WSR 07-16-115

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed July 31, 2007, 10:46 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 07-05-059.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is amending WAC 388-310-2100 WorkFirst -- WorkFirst career services program and 388-418-0005 How will I know what changes I must report?

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. A map or directions area available at http://www1.dshs.wa.gov/msa/rpau/docket.html or by calling (360) 664-6097), on September 4, 2007, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than September 5, 2007.

Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504, delivery 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA 98503, e-mail schilse@dshs.wa.gov, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5:00 p.m. on September 4, 2007.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jennisha Johnson, DSHS Rules Consultant, by August 28, 2007, TTY (360) 664-6178 or (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 department is proposing to create new WAC 388-310-2100 WorkFirst career services program and amend WAC 388-418-0005 How will I know what changes I must report? These changes are necessary to implement the new WorkFirst career services program. This program provides cash payments and employment services to eligible parents who choose to enroll. The program went into effect July 1, 2007, and is supported by WACs that went into effect via an emergency rule filing (WSR 07-14-080).

Reasons Supporting Proposal: DSHS is required to establish a post-temporary assistance to needy families (TANF) work transition program, as stated in chapter 522, Laws of 2007 (SHB 1128). The WorkFirst career services program was implemented statewide on July 1, 2007, and provides cash payments and employment services to working adults to help them transition from assistance to work.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050 and 74.04.055.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.050 and 74.04.055.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

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

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Jenny Grayum, 1009 College Street S.E., Lacey, WA, (360) 725-4583.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This proposed rule does not have an economic impact on small businesses; it only affects DSHS clients by providing services (cash payments and employment services) to parents who choose to enroll and who have left TANF/state family assistance (SFA) and are working at least thirty hours per week.

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."

July 27, 2007

Stephanie E. Schiller

Rules Coordinator

3892.2
NEW SECTION
WAC 388-310-2100   WorkFirst career services program.   (1) What is the WorkFirst career services program?

The WorkFirst career services program is available to employed adults who leave temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) or state family assistance (SFA) and are working thirty hours or more per week. The employment security department administers the program.

WorkFirst career services provide up to six months of:

Basic needs payments;

Wage progression services; and

Job retention services.

(2) Who is eligible for the WorkFirst career services program?

(a) To qualify for the program, you must enroll with the employment security department within the first two months after your TANF/SFA ends.

(b) You must also meet the following conditions:

(i) You are working thirty hours or more per week in a paid unsubsidized job; and

(ii) You are a custodial parent or caretaker relative who received TANF/SFA within the past two months; and

(iii) You did not leave TANF/SFA in sanction status.

(c) Each adult in your family who meets these conditions and enrolls in the program will receive their own basic needs payments and services.

(3) What services and basic needs payments are available while I am enrolled in the WorkFirst career services program?

The WorkFirst career services program provides wage progression services, job retention services and basic needs payments.

(a) Services include employment planning that will help you keep your job and increase your wages.

(b) As shown in the chart below, cash payments and bonuses are made monthly, for up to six consecutive months after leaving TANF/SFA.

(c) You may receive up to six hundred fifty dollars in cash payments and bonuses over the six-month period following your TANF/SFA case closing.


Eligible Month Payments & Bonus Amounts Description of Payments and Bonuses
Month 1-6 After TANF/SFA $50.00 a month Monthly payments begin once you enroll.

If you enroll during Month 2, then you are not eligible for the Month 1 payment.

Month 1 or 2 $150.00 One-time enrollment bonus when you sign up for the program.
Month 4 and 6 $100.00 month 4

$100.00 month 6

Bonus for completing the WorkFirst career services assessment and employment planning interview.
(4) How long can I receive WorkFirst Career Services and basic needs payments?

(a) WorkFirst career services and basic needs payments are available for a maximum of six consecutive months. Month one begins the calendar month after your TANF/SFA assistance ends.

(b) Your WorkFirst career services and basic needs payments will stop when:

(i) We learn you are no longer working thirty hours a week in unsubsidized employment; or

(ii) You begin receiving TANF/SFA assistance again; or

(iii) We do not have your current mailing address; or

(iv) You are not living in Washington; or

(v) It has been more than six months since you stopped receiving TANF/SFA.

(5) What happens if the employment security department learns I am no longer working thirty hours or more per week?

(a) The employment security department will provide you with a letter giving you at least ten days advance notice that your WorkFirst career services will close. This means that your WorkFirst career services basic needs payments will stop at the end of the month in which your ten days notice expires. The letter will tell you how to request an administrative hearing if you disagree with the decision.

(b) If you find a new job or increase your hours back up to thirty hours before the end of the month, you will remain eligible.

(c) Employment Security staff can help you find new employment or work with you to increase your hours of employment.

(6) What happens if I am approved for TANF/SFA assistance while I am receiving WorkFirst career services?

If you start receiving TANF/SFA assistance, the employment security department will provide you with a letter and close your WorkFirst career services case at the end of the month. The letter will tell you how to request an administrative hearing if you disagree with the decision.

(7) What happens if I request an administrative hearing?

(a) You have the right to request an administrative hearing if you disagree with a decision or action regarding the WorkFirst career services Program. For more information, see chapter 388-02 WAC and RCW 74.08.080.

(b) If you receive continued benefits, they will still end when you reach your benefit maximum as outlined under (3)(c) regardless of any other pending administrative hearing.

[]

3848.1
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-19-060, filed 9/16/05, effective 11/1/05)

WAC 388-418-0005   How will I know what changes I must report?   You must report changes to the department based on the kinds of assistance you receive. The set of changes you must report for people in your assistance unit under chapter 388-408 WAC is based on the benefits you receive that require you to report the most changes. It is the first program that you receive benefits from in the list below.

For example:

If you receive long term care and Basic Food benefits, you tell us about changes based on the long term care requirements because it is the first program in the list below you receive benefits from.

(1) If you receive long term care benefits such as Basic, Basic Plus, chore, community protection, COPES, nursing home, Hospice, or medically needy waiver, you must tell us if you have a change of:

(a) Address;

(b) Marital status;

(c) Living arrangement;

(d) Income;

(e) Resources;

(f) Medical expenses; and

(g) If we allow you expenses for your spouse or dependents, you must report changes in their income or shelter cost.

(2) If you receive medical benefits based on age, blindness, or disability (SSI-related medical), or ADATSA benefits, you need to tell us if:

(a) You move;

(b) A family member moves into or out of your home;

(c) Your resources change; or

(d) Your income changes. This includes the income of you, your spouse or your child living with you.

(3) If you receive Basic Food and all adults in your assistance unit are elderly persons or individuals with disabilities and have no earned income, you need to tell us if:

(a) You move;

(b) You start getting money from a new source;

(c) Your income changes by more than fifty dollars;

(d) Your liquid resources, such as your cash on hand or bank accounts, are more than two thousand dollars; or

(e) Someone moves into or out of your home.

(4) If you receive cash benefits other than WorkFirst career services benefits, you need to tell us if:

(a) You move;

(b) Someone moves out of your home;

(c) Your total gross monthly income goes over the:

(i) Payment standard under WAC 388-478-0030 if you receive general assistance; or

(ii) Earned income limit under WAC 388-478-0035 and 388-450-0165 for all other programs;

(d) You have liquid resources more than four thousand dollars; or

(e) You have a change in employment. Tell us if you:

(i) Get a job or change employers;

(ii) Change from part-time to full-time or full-time to part-time;

(iii) Have a change in your hourly wage rate or salary; or

(iv) Stop working.

(5) If you receive family medical benefits, you need to tell us if:

(a) You move;

(b) A family member moves out of your home; or

(c) If your income goes up or down by one hundred dollars or more a month and you expect this income change will continue for at least two months.

(6) If you receive Basic Food benefits, you need to tell us if:

(a) You move;

(b) Your total gross monthly income is more than the gross monthly income limit under WAC 388-478-0060; or

(c) Anyone who receives food benefits in your assistance unit must meet work requirements under WAC 388-444-0030 and their hours at work go below twenty hours per week.

(7) If you receive children's medical benefits, you need to tell us if:

(a) You move; or

(b) A family member moves out of the house.

(8) If you receive pregnancy medical benefits, you need to tell us if:

(a) You move; or

(b) You are no longer pregnant.

(9) If you receive other medical benefits, you need to tell us if:

(a) You move; or

(b) A family member moves out of the home.

(10) If you receive transitional food assistance or WorkFirst career services benefits, you do not have to report any changes in your circumstances.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090, and 74.08A.010. 05-19-060, 388-418-0005, filed 9/16/05, effective 11/1/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, 44.04.280. 05-09-021, 388-418-0005, filed 4/12/05, effective 6/1/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 2004 c 54. 04-21-026, 388-418-0005, filed 10/13/04, effective 11/13/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510. 04-06-026, 388-418-0005, filed 2/23/04, effective 3/25/04; 03-21-028, 388-418-0005, filed 10/7/03, effective 11/1/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510. 01-11-109, 388-418-0005, filed 5/21/01, effective 7/1/01; 99-23-034, 388-418-0005, filed 11/10/99, effective 1/1/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-418-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office