WSR 07-16-021

EMERGENCY RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed July 20, 2007, 9:01 a.m. , effective July 22, 2007 ]


Effective Date of Rule: July 22, 2007.

Purpose: The department is amending WAC 388-310-1450 WorkFirst -- WorkFirst pregnancy to employment and 388-310-0300 WorkFirst -- Infant care exemptions for mandatory participants. These rule changes are necessary to comply with chapter 289, Laws of 2007 (2SSB 6016) exempting parents with an infant under age of one year from WorkFirst participation for a maximum of twelve months over the parent's lifetime, effective July 22, 2007.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-310-1450 and 388-310-0300.

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

Other Authority: Chapter 522, Laws of 2007 (SHB 1128).

Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that state or federal law or federal rule or a federal deadline for state receipt of federal funds requires immediate adoption of a rule.

Reasons for this Finding: DSHS is required to comply with chapter 289, Laws of 2007 (2SSB 6016) by exempting parents with an infant under age of one year from WorkFirst participation for a maximum of twelve months over the parent's lifetime. The rule is being concurrently amended through the regular adoption process (WSR 07-11-116).

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 2, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 2, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: July 11, 2007.

Stephanie E. Schiller

Rules Coordinator


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-14-087, filed 6/28/02, effective 7/29/02)

WAC 388-310-0300   WorkFirst--Infant care exemptions for mandatory participants.   (1) If I am a mandatory participant, when can I be exempted from participating in WorkFirst activities?

(a) You can claim an infant exemption from participating in WorkFirst activities during months that you are needed in the home to personally provide care for your child(ren) under ((four months)) one year of age.

(b) You or the other parent of your child, living in your household can claim ((a one-time)) this infant exemption from full-time participation((, for one child only, if that child is between the age of four months and up to twelve months old. This means the parent who claims this exemption will only be required to participate part-time, up to twenty hours in certain activities described in WAC 388-310-1450)) for a maximum of twelve months in your lifetime.

(2) Can I participate in WorkFirst while I am exempt?

(((a))) You may choose to participate in WorkFirst while you are exempt with a child under ((four months)) one year old. If you decide later to stop participating, and you still qualify for an exemption, you will be put back into exempt status with no financial penalty. For a description of participation activities see WAC 388-310-1450.

(((b) You may choose to participate full time while you are taking your one-time/part-time exemption. If you decide later to stop participating full-time, and you still qualify for the part-time exemption, you will be put back into part-time exempt status with no financial penalty. For a description of participation activities see WAC 388-310-1450.))

(3) Does an exemption from participation affect my sixty-month time limit for receiving TANF or SFA benefits?

An exemption from participation does not affect your sixty-month time limit for receiving TANF or SFA benefits (described in WAC 388-484-0005). Even if exempt from participation, each month you receive a TANF/SFA grant counts toward your sixty-month limit.

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AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-14-087, filed 6/28/02, effective 7/29/02)

WAC 388-310-1450   Pregnancy to employment.   (1) How do I know if I am eligible to participate in pregnancy to employment?

If you are on TANF and are pregnant or have a child under the age of ((twelve months)) one year, you are a participant in the pregnancy to employment pathway.

(2) What am I required to do while I am in pregnancy to employment?

You will receive an assessment from a DSHS social worker. Based on the results of the assessment you receive as a pregnancy to employment participant, you and your case manager/social worker will decide how you will be required to participate and which activities best meet your needs. The activities you are required to do will depend on where you are in the pregnancy or the age of your child.

(3) What am I required to do while I am pregnant?

(a) In the first and second trimester of pregnancy: Your participation is based upon the results of the assessment you receive and includes work, looking for work or a combination of pregnancy to employment services. You will be required to participate full-time during the first two trimesters of pregnancy unless you have a good reason to participate fewer hours (see WAC 388-310-1600).

(b) In the third trimester of pregnancy: Your participation is voluntary and may include meeting your medical needs.

(4) What am I required to do after my child is born?

((You are exempt from participation)) After the birth of your child, you may choose not to participate in WorkFirst activities ((and)) until your child reaches the age of ((four months)) one year. You may volunteer to participate in WorkFirst activities while you are exempt (see WAC 388-310-0300).

(5) ((Do I have to participate full time once my child reaches age four months)) What if I have used my infant exemption?

((Once your child reaches four months old, you are required to participate full time unless you qualify for the one-time exemption from full-time participation. This exemption is called a part-time exemption and you can only receive it once for one child who is between four and up to twelve months old)) If you have used your infant exemption and you have another child, you will be required (unless otherwise exempt) to participate full-time in one or more of the following activities:

(a) Work;

(b) Looking for work; or

(c) Preparing for work by participating in a combination of activities based upon the results of your assessment.

(6) ((How do I qualify for the part-time exemption)) What services are provided in the pregnancy to employment pathway?

((Effective June 13, 2002, you can be exempt one-time only, from full-time participation, if you have a child age four months to twelve months old)) This pathway provides you with services, as available within your community, to help you learn how to work while still meeting your child's needs. You and your case manager or social worker will decide which of the variety of services you need, such as help finding:

(a) Parenting education or parenting skills training;

(b) Safe and appropriate child care;

(c) Good health care for yourself and your child;

(d) Mental health treatment;

(e) Alcohol or drug treatment;

(f) Domestic violence services; or

(g) Employment services.

If you are currently employed you will receive the assessment at your next individual responsibility plan review.

(7) ((If I qualify for the part-time exemption, what will I be required to do)) What determines which services I will receive and what my participation will be?

((You will have to participate part-time for up to twenty hours per week (per state law) until your child is reaches twelve months old. During this time, you will be required, based upon the results of your assessment, to participate in one or more of the following:))

(a) ((Instruction or training to improve your parenting skills or child well-being (if available))) Your assessment results (see WAC 388-310-0700) determine the services that you will receive, as available within your community;

(b) ((Preemployment or job readiness training)) An individual responsibility plan will be developed jointly, by you and your case manager or social worker, that reflects participation and services available to meet your needs and the needs of your child; and

(c) ((High school completion or GED program;

(d) Volunteer in a child care facility licensed under chapter 74.15 RCW. The child care facility has to agree to accept you as a volunteer; or

(e) Volunteer to participate in job search or work activities full-time or part-time. If you change your mind about job search or work activities you will be required to participate up to twenty hours in one of the required activities listed above)) Follow up contact every three months to jointly reassess your needs and the services and activities you are participating in, until your child reaches age twelve months.

(8) ((What if I have used my one-time part-time exemption from full-time participation)) Will I be sanctioned if I refuse to participate in pregnancy to employment pathway?

((If you have used your one-time, part-time exemption and you have another child, when that child is between four months and twelve months old, you will be required to participate full-time in one or more of the following activities:))

(a) ((Work;)) If you are a pregnant woman in your third trimester of pregnancy or if you have an infant less than one year old you will not be sanctioned for not participating.

(b) ((Looking for work; or

(c) Preparing for work by participating in a combination of activities based upon the results of your assessment)) If you are in the first two trimesters of your pregnancy or have used your twelve-month infant exemption or you do not have a child under the age of one year, you are required to participate as allowed under WAC 388-310-0200. Failure to participate will subject you to WorkFirst sanction under WAC 388-310-1600.

(9) ((What services are provided in the pregnancy to employment)) What if I have a good reason not to participate?

((This pathway provides you with services, as available within your community, to help you learn how to work while still meeting your child's needs. You and your case manager will decide which of the variety of services you need, such as help finding:

(a) Parenting classes;

(b) Safe and appropriate child care;

(c) Good health care for yourself and your child; and/or

(d) Employment services.

(e) If you are currently employed you will receive the assessment at your next individual responsibility plan review.

(10) What determines which services I will receive and what my participation will be?

(a) Your assessment results (see WAC 388-310-0700) determine the services, as available within your community, that you will receive;

(b) An individual responsibility plan will be developed jointly that reflects participation and services available to meet your needs and the needs of your child; and

(c) Follow up contact every three months to jointly reassess your needs and the services and activities you are participating in, until your child reaches age twelve months.

(11) Will I be sanctioned if I refuse to participate in pregnancy to employment pathway?

(a) If you are a pregnant woman in your third trimester of pregnancy or if you have an infant less than three months old you will not be sanctioned for not participating.

(b) If you are in the first two trimesters of your pregnancy or have a child four months of age or older, you are required to participate and are subject to the WorkFirst sanction rules (see WAC 388-310-1600).

(12) What if I have a child between the ages of four months and twelve months but I have a good reason not to participate?

If you have a good reason not to participate and you claim good cause (WAC 388-310-1600(3)), your needs will be assessed as soon as possible, but no later than ninety days from your request. A good cause determination will establish if you will be required to participate and the types of services that will best meet your needs)) If you have a good reason not to participate and you claim good cause (WAC 388-310-1600(3)), your needs will be assessed as soon as possible, but no later than ninety days from your request. A good cause determination will establish if you will be required to participate and the types of services that will best meet your needs.

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office