WSR 08-23-102

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed November 19, 2008, 11:23 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 08-03-095.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is amending WAC 388-444-0005 Food stamp employment and training (FS E&T) program -- General requirements and 388-444-0040 Work programs for ABAWDs in the food stamp employment and training program.

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) 664-6094), on December 23, 2008, 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than December 24, 2008.

Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, delivery 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA 98503, e-mail DSHSRPAURulesCoordinator@dshs.wa.gov, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5 p.m. on December 23, 2008.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jennisha Johnson, DSHS rules consultant, by December 9, 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: The department is proposing to amend WAC 388-444-0005 and 388-444-0040 to allow participants in the food stamp employment & training (FS E&T) program the option to volunteer to participate more than one hundred twenty hours per month.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The department is proposing the amendments to give participants in the FS E&T program the option to volunteer to participate more than one hundred twenty hours per month to match the allowance of this option in the federal Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510, 74.04.515, 74.08.090, 74.08A.903.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510, 74.04.515, 74.08.090, 74.08A.903.

Rule is necessary because of federal law, Food, Conversation [Conservation] and Energy Act of 2008.

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

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Nick Espinosa, 712 Pear Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98501, (360) 725-4620.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The proposed rule does not have an economic impact on small business; it only affects DSHS clients by extending the option to volunteer more than one hundred twenty hours in the FS E&T program.

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, "this 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."

November 14, 2008

Stephanie E. Schiller

Rules Coordinator

4026.2
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 07-14-125, filed 7/3/07, effective 8/3/07)

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

(2) 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) 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) 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) We define good cause for not meeting FS E&T requirements under WAC 388-444-0050; and

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

(5) If you are nonexempt, you must:

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

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

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

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

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

(a) Job search;

(b) Paid or unpaid work;

(c) Training or work experience;

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

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

(7) 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 your IRP includes unpaid community service or work experience, we use your TANF grant and the Basic Food benefits received by members of your TANF assistance unit 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)) Exempt or nonexempt FS E&T participants will not be required to participate more than one hundred and twenty hours per month, but exempt or nonexempt FS E&T participants may volunteer to participate beyond one hundred and twenty hours.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090, and 7 C.F.R. 273.7 and 273.25. 07-14-125, 388-444-0005, filed 7/3/07, effective 8/3/07; 06-24-026, 388-444-0005, filed 11/29/06, effective 1/1/07. 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 99-07-024, filed 3/10/99, effective 4/10/99)

WAC 388-444-0040   Work programs for ABAWDs in the food stamp employment and training program.   Work programs are available to clients eighteen to fifty years of age who are able to work and have no dependents.

(1) The following are considered work programs:

(a) Workfare consists of:

(i) Thirty days of job search activities in the first month beginning with the first day of application, or sixteen hours of volunteer work with a public or private nonprofit agency; and

(ii) In subsequent months, sixteen hours per month of volunteer work with a public or private nonprofit agency allows the client to remain eligible for food stamps. Workfare is not enforced community service or for paying fines or debts due to legal problems.

(b) Work experience (WEX) is supervised, unpaid work for at least twenty hours a week. The work must be for a nonprofit agency or governmental or tribal entity. This work is to improve the work skills of the client.

(c) On-the-job training (OJT) is paid employment for at least twenty hours a week. It is job training provided by an employer at the employer's place of business and may include some classroom training time.

(2) The department may not require you to participate more than ((thirty hours a week of Workfare and paid work combined)) one hundred and twenty hours per month in a work program, paid work, or a combination of activities. ABAWDs may volunteer to participate in activities beyond one hundred and twenty hours per month.

(3) The department may pay for some of a client's actual expenses needed for the client to participate in work programs. Standards for paying expenses are set by the department.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510. 99-07-024, 388-444-0040, filed 3/10/99, effective 4/10/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-444-0040, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office