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PDFWAC 388-422-0005

What happens to my child and spousal support when I get public assistance?

(1) The following definitions apply to this chapter:
(a) "We" means the department of social and health services.
(b) "You" means a person applying for or getting benefits from us.
(c) "Benefits" means TANF or SFA cash assistance.
(d) "Support" means the money paid to meet a support order whether it is called child support, spousal support, alimony, maintenance, or medical support.
(e) "Medical support" means either or both:
(i) The set dollar amount for health care costs in a support order; or
(ii) Health insurance coverage for a dependent child.
(f) "Assistance unit" or "AU" means the group of people who live together and whose income and resources we count to decide your eligibility for benefits and the amount of those benefits.
(2) When you apply for TANF or SFA cash benefits, you permanently assign to the state your current cash support for the months you get assistance. If you applied for TANF or SFA cash benefits before October 1, 2008, support for months before you begin receiving assistance (also called "arrears" under WAC 388-14A-2036) is temporarily assigned to the state. For more information about permanently and temporarily assigned support see:
(a) Permanently assigned arrears, WAC 388-14A-2037.
(b) Temporarily assigned arrears, WAC 388-14A-2038.
(3) When you receive TANF or SFA cash benefits, DCS will open up a full support enforcement services case for you. "Full support enforcement services" is defined in WAC 388-14A-1020.
(4) You assign your rights to cash support when your application for benefits is approved by the department.
(5) If you have a good reason (WAC 388-422-0020) DCS may not be able to establish or collect child support (WAC 388-14A-2060).
(6) If you receive any support payments before you assign your rights to support, we count this as unearned income to your AU (WAC 388-450-0025).
(7) If you receive any direct support payments during the month you apply, you must report these payments and we may count them as unearned income in determining your eligibility for benefits.
(8) If you keep any support payments you receive after you assign your rights to support, DCS may collect this money from you (WAC 388-14A-5505).
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, 74.04.510, and 2011 1st sp.s. c 15. WSR 13-18-005, § 388-422-0005, filed 8/22/13, effective 10/1/13. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.005, 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090, and 74.20.330. WSR 10-02-037, § 388-422-0005, filed 12/30/09, effective 1/30/10. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090. WSR 02-19-041, § 388-422-0005, filed 9/11/02, effective 10/12/02; WSR 98-16-044, § 388-422-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-505-0560.]
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