WSR 06-08-044

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed March 30, 2006, 1:56 p.m. , effective June 1, 2006 ]


Effective Date of Rule: June 1, 2006.

Purpose: The department is amending WAC 388-310-0400 WorkFirst -- Entering the WorkFirst program as a mandatory participant, 388-310-0500 WorkFirst -- Individual responsibility plan, 388-310-0600 WorkFirst -- Job search, and 388-310-0700 WorkFirst -- Employability evaluation, in order to implement a comprehensive evaluation process for WorkFirst clients. These amended rules implement the recommendations of the WorkFirst reexamination workgroup as endorsed by Governor Gregoire. They are being filed under the authority of RCW 74.08.090 which directs the department to ensure uniform statewide application of rules. RCW 74.08.090 also directs the department to ensure that the spirit and purpose of Title 74 RCW is complied with.

WAC 388-310-0900 and 388-310-1000 proposed under WSR 06-04-069 are being permanently adopted under a separate CR-103 rule-making order to be effective May 1, 2006.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-310-0400, 388-310-0500, 388-310-0600, and 388-310-0700.

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

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 06-04-069 on January 4, 2006.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 4, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 4, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: March 23, 2006.

Andy Fernando, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

3635.2
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-15-067, filed 7/11/02, effective 8/1/02)

WAC 388-310-0400   WorkFirst--Entering the WorkFirst program as a mandatory participant.   (1) What happens when I enter the WorkFirst program as a mandatory participant?

If you are a mandatory participant, you must follow instructions as written in your individual responsibility plan (see WAC 388-310-0500), which is written after ((the case manager asks you a series of questions about your situation to evaluate)) you have participated in a comprehensive evaluation of elements related to your employability. If you have been identified as someone who needs necessary supplemental accommodation (NSA) services (defined in chapter 388-472 WAC) your case manager will first develop an accommodation plan to help you access WorkFirst services. The case manager will use the accommodation plan to help develop your IRP with you. If you have been identified as a victim of family violence (defined in WAC 388-61-001), you and your case manager will develop an IRP to help you with your situation, including referrals to appropriate services.

If you are a mandatory participant, your case manager will refer you to ((job search)) WorkFirst activities unless any of the following applies to you:

(a) You work thirty-two or more hours a week. "Work" means to engage in any legal, income generating activity which is taxable under the United States Tax Code or which would be taxable with or without a treaty between an Indian Nation and the United States;

(b) You work sixteen or more hours a week in the federal or state work study program and you attend a Washington state community or technical college at least half time;

(c) You work twenty or more hours a week in unsubsidized employment and attend a Washington state community or technical college at least half time;

(d) You are under the age of eighteen, have not completed high school, GED or its equivalent and are in school full time;

(e) You are eighteen or nineteen years of age and are attending high school or an equivalent full time;

(f) You are pregnant or have a child under the age of twelve months, and are participating in other pregnancy to employment activities. See WAC 388-310-1450;

(g) Your situation prevents you from looking for a job and you are conducting activities identified on your IRP to help you with your situation. (For example, you may be unable to look for a job while you have health problems or you are homeless); or

(h) Your situation prevents you from looking for work because you are a victim of family violence and you are conducting activities on your IRP to help you with your situation.

(2) ((What are my requirements if I am not required to participate in job search activities)) How will I know what my participation requirements are?

(a) ((If and when you are not required to participate in job search activities, you may be required to take part in an employability evaluation.)) Your individual responsibility plan will describe what you need to do to be able to enter job search or other WorkFirst activities and then find a job (see WAC 388-310-0500 and 388-310-0700).

(b) If you enter the pregnancy to employment pathway (described in WAC 388-310-1450(2)), you must take part in an assessment.

(3) What happens if I do not follow my WorkFirst requirements?

If you do not participate in creating an individual Responsibility Plan, job search, or in the activities listed in your individual responsibility plan, and you do not have a good reason, the department will ((reduce your WorkFirst grant ()) follow the sanction((, see)) rules in WAC 388-310-1600(())).

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08A.010(4), 74.08A.340, 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 02-15-067, 388-310-0400, filed 7/11/02, effective 8/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 00-06-062, 388-310-0400, filed 3/1/00, effective 3/1/00; 99-10-027, 388-310-0400, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 98-23-037, 388-310-0400, filed 11/10/98, effective 12/11/98; 97-20-129, 388-310-0400, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-15-067, filed 7/11/02, effective 8/1/02)

WAC 388-310-0500   WorkFirst--Individual responsibility plan.   (1) What is the purpose of my individual responsibility plan?

The purpose of your individual responsibility plan is to give you a written statement that describes:

(a) What your responsibilities are; and

(b) Which WorkFirst activities you are required to participate in; and

(c) What services you will receive so you are able to participate.

(2) What is included in my individual responsibility plan?

Your individual responsibility plan includes the following:

(a) What WorkFirst activities you must do and the participation requirements for those activities including the amount of time you will spend doing the activities, a start and end date for each activity and the requirement to participate fully.

(b) Any other specific requirements that are tied to the WorkFirst work activity. For example, you might be required to learn English as part of your work experience activity.

(c) What services we will provide to help you participate in the activity. For example, you may require support services (such as help with paying for transportation) or help with paying childcare.

(d) Your statement that you recognize the need to become and remain employed as quickly as possible.

(3) How is my individual responsibility plan developed?

You and your case manager will work together and use information gathered from your ((employability)) comprehensive evaluation (see WAC 388-310-0700) to develop your individual responsibility plan and decide what activities will be included in it. Then, your case manager will assign you to specific WorkFirst activities that will help you find employment ((as quickly as possible)).

(4) What happens after my individual responsibility plan is completed?

Once your individual responsibility plan is completed:

(a) You will sign and get a copy of your individual responsibility plan.

(b) You and your case manager will review your plan as necessary over the coming months to make sure your plan continues to meet your employment needs. You will sign and get a copy of your individual responsibility plan every time it is reviewed and changed.

(5) What should I do if I cannot go to a required WorkFirst appointment or activity because of a temporary situation outside of my control?

If you cannot participate because of a temporary situation outside of your control, you must call the telephone number shown on your individual responsibility plan on the same day you were to report to explain your situation. You will be given an excused absence. Some examples of excused absences include:

(a) You, your children or other family members are ill;

(b) Your transportation or child care arrangements break down and you cannot make new arrangements in time to comply;

(c) A significant person in your life died; or

(d) A family violence situation arose or worsened.

(6) What happens if I don't call in on the same day I am unable to attend to get an excused absence?

If you do not call in on the same day you are unable to attend to get an excused absence, it will be considered an unexcused absence.

If you exceed the number of unexcused absences allowed on your individual responsibility plan, without good cause, your case manager will begin the sanction process. (See WAC 388-310-1600 for more details.)

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08A.010(4), 74.08A.340, 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 02-15-067, 388-310-0500, filed 7/11/02, effective 8/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.050. 99-10-027, 388-310-0500, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 98-23-037, 388-310-0500, filed 11/10/98, effective 12/11/98; 97-20-129, 388-310-0500, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-16-107, filed 8/2/05, effective 9/2/05)

WAC 388-310-0600   WorkFirst--Job search.   (1) What is job search?

Job search is an opportunity to learn and use skills you need to find and keep a job. Job search may include:

(a) Classroom instruction; and/or

(b) Structured job search that helps you find job openings, complete applications, practice interviews and apply other skills and abilities with a job search specialist or a group of fellow job-seekers; and/or

(c) Preemployment training; and/or

(d) High-wage/high-demand training.

(2) What is preemployment training?

Preemployment training helps you learn skills you need for an identified entry level job that pays more than average entry level wages.

(a) Preemployment training is an acceptable job search activity when an employer or industry commits to hiring or giving hiring preference to WorkFirst participants who successfully complete preemployment training.

(b) You can find out about current preemployment training opportunities by asking your job service specialist, your case manager or staff at your local community and technical college.

(3) What is high-wage/high-demand training?

(a) There are two types of high-wage/high-demand (HWHD) full-time training options for TANF recipients to complete a certificate or degree that will lead to employment in a high-wage/high-demand occupation:

(i) Information technology, health care or other professional-technical programs: This option allows you to start and finish a one-year or shorter state community or technical college training program in the information technology, health care fields or other professional-technical programs that meet high-wage high-demand criteria; and/or

(ii) Certificate/degree completion: This option allows you to finish up the last year of any certificate or degree program in a high-wage/high-demand field on an exception basis. The high-wage/high-demand criteria for this option is based on median income and high-demand occupations within the local labor market as determined by employment security department.

(b) For both types of HWHD training, the training can be approved one-time only (barring an approved exception to policy). There is no work requirement with either option for the twelve months of training time.

(c) To qualify for HWHD training, you must also:

(i) Meet all of the prerequisites for the course;

(ii) Obtain the certificate or degree within twelve calendar months;

(iii) Participate full time in the training program and make satisfactory progress;

(iv) Work with colocated ESD staff during the last quarter of training for job placement; and

(v) Return to job search once you complete((s)) the educational program if still unemployed.

(4) Who provides me with job search?

You get job search from the employment security department or another organization under contract with WorkFirst to provide these services.

(5) How long do I stay in job search?

Periods of job search will start with a review of the work skills assessment portion of your comprehensive evaluation and may last up to twelve continuous weeks. Job search specialists will monitor your progress. By the end of the first four weeks, a job search specialist will determine whether you should continue in job search. Job search will end when:

(a) You find a full-time job; or

(b) You become exempt from WorkFirst requirements (see WAC 388-310-0300); or

(c) Your situation changes and the case manager changes the activities on your IRP to fit your new circumstances (see WAC 388-310-0400); or

(d) After fully participating in job search, and based on your experience in looking for work in the local labor market, it is determined that you need additional skills and/or experience to find a job; or

(e) You have not found a job at the end of the job search period.

(6) What happens at the end of job search if I have not found a job?

At the end of each job search period, you will be referred back to your case manager who will ((conduct a new employability)), at a minimum, review and update the DSHS portion of your comprehensive evaluation if you have not found a job. You and your case manager will also modify your individual responsibility plan.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090. 05-16-107, 388-310-0600, filed 8/2/05, effective 9/2/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08A.010(4), 74.08A.340, 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 02-15-067, 388-310-0600, filed 7/11/02, effective 8/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 02-04-058, 388-310-0600, filed 1/30/02, effective 3/2/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08A.340(2), 45 C.F.R. 260.31, RCW 74.08.090, and chapter 74.04 RCW. 00-16-055, 388-310-0600, filed 7/26/00, effective 8/1/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.050. 99-10-027, 388-310-0600, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 97-20-129, 388-310-0600, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 00-06-062, filed 3/1/00, effective 3/1/00)

WAC 388-310-0700   WorkFirst--((Employability)) Comprehensive evaluation.   (1) Why do I receive ((an employability)) a comprehensive evaluation?

You ((receive an employability)) participate in a comprehensive evaluation ((from)) with your case manager and other WorkFirst staff to determine:

(a) ((Why you are unable to look for work (if you are temporarily deferred from job search) or why you have been unable to find work in your local labor market)) Your employment strengths, your educational background, family situation and other factors; and

(b) Which WorkFirst activities you need to become employed ((in the shortest time possible)).

(2) What is the ((employability)) comprehensive evaluation and when will it be used?

(a) The ((employability)) comprehensive evaluation is a series of questions ((and)), answers and evaluations focused on your strengths, job skills, education and other relevant elements. The results of the comprehensive evaluation are used to determine your ability to find and keep a job in your local labor market and what WorkFirst activities will help you prepare for and find work. It includes:

(i) An employability evaluation with your case manager, discussing important issues that can affect your ability to find a job, like child care, family violence or substance abuse;

(ii) A work skills assessment to review your education, employment history, employment strengths and job skills; and

(iii) Educational and other evaluations.

(b) You and your case manager and/or social worker use the information and recommendations from ((this)) these evaluations to create or modify your individual responsibility plan, adding activities that help you become employable.

(c) ((Your case manager evaluates your ability to find employment when you are a mandatory WorkFirst participant and have:

(i) Gone through a period of job search without finding a job;

(ii) Been referred back early from job search; or

(iii) Been temporarily deferred from job search.

(d))) After your ((employability)) comprehensive evaluation, you may receive more assessments to find out if you need additional services.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 00-06-062, 388-310-0700, filed 3/1/00, effective 3/1/00; 99-10-027, 388-310-0700, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 97-20-129, 388-310-0700, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office