WSR 10-19-126

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed September 22, 2010, 8:29 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 10-16-145 and 10-16-144.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is proposing to amend WAC 388-310-0100 WorkFirst -- Purpose, 388-310-0800 WorkFirst -- Support services, and 388-310-1800 WorkFirst -- Post employment services.

Hearing Location(s): DSHS Office Building 2 Auditorium, 1115 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98504 (a map or directions are available at http://www1.dshs.wa.gov/msa/rpau/docket.html or by calling (360) 664-6094), on October 26, 2010, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than October 27, 2010.

Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504, delivery 1115 Washington Street S.E., [Olympia], WA 98504, e-mail vasquki@dshs.wa.gov, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5 p.m. on October 26, 2010.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jennisha Johnson, DSHS rules consultant, by October 5, 2010, 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 eliminate support services and post employment services for clients who no longer receive temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) or state family assistance (SFA). The proposal is intended to reduce program costs in response to a budget shortfall. The proposal will impact clients who no longer receive a TANF or SFA cash grant, but were previously eligible for support services and post employment services.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The proposed amendments are necessary for the program to contain costs and ensure the program's fiscal stability.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, and 74.08.090.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, and 74.08.090.

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: Stephanie Nielsen, P.O. Box 45470, Olympia, WA 98504-5470, (360) 725-4699.

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 businesses. The proposed rule eliminates support services for post-TANF clients in response to budget reductions.

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." The proposed rule eliminates support services for post-TANF clients in response to budget reductions.

September 16, 2010

Katherine I. Vasquez

Rules Coordinator

4230.4
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 99-08-051, filed 4/1/99, effective 5/2/99)

WAC 388-310-0100   WorkFirst--Purpose.   (1) What is the WorkFirst program?

The WorkFirst program offers services and activities to help people in low-income families find jobs, keep their jobs, find better jobs and become self-sufficient. The program links families to a variety of state, federal and community resources to meet this goal. When you enter the WorkFirst program, you will be asked to work, look for work and/or prepare for work.

(2) Who does the WorkFirst program serve?

The WorkFirst program serves ((three)) two groups:

(a) Parents and children age sixteen or older who receive cash assistance under the temporary assistance for needy families (TANF), general assistance for pregnant women (GA-S) or state family assistance (SFA) programs; and

(b) ((Parents who no longer receive cash assistance and need some continuing support to remain self-sufficient; and

(c))) Low income parents who support their family without applying for or relying on cash assistance.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.050. 99-08-051, 388-310-0100, filed 4/1/99, effective 5/2/99; 97-20-129, 388-310-0100, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 09-06-053, filed 2/26/09, effective 4/1/09)

WAC 388-310-0800   WorkFirst--Support services.   (1) Who can get support services?

People who can get support services include:

(a) WorkFirst participants who receive a TANF cash grant;

(b) Sanctioned WorkFirst participants during the required participation before the sanction is lifted or applicants who were terminated ((by a sanction review panel)) while in noncompliance sanction who are doing activities required to reopen cash assistance (WAC 388-310-1600);

(c) Unmarried or pregnant minors who are income eligible to receive TANF and are:

(i) Living in a department approved living arrangement (WAC 388-486-0005) and are meeting the school requirements (WAC 388-486-0010); or

(ii) Are actively working with a social worker and need support services to remove the barriers that are preventing them from living in a department approved living arrangement and/or meeting the school requirements.

(d) ((Former WorkFirst recipients who are working at least twenty hours or more per week for up to six months after leaving TANF if they need support services to meet a temporary emergency. This can include up to four weeks of support services if they lose a job and are looking for another one (see also WAC 388-310-1800);

(e))) American Indians who receive a TANF cash grant and have identified specific needs due to location or employment.

(2) Why do I receive support services?

Although not an entitlement, you may receive support services for the following reasons:

(a) To help you participate in work and WorkFirst activities that lead to independence.

(b) To help you to participate in job search, accept a job, keep working, advance in your job, and/or increase your wages.

(c) You can also get help in paying your child care expenses through the working connections child care assistance program. (Chapter 170-290 WAC describes the rules for this child care assistance program.)

(3) What type of support services may I receive and what limits apply?

There is a limit of three thousand dollars per person per program year (July 1st to June 30th) for WorkFirst support services you may receive. Most types of support services have dollar limits.

The chart below shows the types of support services that are available for the different activities (as indicated by an "x") and the limits that apply.

Definitions:

Work-related activities include looking for work or participating in workplace activities, such as community jobs or a work experience position.

Safety-related activities include meeting significant or emergency family safety needs, such as dealing with family violence. When approved, safety-related support services can exceed the dollar or category limits listed below.

Some support services are available if you need them for other required activities in your IRP.

Type of support service

Limit

Work

Safety

Other

Reasonable accommodation for employment $1,000 for each request x
Clothing/uniforms $75 per adult per program year x
Diapers $50 per child per month x
Haircut $40 per each request x
Lunch Same rate as established by OFM for state employees x
Personal hygiene $50 per adult per program year x
Professional, trade, association, union and bonds $300 for each fee x
Relocation related to employment (can include rent, housing, and deposits) $1,000 per program year x
Short-term lodging and meals in connection with job interviews/tests Same rate as established by OFM for state employees x
Tools/equipment $500 per program year x
Car repair needed to restore car to operable condition $250 per program year x x
License/fees $130 per program year x x
Mileage, transportation, and/or public transportation Same rate as established by OFM for state employees x x
Transportation allotment Up to:

$25 for immediate need, or

$40 twice a month if you live within 40 miles of your local WorkFirst office, or

$60 twice a month if you live more than 40 miles from your local WorkFirst office.

x x
Counseling No limit x x x
Educational expenses $300 for each request if it is an approved activity in your IRP and you do not qualify for sufficient student financial aid to meet the cost x x
Medical exams (not covered by medicaid) $150 per exam x x x
Public transportation $150 per month x x x
Testing-diagnostic $200 each x x x

(4) What are the other requirements to receive support services?

Other restrictions on receiving support services are determined by the department or its agents. They will ((decide what support services you receive, as follows)) consider whether:

(a) It is within available funds; and

(b) It does not assist, promote, or deter religious activity; and

(c) There is no other way to meet the cost.

(5) What happens to my support services if I do not participate as required?

The department will give you ten days notice, following the rules in WAC 388-310-1600, then discontinue your support services until you participate as required.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, and 74.08.090. 09-06-053, 388-310-0800, filed 2/26/09, effective 4/1/09. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050 and 74.04.055. 08-18-045, 388-310-0800, filed 8/29/08, effective 10/1/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, 74.08A.260, chapter 74.08A RCW. 06-10-035, 388-310-0800, filed 4/27/06, effective 6/1/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050, 74.08A.340. 05-02-014, 388-310-0800, filed 12/27/04, effective 1/27/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050, 74.08A.340, and 2003 c 10 207. 03-21-154, 388-310-0800, filed 10/22/03, effective 10/27/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050, 78.08A.340, and [WSR] 99-14-043. 02-11-130, 388-310-0800, filed 5/21/02, effective 7/1/02; 01-17-053, 388-310-0800, filed 8/13/01, effective 9/1/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050, and 78.08A.340. 00-13-106, 388-310-0800, filed 6/21/00, effective 7/1/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.050. 99-14-043, 388-310-0800, filed 6/30/99, effective 7/31/99; 97-20-129, 388-310-0800, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 08-15-136, filed 7/22/08, effective 8/22/08)

WAC 388-310-1800   WorkFirst--Post employment services.   (1) What is the purpose of post employment services?

Post employment services help ((low-income)) TANF or SFA parents who are working twenty hours or more a week keep and cope with their current jobs, look for better jobs, gain work skills for a career and become self sufficient.

(2) How do I obtain post employment services?

(a) You can obtain post employment services by:

(i) Asking for a referral from the local community service office;

(ii) Contacting community or technical colleges; or

(iii) Contacting the employment security department. ((Employment security department staff may also telephone you if you got a job while you were on TANF or SFA to see if you are interested in receiving these services.

(b) You may qualify for different services (from various state or federal programs) depending on whether you:

(i) Are a mandatory participant (that is, you currently receive TANF or SFA benefits);

(ii) Used to receive TANF or SFA benefits; or

(iii) Have never been on TANF or SFA.))

(3) Who provides post employment services and what kind of services do they provide?

(a) The employment security department can help you increase your wages, increase your job skills or find a better job by providing you with:

(i) Employment and career counseling;

(ii) Labor market information;

(iii) Job leads for a better job (sometimes called job development);

(iv) On the job training;

(v) Help with finding a job that matches your interests, abilities and skills (sometimes called job matching); and

(vi) Help with finding a new job after job loss (sometimes called reemployment).

(b) Any Washington state technical and community college can approve a skill-training program for you that will help you advance up the career ladder. Their staff will talk to you, help you decide what training would work best for you and then help you get enrolled in these programs. The college may approve the following types of training for you at any certified institution:

(i) High school/GED,

(ii) Vocational education training,

(iii) Job skills training,

(iv) Adult basic education,

(v) English as a second language training, or

(vi) Preemployment training.

(4) What other services are available while you receive post employment services?

While you receive post employment services, you may qualify for:

(a) Working connections childcare if you meet the criteria for this program (described in chapter 170-290 WAC).

(b) Other support services, such as help in paying for transportation or work expenses if you meet the criteria for this program (WAC 388-310-0800).

(c) Other types of assistance for low-income families such as food stamps, medical assistance or help with getting child support that is due to you and your children.

(5) Who is eligible for post employment ((service, support services and childcare)) services?

If you are a current TANF or SFA recipient, you may qualify for post employment services((, support services and child care)) if you are working twenty hours or more a week, ((and:

(a) You are current TANF or SFA recipient. You qualify for:

(i) All types of post employment services,)) unless you are in sanction status((;

(ii) Tuition assistance from the community and technical college system;

(iii) WorkFirst support services; and

(iv) Working connections childcare.

(b) You are a former TANF or SFA recipient. You qualify for:

(i) Employment retention services (help with keeping a job) for up to twelve months after exiting TANF or SFA.

(ii) Wage and skill progression services (help with finding a better job and/or obtaining better wages) for up to twelve months after exiting TANF or SFA.

(iii) Tuition assistance or preemployment training from the community and technical college system;

(iv) Working connections childcare assistance; and/or

(v) WorkFirst support services for up to six months after exiting TANF or SFA.

(c) You are a low wage earner (that is, your family income does not exceed one hundred seventy-five percent of the federal poverty level) who has never received TANF or SFA benefits, and are in a community or technical college-approved skill training program. You may qualify for:

(i) Tuition assistance or preemployment training from the community and technical college system; or

(ii) Working connections child care while you are in training or school for up to a total of thirty six months)).

(6) What if I lose my job while I am receiving post employment services?

If you now receive ((or used to receive)) TANF or SFA, help is available to you ((for up to four weeks)) so that you can find another job and continue in your approved post employment services.

(a) The employment security department will provide you with reemployment services.

(b) At the same time, your case manager can approve ((up to four weeks of)) support services and childcare for you.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090, and 34.05.310 (4)(c). 08-15-136, 388-310-1800, filed 7/22/08, effective 8/22/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050, 74.08A.340, and 2003 c 10 207. 03-21-154, 388-310-1800, filed 10/22/03, effective 10/27/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08A.010(4), 74.08A.340, 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 02-15-067, 388-310-1800, filed 7/11/02, effective 8/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08A.340(2), 45 C.F.R. 260.31, RCW 74.08.090, and chapter 74.04 RCW. 00-16-055, 388-310-1800, filed 7/26/00, effective 8/1/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.050. 99-10-027, 388-310-1800, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 97-20-129, 388-310-1800, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office