Proposed Rules and Regulations

STATE OF RHODE ISLAND
DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES
ADVANCED NOTICE OF DIRECT FINAL RULE-MAKING

In accordance with Rhode Island General Laws (RIGL) 42-35, as amended (specifically Section 42-35.2.11 of the Administrative Procedures Act) and pursuant to the provisions of Chapters 40-6-8 of the General Laws of Rhode Island as amended, the Department of Human Services (DHS) hereby proposes to file a Direct Final Rule for the following program:

RICR Title 218- Rhode Island Department of Human Services
CHAPTER 20 – Individual and Family Support Programs
Part 04 – Child Care Assistance Program Rules and Regulations

This proposed rule is accessible on the R.I. Secretary of State website available in hard copy upon request (401-462-2018 or RI Relay, dial 711), or on this page of the DHS Website (see below for "Notice and Rules"). If no formal objection is received on or before October 1, 2017, the Department of Human Services will file the amendment without opportunity for public comment. All written objections should be sent to Christina Clement, Office of Policy Development, Department of Human Services, Louis Pasteur Building, Bldg. 57, Howard Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920 or or email Christina Clememt and must be received not later than 11:59 PM Sunday, October 1, 2017. The Department of Human Services does not discriminate against individuals based on race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religious belief, political belief or handicap in acceptance for or provision of services or employment in its programs or activities.

STATE OF RHODE ISLAND
DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES
PUBLIC NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULE-MAKING

In accordance with Rhode Island General Laws (RIGL) 42-35, notice is hereby given that the Department of Human Services proposes to adopt the following DHS rule:

RICR Title 218- Rhode Island Department of Human Services
CHAPTER 20 – Individual and Family Support Programs
PART 1 – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

In accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, the Department is proposing rule-making to adopt the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program rule (218-RICR-20-00-1). This rule is being adopted due to significant formatting changes (as required by RI General Laws, Section 42-35-2.11) and reorganization of the previous version of the rule, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Sections 1000 through 1083, which will be repealed. Additional changes made to the rule include:

*Redundancies, internal procedures and outdated information have been removed such as:

    • Removal of examples;
    • Removal of references to specific job titles;
    • Removal of the Section relating to interfaces;
    • Removal of examples of SAVE documents;
    • Removal of the section on Hispanic and Asian names;
    • Removal of the section relating to Protective Services for Children;
    • Removal of the sections relating to organization of the case record;
    • Changed references from the Fraud Unit to the Fraud Detection & Prevention Unit;
    • Removed or revised references which combined the Fraud/CCR Units

*Further defined the term “fleeing felon” to align with federal regulations (§ 1.2.5(2)(g))

*Changed the timeframes relating to reapplication after noncooperation with Quality Control to align with federal regulations (§ 1.6.6 and § 1.12)

*Updated the name of the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) (§ 1.5.2(A)(1)(a)(6), § 1.5.2(A)(1)(a)(8), § 1.5.3(A)(8)(e), and § 1.11.9(D)(1))

*Updated the rule to reflect that housing/shelter, utility and dependent care expenses are not required to be verified unless questionable. The agency will accept the household’s declaration relating to these expenses (§ 1.5.7(A)(6)(d)(2), § 1.5.7(C)(2)(i)(1), § 1.5.7(C)(2)(i)(2), § 1.6.3(A)(4))

*Updated the income change reporting requirements, now requiring households to report only when there is a change in wage rate or salary, or a change in full-time or part-time employment status (otherwise known as status reporting) (§ 1.13.1(A)(1)(d) and § 1.13.2(B)(8)(c))

*Updated the change reporting requirement for change reporting households for unearned income from $50 to $100 (§ 1.13.1(A)(1)(d)(3))

*Updated the rule to align with federal regulations relating to acting on “unclear information” during the certification period (§ 1.13.1(E))

*Updated the rule to allow for reinstatement of cases that close due to failure to submit an interim report form if the household submits a complete form within 30 days of case closure, the households benefits shall be reinstated (if otherwise eligible) without requiring a new application (§ 1.13.2(B)(7))

*Added language stating that RI uses a “fixed clock” to calculate countable months for Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD’s) (§ 1.11.9(A)(3))

*Removed language from the rule that would make the entire household ineligible to participate in SNAP if the head of household failed to comply with the work requirement or voluntarily quit a job (§ 1.11.5 and § 1.11.8).

*Updated the “voluntary quit” provisions to remove language stating that the entire household is ineligible if the head of household quits a job without good cause. (§ 1.11.8)

*Also, updated the disqualification periods for failure to comply with the work requirements and “voluntary quit” to adhere to federal regulations (§ 1.11.5(B)).

*Revised rule to reflect the 2018 federal cost-of living adjustment, effective October 1, 2017. The cost-of-living adjustment includes the following changes:

    • The Standard Utility Allowance (SUA) has increased to $628 (§ 1.5.7(C)(2)(h))
    • The gross and net income eligibility standards have increased (§ 1.15(E)(1)(e)(2)
    • The minimum benefit has decreased from $16 to $15 (§ 1.5.1(A)(7)(b)(2), 1.15(A)(6)(a) and 1.15.1(D)(4)(d))
    • The maximum allotments have decreased (§ 1.15.1(D)(4)(d))
    • The maximum excess shelter deduction (shelter cap) has increased to $535.00 (§ 1.5.7(A)(6)(e)(2))
    • The resource limit for elderly and disabled households has increased to $3,500 (§ 1.5.5(B)(1)(a) and 1.13.2(B)(8)(g))
    • The standard deduction has increased (§ 1.5.7(A)(6)(b))

These proposed rules are accessible through the R.I. Secretary of State’s Proposed Rules and Regulations Database Search , on the DHS website (listed below) or available in hard copy upon request (401-462-2018 or RI Relay, dial 711). Interested persons should submit data, views or written comments between Tuesday, August 15, 2017 and Thursday, September 15, 2017 to Bethany Caputo, Office of Policy Development, Department of Human Services, Louis Pasteur Building, Bldg. 57, Howard Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920, or email Bethany Caputo.