Benefits Eligibility & Amounts Impacted

Per 2SSB 5793 (2)(e):

"As allowable by federal and state law, state agencies will minimize, to the greatest extent possible, the impact of stipends and reimbursements on public assistance eligibility and benefit amounts."

Federal and state income-based programs such as those that provide assistance with housing, health care, and money for food and other living expenses typically require reporting of any earnings by the recipient of said assistance. Many people are enrolled in more than one of these programs. State agencies which plan to compensate people must consider how this may affect each of the assistance programs from which workgroup members receive assistance. Stipends and gift cards may also be considered income and could impact these benefits programs.

Washington state agencies are currently reviewing public assistance programs to eliminate benefit impact to the greatest extent possible. Until analysis is complete for a public assistance program, agencies should inform workgroup members about possible benefit impacts and recommend they contact the respective agency for benefits counseling.

Below is the chart that demonstrates which public assistance eligibility and benefit amounts are impacted by stipends and reimbursements, and which will require statutory changes in order to avoid negatively impacting a workgroup members’ benefits.

Program Agency Benefit Eligibility & Amount Impact Analysis
Public Housing Dept. Of Commerce (COM) Currently under analysis
Consolidated Homeless Grant COM Payments excluded from income determination
Housing Choice Voucher COM Payments excluded from income determination if temporary and sporadic (received/earned no more than 3 times per year) or nonrecurring
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program COM Payments included - Commerce to update state plan
Project-Based Voucher/Public Housing COM Payments excluded from income determination if temporary and sporadic (received/earned no more than 3 times per year) or nonrecurring
Housing Trust Fund COM Payments excluded from income determination if temporary and sporadic (received/earned no more than 3 times per year) or nonrecurring
National Housing Trust Fund COM Payments excluded from income determination if temporary and sporadic (received/earned no more than 3 times per year) or nonrecurring
HOME- Home Investment Partnerships COM Payments excluded from income determination if temporary and sporadic (received/earned no more than 3 times per year) or nonrecurring
Affordable Connectivity Program COM Still under analysis
Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) COM Still under analysis
Head Start Dept. of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) Payments excluded from eligibility determination
Early Childhood Education & Assistance Program (ECEAP) DCYF Payments excluded from eligibility determination
Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) DCYF Payments excluded from eligibility determination
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Department of Health (DOH) Still under analysis - adjunctive eligibility - if member eligible for SNAP, TANF, or Medicaid would automatically qualify for WIC
SNAP/FAP (Food Assistance Program)

Dept. Of Social & Health Services (DSHS)/Community Services Division (CSD)

Payments included - Federal waiver requested
TANF DSHS/CSD Payments exluded from income determination
Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD) cash assistance DSHS/CSD Payments exluded from income determination
Tribal TANF DSHS/CSD Currently under analysis
Child Support DSHS/Division 0f Child Support (DCS) Payments excluded from withholding effective January 2023
Refugee Cash DSHS/CSD Payments excluded from indome determination
Medical Assistance DSHS/CSD Payments excluded from indome determination
Veterans’ nonservice-connect pension or survivors’ pension Dept. Of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Income included - DVA to request change with federal VA.
Unemployment Employment Security Department (ESD) Payments excluded from income determination
Paid Family Medical Leave ESD Payments excluded from income determination
MAGI-Medical Health Care Authority (HCA) Payments excluded from eligibility determination
Non-MAGI Medical HCA Payments excluded from eligibility determination
Free/Rediced Lunch Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) Payments excluded from eligibility determination
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Social Security Administration (SSA) SSA provided a decision that these payments must be reported but is excluded from income for SSI purposes
Social Security or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) SSA No impact - assistance not based on need