Filing an Application

Created on: 
Mar 11 2020

Created on: March 11, 2020
Revised February 12, 2024

Purpose: 

This section explains who can apply for benefits, how to apply for benefits and the minimum amount of information that must be provided to start the application process.

WAC 388-406-0005  Can I apply for cash or Basic Food?

·Clarifying Information and Worker Responsibilities

WAC 388-406-0010  How do I apply for cash assistance or Basic Food benefits?

·Clarifying Information and Worker Responsibilities

WAC 388-406-0012  What is the date of my application and how does it affect my benefits?

·Clarifying Information and Worker Responsibilities


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0005

1. Applications by others:

For cash and Basic Food, third parties (i.e., persons not applying for themselves or their legal dependents) may apply for other persons. To apply on someone's behalf, third parties must:

  1. Be familiar enough with the applicant's circumstances to complete the application accurately; and
  2. Tell us why they are applying on behalf of the applicant to help us identify if the applicant should receive Equal Access (EA) services under chapter 388-472 WAC. Examples of when someone might apply for another person include when the applicant is:
    1. Physically or mentally ill or otherwise incapacitated;
    2. A minor child;
    3. Subjected to domestic violence;
    4. For Basic Food, living in a qualified DDD group home or qualified Drug & Alcohol treatment facility; or
    5. For ABD cash temporarily residing outside the state.
NOTE: While many others can apply for benefits on behalf of clients, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) restrictions prevent us from discussing the applicant’s personal health information with the person making the application unless the representative has power of attorney for the applicant or the applicant has signed a DSHS 14-012(x), Consent form.

2.  Authorized representative:

An authorized representative can be any adult who isn’t a member of the AU and has sufficient knowledge of the applicant's circumstances to act on the their behalf. In general, the applicant chooses who will be their authorized representative. For more information, see Authorized Representative – Food Assistance and Authorized Representative - Food, Cash and Medical Benefit Issuances | DSHS (wa.gov)

3.  Applications while in a public institution:​

  1. Prior to release from a public institution, residents may apply for public assistance. Expedited eligibility -- determinations for food benefits and timely access to medical assistance is available for applicants with mental disorders before release from confinement. A Medical ID card is sent to the facility so that the client can leave the institution with the ID card in hand. The goal is to provide eligible people with a medical assistance identification card on the date they are released, whenever possible.
  2. Transitional Outreach ABD Program (TOAP) applications must be tracked for reporting purposes.

4.  Program Options for Justice Involved Individuals

Department of Corrections (DOC) and county and city jails have a variety of programs that may be used in placing offenders outside public institutions. The  Program Options for Inmates Matrix is intended to clarify how placement in a correctional options program affects a person's eligibility for public assistance benefits. 

 

Worker Responsibilities -  WAC 388-406-0005

FOR NON-COMPLIANCE SANCTION (NCS) APPLICATIONS:

See  WorkFirst Sanctions-Participation


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0010

The following topics related to the above WAC are discussed below:

Application Forms

  1. Opportunity to apply:
    1. Local offices must make application forms readily available and provide a form to anyone requesting one. Applying for benefits is separate from any other program requirements. We can't refuse to give an application form to a client because they aren't meeting other program requirements or for any other reason.
  2. Application filing:

We can't require applicants to use a specific form to request benefits. Examples of typical requests for benefits include:

  1. The ACES Request for Benefits (RFB);
  2. ACES 3G Interactive Interview Declaration (IID) with telephonic signatures. Telephonic signatures are captured when an applicant contacts the customer service contact center and requests benefits but hasn't submitted a paper application. Staff complete an ACES 3G IID while on the phone with the applicant. Two telephonic attestation scripts are needed to complete the telephonic signature for an application or review.
    1. The first telephonic attestation script captures the date of the application, interactively screening an application into ACES 3G.
    2. A second telephonic attestation script completes the the telephonic signature after the IID is reviewed and the applicant confirms the information is correct.
  3. The name, address, and signature on the DSHS 14-001(X) Application for Benefits form;
  4. The name, address, and signature on the DSHS 14-078(X) Eligibility Review form; or
  5. Part 1 of the online application.
  6. Another form of written request that includes a name, address, and signature.
EXAMPLE  Bob sends a letter requesting Basic Food benefits that includes his name, address and signature, and we receive it on October 1st. We send Bob an interview appointment letter and he calls for an interview appointment on October 7th. We pend his Basic Food for a completed IID which he returns with his signature on October 15th. Bob meets all eligibility requirements. His Basic Food starts October 1st.
NOTE  We can't require the use of a specific form to request benefits. But we do require that clients complete an Application for Benefits, Eligibility Review, or IID form to complete their application These forms require physical signatures or telephonic signatures. These forms contain information we must provide to our clients according to federal and state law.

   3. Adding a request for assistance to a pending application or eligibility review for another  program:

  1. Applicant or recipient can add a request for any cash or food benefits to a pending application or an unprocessed eligibility review verbally without submitting a new 14-001 or 14-078.
  2. The applicant or recipient may make the request in writing by checking the appropriate boxes on the 14-001 or 14-078 form and, dating and initialing the form.
  3. Use the date the applicant or recipient added the new request as the date of application for the new program. See WAC 388-406-0012.
  4. If application or eligibility review for the other program has already been processed, the applicant or recipient must submit a new request for benefits.
EXAMPLE Jenny has a pending application for Basic Food. At her intake interview she requests TANF. Add the TANF application to the Basic Food and note the date of request in the ACES narrative.
EXAMPLE Sam has a pending application for ABD cash. At his intake interview the worker makes him aware that he may be eligible for Basic Food. He decides to pursue Basic Food. Add the Basic Food application to the ABD cash and note the date of request in the ACES narrative.
EXAMPLE Maria has a pending application for Basic Food. At her telephone intake interview, the worker makes her aware that she may be eligible for cash benefits. She decides to add a TANF request. Add the TANF application to the pending Basic Food and note the date of request in the ACES narrative. If signatures are missing in the form, follow procedures to collect and document the telephonic signature

   4. Handling multiple applications from the same household:

  1. This applies to additional applications received before we determine eligibility on the first application:
    1. Don't deny the additional application(s).
    2. Review the application(s) for impact on eligibility or benefit level and whether the household is applying for any additional programs that weren't selected on the first application.
    3. If the household isn’t applying for additional programs, document the case that additional application(s) were received and that the department is still considering eligibility under the original application date.
    4. Treat the application as a new application for the additional programs only and continue to consider any requests for programs which are still pending under the original application date.
    5. Document in ACES and explain any additional information used to determine eligibility and/or benefit level.
    6. Don't extend the Standards of Promptness period for the original application.

       

      NOTE: If the additional application is received before we determine eligibility on the first application but isn’t acted on until after the first application has been denied, follow procedures under (b.) below.

5)  This applied to additional applications received after we determine eligibility on the first application:

  1. If we denied the first application, treat this as an initial application according to WAC 388-406-0010 except, for Basic Food, if we denied the first application due to lack of information, treat this as a reapplication and follow procedures under WAC 388-406-0040 (6)
  2. If we approved the first application, review the additional application(s) to determine if household circumstances have changed. Take appropriate actions on any changes reported.
  3. Deny additional applications for the same program and same persons to avoid duplicate participation.

NOTE: When denying additional applications as described in (c.) above, avoid creating a new AU if an old AU is available.

Name, Address, and Signature Requirements

  1. Name & address:

An application is received without a name or address, make a reasonable effort to contact the applicant. If the applicant is in the office, we ask for an address where they can be contacted.

Applications Marked “Homeless”:

If we receive an application that includes a name and signature, but is marked "homeless" and/or doesn’t indicate a mailing address, it is still considered a valid application and must be screened. Make a reasonable attempt to locate an address or phone number for the applicant. Do this can by searching the electronic case record, case narrative or remarks, online directories, etc. Even if contact information isn’t available, an appointment letter must be sent to the applicant. Address the letter in the applicant's name to General Delivery for the town indicated on the application. If no town is indicated, send the appointment letter to the applicant by General Delivery for the nearest town. The application must be processed in accordance with the Standards of Promptness guidelines in WAC 388-406-0035.

  1. Signatures:
    1. For cash or Basic Food, an authorized representative may sign an application if the applicant is unable to apply on their own behalf or is unable to sign the application. See Authorized Representative - Food, Cash and Medical Benefit Issuances | DSHS (wa.gov)
      1. For cash programs, a responsible adult member of the assistance unit (AU) must sign the application.  If both parents of the minor children are living in the home with the minor children, both parents must sign unless one is incapacitated and unable to sign the application.
      2. For Basic Food, the signature of one responsible AU member is required unless a current authorized representative (AREP) signs instead. Note: Unless an AREP is durable power of attorney (DPOA), the AREP designation is limited to one certification period.
      3. A minor child may sign the application if there is no adult in the AU.  
      4. A mark is an acceptable signature if another person witnesses it.
      5. Online applications for cash or Basic Food are electronically signed when transmitted. The password used to complete the online application is an electronic signature.
      6. Applications received without a signature must be signed either at the time of the interview or by mail. See matrix below for signature requirements and date of application for various programs.  

For Medical applications, please refer to the application section of the Apple Health Manual.

Application Received

Online - for cash or Basic Food

In-person, mailed, emailed, faxed, dropped off, or scanned

Interactive Interview Declaration (IID) in person or by phone (telephonic signature)

Application Signed?

Yes
Always electronically signed when transmitted.

May or may not be signed.  If not signed, see “Action to Take.”

Yes, when the client signs the printed IID or when both attestation scripts have been read and the client has verbally attested to the accuracy of IID content by phone.

Date of Application

Date received or next business day if received after business hours

If signed, date received or next business day if received after business hours.

 

If not signed, see "Action to Take".

 

For cash and food assistance, the signature on the front page of the application after the applicant's name counts as a signature for the purpose of establishing a date of application.

 

If two-parent household applying for cash, at least one parent's signature is required to establish the date of application.

The date the client verbally attests to the first script by phone.

For cash and food assistance, the first attestation after collecting the applicant’s name and address counts as a signature for purpose of establishing a date of application.

If only the first attestation script is obtained during a call, see “Action to Take”.

If a two-adult household is applying for cash, at least one adult’s signature is required to establish the date of application.

 

 

Action to Take

Interview if required or conduct desk review. 

If applying for cash and a 2-parent household with minor children, obtain other parent's signature at interview or mail back for signature.

If not signed, have client sign at interview (if the client is in the office) or mail back for signature.  The date we receive the signature is the date of application for food assistance.  If applying for cash and a 2-parent household, obtain the other parent's signatures.

If only the first verbal attestation is obtained prior to the interview, the second attestation is required to complete the telephonic signature after review of the IID.

If applying for cash and a 2-adult household, obtain the other adult’s signature during the telephonic attestation or pend, mailing the IID back for the second signature.

Other requirements

For cash, both adult signatures are required in a two adult household.

 

For cash, both adult signatures are required in a two adult household.

 

For cash, both adults must sign the IID in a two adult household.

For cash, both adults must attest to the second signature script in a two adult household.

Cash Applications: If we receive an application without a name, address, or a signature to file, we accept the application and take whatever action we can to contact the client to obtain the information needed to officially file the application. We must take action on all applications, even if there is information missing that is needed to file the application such as a name, address, or a signature.
Basic Food Applications: If we receive an application without a signature, do not screen in. Send the client a general correspondence letter detailing the signature requirements and attach an application.

Informational Handouts and Supplemental Forms:

  1. For all applicants:
  2. For cash:
  3. Assistance for applicants with children:
    • Women, Infants and Children (WIC) pamphlet to applicants who are pregnant, postpartum, or who have children under age five. Pamphlets are available to local WIC offices.
  4. Additional Requirements for Emergent Needs or the Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program - CEAP:

See EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE - Additional Requirements for Emergent Needs (AREN)or EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE - Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program - CEAP for forms needed when the applicant applies for benefits from these programs.

Interview

See INTERVIEW REQUIREMENTS and Documentation.

Special Situations

See APPLICATIONS FOR ASSISTANCE – Special Situations for the following situations:

  • Trial visit program
  • Applications for MSP from Social Security Administration Interface (LIS file)

 

Worker Responsibilities

Forms that must be reviewed with the household at the time of interview:

Rights and Responsibilities

Review form DSHS 14-113(X), Client Rights and Responsibilities with the household:

  1. Face to Face Interviews

When conducting a face-to-face interview, explain the rights and responsibilities to the applicant and ask them to sign form DSHS 14-113 to acknowledge that they understand them. Send the document as file only to be scanned into the client’s Electronic Case Record (ECR).

      2.  Phone Interviews:

When conducting phone interviews, explain the rights and responsibilities to the applicant, send them a copy of form DSHS 14-113, and request them to sign and return the document (do not hold up benefit issuance waiting for this form).

Your DSHS Cash or Food Assistance Benefits

For cash or food assistance benefits, review form DSHS 14-520, Your DSHS Cash or Food Assistance Benefits with the household:

       1.  Face to Face Interviews:

When conducting a face-to-face interview, explain the allowable use of benefits to the applicant and ask them to sign DSHS 14-520 to acknowledge that they understand the restrictions and penalties for illegal use. Send the document as file only to be scanned into the client’s Electronic Case Record (ECR).

        2.  Phone Interviews:

When conducting phone interviews, explain the allowable use of benefits to the applicant, send them a copy of form DSHS 14-520, and request them to sign and return the document (do not hold up benefit issuance waiting for this form).

 


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0012

Processing Basic Food and Cash Applications for Applicants Receiving Benefits from Another State during Month of Application

When applicants apply for Basic Food or Cash and they received benefits from another state during the application month, this doesn’t change the date of application:

  • Deny the application for the initial month (and second month if necessary) if they have already received or will receive SNAP or TANF benefits from the other state for that month(s).
  • If Basic Food or Cash benefits can be approved for the ongoing months and the benefit start date isn’t more than sixty days from the initial application date, a new application isn’t needed..

Worker Responsibilities -  WAC 388-406-0012

  1. Date stamping the application:
    1. Date stamp the application, the same day we receive the application; or
    2. The next business day if we received the application outside of normal business hours.
  2. Adding a request for Basic Food to a pending application:

If the applicant has a pending application for one of our programs and requests Basic Food, use the application the applicant provided for the other program. The date the applicant requested food benefits is the date of application for Basic Food.

  1. Do not require the applicant to complete another application. If you need additional information to determine eligibility for Basic Food, request the necessary information;
  2. Document the request for Basic Food and the date the applicant requested the benefits; and
  3. Add a program for Basic Food.
NOTE: If you have already processed the application for the other program(s), the client will need to apply for Basic Food separately. See Clarifying Information #4 under WAC 388-406-0010 for details about handling multiple applications from the same household.

 


 

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