WSR 06-21-119

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed October 17, 2006, 4:14 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 06-13-088.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 388-444-0005 The food stamp employment and training (FS E&T) program -- General requirements and 388-444-0015 When are clients not required to register for work or participate in FS E&T (exempt clients)?

Hearing Location(s): Blake Office Park East, Rose Room, 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA 98503 (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 November 21, 2006, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than November 22, 2006.

Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504, delivery 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA, e-mail fernaax@dshs.wa.gov, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5:00 p.m., November 21, 2006.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Stephanie Schiller, DSHS Rules Consultant, by November 17, 2006, 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 food stamp employment and training 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 temporary assistance for needy families (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.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The changes are necessary to support changes to the food stamp employment and training program for persons receiving TANF and participating in WorkFirst.

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, and 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 food stamp employment and training 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 food stamp employment and training 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.

October 13, 2006

Andy Fernando, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

3809.1
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-16-044, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98)

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

(2) ((Clients who must register for work and may be required to participate in FS E&T are called nonexempt clients. All other members of the food assistance unit are called exempt clients)) 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) ((All nonexempt members of the food assistance unit are registered for work by the department, at the first food assistance application and once every twelve months thereafter. A person who enters an existing assistance unit will be registered for work and FS E&T, if not exempt)) 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) ((Clients must comply with all FS E&T program requirements as provided in subsection (5) of this section. Failure to comply without good cause will disqualify the client from receiving food assistance)) 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) ((Good cause rules are provided in)) We define Good cause for not meeting FS E&T requirements under WAC 388-444-0050; and

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

(5) ((Nonexempt clients are required to)) If you are nonexempt, you must:

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Job search;

(b) ((General education development (GED) classes; or)) Paid or unpaid work;

(c) ((English as a second language (ESL) classes)) Training or work experience;

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

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

(7) ((A client is not required to participate in FS E&T activities more than one hundred twenty hours in a month. Hours of participation may include a combination of FS E&T activities as described in subsection (6) of this section and hours worked for pay, either cash or in-kind)) 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 Basic Food allotment 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 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-444-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 00-04-006, filed 1/20/00, effective 3/1/00)

WAC 388-444-0015   ((When are clients)) Who is not required to register for work or participate in FS E&T (((exempt clients)))?   ((You (as a client) are not required to register for work or to participate in FS E&T if you meet any of the following conditions:

(1) Age sixteen or seventeen and not the head-of-household and:

(a) Attending school (such as high school or GED programs); or

(b) Enrolled at least half time (as defined by the institution) in a program under temporary assistance for needy families (TANF), a program under The Workforce Investment Act, (formerly the 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.

(2) Determined to be physically or mentally unable to work;

(3) Responsible for the care of a dependent child under six years of age or of a person determined to be incapacitated;

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

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

(6) Employed or self-employed person working thirty hours or more per week, or receiving weekly earnings equal to the federal minimum wage multiplied by thirty;

(7) Students eighteen or older enrolled at least half time as defined by the institution in:

(a) Any accredited school;

(b) Training program; or

(c) An institution of higher education. Students enrolled in higher education must follow the student criteria as defined in chapter 388-482 WAC, Student status.

(8) Regularly participating in a drug addiction or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation program)) Some people do not have to register for work or participate in the Food Stamp Employment and Training Program (FS E&T). These people are exempt from FS E&T.

(1) You are exempt from FS E&T requirements in chapter 388-444 WAC if you meet any of the following conditions:

(a) You are age sixteen or seventeen, not the head-of-household, and:

(i) Attend school such as high school or GED programs; or

(ii) Are enrolled at least half time (using the institutions definition) in an employment and training program under:

(A) The Workforce Investment Act (WIA);

(B) Section 236 of the Trade Act of 1974; or

(C) Another state or local employment and training program.

(b) You are a student age eighteen or older enrolled at least half time as defined by the institution in:

(i) Any accredited school;

(ii) A training program; or

(iii) An institution of higher education. If you are enrolled in higher education, you meet the requirements under WAC 388-482-0005 to be eligible for Basic Food benefits.

(c) you are an employed or self-employed person working thirty hours or more per week, or receiving weekly earnings equal to the federal minimum wage multiplied by thirty.

(d) You receive unemployment compensation (UC) benefits or have an application pending for UC benefits;

(e) You are responsible to care for:

(i) A dependent child under age six; or

(ii) Someone who is incapacitated.

(f) We determine that you are physically or mentally unable to work; or

(g) You regularly participate in a drug addiction or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation program.

(2) If you are exempt, you may choose to receive services through the FS E&T program.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050 and 74.04.510. 00-04-006, 388-444-0015, filed 1/20/00, effective 3/1/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-444-0015, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office