Chapter 1.292


1.292.010    Introduction.

1.292.020    Eligibility.

1.292.030    Direct emergency assistance.

1.292.040    Veteran organizations/veteran service officer (VSO).

1.292.050    Grievance/appeal process.

1.292.060    Chelan County role and responsibilities.

1.292.010 Introduction.

(a)    Purpose. Chelan County has veterans of the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, National Guard and Reserves who have faithfully served their country. Chelan County recognizes and honors their service and is dedicated to helping veterans and their families who may be experiencing difficulties.

The overarching goal is to assist all veterans-in-need back into mainstream society by ensuring they understand all the programs available to them through the county.

This chapter has been developed to provide guidance in assisting all veterans in need and direction for the use of the Chelan County veterans assistance fund (VAF). The VAF was developed to provide assistance to indigent veterans and their dependent families. The fund was developed in accordance with Chapter 73.08 RCW.

Assistance from the fund can be provided through contracted vendors.

Contracting for the use of the VAF is the responsibility of Chelan County through the county administrator with the advice of the veterans advisory board. The Chelan County board of commissioners has statutory oversight for the use and expenditures of the fund.

(b)    Source of Funds. Washington State law and the Chelan County Code have established the veterans assistance fund as a steady source of tax dollars to be utilized for the needs of indigent veterans and their families. A portion of property tax collected in Chelan County is earmarked for the VAF.

(c)    Chelan County Veterans Advisory Board. The Chelan County veterans advisory board (VAB) is an advisory group appointed by the Chelan County board of commissioners to serve the veterans of Chelan County. The VAB is made up of veterans from the community at large and representatives from congressionally chartered veterans’ organizations within Chelan County.

(d)    Contracted Services. If contract services are needed, the county, with the advice of the VAB, selects contracted organizations through the county’s procurement process. The county is responsible for all contracts issued through this process.

(e)    Service Administration. Eligible veterans may receive assistance through contracted agencies/individuals/organizations. Assistance must be provided to needy individuals without discrimination. Agencies/individuals/organizations agree to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, rules, and ordinances relating to nondiscrimination. Two types of services are provided:

(1)    Direct emergency assistance;

(2)    Ongoing support and assistance through contracted agencies/organizations/individuals that provide community services to indigent people. (Res. 2015-39 (Att. A) (part), 3/23/15: Res. 2012-24 (Att. A) (part), 3/26/12).

1.292.020 Eligibility.

(a)    Use of Veteran Assistance Fund. Eligibility is required for any service provided through the VAF. Eligibility for use of the VAF is determined by contracted agency/organizations/individuals or the Chelan County administrator.

(b)    Service Requirements. “Veteran” includes all persons qualified under RCW 73.08.005.

(c)    Documentation of Veterans Status. Documentation includes DD-214, DOD Statement of Service (SOS), or if discharged prior to 1950, a Certificate of Discharge. The veterans service officer or agency staff will assist the veteran in completing a request to receive a certified copy of their DD-214 as necessary.

(d)    Spouses, Domestic Partners and/or Dependent Children. Spouses, domestic partners and/or dependent children of deceased veterans may apply for any/all benefits. Spouses must not have remarried and dependent children must not have reached their eighteenth birthday (or twenty-third birthday if they are a full-time student).

(e)    Family Member. A family member of a veteran is defined as a spouse, domestic partner, veteran’s minor and/or dependent children, widow or widower.

(f)    Income Guidelines. The applicant’s net family household income for the last thirty days must equal or fall below one hundred fifty percent of current federal poverty rate published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at time of application.

(1)    Family/Household Size. The applicant’s household size includes the veteran and/or his or her legal dependents. See subsections (d) and (e) of this section.

(2)    Family Income. Family net income equals monthly net income after deductions.

(A)    Applicants must provide proof of all household income. Eligibility cannot be determined until all required documentation is received and substantiated. Documentation that appears to be altered will not be accepted.

(B)    Applicants who claim no income must provide statements that verify no receipt of benefits. If the client claims no sources of income and has maintained a residence for six or more months, household income will be calculated at one hundred percent of monthly rental obligation.

(3)    Deductions. Deductible expenses incurred in the past thirty days may be deducted from the applicant’s household income. These expenses include those that support the health, the dependents, and/or the education of a veteran:

(A)    Garnishments. Garnishments include deductions from the IRS, bankruptcy proceedings, or benefit overpayments. Required documentation may include check stubs.

(B)    Payment of Child and Spousal Support. Support payments include delinquent support payments. Required documentation may include cancelled checks, bank statement with proper documentation, check stubs, print-out from DSHS support enforcement.

(C)    Medical Expenses. Medical expenses include but are not limited to medical or dental procedures, doctor visit co-pays, durable medical equipment (e.g., cane, crutches, walker, wheelchair), nursing home or memory care, dental equipment (e.g., dentures), optical equipment (e.g., glasses), insurance premiums, and prescription costs. [Note: Pharmacies will provide a statement, free of charge, stating the amount paid for prescriptions in the previous thirty days.] Required documentation may include copies of paid receipts, and a letter from the medical provider.

(D)    Educational Expenses. Educational expenses include but are not limited to tuition and schoolbooks. Clients will be required to provide proof of enrollment in school. Proof may include a copy of the class schedule, official school records, official student ID, or a letter from the school showing the person’s enrollment. Required documentation may include copies of paid receipts from the school for tuition, receipts from bookseller.

(E)    Daycare Expenses. Daycare expenses include licensed daycare facilities and kinder-care. Clients who receive a subsidy from DSHS for child care will be required to provide a letter from DSHS that shows the monthly co-pay. Required documentation may include: copies of paid child care receipts, a letter from the daycare provider stating the client’s name, the name of the child, and the amount paid.

(F)    Legal Expenses. Legal expenses include but are not limited to court fees and lawyer fees. Clients will be required to provide proof of legal involvement of the veteran or veteran’s dependent, which may include court papers, letter from the legal agency. Required documentation may include copies of paid receipts, a letter from the legal agency stating the veteran’s or dependent’s name and the amount paid.

(g)    County Residency. Applicants must have resided in Chelan County for at least thirty days at the date of application. Documentation may include, but is not limited to, Washington driver’s license, ID card, utility or other bills, copies of applications for public assistance, rental agreements, and bank statements.

(h)    Unemployed Veterans—Work Search Requirement. Unemployed veterans who are able to work and have not been determined by the state and/or federal government to be fully disabled and unemployable must be registered with the Veteran’s Job Service Section at a local WorkSource office and have applied for unemployment compensation.

Exceptions to this subsection (h) include one or more of the following:

(1)    Enrolled in a Workforce Investment Act training program or other accredited educational institutions.

(2)    Currently collecting unemployment insurance.

(3)    Collecting Social Security.

(4)    Temporarily disabled for thirty days or longer as documented by a physician. (Res. 2015-39 (Att. A) (part), 3/23/15: Res. 2012-24 (Att. A) (part), 3/26/12).

1.292.030 Direct emergency assistance.

(a)    Overview. The goal is to help veterans and their families. Chelan County uses local chapters of nationally recognized veterans organizations to provide service. Veterans who do not qualify for VAF assistance are directed towards other resources provided by other programs that help the indigent.

(b)    Maximum Allocation. Maximum financial benefit for direct emergency assistance for an indigent veteran or family member will be determined by the VSO in conjunction with the VAB on a case-by-case basis. Specific limitations are listed in the application document.

(c)    Method of Payment. Emergency assistance is provided directly to vendors/landlords/service agencies on behalf of the veteran. Exceptions may be made for food or gas.

(d)    Documentation of Costs. Costs may be documented by invoice, purchase order, receipt or bill.

(e)    Rent Assistance. The purpose of this subsection is to ensure the veteran has shelter for at least thirty days (excluding subsection (e)(5) of this section) after the date of application.

(1)    Property. Veteran must have a written rental agreement.

(2)    Eviction. Veteran must show proof of imminent danger of eviction including but not limited to a foreclosure notice, eviction notice or notice to vacate.

(3)    Shared Dwelling. In the case of veteran sharing a dwelling with another person (not immediate family as described in Section 1.292.020(e)) the rental amount will be prorated by the number of people living in the residence.

(4)    First Month’s Rent/Deposit Assistance. Veteran may receive first-last month’s rent and/or deposit, or a portion thereof, funding to move into housing. If said deposit is eligible to be returned once the property is vacated, the deposit must be returned to VAF. A written agreement should be put in place with the landlord so stating.

(5)    Temporary Lodging Assistance. A veteran may receive up to ten days’ temporary lodging assistance per a three-month period.

(f)    Energy or Utility Assistance. A veteran may be approved for assistance for heating, electricity, telephone, water, or sewer bills. Payments will be made directly to the vendors.

(1)    Utilities Notice. Veteran must demonstrate that he or she is in imminent danger of losing utility or energy source. Telephone assistance is only for basic service. Long distance calls, call waiting, voice mail, or other types of “extra” services are not eligible for assistance.

(2)    Shared Dwelling. In the case of veteran sharing a dwelling with other adults (not immediate family as described in Section 1.292.020(e)) the utilities assistance costs will be prorated by the number of adults living in the house.

(g)    Food Assistance. A veteran may receive food assistance; a veteran with dependents may receive more based on need and circumstances. Food also includes toiletries. Alcohol and tobacco products are excluded.

(h)    Transportation Assistance. A veteran may receive transportation assistance for appointments for medical services, treatment services, social services (SSI, SSDI, DSHS) or job services/interviews.

(1)    Public Transportation. If the veteran does not own a vehicle or vehicle is inoperable, bus passes may be issued.

(2)    Transportation to Spokane VA. A van is available to provide transportation to appointments at the Spokane VA, therefore other transportation to the Spokane VA will not be funded.

(3)    VA Reimbursement. Travel that will be reimbursed by the VA is not eligible for assistance.

(i)    Medical Services. A veteran may receive assistance for medical needs including required medical services, prescriptions, home care, nursing home/memory care facilities, durable medical equipment, hearing aids and glasses.

(1)    Medical. A bill or invoice is required.

(2)    Prescriptions. Any prescription must be in veteran’s name with a price quote from a licensed pharmacy.

(3)    Eye Glasses. Eye glasses must have prescribed corrective lenses.

(4)    Durable Medical Equipment. Durable medical equipment includes but is not limited to wheel chairs, walkers, hospital bed, toilet risers, and crutches.

(5)    Home Care. Home care is in-home skilled nursing or therapy medically required.

(6)    Nursing Home/Memory Care Facilities/Adult Family Homes. Up to sixty days of services may be paid. Payments will be made in increments of thirty days or less.

(j)    Dental Services. Veterans may receive funding to be used for dentures and dental emergencies.

(k)    Burial Assistance. Burial costs for a veteran are covered up to a maximum set by the veterans advisory board. Burial costs are limited to five hundred dollars for a spouse or minor child. A death certificate and proof of expenses are required.

(l)    Other Assistance. Veterans may receive other assistance not covered under the above subsections:

(1)    Auto Repair. Repair or parts necessary for the veteran to seek work, attend medical appointments, or maintain employment.

(2)    Appliances. Purchase of necessary appliances or repair thereto (refrigerators, furnaces, ranges, etc.). Veteran must provide ownership documentation of appliances.

(3)    Clothing. Purchase of occupation-required clothing necessary for a veteran to become or remain employed.

(4)    Driver’s License or State ID Card. Funds may be used to pay for document fees and postage to obtain primary, supporting, or alternative documents required by the State of Washington Department of Licensing to prove identity of a veteran for obtaining a Washington State identification card or driver’s license.

(A)    Suspended Driver’s License. If the veteran has a suspended Washington State driver’s license due to inability to pay fines, funds may be used to pay enrollment fee in a structured, legitimate program to restore the veteran’s driver’s license. Funds may not be used to pay any fines, insurance fees, collection agency fees, or other costs.

(5)    Occupational Certification. Funds may be used to pay for occupation certification test fees and/or occupation license fees for otherwise qualified applicants.

(6)    Union Dues. Funds may be used to pay for delinquent union dues for otherwise qualified applicants.

(m)    Unforeseen Circumstances. If an applicant is in need of assistance in an area not covered under this section, the request may be forwarded directly to the VAB for review and approval. (Res. 2015-39 (Att. A) (part), 3/23/15: Res. 2012-24 (Att. A) (part), 3/26/12: Res. 2007-38, 3/5/07)

1.292.040 Veteran organizations/veteran service officer (VSO).

(a)    General. Local chapters of nationally recognized veteran organizations and their volunteer veteran service officer are natural conduits of information about assisting veterans. They will be considered the first (but not the only) point of contact for any veteran seeking assistance.

(b)    Certification. Every August, local veteran organizations must register with the veterans advisory board by written letter. The letter must include the names of VSOs and the times and days of the week that VSOs will be available to assist veterans. The certification letter should be sent to:

Veterans Assistance Program

c/o Chelan County Commissioners

400 Douglas Street, Suite 201

Wenatchee, WA 98801

(c)    Role of Veteran Service Officer. The VSO shall assist all veterans applying for assistance. Assistance includes helping the veteran or family member complete appropriate forms, compiling information and required documentation, regardless if the individual does or does not meet the requirements for financial assistance from the VAF. The VSO must be sponsored by a local chapter of a nationally recognized veterans organization. (Res. 2015-39 (Att. A) (part), 3/23/15: Res. 2012-24 (Att. A) (part), 3/26/12).

1.292.050 Grievance/appeal process.

(a)    Filing a Grievance or an Appeal. A veteran may file a grievance/appeal in writing to the Chelan County veterans advisory board. The writing must include a full description of the circumstances, a proposed solution and full contact information for the veteran. Such a writing must be mailed to:

Veterans Advisory Board

c/o Chelan County Commissioners

400 Douglas Street, Suite 201

Wenatchee, WA 98801

(b)    Review and Determination. The grievance or appeal generally will be reviewed and determined within thirty calendar days of receipt. A written determination will be mailed to the veteran. (Res. 2015-39 (Att. A) (part), 3/23/15: Res. 2012-24, 3/26/12).

1.292.060 Chelan County role and responsibilities.

(a)    Fiscal Management. Chelan County administrator acts as the fiscal agent for the veterans advisory board and provides the following assistance per county policy and procedures:

(1)    Vouchering. Process vouchers to pay vendors.

(2)    Monthly Reimbursement. Process monthly reimbursement of VSO petty cash.

(3)    Oversight. Provide oversight to ensure accountability for funds, including audits.

(4)    Annual Budget. Develop an annual budget, and process budget adjustments through the supplemental appropriation hearing process if necessary.

(5)    Financial Statements. Provide fiscal information to the veterans advisory board, as requested, but at a minimum provide quarterly and annual financial reports.

(b)    Administrative Assistance. The county commissioners office provides administrative assistance to the veterans advisory board, including the following:

(1)    Procurement Process. Prepare requests for proposals for the veterans assistance fund following the county’s procurement procedures.

(2)    Contracting. Prepare contracts, reviewed by the veterans advisory board, that allocate funds to assistance organizations awarded contracts through the county’s procurement process.

(3)    Planning. Assist the veterans advisory board with its planning process and coordination with federal, state and local agencies and related organizations.

(4)    Evaluations. Assist the veterans advisory board with evaluations regarding the effectiveness of programs. (Res. 2015-39 (Att. A) (part), 3/23/15: Res. 2012-24 (Att. A) (part), 3/26/12).