Authorized Representative - Food Assistance
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Authorized Representative - Food Assistance


Revised December 31, 2013



Purpose: This section explains authorized representative rules specific for Basic Food and describes when an authorized representative is required for someone in a treatment center or group home.

WAC 388-460-0005Can I choose someone to apply for Basic Food for my assistance unit?
WAC 388-460-0010Do I have an authorized representative for Basic Food if I live in a treatment center or group home?
WAC 388-460-0015Who will the department not allow as an authorized representative for Basic Food?

WAC 388-460-0005

WAC 388-460-0005

Effective December 1, 2003

WAC 388-460-0005 Can I choose someone to apply for Basic Food for my assistance unit?

Your Basic Food assistance unit (AU) can choose an adult who is not a member of the AU to act on their behalf.  This is called an authorized representative. 

  1. A responsible member of the AU can name, in writing, an authorized representative.  A responsible member of the AU is either:

    1. The applicant;

    2. The applicant's spouse;

    3. Another member of the AU the applicant states is able to conduct business on behalf of all members in the AU.

  2. The AU's authorized representative has the authority to apply for Basic Food on the AU's behalf.

  3. If you receive Basic Food benefits in a qualified drug and alcohol treatment facility under WAC 388-408-0040, you must have an employee of the facility as your authorized representative for Basic Food.

  4. If the authorized representative provides information to the department that causes an AU to have an overpayment, the AU members are liable for the overpayment.

  5. An authorized representative may act on behalf of more than one Basic Food AU only if the Community Services Office Administrator approves.

This is a reprint of the official rule as published by the Office of the Code Reviser. If there are previous versions of this rule, they can be found using the Legislative Search page.

CLARIFYING INFORMATION

*** As a result of implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), this clarifying page may no longer be effective for medical coverage applications received on or after 10/01/2013. Please see the ACA Transition Plan for more information. Clients under 65 years of age who need to apply for medical coverage on or after 10/01/2013 should be referred to Washington Healthplanfinder. Applications for medical coverage for households where all members are 65 years of age and older should be referred to Washington Connection. ***

 

  1. How clients designate an authorized representative:

A client can designate an authorized representative by completing the appropriate section on the DSHS 14-001 Application for Benefits, DSHS 14-078 Eligibility Review, Washington Connection online application, or by completing a DSHS 14-532 Authorized Representative form.

  1. Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers:

If a client receives food assistance in a qualified drug and alcohol treatment center, the treatment center must be the authorized representative.  

  1. DSHS FSS Staff as Authorized Representatives for Basic Food:

DSHS Financial Services Specialist (FSS) staff may not act as an authorized representative or Alternate Card Holder for a household’s Basic Food benefits.  

  • Staff having access to change benefits due to their position and acting on behalf of the household is a direct conflict of interest.
  1. Verification:

The identity of an authorized representative is a mandatory verification.  See VERIFICATION.

  1. Alternative Card Holders:

An authorized representative does not receive a Quest card or have the ability to access the AU's benefits.  If a client needs someone outside of their AU to access the benefits, see information on Alternate Card Holders in BENEFIT ISSUANCES.

  1. Individuals who have Power of Attorney for a client:
    1. If an individual has Power of Attorney for a client, the person can be the client's authorized representative without the client having to specifically designate them as the authorized representative.
    2. If an individual has limited Power of Attorney, the Power of Attorney document must specifically give the person authority to act on the client's behalf for managing financial matters.  If the document doesn't give the person this authority, the client must name the person as their authorized representative if they want them to act on their behalf.

WORKER RESPONSIBILITIES

Authorized Representatives on Multiple Accounts:

ACES does not monitor or create reports on individuals who are authorized representatives for multiple cases.  If you learn that a person is an authorized representative for multiple AUs and suspect the representative is misusing the client's benefits, refer the case to the Office of Fraud Accountability.  See FRAUD.


WAC 388-460-0010

WAC 388-460-0010

Effective December 1, 2003

WAC 388-460-0010 Do I have an authorized representative for Basic Food if I live in a treatment center or group home?

  1. If you live in a qualified DDD group home under WAC 388-408-0040, you may choose to apply for Basic Food benefits:

    1. On your own behalf;

    2. Through an authorized representative of your choice; or 

    3. Through the DDD group home acting as your authorized representative.

  2. If you live in qualified drug and alcohol treatment facility under WAC 388-408-0040, you must have an employee of the facility as your authorized representative for Basic Food.

  3. The person acting as authorized representative for residents in a qualified drug and alcohol treatment facility or qualified DDD group home must:

    1. Be aware of the resident's circumstances;

    2. Notify the department of any changes in income, resources or circumstances within 10 days of the change;

    3. Use the resident's Basic Food benefits for meals served to the resident; and

    4. Keep enough benefits in the facility’s account to transfer one-half of a client's monthly allotment to the client's own account.  If the client leaves the facility on or before the fifteenth of the month, the facility must return one half of the client’s Basic Food allotment for that month.

  4. When a facility assigns an employee as the authorized representative for residents, the facility accepts responsibility for:

    1. Any misrepresentation or intentional program violation; and

    2. Liability for Basic Food benefits held at the facility on behalf of the resident.

This is a reprint of the official rule as published by the Office of the Code Reviser. If there are previous versions of this rule, they can be found using the Legislative Search page.

CLARIFYING INFORMATION

  1. When a facility acts as an authorized representative for persons in a group home or chemical dependency treatment facility, one person from the facility usually acts on behalf of all the clients in that facility or group home.
  2. The Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) regulates the facilities in their use of client's Basic Food benefits.  The following expectations are listed for information only.  Upon leaving a group home or treatment facility, a Basic Food client is entitled to at least one-half of the Basic Food benefits if the client leaves before the 16th of the month and part of the benefits have already been spent on behalf of the client.

WAC 388-460-0015

WAC 388-460-0015

Effective December 1, 2003

WAC 388-460-0015 Who will the department not allow as an authorized representative for Basic Food?

  1. If you are acting as an authorized representative for Basic Food, we disqualify you from being an authorized representative for one year if we determine that you:

    1. Knowingly provided false information to the department; 

    2. Misrepresented the circumstances of the Basic Food assistance unit (AU); or

    3. Misused the Basic Food benefits.

  2. If we disqualify you from being an authorized representative for Basic Food, we notify you and the head of the Basic Food AU 30 days before your disqualification starts.

  3. If you are a department employee, a retailer authorized to receive Basic Food benefits, or are disqualified from receiving Basic Food because of an intentional program violation under WAC 388-446-0015, you generally cannot be an authorized representative.  If you are in any of these three categories and want to be an authorized representative for Basic Food:

    1. The AU must have no one else available to be an authorized representative; and

    2. You must have written approval from the Community Services Office Administrator to be the AU's authorized representative.

  4. A public or private nonprofit organization providing meals for homeless persons may not be an authorized representative under any conditions.

This is a reprint of the official rule as published by the Office of the Code Reviser. If there are previous versions of this rule, they can be found using the Legislative Search page.

CLARIFYING INFORMATION

The head of household for the food assistance AU may request an administrative hearing when the person they have named as their authorized representative is disqualified from being an authorized representative.  See ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS.

 


WORKER RESPONSIBILITIES

In most cases, the disqualification of an authorized representative takes place as the result of a fraud investigation.  Use letter 050-01 General Correspondence to inform both the client and the authorized representative of the disqualification action.  Inform the client why the authorized representative is disqualified and of the client's right to an administrative hearing.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

For additional information on Authorized Representatives, see AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE - FOOD, CASH, AND MEDICAL BENEFIT ISSUANCES.
Modification Date: December 31, 2013