Understanding the Need Standard

The Need Standard is established by the DSHS Division of Income Assistance. The Need Standard is referenced in Limitations Standard 2b, and is established by RCW 74.04.770. RCW 74.04.770 authorizes DSHS to establish a Need Standard, as follows:

 

74.04.770 Consolidated standards of need-Rateable reductions-Grant maximums.

 

The department shall establish consolidated standards of need each fiscal year which may vary by geographical areas, program, and family size, for aid to families with dependant children, refugee assistance, supplemental security income, and general assistance. Standards for aid to families with dependant children, refugee assistance, supplemental security income, and general assistance shall be based on studies of actual living costs and generally recognized inflation indices and shall include reasonable allowances for shelter fuel, food, transportation, clothing, household maintenance and operations, personal maintenance, and necessary incidentals. The standard of need may take into account the economies of joint living arrangements, but unless explicitly required by federal statute, there shall not be proration of any portion of assistance grants unless the amount of the grant standard is equal to the standard of need.

 

The department is authorized to establish rateable reductions and grant maximums consistent with federal law.

Payment level will be equal to need or a lesser amount if rateable reductions or grant maximums are imposed. In no case shall a recipient of supplemental security income receive a state supplement less the minimum required by federal law.

 

The department may establish a separate standard for shelter provided at no cost. [1983 1st ex.s. c 41 Sec. 38; 1981 2nd ex.s. c 10 sec. 4.

 

The Need Standard is subject to change each September 1 by DSHS Division of Income Assistance. The Division of Income Assistance publishes the new rates in the Washington State Register under WAC 388-478-0015. Several different tables are published, but the pertinent amount for child support schedule purposes is the rate for one person with an obligation to pay shelter costs is as follows:

 

WAC 388-478-0015 Need standards for cash assistance. The need standards for cash assistance units are:

(1) For assistance units with obligation to pay shelter costs:

Assistance Unit Size

Need Standard

 

1

$ 1,036

 

2

1,311

 

3

1,619

 

4

1,910

 

5

2,202

 

6

2,493

 

7

2,881

 

8

3,189

 

9

3,497

 

10 or more

3,804

 


(2) For assistance units with shelter provided at no cost:

Assistance Unit Size

Need Standard

 

1

$ 511

 

2

647

 

3

799

 

4

943

 

5

1,086

 

6

1,230

 

7

1,422

 

8

1,574

 

9

1,725

 

10 or more

1,877

 



[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.770, 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057. 03-24-059, 388-478-0015, filed 12/1/03, effective 1/1/04; 03-23-116, 388-478-0015, filed 11/18/03, effective 12/19/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.510, and 74.04.770. 02-23-029, 388-478-0015, filed 11/12/02, effective 12/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, and 74.04.200. 01-11-108, 388-478-0015, filed 5/21/01, effective 7/1/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.200. 99-04-056, 388-478-0015, filed 1/29/99, effective 3/1/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-478-0015, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]