WSR 97-17-021

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES

(Economic Services Administration)

(Public Assistance)

[Filed August 11, 1997, 8:43 a.m.]

Original Notice.

Exempt from preproposal statement of inquiry under RCW 34.05.310(4).

Title of Rule: WAC 388-49-360, 388-49-380, and 388-49-385.

Purpose: To change work registration and food stamp employment and training program participation rules to comply with a Federal Food and Consumer Service clarification that "over 50" means on the 50th birthday. To correct a WAC citation. To clarify that after serving the period of disqualification, persons may reestablish eligibility if they are receiving unemployment compensation or participating in WorkFirst.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.05.510.

Statute Being Implemented: Section 6 of HR 3734 (Public Law 104-193).

Summary: To comply with a Federal Food and Consumer Service clarification that "over 50" means on the 50th birthday. To correct WAC 388-49-335 to read WAC 388-49-355. To clarify that after serving the period of disqualification, persons may reestablish eligibility if they are receiving unemployment compensation or participating in WorkFirst.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: State legislation.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Mary Monahan, Division of Assistance Programs, (360) 413-3250.

Name of Proponent: Department of Social and Health Services, governmental.

Rule is necessary because of federal law, Section 6, HR 3734, Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: WAC 388-49-360 changes the food stamp employment and training work registration and participation age from 51 to 50. WAC 388-49-380 changes the reference WAC 388-49-335 to 388-49-355. WAC 388-49-385 clarifies that after serving the period of disqualification, persons may reestablish eligibility if they are receiving unemployment compensation or participating in WorkFirst, or exempt food stamp work registration and/or participation.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Amends WAC 388-49-360, 388-49-380, and 388-49-385.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. Does not apply to this rule.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii), exempt because the rule pertains to client medical or financial eligibility.

Hearing Location: Lacey Government Center (behind Tokyo Bento restaurant), 1009 College Street S.E., Room 102, Lacey, WA 98503, on September 23, 1997, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Leslie Baldwin by September 12, 1997, phone (360) 902-0750, TTY (360) 902-8324, e-mail lbaldwin@dshs.wa.gov.

Submit Written Comments to and Identify WAC Numbers: Leslie Baldwin, Rules Coordinator, Rules and Policies Assistance Unit, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, FAX (360) 902-8292, by September 23, 1997.

Date of Intended Adoption: No sooner than September 24, 1997.

August 8, 1997

Merry A. Kogut, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 97-09-012, filed 4/4/97, effective 5/5/97)

WAC 388-49-360 Work registration and food stamp employment and training (FSE&T) program participation. (1) Unless exempt, the department shall register for work and require participation in the food stamp employment and training (FSE&T) program persons:

(a) Ages sixteen through fifty-nine with dependents;

(b) Ages sixteen and seventeen out of school, not heads-of-households; and

(c) Ages ((fifty-one)) fifty through fifty-nine without dependents.

(2) Registration happens at certification and once every twelve months thereafter.

(3) The department shall exempt from work registration and participation in the FSE&T program persons who are:

(a) Sixteen and seventeen years of age who are not heads of households who are:

(i) Attending school; or

(ii) Enrolled in a program under temporary assistance for needy families (TANF), a program under Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), a program under section 236 of the Trade Act of 1974, or other state or local employment and training programs at least half time;

(b) Physically or mentally unfit for employment;

(c) Responsible for the care of a dependent child under six years of age or of an incapacitated person;

(d) Applying for or receiving unemployment compensation (UC);

(e) Participating in an employment and training program under TANF;

(f) Employed or self-employed thirty hours or more per week, or receiving weekly earnings equal to the federal minimum wage, multiplied by thirty. This shall include migrant and seasonal farmworkers under contract or agreement with an employer;

(g) Enrolled as a student as defined in WAC 388-49-330; or

(h) Regularly participating in a drug addiction or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation program.

(4) The department shall register for work and exempt from participation in the FSE&T program persons who:

(a) Participate in a refugee assistance program;

(b) Reside in an exempt area;

(c) Reside one hour or more travel distance from available FSE&T services;

(d) Do not have a mailing address or message telephone;

(e) Have a temporary incapacity expected to last sixty or more days; or

(f) Have dependent care needs that exceed the maximum amount payable by the department. The exemption shall continue until:

(i) A suitable program service is available; or

(ii) Circumstances change and monthly dependent care costs no longer exceed the department reimbursement limit.

(5) The department shall accept an applicant's statement concerning the employability of each member of the household unless the information is questionable. The department shall verify any claim for exemption the department determines questionable.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510 and Section 6 of HR 3734 (Public Law 104-193) (1996). 97-09-012, 388-49-360, filed 4/4/97, effective 5/5/97. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.01.510, 74.04.510, 7 CFR 273.7 (b)(1)(i), Public Law 103-66 Section 13922 and Administrative Notice 92-34. 94-22-030 (Order 3803), 388-49-360, filed 10/26/94, effective 11/26/94. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510. 89-19-025 (Order 2870), 388-49-360, filed 9/12/89, effective 10/13/89. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050. 88-02-031 (Order 2575), 388-49-360, filed 12/31/87.]

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 97-09-012, filed 4/4/97, effective 5/5/97)

WAC 388-49-380 Voluntary quit. (1) The department shall consider a person ineligible who:

(a) Voluntarily quits his or her most recent job without good cause if:

(i) The employment involved twenty hours or more per week or provided weekly earnings equivalent to the federal minimum wage by twenty hours;

(ii) The quit occurred within sixty days prior to application or any time thereafter; and

(iii) At the time of the voluntary quit, the (([person])) person was required to register for work as provided under WAC 388-49-360 (with exception of subsection (3)(d) and (e) of this section), or the person is nonexempt under WAC ((388-49-335)) 388-49-355; or

(b) Is an employee of the federal, state, or local government who participated in a strike against such government and is dismissed from his or her job because of participation in the strike.

(2) Good cause for voluntarily quitting employment includes the following:

(a) Circumstances included under WAC 388-49-366(2);

(b) The employment is unsuitable as defined under WAC 388-49-370;

(c) Discrimination by an employer based on age, race, sex, color, religious belief, national origin, political belief, marital status, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or other reasons in RCW 49.60.180;

(d) Work demands or conditions rendering continued employment unreasonable, such as working without being paid on schedule;

(e) Acceptance by the person of employment or enrollment of at least half time in any recognized school, training program, or institution of higher education including fulfillment of the provisions under WAC 388-49-330, requiring the person to leave employment;

(f) Acceptance by any other household member of employment or enrollment at least half time in any recognized school, training program, or institution of higher education in another county or similar political subdivision requiring the household to move thereby requiring any other member to leave employment;

(g) Resignations by persons under sixty years of age recognized by the employer as retirement;

(h) Acceptance of a bona fide offer of employment of twenty hours or more a week or where the weekly earnings are equivalent to the federal minimum wage multiplied by twenty hours which, because of circumstances beyond the control of the person, subsequently either does not materialize or results in employment of twenty hours or less a week or weekly earnings of less than the federal minimum wage multiplied by twenty hours; and

(i) Leaving a job in connection with patterns of employment where workers frequently move from one employer to another, such as migrant farm labor or construction work.

(3) A household where a person voluntarily quits his or her most recent job shall not be ineligible if the circumstances of the employment involve:

(a) Changes in employment status resulting from reduced hours of employment while working for the same employer;

(b) Termination of a self-employment enterprise; or

(c) Resignation from a job at the demand of an employer.

(4) The person shall have primary responsibility for providing verification of good cause for voluntary quit. If the household and the department are unable to obtain verification, the department shall not deny the household access to the program.

(5) If a quit was without good cause, the person is disqualified:

(a) For the first quit, one month and until the person complies with subsection (7) of this section;

(b) For the second quit, three months and until the person complies with subsection (7) of this section; and

(c) For the third or subsequent quit, six months and until the person complies with subsection (7) of this section.

(6) For persons residing in exempt areas under WAC 388-49-360(4), a disqualification ends when a person:

(a) Has served the one, three, or six month portion of the disqualification penalty; and

(b) Complies with subsection (7)(a) of this section.

(7) The person may re-establish eligibility after the disqualification, if otherwise eligible, and the person:

(a) Secures new employment;

(b) In nonexempt areas, is participating in the food stamp employment and training program;

(c) Is participating in workfare; ((or))

(d) Is receiving unemployment compensation;

(e) Is participating in workfirst; or

(f) Becomes exempt ((other than under WAC 388-49-360 (3)(d) and (e))) from work registration and/or participation.

(8) If a disqualified person moves from the household and joins another household, the department shall consider the person as an ineligible household member of the new household for the remainder of the disqualification period.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510 and Section 6 of HR 3734 (Public Law 104-193) (1996). 97-09-012, 388-49-380, filed 4/4/97, effective 5/5/97. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.01.510, 74.04.510, 7 CFR 273.7 (b)(1)(i), Public Law 103-66 Section 13922 and Administrative Notice 92-34. 94-22-030 (Order 3803), 388-49-380, filed 10/26/94, effective 11/26/94. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510. 89-19-025 (Order 2870), 388-49-380, filed 9/12/89, effective 10/13/89. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050. 88-02-031 (Order 2575), 388-49-380, filed 12/31/87.]

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 97-09-012, filed 4/4/97, effective 5/5/97)

WAC 388-49-385 Food stamp workfare. (1) Workfare is a program available to persons eighteen ((through)) to fifty years of age without dependents, that gives persons the opportunity to maintain eligibility for food stamp benefits.

(2) Workfare consists of:

(a) For the first month, job search activities or unpaid work with a public or private nonprofit agency; and

(b) Subsequent months, unpaid work with a public or private nonprofit agency.

(3) The department determines the hours that a person must participate in unpaid work with a public or private nonprofit agency.

(4) Workfare hours when added to compensated hours worked may not exceed thirty hours a week.

(5) The department shall pay for a person's actual expenses, up to the department limit, that are necessary for the person to participate in workfare.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510 and Section 6 of HR 3734 (Public Law 104-193) (1996). 97-09-012, 388-49-385, filed 4/4/97, effective 5/5/97.]

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