WSR 99-08-051

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

(WorkFirst Division)

[ Filed April 1, 1999, 9:22 a.m. ]

Date of Adoption: April 1, 1999.

Purpose: Amends the rules to bring them into compliance with Governor Locke's Executive Order 97-02 and makes the current GA-S program part of WorkFirst as of May 1, 1999.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-310-0100 WorkFirst--Purpose, 388-310-0200 WorkFirst--Activities, and 388-310-1300 WorkFirst--Community jobs program.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.050.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 99-05-072 on February 17, 1999.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 3, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 3, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 3, Repealed 0. Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.

April 1, 1999

Edith M. Rice

for Marie Myerchin-Redifer, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

2538.2
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 97-20-129, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97)

WAC 388-310-0100
WorkFirst--((Authority and)) Purpose.

(1) ((The WorkFirst program is established under Title 74 RCW.

(2) The goals of WorkFirst are to:

(a) Reduce poverty by helping those receiving temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) and state family assistance (SFA) get and keep jobs;

(b) Sustain the independence of those who become employed by helping them keep jobs; and

(c) Protect children and other vulnerable residents)) What is the WorkFirst program?

The WorkFirst program offers services and activities to help people in low-income families find jobs, keep their jobs, find better jobs and become self-sufficient. The program links families to a variety of state, federal and community resources to meet this goal. When you enter the WorkFirst program, you will be asked to work, look for work and/or prepare for work.

(2) Who does the WorkFirst program serve?

The WorkFirst program serves three groups:

(a) Parents and children age sixteen or older who receive cash assistance under the temporary assistance for needy families (TANF), general assistance for pregnant women (GA-S) or state family assistance (SFA) programs; and

(b) Parents who no longer receive cash assistance and need some continuing support to remain self-sufficient; and

(c) Low income parents who support their family without applying for or relying on cash assistance.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.050.  97-20-129, 388-310-0100, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 97-20-129, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97)

WAC 388-310-0200
WorkFirst--((Components)) Activities.

((Except as otherwise specified, the terms used in this chapter, 388-310 WAC, shall have the same meaning as applied to the TANF program, and terms defined under chapter 388-22 WAC.

WorkFirst components are:

(1) Paid employment, either:

(a) Unsubsidized, including self-employment; or

(b) Subsidized and includes on-the-job training, work-study, and wage subsidy programs.

(2) Work experience;

(3) Community service;

(4) Job search;

(5) Vocational educational training;

(6) Basic education activities;

(7) Post-employment services which include employment retention and career development services.))

(1) Who is required to participate in WorkFirst activities?

(a) You are required to participate in WorkFirst activities, and become what is called a "mandatory participant,” if you:

(i) Receive TANF, GA-S or SFA cash assistance; and

(ii) Are a custodial parent or age sixteen or older; and

(iii) Are not exempt. (You can only get this exemption if you are caring for a child under twelve months of age. See WAC 388-310-0300 for more details).

(b) Participation is voluntary for all other WorkFirst participants (those who no longer receive or have never received TANF, GA-S or SFA cash assistance).

(2) What activities do I participate in when I enter the WorkFirst program?

When you enter the WorkFirst program, you will participate in one or more of the following activities (which are described in more detail in other sections of this chapter):

(a) Paid employment (see WAC 388-310-400(1)(a) and 388-310-1500);

(b) Self employment (see WAC 388-310-1700);

(c) Job search (see WAC 388-310-0600);

(d) Community jobs (see WAC 388-310-1300)

(e) Work experience (see WAC 388-310-1100);

(f) On-the-job training (see WAC 388-310-1200);

(g) Vocational educational training (see WAC 388-310-1000);

(h) Basic education activities (see WAC 388-310-0900);

(i) Job skills training (see WAC 388-310-1050);

(j) Community service (see WAC 388-310-1400); and/or

(k) Activities provided by tribal governments for tribal members and other American Indians (see WAC 388-310-1400(1) and 388-310-1900).

(3) If I am a mandatory participant, how much time must I spend doing WorkFirst activities?

If you are a mandatory participant, you will be required to spend up to forty hours a week working, looking for work or preparing for work. You will have an individual responsibility plan (described in WAC 388-310-500) that includes the number of hours a week that you are required to participate.

(4) What activities do I participate in after I get a job?

You may participate other activities, which are called "post employment services” (described in WAC 388-310-1800) once you are working twenty hours or more a week. Work can include a paid, unsubsidized job, self-employment, college work study or a community jobs placement. Services include:

(a) Activities that help you keep a job (called an "employment retention” service); and/or

(b) Activities that help you get a better job (called a "wage and skill progression” service).

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.050.  97-20-129, 388-310-0200, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-10-054, filed 4/30/98, effective 5/31/98)

WAC 388-310-1300
Community jobs ((wage subsidy)) program.

(1) What is the community jobs program?

The community jobs ((wage subsidy)) program ((is to allow participants to)) helps you gain work skills and experience by enrolling you in a temporary ((position which helps them)) , subsidized job. You will also receive other services and support to help you move into unsubsidized employment as quickly as possible.  ((In all instances, the term 'department' refers to the department of social and health services (DSHS).  The state department of community, trade and economic development (DCTED) administers the community jobs program.  DCTED selects community jobs contractors (CJC) by using a competitive "requests for proposal" (RFP) process.  DCTED, based upon the successful proposals, develops contracts specific to each selected community jobs contractor.

(1) WorkFirst case managers may assign a TANF/SFA participant to a community jobs (CJ) position when:

(a) The participant has an unsuccessful job search;

(b) The case manager determines the participant needs a supportive work environment to help them become more employable; and

(c) The participant's monthly cash grant is sufficient to pay their community jobs wages for twenty hours per week at the federal minimum wage.

(2) The department uses a participant's grant to provide a wage subsidy to the community jobs contractor.

(3) The CJCs develop and manage the CJ positions, pay the wages and provide support services.

(4) Once hired, the department will authorize the participant's wage subsidy for no longer than nine TANF/SFA payment months in that specific position.

(5) CJCs may not hire participants into a community jobs position to do work related to religious, electoral or partisan political activities.

(6) Community jobs participants are employees of the community jobs contractor(s).

(7) Wages from the community jobs wage subsidy program are fully attributable to diverted public assistance funds.  These wages are not "earned income" for purposes of eligibility for the WorkFirst fifty percent-earned income disregard.  For the food stamp program, consider these wages and any grant supplement as TANF grant monies.

(8) The department shall review the appropriateness for continued participation in a community jobs position every ninety days during the nine-month placement.  This review shall include:

(a) A review of any earned or unearned income received by the participant or other member of the assistance unit; and

(b) A review of continued TANF/SFA eligibility.

(9) Community jobs participants work an average of twenty hours per week at a gross wage of four hundred forty-two dollars and ninety cents per month, which is at least equal to the federal minimum wage.  CJ participants are eligible for a twenty percent "work expense" income disregard applied to their gross pay for DSHS purposes when determining TANF/SFA residual grant amounts.  In no instance may the net wages earned in a community jobs position exceed the participant's authorized TANF/SFA monthly grant amount.

(10) Community jobs participants earn sick leave and annual leave according to the rates designated for part-time employment by their employer (community jobs contractor).  If the employer has no guidelines, participants earn sick leave at a rate of four hours each month and vacation leave at a rate of four hours each month.  If they exhaust all leave and miss work time, a community jobs participant is expected to make up the missed time; total work is not to exceed forty hours per week.  There is no cash-out value to the participant for accrued sick and vacation leave hours remaining at the end of the community jobs assignment.

(11)The amount of the CJ participant's TANF/SFA monthly grant shall be determined as stated in WAC 388-218-1390(2).

(12)Only those employers who take actions that enable a participant to move into other unsubsidized employment will be considered for additional subsidized employees.

(13) The following categories of employers will be considered for employment sites for participants in the community jobs wage subsidy program:

(a) Federal, state or local governmental agencies, and tribal governments; and

(b) Private and tribal nonprofit businesses, charities, and educational institutions))

(a) The state department of community, trade and economic development (DCTED) administers the community jobs program.

(b) DCTED selects community jobs contractors (CJC) by using a competitive "requests for proposal" process. DCTED, based upon the successful proposals, develops contracts specific to each selected community jobs contractor.

(c) The CJCs develop and manage the community jobs positions, pay the wages, provide support services and act as the "employer of record" while you are enrolled in a subsidized community job.

(d) Employers at the community jobs work sites must take actions to help participants move into unsubsidized employment. If they do not meet this requirement, they will not be considered for additional community jobs employees.

(e) The department of social and health services funds the community jobs program and reimburses your wages to the CJCs.

(2) How will I be affected if I am enrolled in the community jobs program?

If you are enrolled in the community jobs program:

(a) Your case manager will assign you to a community job position for no more than nine months.

(b) You may be assigned to a community job position when:

(i) You have gone through job search without finding a job; and/or

(ii) You and your case manager decide you need a supportive work environment to help you become more employable.

(c) You may not be enrolled in any community jobs position that requires you to do work related to religious, electoral or partisan political activities.

(d) You, your case manager and the CJC will review the appropriateness of your community jobs position every ninety days during your nine-month placement, looking at:

(i) Your continued TANF/SFA eligibility;

(ii) Any earned or unearned income received by you or another member of your assistance unit (that is, you and other people in your household who are included on your cash grant): and

(iii) Whether the community jobs position is actually helping you become more employable.

(e) You may work twenty or more hours per week in the community jobs position and will be paid the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is higher.

(f) You will earn sick leave and annual leave at the rate agreed upon by DCTED and the CJC for community jobs participants.

(g) The amount of your TANF/SFA monthly grant will be determined by following the rules in WAC 388-450-0050 and 388-450-0215 (1), (3), (4), (5) and (6). WAC 388-450-0215 (2), does not apply to your community jobs wages.

(3) What kind of employers provide community jobs work sites?

The CJC may ask the following categories of employers to provide you with a community job work site:

(a) Federal, state or local governmental agencies and tribal governments; and

(b) Private and tribal nonprofit businesses, organizations and educational institutions.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050 and RCW 74.08A.320.  98-10-054, 388-310-1300, filed 4/30/98, effective 5/31/98.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office