DSHS benefits cuts halted

A district court granted a preliminary injunction on February 28 against the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services rule that would have cut welfare benefits for thousands of low-income families with children with disabilities.

The cost-cutting measure rule, which was set to go into effect March 1, would have counted federal disability payments as part of income for purposes of calculating eligibility for the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the state Family Assistance programs, according to an article in the Seattle Times.

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington stated that if the rule went forward, the families would have been “unable to provide appropriate…medical care for their children with disabilities” and the children would suffer “significant, even life-threatening, adverse health impacts, including hospitalization,” according to the Seattle Times.

The next hearing is scheduled for March 21.