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74.04.015  <<  74.04.025 >>   74.04.033

RCW 74.04.025

Bilingual services for non-English speaking applicants and recipients — Bilingual personnel, when — Primary language pamphlets and written materials.

(1) The department, the authority, and the office of administrative hearings shall ensure that bilingual services are provided to non-English speaking applicants and recipients. The services shall be provided to the extent necessary to assure that non-English speaking persons are not denied, or unable to obtain or maintain, services or benefits because of their inability to speak English.

     (2) If the number of non-English speaking applicants or recipients sharing the same language served by any community service office client contact job classification equals or exceeds fifty percent of the average caseload of a full-time position in such classification, the department shall, through attrition, employ bilingual personnel to serve such applicants or recipients.

     (3) Regardless of the applicant or recipient caseload of any community service office, each community service office shall ensure that bilingual services required to supplement the community service office staff are provided through contracts with language access providers, local agencies, or other community resources.

     (4) The department shall certify, authorize, and qualify language access providers as needed to maintain an adequate pool of providers.

     (5) The department shall require compliance with RCW 41.56.113(2) through its contracts with third parties.

     (6) Initial client contact materials shall inform clients in all primary languages of the availability of interpretation services for non-English speaking persons. Basic informational pamphlets shall be translated into all primary languages.

     (7) To the extent all written communications directed to applicants or recipients are not in the primary language of the applicant or recipient, the department and the office of administrative hearings shall include with the written communication a notice in all primary languages of applicants or recipients describing the significance of the communication and specifically how the applicants or recipients may receive assistance in understanding, and responding to if necessary, the written communication. The department shall assure that sufficient resources are available to assist applicants and recipients in a timely fashion with understanding, responding to, and complying with the requirements of all such written communications.

     (8) As used in this section:

     (a) "Language access provider" means any independent contractor who provides spoken language interpreter services for department appointments or medicaid enrollee appointments, or provided these services on or after January 1, 2009, and before June 10, 2010, whether paid by a broker, language access agency, or the department. "Language access provider" does not mean an owner, manager, or employee of a broker or a language access agency.

     (b) "Primary languages" includes but is not limited to Spanish, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, and Chinese.

[2011 1st sp.s. c 15 § 63; 2010 c 296 § 7; 1998 c 245 § 143; 1983 1st ex.s. c 41 § 33.]

Notes:

     Effective date -- Findings -- Intent -- Report -- Agency transfer -- References to head of health care authority -- Draft legislation -- 2011 1st sp.s. c 15: See notes following RCW 74.09.010.

     Conflict with federal requirements -- 2010 c 296: See note following RCW 41.56.510.

     Severability -- 1983 1st ex.s. c 41: See note following RCW 26.09.060.