74.04.800  <<  74.04.805 >>   74.04.815

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.
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