WSR 10-19-130

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed September 22, 2010, 8:39 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 10-16-147.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is proposing changes to WAC 388-310-0200 WorkFirst -- Activities, 388-310-0400 WorkFirst -- Entering the WorkFirst program as a mandatory participant, 388-310-1300 WorkFirst -- Community jobs, and 388-310-2100 Career services program.

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 DSHSRPAURulesCoordinator@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 align two parent participation requirements with federal rules; to eliminate the career services program; and to clarify information regarding how an individual responsibility plan is used to generate participation requirements. The changes are proposed to reduce program costs in response to budget reductions. The proposal may reduce the number of participation hours required for some two parent households, and will no longer provide career services payments for former TANF or diversion cash assistance clients.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: These changes are necessary for the program to stay within budget.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, and chapters 74.08A and 74.12 RCW.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, and chapters 74.08A and 74.12 RCW.

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 amendment streamlines the sanction process in response to a budget shortfall.

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 streamlines the sanction process in response to a budget shortfall.

September 17, 2010

Katherine I. Vasquez

Rules Coordinator

4233.2
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 09-15-084, filed 7/14/09, effective 8/14/09)

WAC 388-310-0200   WorkFirst--Activities.   (1) Who is required to participate in WorkFirst activities?

(a) You are required to participate in the WorkFirst activities in your individual responsibility plan, and become what is called a "mandatory participant," if you:

(i) Are receiving TANF or SFA cash assistance because you are pregnant or the parent or adult in the home; and

(ii) Are not exempt. For exemptions see WAC 388-310-0300 and 388-310-0350.

(b) Participation is voluntary for all other WorkFirst participants (those who no longer receive or have never received TANF or SFA cash assistance).

(2) What activities do I participate in when I enter the WorkFirst program?

When you enter the WorkFirst program, you will participate in one or more of the following activities (which are described in more detail in other sections of this chapter):

(a) Paid employment (see WAC 388-310-0400 (2)(a) and 388-310-1500);

(b) Self employment (see WAC 388-310-1700);

(c) Job search (see WAC 388-310-0600);

(d) Community jobs (see WAC 388-310-1300)

(e) Work experience (see WAC 388-310-1100);

(f) On-the-job training (see WAC 388-310-1200);

(g) Vocational educational training (see WAC 388-310-1000);

(h) Basic education activities (see WAC 388-310-0900);

(i) Job skills training (see WAC 388-310-1050);

(j) Community service (see WAC 388-310-1400);

(k) Activities provided by tribal governments for tribal members and other American Indians (see WAC 388-310-1400(1) and 388-310-1900);

(l) Other activities identified by your case manager on your individual responsibility plan that will help you with situations such as drug and/or alcohol abuse, homelessness, or mental health issues; and/or

(m) Activities identified by your case manager on your individual responsibility plan to help you cope with family violence as defined in WAC 388-61-001; and/or

(n) Up to ten hours of financial literacy activities to help you become self-sufficient and financially stable.

(3) If I am a mandatory participant, how much time must I spend doing WorkFirst activities?

If you are a mandatory participant, you will be required to participate in the activities in your individual responsibility plan, and may be required to participate full time, working, looking for work or preparing for work. You might be required to participate in more than one part-time activity at the same time that add up to full time participation. You will have an individual responsibility plan (described in WAC 388-310-0500) that includes the specific activities and requirements of your participation.

(4) What activities do I participate in after I get a job?

You ((will)) may be required to participate in other activities, such as job search or training once you are working twenty hours or more a week in a paid unsubsidized job, to bring your participation up to full time.

You may also engage in activities if you are working full time and want to get a better job.

((Post employment services (described in WAC 388-310-1800) include:

(a) Activities that help you keep a job (called an "employment retention" service); and/or

(b) Activities that help you get a better job or better wages (called a "wage and skill progression" service).))

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, and 74.08A.340. 09-15-084, 388-310-0200, filed 7/14/09, effective 8/14/09. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.08.090, 74.08A.340, and 2006 c 107. 06-24-023, 388-310-0200, filed 11/29/06, effective 12/30/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08A.010(4), 74.08A.340, 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 02-15-067, 388-310-0200, 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, 388-310-0200, filed 7/26/00, effective 8/1/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 00-06-062, 388-310-0200, filed 3/1/00, effective 3/1/00; 99-08-051, 388-310-0200, filed 4/1/99, effective 5/2/99; 97-20-129, 388-310-0200, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 09-14-019, filed 6/22/09, effective 7/23/09)

WAC 388-310-0400   WorkFirst--Entering the WorkFirst program as a mandatory participant.   (1) What happens when I enter the WorkFirst program as a mandatory participant?

If you are a mandatory participant, you must follow instructions as written in your individual responsibility plan (see WAC 388-310-0500), which is written after you have participated in a comprehensive evaluation of elements related to your employability. If you have been identified as someone who needs necessary supplemental accommodation (NSA) services (defined in chapter 388-472 WAC) your case manager will first develop an accommodation plan to help you access WorkFirst services. The case manager will use the accommodation plan to help develop your IRP with you. If you have been identified as a victim of family violence (defined in WAC 388-61-001), you and your case manager will develop an IRP to help you with your situation, including referrals to appropriate services.

If you are a mandatory participant, your case manager will refer you to WorkFirst activities unless any of the following applies to you:

(a) You work thirty-two or more hours a week (or, if you are a member of a two-parent family, you work thirty-five hours or more a week). "Work" means to engage in any legal, income generating activity which is taxable under the United States tax code or which would be taxable with or without a treaty between an Indian Nation and the United States;

(b) You participate the equivalent of twenty or more hours a week (or if you are a member of a two-parent family, you participate the equivalent of thirty or more hours a week) in job search, vocational education, issue resolution, or paid or unpaid work that meets the federal definition of core activities, which may include work of sixteen or more hours a week in the federal or state work study program, and you attend a Washington state community or technical college at least half time;

(c) You work twenty or more hours a week (or if you are a member of a two-parent family, you work thirty or more hours a week) in unsubsidized employment and attend a Washington state community or technical college at least half time;

(d) You are under the age of eighteen, have not completed high school, GED or its equivalent and are in school full time;

(e) You are eighteen or nineteen years of age and are attending high school or an equivalent full time;

(f) You are pregnant or have a child under the age of twelve months, and are participating in other pregnancy to employment activities. See WAC 388-310-1450;

(g) Your situation prevents you from looking for a job and you are conducting activities identified on your IRP to help you with your situation. (For example, you may be unable to look for a job while you have health problems or you are homeless); or

(h) Your situation prevents you from looking for work because you are a victim of family violence and you are conducting activities on your IRP to help you with your situation.

(2) How will I know what my participation requirements are?

(a) Your individual responsibility plan will describe what you need to do to be able to enter job search or other WorkFirst activities and then find a job (see WAC 388-310-0500 and 388-310-0700).

(b) If you enter the pregnancy to employment pathway (described in WAC 388-310-1450(3)), you must take part in an assessment.

(3) What happens if I do not follow my WorkFirst requirements?

If you do not participate in creating an individual responsibility plan, job search, or in the activities listed in your individual responsibility plan, and you do not have a good reason, the department will follow the sanction rules in WAC 388-310-1600.

[Statutory Authority: 45 C.F.R. 260, 42 U.S.C. 601, chapters 74.08A and 74.12 RCW, RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.08.090, and 74.04.057. 09-14-019, 388-310-0400, filed 6/22/09, effective 7/23/09. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.08.090. 08-07-046, 388-310-0400, filed 3/14/08, effective 5/1/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090. 06-08-044, 388-310-0400, filed 3/30/06, effective 6/1/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08A.010(4), 74.08A.340, 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 02-15-067, 388-310-0400, filed 7/11/02, effective 8/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 00-06-062, 388-310-0400, filed 3/1/00, effective 3/1/00; 99-10-027, 388-310-0400, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 98-23-037, 388-310-0400, filed 11/10/98, effective 12/11/98; 97-20-129, 388-310-0400, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-20-073, filed 9/30/02, effective 10/1/02)

WAC 388-310-1300   Community jobs.   (1) What is the community jobs program?

Community jobs is a paid work experience that assists you to gain work skills and experience. You are placed in a community job (up to twenty hours per week) where your wages are paid by the community jobs program. If you participate in the program, you are eligible for support services that assist you in moving into a job where your employer pays all your wages.

(2) What is career jump?

Career jump offers job-ready community jobs participants an opportunity to gain paid work experience that leads to a permanent job. This program is a subset of community jobs and will be referred to as such. Career jump places you in a part time (up to twenty hours per week), community job where your earnings are paid by the community jobs program, for up to five months, at which time you will transition to the employer's payroll. You will be provided with support services to assist you in retaining your job through the ninth month of the program. At or before the fifth month, the employment opportunity will be above minimum wage, thirty-two or more hours per week and include wage progression and benefits comparable to other employees.

(3) Who administers the community jobs program?

The state department of community, trade, and economic development (DCTED) administers the community jobs program. DCTED contract with local agencies throughout the state, known as community jobs contractors who develop and manage the community jobs positions, pay the wages, provide support services and act as the "employer of record" while you are enrolled in a community job.

(4) What types of work sites are used to provide community jobs?

The following work sites may be used to provide community jobs:

(a) Federal, state or local governmental agencies and tribal governments;

(b) Private and tribal nonprofit businesses, organizations and educational institutions;

(c) Private for profit businesses for career jump placements.

(5) What are the requirements for the work sites?

Work sites for community jobs and career jump:

(a) Must assist in strengthening work ethics, improve workplace skills and help you gain skills to move into a job where the employer pays all your wages. If they do not meet this requirement, they will not be considered for additional community jobs/career jump placements.

(b) We will follow the employment rules described in WAC 388-310-1500. In any situation where training is inconsistent with the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, your community jobs contractor will obtain written approval from the labor organization concerned. Career jump employers will remain neutral with regard to neutralization in the worksite.

(c) You will not be required to do work related to religious, electoral or partisan political activities.

(6) What are the benefits of community jobs?

You benefit from community jobs by:

(a) Learning work skills;

(b) Getting work experience;

(c) Working twenty hours per week, while being paid federal or state minimum wage, whichever is higher; and

(d) Earning paid personal leave as determined by DCTED.

(7) How do I get into community jobs?

You will be placed into community jobs after you and your DSHS case manager decide:

(a) You would benefit from community jobs after you have participated in job search without finding a job; and/or

(b) You need a supportive work environment to help you become more employable.

(8) What happens after I am placed in the community jobs program?

When you are placed in the community jobs program by DSHS:

(a) You will be assigned to a community job by the community jobs contractor for no more than nine months. You will work twenty hours a week and participate in any other unpaid activities for twelve to twenty additional hours per week as required in your individual responsibility plan;

(b) Your placement in community jobs will be reviewed by your DSHS case manager every three months during your nine-month placement for the following:

(i) To ensure you are TANF/SFA eligible; and

(ii) To verify any earned or unearned income received by you or another member of your assistance unit (that is, you and other people in your household who are included on your cash grant).

(c) Your community jobs contractor will review your case each month to ensure you are following your IRP and IDP, participating full time, and becoming more employable because of your community job;

(d) If you request a different community jobs placement, we do not consider your request a refusal to participate without good cause under WAC 388-310-1600. You may be asked to explain why you want a different placement;

(e) Grievance policies are in place for your protection. You will be required to sign an acknowledgment that you received a copy of this policy at the time of placement with the employer.

(9) How does community jobs affect my TANF benefits?

The amount of your TANF/SFA monthly grant will be determined by following the rules in WAC 388-450-0050 and 388-450-0215 (1), (3), (4), (5) and (6). WAC 388-450-0215(2), does not apply to your community jobs wages.

(10) What can I expect from my career jump placement?

(a) You cannot represent more than ten percent of the total labor force for an employer that has ten or more employees.

(b) No more than one community jobs participant shall be allowed per private for profit worksite supervisor.

(c) You will participate in developing a career progression plan that will include health care benefits comparable to other employees.

(d) You may be eligible for unemployment benefits if you have participated in community jobs' career jump and have worked at least six hundred eighty hours in a base year. You will gain unemployment insurance credits for all hours worked under your career jump placement.

(e) Your employer and your community jobs contractor will be required to follow DCTED's contractual agreements for career jump.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050, 74.08A.330, and 74.08A.320. 02-20-073, 388-310-1300, filed 9/30/02, effective 10/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.050. 99-08-051, 388-310-1300, filed 4/1/99, effective 5/2/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050 and 74.08A.320. 98-10-054, 388-310-1300, filed 4/30/98, effective 5/31/98.]


REPEALER

     The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed:
WAC 388-310-2100 Career services program.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office