WSR 08-11-089

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed May 20, 2008, 9:02 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 08-05-041.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is amending WAC 388-310-2100 WorkFirst career services, in order to allow adults who receive diversion cash assistance (DCA) and are working thirty or more hours per week to enroll in the WorkFirst career services program. The WorkFirst career services program provides up to six months of basic needs payments, wage progression services and job retention services.

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 are available at http://www1.dshs.wa.gov/msa/rpau/docket.html or by calling (360) 664-6097), on June 24, 2008, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than June 25, 2008.

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 p.m., on June 24, 2008.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jennisha Johnson, DSHS rules consultant, by June 17, 2008, TTY (360) 664-6178 or (360) 664-6094 or by e-mail at johnsjl4@dshs.wa.gov.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: This rule change is needed to offer WorkFirst career services to employed adults who receive diversion cash assistance. Currently, only families who exit TANF/SFA are eligible for the WorkFirst career services program. The program is administered by the employment security department.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: This WAC is being amended to provide greater access to the WorkFirst career services program.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.050, 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: Ian Horlor, P.O. Box 45470, Olympia, WA 98504-5470, (360) 725-4634.

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 defining what are WorkFirst career services and who is eligible for these services.

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 affect eligibility for the WorkFirst career services program.

May 15, 2008

Stephanie E. Schiller

Rules Coordinator

3978.2
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 07-20-042, filed 9/26/07, effective 10/27/07)

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, administered by employment security department, provides up to six months of:

Basic needs payments;

Wage progression services; and

Job retention services.

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

(a) To ((qualify for the program)) get career services, you must:

(i) Enroll with the employment security department within the first two calendar months after your TANF/SFA ends or within the first two calendar months after you received your first diversion cash assistance (DCA) payment.

(((b) You must also meet the following conditions:

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

(((ii) You are)) (iii) Be a custodial parent or caretaker relative who received TANF/SFA or DCA within at least one of the past two calendar months; and

(((iii) You did not leave)) (iv) Not have left TANF/SFA in sanction status.

(((c))) (b) 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 or receiving DCA.

(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 or getting your first DCA payment.


Eligible Month Payments & Bonus Amounts Description of Payments and Bonuses
Month 1-6 After TANF/SFA or DCA $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 or the calendar month after you receive your first DCA payment.

(b) Your WorkFirst career services ((and basic needs)) payments will stop ((when)) for any of the following reasons:

(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 your initial DCA payment or 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)) with 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 for career services payments.

(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.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, and 2007 c 522. 07-20-042, 388-310-2100, filed 9/26/07, effective 10/27/07.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office