Chapter 74.04 RCW

GENERAL PROVISIONSADMINISTRATION

Sections

74.04.004DefinitionsFraud and abuse.
74.04.005DefinitionsEligibility.
74.04.00511Limitations on "resource" and "income."
74.04.0052Teen applicants' living situationCriteriaPresumptionProtective payeeAdoption referral.
74.04.006Contract of sale of propertyAvailability as a resource or incomeEstablishment.
74.04.011Secretary's authorityPersonnel.
74.04.012Office of fraud and accountability.
74.04.014Office of fraud and accountabilityAuthorityConfidentiality.
74.04.015Administration and disbursement of federal fundsPublic assistanceMedical services programs.
74.04.025Bilingual services for non-English-speaking applicants and recipientsBilingual personnel, whenPrimary language pamphlets and written materials.
74.04.033Notification of availability of basic health plan.
74.04.040Public assistance a joint federal, state, and county functionNotice required.
74.04.050Department to administer certain public assistance programsAuthority to administer medical services programs.
74.04.055Cooperation with federal governmentConstructionConflict with federal requirements.
74.04.057Promulgation of rules and regulations to qualify for federal funds.
74.04.060Records, confidentialExceptionsPenalty.
74.04.062Disclosure of recipient location to police officer or immigration official.
74.04.070County officeAdministrator.
74.04.080County administratorPersonnelBond.
74.04.180Joint county administration.
74.04.200StandardsEstablished, enforced.
74.04.205Simplified reporting for the food stamp program.
74.04.210Basis of allocation of moneys to counties.
74.04.225Opportunity portalAccess to available services facilitatedReport to legislature and governor.
74.04.230Medical care services benefitsMental health services.
74.04.265EarningsDeductions from grants.
74.04.266Aged, blind, or disabled assistanceMedical care servicesEarned income exemption to be established for unemployable persons.
74.04.280Assistance nontransferable and exempt from process.
74.04.290Subpoena of witnesses, books, records, etc.
74.04.300Recovery of payments improperly receivedLienRecipient reporting requirements.
74.04.310Authority to accept contributions.
74.04.330Annual reports by assistance organizationsPenalty.
74.04.340Federal surplus commoditiesCertification of persons eligible to receive commodities.
74.04.350Federal surplus commoditiesNot to be construed as public assistance, eligibility not affected.
74.04.360Federal surplus commoditiesCertification deemed administrative expense of department.
74.04.370Federal surplus commoditiesCounty program, expenses, handling of commodities.
74.04.380Federal and other surplus food commoditiesAgreementsPersonnelFacilitiesCooperation with other agenciesDiscontinuance of program.
74.04.385Unlawful practices relating to surplus commoditiesPenalty.
74.04.480Educational leaves of absence for personnel.
74.04.500Food stamp programAuthorized.
74.04.510Food stamp programRules.
74.04.515Food stamp programDiscrimination prohibited.
74.04.520Food stamp programConfidentiality.
74.04.535Food stamp employment and training program.
74.04.541Supplemental nutrition assistance program benefitsDistribution dates.
74.04.600Supplemental security income programPurpose.
74.04.610Supplemental security income programTermination of federal financial assistance paymentsSupersession by supplemental security income program.
74.04.620State supplement to national program of supplemental security incomeAuthorizedReimbursement of interim assistance, attorneys' fees.
74.04.630State supplementation to national program of supplemental security incomeContractual agreements with federal government.
74.04.635State supplement to national program of supplemental security incomeWorld War II Philippine veterans.
74.04.640Acceptance of referrals for vocational rehabilitationReimbursement.
74.04.650Individuals failing to comply with federal requirements.
74.04.655Vocational rehabilitationAssessment, referral.
74.04.657Veterans' benefitsAssessment for eligibility.
74.04.660Family emergency assistance programExtension of benefits during state of emergency.
74.04.670Long-term care servicesEligibility.
74.04.750Reporting requirementsFood stamp allotments and rent or housing subsidies, consideration as income.
74.04.760Minimum amount of monthly assistance payments.
74.04.770Consolidated standards of needRateable reductionsGrant maximums.
74.04.790Supplementary programReimbursement for employees being victims of assault.
74.04.800Incarcerated parentsPolicies to encourage family contact and engagement.
74.04.805Essential needs and housing support eligibility.
74.04.815Military dependentsHome and community-based services programs.
74.04.900ConstructionChapter applicable to state registered domestic partnerships2009 c 521.

NOTES:

Collection agencies to collect public debts: RCW 19.16.500.
IdenticardsIssuance to nondrivers and public assistance recipients: RCW 46.20.117.


DefinitionsFraud and abuse.

The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Abuse" means any intentional use of public assistance benefits that constitutes a violation of any state statute or regulation relating to the use of public assistance benefits. This definition excludes medicaid and other medical programs as defined in chapter 74.09 RCW, and fraud and abuse committed by medical providers and recipients of medicaid and other medical program services.
(2) "Disclosable information" means public information that (a) is not exempt from disclosure under chapter 42.56 RCW; and (b) does not pertain to an ongoing investigation.
(3) "Fraud" means an intentional deception or misrepresentation made by a person with the knowledge that the deception could result in some unauthorized benefit to himself or herself or some other person.
(4) "Office" means the office of fraud and accountability.
(5) "Public assistance" or "public assistance programs" means public aid to persons in need including assistance grants, food assistance, work relief, disability lifeline benefits, temporary assistance for needy families, and, for purposes of this section, working connections child care subsidies. This definition excludes medicaid and other medical programs as defined in chapter 74.09 RCW, and fraud and abuse committed by medical providers and recipients of medicaid and other medical program services.

NOTES:

Finding2011 1st sp.s. c 42: "The legislature finds that eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse of public assistance benefits should be a priority of the department of social and health services, and this can best be reflected in a newly organized, accountable, and proactive fraud unit directly under the secretary's authority with the resources necessary to combat fraud and to ensure the confidence of the public in the critical social safety net programs it funds." [ 2011 1st sp.s. c 42 § 20.]
FindingsIntentEffective date2011 1st sp.s. c 42: See notes following RCW 74.08A.260.



DefinitionsEligibility. (Effective until February 1, 2019.)

For the purposes of this title, unless the context indicates otherwise, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) "Aged, blind, or disabled assistance program" means the program established under RCW 74.62.030.
(2) "Applicant" means any person who has made a request, or on behalf of whom a request has been made, to any county or local office for assistance.
(3) "Authority" means the health care authority.
(4) "County or local office" means the administrative office for one or more counties or designated service areas.
(5) "Department" means the department of social and health services.
(6) "Director" means the director of the health care authority.
(7) "Essential needs and housing support program" means the program established in RCW 43.185C.220.
(8) "Federal aid assistance" means the specific categories of assistance for which provision is made in any federal law existing or hereafter passed by which payments are made from the federal government to the state in aid or in respect to payment by the state for public assistance rendered to any category of needy persons for which provision for federal funds or aid may from time to time be made, or a federally administered needs-based program.
(9) "Income" means:
(a) All appreciable gains in real or personal property (cash or kind) or other assets, which are received by or become available for use and enjoyment by an applicant or recipient during the month of application or after applying for or receiving public assistance. The department may by rule and regulation exempt income received by an applicant for or recipient of public assistance which can be used by him or her to decrease his or her need for public assistance or to aid in rehabilitating him or her or his or her dependents, but such exemption shall not, unless otherwise provided in this title, exceed the exemptions of resources granted under this chapter to an applicant for public assistance. In addition, for cash assistance the department may disregard income pursuant to RCW 74.08A.230 and 74.12.350.
(b) If, under applicable federal requirements, the state has the option of considering property in the form of lump sum compensatory awards or related settlements received by an applicant or recipient as income or as a resource, the department shall consider such property to be a resource.
(10) "Need" means the difference between the applicant's or recipient's standards of assistance for himself or herself and the dependent members of his or her family, as measured by the standards of the department, and value of all nonexempt resources and nonexempt income received by or available to the applicant or recipient and the dependent members of his or her family.
(11) "Public assistance" or "assistance" means public aid to persons in need thereof for any cause, including services, medical care, assistance grants, disbursing orders, work relief, benefits under RCW 74.62.030 and 43.185C.220, and federal aid assistance.
(12) "Recipient" means any person receiving assistance and in addition those dependents whose needs are included in the recipient's assistance.
(13) "Resource" means any asset, tangible or intangible, owned by or available to the applicant at the time of application, which can be applied toward meeting the applicant's need, either directly or by conversion into money or its equivalent. The department may by rule designate resources that an applicant may retain and not be ineligible for public assistance because of such resources. Exempt resources shall include, but are not limited to:
(a) A home that an applicant, recipient, or their dependents is living in, including the surrounding property;
(b) Household furnishings and personal effects;
(c) A motor vehicle, other than a motor home, used and useful having an equity value not to exceed five thousand dollars;
(d) A motor vehicle necessary to transport a household member with a physical disability. This exclusion is limited to one vehicle per person with a physical disability;
(e) All other resources, including any excess of values exempted, not to exceed one thousand dollars or other limit as set by the department, to be consistent with limitations on resources and exemptions necessary for federal aid assistance. The department shall also allow recipients of temporary assistance for needy families to exempt savings accounts with combined balances of up to an additional three thousand dollars;
(f) Applicants for or recipients of benefits under RCW 74.62.030 and 43.185C.220 shall have their eligibility based on resource limitations consistent with the temporary assistance for needy families program rules adopted by the department; and
(g) If an applicant for or recipient of public assistance possesses property and belongings in excess of the ceiling value, such value shall be used in determining the need of the applicant or recipient, except that: (i) The department may exempt resources or income when the income and resources are determined necessary to the applicant's or recipient's restoration to independence, to decrease the need for public assistance, or to aid in rehabilitating the applicant or recipient or a dependent of the applicant or recipient; and (ii) the department may provide grant assistance for a period not to exceed nine months from the date the agreement is signed pursuant to this section to persons who are otherwise ineligible because of excess real property owned by such persons when they are making a good faith effort to dispose of that property if:
(A) The applicant or recipient signs an agreement to repay the lesser of the amount of aid received or the net proceeds of such sale;
(B) If the owner of the excess property ceases to make good faith efforts to sell the property, the entire amount of assistance may become an overpayment and a debt due the state and may be recovered pursuant to RCW 43.20B.630;
(C) Applicants and recipients are advised of their right to a fair hearing and afforded the opportunity to challenge a decision that good faith efforts to sell have ceased, prior to assessment of an overpayment under this section; and
(D) At the time assistance is authorized, the department files a lien without a sum certain on the specific property.
(14) "Secretary" means the secretary of social and health services.
(15) "Standards of assistance" means the level of income required by an applicant or recipient to maintain a level of living specified by the department.
(16) For purposes of determining eligibility for public assistance and participation levels in the cost of medical care, the department shall exempt restitution payments made to people of Japanese and Aleut ancestry pursuant to the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 and the Aleutian and Pribilof Island Restitution Act passed by congress, P.L. 100-383, including all income and resources derived therefrom.
(17) In the construction of words and phrases used in this title, the singular number shall include the plural, the masculine gender shall include both the feminine and neuter genders, and the present tense shall include the past and future tenses, unless the context thereof shall clearly indicate to the contrary.
[ 2011 1st sp.s. c 36 § 8; 2011 1st sp.s. c 15 § 61; 2010 1st sp.s. c 8 § 4; 2003 1st sp.s. c 10 § 1; 2000 c 218 § 1. Prior: 1998 c 80 § 1; 1998 c 79 § 6; prior: 1997 c 59 § 10; 1997 c 58 § 309; prior: 1992 c 165 § 1; 1992 c 136 § 1; 1991 sp.s. c 10 § 1; 1991 c 126 § 1; 1990 c 285 § 2; 1989 1st ex.s. c 9 § 816; prior: 1987 c 406 § 9; 1987 c 75 § 31; 1985 c 335 § 2; 1983 1st ex.s. c 41 § 36; 1981 2nd ex.s. c 10 § 5; 1981 1st ex.s. c 6 § 1; prior: 1981 c 8 § 1; prior: 1980 c 174 § 1; 1980 c 84 § 1; 1979 c 141 § 294; 1969 ex.s. c 173 § 1; 1965 ex.s. c 2 § 1; 1963 c 228 § 1; 1961 c 235 § 1; 1959 c 26 § 74.04.005; prior: (i) 1947 c 289 § 1; 1939 c 216 § 1; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 10007-101a. (ii) 1957 c 63 § 1; 1953 c 174 § 17; 1951 c 122 § 1; 1951 c 1 § 3 (Initiative Measure No. 178, approved November 7, 1950); 1949 c 6 § 3; Rem. Supp. 1949 § 9998-33c.]

NOTES:

Reviser's note: This section was amended by 2011 1st sp.s. c 15 § 61 and by 2011 1st sp.s. c 36 § 8, each without reference to the other. Both amendments are incorporated in the publication of this section under RCW 1.12.025(2). For rule of construction, see RCW 1.12.025(1).
Effective date2011 1st sp.s. c 36 § 8: "Section 8 of this act takes effect November 1, 2011." [ 2011 1st sp.s. c 36 § 40.]
Alphabetization2011 1st sp.s. c 36: "The code reviser shall alphabetize the subsections containing definitions in RCW 74.04.005." [ 2011 1st sp.s. c 36 § 35.]
FindingsIntent2011 1st sp.s. c 36: See RCW 74.62.005.
Effective dateFindingsIntentReportAgency transferReferences to head of health care authorityDraft legislation2011 1st sp.s. c 15: See notes following RCW 74.09.010.
Implementation2010 1st sp.s. c 8 §§ 1-10 and 29: See note following RCW 74.04.225.
FindingsIntentShort titleEffective date2010 1st sp.s. c 8: See notes following RCW 74.04.225.
Short titlePart headings, captions, table of contents not lawExemptions and waivers from federal lawConflict with federal requirementsSeverability1997 c 58: See RCW 74.08A.900 through 74.08A.904.
Severability1991 sp.s. c 10: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1991 sp.s. c 10 § 2.]
Effective date1991 sp.s. c 10: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect July 1, 1991." [ 1991 sp.s. c 10 § 3.]
FindingsPurpose1990 c 285: "(1) The legislature finds that each year less than five percent of pregnant teens relinquish their babies for adoption in Washington state. Nationally, fewer than eight percent of pregnant teens relinquish their babies for adoption.
(2) The legislature further finds that barriers such as lack of information about adoption, inability to voluntarily enter into adoption agreements, and current state public assistance policies act as disincentives to adoption.
(3) It is the purpose of this act to support adoption as an option for women with unintended pregnancies by removing barriers that act as disincentives to adoption." [ 1990 c 285 § 1.]
Severability1990 c 285: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1990 c 285 § 10.]
Effective dateSeverability1989 1st ex.s. c 9: See RCW 43.70.910 and 43.70.920.
Savings1987 c 75: See RCW 43.20B.900.
Severability1983 1st ex.s. c 41: See note following RCW 26.09.060.
Effective date1981 1st ex.s. c 6: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, the support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect July 1, 1981." [ 1981 1st ex.s. c 6 § 31.]
Severability1981 1st ex.s. c 6: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1981 1st ex.s. c 6 § 30.]
Consolidated standards of need: RCW 74.04.770.

DefinitionsEligibility. (Effective February 1, 2019.)

For the purposes of this title, unless the context indicates otherwise, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) "Aged, blind, or disabled assistance program" means the program established under RCW 74.62.030.
(2) "Applicant" means any person who has made a request, or on behalf of whom a request has been made, to any county or local office for assistance.
(3) "Authority" means the health care authority.
(4) "County or local office" means the administrative office for one or more counties or designated service areas.
(5) "Department" means the department of social and health services.
(6) "Director" means the director of the health care authority.
(7) "Essential needs and housing support program" means the program established in RCW 43.185C.220.
(8) "Federal aid assistance" means the specific categories of assistance for which provision is made in any federal law existing or hereafter passed by which payments are made from the federal government to the state in aid or in respect to payment by the state for public assistance rendered to any category of needy persons for which provision for federal funds or aid may from time to time be made, or a federally administered needs-based program.
(9) "Income" means:
(a) All appreciable gains in real or personal property (cash or kind) or other assets, which are received by or become available for use and enjoyment by an applicant or recipient during the month of application or after applying for or receiving public assistance. The department may by rule and regulation exempt income received by an applicant for or recipient of public assistance which can be used by him or her to decrease his or her need for public assistance or to aid in rehabilitating him or her or his or her dependents, but such exemption shall not, unless otherwise provided in this title, exceed the exemptions of resources granted under this chapter to an applicant for public assistance. In addition, for cash assistance the department may disregard income pursuant to RCW 74.08A.230 and 74.12.350.
(b) If, under applicable federal requirements, the state has the option of considering property in the form of lump sum compensatory awards or related settlements received by an applicant or recipient as income or as a resource, the department shall consider such property to be a resource.
(10) "Need" means the difference between the applicant's or recipient's standards of assistance for himself or herself and the dependent members of his or her family, as measured by the standards of the department, and value of all nonexempt resources and nonexempt income received by or available to the applicant or recipient and the dependent members of his or her family.
(11) "Public assistance" or "assistance" means public aid to persons in need thereof for any cause, including services, medical care, assistance grants, disbursing orders, work relief, benefits under RCW 74.62.030 and 43.185C.220, and federal aid assistance.
(12) "Recipient" means any person receiving assistance and in addition those dependents whose needs are included in the recipient's assistance.
(13) "Resource" means any asset, tangible or intangible, owned by or available to the applicant at the time of application, which can be applied toward meeting the applicant's need, either directly or by conversion into money or its equivalent. The department may by rule designate resources that an applicant may retain and not be ineligible for public assistance because of such resources. Exempt resources shall include, but are not limited to:
(a) A home that an applicant, recipient, or their dependents is living in, including the surrounding property;
(b) Household furnishings and personal effects;
(c) One motor vehicle, other than a motor home, used and useful having an equity value not to exceed ten thousand dollars;
(d) A motor vehicle necessary to transport a household member with a physical disability. This exclusion is limited to one vehicle per person with a physical disability;
(e) All other resources, including any excess of values exempted, not to exceed six thousand dollars or other limit as set by the department, to be consistent with limitations on resources and exemptions necessary for federal aid assistance;
(f) Applicants for or recipients of benefits under RCW 74.62.030 and 43.185C.220 shall have their eligibility based on resource limitations consistent with the temporary assistance for needy families program rules adopted by the department; and
(g) If an applicant for or recipient of public assistance possesses property and belongings in excess of the ceiling value, such value shall be used in determining the need of the applicant or recipient, except that: (i) The department may exempt resources or income when the income and resources are determined necessary to the applicant's or recipient's restoration to independence, to decrease the need for public assistance, or to aid in rehabilitating the applicant or recipient or a dependent of the applicant or recipient; and (ii) the department may provide grant assistance for a period not to exceed nine months from the date the agreement is signed pursuant to this section to persons who are otherwise ineligible because of excess real property owned by such persons when they are making a good faith effort to dispose of that property if:
(A) The applicant or recipient signs an agreement to repay the lesser of the amount of aid received or the net proceeds of such sale;
(B) If the owner of the excess property ceases to make good faith efforts to sell the property, the entire amount of assistance may become an overpayment and a debt due the state and may be recovered pursuant to RCW 43.20B.630;
(C) Applicants and recipients are advised of their right to a fair hearing and afforded the opportunity to challenge a decision that good faith efforts to sell have ceased, prior to assessment of an overpayment under this section; and
(D) At the time assistance is authorized, the department files a lien without a sum certain on the specific property.
(14) "Secretary" means the secretary of social and health services.
(15) "Standards of assistance" means the level of income required by an applicant or recipient to maintain a level of living specified by the department.
(16) For purposes of determining eligibility for public assistance and participation levels in the cost of medical care, the department shall exempt restitution payments made to people of Japanese and Aleut ancestry pursuant to the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 and the Aleutian and Pribilof Island Restitution Act passed by congress, P.L. 100-383, including all income and resources derived therefrom.
(17) In the construction of words and phrases used in this title, the singular number shall include the plural, the masculine gender shall include both the feminine and neuter genders, and the present tense shall include the past and future tenses, unless the context thereof shall clearly indicate to the contrary.
[ 2018 c 40 § 1. Prior: 2011 1st sp.s. c 36 § 8; 2011 1st sp.s. c 15 § 61; 2010 1st sp.s. c 8 § 4; 2003 1st sp.s. c 10 § 1; 2000 c 218 § 1; prior: 1998 c 80 § 1; 1998 c 79 § 6; prior: 1997 c 59 § 10; 1997 c 58 § 309; prior: 1992 c 165 § 1; 1992 c 136 § 1; 1991 sp.s. c 10 § 1; 1991 c 126 § 1; 1990 c 285 § 2; 1989 1st ex.s. c 9 § 816; prior: 1987 c 406 § 9; 1987 c 75 § 31; 1985 c 335 § 2; 1983 1st ex.s. c 41 § 36; 1981 2nd ex.s. c 10 § 5; 1981 1st ex.s. c 6 § 1; prior: 1981 c 8 § 1; prior: 1980 c 174 § 1; 1980 c 84 § 1; 1979 c 141 § 294; 1969 ex.s. c 173 § 1; 1965 ex.s. c 2 § 1; 1963 c 228 § 1; 1961 c 235 § 1; 1959 c 26 § 74.04.005; prior: (i) 1947 c 289 § 1; 1939 c 216 § 1; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 10007-101a. (ii) 1957 c 63 § 1; 1953 c 174 § 17; 1951 c 122 § 1; 1951 c 1 § 3 (Initiative Measure No. 178, approved November 7, 1950); 1949 c 6 § 3; Rem. Supp. 1949 § 9998-33c.]

NOTES:

Effective date2018 c 40: "This act takes effect February 1, 2019." [ 2018 c 40 § 3.]
Effective date2011 1st sp.s. c 36 § 8: "Section 8 of this act takes effect November 1, 2011." [ 2011 1st sp.s. c 36 § 40.]
Alphabetization2011 1st sp.s. c 36: "The code reviser shall alphabetize the subsections containing definitions in RCW 74.04.005." [ 2011 1st sp.s. c 36 § 35.]
FindingsIntent2011 1st sp.s. c 36: See RCW 74.62.005.
Effective dateFindingsIntentReportAgency transferReferences to head of health care authorityDraft legislation2011 1st sp.s. c 15: See notes following RCW 74.09.010.
Implementation2010 1st sp.s. c 8 §§ 1-10 and 29: See note following RCW 74.04.225.
FindingsIntentShort titleEffective date2010 1st sp.s. c 8: See notes following RCW 74.04.225.
Short titlePart headings, captions, table of contents not lawExemptions and waivers from federal lawConflict with federal requirementsSeverability1997 c 58: See RCW 74.08A.900 through 74.08A.904.
Severability1991 sp.s. c 10: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1991 sp.s. c 10 § 2.]
Effective date1991 sp.s. c 10: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect July 1, 1991." [ 1991 sp.s. c 10 § 3.]
FindingsPurpose1990 c 285: "(1) The legislature finds that each year less than five percent of pregnant teens relinquish their babies for adoption in Washington state. Nationally, fewer than eight percent of pregnant teens relinquish their babies for adoption.
(2) The legislature further finds that barriers such as lack of information about adoption, inability to voluntarily enter into adoption agreements, and current state public assistance policies act as disincentives to adoption.
(3) It is the purpose of this act to support adoption as an option for women with unintended pregnancies by removing barriers that act as disincentives to adoption." [ 1990 c 285 § 1.]
Severability1990 c 285: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1990 c 285 § 10.]
Effective dateSeverability1989 1st ex.s. c 9: See RCW 43.70.910 and 43.70.920.
Savings1987 c 75: See RCW 43.20B.900.
Severability1983 1st ex.s. c 41: See note following RCW 26.09.060.
Effective date1981 1st ex.s. c 6: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, the support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect July 1, 1981." [ 1981 1st ex.s. c 6 § 31.]
Severability1981 1st ex.s. c 6: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1981 1st ex.s. c 6 § 30.]
Consolidated standards of need: RCW 74.04.770.



Limitations on "resource" and "income."

For purposes of *RCW 74.04.005 (10) and (11), "resource" and "income" do not include educational assistance awarded under **the gaining independence for students with dependents program as defined in chapter 19, Laws of 2003 for recipients of temporary assistance for needy families.

NOTES:

Reviser's note: *(1) RCW 74.04.005 was amended by 2010 1st sp.s. c 8 § 4, changing subsections (10) and (11) to subsections (11) and (12), respectively. RCW 74.04.005 was subsequently alphabetized pursuant to RCW 1.08.015(2)(k), changing subsections (11) and (12) to subsections (13) and (9), respectively.
**(2) The gaining independence for students with dependents program is codified in chapter 28B.133 RCW.
FindingIntentShort title2003 c 19: See RCW 28B.133.005 and 28B.133.900.



Teen applicants' living situationCriteriaPresumptionProtective payeeAdoption referral.

(1) The department shall determine, after consideration of all relevant factors and in consultation with the applicant, the most appropriate living situation for applicants under eighteen years of age, unmarried, and pregnant who are eligible for benefits under RCW 74.62.030 and 43.185C.220. An appropriate living situation shall include a place of residence that is maintained by the applicant's parents, parent, legal guardian, or other adult relative as their or his or her own home and that the department finds would provide an appropriate supportive living arrangement. It also includes a living situation maintained by an agency that is licensed under chapter 74.15 RCW that the department finds would provide an appropriate supportive living arrangement. Grant assistance shall not be provided under this chapter if the applicant does not reside in the most appropriate living situation, as determined by the department.
(2) A pregnant minor residing in the most appropriate living situation, as provided under subsection (1) of this section, is presumed to be unable to manage adequately the funds paid to the minor or on behalf of the dependent child or children and, unless the minor provides sufficient evidence to rebut the presumption, shall be subject to the protective payee requirements provided for under RCW 74.12.250 and 74.08.280.
(3) The department shall consider any statements or opinions by either parent of the unmarried minor parent or pregnant minor applicant as to an appropriate living situation for the minor, whether in the parental home or other situation. If the parents or a parent of the minor request, they or he or she shall be entitled to a hearing in juvenile court regarding designation of the parental home or other relative placement as the most appropriate living situation for the pregnant or parenting minor.
The department shall provide the parents or parent with the opportunity to make a showing that the parental home, or home of the other relative placement, is the most appropriate living situation. It shall be presumed in any administrative or judicial proceeding conducted under this subsection that the parental home or other relative placement requested by the parents or parent is the most appropriate living situation. This presumption is rebuttable.
(4) In cases in which the minor is unmarried and unemployed, the department shall, as part of the determination of the appropriate living situation, provide information about adoption including referral to community-based organizations providing counseling.
(5) For the purposes of this section, "most appropriate living situation" shall not include a living situation including an adult male who fathered the qualifying child and is found to meet the elements of rape of a child as set forth in RCW 9A.44.079.

NOTES:

FindingsIntent2011 1st sp.s. c 36: See RCW 74.62.005.
Effective date2011 1st sp.s. c 36: See note following RCW 74.62.005.
FindingsIntentShort titleEffective date2010 1st sp.s. c 8: See notes following RCW 74.04.225.
Short titlePart headings, captions, table of contents not lawExemptions and waivers from federal lawConflict with federal requirementsSeverability1997 c 58: See RCW 74.08A.900 through 74.08A.904.
IntentFindingSeverabilityConflict with federal requirements1994 c 299: See notes following RCW 74.12.400.
Aid to families with dependent children: RCW 74.12.255.



Contract of sale of propertyAvailability as a resource or incomeEstablishment.

The department may establish, by rule and regulation, the availability of a contract of sale of real or personal property as a resource or income as defined in RCW 74.04.005.



Secretary's authorityPersonnel.

The secretary of social and health services shall be the administrative head and appointing authority of the department of social and health services and he or she shall have the power to and shall employ such assistants and personnel as may be necessary for the general administration of the department: PROVIDED, That such employment is in accordance with the rules and regulations of the state merit system. The secretary shall through and by means of his or her assistants and personnel exercise such powers and perform such duties as may be prescribed by the public assistance laws of this state.
The authority vested in the secretary as appointing authority may be delegated by the secretary or his or her designee to any suitable employee of the department.

NOTES:

State civil service law: Chapter 41.06 RCW.



Office of fraud and accountability.

(1) There is established an office of fraud and accountability within the department for the purpose of detection, investigation, and prosecution of any act prohibited or declared to be unlawful in the public assistance programs administered by the department. The secretary will employ qualified supervisory, legal, and investigative personnel for the program. Program staff must be qualified by training and experience.
(2) The director of the office of fraud and accountability is the head of the office and is selected by the secretary and must demonstrate suitable capacity and experience in law enforcement management, public administration, and criminal investigations. The director of the office of fraud and accountability shall:
(a) Report directly to the secretary; and
(b) Ensure that each citizen complaint, employee complaint, law enforcement complaint, and agency referral is assessed and, when risk of fraud or abuse is present, is fully investigated, and is referred for prosecution or recovery when there is substantial evidence of wrongdoing.
(3) The office shall:
(a) Conduct independent and objective investigations into allegations of fraud and abuse, make appropriate referral to law enforcement when there is substantial evidence of criminal activity, and recover overpayment whenever possible and to the greatest possible degree;
(b) Recommend policies, procedures, and best practices designed to detect and prevent fraud and abuse, and to mitigate the risk for fraud and abuse and assure that public assistance benefits are being used for their statutorily stated goals;
(c) Analyze cost-effective, best practice alternatives to the current cash benefit delivery system consistent with federal law to ensure that benefits are being used for their intended purposes; and
(d) Use best practices to determine appropriate utilization and deployment of investigative resources, ensure that resources are deployed in a balanced and effective manner, and use all available methods to gather evidence necessary for proper investigation and successful prosecution.
(4) By December 31, 2011, the office shall report to the legislature on the development of the office, identification of any barriers to meeting the stated goals of the office, and recommendations for improvements to the system and laws related to the prevention, detection, and prosecution of fraud and abuse in public assistance programs.

NOTES:

FindingsIntentEffective date2011 1st sp.s. c 42: See notes following RCW 74.08A.260.
Finding2011 1st sp.s. c 42: See note following RCW 74.04.004.
Finding2008 c 74: See note following RCW 51.04.024.



Office of fraud and accountabilityAuthorityConfidentiality.

(1) In carrying out the provisions of this chapter, the office of fraud and accountability shall have prompt access to all individuals, records, electronic data, reports, audits, reviews, documents, and other materials available to the department of revenue, department of labor and industries, department of children, youth, and families, employment security department, department of licensing, and any other government entity that can be used to help facilitate investigations of fraud or abuse as determined necessary by the director of the office of fraud and accountability.
(2) The investigator shall have access to all original child care records maintained by licensed and unlicensed child care providers with the consent of the provider or with a court order or valid search warrant.
(3) Information gathered by the department, the office, or the fraud ombuds shall be safeguarded and remain confidential as required by applicable state or federal law. Whenever information or assistance requested under subsection (1) or (2) of this section is, in the judgment of the director, unreasonably refused or not provided, the director of the office of fraud and accountability must report the circumstances to the secretary immediately.

NOTES:

Effective date2018 c 58: See note following RCW 28A.655.080.
FindingsPurpose2012 c 253: See note following RCW 74.08.580.
FindingsIntentEffective date2011 1st sp.s. c 42: See notes following RCW 74.08A.260.
Finding2011 1st sp.s. c 42: See note following RCW 74.04.004.



Administration and disbursement of federal fundsPublic assistanceMedical services programs.

(1) The secretary of social and health services shall be the responsible state officer for the administration and disbursement of all funds, goods, commodities, and services, which may be received by the state in connection with programs of public assistance or services related directly or indirectly to assistance programs, and all other matters included in the federal social security act as amended, or any other federal act or as the same may be amended except as otherwise provided by law.
(2) The director shall be the responsible state officer for the administration and disbursement of funds that the state receives in connection with the medical services programs established under chapter 74.09 RCW, including the state children's health insurance program, Titles XIX and XXI of the social security act of 1935, as amended, and programs established under chapter 71.05, 71.24, and 71.34 RCW that are under the director's authority.
(3) The department and the authority, as appropriate, shall make such reports and render such accounting as may be required by federal law.

NOTES:

FindingsIntentEffective date2018 c 201: See notes following RCW 41.05.018.
Effective dateFindingsIntentReportAgency transferReferences to head of health care authorityDraft legislation2011 1st sp.s. c 15: See notes following RCW 74.09.010.
Effective dateSeverability1981 1st ex.s. c 6: See notes following RCW 74.04.005.
Center for research and training in intellectual and developmental disabilities, assistant secretaries as advisory committee members: RCW 28B.20.412.



Bilingual services for non-English-speaking applicants and recipientsBilingual personnel, whenPrimary language pamphlets and written materials.

(1) The department, the authority, and the office of administrative hearings shall ensure that bilingual services are provided to non-English-speaking applicants and recipients. The services shall be provided to the extent necessary to assure that non-English-speaking persons are not denied, or unable to obtain or maintain, services or benefits because of their inability to speak English.
(2) If the number of non-English-speaking applicants or recipients sharing the same language served by any community service office client contact job classification equals or exceeds fifty percent of the average caseload of a full-time position in such classification, the department shall, through attrition, employ bilingual personnel to serve such applicants or recipients.
(3) Regardless of the applicant or recipient caseload of any community service office, each community service office shall ensure that bilingual services required to supplement the community service office staff are provided through contracts with language access providers, local agencies, or other community resources.
(4) The department shall certify, authorize, and qualify language access providers as needed to maintain an adequate pool of providers such that residents can access state services. Except as needed to certify, authorize, or qualify bilingual personnel per subsection (2) of this section, the department will only offer spoken language interpreter testing in the following manner:
(a) To individuals speaking languages for which ten percent or more of the requests for interpreter services in the prior year for department employees and the health care authority on behalf of limited English-speaking applicants and recipients of public assistance that went unfilled through the procurement process in RCW 39.26.300;
(b) To spoken language interpreters who were decertified or deauthorized due to noncompliance with any continuing education requirements; and
(c) To current department certified or authorized spoken language interpreters seeking to gain additional certification or authorization.
(5) The department shall require compliance with RCW 41.56.113(2) through its contracts with third parties.
(6) Initial client contact materials shall inform clients in all primary languages of the availability of interpretation services for non-English-speaking persons. Basic informational pamphlets shall be translated into all primary languages.
(7) To the extent all written communications directed to applicants or recipients are not in the primary language of the applicant or recipient, the department and the office of administrative hearings shall include with the written communication a notice in all primary languages of applicants or recipients describing the significance of the communication and specifically how the applicants or recipients may receive assistance in understanding, and responding to if necessary, the written communication. The department shall assure that sufficient resources are available to assist applicants and recipients in a timely fashion with understanding, responding to, and complying with the requirements of all such written communications.
(8) As used in this section:
(a) "Language access provider" means any independent contractor who provides spoken language interpreter services for state agencies, injured worker, or crime victim appointments through the department of labor and industries, or medicaid enrollee appointments, or provided these services on or after January 1, 2009, and before June 10, 2010, whether paid by a broker, language access agency, or a state agency. "Language access provider" does not mean a manager or employee of a broker or a language access agency.
(b) "Primary languages" includes but is not limited to Spanish, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, and Chinese.

NOTES:

Intent2018 c 253: "It is the intent of the legislature to centralize and consolidate the procurement of spoken language interpreter services and expand the use of language access providers, thereby reducing administrative costs while protecting consumers. The legislature further intends to exclude interpreter services for sensory-impaired persons from the provisions of this act." [ 2018 c 253 § 1.]
Conflict with federal requirements2018 c 253: "If any part of this act is found to be in conflict with federal requirements that are a prescribed condition to the allocation of federal funds to the state, the conflicting part of this act is inoperative solely to the extent of the conflict and with respect to the agencies directly affected, and this finding does not affect the operation of the remainder of this act in its application to the agencies concerned. Rules adopted under this act must meet federal requirements that are a necessary condition to the receipt of federal funds by the state. Nothing in this act may restrict an agency's ability to serve limited English proficient clients in a timely manner." [ 2018 c 253 § 9.]
Effective dateFindingsIntentReportAgency transferReferences to head of health care authorityDraft legislation2011 1st sp.s. c 15: See notes following RCW 74.09.010.
Conflict with federal requirements2010 c 296: See note following RCW 41.56.510.
Severability1983 1st ex.s. c 41: See note following RCW 26.09.060.



Notification of availability of basic health plan.

The department shall notify any applicant for public assistance who resides in a local area served by the Washington basic health plan and is under sixty-five years of age of the availability of basic health care coverage to qualified enrollees in the Washington basic health plan under chapter 70.47 RCW, unless the Washington basic health plan administrator has notified the department of a closure of enrollment in the area. The department shall maintain a supply of Washington basic health plan enrollment application forms, which shall be provided in reasonably necessary quantities by the administrator, in each appropriate community service office for the use of persons wishing to apply for enrollment in the Washington basic health plan.



Public assistance a joint federal, state, and county functionNotice required.

The care, support, and relief of needy persons is hereby declared to be a joint federal, state, and county function. County offices are charged with the responsibility for the administration of public assistance within the respective county or counties or parts thereof as local offices of the department as prescribed by the rules and regulations of the department.
Whenever a city or town establishes a program or policy for the care, support, and relief of needy persons it shall provide notice of the program or policy to the county or counties within which the city or town is located.



Department to administer certain public assistance programsAuthority to administer medical services programs.

(1) The department is designated as the single state agency to administer the following public assistance programs:
(a) Temporary assistance to [for] needy families;
(b) Child welfare services; and
(c) Any other programs of public assistance for which provision for federal grants or funds may from time to time be made, except as otherwise provided by law.
(2) The authority is hereby designated as the single state agency to administer the medical services programs established under chapter 74.09 RCW, including the state children's health insurance program, Titles XIX and XXI of the federal social security act of 1935, as amended.
(3) The department and the authority are hereby empowered and authorized to cooperate in the administration of such federal laws, consistent with the public assistance laws of this state, as may be necessary to qualify for federal funds.
(4) The state hereby accepts and assents to all the present provisions of the federal law under which federal grants or funds, goods, commodities, and services are extended to the state for the support of programs referenced in this section, and to such additional legislation as may subsequently be enacted as is not inconsistent with the purposes of this title, authorizing public welfare and assistance activities. The provisions of this title shall be so administered as to conform with federal requirements with respect to eligibility for the receipt of federal grants or funds.
(5) The department and the authority shall periodically make application for federal grants or funds and submit such plans, reports and data, as are required by any act of congress as a condition precedent to the receipt of federal funds for such assistance. The department and the authority shall make and enforce such rules and regulations as shall be necessary to insure compliance with the terms and conditions of such federal grants or funds.

NOTES:

Effective dateFindingsIntentReportAgency transferReferences to head of health care authorityDraft legislation2011 1st sp.s. c 15: See notes following RCW 74.09.010.
Effective dateSeverability1981 1st ex.s. c 6: See notes following RCW 74.04.005.



Cooperation with federal governmentConstructionConflict with federal requirements.

In furtherance of the policy of this state to cooperate with the federal government in the programs included in this title the secretary or director, as appropriate, shall issue such rules and regulations as may become necessary to entitle this state to participate in federal grants-in-aid, goods, commodities and services unless the same be expressly prohibited by this title. Any section or provision of this title which may be susceptible to more than one construction shall be interpreted in favor of the construction most likely to satisfy federal laws entitling this state to receive federal matching or other funds for the various programs of public assistance. If any part of this chapter is found to be in conflict with federal requirements which are a prescribed condition to the receipts of federal funds to the state, the conflicting part of this chapter is hereby inoperative solely to the extent of the conflict with respect to the agencies directly affected, and such finding or determination shall not affect the operation of the remainder of this chapter.

NOTES:

Effective dateFindingsIntentReportAgency transferReferences to head of health care authorityDraft legislation2011 1st sp.s. c 15: See notes following RCW 74.09.010.



Promulgation of rules and regulations to qualify for federal funds.

The department is authorized to promulgate such rules and regulations as are necessary to qualify for any federal funds available under Title XVI of the federal social security act, and any other combination of existing programs of assistance consistent with federal law and regulations.



Records, confidentialExceptionsPenalty.

(1)(a) For the protection of applicants and recipients, the department, the authority, and the county offices and their respective officers and employees are prohibited, except as hereinafter provided, from disclosing the contents of any records, files, papers and communications, except for purposes directly connected with the administration of the programs of this title. In any judicial proceeding, except such proceeding as is directly concerned with the administration of these programs, such records, files, papers and communications, and their contents, shall be deemed privileged communications and except for the right of any individual to inquire of the office whether a named individual is a recipient of welfare assistance and such person shall be entitled to an affirmative or negative answer.
(b) Unless prohibited by federal law, for the purpose of investigating and preventing child abuse and neglect and providing for the health care coordination and well-being of children in foster care, the department and the authority shall disclose to the department of children, youth, and families the following information: Developmental disabilities administration client records; home and community services client records; long-term care facility or certified community residential supports records; health care information; child support information; food assistance information; and public assistance information. Disclosure under this subsection (1)(b) is mandatory for the purposes of the federal health insurance portability and accountability act.
(c) Upon written request of a parent who has been awarded visitation rights in an action for divorce or separation or any parent with legal custody of the child, the department shall disclose to him or her the last known address and location of his or her natural or adopted children. The secretary shall adopt rules which establish procedures for disclosing the address of the children and providing, when appropriate, for prior notice to the custodian of the children. The notice shall state that a request for disclosure has been received and will be complied with by the department unless the department receives a copy of a court order which enjoins the disclosure of the information or restricts or limits the requesting party's right to contact or visit the other party or the child. Information supplied to a parent by the department shall be used only for purposes directly related to the enforcement of the visitation and custody provisions of the court order of separation or decree of divorce. No parent shall disclose such information to any other person except for the purpose of enforcing visitation provisions of the said order or decree.
(d) The department shall review methods to improve the protection and confidentiality of information for recipients of welfare assistance who have disclosed to the department that they are past or current victims of domestic violence or stalking.
(2) The county offices shall maintain monthly at their offices a report showing the names and addresses of all recipients in the county receiving public assistance under this title, together with the amount paid to each during the preceding month.
(3) The provisions of this section shall not apply to duly designated representatives of approved private welfare agencies, public officials, members of legislative interim committees and advisory committees when performing duties directly connected with the administration of this title, such as regulation and investigation directly connected therewith: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That any information so obtained by such persons or groups shall be treated with such degree of confidentiality as is required by the federal social security law.
(4) It shall be unlawful, except as provided in this section, for any person, body, association, firm, corporation or other agency to solicit, publish, disclose, receive, make use of, or to authorize, knowingly permit, participate in or acquiesce in the use of any lists or names for commercial or political purposes of any nature. The violation of this section shall be a gross misdemeanor.

NOTES:

Effective date2017 3rd sp.s. c 6 §§ 102, 104-115, 201-227, 301-337, 401-419, 501-513, 801-803, and 805-822: See note following RCW 43.216.025.
Conflict with federal requirements2017 3rd sp.s. c 6: See RCW 43.216.908.
Effective dateFindingsIntentReportAgency transferReferences to head of health care authorityDraft legislation2011 1st sp.s. c 15: See notes following RCW 74.09.010.
Effective date1987 c 435: See RCW 26.23.900.
Severability1983 1st ex.s. c 41: See note following RCW 26.09.060.
Severability1973 c 152: "If any provision of this 1973 act, or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act, or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1973 c 152 § 3.]
Child support, department may disclose information to internal revenue department: RCW 74.20.160.



Disclosure of recipient location to police officer or immigration official.

Upon written request of a person who has been properly identified as an officer of the law or a properly identified United States immigration official the department or authority shall disclose to such officer the current address and location of a recipient of public welfare if the officer furnishes the department or authority with such person's name and social security account number and satisfactorily demonstrates that such recipient is a fugitive, that the location or apprehension of such fugitive is within the officer's official duties, and that the request is made in the proper exercise of those duties.
When the department or authority becomes aware that a public assistance recipient is the subject of an outstanding warrant, the department or authority may contact the appropriate law enforcement agency and, if the warrant is valid, provide the law enforcement agency with the location of the recipient.

NOTES:

Effective dateFindingsIntentReportAgency transferReferences to head of health care authorityDraft legislation2011 1st sp.s. c 15: See notes following RCW 74.09.010.
Short titlePart headings, captions, table of contents not lawExemptions and waivers from federal lawConflict with federal requirementsSeverability1997 c 58: See RCW 74.08A.900 through 74.08A.904.
Severability1973 c 152: See note following RCW 74.04.060.



County officeAdministrator.

There may be established in each county of the state a county office which shall be administered by an executive officer designated as the county administrator. The county administrator shall be appointed by the secretary in accordance with the rules and regulations of the state merit system.
[ 1979 c 141 § 299; 1959 c 26 § 74.04.070. Prior: 1953 c 174 § 13; 1941 c 128 § 2, part; 1939 c 216 § 4, part; Code 1881 §§ 2680, 2696; 1854 p 422 § 19; 1854 p 395 § 1; Rem. Supp. 1941 § 10007-104a, part.]



County administratorPersonnelBond.

The county administrator shall have the power to, and shall, employ such personnel as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this title, which employment shall be in accordance with the rules and regulations of the state merit system, and in accordance with personnel and administrative standards established by the department. The county administrator before qualifying shall furnish a surety bond in such amount as may be fixed by the secretary, but not less than five thousand dollars, conditioned that the administrator will faithfully account for all money and property that may come into his or her possession or control. The cost of such bond shall be an administrative expense and shall be paid by the department.
[ 2013 c 23 § 194; 1979 c 141 § 300; 1959 c 26 § 74.04.080. Prior: 1953 c 174 § 14; 1941 c 128 § 2, part; 1939 c 216 § 4, part; Code 1881 §§ 2680, 2696; 1854 p 422 § 19; 1854 p 395 § 1; Rem. Supp. 1941 § 10007-104a, part.]



Joint county administration.

Public assistance may be administered through a single administrator and a single administrative office for one or more counties. There may be a local office for the transaction of official business maintained in each county.



StandardsEstablished, enforced.

It shall be the duty of the department of social and health services to establish statewide standards which may vary by geographical areas to govern the granting of assistance in the several categories of this title and it shall have power to compel compliance with such standards as a condition to the receipt of state and federal funds by counties for social security purposes.

NOTES:

Effective dateSeverability1981 1st ex.s. c 6: See notes following RCW 74.04.005.



Simplified reporting for the food stamp program.

(1) To the maximum extent allowable by federal law, the department shall implement simplified reporting for the food stamp program by October 31, 2004.
(2) For the purposes of this section, "simplified reporting" means the only change in circumstance that a recipient of a benefit program must report between eligibility reviews is an increase of income that would result in ineligibility for the benefit program or a change of address. Every six months the assistance unit must either complete a semiannual report or participate in an eligibility review.

NOTES:

FindingsConflict with federal requirements2004 c 54: See notes following RCW 28A.235.160.



Basis of allocation of moneys to counties.

The moneys appropriated for public assistance purposes and subject to allocation as in this title provided shall be allocated to counties on the basis of past experience and established case load history.
[ 1959 c 26 § 74.04.210. Prior: 1939 c 216 § 15; RRS § 10007-115a.]



Opportunity portalAccess to available services facilitatedReport to legislature and governor.

(1) An online opportunity portal shall be established to provide the public with more effective access to available state, federal, and local services. The secretary of the department of social and health services shall act as the executive branch sponsor of the portal planning process. Under the leadership of the secretary, the department shall:
(a) Identify and select an appropriate solution and acquisition approach to integrate technology systems to create a user-friendly electronic tool for Washington residents to apply for benefits;
(b) Facilitate the adaptation of state information technology systems to allow applications generated through the opportunity portal and other compatible electronic application systems to seamlessly link to appropriate state information systems;
(c) Ensure that the portal provides access to a broad array of state, federal, and local services, including but not limited to: Health care services, higher education financial aid, tax credits, civic engagement, nutrition assistance, energy assistance, family support, and the programs under RCW 74.62.030 and 43.185C.220 and as defined in RCW 10.101.010, 13.34.030, * 70.96A.530, 74.04.005, ** 74.04.652, 74.04.655, 74.04.657, and 74.62.005 through 74.62.030;
(d) Design an implementation strategy for the portal that maximizes collaboration with community-based organizations to facilitate its use by low-income individuals and families;
(e) Provide access to the portal at a wide array of locations including but not limited to: Community or technical colleges, community college campuses where community service offices are colocated, community-based organizations, libraries, churches, food banks, state agencies, early childhood education sites, and labor unions;
(f) Ensure project resources maximize available federal and private funds for development and initial operation of the opportunity portal. Any incidental costs to state agencies shall be derived from existing resources. This subsection does not obligate or preclude the appropriation of future state funding for the opportunity portal;
(g) Determine the solution and acquisition approach by June 1, 2010.
(2) By December 1, 2011, and annually thereafter, the department of social and health services shall report to the legislature and governor. The report shall include data and information on implementation and outcomes of the opportunity portal, including any increases in the use of public benefits and increases in federal funding.
(3) The department shall develop a plan for implementing paperless application processes for the services included in the opportunity portal for which the electronic exchange of application information is possible. The plan should include a goal of achieving, to the extent possible, the transition of these services to paperless application processes by July 1, 2012. The plan must comply with federal statutes and regulations and must allow applicants to submit applications by alternative means to ensure that access to benefits will not be restricted.
(4) To the extent that the department enters into a contractual relationship to accomplish the purposes of this section, such contract or contracts shall be performance-based.

NOTES:

Reviser's note: *(1) RCW 70.96A.530 expired June 30, 2013.
**(2) RCW 74.04.652 was repealed by 2012 c 57 § 1.
FindingsIntent2011 1st sp.s. c 36: See RCW 74.62.005.
Effective date2011 1st sp.s. c 36: See note following RCW 74.62.005.
Contingent validity2010 1st sp.s. c 8 § 2: "*If private funding sufficient to implement and operate the portal authorized under section 2 of this act is not secured by December 31, 2010, section 2 of this act is null and void." [ 2010 1st sp.s. c 8 § 36.]
*Reviser's note: The code reviser's office was informed by the department of social and health services that funding was secured to implement this section.
Implementation2010 1st sp.s. c 8 §§ 1-10 and 29: "Sections 1 through 10 and 29 of this act shall be implemented within the amounts appropriated specifically for these purposes in the omnibus operating appropriations act." [ 2010 1st sp.s. c 8 § 37.]
FindingsIntent2010 1st sp.s. c 8: "(1) The legislature finds that:
(a) Low-income families and individuals often face significant barriers to receiving the services and benefits that they are qualified to receive. These services are essential to meeting individuals' basic needs, and provide critical support to low-income individuals who are working or who have disabilities that prevent them from working;
(b) Each year millions of federal dollars go unclaimed due to underutilization of benefits such as tax credits, health care coverage, and food support;
(c) State agencies have been engaged in an effort to implement an online benefit portal to simplify and streamline access to state, federal, and local benefits that include a broad array of public benefits;
(d) Access to education and training gives low-income individuals and families the opportunity to acquire the skills they need to become successfully employed and attain self-sufficiency; and
(e) Agencies have been engaged in efforts to increase access to training and education for recipients of federal food assistance.
(2) The legislature therefore intends to strengthen existing efforts by providing enhanced structure and direction to ensure that a strong partnership among colleges, state agencies, community partners, and philanthropy be established. The legislature also intends to provide an efficient, effective, integrated approach to the delivery of basic support services and education and training programs. The integrated approach should include the creation of a one-stop-shop, online benefits portal where individuals can apply for a broad array of services, including public benefits and education and training support, and the expansion of the food stamp employment and training program.
(3) The legislature further finds that:
(a) The general assistance program can be reformed to better support the ability of persons who are unable to work due to physical or mental health impairments to either return to work, or transition to federal supplemental security income benefits; and
(b) Persons who are homeless and suffering from mental illness or chemical dependency are particularly vulnerable, because homelessness is a substantial barrier to successful participation in, and completion of, needed treatment services.
(4) Through the reforms included in this act, the legislature intends to end the general assistance program and establish the disability lifeline program, and to implement multiple strategies designed to improve the employment and basic support outcomes of persons receiving disability lifeline benefits. The legislature further intends to focus services on persons who are homeless and have a mental illness or chemical dependency by providing housing vouchers as an alternative to a cash grant so that these persons can be in stable housing and thus have a greater opportunity to succeed in treatment." [ 2010 1st sp.s. c 8 § 1.]
Short title2010 1st sp.s. c 8: "This act shall be known and cited as the security lifeline act." [ 2010 1st sp.s. c 8 § 33.]
Effective date2010 1st sp.s. c 8: "Except for section 10 of this act, this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [March 29, 2010]." [ 2010 1st sp.s. c 8 § 34.]



Medical care services benefitsMental health services.

Persons eligible for medical care services benefits are eligible for mental health services to the extent that they meet the client definitions and priorities established by chapter 71.24 RCW.

NOTES:

FindingsIntent2011 1st sp.s. c 36: See RCW 74.62.005.
Effective date2011 1st sp.s. c 36: See note following RCW 74.62.005.
FindingsIntentShort titleEffective date2010 1st sp.s. c 8: See notes following RCW 74.04.225.
Clients to be charged for mental health services: RCW 71.24.215.



EarningsDeductions from grants.

The secretary may issue rules consistent with federal laws and with memorials of the legislature, as will recognize the income of any persons without the deduction in full thereof from the amount of their grants.



Aged, blind, or disabled assistanceMedical care servicesEarned income exemption to be established for unemployable persons.

In determining need for aged, blind, or disabled assistance, and medical care services, the department may by rule and regulation establish a monthly earned income exemption in an amount not to exceed the exemption allowable under disability programs authorized in Title XVI of the federal social security act.

NOTES:

FindingsIntent2011 1st sp.s. c 36: See RCW 74.62.005.
Effective date2011 1st sp.s. c 36: See note following RCW 74.62.005.
FindingsIntentShort titleEffective date2010 1st sp.s. c 8: See notes following RCW 74.04.225.



Assistance nontransferable and exempt from process.

Assistance given under this title shall not be transferable or assignable at law or in equity and none of the moneys received by recipients under this title shall be subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process, or to the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency law.
[ 1959 c 26 § 74.04.280. Prior: 1939 c 216 § 25; RRS § 10007-125a.]



Subpoena of witnesses, books, records, etc.

In carrying out any of the provisions of this title, the secretary, the director, county administrators, hearing examiners, or other duly authorized officers of the department or authority shall have power to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony and compel the production of such papers, books, records and documents as they may deem relevant to the performance of their duties. Subpoenas issued under this power shall be under RCW 43.20A.605.

NOTES:

Effective dateFindingsIntentReportAgency transferReferences to head of health care authorityDraft legislation2011 1st sp.s. c 15: See notes following RCW 74.09.010.
Severability1983 1st ex.s. c 41: See note following RCW 26.09.060.
Severability1979 ex.s. c 171: See note following RCW 74.20.300.



Recovery of payments improperly receivedLienRecipient reporting requirements.

If a recipient receives public assistance and/or food stamps or food stamp benefits transferred electronically for which the recipient is not eligible, or receives public assistance and/or food stamps or food stamp benefits transferred electronically in an amount greater than that for which the recipient is eligible, the portion of the payment to which the recipient is not entitled shall be a debt due the state recoverable under RCW 43.20B.030 and 43.20B.620 through 43.20B.645. It shall be the duty of recipients of cash benefits to notify the department of changes to earned income as defined in *RCW 74.04.005(11). It shall be the duty of recipients of cash benefits to notify the department of changes to liquid resources as defined in *RCW 74.04.005(10) that would result in ineligibility for cash benefits. It shall be the duty of recipients of food benefits to report changes in income that result in ineligibility for food benefits. All recipients shall report changes required in this section by the tenth of the month following the month in which the change occurs. The department shall make a determination of eligibility within ten days from the date it receives the reported change from the recipient. The department shall adopt rules consistent with federal law and regulations for additional reporting requirements. The department shall advise applicants for assistance that failure to report as required, failure to reveal resources or income, and false statements will result in recovery by the state of any overpayment and may result in criminal prosecution.

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: RCW 74.04.005 was amended by 2010 1st sp.s. c 8 § 4, changing subsections (11) and (10) to subsections (12) and (11), respectively. RCW 74.04.005 was subsequently alphabetized pursuant to RCW 1.08.015(2)(k), changing subsections (12) and (11) to subsections (9) and (13), respectively.
Savings1987 c 75: See RCW 43.20B.900.



Authority to accept contributions.

In furthering the purposes of this title, the secretary or any county administrator may accept contributions or gifts in cash or otherwise from persons, associations or corporations, such contributions to be disbursed in the same manner as moneys appropriated for the purposes of this title: PROVIDED, That the donor of such gifts may stipulate the manner in which such gifts shall be expended.



Annual reports by assistance organizationsPenalty.

Every person, firm, corporation, association or organization receiving twenty-five percent or more of its income from contributions, gifts, dues, or other payments from persons receiving assistance, community work and training, federal-aid assistance, or any other form of public assistance from the state of Washington or any agency or subdivision thereof, and engaged in political or other activities in behalf of such persons receiving such public assistance, shall, within ninety days after the close of each calendar year, make a report to the secretary of social and health services for the preceding year, which report shall contain:
(1) A statement of the total amount of contributions, gifts, dues, or other payments received;
(2) The names of any and all persons, firms, corporations, associations or organizations contributing the sum of twenty-five dollars or more during such year, and the amounts contributed by such persons, firms, corporations, associations, or organizations;
(3) A full and complete statement of all disbursements made during such year, including the names of all persons, firms, corporations, associations, or organizations to whom any moneys were paid, and the amounts and purposes of such payments; and
(4) Every such report so filed shall constitute a public record.
(5) Any person, firm, or corporation, and any officer or agent of any firm, corporation, association or organization, violating this section by failing to file such report, or in any other manner, shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.



Federal surplus commoditiesCertification of persons eligible to receive commodities.

The state department of social and health services is authorized to assist needy families and individuals to obtain federal surplus commodities for their use, by certifying, when such is the case, that they are eligible to receive such commodities. However, only those who are receiving or are eligible for public assistance or care and such others as may qualify in accordance with federal requirements and standards shall be certified as eligible to receive such commodities.

NOTES:

Purchase of federal property: Chapter 39.32 RCW.



Federal surplus commoditiesNot to be construed as public assistance, eligibility not affected.

Federal surplus commodities shall not be deemed or construed to be public assistance and care or a substitute, in whole or in part, therefor; and the receipt of such commodities by eligible families and individuals shall not subject them, their legally responsible relatives, their property, or their estates to any demand, claim, or liability on account thereof. A person's need or eligibility for public assistance or care shall not be affected by his or her receipt of federal surplus commodities.



Federal surplus commoditiesCertification deemed administrative expense of department.

Expenditures made by the state department of social and health services for the purpose of certifying eligibility of needy families and individuals for federal surplus commodities shall be deemed to be expenditures for the administration of public assistance and care.



Federal surplus commoditiesCounty program, expenses, handling of commodities.

See RCW 36.39.040.



Federal and other surplus food commoditiesAgreementsPersonnelFacilitiesCooperation with other agenciesDiscontinuance of program.

The secretary of social and health services, from funds appropriated to the department for such purpose, shall, upon receipt of authorization from the governor, provide for the receiving, warehousing and distributing of federal and other surplus food commodities for the use and assistance of recipients of public assistance or other needy families and individuals certified as eligible to obtain such commodities. The secretary is authorized to enter into such agreements as may be necessary with the federal government or any state agency in order to participate in any program of distribution of surplus food commodities including but not limited to a food stamp or benefit program. The secretary shall hire personnel, establish distribution centers and acquire such facilities as may be required to carry out the intent of this section; and the secretary may carry out any such program as a sole operation of the department or in conjunction or cooperation with any similar program of distribution by private individuals or organizations, any department of the state or any political subdivision of the state.
The secretary shall discontinue such program, or any part thereof, whenever in the determination of the governor such program, or any part thereof, is no longer in the best interest of the state.



Unlawful practices relating to surplus commoditiesPenalty.

It shall be unlawful for any recipient of federal or other surplus commodities received under RCW 74.04.380 to sell, transfer, barter, or otherwise dispose of such commodities to any other person. It shall be unlawful for any person to receive, possess, or use any surplus commodities received under RCW 74.04.380 unless he or she has been certified as eligible to receive, possess, and use such commodities by the state department of social and health services.
Violation of the provisions of RCW 74.04.380 or this section shall constitute a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six months or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or both.



Educational leaves of absence for personnel.

The state department of social and health services is hereby authorized to promulgate rules and regulations governing the granting to any employee of the department, other than a provisional employee, a leave of absence for educational purposes to attend an institution of learning for the purpose of improving his or her skill, knowledge, and technique in the administration of social welfare programs which will benefit the department.
Pursuant to the rules and regulations of the department, employees of the department who are engaged in the administration of public welfare programs may (1) attend courses of training provided by institutions of higher learning; (2) attend special courses of study or seminars of short duration conducted by experts on a temporary basis for the purpose; (3) accept fellowships or traineeships at institutions of higher learning with such stipends as are permitted by regulations of the federal government.
The department of social and health services is hereby authorized to accept any funds from the federal government or any other public or private agency made available for training purposes for public assistance personnel and to conform with such requirements as are necessary in order to receive such funds.



Food stamp programAuthorized.

The department is authorized to establish a food stamp or benefit program under the federal food stamp act of 1977, as amended.

NOTES:

Overpayment, recovery: RCW 74.04.300.
Unlawful use of food stamps: RCW 9.91.140.



Food stamp programRules.

The department shall adopt rules conforming to federal laws, rules, and regulations required to be observed in maintaining the eligibility of the state to receive from the federal government and to issue or distribute to recipients, food stamps, coupons, or food stamp or coupon benefits transferred electronically under a food stamp or benefits plan. Such rules shall relate to and include, but shall not be limited to: (1) The classifications of and requirements of eligibility of households to receive food stamps, coupons, or food stamp or coupon benefits transferred electronically; and (2) the periods during which households shall be certified or recertified to be eligible to receive food stamps, coupons, or food stamp or coupon benefits transferred electronically under this plan.

NOTES:

Effective dateSeverability1981 1st ex.s. c 6: See notes following RCW 74.04.005.



Food stamp programDiscrimination prohibited.

In administering the food stamp or benefits program, there shall be no discrimination against any applicant or recipient by reason of age, sex, handicap, religious creed, political beliefs, race, color, or national origin.



Food stamp programConfidentiality.

The provisions of RCW 74.04.060 relating to disclosure of information regarding public assistance recipients shall apply to recipients of food stamps or food stamp benefits transferred electronically.



Food stamp employment and training program.

(1) The department, the employment security department, and the state board for community and technical colleges shall work in partnership to expand the food stamp employment and training program. Subject to federal approval, the program shall be expanded to three additional community colleges or other community-based locations in 2010 and shall expand capacity at participating colleges. To the greatest extent possible, expansion shall be geographically diverse. The agencies shall:
(a) Identify and seek out partnerships with community-based organizations that can provide support services and case management to participants through performance-based contracts in the food stamp employment and training program, and do not replace the positions or work of department employees;
(b) Identify eligible nonfederal matching funds to draw down the federal match for food stamp employment and training services. Matching funds may include: Local funds, foundation grants, employer-paid costs, and the state allocation to community and technical colleges.
(2) Employment and training funds may be allocated for: Educational programs to develop skills for employability, vocational education, English as a second language courses, adult basic education, courses to assist persons to obtain a high school equivalency certificate as described in RCW 28B.50.536, remedial programs, job readiness training, case management, intake, assessment, evaluation, and barrier removal and support services such as tuition, books, child care, transportation, housing, and counseling services.
(3) The department shall annually track and report outcomes including those achieved through performance-based contracts as follows: Federal funding received, the number of participants served, achievement points, the number of participants who enter employment during or after participation in the food stamp employment and training program, and the average wage of jobs attained. The report shall be submitted to the governor and appropriate committees of the legislature on November 1st of each year, beginning in 2010.
(4) For purposes of this section, "food stamp employment and training program" refers to a program established and administered through the employment security department and the department of social and health services.

NOTES:

Implementation2010 1st sp.s. c 8 §§ 1-10 and 29: See note following RCW 74.04.225.
FindingsIntentShort titleEffective date2010 1st sp.s. c 8: See notes following RCW 74.04.225.



Supplemental nutrition assistance program benefitsDistribution dates.

Beginning February 1, 2017, the department must expand the dates it distributes supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits from the first through the tenth of every month, to the first through the twentieth of every month.



Supplemental security income programPurpose.

The purpose of RCW 74.04.600 through 74.04.650 is to recognize and accept that certain act of congress known as Public Law 92-603 and Public Law 93-66, and to enable the department of social and health services to take advantage of and implement the provisions of that act. The state shall provide assistance to those individuals who were eligible or would have been eligible for benefits under this state's old age assistance, disability assistance, and aid to the blind programs as they were in effect in December, 1973 but who will no longer be eligible for such program due to Title XVI of the Social Security Act.



Supplemental security income programTermination of federal financial assistance paymentsSupersession by supplemental security income program.

Effective January 1, 1974, the financial assistance payments under the federal aid categories of old age assistance, disability assistance, and blind assistance provided in chapters 74.08, *74.10, and 74.16 RCW, respectively, and the corresponding provisions of RCW 74.04.005, shall be terminated and superseded by the national program to provide supplemental security income to individuals who have attained age sixty-five or are blind or disabled as established by Public Law 92-603 and Public Law 93-66: PROVIDED, That the agreements between the department of social and health services and the United States department of health, education and welfare receive such legislative authorization and/or ratification as required by **RCW 74.04.630.

NOTES:

Reviser's note: *(1) Chapter 74.10 RCW was repealed by 1981 1st ex.s. c 6 § 28, effective July 1, 1982; chapter 74.16 RCW was repealed by 1983 c 194 § 30, effective June 30, 1983.
**(2) The legislative authorization and/or ratification requirements in RCW 74.04.630 were eliminated by 1986 c 158 § 22.



State supplement to national program of supplemental security incomeAuthorizedReimbursement of interim assistance, attorneys' fees.

(1) The department is authorized to establish a program of state supplementation to the national program of supplemental security income consistent with Public Law 92-603 and Public Law 93-66 to those persons who are in need thereof in accordance with eligibility requirements established by the department.
(2) The department is authorized to establish reasonable standards of assistance and resource and income exemptions specifically for such program of state supplementation which shall be consistent with the provisions of the Social Security Act.
(3) The department is authorized to make payments to applicants for supplemental security income, pursuant to agreements as provided in Public Law 93-368, who are otherwise eligible for aged, blind, or disabled assistance.
(4) Any agreement between the department and a supplemental security income applicant providing for the reimbursement of interim assistance to the department shall provide, if the applicant has been represented by an attorney, that twenty-five percent of the reimbursement received shall be withheld by the department and all or such portion thereof as has been approved as a fee by the United States department of health and human services shall be released directly to the applicant's attorney. The secretary may maintain such records as are deemed appropriate to measure the cost and effectiveness of such agreements and may make recommendations concerning the continued use of such agreements to the legislature.

NOTES:

FindingsIntent2011 1st sp.s. c 36: See RCW 74.62.005.
Effective date2011 1st sp.s. c 36: See note following RCW 74.62.005.
FindingsIntentShort titleEffective date2010 1st sp.s. c 8: See notes following RCW 74.04.225.
Retroactive application1983 1st ex.s. c 41 § 37: "Section 37, chapter 41, Laws of 1983 1st ex. sess. shall be applied retroactively by the department of social and health services to all reimbursement of interim assistance received on or after August 23, 1983, so long as the attorney of the applicant for whom reimbursement is received began representing the applicant on or after August 23, 1983." [ 1985 c 100 § 1.]
Severability1983 1st ex.s. c 41: See note following RCW 26.09.060.
Effective dateSeverability1981 1st ex.s. c 6: See notes following RCW 74.04.005.



State supplementation to national program of supplemental security incomeContractual agreements with federal government.

The department may enter into contractual agreements with the United States department of health, education and welfare, consistent with the provisions of Public Laws 92-603 and 93-66, and to be effective January 1, 1974, for the purpose of enabling the secretary of the department of health, education and welfare to perform administrative functions of state supplementation to the national supplemental security income program and the determination of medicaid eligibility on behalf of the state. The department is authorized to transfer and make payments of state funds to the secretary of the department of health, education and welfare as required by Public Laws 92-603 and 93-66. These agreements shall be submitted for review and comment to the social and health services committees of the senate and house of representatives. The department of social and health services shall administer the state supplemental program as established in RCW 74.04.620.



State supplement to national program of supplemental security incomeWorld War II Philippine veterans.

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person receiving benefits under RCW 74.04.620 on December 14, 1999, and who meets the requirements of subsection (2) of this section is eligible to receive benefits under this section although he or she does not retain a residence in the state and returns to the Republic of the Philippines, if he or she maintains a permanent residence in the Republic of the Philippines without any lapse of his or her presence in the Republic of the Philippines.
(2) A person subject to subsection (1) of this section is eligible to receive benefits pursuant to this section if he or she was receiving benefits pursuant to RCW 74.04.620 on December 14, 1999, and meets both the following requirements:
(a) He or she is a veteran of World War II; and
(b)(i) He or she was a member of the government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines military forces who was in the service of the United States on July 26, 1941, or thereafter; or
(ii) He or she was a Regular Philippine Scout who enlisted in Filipino-manned units of the United States army prior to October 6, 1945; or
(iii) He or she was a member of the Special Philippine Scouts who enlisted in the United States Armed Forces between October 6, 1945, and June 30, 1947.
(3) Within funds appropriated for this purpose, the department is authorized to make a one-time lump sum payment of one thousand five hundred dollars to each person eligible for benefits under this section.
(a) Benefits paid under this section are in lieu of benefits paid under RCW 74.04.620 for the period for which the benefits are paid.
(b) Benefits are to be paid under this section for any period during which the recipient is receiving benefits under Title 8 of the federal social security act as a result of the application of federal Public Law 106-169, subject to any limitations imposed by this section.
(4) This section applies only to an individual who returns to the Republic of the Philippines for the period during which the individual establishes and maintains a residence in the Republic of the Philippines.

NOTES:

Findings2001 c 111: "The legislature finds and declares:
(1) That soldiers who were members of the government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines military forces who were in the service of the United States of America on July 31, 1941, including the organized guerrilla forces under commanders appointed, designated, or subsequently recognized by the Commander in Chief of the Southwest Pacific Area or other competent authority in the Army of the United States, performed an invaluable function during World War II.
(2) It is in the public interest for the state of Washington to recognize those courageous soldiers who fought and defended American interests during World War II and who are currently receiving supplemental state benefits under RCW 74.04.620 as of December 14, 1999, by permitting them to return to their homeland to spend their last days without a complete forfeiture of benefits." [ 2001 c 111 § 1.]



Acceptance of referrals for vocational rehabilitationReimbursement.

Referrals to the state department of social and health services for vocational rehabilitation made in accordance with section 1615 of Title XVI of the Social Security Act, as amended, shall be accepted by the state.
The department shall be reimbursed by the secretary of the department of health, education and welfare for the costs it incurs in providing such vocational rehabilitation services.



Individuals failing to comply with federal requirements.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of RCW 74.04.600 through 74.04.650, those individuals who have been receiving supplemental security income assistance and failed to comply with any federal requirements, including those relating to drug abuse and alcoholism treatment and rehabilitation, shall be ineligible for state assistance.

NOTES:

Effective dateSeverability1981 1st ex.s. c 6: See notes following RCW 74.04.005.



Vocational rehabilitationAssessment, referral.

(1) The economic services administration shall work jointly with the division of vocational rehabilitation to develop an assessment tool that must be used to determine whether the programs offered by the division of vocational rehabilitation could assist persons receiving benefits under RCW 74.62.030 and 43.185C.220 in returning to the workforce. The assessment tool shall be completed no later than December 1, 2010. The economic services administration shall begin using the tool no later than January 1, 2011. No later than December 30, 2011, the department shall report on the use of the tool and to what extent the programs offered by the division of vocational rehabilitation have been successful in returning persons receiving aged, blind, or disabled benefits to the workforce.
(2) After January 1, 2011, all persons receiving benefits under RCW 74.62.030 and 43.185C.230 shall be assessed to determine whether they would likely benefit from a program offered by the division of vocational rehabilitation. If the assessment indicates that the person might benefit, the economic services administration shall make a referral to the division of vocational rehabilitation. If the person is found eligible for a program with the division of vocational rehabilitation, he or she must participate in that program to remain eligible for the monthly stipend and housing voucher or a cash grant. If the person refuses to participate or does not complete the program, the department shall terminate the cash stipend and housing voucher or cash grant but may not terminate medical coverage and food benefits.

NOTES:

FindingsIntent2011 1st sp.s. c 36: See RCW 74.62.005.
Effective date2011 1st sp.s. c 36: See note following RCW 74.62.005.
Implementation2010 1st sp.s. c 8 §§ 1-10 and 29: See note following RCW 74.04.225.
FindingsIntentShort titleEffective date2010 1st sp.s. c 8: See notes following RCW 74.04.225.



Veterans' benefitsAssessment for eligibility.

During the application process for benefits under RCW 74.62.030 and 43.185C.220, the department shall inquire of each applicant whether he or she has ever served in the United States military service. If the applicant answers in the affirmative, the department shall confer with a veterans benefit specialist with the Washington state department of veterans affairs or a contracted veterans service officer in the community to determine whether the applicant is eligible for any benefits or programs offered to veterans by either the state or the federal government.

NOTES:

FindingsIntent2011 1st sp.s. c 36: See RCW 74.62.005.
Effective date2011 1st sp.s. c 36: See note following RCW 74.62.005.
Implementation2010 1st sp.s. c 8 §§ 1-10 and 29: See note following RCW 74.04.225.
FindingsIntentShort titleEffective date2010 1st sp.s. c 8: See notes following RCW 74.04.225.



Family emergency assistance programExtension of benefits during state of emergency.

The department shall establish a consolidated emergency assistance program for families with children. Assistance may be provided in accordance with this section.
(1) Benefits provided under this program shall be limited to one period of time, as determined by the department, within any consecutive twelve-month period.
(2) Benefits under this program shall be provided to alleviate emergent conditions resulting from insufficient income and resources to provide for: Food, shelter, clothing, medical care, or other necessary items, as defined by the department. Benefits may also be provided for family reconciliation services, family preservation services, home-based services, short-term substitute care in a licensed agency as defined in RCW 74.15.020, crisis nurseries, therapeutic child care, or other necessary services as defined by the department. Benefits shall be provided only in an amount sufficient to cover the cost of the specific need, subject to the limitations established in this section.
(3)(a) The department shall, by rule, establish assistance standards and eligibility criteria for this program in accordance with this section.
(b) Eligibility for benefits or services under this section does not automatically entitle a recipient to medical assistance.
(4) The department shall seek federal emergency assistance funds to supplement the state funds appropriated for the operation of this program as long as other departmental programs are not adversely affected by the receipt of federal funds.
(5) If state funds appropriated for the consolidated emergency assistance program are exhausted, the department may discontinue the program.
(6) During a state of emergency and pursuant to an order from the governor, benefits under this program may be extended to individuals and families without children.

NOTES:

Part headings not law2008 c 181: See note following RCW 43.06.220.
Severability1989 c 11: See note following RCW 9A.56.220.
Effective dateSeverability1981 1st ex.s. c 6: See notes following RCW 74.04.005.



Long-term care servicesEligibility.

(1) For purposes of *RCW 74.04.005(10)(a), an applicant or recipient is not eligible for long-term care services if the applicant or recipient's equity interest in the home exceeds an amount established by the department in rule, which shall not be less than five hundred thousand dollars. This requirement does not apply if any of the following persons related to the applicant or recipient are legally residing in the home:
(a) A spouse; or
(b) A dependent child under age twenty-one; or
(c) A dependent child with a disability; or
(d) A dependent child who is blind; and
(e) The dependent child in (c) and (d) of this subsection meets the federal supplemental security income program criteria for disabled and blind.
(2) The dollar amounts specified in this section shall be increased annually, beginning in 2011, from year to year based on the percentage increase in the consumer price index for all urban consumers, all items, United States city average, rounded to the nearest one thousand dollars.
(3) This section applies to individuals who are determined eligible for medical assistance with respect to long-term care services based on an application filed on or after May 1, 2006.

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: RCW 74.04.005 was amended by 2010 1st sp.s. c 8 § 4, changing subsection (10)(a) to subsection (11)(a). RCW 74.04.005 was subsequently alphabetized pursuant to RCW 1.08.015(2)(k), changing subsection (11)(a) to subsection (13)(a).



Reporting requirementsFood stamp allotments and rent or housing subsidies, consideration as income.

(1) Applicants and recipients under this title must satisfy all reporting requirements imposed by the department.
(2) The secretary shall have the discretion to consider: (a) Food stamp allotments or food stamp benefits transferred electronically and/or (b) rent or housing subsidies as income in determining eligibility for and assistance to be provided by public assistance programs. If the department considers food stamp allotments or food stamp benefits transferred electronically as income in determining eligibility for assistance, applicants or recipients for any grant assistance program must apply for and take all reasonable actions necessary to establish and maintain eligibility for food stamps or food stamp benefits transferred electronically.



Minimum amount of monthly assistance payments.

Payment of assistance shall not be made for any month if the payment prior to any adjustments would be less than ten dollars. However, if payment is denied solely by reason of this section, the individual with respect to whom such payment is denied is determined to be a recipient of assistance for purposes of eligibility for other programs of assistance except for a community work experience program.



Consolidated standards of needRateable reductionsGrant maximums.

The department shall establish consolidated standards of need each fiscal year which may vary by geographical areas, program, and family size, for temporary assistance for needy families, refugee assistance, supplemental security income, and benefits under RCW 74.62.030. Standards for temporary assistance for needy families, refugee assistance, and benefits under RCW 74.62.030 shall be based on studies of actual living costs and generally recognized inflation indices and shall include reasonable allowances for shelter, fuel, food, transportation, clothing, household maintenance and operations, personal maintenance, and necessary incidentals. The standard of need may take into account the economies of joint living arrangements, but unless explicitly required by federal statute, there shall not be proration of any portion of assistance grants unless the amount of the grant standard is equal to the standard of need.
The department is authorized to establish rateable reductions and grant maximums consistent with federal law.
Payment level will be equal to need or a lesser amount if rateable reductions or grant maximums are imposed. In no case shall a recipient of supplemental security income receive a state supplement less than the minimum required by federal law.
The department may establish a separate standard for shelter provided at no cost.

NOTES:

FindingsIntent2011 1st sp.s. c 36: See RCW 74.62.005.
Effective date2011 1st sp.s. c 36: See note following RCW 74.62.005.
FindingsIntentShort titleEffective date2010 1st sp.s. c 8: See notes following RCW 74.04.225.
Severability1983 1st ex.s. c 41: See note following RCW 26.09.060.



Supplementary programReimbursement for employees being victims of assault.

*** CHANGE IN 2019 *** (SEE 5955-S.SL) ***
(1) For purposes of this section only, "assault" means an unauthorized touching of a child protective, child welfare, or adult protective services worker employed by the department of social and health services resulting in physical injury to the employee.
(2) In recognition of the hazardous nature of employment in child protective, child welfare, and adult protective services, the legislature hereby provides a supplementary program to reimburse employees of the department, for some of their costs attributable to their being the victims of assault while in the course of discharging their assigned duties. This program shall be limited to the reimbursement provided in this section.
(3) An employee is only entitled to receive the reimbursement provided in this section if the secretary of social and health services, or the secretary's designee, finds that each of the following has occurred:
(a) A person has assaulted the employee while the employee was in the course of performing his or her official duties and, as a result thereof, the employee has sustained demonstrated physical injuries which have required the employee to miss days of work;
(b) The assault cannot be attributable to any extent to the employee's negligence, misconduct, or failure to comply with any rules or conditions of employment; and
(c) The department of labor and industries has approved the employee's workers' compensation application pursuant to chapter 51.32 RCW.
(4) The reimbursement authorized under this section shall be as follows:
(a) The employee's accumulated sick leave days shall not be reduced for the workdays missed;
(b) For each workday missed for which the employee is not eligible to receive compensation under chapter 51.32 RCW, the employee shall receive full pay; and
(c) In respect to workdays missed for which the employee will receive or has received compensation under chapter 51.32 RCW, the employee shall be reimbursed in an amount which, when added to that compensation, will result in the employee receiving full pay for the workdays missed.
(5) Reimbursement under this section may not last longer than three hundred sixty-five consecutive days after the date of the injury.
(6) The employee shall not be entitled to the reimbursement provided in subsection (4) of this section for any workday for which the secretary, or the secretary's designee, finds that the employee has not diligently pursued his or her compensation remedies under chapter 51.32 RCW.
(7) The reimbursement shall only be made for absences which the secretary, or the secretary's designee, believes are justified.
(8) While the employee is receiving reimbursement under this section, he or she shall continue to be classified as a state employee and the reimbursement amount shall be considered as salary or wages.
(9) All reimbursement payments required to be made to employees under this section shall be made by the department. The payments shall be considered as a salary or wage expense and shall be paid by the department in the same manner and from the same appropriations as other salary and wage expenses of the department.
(10) Should the legislature revoke the reimbursement authorized under this section or repeal this section, no affected employee is entitled thereafter to receive the reimbursement as a matter of contractual right.

NOTES:

FindingsIntent2006 c 95: "The legislature finds that employees of the department of social and health services who provide child protective, child welfare, and adult protective services are sometimes faced with highly volatile, hostile, and/or threatening situations during the course of performing their official duties. The legislature finds that the work group convened by the department of social and health services pursuant to chapter 389, Laws of 2005, has made various recommendations regarding policies and protocols to address the safety of workers. The legislature intends to implement the work group's recommendations for statutory changes in recognition of the sometimes hazardous nature of employment in child protective, child welfare, and adult protective services." [ 2006 c 95 § 1.]



Incarcerated parentsPolicies to encourage family contact and engagement.

(1)(a) The secretary of social and health services and the secretary of the department of children, youth, and families shall review current department policies and assess the adequacy and availability of programs targeted at persons who receive services through the department who are the children and families of a person who is incarcerated in a department of corrections facility. Great attention shall be focused on programs and policies affecting foster youth who have a parent who is incarcerated.
(b) The secretary of social and health services and the secretary of the department of children, youth, and families shall adopt policies that encourage familial contact and engagement between inmates of the department of corrections facilities and their children with the goal of facilitating normal child development, while reducing recidivism and intergenerational incarceration. Programs and policies should take into consideration the children's need to maintain contact with his or her parent, the inmate's ability to develop plans to financially support their children, assist in reunification when appropriate, and encourage the improvement of parenting skills where needed. The programs and policies should also meet the needs of the child while the parent is incarcerated.
(2) The secretary of social and health services and the secretary of the department of children, youth, and families shall conduct the following activities to assist in implementing the requirements of subsection (1) of this section:
(a) Gather information and data on the recipients of public assistance, or children in the care of the state under chapter 13.34 RCW, who are the children and families of inmates incarcerated in department of corrections facilities; and
(b) Participate in the children of incarcerated parents advisory committee and report information obtained under this section to the advisory committee.

NOTES:

Effective date2017 3rd sp.s. c 6 §§ 102, 104-115, 201-227, 301-337, 401-419, 501-513, 801-803, and 805-822: See note following RCW 43.216.025.
Conflict with federal requirements2017 3rd sp.s. c 6: See RCW 43.216.908.
IntentFinding2007 c 384: See note following RCW 72.09.495.



Essential needs and housing support eligibility.

(1) The department is responsible for determining eligibility for referral for essential needs and housing support under RCW 43.185C.220. Persons eligible are persons who:
(a) Are incapacitated from gainful employment by reason of bodily or mental infirmity that will likely continue for a minimum of ninety days. The standard for incapacity in this subsection, as evidenced by the ninety-day duration standard, is not intended to be as stringent as federal supplemental security income disability standards;
(b) Are citizens or aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence or otherwise residing in the United States under color of law;
(c) Have furnished the department their social security number. If the social security number cannot be furnished because it has not been issued or is not known, an application for a number must be made prior to authorization of benefits, and the social security number must be provided to the department upon receipt;
(d) Have countable income as described in RCW 74.04.005 at or below four hundred twenty-eight dollars for a married couple or at or below three hundred thirty-nine dollars for a single individual;
(e) Do not have countable resources in excess of those described in RCW 74.04.005; and
(f) Are not eligible for:
(i) The pregnant women assistance program; or
(ii) Federal aid assistance, other than basic food benefits transferred electronically and medical assistance.
(2) Recipients of aged, blind, or disabled assistance program benefits who meet other eligibility requirements in this section are eligible for a referral for essential needs and housing support services within funds appropriated for the department of commerce.
(3) The following persons are not eligible for a referral for essential needs and housing support:
(a) Persons who refuse or fail to cooperate in obtaining federal aid assistance, without good cause;
(b) Persons who refuse or fail without good cause to participate in drug or alcohol treatment if an assessment by a certified chemical dependency counselor indicates a need for such treatment. Good cause must be found to exist when a person's physical or mental condition, as determined by the department, prevents the person from participating in drug or alcohol dependency treatment, when needed outpatient drug or alcohol treatment is not available to the person in the county of his or her residence or when needed inpatient treatment is not available in a location that is reasonably accessible for the person; and
(c) Persons who are fleeing to avoid prosecution of, or to avoid custody or confinement for conviction of, a felony, or an attempt to commit a felony, under the laws of the state of Washington or the place from which the person flees; or who are violating a condition of probation, community supervision, or parole imposed under federal or state law for a felony or gross misdemeanor conviction.
(4) For purposes of determining whether a person is incapacitated from gainful employment under subsection (1) of this section:
(a) The department shall adopt by rule medical criteria for incapacity determinations to ensure that eligibility decisions are consistent with statutory requirements and are based on clear, objective medical information; and
(b) The process implementing the medical criteria must involve consideration of opinions of the treating or consulting physicians or health care professionals regarding incapacity, and any eligibility decision which rejects uncontroverted medical opinion must set forth clear and convincing reasons for doing so.
(5) For purposes of reviewing a person's continuing eligibility and in order to remain eligible for the program, persons who have been found to have an incapacity from gainful employment must demonstrate that there has been no material improvement in their medical or mental health condition. The department may discontinue benefits when there was specific error in the prior determination that found the person eligible by reason of incapacitation.
(6) The department must review the cases of all persons who have received benefits under the essential needs and housing support program for twelve consecutive months, and at least annually after the first review, to determine whether they are eligible for the aged, blind, or disabled assistance program.

NOTES:

Effective date2018 c 48 §§ 1 and 2: "Sections 1 and 2 of this act are necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and take effect immediately [March 13, 2018]." [ 2018 c 48 § 4.]
Effective date2013 2nd sp.s. c 10: See note following RCW 74.62.030.



Military dependentsHome and community-based services programs.

(1) As used in this section:
(a) "Dependent" means a spouse, birth child, adopted child, or stepchild of a military service member.
(b) "Legal resident" means a person who maintains Washington as his or her principal establishment, home of record, or permanent home and to where, whenever absent due to military obligation, he or she intends to return.
(c) "Military service" means service in the armed forces, armed forces reserves, or membership in the Washington national guard.
(d) "Military service member," for the purposes of this section, is expanded to mean a person who is currently in military service or who has separated from military service in the previous eighteen months either through retirement or military separation.
(2) A dependent, who is a legal resident of the state, having previously been determined to be eligible for developmental disability services through the department, shall retain eligibility as long as he or she remains a legal resident of the state regardless of having left the state due to the military service member's military assignment outside the state. If the state eligibility requirements change, the dependent shall retain eligibility until a reeligibility determination is made.
(3) Upon assessment determination, the department shall direct that services be provided consistent with Title 71A RCW and appropriate rules if the dependent furnishes:
(a) A copy of the military service member's DD-214 or other equivalent discharge paperwork; and
(b) Proof of the military service member's legal residence in the state, as provided under RCW 46.16A.140.
(4) For dependents who received developmental disability services and who left the state due to the military service member's military assignment outside the state, upon the dependent's return to the state and when a request for services is made, the department must:
(a) Determine eligibility for services which may include request for waiver services;
(b) Provide notification for the service eligibility determination which includes notification for denial of services; and
(c) Provide due process through the appeals processes established by the department.
(5) To continue eligibility under subsection (2) of this section, the dependent is required to inform the department of his or her current address and provide updates as requested by the department.
(6) The secretary shall request a waiver from the appropriate federal agency if it is necessary to implement the provisions of this section.
(7) The department may adopt rules necessary to implement the provisions of this section.



ConstructionChapter applicable to state registered domestic partnerships2009 c 521.

For the purposes of this chapter, the terms spouse, marriage, marital, husband, wife, widow, widower, next of kin, and family shall be interpreted as applying equally to state registered domestic partnerships or individuals in state registered domestic partnerships as well as to marital relationships and married persons, and references to dissolution of marriage shall apply equally to state registered domestic partnerships that have been terminated, dissolved, or invalidated, to the extent that such interpretation does not conflict with federal law. Where necessary to implement chapter 521, Laws of 2009, gender-specific terms such as husband and wife used in any statute, rule, or other law shall be construed to be gender neutral, and applicable to individuals in state registered domestic partnerships.

NOTES:

Effective dates2009 c 521 §§ 5-8, 79, 87-103, 107, 151, 165, 166, 173-175, and 190-192: See note following RCW 2.10.900.