Revised December 6, 2011


Call the WASHCAP Central Unit if you have processing questions at 1-877-380-5784.

WAC 388-492-0020 What are WASHCAP food benefits and what do I need to know about WASHCAP? 

WAC 388-492-0030 Who can get WASHCAP?

WAC 388-492-0040  Can I choose whether I get WASHCAP food benefits or Basic Food benefits?

WAC 388-492-0050 How do I apply for WASHCAP?

WAC 388-492-0060 How do I get my WASHCAP food benefits?

WAC 388-492-0070 How are my WASHCAP food benefits calculated?

WAC 388-492-0080 Where do I report changes?

WAC 388-492-0090 How often do my WASHCAP food benefits need to be reviewed? 

WAC 388-492-0100 How is my eligibility for WASHCAP food benefits reviewed?

WAC 388-492-0110 What happens if my WASHCAP food benefits end?

WAC 388-492-0120 What happens to my WASHCAP benefits if I am disqualified?

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-492-0020 

  1. Who maintains the WASHCAP food benefits?
    1. The WASHCAP centralized unit maintains the majority of WASHCAP cases;
    2. Home and Community Services (HCS) maintains WASHCAP food cases for clients receiving other services from HCS.
  2. Who has responsibility for SSI Medicaid cases?
    1. The WASHCAP centralized unit maintains SSI Medicaid assistance units (AUs) for WASHCAP food benefit clients;
    2. HCS maintains SSI Medicaid AUs for their WASHCAP clients.
  3. When do WASHCAP food benefits begin?
    1. If a client is already receiving SSI, WASHCAP begins the first of the month following the month the client applies for food assistance.
    2. If a client is not yet receiving SSI, WASHCAP begins the first of the month following the month the client applies for food and is approved for ongoing SSI benefits.

NOTE: If clients need food benefits before WASHCAP benefits become effective, they must complete an application for Basic Food benefits.

 Clarifying Information -  WAC 388-492-0030 

  1. SSI Clients living in institutions
    1. SSI clients who live in an institution are not eligible for WASHCAP.
    2. When we know that a client has moved to an institution, the client is not eligible for WASHCAP.
    3. There is no overpayment or payment error when a WASHCAP client lives in an institution 90 days or less and continues to receive WASHCAP benefits, and we did not know the client was institutionalized.
    4. There is an overpayment and a payment error when a WASHCAP client lives in an institution for more than 90 days and continues to receive WASHCAP benefits.
  2. When clients must reapply for WASHCAP
    1. Clients institutionalized for more than a full issuance month must reapply for WASHCAP benefits.
    2. If the client needs food benefits before WASHCAP benefits become effective, the client can apply for Basic Food benefits.


Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-492-0030

When you know a client moved to an institution, you:

  1. Update the living arrangement code on the DEM1 screen to close the food benefits;
  2. Update the INST screen with appropriate code;
  3. Transfer the medical AU to the CSO or HCS when appropriate; and
  4. Reinstate the WASHCAP benefits if the client returns to their home in less than a full issuance month.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-492-0040

  1. WASHCAP- eligible clients may only opt out of the program if they meet the specific criteria in the WAC, and request to apply for benefits under Basic Food.
  2. Basic Food recipients who opted out or were not converted to WASHCAP prior to April 25, 2005, may elect to remain in the Basic Food program instead of WASHCAP as long as they remain continuously eligible for Basic Food. This includes individuals who opted out under the Chamberlain court order.
  3. Financial workers who think a client is WASHCAP eligible should contact the WASHCAP central unit for a case review when no “alt” benefit amount appears on the FSFI screen.
  4. When we look at child support costs to decide if a household can opt out of WASHCAP under WAC 388-492-0040 #3, the expense must be legally obligated support for a child outside the home.
    1. We can only consider support being paid. Having a debt with DCS alone does not qualify a client for a child support deduction.
    2. We use the amount we can reasonably anticipate the person paying to determine if the person would receive at least $40 more benefits under Basic Food.


Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-492-0040

  1. If a WASHCAP client meets opt-out criteria:
    1. Explain the differences between WASHCAP and Basic Food. Clients may choose to participate in WASHCAP even if they meet the opt-out criteria and would receive more benefits from Basic Food.
    2. Ask a client that opts out of WASHCAP to complete the Basic Food application or complete the eligibility review (ER) process.
  2. How is WASHCAP different than Basic Food?

    See the table below for some of the differences between WASHCAP and Basic Food:

    WASHCAP Basic Food
    The WASHCAP food assistance application is one page long. The SSA interview for SSI is also the interview for WASHCAP. The application for Basic Food is longer, and clients must complete an additional interview.
    A client must be eligible for SSI to be eligible for WASHCAP. A client does not have to be eligible for or getting SSI to be eligible for Basic Food.
    A client is eligible for WASHCAP if th client gets SSI benefits and SSA determines that the client:
    • Meets the definition of Living Arrangement A (Living Alone);
    • Purchases and prepares food separately; and
    • Has no earned income
    We decide if an assistance unit is eligible for Basic Food based on the client's living arrangements, whom they purchase and prepare food with, and other eligibility factors under WAC 388-400-0040 and 388-400-0045.
    A client must complete an application for benefits every 36 months unless SSA has recertified SSI benefits. When SSA has recertified a client's SSI benefits, WASHCAP benefits are recertified and automatically extended for 36 months from the date SSA recertified the client's SSI. Most households have to complete an application and have an interview for benefits every 12 months.
    A client does not have to give us proof of circumstances. SSA gives us this information. A client must give us proof of income, non-citizen status, and identity. Other elements are verified only if questionable.
    A client must tell SSA about changes within ten calendar days after the month the change happened. The client is not required to report this change to DSHS. A client must report certain changes to the local office. The client may have to provide proof of the changes. DSHS does not report changes to SSA.
    A client's WASHCAP benefits start the first of the month after the month the client applies for food benefits and SSA starts ongoing SSI benefits. We do not prorate WASHCAP benefits. A client's Basic Food benefits usually start from the date the client applied for Basic Food benefits. We determine the exact date the client's benefits are effective under WAC 388-406-0055. We prorate the first month's benefits based on this date.
    We do not offer expedited service for WASHCAP benefits. A client that qualifies for expedited service can get Basic Food within seven days of the date the client applied for benefits.
    Adults ages 18 thru 21 can receive WASHCAP while living with their parent(s) who are not receiving Basic Food Adults ages 18 thru 21 living with parent(s) must receive food assistance with them.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-492-0050

  1. Basic Food applications (DSHS 14-001) taken at SSA:
    1. SSA has the client complete page one of the application for Basic Food.
    2. SSA faxes the application to the local CSO for processing.
  2. WASHCAP application (DSHS 14-439):
    1. The WASHCAP application includes the following eligibility declarations:
      1. I live alone, or I buy and fix my food separately from other people in the house;
      2. I pay $_______(my share) for rent/mortgage each month.
    2. CSO 130 and HCS workers manually open WASHCAP benefits when DSHS receives the application.
  3. WASHCAP Information Sheet:
    1. The WASHCAP information sheet explains the client’s rights and responsibilities.
    2. Clients get the information sheet when:
      1. They have their SSI interview; or
      2. ACES auto-opens the WASHCAP AU.
  4. Expedited Service:
    1. Expedited Service is not available through WASHCAP.
    2. Clients must apply for Basic Food Benefits to receive expedited service
  5. How ACES determines a client is eligible for WASHCAP:
    1. ACES receives a daily SDX file from SSA.
    2. ACES converts a Basic Food AU to a WASHCAP AU when the SDX shows the client:
      1. Is eligible for federal SSI benefits;
      2. Has no earned income;
      3. Is in a SSA living arrangement “A” on the SDX;
      4. Is single or separated; and
      5. Is at least 18 years old.
  6. Automated WASHCAP Approval
    1. ACES auto-opens WASHCAP when the SDX "Fs Appl Cd" indicator is "Y" or "N" and all the conditions in (5.) (b.) are met.
    2. Clients approved for WASHCAP receive the DSHS 02-01 approval letter explaining:
      1. The client’s current Basic Food benefit if applicable; and
      2. The client’s WASHCAP benefit.
  7. WASHCAP auto-open failure
    1. An alert will be sent to the worker when WASHCAP does not auto-open.
    2. ACES will not automatically open WASHCAP when the:
      1. Client gets DO1 or DO2 medical;
      2. DEM screen marital status is “A” or “M”;
      3. Name or date of birth is mismatched;
      4. Client is a non-citizen receiving a state-funded food assistance benefit;
      5. Client is pending or already receives food benefits in another AU;
      6. Client has a current Basic Food disqualification; or
      7. Client’s ACES living arrangement type for Basic Food is one of the following:
        AD Adoption Support Non IV-E IL Invalid Living Arrangement
        AE Adoption Support IV-E IM IMD
        AF Alternate Living Facility (ALF) IT Involuntary Treatment Act in IMD
        AS Alien Sponsor, Home w/Spouse JL City/County Jail
        BO Boarder JR Juvenile Rehabilitation
        BS Boarding School MR IMR
        CB Commercial Boarding Home NA Non-Adatsa Alcohol & Drug Treatment Center
        DC Assisted Living Dept Contract NF Nursing Facility
        FC Foster Care Non-Title IV-E PR State/Federal Prison
        FE Foster Care Title IV-E TA Temporary Absence
        FH Adult Family Home TF Temporary Absence - In Foster Care
        GH DDD Group Home (Large - 17+) VH Veteran Home
        HS Hospital    


Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-492-0050

  1. When ACES doesn't auto-open WASHCAP:
    The system sets an alert for the WASHCAP/HCS financial worker. If you get this alert, take the following actions:
    1. Decide if the client is WASHCAP eligible; and
    2. Resolve the discrepancy preventing the auto-open.
  2. When a WASHCAP-eligible client applies for Basic Food at the CSO:
    1. Process the request for benefits using Basic Food application and verification procedures;
    2. Issue any benefits the client is eligible to receive for the application month;
  3. WASHCAP application (DSHS 14-439) received in the CSO:
    1. Ask the client if Basic Food is wanted for the current month;
    2. If yes, accept the application as filed and proceed with the Basic Food application process. Transfer ongoing months to the WASHCAP unit as appropriate.
    3. If the client wants WASHCAP benefits only, send the application to the HIU for imaging.
    4. If the client is unavailable, send the WASHCAP application to the HIU for imaging

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-492-0060

Issuing an EBT/QUEST Card:

  1. When ACES opens WASHCAP it triggers the current EBT contractor to mail an EBT card.
  2. Clients receive their EBT card within 7 days of the SDX interface showing WASHCAP approval.
  3. Clients are instructed to select their own PIN through the Personal PIN selection process by calling the EBT customer service toll-free number when they receive their EBT card in the mail.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-492-0070

Calculating WASHCAP Benefits:

We rely on the gross income as updated by the SDX from SSA as described in WAC 388-492-0030.


Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-492-0070

When a client's shelter cost changes:

If you find out that a WASHCAP client’s shelter cost has changed, verify the change if questionable and update the change on the ACES WCAP screen as needed to inform SSA to allow the appropriate WASHCAP shelter cost.

See WASHCAP in the ACES User Manual

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-492-0080

  1. Reporting changes to SSA:
    1. Clients must tell SSA when changes happen.
    2. Changes the client must report to SSA may differ from changes the client is normally required to report to DSHS.
    3. SSA also requires the client report changes within 10 days after the month in which the change occurred.

      Client moves on the 15th of January. The client must report this change to Social Security by February 10th

  2. When SSA tells DSHS about changes:
    1. SSA gives DSHS new information using the SDX interface.
    2. ACES will either automatically act on the change or set an alert for the worker to take action.
  3. When ACES automatically takes action:
    1. When ACES opens WASHCAP for a new SSI client who has never received Basic Food, ACES will:
      1. Deny food benefits for the month that ongoing SSI was approved; and
      2. Open WASHCAP the first of the following month.
    2. An existing Basic Food AU will be converted to WASHCAP when ACES receives an SDX with WASHCAP codes “Y” or “N” on the SDX Fs Appl Cd field.
    3. ACES also:
      1. Transfers cases to the WASHCAP central unit # 130 when appropriate;
      2. Sends a WASHCAP application (DSHS 14-439) to WASHCAP clients 45 days prior to the end of the client’s certification period; and
      3. Closes WASHCAP when the client no longer meets WASHCAP eligibility criteria.
  4. ACES sends an alert to the worker when:
    1. The client has current ADATSA coding on the INST screen.
    2. The client’s living arrangement on an active case prevents the case from auto-opening.
    3. Someone else is active on the client's current Basic Food AU.
    4. ACES shows earned income and the SDX does not.
    5. The demographics on the SDX and in ACES do not match.
    6. The client is a recipient on any AU with another member.
    7. The client is on a DO1 AU.
    8. The client is disqualified from food benefits.
    9. The client is pending on a Basic Food AU or pending on a Basic Food AU with another client.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-492-0080

When WASHCAP clients report changes:

  1. CSD Financial workers should set a Barcode tickler to the WASHCAP unit, and send any documentation to the HIU for imaging.
  2. Provide WASHCAP toll free number (1-877-380-5784) to the client for future DSHS contact.
  3. WASHCAP and HCS workers should update ACES with changes of address and remind the client to report the change and any shelter changes to SSA.
  4. When a WASHCAP household reports a change in address, but does not report the new shelter costs, the WASHCAP unit must lower the shelter standard and send the household a letter requesting the new shelter expenses associated with the new residence.  We cannot assume the shelter expenses exceed the high shelter standard threshold until we receive confirmation of the new shelter expenses.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-492-0090

When the WASCAP Certification period begins:

  1. The certification period for clients not already receiving Basic Food is 36 months and begins the first of the month after the WASHCAP application is approved.
  2. To determine the certification period for newly approved SSI clients already receiving Basic Food, ACES:
    1. Subtracts the number of months the client already received Basic Food in their current certification period from the maximum 36-month WASHCAP certification period; and
    2. Uses the difference as the new WASHCAP certification period.
      Benefits were approved from November through October (1 year). The client starts getting SSI and becomes a WASHCAP client effective with February benefits. The client received Basic Food benefits from November through January in the current certification (3 months). ACES will subtract 3 months from the 36-month certification. The client's first WASHCAP certification period is 33 months.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-492-0100

Updating WASHCAP Certifications

  1. When SSA completes a SSI redetermination on a WASHCAP client, ACES automatically updates the WASHCAP case to:
    1. A new 36-month certification period;
    2. The new certification period starts the month after the month that SSA completed the SSI redetermination.
  2. When SSI does not complete a SSI redetermination prior to WASHCAP certification ending, ACES:
    1. Sends the client a review letter and a WASHCAP application (DSHS 14-439) forty-five days before the WASHCAP certification period ends;
    2. Sends a letter thirty days prior to the certification end date if the client has not returned a completed application;
    3. Closes WASHCAP if the case is not recertified by deadline.
  3. WASHCAP cases can be reopened back to the first of the month if the client returns the application within 30 days of the end of the certification period
    On June 1st ACES sends the client a one-page application form. The recertification was not done because the client did not complete and return the application form. The case closes July 31st. On August 12th, the client returns the completed application. The worker reopens the WASHCAP case back to August 1st.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-492-0110

WASHCAP clients have the same fair hearing rights as other clients. This includes the right to continued benefits pending a hearing.


Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-492-0110

  1. When a client is terminated from WASHCAP and submits a WASHCAP Application (14-439):
    1. WASHCAP staff will deny WASHCAP benefits if the client is ineligible for WASHCAP.
    2. They will document their action and add notes in the ACES narrative to alert the local office to consider the 14-439 as a request for benefits under WAC 388-406-0010.
  2. When the client requests a hearing:
    1. If a client requests a hearing, keep the WASHCAP case with the Central Unit or Home and Community Services office. See FAIR HEARING - Hearing Request.
    2. If you are waiting for a fair hearing decision on a terminated WASHCAP case:
      1. Open Basic Food for the continued benefits;
      2. Use the WASHCAP shelter costs and the client’s SSI income;
      3. Make certain the benefits issued are the same amount the client received under WASHCAP; and
      4. Set an alert to check on the fair hearing decision.
  3. What to do when the department’s actions have been upheld:
    1. Reduce or terminate the benefits; and
    2. Set up an overpayment for any amount the client received in continued benefits.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-492-0120

When the WASCAP client has an Intentional Program Violation (IPV), ACES:

  1. Runs a cross match with the Disqualified Recipient System (DRS) file on every new WASHCAP case to identify IPV cases.
  2. Sends a letter to the client explaining the disqualification and when the disqualification ends.
  3. Sends a State Verification Exchange System (SVES) inquiry at the end of the disqualification period asking for a new SDX record.
  4. Monitors the SANC screen and on-going disqualification interface to:
    1. Check for disqualification extensions;
    2. Notify the client if the disqualification period has been extended;
    3. Take appropriate action if the disqualification period has been shortened.
  5. Sends an alert to the worker if the disqualification becomes a permanent disqualification.


Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-492-0120

  1. When ACES sends a disqualification alert:
    1. Review the case to see if you should apply the disqualification:
      1. If applicable, close the case following adverse action rules. See WAC 388-458-0030 for advance notice rules.
      2. Send a letter to inform the client of the disqualification and the date the disqualification will end. See WAC 388-418-0020 for Effective Dates for Changes.
      3. Document your actions if the disqualification is not valid (i.e. the disqualification period is over).
    2. If the client is permanently disqualified:
      1. Update the (SANC) screen in ACES.
      2. Send a letter to the client about the disqualification; and
      3. Document in the record that the client is permanently disqualified from Basic Food and the reason for the disqualification.
  2. Cooperation with Quality Assurance:

    If you receive a notice that a client refused to cooperate with Quality Assurance, follow the Worker Responsibilities under WAC 388-464-0001.

ACES Procedures

  • See Washington State Combined Application Project (WASHCAP)


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