Vol. 35 Iss. 10 - January 07, 2019

Chapter 677
Emergency Regulation

Title of Regulation: 22VAC40-677. State Oversight of a Local Social Services Department that Fails to Provide Services (adding 22VAC40-677-10).

Statutory Authority: §§ 63.2-217 and 63.2-408 of the Code of Virginia.

Effective Dates: December 17, 2018, through June 16, 2020.

Agency Contact: Karin Clark, Regulatory Coordinator, Department of Social Services, 801 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219, telephone (804) 726-7017, FAX (804) 726-7015, or email


Section 2.2-4011 A of the Code of Virginia states that "[r]egulations that an agency finds are necessitated by an emergency situation may be adopted upon consultation with the Attorney General, which approval shall be granted only after the agency has submitted a request stating in writing the nature of the emergency, and the necessity for such action shall be at the sole discretion of the Governor."

Localities in Virginia are charged with administering public assistance and social services specifically intended to protect the health, safety, and welfare of citizens. Included in these services are critical safety-net programs, such as Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. In addition, localities administer programs, such as child protective services and foster care, that protect the safety and well-being of the Commonwealth's most vulnerable citizens.

In the event the locality fails, refuses, or is unable to provide these core services, the safety and well-being of individuals in need are seriously jeopardized. This emergency action provides the Commissioner of the Department of Social Services with regulatory authority to provide immediate direction and oversight to a local department of social services, with appropriate State Board of Social Services proceedings. While this direction and oversight is not expected to be a frequent need, should the situation arise, the commissioner would be able to provide the appropriate resources in a timely manner to assess and remedy the situation in the local department.

Promulgating this regulation through the standard, three-stage regulatory process would take, at a minimum, 18 months and likely longer. Because of the human risk involved in not providing timely direction and oversight in the described scenario, the agency believes an emergency situation exists.


22VAC40-677-10. State response to when a local department of social services fails to provide services.

A. Each county and city must provide public assistance and social services in accordance with the provisions of Subtitles II (§ 63.2-500 et seq.) and III (§ 63.2-900 et seq.) of Title 63.2 of the Code of Virginia. If any county or city, through its appropriate authorities or officers fails, refuses, or is unable to provide public assistance or social services in accordance with the Code of Virginia, and with appropriate proceedings by the Board of Social Services as directed by § 63.2-408 of the Code of Virginia, the Commissioner of the Department of Social Services shall have the authority to direct and oversee all programs set forth in Subtitles II and III for that particular county or city, including to provide for the payment of public assistance and expenditures for social services and administration.

B. The commissioner may also withhold from any county or city the entire reimbursement for administrative expenditures or any part thereof for the period of time such locality fails to operate public assistance programs or social service programs in accordance with state laws and regulations or fails to provide the necessary staff for the implementation of such programs.

C. The commissioner shall at the end of each month file with the State Comptroller and with the local governing body of such county or city a statement showing all disbursements and expenditures, including administrative expenditures, made for and on behalf of such county or city, and the State Comptroller shall from time to time as such funds become available deduct from funds appropriated by the Commonwealth, in excess of requirements of the Constitution of Virginia, for distribution to such county or city amounts required to reimburse the Commonwealth for expenditures incurred under the provisions of this section.

D. In consultation with the county or city, the commissioner shall develop a transition plan that sets the conditions under which the responsibility to direct and oversee the programs is transferred back to the county or city.

E. The commissioner shall report quarterly to the State Board of Social Services and to the local board of social services on the status of services and expenditures in the city or county as well as the progress toward developing and meeting the conditions of the transition plan.

VA.R. Doc. No. R19-5464; Filed December 17, 2018, 1:00 p.m.