388-484-0005 - There is a five-year (sixty-month) time limit for TANF, SFA and GA-S cash assistance
388-484-0005. There is a five-year (sixty-month) time limit for TANF, SFA and GA-S cash assistance
(1) What is the sixty-month time limit?
(a) You can receive cash assistance for temporary assistance for needy families (TANF), state family assistance (SFA), and general assistance for pregnant women (GA-S) for a lifetime limit of sixty months. The time limit applies to cash assistance provided by any combination of these programs, and whether or not it was received in consecutive months.
(b) If you receive cash assistance for part of the month, it counts as a whole month against the time limit.
(c) If you have received cash assistance from another state on or after August 1, 1997, and it was paid for with federal TANF funds, those months will count against your time limit.
(d) The time limit does not apply to diversion cash assistance, support services, food assistance or medicaid.
(2) When did the sixty-month time limit go into effect?
The sixty-month time limit applies to cash assistance received on or after August 1, 1997 for TANF and SFA. Although the GA-S program no longer exists, the time limit applies to GA-S cash assistance received from May 1, 1999 through July 31, 1999.
(3) Does the time limit apply to me?
(a) The sixty-month time limit applies to you for any month in which you are an ineligible parent or a parent or other relative as defined in WAC 388-454-0010, or a minor parent emancipated through court order or marriage.
(b) An ineligible parent is a natural, adoptive or step parent as defined in WAC 388-454-0010 who receives a TANF/SFA grant for his or her child but is ineligible to receive TANF/SFA assistance.
(4) Do any exceptions to the time limits apply to me?
The department does not count months of assistance towards the sixty-month time limit if you are:
(a) An adult caretaker, other than an ineligible parent, as described in WAC 388-454-0005 through 388-454-0010, who is not a member of the assistance unit and you are receiving cash assistance on behalf of a child;
(b) An unemancipated pregnant or parenting minor living in a department approved living arrangement as defined by WAC 388-486-0005; or
(c) An adult and you are living in Indian country, as defined under 18 U.S.C. 1151, or an Alaskan native village and you are receiving TANF, SFA, or GA-S cash assistance during a period when at least fifty percent of the adults living in Indian country or in the village were not employed. See WAC 388-484-0010.
(5) What happens if an ineligible parent in the home or a member of my assistance unit has received sixty months of TANF, SFA, and GA-S cash benefits?
Once any adult or emancipated minor in the assistance unit has received sixty months of cash assistance, or an ineligible parent in the home has received sixty months of cash assistance for themselves or their child, the entire assistance unit becomes ineligible for TANF or SFA cash assistance, unless they qualify for a hardship extension and are eligible for an extended period of cash assistance called a TANF/SFA time limit extension under WAC 388-484-0006.
(6) What can I do if I disagree with how the department has counted my months of cash assistance?
(a) If you disagree with how we counted your months of cash assistance, you may ask for a hearing within ninety days of the date we sent you a letter telling you how many months we are counting.
(b) You will get continued benefits (the amount you were getting before the change) if:
(i) You have used all sixty months of benefits according to our records; and
(ii) You ask for a hearing within the ten-day notice period, as described in chapter 388-458 WAC.
(c) If you get continued benefits and the administrative law judge (ALJ) agrees with our decision, you may have to pay back the continued benefits after the hearing, as described in chapter 388-410 WAC.
(7) Does the department ever change the number of months that count against my time limit?
We change the number of months we count in the following situations:
(a) You repay an overpayment for a month where you received benefits but were not eligible for any of the benefits you received. We subtract one month for each month that you completely repay. If you were eligible for some of the benefits you received, we still count that month against your time limit.
(b) We did not close your grant on time when the division of child support (DCS) collected money for you that was over your grant amount two months in a row, as described in WAC 388-422-0030.
(c) An ALJ decides at an administrative hearing that we should change the number of months we count.
(d) You start getting worker's compensation payments from the department of labor and industries (L&I) and your L&I benefits have been reduced by the payments we made to you.
(e) You participated in the excess real property (ERP) program in order to get assistance and we collected the funds when your property sold.
(f) Another state gave us incorrect information about the number of months you got cash assistance from them.
Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, chapters 74.08A and 74.12 RCW, 2011 1st sp.s. c 42, and 2011 1st sp.s. c 2. 12-05-039, § 388-484-0005, filed 2/10/12, effective 3/12/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, and chapters 74.08A and 74.12 RCW. 10-24-013, § 388-484-0005, filed 11/18/10, effective 12/19/10. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, and chapter 74.08A RCW. 06-10-034, § 388-484-0005, filed 4/27/06, effective 6/1/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057. 04-05-010, § 388-484-0005, filed 2/6/04, effective 3/8/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050, and 78.08A.340. 03-06-046, § 388-484-0005, filed 2/28/03, effective 3/31/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08A.010(4), 74.08A.340, 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 02-12-068, § 388-484-0005, filed 5/31/02, effective 6/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.005, 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, 74.08A.010, and 42 U.S.C. 608 (a)(7). 01-04-016, § 388-484-0005, filed 1/26/01, effective 2/1/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.005, 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 99-08-050, § 388-484-0005, filed 4/1/99, effective 5/2/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, § 388-484-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.
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