasons beyond the client's control. 
      EXAMPLE 1: A wind storm caused the client to lose power for several days. Basic Food benefits can be replaced in this situation. 
      EXAMPLE 2: The client lost power for several days because they failed to pay their electricity bill. Basic Food benefits are not able to be replaced in this situation.
    2. Food replaced due to a household disaster or misfortune does not require the federal government to declare a portion of the state as a disaster area.
    3. When a client requests replacement of food that was destroyed in a household disaster or misfortune:
      1. Determine if the client reported the loss within 10 days of the household disaster;
      2. Verify the disaster or misfortune through a collateral contact such as the fire or police departments, utility companies, local media, the Red Cross, an insurance agent, or home visit;
      3. Replace the amount of food destroyed up to the amount of the household's monthly allotment. Use the client's statement when considering the amount of benefits to replace. If the client's statement is questionable, consider when the client received benefits, when the food was destroyed, and the day of the month of the disaster;
      4. Document the replacement in the narrative.
        1. Note:  We can only replace the value of the amount of food lost in a household disaster, up to the household's monthly allotment. ​We do not replace food benefits more than the amount:
          -  Lost in the household disaster; or
          -  Issued to the household
  5. Food and cash benefits stolen via card skimming, card cloning and other similar fraudulent methods:​ 

Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, which allows state agencies to use federal funds to replace SNAP benefits stolen between October 1, 2022, and September 30, 2024 via card skimming, card cloning, and other similar methods. Some provisions apply.

The department also received state funds to replace TANF, SFA, RCA, PWA and ABD cash benefits stolen July 1, 2024, or later via card skimming, card cloning, and other similar methods.

  1. Eligibility staff will deny a claim request in the following circumstances (EBT Headquarters will provide an explanation for denials that are not listed):
    1. The EBT card was given to someone else to use,
    2. The client withdrew the replacement request,
    3. The client stated the EBT card wasn’t in their possession when benefits were stolen via skimming, cloning or similar fraudulent activity,
    4. The claim of theft doesn’t fall into the allowable replacement timeframe,
    5. The report of theft was more than 30 days after the household discovered it,
    6. The submitted ‘DSHS Claim of Stolen EBT Benefits’ form was missing information that wasn’t received within 10 days the claim was filed, or
    7. Food only: The request for retroactive replacement of benefits stolen prior to August 23, 2023 was reported after October 22, 2023.
    8. Cash only: Funding for cash replacements has been exhausted or is no longer authorized.
  2.  Eligibility staff will forward completed claim forms to EBT headquarters (HQ) staff for validation when client circumstances do not meet the above criteria.
  3. EBT HQ will validate the claim and inform eligibility staff to either deny or issue replacements. EBT HQ staff will inform eligibility staff of the replacement amount via a tickle.
  4. Eligibility staff will issue replacements within 14 days of receiving the tickle from EBT HQ.
  5. When EBT benefits have been stolen via skimming, cloning or similar fraudulent activity: mark the cards as compromised and advise clients they must get a new pin before benefits can be replaced.  Victimized clients will need to establish a new PIN upon benefit replacement, and will be encouraged to replace their EBT cards to prevent future fraud.

 

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-412-0040

Benefits stolen via card skimming, card cloning and other similar fraudulent methods

  1. If food benefits were stolen on or after August 23, 2023 the head of household must submit the claim within 30 days of discovering the loss.
  2. If cash benefits were stolen on or after July 1, 2024, the head of household must submit the claim within 30 days of discovering the loss.
  3. An authorized representative can request replacements and complete the attestation or the DSHS Claim of Stolen Benefits form only when there is a power of attorney or legal guardianship on file.
  4. The head of household can submit a claim by completing an attestation over the phone or by completing the ‘DSHS Claim of Stolen EBT Benefits’ form.  For claims received via:
    1. Phone:
      1. Telephonic signatures are accepted for attestations received via inbound or outbound calls.
      2. To ensure reported information has been captured correctly; a ‘DSHS Claim of Stolen EBT Benefits Interactive Confirmation’ form will be sent after the attestation has been completed.
    2. In-person: After completion, offer the client a copy of their signed ‘DSHS Claim of Stolen EBT Benefits’ form.
    3. Electronic Case Record:  CSD eligibility staff will only process claims for CSD clients. See subsection 7 of this section for directions on HCS and DDA clients.
  5. If the client withdraws the request for replacement before the attestation is completed or before signing; then we won’t consider it a valid claim. The worker will document the interaction in the narrative.
  6. ‘DSHS Claim of Stolen EBT Benefits’ forms:
    1. Must be signed by the head of household.
    2. Can be submitted in person, by mail, fax, MyDocs or drop box.
    3. Will not be valid if information is missing that eligibility staff cannot verify. If information is missing from the form, the eligibility worker will attempt to obtain the information by calling the client and/or using barcode transaction history. If the information cannot be obtained, a general correspondence letter will be sent giving the client 10 days to provide the missing information.
    4. Previous versions of the DSHS Claim of Stolen EBT Benefits form must be accepted as long as the form is completed and signed.
  7. Home and Community Services (HCS) and Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) will process claims for their clients. HCS and DDA clients can submit a claim by contacting:
    1. Home and Community Services (HCS)
      1. Visit the local HCS office during normal business hours,
      2. Call the assigned Public Benefit Specialist
      3. Complete, sign, and return the DSHS Claim of Stolen EBT Benefits (DSHS 27-221) form by:
        1. Mail to P.O. Box 45826, Olympia, WA 98504 or
        2. Fax to 855-635-8305.
    2. Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA)
      1. Call DDA at 855-873-0642
      2. Complete, sign, and return the DSHS Claim of Stolen EBT Benefits (DSHS 27-221) form by:
        1. Mail to P.O. Box 45826 Olympia, WA 98504 or
        2. Fax to 855-635-8305.
  8. The Washington State Working Family Support – WFS is not eligible for replacement if stolen via skimming, cloning or another fraudulent method.
  9. The  following benefits are eligible for replacement if stolen via skimming, cloning or another fraudulent method:
    1. Basic Food
    2. Food Assistance Program (FAP)
    3. Transitional Food Assistance (TFA)
    4. Washington Combined Application Program (WASHCAP)
    5. Emergency Allotment due to COVID (EA)
    6. Disaster SNAP
    7. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) (Including Diaper Related Payments)
    8. State Family Assistance (SFA) (Including Diaper Related Payments)
    9. Pregnant Women Assistance (PWA)
    10. Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA)
    11. Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD) Cash Assistance
  10. Missing information from the ‘DSHS Claim of Stolen EBT Benefits’ form (DSHS 27-221) must be received within 10 days from the client’s report of stolen benefits; information provided after 10 days will be considered a new request.
  11. An attestation/claim form without the head of household’s signature is invalid and will not be considered as a request for replacement. If a signature from the head of household is missing, the department will contact the client.  The ‘date of request’ will be the date the department receives the signature.
  12. General Correspondence letters will be used to request missing information and inform clients about approvals and denials.
  13. Validation of claims and replacement amounts will be determined only by EBT Headquarters.
  14. Validation of claims will be completed within 14 calendar days of the date all required information is received. Replacement benefits will be issued within 14 calendar days of validation.
  15. There are no retroactive cash replacements for cash benefits stolen prior to July 1, 2024.
  16. Replacements will be the lesser of the amount stolen or the amount equal to two times the monthly allotment issued to the household immediately prior to the date benefits were stolen.
  17. If a theft occurs over the course of several transactions and several days, calculations for the amount of replacement benefits will be determined based on the date of the first occurrence of theft.
  18. Trafficked benefits aren’t eligible for replacement.
  19. Provisional Credits don’t fall under the category of stolen benefits. A provisional credit is a reimbursement to a client who has reported that their EBT account was charged incorrectly.  The reimbursement is issued by the EBT Vendor as a credit adjustment to the EBT account.
  20. Federal Law prohibits no more than two replacements during the current federal fiscal year. The current federal fiscal year is 10/1/2023 through 9/30/2024.
  21. State rule prohibits no more than two cash replacements during the current federal fiscal year. Food and cash replacement limits are tracked separately.

EXAMPLES: 

  1. Tommy’s sister Sandra is his authorized representative. Unbeknownst to Tommy, Sandra spends the entire allotment of food benefits for the month of July. Tommy isn’t eligible for replacement because Sandra is his authorized representative and has permission to use his EBT card. This situation doesn’t meet the definition of skimming, cloning, etc.
  2. A household receives $700 in Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP) benefits on August 3rd. They call the department to report cash benefits were stolen from their EBT card on August 15th. The household isn’t eligible for replacement because CEAP is not a cash program authorized for replacement.
  3. Maria lost her wallet on August 10th which included her EBT card. She contacted the department on August 14th to report the lost EBT card and received a replacement card that same day. She discovers $500 in food benefits are missing. She calls the department on August 15th to request replacement. A review of the case shows $500 was spent at a Walmart in Florida on August 11th. Maria isn’t eligible for replacement because the EBT card wasn’t in her possession at the time her benefits were stolen.
  4. Ji-hoon receives food and cash benefits. He reports his entire food and cash allotments for the month of August are missing. The department (EBT HQ) confirm the food and cash benefits were used in New York state via skimming, cloning or another fraudulent method. Ji-hoon is eligible to have his food and cash replaced for the month of August. 
  5. A household reports a loss of $100 on March 1st because of skimming. The last monthly allotment was issued on February 10th for $250 (two months of their last monthly allotment is equal to $500). The household would receive $100 in replacement benefits, as it is the lesser of the two. 
If the above household lost $600 on March 1st, they would receive a maximum of $500 in replacement benefits.
  1. A household receives their $200 monthly allotment on June 15th but realizes and reports on June 20th $250 in benefits were stolen in multiple transactions between June 17th and June 18th. In this situation, the June 15th allotment is the monthly allotment that took place immediately prior to June 17th, the first date of theft. The household would receive the reported $250 loss in replacement benefits, as it is less than twice the June allotment, which totals $400.
  2. Household receives their normal allotment of $200 issued on the 10th of each month.  Benefits totaling $300 are stolen through skimming on the 15th of the month.  The household would be eligible to receive $300 in replaced benefits as the actual amount stolen ($300) is less than 2 times the last monthly allotment issued ($400) immediately prior to the date when the benefits were stolen.
  3. Household receives their normal allotment of $200 issued on the 10th of each month.  Benefits totaling $500 are stolen through skimming on the 15th of the month.  The household would be eligible to receive $400 in replaced benefits as two times the last monthly allotment issued ($400) immediately prior to the date when the benefits were stolen is less than the actual amount stolen ($500).
  4. Household applied for benefits on May 17th and was approved for benefits on May 27th. Because the application was received after the 16th of the month, the household was issued prorated May benefits of $80 and their full June benefits of $120 on May 27th. The household has $140 in benefits stolen though skimming on June 15th.  The household would be eligible to receive $140 in replaced benefits as the actual amount stolen ($140) is less than 2 times the last monthly allotment issued ($240) immediately prior to the date when the benefits were stolen.
  5. On July 15th, the household received their regular allotment of $60 and an emergency supplement of $370 to bring the household up to the two-person maximum of $430. Benefits totaling $400 are stolen through skimming on July 20th. The household would be eligible to receive $400 in replaced benefits as the actual amount stolen ($400) is less than two times the last monthly allotment issued ($860) immediately prior to the date when the benefits were stolen.
    Same situation as above except benefits totaling $900 are stolen through skimming on July 20th. The household would be eligible to have $860 replaced as two times the last monthly allotment issued ($860) immediately prior to the date when the benefits were stolen is less than the actual amount stolen ($900).

ACES Procedures

  • Issuances -  Replacement / Reissuance

 

 

Returning a Warrant

Revised March 25, 2011

Purpose:

WAC 388-412-0030  Returning a warrant.

Categorical Eligibility for Basic Food

Created on: 
Apr 01 2019

Revised April 1, 2024

Purpose:

This section explains which Basic Food assistance units (AUs) do not have to meet all of the eligibility requirements for Basic Food.

WAC 388-414-0001 Do I have to meet all eligibility requirements for Basic Food?


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-414-0001

200 percent of Federal Poverty (FPL) based on Federal Poverty Guidelines published January 2024.

April 1, 2024 – March 31, 2025

Persons in AU

200 percent FPL

Persons in AU

200 percent FPL

1

$2,510

6

$6,993

2

$3,407

7

$7,890

3

$4,303

8

$8,787

4

$5,200

9

$9,683

5

$6,097

10

$10,580

Add $897 for each person over 10 AU members. 

NOTE: Categorical Eligibility (CE) eliminates resource requirements, the gross income test, and net income test for AUs with countable income up to 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. If an AU has income up to this limit, we don't need to look at income limits or resources for Basic Food unless the AU can’t be CE because:
  • A member of the AU is disqualified from Basic Food for an Intentional Program Violation (IPV);
  • The AU is disqualified from Basic Food for a substantial lottery or gambling win equal to or over the amount in WAC 388-470-0005(8)(a); or
  • The Head of Household is disqualified for not meeting Basic Food work requirements.​
NOTE: As stated in WAC 388-412-0015, if the monthly benefits of a one or two-person assistance unit are less than the minimum benefit because we are prorating the benefits for the month of application, the AU won't receive the minimum benefit for this initial month. 

An AU that is CE doesn’t automatically receive Basic Food benefits. If the AU is ineligible for a reason other than income or resources, CE status doesn't make them eligible for benefits. Examples of eligibility requirements not met by CE include:

  1. CE doesn't meet all eligibility requirements for Basic Food if the: 
    1. AU is ineligible based on Striker requirements under WAC 388-480-0001
    2. AU is disqualified for transferring countable resources based on Transfer of Property requirements under WAC 388-488-0010;
    3. AU is disqualified for a substantial lottery or gambling win equal to or over the amount in WAC 388-470-0005(8)(a).
    4. A member of the AU is disqualified from Basic Food for an Intentional Program Violation (IPV); or
    5. The Head of Household is disqualified for not meeting Basic Food work requirements.
  2. CE based on gross countable income:
    1. AUs with countable income up to 200% of the federal poverty guidelines are eligible to use the department’s Washington Connection website. This website provides information about our programs as well as referrals to resources in the community.
    2. This web-based information and referral service is partly funded with TANF and TANF Maintenance of Effort (MOE) funds. Because of this funding, we are able to use this service to make AUs categorically eligible for Basic Food if they have countable income at or under 200%.
    3. The department notifies clients of the ability to access this website and its referral services through a text block on their approval letter for Basic Food.
  3. Reporting requirements for CE households:
    Households must report when:
    1. Their gross monthly income is more than 130% of federal poverty based on the number of people in the household when the household was last certified / recertified;
    2. A member of the household has a lottery or gambling win equal to or over the amount in WAC 388-470-0005(8)(a); or
    3. When a member of the household who must meet work requirements under WAC 388-444-0030 has their hours at work go below twenty hours per week.
  4. CE based on receiving other benefits from other department programs:
    1. Households may still be CE if everyone in the assistance unit receives TANF/SFA, Tribal TANF, or if all Basic Food AU members receive Aged, Blind, Disabled (ABD) or Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) referral, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or a combination of the three.  Additionally, receiving Diversion Cash Assistance (DCA) makes a household CE for the month the AU receives the payment and the following three months.
    2. A household disqualified due to a lottery or gambling win remains ineligible for CE regardless of the other programs all members receive upon reapplication.
  5. CE and minimum monthly benefit for one and two-person households:
    All eligible one and two-person assistance units will receive at least the minimum monthly benefit as described under WAC 388-412-0015.  This includes one and two-person AUs with income up to 200% of the poverty guidelines whose monthly benefits would calculate to zero.
  6. Residency:
    Households that are CE have residency requirements deemed if residency verification is available from another program (TANF, SSI, ABD cash, etc.). This doesn't mean that if a household moves out of the state that it will continue to be eligible for Washington Basic Food benefits.
  7. Social Security Numbers and Sponsored Alien Information:
    1. CE households aren't generally required to provide Social Security Numbers (SSN) or sponsored alien information. However, we must verify information necessary for the benefit determination if it isn't captured in another program.
    2. If the household is CE based on gross income only, and:
    • the information isn't otherwise available; we will need to obtain the SSN.
    • If we haven't previously verified the sponsored alien information; we must obtain the information if required under WAC 388-450-0155.
  8. How to treat the Resources of an ineligible member of a CE Assistance Unit: 
    If an AU is CE for Basic Food, but a member is ineligible for benefits, the resources of the ineligible member doesn't affect the AU’s eligibility for Basic Food.
  9. How to treat the income of an ineligible member of a CE Assistance Unit: 
    To determine if the AU is CE based on having income at or under 200% of the federal poverty guidelines, we count a portion of the ineligible member’s income to the AU as required under WAC 388-450-0140. We then compare the AU’s gross income to the 200% standard based on the number of eligible AU members to determine if the AU is categorically eligible.

EXAMPLE: Basic Food AU consists of four eligible members and one member who is ineligible based on their undocumented status. The AU isn't CE based on receipt of TANF/SFA, DCA, SSI, or ABD benefits. The three eligible members of the AU have $4000 monthly earnings; the fourth is a child. The ineligible member has $1000 countable monthly income. Determine if the AU is CE as follows:

              $750 Prorated share (¾ of $1,000) of countable income from ineligible member under WAC 388-450-0140

      +      $4000 Gross countable income of eligible AU members

      =      $4,750 Income used to determine if AU meets 200% test.

Because the gross countable income of $4,750 isn’t over 200% of the federal poverty guidelines for three eligible AU members, the AU is CE for Basic Food.

 

Certification Periods

Revised September 26, 2013

Purpose: 

This category contains two sections which address the length of certification periods.

 

Certification Periods - Basic Food

Revised January 31, 2024

Purpose: 

This section explains: What a certification period is for Basic Food, the longest certification period allowed based on their assistance unit's (AUs) situation, and when ACES sets a certification period to match the review end date of other programs.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-416-0005 

  1. How long is Basic Food Certified?
    Basic Food is certified for up to 12 months unless:
    • The client is receiving WASHCAP or ESAP with 36 month certifications, or
    • The certification period is extended to allow for Transitional Food Assistance (TFA).
  1. Start date of a certification period:
    Certification periods begin according to WAC 388-406-0055, even if initial benefits for the first month prorate to zero.
EXAMPLE David applies for Basic Food on October 31, 2023, and is eligible for $4. David doesn't receive benefits for October because his benefits in the first month are less than $23. His 12-month certification period starts October 31, 2023, and ends on September 30, 2024.
  1. Certification period defaults:
    ACES sets certification periods based AU circumstances and other benefits the household receives. The table below shows the certification periods set by the system if not matching a review period to another program.

AU Circumstances / Other Programs

Default Certification

All non-WASHCAP or non-ESAP Basic Food AUs

12 months

WASHCAP or ESAP

36 months

Transitional Food Assistance 

5 months

ESAP eligibility may only be determined at application and recertification. ACES is programmed with the ESAP requirements and will change a Basic Food Certification to ESAP when the assistance unit qualifies. See: Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP)

 

  1. Matching cash review periods and Basic Food certification periods:
    When possible, ACES will automatically match the cash review periods and Basic Food certification periods to minimize the number of reviews as described below:
    1. Basic Food approved first:
      • If there are at least six months left in the Basic Food certification period, ACES sets the mid-certification review and eligibility review end dates for the new cash benefit to match dates for Basic Food.
      • If there are less than six months left in the Basic Food certification period, the system will not change the certification period end date for Basic Food. ACES sets a 12-month review period with the mid-certification review due at six months for the new cash benefit.
NOTE: When the system doesn't automatically match the mid-certification review and review end dates because there are less than six months in the certification period, staff can match these dates by initiating a review for Basic Food.
  • If we don't initiate a review to manually match the certification / review periods, these mid-certification reviews and eligibility review periods will not match and will result in the household receiving more than one mid-certification review.
  • The system initiates a review for associated cases at the next ER or recertification. When we complete the review, the end dates and mid-certification review due date will match.
  1. Cash approved first:
    • ACES extends the current cash / medical review periods to match the certification period end date for Basic Food.
    • ACES sends the mid-certification review for all programs that require a report in month five of the certification/review period. This mid-certification review is due in month six.
EXAMPLE: The Adams family receives TANF benefits only. TANF review period expires in February. In January, they apply for Basic Food benefits. The Basic Food case will be assigned a certification period of January through December. ACES will adjust both the TANF review period and mid-certification review due date to match the newly opened Basic Food benefits.

For changes related to ESAP cases, See: Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP)

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-416-0005 

  1. Close Basic Food benefits when:
    1. When you have proof of a change that make an AU ineligible; or
    2. You receive information that suggests that the household may be ineligible; and
    3. The household doesn’t clarify their circumstances.
EXAMPLE: You receive a call from an anonymous source reporting Stan is working and has income over the gross income standard. Send Stan a written request for proof of his income or to deny the claim that he is employed. If Stan doesn't respond within ten days, close his case with advance and adequate notice.
EXAMPLE: Dee calls to report that she is working. The income she reports is over the net income limit for TANF but is just short of the income limit for Basic Food. Dee's TANF terminated while she was in sanction for failing to cooperate with DCS. The household isn't eligible for TFA. Because we don't know Dee's eligibility for Basic Food, adjust the income in ACES to close TANF and ask for proof of her income to decide if she is still eligible for Basic Food. If the proof shows that Dee is over income for Basic Food, close the case with advance and adequate notice.
  1. See Eligibility Reviews/Recertifications - Requirements for Food, Cash, and Medical Programs to process Basic Food benefits after certification period has ended.

ACES Procedures

  • Certification Periods

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 July 1, 2024

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 doesn't 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 isn't 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: Jamie receives Basic Food benefits. At application Jamie reported only child support income which was verified by the department. One month after her application, the noncustodial parent Gabriel reports that Jamie is working full time at the Sky Valley Medical Clinic making $30 per hour. This income would put the household over the reporting requirement of 130% of the FPL. The worker is unable to contact the employer and sends a request letter to Jamie.
  • 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 isn't required to report.
EXAMPLE: Omar receives Basic Food benefits. His neighbor Manuel calls and reports Omar moved to Virginia. The worker correctly determines Omar doesn't need to report this information. The worker holds the information until Omar's upcoming Mid-Certification Review.
EXAMPLE: Rio receives TANF and Basic Food benefits. Her neighbor, Kennedy, calls and reports that Rio moved to Nevada. Although she isn't 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 Rio'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: Jesus receives basic food and was certified with no income at application. A month and a half after application CSD receives a NDNH tickle showing current income in Oregon. The income wasn't addressed at certification and is therefore conflicting information which must be addressed even if Jesus didn't go over the 130% of the FPL reporting requirement. The worker cannot verify the income in cross-matches and sends Jesus a request for information letter.

Example of information that conflicts with, but doesn't 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 isn't 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: 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 isn't 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 client wasn't required to report the move , 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 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 requests verification of this change as "questionable" because the total shelter costs ($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. Don't 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 it's the month of an ER or MCR, don't 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. 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
      2. 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 take no action. Verify new shelter expenses at the next review or MCR, whichever comes first.
NOTE: Do not use a "Request for Information" letter as that letter type requires a Basic Food AU closure if the client doesn't 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 December

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. $450 (benefit amount) divided by 30 (number of days in the month) = $15
  2. $15 x 21 (number of days left in the month, counting date of discharge) = $315
  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) = $11.61
  5. $315 + $11.61 = $326.61 which rounds up to $327
  6. $327 – 38.84 = $288.16 (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. $450 divided by 31 = $14.52
  2. $14.52 x 19 days left in the month = $275.88
  3. $38.84 divided by 31 = $1.25
  4. $1.25 x 12 days in facility = $15.03
  5. $275.88 + 15.03 = $290.91 rounded up to $291
  6. 291 - 38.84 = $252.16 (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
   

 

 

Chemical Dependency Treatment

Purpose:

To describe the services available to assist clients who are chemically dependent or abusing alcohol or drugs. This topic also describes the process for access to chemical dependency treatment for people who are on other public assistance programs and for those who are not eligible for any public assistance program.

Chemical Dependency Treatment - TOC

TABLE OF CONTENTS - Chemical Dependency Treatment

Access to Substance Use Treatment

Purpose:

To provide information to CSD staff when contacted by people who want substance use treatment services.

Clarifying Information

  1. Health Care Authority (HCA) provides funding and oversight for substance use treatment services for people enrolled in Apple Health (Medicaid). HCA provides behavioral health and recovery services including alcohol use treatment, medication assisted treatment, and opioid use treatment.
  2. Information about agencies contracted to provide substance use treatment services can be obtained by calling the Washington Recovery Help Line at 1-866-789-1511.

Chemical Dependency Treatment and SSI

Purpose:

This section describes the chemical dependency treatment services available to Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries.

Clarifying Information

  1. The Social Security Administration (SSA) suspends benefits when an SSI beneficiary is placed in a "public institution" for more than 30 days.  SSA terminates benefits when a beneficiary resides in an institution for more than 12 months.
  2. DBHR contracted residential treatment facilities are not considered “public institutions.”

Worker Responsibilities

When an SSI beneficiary is placed in a DBHR contracted residential chemical dependency treatment facility, see Chemical Dependency Treatment and Food Assistance to determine effect on eligibility.  The client's SSI income is considered in determining eligibility for Food Assistance.

Chemical Dependency Treatment via ALTSA and Food Assistance

Purpose:

This section explains the availability of food assistance for an individual eligible for ALTSA Treatment Services.

WAC 388-420-010 Alcohol and drug treatment centers.


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-420-010

  1. The facility chooses the designated employee to act as the authorized representative. 
  2. See WAC 388-460-0010  for an explanation of what the facility must give residents (related to food assistance) when they leave the facility.
  3. The CSO has a list of state-certified non-profit treatment centers. Residents in these facilities may be eligible for food assistance.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-420-010

    ALTSA Treatment

  1. Maintain the case record in the originating office when placement is made outside of the catchment area.
  2. Consider the client's income as income.
  3. Consider the payment to the treatment facility as a vendor payment. Do not consider it as income to the client.
  4. Certify persons in outpatient treatment based on their living arrangements.

NON-ALTSA Clients

Clients placed in a chemical dependency treatment facility but not in an ALTSA contracted treatment bed may be eligible to receive food assistance. For example, a person receiving involuntary treatment or a pregnant woman receiving treatment.


ACES Procedures

See  Authorized Representative

Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting

Revised July 25, 2017

Purpose: 

This section lists the procedures on how to report suspected child abuse, neglect, or the rape of a child. For purposes of this section, “Abuse and neglect” of children means the injury, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, negligent treatment, or maltreatment of a child by any person under circumstances which indicate that the child’s health, welfare, and safety is harmed. The laws addressing child abuse and neglect are codified in RCW RCW 26.44.020(12) and RCW 26.44.030(1(d). The laws addressing child rape are codified in RCW 9A.44.073-079.

A. DO I HAVE TO REPORT SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT TO CPS?

State law requires all DSHS employees to report to Child Protective Services (CPS) the suspected abuse or neglect of a child under the age of 18 whenever there is reasonable cause to believe abuse or neglect exists.

Clarifying Information

The term “reasonable cause” means that if we observe or learn that a child has been abused or neglected, then we must report the incident to CPS.  We must report suspected abuse or neglect even if there is no proof that an incident occurred.  The gender or sexual orientation of the parties involved does not matter. We are not required to tell the minor or adult about the report.

Examples of abuse or neglect include:

  1. Physical abuse (e.g. unexplained bruises or cuts or repeated untreated injuries)
  2. Sexual abuse or exploitation (e.g. online pedophiles or child prostitution)
  3. Negligent treatment (e.g. appears malnourished, unclean, or refuses to get needed medical care)
  4. Emotional or mental health issues (e.g. appears depressed, agitated, or nonresponsive)
  5. Suspected Prenatal Substance Abuse (e.g. drug or alcohol abuse)
  6. Child tells us they have been abused or neglected.
NOTE:  All DSHS employees are Mandatory Reporters, meaning that by law we are required to report suspected child abuse, neglect, and child rape. Mandatory Reporters may provide information to CPS and law enforcement when reporting abuse or neglect that would otherwise be confidential.  Persons who report in good faith have immunity from liability, while those who fail to report or make a bad faith report may be charged with a gross misdemeanor under RCW 26.44.080.

Worker Responsibilities

Always report suspected abuse at the first opportunity, but no later than 48 hours after you decide reasonable cause exists that an incident occurred.  Report the abuse to CPS at 1-800-562-5624. Document in the case file that a report to CPS was made.

NOTE:  For all cases involving child abuse, neglect, or rape, do not delay authorizing medical or financial assistance to an eligible household or completing a teen living assessment for a pregnant or parenting minor applying for TANF.  Refer all pregnant clients to First Steps (Social Services Manual)

 

B. DO I HAVE TO REPORT SUSPECTED CHILD RAPE TO LAW ENFORCEMENT?

  1. State law requires all DSHS employees to report suspected child rape to law enforcement.  We often become aware of child rape when working with a pregnant or parenting female under the age of 16.  For this reason, the definitions below refer to the age of “the father” of the minor’s child.  However, the requirement to report is not limited to female pregnant or parenting minors under age 16, or only to child rape that results in pregnancy.
  2. There are three degrees of child rape (as defined in RCW 9A.44.073-079). The age of the minor refers to the age at the time of conception, and “father” refers to the father of the minor’s child.  Report child rape to law enforcement when the child is a pregnant or parenting minor and at the time of conception the child was:
    1. Less than 12 years of age when the father of the minor’s child was at least 24 months older;
    2. At least 12 years of age but less than 14 when the father of the minor’s child is 36 months older; or
    3. At least 14 years of age but less than 16 when the father of the minor’s child is at least 48 months older and is not married to the minor.
  3. When we report suspected child rape to law enforcement, the report must include the following, if known:
    1. The child’s name, address, and age;
    2. The name and address of the child’s parent, stepparents, guardians, or other persons having custody of the child;
    3.  Information about injuries, neglect, or sexual abuse; and
    4. The identity of the alleged perpetrator.

Clarifying Information

A report of child rape to law enforcement can be made only when the department knows the age of the alleged perpetrator.  We do not have to ask the age of the alleged father.  However, if the age of the father is known and it meets one of the child rape conditions above, a report of suspected child rape must be made to the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction where the minor lives (either city police or county sheriff).

The gender or sexual orientation of the parties involved does not matter.   If the incident meets the child rape criteria above, we must report it to the appropriate law enforcement agency (e.g. city policy or county sheriff). 

Worker Responsibilities

An oral report can be made, but a written report must be sent upon request by the law enforcement agency. To find a law enforcement agency, click on: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_law_enforcement_agencies_in_Washington

Also, report to CPS at 1-800-562-5624 if abuse or neglect is a factor. There may be situations in which reports to both law enforcement for child rape and CPS for abuse or neglect are made.

Child Support

Revised June 6, 2022

Purpose:

This chapter provides information and instructions on the assignment of support rights to the State. It includes the requirement to cooperate with the Division of Child Support (DCS) as a condition of eligibility for TANF and SFA.

WAC 388-422-0005 What happens to my child and spousal support when I get public assistance?

WAC 388-422-0010 Do I have to cooperate with the division of child support (DCS)?

WAC 388-422-0020 What if you are afraid that cooperating with the division of child support (DCS) may be dangerous for you or the child in your care?

WAC 388-422-0030 What happens if my support is more than my TANF or SFA cash benefit?


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-422-0005

Child Support Requirements

  1. A parent/caregiver assigns all rights to support, including child support, child care, and spousal maintenance for each person applying for or getting TANF/SFA.
  2. Effective February 1, 2021, TANF households are eligible to receive child support pass-through up to $50 each month for households that include one child, and up to $100 for households with two or more children.  The amount of pass-through will not be more than what DCS collects during the month.
  3. A parent/caregiver incurs a debt with DCS if they retain support payments, except for pass-through, received after the assignment to DCS.
  4. DCS establishes and enforces child support and medical support on a case when a child receives TANF or SFA, unless the department grants good cause not to cooperate. A parent/caregiver whose child receives TANF or SFA doesn’t have the option to request DCS taking only partial action on their case. 

Note: In some cases child support arrears “past due support” is not assigned to the state and is forwarded to the custodial parent while on TANF.  Budget child support arrears income received by the custodial parent as unearned income “DP”.  

 

Note: Effective February 1, 2021 Pass-through payments do not affect TANF/SFA grants.  However, these payments must be budgeted for Basic Food.  Workers must use SEMS for each active child support case to anticipate child support amounts.  The SEMS Disbursement History (DH) screen shows the amount disbursed and passed through to the custodial parent/caregiver and the Case History (CH) screen shows how the payment is applied for current and arrears support.  Using the CP valid value will budget this income correctly for Basic food and exempt it for TANF.    

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-422-0005

How do I complete child support referrals? 

  1. Enter Non-Custodial parent (NCP) information for TANF and SFA applications in ACES on the Non-Custodial Parent Screen (NCP). The ACES Manual provides information about completing the NCP page and processing the case in ACES.
  2. Collect and enter as much information as possible on the NCP page so the system can generate the Division of Child Support (DCS) referral (SEMS Quick Referral) for DCS to establish paternity or collect support. 
  3. In SEMS, choose the Quick Cash (QC) option from the drop down menu to check for child support income, send comments to DCS when screening parent/caregivers for child support income or payments. 
  4. Notify DCS if a parent/caregiver receives a support payment from any party other than DCS after assignment is complete.
  5. Treat support payments received by the parent/caregiver prior to assignment as unearned income. 
Note: See Treatment of Income Chart and Child Support Matrix for details on how to treat and code child support income.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-422-0010

Cooperation

  1. Explain to the parent/caregiver that they have assigned the support rights for each child applying for or getting TANF / SFA by signing the application, and  unless a Social Service Specialist (SSS) determines that good cause for noncooperation exists, they must cooperate with DCS. DCS provides full support enforcement services which may include enforcement of the noncustodial parent's (NCP) obligation to provide health insurance and contribute his/her share of uninsured medical expenses for the child(ren). DCS also enforces existing orders for spousal maintenance owed to the parent/caregiver.
  2. At the interview, have the parent or caregiver relative complete a DSHS 18-334Your Options for Child Support Collection while receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) on each Non-Custodial parent (NCP) of each child in the TANF/SFA assistance unit, indicating whether or not cooperating with DCS may be dangerous for the applicant or the child. During the interview, code each NCP page and document for each NCP whether the custodial parent (CP) or caregiver states that it is safe for DCS to collect or asks that we determine good cause for noncooperation.
    1. For phone interviews, give the parent or caregiver the following options to access the DSHS 18-334:
      1. Receive a copy of the 18-334 by mail.  If the applicant picks this option, mail a General Correspondence Letter (0050-01) with the 18-334(s) and request the parent/caregiver complete, sign and return the 18-334(s), or
      2. Availability to access the 18-334 form online. If the applicant picks this option, explain how to access the 18-334 and options for returning it.  See the CSD Procedure Handbook for additional information. 
    2. Don’t pend the TANF application for the 18-334(s).
  3. Both parents in a two-parent household must help DCS establish paternity for each child in the assistance unit.
  4. For unmarried, two-parent TANF applicants where the father isn't named on the child's birth certificate, give the mother and alleged father the pamphlet titled, "Establishing Parentage for Your Child's Sake...  What Every Parent Should Know", DSHS 22-586(X). Encourage them to sign a notarized Acknowledgement of Parentage DOH 422-159 in the CSO. If the parents choose not to sign the Paternity Acknowledgement, explain to them that the father will be referred to DCS for paternity establishment and both are required to cooperate with DCS unless good cause exists.
  5. There is no requirement for the parent/caregiver to cooperate with DCS when they claimed good cause verbally or in writing and the department's decision is pending.  For more information on how to process a case when a custodial parent requests good cause after a non-cooperation sanction has been entered, see worker responsibilities 9.
  6. Whenever possible, the SSS interviews the parent/caregiver on the same day the Good Cause claim is received.
  7. If a parent/caretaker claims good cause at a phone interview, immediately refer the good cause claim to the SSS without waiting for the returned 18-334(s). The SSS schedules an interview as soon as possible, but no later than 20 days from the good cause claim.  For more information, see the good cause section below and the Social Services Manual - Good Cause.
  8. DCS determines when a parent/caregiver isn’t cooperating with DCS as required and notifies the CSO what the parent/caregiver must do to be considered “cooperating with DCS”.  When DCS sends a notice letting us know the parent/caregiver is in non-cooperation, and no good cause is claimed, place the family in 25% non-cooperation sanction.  See the ACES User manual - Division of Child Support (DCS) Sanction. 
  9. DCS also determines when a parent/care giver resumes cooperation and notifies the CSO. Lift imposed 25% non-cooperation sanctions effective the date that DCS declares is the date the parent/caregiver began cooperating.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-422-0020

Good Cause

See instructions for explaining assignment of child support rights and completing the 18-334(s) in the Clarifying Information, Cooperation section above.

  1. When the CP applying for or receiving TANF/SFA states it isn’t safe for DCS to provide full collection services (which may include collection of medical support), this is a request for a good cause determination.

  2. Send a General Correspondence letter with instructions to complete and return the DSHS 18-334.  Also let the parent or caregiver know they can access the DSHS 18-334 online. If a parent/caregiver already receiving TANF/SFA requests good cause over the telephone or in writing, do a referral to the SSS for the good cause determination while you wait for receipt of the form.

  3. When a parent/caregiver requests good cause, enter an "N" in the IV-D cooperation field, a “Y” in the good cause indicator field, the appropriate code in the reason field, and a “CP” (claim pending) in the status field on the NCP page of the NCP that the CP (custodial parent) states may cause harm.

  4. After entering the NCP page information, refer the parent/caregiver to the SSS who makes the good cause determination. Refer the good cause claim to the SSS immediately following the phone interview if the parent/caregiver claims good cause without waiting for the returned 18-334(s).

  5. The SSS must complete the good cause determination even if the parent/caregiver terminates TANF/SFA during the good cause determination process.

  6. The supervisor approves the DSHS 18-444(X) - Good Cause Decision by checking the 'reviewed by Supervisor' box in the Barcode Good Cause system.This is a requirement before generating the decision letter.

  7. Replace the “CP” (claim pending) coding with the appropriate code when the SSS approves or denies good cause.

  8. Begin the good cause process as detailed above if a parent/caregiver begins to cooperate with DCS and then requests good cause. Change the reason and status fields to the appropriate code when the determination is pending and again after approval or denial.

  9. When a custodial parent requests good cause after a 25% DCS non-cooperation sanction has been entered, begin the good cause process as detailed above. Instead of coding “CP” (claim pending) enter a “NS” (Pending Non-Cooperation) in the status field. DCS is notified that the client has claimed good cause and they put a hold on the collection process for 30 days. DCS sends a Cooperation Notice, and staff must follow the lifting DCS non-cooperation sanction process.

  10. The system notifies DCS in the overnight batch process (e-Referral) when the NCP page changes.

For more information see the Social Services Manual - Good Cause

Note: Don’t require the parent/caregiver to cooperate with DCS when they claim good cause and the department's decision is pending.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-422-0030

A TANF grant will automatically close after the second consecutive month that child support collections exceed the grant payment amount unless there are optional members in a Consolidated Assistance Unit.  For instruction about how to close these cases, go to ACES Procedures.  See link below.


ACES Procedures

See Close an Assistance Unit / Client

Citizenship and Alien Status

Citizenship and Alien Status Requirements for all Programs

Definitions

Revised January 5, 2024

Purpose:

This section provides basic definitions of various citizen and immigrant statuses relevant for determining eligibility for federal and state programs.

WAC 388-424-0001 Citizenship and alien status - Definitions

  • Clarifying Information


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-424-0001

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is the federal statutes that govern the entire immigration law. It is codified in Title 8 of the U.S. Code, starting with Section 1101.

For a list of typical citizenship/immigration documents see the:

CSD staff: For guidance on how to read a Visa, I-94 Class of Admission Codes, or I-551, Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) Category Codes and ACES 3G Coding refer to information in the Training – CSD Desk Aids - Immigration Section of the CSD Internal SharePoint website.

Release of information regarding non-citizens is subject to the same confidentiality rules that govern release of all DSHS clients’ data to outside parties. For more information on confidentiality of individually identifiable data, please see RCW 74.04.060. The department is only obligated to report clients’ information to the federal government when a sponsored immigrant receives federally funded benefits under the "indigence exemption". See WAC 388-450-0156, (7) for a description of this reporting requirement.

When requesting information necessary to determine citizenship or immigration status, be mindful of client rights. DSHS does not discriminate based on race, color or national origin. All similarly, situated clients should be treated in the same manner.

Request immigration status information only when needed to determine an applicant’s eligibility for public benefits. Never ask undocumented immigrants to contact United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) themselves.

Notify your supervisor if you believe a report to USCIS is necessary.

Eligibility for public benefits depends on an individual's citizenship or immigration status. All individuals fall into one of the following four groups for purposes of benefits eligibility. For more information, click the links for each category:

  • U.S. Citizens or U.S. Nationals
  1. U.S. Citizens or U.S. Nationals
  2. Born Abroad/Acquisition of Citizenship
  3. American Indian
  4. The Child Citizenship Act of 2000
  • Lawfully Present Qualified Aliens
  1. Lawfully present alien
  2. Qualified aliens
  3. Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), or “green card” holder
  4. Five Year Bar and Humanitarian Immigrants
  5. Refugee
  6. Withholding of Removal or Deportation, or Removal Withheld
  7. Hmong or Highland Laotian tribe members
  8. Parolee
  9. Sponsored Immigrants
  • Lawfully Present Non-Qualified Aliens
  1. Lawfully present non-qualified aliens
  2. Lawfully present non-qualified aliens, who may be eligible for state funded assistance
  3. Applicant for Asylum
  4. Citizens of Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI), Federal State of Micronesia (FSM), or Republic of Palau
  5. Nonimmigrants who are in the U.S. for a specific purpose and limited time
  • Undocumented Aliens
  1. Undocumented Aliens

Additional Information

The links below provide additional information for determining immigration status for individuals applying for public benefits:

Consult the Decision Tree in Appendix I for an overview of citizenship and alien status eligibility rules.


  1. U.S. Citizens and U.S. Nationals.

Persons born in the United States or in U.S. territories, under the terms listed below, are U.S. citizens at birth. This includes persons born in:

  • Puerto Rico, on or after April 11, 1899;  
  • Canal Zone or the Republic of Panama, between February 26, 1904 and October 1, 1979, and one parent was a U.S. citizen at the time of the person’s birth.
  • U.S. Virgin Islands, on or after January 17, 1917;  
  • Guam, on or after April 11, 1899; and
  • Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) on or after May 28, 1975 and their children, if under age 18 on that date.

U.S. Nationals are persons born in:

  • American Samoa,
  • Swains Island, or
  • Northern Mariana Islands, who did not choose in 1975 to become U.S. citizens.

U.S. nationals have the same eligibility for public assistance benefits as U.S. citizens.

  1. Born Abroad/Acquisition of Citizenship.

It is possible that a child or a grandchild of a U.S. citizen who was born abroad, may have acquired citizenship at birth. In such cases, citizenship may depend on:

  • Which parent is a U.S. citizen,
  • How long the citizen-parent resided in the U.S., and
  • Whether the parents were married at the time.

If unable to verify, refer individuals to an immigration attorney at the Northwest Justice Project, or the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (Western Washington - 206-587-4009; Eastern Washington - 509-854-2100).

  1. American Indian is a term used to identify enrolled members of federally recognized tribes in the U.S. and Canada (see Governor's Office of Indian Affairs website) and Alaska Native villages and corporations.
NOTE: American Indians, including those who are born outside the U.S., have the same eligibility for benefits as U.S. citizens and do not have to provide U.S. citizenship documentation.

To qualify for benefits they must provide verification of tribal enrollment showing they are:

  • Members of a federally recognized Indian tribe (see Governor's Office of Indian Affairs website) or Alaska Native villages and corporations  and have a proof of tribal enrollment, or
  • Canadian-born American Indians, who are at least 50% American Indian blood. This category does not include the spouse or child of such a person, unless he or she also possesses 50% of American Indian blood, or
  • Canadian-born American Indians who are less than 50% American Indian blood, and who have been continuously residing in the U.S. since prior to December 24, 1952.

American Indians, who do not meet the criteria above, are undocumented unless they have another immigration status with USCIS.

  1. The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 applies to children related to a citizen parent by birth or adoption only. Stepchildren are not included unless also adopted. To acquire citizenship under the Act, persons must meet all the conditions in WAC 388-424-0001 (5) (d-f) on or after February 27, 2001. If the child is 18 years or older when the parent becomes a citizen, child citizenship laws do not apply and the child must independently apply for naturalization. Once the terms of the Act are met, subsequent changes in the parents' marital status, such a separation or divorce, have no bearing on the child's citizenship. Nor does it matter whether the parent in question was a U.S. citizen at the time the child entered the U.S.

For persons who automatically become citizens under terms of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 or previous legislation, USCIS does not issue documentation unless requested. Clients may not be aware they, or their children, are already citizens.

If the client is uncertain about whether they meet conditions for automatic citizenship, refer them to an immigration attorney at the Northwest Justice Project, or the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (Western Washington - 206-587-4009; Eastern Washington - 509-854-2100).

  1. Lawfully present alien is any non-U.S. citizen presently permitted by the Department of Homeland Security, one of its agencies, or the Department of Justice to remain in the United States. A lawfully present alien must have current and valid proof of their status such as documentation issued by USCIS, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), or Department of Justice. A lawfully present alien must also meet state residency requirements in WAC 388-468-0005 to qualify for benefits.
  1. Qualified aliens are lawfully present immigrants defined in federal law as one of the following:
  • Lawful permanent resident, US Code §1641(b)(1);
  • Asylee, US Code §1641(b)(2);
  • Refugee, US Code §1641(b)(3);
  • Hmong or Highland Lao are members of a Hmong or Highland Laotian tribe which rendered military assistance to the U.S. during the Vietnam era (August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975), and are "lawfully present" in the U.S.;
  • Certified as a victim of human trafficking by the federal office of refugee resettlement (ORR) and their eligible family members;
  • Special immigrants from Iraq and Afghanistan are individuals granted special immigrant status under INA §101(a)(27);
  • “Alien” paroled under INA § 212(d)(5) for at least one year, US Code §1641(b)(4);
  • “Alien” granted withholding, US Code §1641(b)(5);
  • “Alien” granted conditional entry under INA § 203(a)(7) as in effect before April 1, 1980, US Code §1641(b)(6);
  • Cuban and Haitian entrant as defined in § 501(e) of Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980, US Code §1641(b)(7);
  • Admitted as an Amerasian Immigrant from Vietnam through the orderly departure program, under section 584 of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act, incorporated in the FY88 Continuing Resolution P.L. 100-212;
  • Certain battered “aliens” as defined in US Code §1641(c)(1)-(3).
NOTE: A person is a qualified alien if granted cancellation of Removal or Suspension of Deportation based on abuse, or Deferred Action based on an approved self-petition as an abused alien.
  1. Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), or “green card” holder is a person who has permission to live and work in the U.S. permanently. An LPR status holder may apply for naturalization after living in the U.S. for five years (three years, if married to a U.S. citizen). LPRs are lawfully present and qualified immigrants.
  1. Five Year Bar and Humanitarian Immigrants.

Sec. 403 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) states that immigrants, who entered the U.S. on or after August 22, 1996, are not eligible to receive federally-funded benefits for five years from the date they entered the U.S. as a qualified alien. Once they have met the five-year bar, they may qualify for federal benefits, if they meet all other eligibility requirements.

The following categories of aliens, called humanitarian immigrants, are exempt from the five-year bar, regardless of their date of entry into the country:

  • Refugees;
  • Asylees;
  • Cuban and Haitian Entrants;
  • Victims of a severe form of trafficking;
  • Aliens whose deportation is being withheld;
  • Special Immigrants from Iraq and Afghanistan;
  • Honorably discharged U.S. military veterans, active duty military personnel, and their spouses and unmarried dependent children;
  • Battered aliens, as defined in WAC 388-424-0001(2)(e);
  • Aliens admitted to the country as an Amerasian immigrant

The five-year bar does not apply to aliens, including undocumented, applying for emergency medical treatment, if they meet all other eligibility criteria for the state’s Medicaid program.

  1. Refugee is “an alien outside their country of origin who is unable or unwilling to return to his or her country of origin because of persecution or on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion” as defined by sec. 101 (a) (42) of the INA
  1. Withholding of Removal or Deportation, or Removal Withheld is an immigration status, similar to asylee. It is usually granted by an Immigration Judge to an alien under section 241 (b)(3) or 243(h) of the INA. The USCIS or the Department of Justice withholds an alien’s deportation because of a threat to life or freedom in the person's home country due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. The Personal Work Responsibility and Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PWRORA) of 1996, codified at 8 U.S.C. 1612 (a)(2)(A) exempts aliens whose deportation (removal) was withheld from the five-year bar on federally funded benefits. For more information on eligibility for benefits see WAC 388-424-0020(2)(iv).
  1. Hmong or Highland Laotian tribe members:
  • Must be born prior to May 8, 1975. The tribe member's spouse and unmarried dependent children do not have to be tribal members to qualify for federal benefits.
  • Must be lawfully present in the U.S. and must sign the following statement under penalty of perjury to be eligible for federal benefits, if not eligible under a qualified alien status: 

    “I was a Hmong (or Highland Laotian) tribe member when the tribe assisted the U.S. military during Vietnam era (August 5,1964 to May 7, 1975).

    See Appendix III for a printable version of this statement.

  1. Parolee is a person granted authority to enter the U.S. in an emergency, or because it serves the humanitarian or public interest. Some parolees are allowed to enter the U.S. temporarily, e.g., to receive medical treatment. Others are permitted to enter with the understanding that they will remain permanently by adjusting their immigration status. If parole is in the U.S.:
  • At least one year or longer, the parolee is a lawfully present qualified immigrant.
  • For less than a year, the parolee is a lawfully present non-qualified alien.
  1. came to the United States on a family-based visa. They are required to have a “sponsor”, who is usually an immediate family member with income at least 125% of the federal poverty level (FPL). Starting December 19, 1997 sponsors are required to sign a legally enforceable USCIS form I-864 Affidavit of Support, which is a contract between the sponsor and the U.S. government.

Federal law does not limit the sponsor’s obligations to only the first 5 years of the sponsored immigrant being in the U.S. The sponsored immigrants’ eligibility for federal and state funded benefits do not terminate nor substitute for the sponsor’s obligations.

The I-864 Affidavit of Support commits the sponsor (or sponsors) to financial support of the sponsored immigrant, which ends only if the alien:

  • Becomes a naturalized U.S. citizen;
  • Has worked or can be credited with 40 work quarters under the  Social Security Act (can include spouse’s quarters);
  • Becomes subject to removal or no longer has Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status and has departed the U.S.; or
  • Dies.

Divorce does not terminate a sponsor’s obligation to a spouse. 

NOTE: We do not deem the sponsor’s income to battered aliens and their dependents, who self-petitioned under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

State and federal programs have different rules and eligibility requirements, and sponsored immigrants still may be eligible for some state-funded benefits. For more information, see WAC 388-450-0156 and EA-Z Manual, Income, Allocation and Deeming.

  1. Lawfully present non-qualified alien is a term used in federal immigration law. It does not indicate whether an alien is eligible for benefits. Non-qualified aliens have temporary permission to stay in the U.S. If their application for status adjustment is denied, so is their temporary permission for remaining in the U.S., and their immigration documents are not re-issued after they expire.

    Non-qualified aliens may be eligible for some benefits. For more information, see WAC 388-424-0001, and EA-Z Manual Section - Citizenship and Alien Status Requirements Specific to Program.

    All non-qualified aliens with expired documents and no application pending with USCIS are undocumented for eligibility purposes.

  1. Lawfully present non-qualified aliens, who may be eligible for state funded assistance if they meet all other eligibility requirements:
  • Abused aliens who are a relative of a U.S. citizen with an approved I-130 petition but do not meet the other requirements of battered immigrants, as described in WAC 388-424-0001.
  • Abused aliens who have self-petitioned under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) but have not yet received the Notice of "Prima Facie" eligibility, as described in WAC 388-424-0001.
  • Applicants for:
    • Asylum,
    • Cancellation of Removal,
    • Suspension of Deportation,
    • T visa (victim of trafficking),
    • U visa (victim of crime), 
    • Withholding of Deportation or Removal, or
    • Temporary Protected Status
  • Aliens granted the following immigration statuses:
    • Cancellation of Removal,
    • Continued Presence,
    • Deferred Action,
    • Deferred Enforced Departure,
    • Family Unity,
    • Suspension of Deportation,
    • Stay of Deportation or Removal,
    • Order of Supervision
    • Temporary Protected Status (TPS),
    • Voluntary Departure Granted – definite or indefinite time
  • "K", "S", "U" or "V" visa holders (to allow family to stay together while waiting for the processing of an immigration visa)
NOTE: “K” status holders (fiancé of a LPR or a U.S. citizen) are not sponsored aliens until after the marriage, when the spouse adjusts their immigration status to LPR.
Example: Ron is a U.S. citizen, and Olga is admitted with a “K” visa.  After they are married, they petition the USCIS for Olga to adjust her status to LPR. Ron’s income is deemed after Olga becomes an LPR.
  • Lawful temporary residents under the amnesty program of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), including those admitted under Sections 210 ("special agricultural workers") and Sec. 245A of the INA.
  • Citizens of the Marshall Islands, Micronesia or Palau, who have special rights under the Compacts of Free Association and can lawfully enter, reside, and work in the U.S.
  • Individuals paroled into the U.S. for a period of less than one year.
  • Individuals’ eligible to petition as special immigrant juveniles. These are juveniles who have been declared a "dependent of the state" and are eligible for long-term foster care due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment.
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) are individuals granted deferred action status, but unlike other deferred action individuals, they are not eligible for Medicaid or CHIP. DACA individuals may be eligible for state-funded assistance, including ABD/HEN Referral, SFA, and FAP.
NOTE: DACA individuals with expired an Employment Authorization Document are undocumented.
  1. Applicant for Asylum is a person who applied for asylum with USCIS or the Immigration Court, because they fled their country and are unable or unwilling to return due to persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a social group. Refer to the INA, Section 208(d)(5) for more information. There are two ways to apply for asylum:
  • Affirmative asylum – application with USCIS and an Asylum Officer makes decision;
  • Defensive asylum - application with Immigration Court, and Immigration Judge with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) makes decision. It is called defensive asylum because it is used as a defense against removal.

Applicants for asylum are lawfully present non-qualified aliens.

NOTE: If an applicant for asylum is a national of Cuba or Haiti, they are a Cuban/Haitian Entrant, eligible for benefits to the same extent as refugees while their application is pending.
  1. Citizens of the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI), Federal State of Micronesia (FSM), and Republic of Palau (PAL) are citizens of sovereign nations. They are not citizens of the U.S., or U.S. nationals. Under the Compact of Free Association Act of 1985, citizens of RMI, FSM and PAL are lawfully present nonqualified aliens. They may live, study and work in the U.S. for an unlimited length of stay.

To enter the U.S. they are not required to have visas, but they must be lawfully admitted into the U.S. and have verification of admission. To confirm their citizenship and entry status they may provide:

  • Current or expired passport with admission stamp and notation that typically says “CFA/PAL” (Compact of Free Association/Palau), “CFA/FSM” (Compact of Free Association/Federated States of Micronesia), or “CFA/MIS” (Compact of Free Association/Republic of Marshall Islands), or
  • Current or expired I-94 Arrival/Departure Record with a notation “CFA/PAL” (Compact of Free Association/Palau), “CFA/FSM” (Compact of Free Association/Federated States of Micronesia), or “CFA/MIS” (Compact of Free Association/Republic of Marshall Islands) and the letters “D/S,” which stand for “duration of stay”. It means they are not limited to a specific amount of time, or
  • Other documents verifying their citizenship of the Marshall Islands, Micronesia or Palau and entry status.

An electronic I-94 can be accessed with client permission and printed at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, I-94 website.

  1. Nonimmigrants who are in the U.S. for a specific purpose and limited time are also non-qualified aliens, who have a permanent residence abroad to which they intend to return at the end of their stay. They all are in the U.S. for a limited time and do not meet residency requirements of WAC 388-468-0005.
  • B1 and B2 visas often come attached because their requirements are basically the same. The B1 visa is for business visits and the B2 visa is for tourism and medical visits. There is no limit on how many times a person may visit the U.S. for a maximum of 180 days per visit in any given period of time.
  • The student visas, J, F, and M visas, are for persons visiting the U.S. in the pursuit of education.
    • J visa is an Exchange Visitor visa for individuals approved to participate in work-and study-based exchange visitor programs.
    • F visa is for students who may remain in the U.S. for the entire time they remain full-time students with current enrollment.
    • M visa is for students permitted to remain in the U.S. for one year initially, with the option of applying for an extension of status up to three years.

Most international students can obtain part-time on-campus jobs. Off campus work is allowed only with an Employment Authorization Document.

  1. Undocumented aliens are non-U.S. citizens who do not have authorization to reside in the United States. They may have crossed the U.S. border illegally, or may have come into the country with a non-immigrant visa and did not leave when their period of authorized stay ended (“overstay”), or didn’t show up for check-ins with ICE officers or for their court hearing.

    Under state and federal law, undocumented aliens are not eligible for ongoing food and/or cash assistance.  They may qualify for assistance from the Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP), Children’s Health Program, and Alien Emergency Medical (AEM) Program, if they meet eligibility requirements.


 Additional Information

  • Alien is a term used in federal and state law to identify a foreign-born person who lives in the United States, has not naturalized, and is still a citizen of a foreign country.
  • An alien number, also called “alien registration number”, “USCIS number”, “INS number”, or “A number”, is a unique identification number assigned by the Department of Homeland Security to each alien who:
    • Is legally admitted to the United States for permanent residency, or
    • Comes into contact with the agency (for adjustment of immigration status, employment authorization, deportation proceedings, etc.).

The “A” number stays with an alien much like a Social Security Number, until the alien naturalizes. USCIS, ICE, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration Courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program - all track alien cases by the “A number”.

What is an Alien Registration Number Desk Aid has examples of immigration documents and correspondence with the “A” number.

  • Immigration status is legal permission to remain in the U.S. under specific conditions defined by a visa category, or other visa document, e.g. Refugee Travel Letter. Customs and Border Protection inspects and admits the alien into the U.S. in the immigration status stated in the immigration documents. The alien receives an admission stamp showing a visa type and the amount of time for which they were admitted.

    Adjustment of Status is a procedure that changes (adjusts) a non-immigrant status to LPR status.

    Example: Mary enters the U.S. under the H-1B status, and while in the U.S., marries a U.S. citizen. She then adjusts her status from H-1B to LPR.
  • Expired Documents versus Expired Status. Many immigration documents have expiration dates. Some immigrants may lose their immigration status when their immigration document expires.  
    • Qualified alien’s status does not expire when the immigration document expires (for example, expired LPR card, USCIS form I-551, does not mean expired LPR status). Exceptions are listed below:
      • Parolee’s status expires after the expiration date on their I-94 arrival/departure record. If their expiration date is stamped "waived" or "indefinite", it means that they are paroled for longer than a year and can adjust their parolee status to LPR. They are lawfully present qualified aliens with a five-year bar on federally funded benefits.
      • Conditional permanent residents (two-year Conditional Residents) receive their LPR status based on a recent marriage to a U.S. citizen. Conditional LPRs have their green cards issued to them for two years only. At the end of two years, they must file a petition with USCIS to remove the condition. Ask a client with an expired conditional LPR card for proof of a pending petition, or application to waive the filing requirement. If no proof is provided, the client is undocumented.
NOTE: Abused immigrants may face difficulties in filing a petition to remove the condition on residence.  Refer such clients to an immigration attorney at the Northwest Justice Project, or the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (Western Washington - 206-587-4009; Eastern Washington - 509-854-2100).
  •  Qualified aliens may lose their immigration status if their deportation is ordered by an Immigration Judge;
  • DACA individuals’ immigration status expires with the expiration date on their Employment Authorization Document.
  • Additional Information About Specific Documents:
    • USCIS form I-797, Notice of Action, may or may not have an expiration date. The USCIS form I-797 notifies clients that a certain action was taken on their case, such as filing fee received, application filed, the case is pending, a step in the process is completed, or status is approved.
    • USCIS form I-797, Approval Notice, for:
      • I-360, Self-Petition under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is, in most cases, issued after a "Prima Facie" notice. In this case, the I-797 indicates the petitioner submitted sufficient evidence to establish eligibility under VAWA. Such notices verify the client is a Qualified Alien and their status does not expire.
      • I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is an example of a completed initial step in the family-related immigration process. It does not grant immigration status or a lawful presence to the beneficiary. It only establishes a relationship between petitioner and beneficiary. If the beneficiary does not already have immigration status, the beneficiary is an undocumented alien.
      • If I-797, Approval Notice, states that USCIS granted or extended client’s immigration status, I-797 will contain a tear-off new I-94 attached to the bottom of the Notice.
    • Order from an Immigration Judge does not have an expiration date. It may be issued when an Immigration Judge decides to:
      • Grant an immigration status, such as asylum, withholding of deportation, or an Order of Supervision; or
      • Place the alien in removal proceedings to deport them from the U.S.
    • Receipt of Application for Asylum, USCIS form I-589, does not have an expiration date. USCIS is required to provide a decision within 180 days. Despite this requirement, many applicants may not receive a decision within the deadline. If the I-589 Receipt date is more than 180 days old, check the asylum application status at USCIS website, Case Status Online - Case Status Search using the receipt number on I-589.
    • Employment Authorization Document (EAD), form I-765, is not a mandatory immigration document and DSHS staff cannot require it as an eligibility condition. However, explain to the client that the EAD is a federally issued ID, and may be used as verification of the client’s lawful presence. EAD may be used as a verification that:
      • Alien has applied for immigration status, the decision is pending, and the applicant is a lawfully present non-qualified alien, or
      • Alien was granted temporary immigration status, or
      • Individual has a current DACA status.

If the client does not have any verification of their current immigration status and refuses to obtain an EAD, the client is undocumented.

  • USCIS form I-942, Request for Reduced Fee, can be submitted to the USCIS at the same time clients apply for the immigration status and documents. When requesting a fee waiver, an alien must clearly demonstrate that they are low income and unable to pay filing fees. USCIS will accept:  
    • Federal income tax documents or a Verification of Non-filing,
    • Verification that annual household income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level, or
    • Any other proof verifying household’s low income.

If USCIS approves the fee waiver request, they will notify an applicant by the I-797, Notice of Action.

NOTE: If unable to confirm application status using the USCIS website, ask the client to provide proof of their current immigration status. If necessary, refer such clients to an immigration attorney at the Northwest Justice Project or the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (Western Washington - 206-587-4009; Eastern Washington - 509-854-2100).

Immigration questions should follow established procedures for submission through the Policy Clarification system, so that everyone can view the questions and responses.   


ACES Procedures

Recording Citizenship / Alien Status

  • See Interview - (DEM 2) Client Demographic 2 Screen

Completion of the (ALAS) Screen for Non-Citizens

  • See Interview - (ALAS) Aliens, Students, and Medically Indigent Screen

Decision Trees

Revised May 4, 2021

Purpose:

Appendix I - Citizenship and Alien Status Decision Tree: Basic Food

Cash/Medical Programs Based on Citizenship/Alien Status

Date of Entry

Revised April 16, 2019

Purpose: 

This section explains how to determine an alien’s “date of entry” into the United States. It describes which groups of aliens are subject to the five-year bar on receipt of federal means-tested benefits. Finally, it describes how to determine the date on which the five-year bar begins.

WAC 388-424-0006 Citizenship and alien status - Date of Entry


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-424-0006 

  1. Determining whether a person has entered the U.S. before August 22, 1996.
    For the majority of aliens the date they entered the U.S. and became a “qualified alien” is on their I-94 card or Customs and Border Protection (CBP) stamp in their passport, on a Refugee Transportation Letter as a “Date of Entry”, and on their Permanent Resident card as a “Resident Since” date.

A person is not subject to the five-year bar for TANF, or medical assistance if they entered the U.S. before August 22, 1996, even if they did not obtain a “qualified” immigration status until sometime after they entered. As long as the alien “continuously resided” in the U.S. from the earlier date, that date is considered the “date of entry”. “Continuously resided” means the alien only left the U.S. for short periods of time.

However, an applicant for federal Basic Food (SNAP) benefits, who became “qualified” on or after August 22, 1996, and who requires 5 years of residency for eligibility, can’t count time spent in the U.S. before they became a “qualified alien” toward the five-year bar requirement.

EXAMPLE: Alex came to the U.S. in 1992 as a visitor for six months. He came again in 1994 for 1 year as a student and then returned to his country of origin in 1995. Alex came to the U.S. again after he obtained lawful permanent resident status on October 10, 2001. Alex didn’t continuously reside in the U.S. prior to August 22, 1996. His date of entry is October 10, 2001. He isn’t a veteran or on active duty in the U.S. military (or the spouse or dependent child of such a person). Alex is barred from TANF, Basic Food, and non-emergency Medicaid for five years until September 30, 2006.
  1. Aliens who have the five-year bar.

    All aliens, who are lawfully present in the U.S. and aren’t included in the statuses named in WAC 388-424-0006, Citizenship and alien status—Date of entry have a five-year bar on receipt of Basic Food, TANF, and non-emergency Medicaid.

  2. How to determine the date a Victim of Trafficking becomes a qualified alien.

    A victim of human trafficking becomes a “qualified alien” on the certification date stated on a Certification Letter for adults, or a Letter of Eligibility for minors from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). The “certification date” on the Letter is also the benefits eligibility date.

EXAMPLE: Elena came to the U.S. in January 2007 on H1B visa as a temporary employee of an IT firm in NY. Instead, she was forced to work in a sweatshop. After 2 years, Elena received assistance from local legal and volunteer agencies. In 2010 Elena was granted a Victim of Trafficking status and received a Certification Letter from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). The “certification date” on the letter was June 15, 2010. This is the date Elena became a qualified alien and met immigration status requirements for federally funded assistance.
  1. How to determine the date an asylee becomes a qualified alien.

    The date an asylee becomes a “qualified alien” is the date -

    • Stated on an Asylum Approval Letter, from a USCIS Asylum Office, as the date asylum was granted under §208 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA);

    • Immigration Judge decided to grant asylum under §208 of the INA, if  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has NOT appealed the decision;
EXAMPLE: Maggie came to the U.S. in 2006 as a student. She applied for asylum with USCIS on September 1, 2008, and 11 months later received a USCIS decision granting  her asylum. A USCIS letter stated her asylum approval date was August 26, 2009. On this date Maggie became a qualified alien and met immigration status eligibility requirement for federally funded assistance.

 

  1. How to determine the date a battered immigrant becomes a “qualified alien."
    The date a battered alien becomes “qualified” is the date of the approval (or notice of prima facie case) of a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) petition or the date that the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse petitioned for the family visa application. These dates aren’t the same as the date the alien was granted lawful permanent residence and aren’t the date on the Permanent Resident card.

EXAMPLE: Rosa Maria came to the U.S. in 2017 as a student. She married a lawful permanent resident, who received notice of his family visa petition on March 1, 2018. She became a victim of domestic violence and is no longer lives with her abuser husband. She hasn’t yet adjusted to lawful permanent residence and doesn’t have her green card. The date she became "qualified" is March 1, 2017 because that’s the date of the family visa petition. Her five-year bar will be over on February 28, 2022. (When she has her adjustment interview on June 1, 2022, her green card, or Resident Alien Card USCIS form I-551, will have that date as a Resident Since date.)

 

  1. Aliens who are exempt from the five-year bar.

    Aliens exempt from the five-year bar due to immigration status are listed in WAC 388-424-0006, Citizenship and alien status—Date of entry. Aliens with a status of refugee, asylee, withholding of deportation/removal, Cuban/Haitian entrant, Special Immigrants from Iraq and Afghanistan, and Amerasian remain exempt after they’ve adjusted to lawful permanent resident status. The “category” or “class” code on their Permanent Resident Alien (“green”) card identifies under which provision of law they came into the U.S.  For more information on immigration documentation, status codes, benefit eligibility and step-by-step process, please see immigration desk aids located on the CSD website.

EXAMPLE: Lai came to the U.S. as a refugee on September 1, 1999. One year later she adjusted to lawful permanent residence status. Her Permanent Resident card shows her date of entry as September 1, 1999 and has the category code “RE-6”, for “refugee” (see page 70 in the NILC Guide in Appendix II). Lai is not subject to the five-year bar, even though she is currently a lawful permanent resident.

If you have questions regarding eligibility, or how to process a medical only case, please contact Dody McAlpine in the HCA Office of Medicaid, Medicare Eligibility & Policy at (360) 725-9964 or by e-mail at dody.mcalpine@hca.wa.gov 

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-424-0006 

  1. Always ask the client for their INS Number, also known as Alien Number, or Alien Registration number, or USCIS # number. It’s a unique number assigned by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to each alien admitted to the United States, or who came into contact with the agency (Example: application for asylum). It’s usually begins with an “A” followed by seven, eight or nine digits number and it is listed on all documents and/or DHS correspondence. Enter the INS Number and Date of Entry in corresponding 3G fields.

See the VERIFICATION chapter for further guidance.

For more information about verifying an asylee’s entry date, see “Asylum Documentation” under WAC 388-466-0005, Clarifying Information.

Social Security Number Requirements

Revised August 24, 2023

Purpose: 

The purpose of this section is to explain the special situations that affect immigrants when there are requirements for a Social Security number (SSN) in federal and state benefit programs.

WAC 388-424-0009 Citizenship and alien status - Social Security Number (SSN) Requirements

The rules and information below supplement information provided in the SSN Chapter (WAC 388-476-0005 ).


Clarifying Information -  WAC 388-424-0009

  1. Some immigrants who are "qualified" and some who are "non-qualified" (see WAC 388-424-0001 ) are not immediately eligible for employment authorization and therefore may not be issued an SSN:
    1. For example, most political asylum applicants who have a notice that their political asylum application has been received and is being processed must wait six months or longer before they can apply to work in the U.S.
    2. Abused immigrants whose spouse has filled out an I-130 or who have a Notice of Prima Facie eligibility may sometimes have to wait for months or years before they are authorized to work legally.
  2. Some immigrants who do not have work authorization can sometimes get a non-work SSN (see Worker Responsibilities #1 below), but staff in most Social Security Administration (SSA) offices will deny these applications.
  3. Abused immigrants who are filing a petition under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) will often receive a Notice of Prima Facie eligibility that does not specifically list their children, even though the children are listed in the original application. Children of abused immigrants are considered eligible for benefits to the same extent as the primary applicant, even though they will often be unable to get a non-work SSN.
  4. SSA staff are not familiar with many immigration documents that are used to show “qualified alien” status (such as the Notice of Prima Facie eligibility under VAWA) and will often not accept these documents as proof of lawful status (see Table 5, page 62 in the NILC Guide in Appendix II for a list of documents). In addition, new SSA requirements that immigrants have evidence of date of birth and identity may prevent many immigrants who have lost their documents (often as a result of fleeing persecution or escaping domestic violence) from getting a non-work number.
  5. Sometimes a client may choose not to provide an SSN (and consequently be excluded from the AU) but the Department inadvertently learns of their SSN (for example, through a pay stub the client provides to verify income). In such cases we continue to honor the individual client’s wish to be excluded from the assistance unit.
    Alternatively, a client may choose not to provide an SSN midway through the process of applying for benefits, or at a recertification, even if they have already provided it. The guiding principle is that we will honor client choice. A client may choose to be excluded from the assistance unit by not providing an SSN at any point.
    However, we may still use a valid SSN in our possession for verifying income and resources. Staff should explain to the immigrant that the SSN will only be used to verify income and resource information and will not be released to federal immigration authorities. Sometimes, a client may not have a valid SSN but is attempting to provide evidence of income or resources to comply with Department requirements – they should be allowed to remove the SSN from these documents and should not be discouraged from providing proof of income.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-424-0009

  1. If the client is applying for a federal program which requires an SSN and a current and valid SSN is not available, the Department is responsible for providing the client with assistance in applying for an SSN. (If the client needs financial assistance to complete this process, the Department will assist as well - follow procedures in the Verification Chapter, Worker Responsibilities #9)
  2. If the client has already tried to apply at the local Social Security Administration (SSA) office and has been denied, the Department should issue benefits (if the client is otherwise eligible) and, if the customer requests our assistance, take the following steps:
    1. Create a 14-517 on Department letterhead which specifies the names of all family members applying for benefits and requests that the SSA issue a non-work SSN for each. The 14-517 must explain that the SSNs are being requested so that the clients can participate in the federal programs for which they are eligible. List all programs which apply. See Appendix VI for link to a sample SSN request letter.   
    2. If a client is unable to get either a regular or non-work SSN, request an Exception to Rule (ETR) and continue benefits until client is work-authorized. Also ask the client to re-apply for an SSN once they are eligible for and has received an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS.
    3. If the client is able to get a non-work SSN, document the number in ACES and remind the client that this SSN cannot be used to work.
  3. Some persons in a household may not be a part of the assistance unit (AU) which is applying for assistance (for example, undocumented parents of citizen children). In such a case, SSNs for those non-AU members are not a requirement for processing the application of the applying AU.

Veteran Status

Revised March 25, 2011

Purpose:

WAC 388-424-0007 Citizenship and alien status - Armed Services or Veteran Status

  • Clarifying Information and Worker Responsibilities


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-424-0007

A veteran is a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service of the U.S., who fulfilled the minimum active duty service requirements or 24 months of continuous active service, whichever is less, and was honorably discharged or released. Veterans also include men and women who died while on active duty in the U.S. armed forces or forces under U.S. command. For purposes of determining a surviving spouse or dependent child's eligibility for benefits, a person who died after being released from active duty in the U.S. armed forces is also a veteran.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-424-0007

Obtain evidence of armed services or veteran status. For those veterans who are Hmong or Highland Lao who fought with the U.S. in Southeast Asia, have the veteran or family member sign the statement in Appendix III

Citizenship and Alien Status - Work Quarters

Revised March 26, 2021

Purpose:

WAC 388-424-0008 Citizenship and alien status - Work Quarters


APPENDIX IV

Earnings Required for Work Quarters for Recent Years

This chart shows the amount of earnings needed to qualify for each SSA work quarter of coverage for 1978 through 2021.

 

Calendar Year

Amount Needed for a Quarter of Coverage

Amount Needed to Qualify for Four Quarters

1978

$250

$1000

1979

$260

$1040

1980

$290

$1160

1981

$310

$1240

1982

$340

$1360

1983

$370

$1480

1984

$390

$1560

1985

$410

$1640

1986

$440

$1760

1987

$460

$1840

1988

$470

$1880

1989

$500

$2000

1990

$520

$2080

1991

$540

$2160

1992

$570

$2280

1993

$590

$2360

1994

$620

$2480

1995

$630

$2520

1996

$640

$2560

1997

$670

$2680

1998

$700

$2800

1999

$740

$2960

2000

$780

$3120

2001

$830

$3320

2002

$870

$3480

2003

$890

$3560

2004

$900

$3600

2005

$920

$3680

2006

$970

$3880

2007

$1000

$4000

2008

$1050

$4200

2009

$1090

$4360

2010

$1120

$4480

2011

$1120

$4480

2012

$1130

$4520

2013

$1160

$4640

2014

$1200

$4800

2015

$1220

$4880

2016

$1260

$5040

2017

$1300

$5200

2018

$1320

$5280

2019

$1360

$5440

2020

$1410

$5640

2021

$1470

$5880

Citizenship and Alien Status Requirements Specific to Program

Citizenship and Alien Status - For Food Benefits

Revised July 10, 2015

Purpose: 

This section describes which immigrants are eligible for benefits through federally-funded Basic Food and state-funded Food Assistance Program.

WAC 388-424-0020 How does my alien status impact my eligibility for federally-funded Basic Food benefits?

WAC 388-424-0030 How does my alien status impact my eligibility for state-funded benefits under the food assistance program?


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-424-0030

If a client does not provide proof of the alien status of someone in the assistance unit (AU), the client can withdraw the application or apply for Basic Food without that person. That person is an ineligible AU member under WAC 388-408-0035. Please refer to the VERIFICATION chapter for general rules regarding documentation.

We must deem income to a sponsored immigrant who is not exempt from deeming requirements under WAC 388-450-0156. This includes a sponsored immigrant who is eligible for federal benefits based on being a qualified alien who has lived in the U. S. for five years, if they do not have 40 qualifying quarters of work or qualify for a different exemption.

  1. Proof of alien status:
  2. Income of immigrants and their sponsors:
    • See WAC 388-450-0140  for treatment of income of AU members who are ineligible to receive federally funded Basic Food due to alien status.
    • See WAC 388-450-0160  for treatment of income of a sponsored alien's sponsor.
  3. Deeming requirements for sponsored immigrants: 
    NOTE: An immigrant who is an ineligible member of a federally-funded Basic Food AU should not have his sponsor's income and resources deemed to eligible AU members.
​NOTE: We must deem resources in addition to income when the AU is not Categorically Eligible (CE) as defined inWAC 388-414-0001. See WAC 388-470-0070  for deeming sponsor resources.

4. ​​When a “qualified alien” child turns 18 before being in the U.S. for five years: 

  • If the immigrant turns age 18 before they have been in the U.S. for five years, they must meet one of the other requirements under WAC 388-424-0020  to keep getting Basic Food benefits.
  • The immigrant regains eligibility for benefits after they have been in the U.S. for five years or meet one of the other criteria under WAC 388-424-0020.

5. ​"Lawfully residing"

  • A qualified alien;
  • An alien who has been inspected and admitted and who has not violated the terms of that admission;
  • A parolee (for less than 1 year), except those paroled pending a determination of excludability or for prosecution;
  • A Lawful Temporary Resident;
  • A person under Temporary Protected Status;
  • A Cuban-Haitian entrant;
  • A Family Unity beneficiary:
  • A person granted Deferred Enforced Departure;
  • A person in Deferred Action;
  • An alien who is the spouse or child of a U. S. citizen, whose visa petition has been approved and who has a pending application for adjustment of status;
  • An applicant for asylum or for withholding of removal under the Convention Against Torture, who has been granted employment authorization or who is under the age of 14 and has had an application pending for at least 180 days.

6.  Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrants (SIVs): For more information on documentation, Immigration Status codes, benefit eligibility and step-by-step process, please see desk aid Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrants Benefits

7.  Haitian Entrants vs. Haitian Nationals Granted Temporary Protected Status:

  • Haitian Entrants granted status under section 501(e) of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980 are qualified aliens and eligible for Basic Food benefits if they meet all other eligibility requirements.
  • Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program Entrants granted status under section 501(e) of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980 are qualified aliens and eligible for Basic Food benefits if they meet all other eligibility requirements.
  • Haitian Nationals Granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) are not eligible for federal SNAP benefits.  These persons are PRUCOL as described under WAC 388-424-0001 and cannot receive Basic Food.

 

Citizenship and Alien Status - For Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Revised April 16, 2019

Purpose: 

This section provides information on how a person’s immigration status affects their eligibility for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

WAC 388-424-0010 Citizenship and alien status - Eligibility for TANF


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-424-0010

  1. Provide clients who are Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) with information about naturalization assistance services offered by local community agencies through the DSHS Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance.  See the Social Services Manual, SSI Facilitation - Facilitation Process - SSI Facilitation Process for more information on the Department’s naturalization assistance program.

  2. Take a client’s declaration of U.S. citizenship at face value.  Don’t routinely request proof of citizenship unless there is a specific and substantive reason to, such as an inconsistency in a client's statements or in the information presented on their application for benefits.

  3. Consider immigrants, who are not eligible for federal TANF because of the five-year bar on federal benefits, for the state funded benefits programs. 

  1. The following non-qualified aliens are lawfully present and aren’t eligible for TANF, but could be eligible for state funded benefits, if they meet all other eligibility criteria:

    • Pending applicants for Asylum, or Withholding of Deportation/Removal under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) if :

      • Over age 14 with an approved work authorization or
      • Under 14 and their application has been pending for 180 days or more;
  • Aliens granted withholding of removal under the Convention Against Torture (CAT);

  • Aliens paroled into the U.S. for less than 1 year;

  • Aliens in current Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Aliens granted deferred action status, with the exception of Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA);

  • Family Unity beneficiaries;

  • A child who has a pending application for Special Immigrant Juvenile status;

  • Citizens of the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau.  These persons have special rights under compacts of Free Association and are lawfully allowed to enter, reside and work in the U.S., but they aren’t U.S. citizens or nationals.  They are lawfully present non-qualified aliens unless they have some other immigration status.

  • "U" visa holders;

  • Religious workers under section 101(a)(15)(R) of the INA;

  • An individual with a petition pending for 3 years or more, as permitted under section 101(a)(15)(V) of the INA;

  • A fiancé of a citizen, as permitted under section 101(a)(15)(K) of the INA;

  • Other aliens with a current nonimmigrant status

EXAMPLE A client applying for benefits has an I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) stamp with a "B2" code that is not expired.  According to the NILC Guide, "B2" signifies tourist status.  A person with a tourist status is a lawfully present nonimmigrant and, if otherwise eligible may qualify for benefits. However, an alien with B2 visa is in the U.S. only temporary and doesn’t meet Washington state residency requirements,

EXAMPLE A five-person family applies for benefits.  The father has a Lawful Permanent Resident card (I-551), but the mother and three children only have Employment Authorization Documents (EADs).  All four EADs are coded "A15".  According to the NILC Guide, the "A-15" code indicates "V" status.  These are spouses and children of lawful permanent residents whose visa petitions have been pending for at least three years.  Immigrants with "V" status are lawfully present non-qualified aliens.  These immigrants may qualify for state benefits.  The father may be eligible for federal benefits depending on other factors such as date of entry into the U.S.

EXAMPLE A mother and child applied for benefits. The mother has a valid I-94 Arrival/Departure form stamped with a "U" visa.  The child would likely have been included as a dependent on the mother's U visa application.  Both mother and child are considered "lawfully residing" and may be eligible for state benefits.

 

  1. Immigrant children and pregnant women, who are:

    • lawfully present non-qualified aliens, as defined in WAC 388-424-0001; and

    • meet residency requirements of WAC 388-468-0005

      are eligible for federally funded medical benefits, unless they are approved under Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA). 

  2. Staff should check eligibility for State Family Assistance (SFA) and Food Assistance Program (FAP), when an applicant is a Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA) individual.

NOTE: An Employment Authorization Document (EAD, USCIS form I-765), known popularly as a work permit, is a document issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and it gives noncitizens a temporary authorization to work. EAD doesn’t confer immigration status, but for eligibility determination purposes, it indicates the client's current immigration status. 

Aliens with a variety of statuses may be issued an EAD.  Unless other current immigration document(s) are provided, an expired EAD means a person's immigration status has expired.  

For more information about I-765 EAD Category Codes please see Employment Authorization Document, Category Codes

 

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-424-0010

  1. Always ask client for an INS Number, also known as Alien Number, or Alien Registration number, or USCIS Number #. It usually begins with an “A” followed by a seven, eight, or nine digit unique number assigned by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to each alien who is admitted to the United States, or who came into contact with the agency (Example: application for asylum). “A” number is listed on all documents and DHS correspondence. Enter the INS Number and Date of Entry in 3G.

 

  1. Gather all the information necessary to determine eligibility as described in WAC 388-424-0001WAC 388-424-0006WAC 388-424-0007WAC 388-424-0008, and WAC 388-424-0009. Document immigration status, date of entry, armed service/veteran status, work quarters, and SSN information in ACES. Inform any client who is subject to the five-year bar of the expiration date of their five-year bar and of the need to inform the Department if family members become citizens (including parents who have children under 18).
NOTE: Once the SSN is federally verified, ACES will send back to SSA to verify citizenship status.  If SSA cannot verify citizenship, MPA will receive an alert to work with the client to verify citizenship.
  1. For aliens who have an Affidavit of Support form (I-864) filled out on their behalf, be sure to determine work quarters and citizenship status. If the affidavit is still in effect:
  2. See WAC 388-450-0155 and WAC 388-450-0156  to determine if sponsor deeming applies;
  3. See WAC 388-450-0160  for treatment of the sponsor's income; and see WAC 388-470-0060  for treatment of the sponsor's resources.

ACES Procedures

Alien Emergency Medical

  • See Medical - Alien
  • See TANF Processing for Special Immigrants

Citizenship and Alien Status for State Cash Programs

Revised June 15, 2012

Purpose: 

This section provides information on how an alien’s immigration status affects their eligibility for the State Family Assistance (SFA), Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD) cash, and Pregnant Women Assistance (PWA) programs. The purpose of SFA is to provide assistance to immigrants and others who are ineligible to receive TANF benefits because of the restrictions imposed under federal welfare reform. ABD provides assistance to disabled or aged individuals, including those who are ineligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) due to immigrant or other restrictions. Chemical dependency services are broadly available to legal immigrants.

WAC 388-424-0015 Immigrant eligibility restrictions for the State Family Assistance, ABD cash, PWA, and ADATSA programs.


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-424-0015

  1.  ABD and PWA are broadly accessible to immigrants as long as they meet all other program requirements. Non-immigrants and undocumented aliens, as defined in WAC 388-424-0001, are not eligible for ABD or PWA.
  2. Becoming a citizen (naturalizing) is not a program requirement for any state or federal benefit. Generally, a client is not eligible to naturalize until 5 years after they have attained legal status, but there are some exceptions. Refugee resettlement agencies and Community Based Organizations (CBO) provide naturalization assistance to those immigrants receiving state or federal benefits so that they can become citizens. For more information, see the Social Services Manual SSI Facilitation Chapter,  for non-U.S. citizens. Immigrants who don’t become citizens and lose SSI due to expiration of seven years of refugee status (which also affects asylees, victims of trafficking, Cuban Haitian entrants, Amerasians, and those granted withholding of removal) will be provided ABD or TANF, Basic Food, and medical assistance, assuming they are otherwise eligible.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-424-0015

  1. Related WACs:
    1. See WAC 388-450-0116  for treatment of the income of household members who are ineligible to receive SFA due to their alien status.
    2. See WAC 388-450-0160 and WAC 388-470-0060  for treatment of income and resources of a sponsored alien’s sponsor.
  2. When a client reports a change in their status, update their alien status on the ALAS screen in ACES. It is particularly important to record changes in status for recipients of state-funded cash or medical programs, as these aliens may become eligible for federal programs as a result of this change in status.

Public Benefit Eligibility for Survivors of Certain Crimes

Revised on: February 5, 2024

Purpose 

This section provides clarifying information to support benefit determination for survivors of certain crimes. Relevant WAC sections include:

  • WAC 388-424-0001 Citizenship and immigration status—Definitions.
  • WAC 388-400-0010 Who is eligible for state family assistance?
  • WAC 388-424-0009 Citizenship and immigration status—Social Security number (SSN) requirements.
  • WAC 388-424-0010 Citizenship and immigration status—Eligibility for TANF.
  • WAC 388-424-0015 Immigrant eligibility restrictions for the state family assistance, ABD cash, and PWA programs.
  • WAC 388-424-0030 How does my immigration status impact my eligibility for state-funded benefits under the food assistance program?
  • WAC 388-424-0035 Verifications—Survivors of certain crimes.

Clarifying Information

  1. Who are survivors of certain crimes?

Survivors of certain crimes are noncitizens and their qualifying family members, who have filed, or are preparing to file an application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for:

  • T-Visa (for trafficking victims),
  • U-Visa (for victims of qualifying crimes), or
  • Asylum status and have been harmed by one of the specific crimes described in WAC 388-424-0001(c)(ii)(A)-(C).

For full definitions, see WAC 388-424-0001.

Note: It is extremely important to be sensitive to psychological, cultural, and gender aspects of the trauma these individuals and their families have faced in order to prevent re-victimization. 
Note: Some victims of trafficking cooperate with the Department of Justice on the prosecution of their traffickers. All details of the case are confidential, and they can’t talk about it, nor should they be asked to discuss the details of their case.
  1. What does "preparing to file" mean?

“Preparing to file” means a survivor is preparing to request a T-Visa (for trafficking victims), a U-Visa (for victims of qualifying crimes), or asylum, but has not yet submitted an application to USCIS.This may be for a number of reasons, including the need to gather information for their application, or because the survivor needs to recover from physical, mental, and/or emotional abuse.

  1. Who are victims of human trafficking?

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers force their victims into sexual slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, or forced labor through coercion, fraud, threats, psychological abuse, torture, or imprisonment. Trafficked noncitizens may be eligible for a T-Visa through USCIS.

  1. Who are victims of qualifying crimes?

Victims of qualifying crimes are noncitizens who suffered substantial mental or physical abuse as a result of a qualifying crime that happened in the U.S. or violated U.S. laws and may be eligible for a U visa through USCIS. To be eligible for a U-Visa, victims:

  • Must possess information about the qualifying crime;
  • Must establish with USCIS that they suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of the crime; and
  • Are, were, or are likely to be assisting law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity.
  1. Who are applicants for asylum?

Applicants for asylum are persons who flee their country and are unable, or unwilling, to return due to persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on the basis of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. For the full definition, see EA-Z Manual - Definitions, Clarifying Information, #16.

Note: Not all applicants for asylum are survivors of certain crimes. To be a survivor of certain crimes as an asylum applicant, the individual must have filed, or be preparing to file, for asylum and have been harmed by one of the specific crimes described in WAC 388-424-0001(4)(c)(ii)(A)-(C). Individuals who have not been harmed by one of the specified crimes but are applying for asylum are non-qualified lawfully present aliens (see EA-Z Manual Citizenship and alien status - Definitions#15). For more information on what documents verify the asylum process and how to code those individuals in ACES, please see the following: Applicants for Asylum & their Documents.

Note: If a client is going through the asylum application process and provides proof of that process, they become non-qualified lawfully present aliens.

  1. What verifies an applicant meets the definition of a survivor of certain crimes?

The only verification needed to meet the definition of a survivor of certain crimes is a verbal self-attestation by the applicant. Self-attestation must include the applicant stating:

  • They were harmed by a crime and have filed or are preparing to file an application with USCIS for a T visa or U visa; or
  • They were harmed by a crime as described in WAC 388-424-0001(4)(c)(ii)(A)-(C) and have filed or are preparing to file an application with USCIS for Asylum.
Note: Do not ask applicants for additional details regarding their experience- this includes what the crime was or details of the trafficking event.

If an individual states that they are applying for asylum and that the crime happened in their country of origin or they do not initially offer that the crime was one of the crimes described in WAC 388-424-0001(4)(c)(ii)(A)-(C), the individual is not a survivor of certain crimes. Do not ask for further details, but code the individual in ACES as a lawfully present non-qualified alien who is an asylum applicant.

No other documentation or evidence is necessary to verify that an applicant is a survivor of certain crimes. An applicant’s verbal self-attestation is sufficient for program eligibility determination.

Alternative evidence may also be provided in lieu of a verbal self-attestation, only if preferred by the applicant. This may include but isn’t limited to:

  • Police, government agency, or court records or files; 
  • Documentation from a social services, trafficking, or domestic violence program; 
  • A legal, clinical, medical, or other statement from a professional, from whom the applicant has sought assistance in dealing with their situation; or
  • A statement from an individual with knowledge of the circumstances that provides the basis for the survivor's claim (including signed sworn statement by survivor’s advocate).   
  1. Who are qualifying family members?

Qualifying family members are defined in WAC 388-424-0001. They don’t include a family member charged with or convicted of a crime committed against the survivor spouse or a child of the spouse.

A written or verbal statement from the survivor that speaks to how they are related to a qualified family member may be accepted as verification of relationship.

  1. What benefits are survivors of certain crimes potentially eligible for?

Survivors of certain crimes may be eligible for the following state-funded assistance programs, provided they meet all other eligibility requirements for those programs and are not already eligible under other citizenship and immigration rules:

All survivors of certain crimes (and their qualifying family members) who are eligible for SFA, ABD or HEN Referral, may be eligible for Medical Care Services (MCS) if not already eligible for federally funded medical programs.

Note: When screening MCS, children are not added to the MCS (A24) assistance unit. Eligibility for any applying children should be determined under Apple Health for Children – see ACES Manual: Medical Care Services [MCS] Medical – A01, A05, A24 for more information.

Note: Pregnant women who are survivors of certain crimes may be eligible for Apple Health for Pregnant Women. See Apple Health for Pregnant Women | Washington State Health Care Authority for more information.    

Survivors of certain crimes do not likely meet the minimum work requirements for a Working Family Support payment due to their immigration status (WAC 388-493-0010). As a reminder, staff are required to review each household to determine if Working Family Support benefits are an option.

  1. Are survivors of certain crimes eligible for WorkFirst services?

All SFA recipients are required to participate in WorkFirst services. For survivors who are not eligible to work, these services may be geared towards preparing for future employment. This includes English language training, job skills development, job-specific training, etc. Please see WorkFirst Handbook 5.2 for more information.

Note: If a survivor of certain crimes SFA recipient is WorkFirst sanctioned, they would not likely be disqualified from FAP due to meeting exemption criteria (not legally able to work due to immigration status) - see WAC 388-444-0010. When someone is WorkFirst sanctioned, staff are to examine Basic Food/FAP work requirements separately to determine if a Basic Food disqualification is required or if the individual is exempt from those requirements.

    10. Are survivors of certain crimes subject to the public charge rule if they receive public assistance benefits?

The receipt of public assistance is only one of several factors that USCIS considers to determine whether someone is likely to be a “public charge” and is therefore inadmissible. Any survivor of certain crimes assistance applicant or recipient should be directed to consult with an immigration attorney with questions regarding “public charge”. For more information: Public Charge Information | DSHS (wa.gov).

If an applicant asks questions regarding eligibility for specific immigration visas or statuses, staff are to advise them to seek advice from an immigration attorney.

Worker Responsibilities

Applications from survivors of certain crimes should be handled the same as all other applications for cash or food assistance, with the exception of the verification policy below.

  1. What kind of documents are not required for eligibility determination?
  • Passport
  • Regular or non-work SSN
  • Alien Registration number
  • Any USCIS documentation

Absence of these documents does not affect an applicant’s eligibility for benefits. Don’t run applicants’ information through SAVE because the majority of applicants don’t have an immigration status, or may have an expired immigration status.

  1. What are the documentation requirements for staff?

    When verifying an individual is a survivor or a qualifying family member, workers should document the following in the ACES case narrative:

  • The applicant verbally self-attested to being a survivor of certain crimes, or what form of alternative proof was provided; and
  • Date information was provided
  1. The following ACES coding is used to issue benefits to survivors of certain crimes:

    Only use this coding when an applicant qualified for assistance as a survivor of certain crimes is preparing to file an application with USCIS. If they have already filed an application for status with USCIS, they may be eligible for benefits as a non-qualified or qualified alien. Assess based on verification provided and proceed based on that information.

  • Citizen Status - Undocumented Alien (U)
    • This coding bypasses SAVE requirements.
  • Citizenship Verification Code – Preparing to File/Survivor of Certain Crimes (PF)
  • SSA/SSN Referral – Undocumented Alien
    • This coding bypasses entering a SSN. The worker should still enter an SSN if the applicant has one to work under.
  • Other Federally Qualifying Status as "NQ" (No Federal Qualified Status)
    • This coding bypasses entering a SSN. The worker should still enter an SSN if the applicant has one to work under.
  1. At eligibility review, are survivors of certain crimes required to provide verification they have applied for visa/status in order to continue receiving benefits?

​No, the only verification that is required in order to continue benefits is verbal self-attestation that the recipient is a survivor and is continuing to prepare to file, per WAC 388-424-0035.

If the recipient states that they applied for asylum, a T visa, or a U visa with USCIS, staff are to request e verification (a copy of receipt). The survivor may also provide their USCIS receipt number verbally, allowing staff to check the USCIS website directly to verify an application has been filed. In a scenario where verification was requested and the individual failed to provide the receipt and/or the worker cannot verify via the USCIS website that an application was filed, the individual would still be eligible for continued benefits, based solely on their self-attestation that they are continuing to prepare to file.

  1. What happens when a survivor of certain crimes's immigration status changes?

Once new verification is received from the recipient, workers should: 

  • Update the client’s Citizenship status information in ACES; and

  • Establish eligibility for benefits.

Resources, Desk Aids and Links

Citizenship and Identity Documents for Medicaid

Citizenship and Identity Verification Documents – T1 – T4

T1 Documents (Only Tier 1 documents are considered by the federal government to document both citizenship and identity).

  • US Passport.
  • Enhanced Drivers license or state ID (only if issuing state verifies citizenship to issue enhanced document)
  • Certificate of Naturalization.
  • Certificate of Citizenship.
  • Tribal Membership Card with picture.

T2 Documents

  • Official state/county US birth certificate. ***
  • Other certification of birth issued by the Department of State.
  • Department of Health (DOH) printout for Washington State Birth
  • US Citizen ID card.
  • Final adoption decree in the US.
  • Evidence of civil service employment by the US government before June 1976.
  • Official military record of service that shows a US place of birth.

***NOTE: A "hospital" birth certificate is considered by the federal government to be a souvenir and DOES NOT meet the federal requirement for any "T" level of verification.

T3 - Examples

The T3 tier of verification must be created 5 years before the date of initial application or eligibility review.

  • Religious records within 3 months of birth showing US place of birth.
  • Early school record showing a US place of birth.
  • Insurance company records (life or health), that indicate a US place of birth.
  • US hospital record created at the time of birth, indicating a US place of birth such as:
    • Chart notes of the birth.
    • Hospital records of the baby's stay in the hospital.
  • Other document that shows a U.S. place of birth that was created at least 5 years prior to the client’s initial application for Medicaid.

T4 - Examples

  • Federal or State census record indicating US citizenship or US place of birth.
  • Institutional admission papers indicating a US place of birth and created 5 years before the date of initial application or review.
  • Other medical records (clinic, doctor, or hospital), created five years before the date of initial application or review that indicate a US place of birth.
  • Citizenship Affidavit (DSHSH 27-033)
  • The Citizenship Documentation and Identity Declaration form (DSHS 13-789) does not fulfill this requirement.
  • Clients exempt from citizenship requirements due to SSI, Medicare or receiving SSA disability if no level T1 or T2 exists.

Identity - Examples

  • A current state driver's license with individual's picture.
  • A state identity card with individual's picture.
  • A US American Indian/Alaska Native tribal document.
  • Military identification card with individual's picture.
  • For disabled individuals in residential care facilities the facility administrator or director may submit affidavits attesting to the client's identity.

A child under the age of 16 (or 16-17 if they have no ID verification above) may present the following documents as evidence of identity:

  • Citizenship Documentation and Identity Declaration form (DSHS 13-789) signed by the parent or guardian attesting to the child's identity.
  • School record (including daycare and nursery school records)
  • Clinic, doctor or hospital record.

Immigration Law Center (NILC) Guide

Revised September 27, 2023

APPENDIX II

National Immigration Law Center (NILC) Guide

The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) publishes the "Guide to Immigrant Eligibility for Federal Programs, Fourth Edition". This appendix gives you access to sections of the NILC Guide, which contain descriptions and pictures of key citizenship and immigration documents, and information on how to decipher the coding on these documents.

  • While this information was current as of the 2002 NILC Guide publication date, it is not a complete list of immigrant statuses and documents.
  • Other types of immigrant eligibility questions should be submitted to the Policy Clarification Database through your Regional Financial Coordinator.

Sample SSN Request Letter

Revised September 20, 2011

APPENDIX VI

Click the following link to complete the SSN Request  used to request a non-work SSN from the Social Security Administration on behalf of clients applying for benefits.

Citizenship and Alien Status - Statement of Hmong/Highland Lao Tribal Membership

Revised March 25, 2011

APPENDIX III

Statement of Hmong/Highland Lao Tribal Membership

I declare, under penalty of perjury, that I was a Hmong or Highland Laotian tribe member when the tribe assisted the U.S. military during the Vietnam era (8/5/64 to 5/7/75).

 

Signature

 

Date

Work Quarters Barcode Procedures

Revised March 25, 2011

APPENDIX V

BARCODE PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING WORK QUARTERS THROUGH THE SSA QUERY SYSTEM

Civil Rights and Complaints

Created on: 
Feb 27 2023

Revised February 12, 2024

Purpose:

This section describes civil rights rules and how to file a complaint.

WAC 388-426-0005 How do I make a complaint to the department?


Your civil rights when you do business with include:

  • Who to contact with a civil rights complaint.
  • How to tell us if you do not agree with an action we took or a decision we made.
  • How we respond to civil rights complaints.

We require annual staff training for civil rights.


USDA Non-discrimination Statement

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English.  Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/ad-3027.pdf, from any USDA office, by calling (833) 620-1071, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to:

  1. mail:
    Food and Nutrition Service, USDA
    1320 Braddock Place, Room 334
    Alexandria, VA 22314; or
  2. fax:
    (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email:
    FNSCIVILRIGHTSCOMPLAINTS@usda.gov

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-426-0005

  1. Department policy on equal opportunity and access:

    The Washington state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, marital status, race, creed, color, national origin, religion or beliefs, political affiliation, military status, honorably discharged veteran, Vietnam Era, recently separated or other protected veteran status, the presence of any sensory, mental, physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability, equal pay or genetic information.

  2. Discrimination complaints filed with the department:

    The DSHS Human Resources Investigations Unit investigates complaints we receive on discrimination. Someone may file a complaint with the unit using one of the  numbers below or by requesting a copy of either form listed below and sending the complaint to Human Resources.

    HR Investigations Unit
    1115 S. Washington, OB2 2nd Floor NE Wing
    PO Box 45839
    Olympia, WA 98504-5839

    (360) 725-5821 or Toll Free 
    TTY (360) 586-4289 or Toll Free TDD 

  3. Hearings / Judicial review:

    If we receive a complaint that a future hearing or judicial review covers, we can tell the person that the hearing or review will resolve the issue.

  4. Equal Access (EA), previously known as Necessary Supplemental Accommodation (NSA):

    When handling a complaint from an EA client, be sure to follow the client's EA Plan and applicable EA Policy.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-426-0005

  1. Explain why we made the decision and the rules we used.
  2. Tell people about their options: 
    If someone disagrees with a decision, tell them the options they have to review our decision, including:
    1. How to make a complaint
    2. Their right to talk to a supervisor
    3. Their option to call customer relations at 1-800-865-7801
    4. Their right to ask for an administrative hearing
  3. Verbal complaints of discrimination: 
    When someone states they were discriminated against, ask them to write down the complaint. If they can't or won't write down the complaint, write down the details of the complaint for them.
  4. When someone wants to make a complaint:
    1. Help them write down their complaint as needed;
    2. Give them the number for customer relations if they ask for it; and
    3. Get the complaint to the person who supervises the client's worker right away.
  5. Civil rights complaints:
    1. Tell the person they can file a discrimination complaint about the Basic Food program directly with the US Department of Agriculture - Food and Nutrition Service. Help the person with the complaint as needed and give them the options of how to submit the complaint.If the person is applying for or gets food assistance, give them DSHS 22-552 - Nondiscrimination in the Basic Food Program brochure / complaint form.
    2. If the client is applying for or gets benefits from other programs, give them DSHS 22-171 - Nondiscrimination Policy brochure / complaint form.
    3. Help the person write down their complaint as needed;
    4. Get the complaint to the person who supervises the client's worker right away.
    5. Give them the number for customer relations if they ask for it.
  6. Discrimination complaints log: 
    All local offices must keep a discrimination complaints log. The log must record the following information:
    1. Date of complaint
    2. Name, address, telephone number, and client ID of the person making the complaint
    3. The specific location and name of the agency that authorizes the benefits
    4. Type of complaint (race, color, sex, political beliefs, etc.)
    5. The names, titles, and business addresses of people who may know about the action or decision in the complaint
    6. How we addressed the complaint and the date we did this
    7. A copy of the written response to the complaint
  7. Mandatory Civil Rights Training: 
    Every year, all staff must complete the online civil rights training by the end of February using the DSHS Learning Center. Completion of this training is monitored, and staff will receive a reminder if they have not completed the training on time.
  8. Client Demographics on Race / Ethnicity at interview:
    1. ​​At interview, inform clients we must collect racial and ethnic information for statistical reporting requirements and that the information does not affect eligibility. 
    2. Ask clients to self-identify their racial and ethnic group.
    3. If the client chooses not to identify a race or ethnic group, select Spanish origin code 000 (unreported) and Race code 999 (unreported) and document the client's decision.  This is required under federal regulations. 
    4. Allow the household to update this information by self-identifying if they choose to do so.

 

Confidentiality

A.  CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

WAC 388-428-0010 Request for address disclosure by a parent when a child is living with a non-parental caretaker.

 

B.  ADDRESS CONFIDENTIALITY PROGRAM (ACP)

Rules for the Address Confidentiality program are found in chapter  434-840 WAC.  This program is governed by the Office of the Secretary of State.

Confidentiality - Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) for Domestic Violence Victims

Revised October 2, 2023

Purpose: 

The Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) protects the address of persons attempting to escape from domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, or stalking situations. Criminal Justice Affiliates, Election Officials and Protected Health Care workers may also participate in the program. Participants may use a substitute address, issued by the Secretary of State, in place of their actual physical address. State and local agencies can then respond to public records requests without disclosing the actual location of the participant. 

Rules for ACP are found in WAC 434-840-001 through WAC 434-840-310 and are governed by the Office of the Secretary of State.


Clarifying Information

The ACP provides the following services: 

  • Gives each participant a substitute mailing address that can be used in place of their home, work, or school address.
  • Receives and forwards first-class mail from the substitute address to the participant.
  • Allows the participant to obtain many state and local agency services without revealing their physical address. 
  • Makes it easier for government agencies to respond to public records requests without disclosing the actual location of the participant.
  • Helps the participant to register to vote or obtain a marriage license without placing their address in records available to the public.

NOTE: ACP works best if the participant has relocated to a location not already in public record. 

Participants are given an authorization card the size of a driver's license.   The card has the participant's name, substitute address, birth date, expiration date, and a toll-free number to the ACP office for information.  The toll-free number is 1-800-822-1065.  The TTY number is 1-800-664-9677.

When a public assistance client requests use of the substitute address, the ACP authorization card must be presented to the worker.  The worker may make a copy of the ACP authorization card.

Worker Responsibilities

When a client states they are in danger or fleeing an abuser but are not enrolled in ACP advise the client that, if they provide their physical address to the department or any state agency, they will not be able to remove the address if they later on enroll in ACP. They have the option to wait to provide the department their physical address until approved for enrollment in ACP. 

When a client presents an ACP authorization card or states they are enrolled in ACP and have an assigned Private Mail Box (PMB) address: 

  1. Mail all benefits and information for the client to the substitute address, and be certain to include the PMB to prevent further mail delay.
    1. Do not ask the client to provide their actual address.  Do not record the client's physical address in ACES or retain copies of any documents that list the client's physical address.
    2. When verifying residency, household composition, or shelter costs do not ask the client to provide documents that state their physical address. Accept any document that lists the PMB address and reasonably verifies the eligibility factor see VERIFICATION for instructions on determining reasonableness. 
    3. If the client provides a document that lists the physical address:
      1. Do not keep the document. 
      2. Explain to the client that if we have anything in the case record that lists their physical address, we have to reveal that information if we are issued a subpoena.
      3. Document in the narrative: 
        1. What documents were used as verification:
        2. What eligibility factor the documents verify; and 
        3. Why copies of the document are not in the record. 
  2. Allow the client to provide any document that has the physical address concealed. 
  3. Re-verify the client's participation in ACP at eligibility review/recertification, if questionable. 

NOTE: If the individual doesn't have their authorization card, government agencies may call the ACP office at 1-800- 822-1065, or (360) 753-2972 to verify that the individual is an active ACP participant.

If the client wants more information about ACP: 

A trained advocate will assist individuals with the ACP application. The advocate will assist the individual with additional safety planning prior to enrolling in the program. For a current list of advocates trained in your community to sign up people for ACP, to to http://www.sos.wa.gov/address-confidentiality-program-acp and click on the map for your location. 

Confidentiality - Information

Revised March 25, 2011

Purpose: 

The department is responsible for ensuring that confidential information is not released to clients or third parties inappropriately or illegally. Confidential information can be disclosed only under the specific criteria in chapter 388-01 WAC.

WAC 388-428-0010 Request for address disclosure by a parent when a child is living with a nonparental caretaker


Clarifying Information  

Policies related to disclosure of confidential information are contained in chapter 388-01 WAC and in departmental administrative policies. The CSO Public Disclosure Coordinator is responsible for approving or denying requests for disclosure of confidential information.

  1. The following information is considered confidential:
    1. Information contained in case records:
      1. Names, birth dates, marital status, employment status, personal history;
      2. Location, current address and telephone number;
      3. Types of services being received, amounts of benefits and fair hearing activity;
      4. Social Security numbers; and
      5. Medical or psychiatric information.
    2. Information about third parties:
      1. Information about the identity of individuals who have filed complaints; and
      2. The identity of individuals who have provided information under condition of remaining anonymous.
    3. Information available from other agencies:
      1. Employment or benefit information from the Employment Security Department;
      2. Information from the Social Security Administration; and
      3. Birth information from Vital Statistics.
  2. Confidential information except chemical dependency treatment information may be provided to a person who works directly with:
    1. Federal- or state-funded public assistance programs including the federal food stamp program when used for the administration of the programs;
    2. The child support program under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act when used for the administration of the child support program; or
    3. Local, state or federal law enforcement agencies. Information will be released to a local, state, or federal law enforcement agency only when the request:
      1. Identifies the person making the request including their authority to do so;
      2. Identifies the client;
      3. Provides the Social Security Number of the client;
      4. States the request is an official duty or that finding and apprehending the client is an official duty;
      5. Describes the violation being investigated; and
      6. Limits the requested information to the address of the client.
  3. Release information to the U.S. Consulate (U.S. Department of State) only when the client has provided a written release for the information requested.
  4. At the client's request information provided by the client or previously given to a client may be disclosed to the client or their representative.
  5. Information provided by third parties may be disclosed to the client or the client's representative when:
    1. A fair hearing has been requested on an issue related to the information; or
    2. The Public Disclosure Coordinator determines that:
      1. The release is necessary; and
      2. The information was provided with the understanding that it might be released.
  6. Information relating to the identity of third parties who have filed complaints regarding clients (or other) and/or who have provided information on condition of anonymity must not be released unless required by a court order.
  7. Information may be released to individuals or agencies with valid releases of information signed and dated by the client. A release of information is valid if it is:
    1. Signed by the client, presented within any time frames mentioned on the release;
    2. Presented by the individual to whom the release is made out; and
    3. A request for information that can be legitimately released.
  8. Information except chemical dependency treatment information may be disclosed to any administrative division of DSHS when the purpose of the request for information is to administer the programs of the department.
  9. Routine transfers of information are subject to the same criteria.
  10. Information may be disclosed to outside agencies only for purposes directly connected with the administration of department programs. Outside agencies who receive confidential information are bound by the same rules as DSHS.
  11. The following information may be disclosed to medical providers:
    1. Proof that the client is eligible for medical assistance;
    2. Dates of eligibility;
    3. The PIC code with the tie breaker;
    4. The program for which the client is eligible; and
    5. Medicare eligibility status.
  12. The following information may not be disclosed to medical providers:
    1. Client names and addresses;
    2. Medical services provided;
    3. Social and economic conditions or circumstances;
    4. Agency evaluation of personal information; and
    5. Medical data.
  13. Confidential information cannot be provided for:
    1. Commercial or political purposes
    2. Personal purposes by any employees of the department.

Worker Responsibilities 

  1. Disclosure to third parties:  The department must disclose to anyone making inquiry whether or not a named individual is currently receiving assistance. The department's response is limited to a "yes" or "no" answer. Further information is prohibited without a release from the client.
  2. Disclosure to courts of law: Information can only be disclosed with a court order.
  3. Disclosure to government officials:Treat requests from government officials like any other third-party request. Refer the request to the CSO Public Disclosure Coordinator.
  4. Special situations:
    1. Translators and contractors must be informed of the rules regarding confidentiality and are bound by those rules to the same degree as a department employee.
    2. See INTERVIEW REQUIREMENTS for rules and procedures related to TANF/SFA Family Violence Screening and Referral.
    3. See RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES for rules and procedures related to the rights and responsibilities of a client receiving public assistance.
    4. See the NSA (Needs Supplemental Accommodation) Handbook for rules and procedures for NSA.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-428-0010

Disclosing Information to Parents with Visitation Rights or Legal Custody

  1. Disclosure of the address of a child on assistance to a parent who is not in the child's household is governed by RCW 74.04.060, 26.23.120 and 74.12.
  2. Disclosure of information to any other parent of a child on assistance is handled by the Division of Child Support.

Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP)

Data Sharing

Revised March 25, 2011

Purpose:

To describe how the department receives information from other sources regarding a clients eligibility for program benefits.

Clarifying Information

ACES provides workers with information on a variety of interfaces including:

  • Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS)
  • Office of Financial Recovery (OFR)
  • DSHS Central Accounting
  • Disqualified Recipient System (eDRS)
  • Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)
  • Income and Eligibility Verification System (IEVS)
  • Beneficiary Earnings Exchange Records (BEER)
  • Beneficiary Data Exchange (BENDEX)
  • Employment Security Department
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • State Data Exchange (SDX)
  • XRPIEN/Numident/SSA
  • Division of Child Support
  • Labor and Industries
  • Medicare Buy-In
  • Treasurer's Office
  • Washington Telephone Assistance Program (WTAP)
  • JAS (WorkFirst automated system)
  • Case and Management Information System (CAMIS)

ACES Procedures

  • See Interface Data
  • See Disqualified / Sanctioned Assistance Unit / Individual - Disqualified Recipient System (DRS) - Food Assistance

Diaper Related Payment (DRP)

Created October 9, 2023

Purpose:

This section reviews the Diaper Related Payment (DRP), which provides a reoccurring cash payment for diapers and basic needs essential to early development for all TANF/SFA households with a qualifying child under 3 years old. This program begins in November 2023.

WAC 388-494-0010 – What is the diaper related payment (DRP)?


​Clarifying Information - WAC 388-494-0010

  1. A TANF/SFA recipient household must meet this eligibility criteria to receive the cash payment intended to help provide diapers and essentials:
    1. Receiving at minimum of $10 cash grant from one of the following benefits:
      1. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF),
      2. State Family Assistance (SFA),
    2. Have at least one qualifying child under age 3 receiving TANF or SFA benefits.
      1. A child who is a TANF or SFA recipient must be under age 3 or turning age 3 in the benefit month.  A child is considered a "DRP qualifying child" until the end of the month in which the child turns age 3.
Note: A TANF household with a child under 3 years old receiving SSI isn’t eligible for DRP, as the child is not a receiving TANF benefits.

 

Note: With Concurrent TANF households, both TANF AUs with a recipient child under 3 years old are eligible for DRP.

 

  1. An application isn’t required for the DRP, as the department will establish program eligibility based on TANF eligibility information:
    • The payment is never prorated.  
Example: Laaka has been receiving TANF for their pregnancy. Laaka reports the birth of child, Koa in July. Adding the newborn to the TANF grant results in a supplement for July prorated on the date added. As Koa received a prorated TANF payment in July, the household is eligible for the $100 DRP for July and ongoing.
  • The DRP is available through the end of the month of the qualifying child’s 3rd birthday as long as the TANF remains active.
Example: Zuri will turn 3 years old on November 2nd, and her family has been receiving TANF and DRP. The family will be eligible for the DRP in November and ineligible for December. A notice will inform the household is no longer eligible for DRP for December.
  • The payment is budgeted the same as a TANF payment in other benefit calculations.

 

  1. The DRP benefit is limited to one monthly payment per qualifying TANF household, not per child. 
    1. If the TANF assistance unit has multiple children under 3 years old, the DRP is limited to $100.
  1. DRP is issued under the same TANF AU ID and in the same manner as the payment method for the TANF (EBT, warrant or EFT).

  2. When the DRP is approved, the client will be notified of the appropriate usage and availability of the benefits.

  3. TANF/SFA households will be notified when they are no longer eligible for DRP.

  4. The benefit amount is established annually by the department contingent on budget and available funding. The payment is subject to end if funds are exhausted.

Diversion Cash Assistance

Revised December 18, 2023

Purpose:

This category describes an emergency cash benefit available to families that meet the eligibility criteria for TANF or SFA but do not need ongoing monthly cash assistance. Assistance under this program is limited to one 30-day period every 12 months.

WAC 388-432-0005 Can I get help from DSHS for a family emergency without receiving monthly cash assistance?


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-432-0005

  1. TANF / SFA eligibility:
    In order to be eligible for Diversion Cash Assistance (DCA), the assistance unit (AU) must meet all of the eligibility requirements for TANF/SFA except WorkFirst requirements and assignment of child support rights. See PROGRAM SUMMARY for the eligibility requirements of each program. The eligibility requirements include the limits for earned income, unearned income and resources.
  2. Ineligible for cash assistance:
    1. Reasons why an adult member of a family may not be eligible for DCA include but are not limited to:
      1. Immigration status;
      2. Conviction in a state or federal court for unlawful practices in getting TANF/SFA;
      3. Conviction in a state or federal court of misrepresenting residence in order to get public assistance in two or more states;
      4. Disqualification because of being a fleeing felon;
      5. TANF/SFA was closed while in WorkFirst sanction on or after July 1, 2021; or
      6. TANF/SFA was closed because of an NCS (non-compliance sanction);
      7. A member of the household is in non-compliance with the division of child support; or
      8. An adult in the AU is over the TANF time limit, and no adults in the household qualify for a time limit extension.
    2. Child only cases (with non-needy relative caretaker) are not eligible for DCA.
  3. Effect of DCA on food assistance:
    1. If DCA payment is made directly to the client:
      1. It is considered a non-recurring lump sum payment and not counted as income.
      2. It is counted as a resource in the month received.
    2. If DCA payment is made directly to the vendor:
      1. It is considered a vendor payment for emergency and special assistance and not counted as income.
      2. It is not counted as a resource.
  4. In determining the need for DCA, utilities are considered part of the housing costs.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-432-0005

  1. An application is always required (WAC 388-406-0010).
  2. When a family requests TANF/SFA:
    1. Screen the application in ACES online for TANF/SFA,
    2. Review the application for DCA to see if the family has income that would meet the family's needs for at least 12 months.
    3. If the family decides to apply for DCA, add the DCA program in ACES 3G before you withdraw the TANF using ACES 3G closing code 550. (This can be done at screening if the family is in person or during the interview)
  3. Determine if the family meets all eligibility criteria for TANF/SFA other than WorkFirst requirements and assignment of child support.
    1. Determine if the family has a bona fide need, such as the ones listed in WAC 388-432-0005
      1.  The family must provide proof of this need, and
      2. You must document how each bona fide need was verified.
      3. Issue a denial letter when the family does not have a need or does not provide proof of the need.
    2. Determine if the family has enough, or is expected to have enough, income or resources to keep them off of TANF/SFA for 12 months.
      1. Use these guidelines to help determine a family’s ability to remain off TANF/SFA. Other factors may also be considered but must be documented in the case file:
        1. Is there a current or potential income source? (e.g. Earned Income, Unemployment, Child Support, or other regular source)
        2. Is this enough income to enable the family to stay self-sufficient? (i.e. will it cover the rent, utilities, and other bills monthly?)
        3. Does the applicant’s history indicate an ability to remain self-sufficient? (Review the case record to see if the family cycles on and off TANF.)
        4. Is the applicant highly motivated to stay off TANF/SFA?
      2. If there is little chance that the family could be self-sufficient, issue a denial letter for DCA benefits. Help the family consider applying for ongoing assistance or referrals to community resources.
    3. Review whether the family has received DCA payment in the past 12-month period or if the family is currently receiving TANF/SFA. If the family received DCA in the last 12 months or if the family is currently receiving TANF/SFA, issue a denial letter.
    4. Determine how much the family needs to meet their bona fide needs (up to $1250). Do not pay more than the need. Document how each bona fide need was verified. Make the payment directly to the vendor whenever possible. When it is not possible to send a payment directly to a vendor, document why it’s not possible.
    5. Refer the family for any other benefits and resources that can help them to be self-sufficient. Encourage clients to use Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) to help pay for childcare expenses.
    6. TANF/SFA eligibility within the DCA 12-month period: If you approve TANF/SFA within 12 months of the family’s DCA begin date, establish the DCA loan.
      1. The amount of the loan depends on how many months the client remained off TANF/SFA before they start receiving TANF/SFA. Calculate the loan amount by using these steps:
        1. Starting with the month DCA benefits were authorized count the number of months before the month TANF/SFA benefits started.
        2. Subtract those months from 12 to determine the number of remaining months.
        3. The number of remaining months is multiplied by one-twelfth of the total DCA payment to calculate the amount that must be repaid.
      2. DCA assistance units remain active in ACES 3G for 12 months but doesn't issue monthly payments.
      3. When you approve TANF you must close the DCA assistance unit in ACES 3G using closing code 585 (DCA Adult Eligible for TANF, Establish Loan Repayment), updating overpayment reason code: Diversion Assistance loan (DA) on Eligibility screen. DCA overpayments are established at the time of TANF approval.
      4. ACES 3G will create the necessary Benefit Error Group (BEG) for any closed months in the 12-month period.
      5. Create Overpayment Letter; Select the Diversion Assistance Loan (DA)/Overpayment (O) to create DCA Loan (0045-04); Select all adults in AU (children are no longer liable as of May 2019). Review letter for accurate dates, liability and overpayment amount before printing for state or local mail.
EXAMPLE A two-person AU (mom and child) applies for TANF. Mom has earned income that appears to meet the ongoing needs of the family. DCA and TANF are screened into ACES.online and then TANF is denied as a withdrawal. At the interview, mom's gross income is confirmed to be $1,200 a month and this is entered in ACES 3G. The AU is not eligible for DCA since they do not meet the maximum gross earned income standard of $1,506 a month. ACES 3G will deny the AU for being over the gross earned income standard. Have ACES 3G generate and send out the denial letter. Follow up to see if the family would like to apply for food and medical assistance and determine eligibility if family is interested.
NOTE: All DCA denials need to be in writing. Make sure you have ACES letter 04-01 Cash Denial for AU sent out.
EXAMPLE A four-person AU (mom and three children) applies for TANF and opts for DCA.Mom’s gross earned income for the AU is $1,200. No other source of income is available for the AU. Family is requesting $800 to fix their car. Mom needs the car for transportation to and from her job. However, mom does not have proof of the amount needed to fix the car. The AU needs to provide proof that $800 is needed to repair the car (e.g. telephone number and name of repair garage, invoice from garage showing estimated costs for car repairs). If mom does not provide proof, enter the ACES 586 code (DCA Ineligible) for the AU and have ACES 3G send out denial notice. Follow up to see if the family would like to apply for food and TANF/SFA cash assistance and determine eligibility if the family is interested.
EXAMPLE Three-person AU (mom, dad and child)requests DCA in September. Currently, they receive no assistance. They last received DCA in May of the same year. Since 12 months have not passed since the last time the AU has received DCA, enter in ACES 586 closing code (Ineligible for DA) and have ACES send out the denial notice.
EXAMPLE A two-person household (dad and child) requests DCA. The only source of income for the AU is L&I benefits of $400 a month. Since the AU has Section 8 housing, their rent is $57 a month. Dad’s L&I benefits will end but he expects to go back to work in four weeks based on doctor’s statement. The AU requests DCA to pay for car repair bills. Dad needs the car to return back to work. He provided an invoice from the garage to verify the estimated cost to repair his car at $900. Send a 02-07 DCA approval letter. Make the payment to the car repair garage. Two weeks later, AU applies for additional DCA and requests $50 for overdue utility bill. He provides proof of this need. The AU is eligible to receive this second payment since it is within the 30-day period. Send additional DCA request status ACES 75-01 letter and make the payment to the utility company.

ACES Procedures

  • See Diversion Cash Assistance (DCA)

Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP)

Purpose:

To provide an explanation of the Basic Food Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP).

 

Clarifying Information

ESAP helps those 60+ and adults with disabilities with the Basic Food recertification process by making the recertification process easier by not requiring a recertification interview and using existing data crossmatches to verify information. The goal is to remove barriers that may stop vulnerable participants from continuing to receive Basic Food benefits.
 
Initial Application:  All applications for Basic Food require an interview. When certified, ACES reviews household circumstances to determine whether the AU meets the requirements for ESAP. If eligible, ACES codes an X in ACES Online Report Status field (AU Demographic page) and in 3G on the AU Eligibility Details page. ACES also sets the ESAP certification period at 36 months.
 
Eligibility:  Eligibility for ESAP is only determined at application and recertification. Basic Food eligible households cannot become ESAP during a certification period.
To qualify at application and at each recertification, households must meet these requirements:
  • All members of the household must be at least 60 years old or must be an adult with a disability as defined in WAC 388-400-0040.
  • No member may have earned income.
To qualify at recertification:
  • Unearned income must be verified through existing data crossmatches or by verification provided at recertification.
  • Nothing on the eligibility review form is questionable. For example, when rent and utilities are self-declared, accept the client’s statement unless the shelter costs are questionable.
  • To be allowed, out-of-pocket-medical expenses in excess of $35 per month must be verified. If not verified, recertify the case without the expense.
 
EXAMPLE:
Tony and Bill submit a review for Basic Food. Tony is 53 and receives SSDI, and Bill 63 and receives SSA retirement. The ER Form is complete and verification available through interfaces isn’t questionable. Both household members meet the requirements for ESAP. Tony and Bill aren't required to complete an Eligibility Review interview as Tony meets disability criteria and Bill meets the age requirement.
EXAMPLE:
Fran is 65 and her spouse is 60. The couple’s only source of income is Fran’s Social Security. ACES sends Fran a mail-in Eligibility review and Fran doesn’t need to complete an interview for her Basic Food review.
EXAMPLE:
Jim is 70 and receives a pension from Germany. Jim didn't provide verification of his current monthly pension amount with his eligibility review. Jim will need to complete an interview for Basic Food and provide current verification of his income.
 
Certification period:
The certification period for ESAP is 36 months. See WAC 388-416-0005 How long can I get Basic Food?
  • ACES sets the certification period to 36 months. This process is fully automated. (Note: The 36-month certification period is effective 12/18/2023. ESAP cases certified or recertified before that date retain the 12-month certification until the next review.)
  • If the household becomes ineligible for ESAP during the certification period but remains eligible for Basic Food, Basic Food will continue through the original 36-month timeframe. See “Effect of Changes during the ESAP certification period” below.
 
Reporting Requirements:  
ESAP eligible clients do not completed MCRs. If the AU loses ESAP eligibility and returns to regular Basic Food, MCRs will be required.
 
ESAP clients are required to report changes during their certification period based on simplified reporting rules. (WAC 388-418-0005 (2) and Clarifying Information #2):
  • When household income exceeds 130% FPL, and
  • If they receive substantial gambling or lottery winnings.
See Reporting Requirements for other reported changes during the certification period.
 
Effect of Changes during the ESAP certification period
During an ESAP certification period, the household may report changes that disqualify the household for ESAP while they remain eligible for Basic Food. When the new information is entered:
  1. ACES removes the X code from the Report Status field and enters the appropriate code for the new circumstances.
  2. The certification period is the remainder of the original 36-month certification period, and the household will be sent annual MCRs as appropriate (WAC 388-418-0011 (3)(b).
 
MCR Examples
  1. The change occurs in month 7 causing the case to change to regular Basic Food. This is well before the 12th month. ACES sends the MCR in month 11 which is due in month 12 to determine eligibility starting in month 13 of the 36-month certification period.
  2. The change occurs in the 15th month. This is well before the 24-month MCR would be due. ACES sends the MCR in month 23.
  3. The change occurs in the 23rd month of the 36-month certification period. MCRs are normally sent during that month, due the following month. This is too late for an MCR to be sent to the household; the next report due is the eligibility review, sent in month 35.
 
Examples of changes during a certification period:
  1. Andrew is ESAP eligible. During his certification period he reports that his minor grandchild moved in. With the child added, the household is no longer just adults, either 60+ or disabled. ACES removes the ESAP coding; and Andrew remains eligible for regular Basic Food with his grandson.
    • The cert period remains the same, whatever is left of the 36 months.
    • The case is no longer ESAP and may be required to submit annual MCRs. (See Effect of Changes #1 above.)
    • At recertification, the household will be recertified as either ESAP or regular Basic Food, depending on the household circumstances.
 
  1. (Same example) Several months later, the child leaves the home and is removed from this case. The household once again consists of Andrew, who meets ESAP requirements. However, the case does not transition to ESAP during the cert period. The cert period continues for the remainder of the 36 months, and ACES sends annual MCRs for the 12th and 24th months. At the next recertification, if the household is eligible for ESAP, ACES codes Andrew’s case as ESAP.
 
  1. Marta receives Basic Food under ESAP and starts receiving disability retirement benefits. Her reported income exceeds 200%. She is no longer eligible for Basic Food. Update her case with her new income and allow the case to close with advanced and adequate notice. We are not required to interview Marta before closing her active case because she reported the change during her certification instead of at review.
 
  1. Inez, age 45, receives ABD and does not submit updated medical evidence when required. When her ABD closes, so does her eligibility for ESAP, as we cannot assume she still meets ESAP requirements. She remains eligible for Basic Food for the remainder of the certification. She must complete annual MCRs even if she is later reinstated on ABD.
 
 
Recertification:  
A completed and signed eligibility review is required at recertification. No interview is required at recertification when the household continues to meet ESAP eligibility requirements, nothing is questionable, and we have all the information necessary to recertify (WAC 388-452-0005 8(b), (c)).
  • If the household continues to meet ESAP eligibility and no information is questionable, recertify as ESAP.
  • If circumstances reported on the review form are questionable or cannot be verified electronically, and the household hasn’t provided verification with the review, an interview will be required to determine eligibility before recertification.
    • Follow procedures to send the interview letter.
    • When interviewed, if the household:
      • Meets the ESAP requirements, they’ll be recertified as ESAP for 36 months.
      • Does not provide verification of medical expenses that increased by more than $35 but remains otherwise eligible for ESAP, they’ll be recertified as ESAP for 36 months. (If proof is provided later, treat as a reported change.)
      • Is not ESAP eligible but eligible for regular Basic Food, recertify with a 12-month cert period.
We must attempt to conduct an interview at recertification:
  1. Before we close or deny ESAP,
  2. If the ESAP household’s circumstances no longer qualify as ESAP, or
  3. If the client requests one.
 
Closing an ESAP case:
  • If we receive information, whether from the client or another source, indicating the household is no longer eligible for Basic Food benefits, close the case following normal procedures.

Eligibility Reviews/Recertifications - Requirements for Food and Cash Programs

Revised: May 1, 2023

Purpose:

This section explains how often we review an Assistance Unit’s (AU) eligibility based on the type of benefits they receive, their circumstances, and when ACES sets a review period to match the review end date or certification end date of other programs.

WAC 388-434-0005 How often does the department review my eligibility for benefits?

WAC 388-434-0010 How do I get Basic Food benefits after my certification period has ended?

WAC 388-434-0015  Extension of certification periods and waiver of eligibility reviews and mid-certification reviews during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NOTE: As noted in WAC 388-434-0015, certification periods were extended for the following periods:

  • November 2020 is extended two months, to January 2021;
  • December 2020 is extended two months, to February 2021;
  • January 2021 is extended 4 months, to May 2021;
  • February 2021 is extended 4 months, to June 2021.

Mid-Certification Reviews for cash and food are waived that are due from November 2020 to June 2021. See Mid-Certification Reviews.