WSR 07-11-134

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed May 22, 2007, 9:27 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 06-21-055.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 388-444-0005 The food stamp employment and training (FS E&T) program -- General requirements.

Hearing Location(s): Blake Office Park East, Rose Room,

4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA (one block north of the intersection of Pacific Avenue S.E. and Alhadeff Lane, behind Goodyear Tire. A map or directions are available at http://www1.dshs.wa.gov/msa/rpau/docket.html or by calling (360) 664-6097), on June 26, 2007, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than June 27, 2007.

Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, delivery 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA, e-mail schilse@dshs.wa.gov, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5:00 p.m. on June 26, 2007.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Stephanie Schiller by June 19, 2007, TTY (360) 664-6178 or phone (360) 664-6097 or by e-mail at schilse@dshs.wa.gov.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The amended rules update the requirements for the FS E&T program and adopt WorkFirst participation requirements in place of E&T requirements for persons who must participate in WorkFirst. The changes also allow the department to use the food stamp allotment and the TANF grant to determine the maximum monthly hours a WorkFirst participant may be engaged in work experience or unpaid work under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Deficit Reduction Act provides provisions to deem hours of countable WorkFirst participation by way of using Fair Labor Standards Act regulations for E&T programs.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The changes are necessary to support changes to the FS E&T program for persons receiving TANF and participating in WorkFirst. This is essential for state performance under the Deficit Reduction Act.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090.

Rule is necessary because of federal law, 7 C.F.R. 273.7, 7 C.F.R. 273.25.

Name of Proponent: Department of social and health services, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation, and Enforcement: John Camp, 1009 College S.E., Lacey, WA 98504, (360) 725-4616.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. These proposed rules do not have an economic impact on small businesses. The proposed amendments only affect DSHS clients by establishing participation requirements of the FS E&T program for households that receive Basic Food and adopting WorkFirst participation requirements in place of E&T requirements for households who receive TANF and must participate in WorkFirst activities.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. These amendments are exempt as allowed under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii) which states in-part, "[t]his section does not apply to...rules of the department of social and health services relating only to client medical or financial eligibility and rules concerning liability for care of dependents." These rules establish participation requirements of the FS E&T program for households that receive Basic Food and adopting WorkFirst participation requirements in place of E&T requirements for households who receive TANF and must participate in WorkFirst activities.

May 18, 2007

Stephanie E. Schiller

Rules Coordinator

3876.1
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 06-24-026, filed 11/29/06, effective 1/1/07)

WAC 388-444-0005   Food stamp employment and training (FS E&T) program--General requirements.   (1) To receive Basic Food some people must register for work and participate in the food stamp employment and training (FS E&T) program.

(2) We determine if you must register for work and participate in FS E&T under WAC 388-444-0010:

(a) If we require you to register for work and participate in FS E&T you are nonexempt from FS E&T.

(b) If you meet one of the conditions under WAC 388-444-0015, you are exempt from FS E&T. If you are exempt, you may choose to receive services through the FS E&T program.

(3) If you are nonexempt from FS E&T requirements, we register you for work:

(a) When you apply for Basic Food benefits or are added to someone's assistance unit; and

(b) Every twelve months thereafter.

(4) If you are nonexempt, you must meet all the FS E&T program requirements in subsections (5) through (7) of this section. If you fail to meet the requirements without good cause, we disqualify you from receiving Basic Food benefits:

(a) We define good cause for not meeting FS E&T requirements under WAC 388-444-0050; and

(b) We disqualify nonexempt persons who fail to meet E&T requirements as described under WAC 388-444-0055.

(5) If you are nonexempt, you must:

(a) Report to us or your FS E&T service provider and participate as required;

(b) Provide information regarding your employment status and availability for work when we ask for it;

(c) Report to an employer when we refer you; and

(d) Accept a bona fide offer of suitable employment. We define unsuitable employment under WAC 388-444-0060.

(6) If you are nonexempt, you must participate in one or more of the following FS E&T activities:

(a) Job search;

(b) Paid or unpaid work;

(c) Training or work experience;

(d) General education development (GED) classes; or

(e) English as a second language (ESL) classes.

(7) If you must participate in WorkFirst under WAC 388-310-0200, you have certain requirements for the Food Stamp Employment and Training Program:

(a) Your FS E&T requirement is to fully participate in the WorkFirst activities approved in your Individual Responsibility Plan (IRP) under WAC 388-310-0500; and

(b) If ((everyone who receives Basic Food with you receives TANF benefits and)) your IRP includes unpaid community service or work experience, we use your TANF grant and the Basic Food ((allotment)) benefits received by members of your TANF assistance unit to determine the maximum hours of unpaid work we include in your plan.

(8) Your FS E&T activities including paid or unpaid work will not exceed one hundred twenty hours a month whether you are exempt or nonexempt.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090, 7 C.F.R. 273.7 and 273.25. 06-24-026, 388-444-0005, filed 11/29/06, effective 1/1/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-444-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office