WSR 02-09-076

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed April 16, 2002, 3:47 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 02-01-008.

Title of Rule: Temporary assistance to needy families, state financial assistance and WorkFirst, WAC 388-310-0200, 388-310-0350, 388-310-0400, 388-310-0500, 388-310-0600, and 388-310-0900.

Purpose: These rule changes are necessary to implement the policy for the sixty-month time limit of TANF/SFA cases.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.08A.010(4), 74.08A.340, 74.08.090, 74.04.050.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.08A.010(4), 74.08A.340, 74.08.090, 74.04.050.

Summary:
Amended:

Title of Rule

CR-101

WSR #

Summary
388-310-0200 WorkFirst -- Activities. 02-01-008 Summarizes who is required to participate in WorkFirst activities, what activities they must participate in, how much time they must participate, and what happens after getting a job.
388-310-0400 WorkFirst -- Entering the WorkFirst program as a mandatory participant. 02-01-008 Outlines the requirements for mandatory WorkFirst participants.
388-310-0500 WorkFirst -- Individual responsibility plan. 02-01-008 Outlines the elements of an individual responsibility plan and mandates how they are developed.
388-310-0600 WorkFirst -- Job search. 02-01-008 Defines job search and its components like preemployment training and profiles who must participate.
388-310-0900 WorkFirst -- Basic education. 02-01-008 Defines basic education and who can participate in it.
New:

Title of Rule

CR-101

WSR #

Summary
388-310-0350 WorkFirst -- Other exemptions from mandatory participation. 02-01-008 Mandates who is exempt from mandatory participation, how the exemption is processed and approved, how an exemption affects the sixty month limit and how long an exemption can last.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: This proposal implements the sanctions rules for all clients and extension rules for clients that exceed the TANF/SFA sixty-month time limit.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Sandy Jsames, 1009 College Street S.E., Lacey, WA, (360) 413-3239.

Name of Proponent: Department of Social and Health Services, governmental.

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

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: This proposal implements the sanctions rules for all clients and extension rules for clients that exceed the TANF/SFA sixty-month time limit. See also Summary above.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: These rule changes will establish new policies for clients who are still receiving TANF/SFA after sixty months, including the creation of the child safetynet payments. There are also participation and sanction policies for all TANF/SFA recipients.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. These rules do not affect businesses.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. These amendments are exempt under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii).

Hearing Location: Office Building 2 Auditorium (DSHS Headquarters) (parking on 12th off Jefferson), 1115 Washington, Olympia, WA 98504, on May 21, 2002, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Andy Fernando, DSHS Rules Coordinator, by May 17, 2002, phone (360) 664-6094, TTY (360) 664-6178, e-mail fernaax@dshs.wa.gov.

Submit Written Comments to: Identify WAC Numbers, DSHS Rules Coordinator, Rules and Policies Assistance Unit, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, fax (360) 664-6185, e-mail fernaax@dshs.wa.gov, by 5:00 p.m., May 21, 2002.

Date of Intended Adoption: No earlier than May 22, 2002.

April 16, 2002

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

3063.5
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 00-16-055, filed 7/26/00, effective 8/1/00)

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

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

(i) Receive TANF or SFA cash assistance; and

(ii) Are a custodial parent or age sixteen or older; and

(iii) Are not exempt. (((You can only get this exemption if you are caring for your child under three months of age.)) For exemptions see WAC 388-310-0300 ((for more details.))) 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); ((and/or))

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

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

(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 ((spend up to forty hours a week)) 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 ((number of hours a week that you are required to participate)) specific activities and requirements of your participation.

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

You ((may)) will participate in other activities, ((which are called "post employment services" (described in WAC 388-310-1800))) such as job search or training once you are working twenty hours or more a week((. Work can include a paid, unsubsidized job, self-employment, college work study or a subsidized job like a community jobs placement. Post employment services)) 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 74.08A.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.]


NEW SECTION
WAC 388-310-0350   WorkFirst -- Other exemptions from mandatory participation.   (1) When am I exempt from mandatory participation?

You are exempt from mandatory participation if you are:

(a) An older needy caretaker relative:

(i) You are fifty-five years of age or older and caring for a child and you are not the child's parent; and

(ii) Your age is verified by any reliable documentation (such as a birth certificate or a driver's license).

(b) An adult with a severe and chronic disability:

(i) The disability must be a severe and chronic mental, physical, emotional, or cognitive impairment that prevents you from participating in work activities and is expected to last at least twelve months; or

(ii) You have been assessed by a DSHS SSI facilitator as likely to be approved for SSI or other benefits and are applying for SSI or another type of federal disability benefit (such as Railroad Retirement or Social Security Disability); and

(iii) Your disability is verified by documentation from the division of developmental disabilities (DDD), division of vocational rehabilitation (DVR), home and community services division (HCS), division of mental health (MHD), and/or regional support network (RSN), or evidence from another medical or mental health professional; and

(iv) Your SSI application status may be verified through the SSI facilitator and/or state data exchange.

(c) Required in the home to care for a child with special needs when:

(i) The child has a special medical, developmental, mental, or behavioral condition; and

(ii) The child is determined by a public health nurse, physician, mental health provider, school professional, other medical professional, HCS, MHD, and/or a RSN to require specialized care or treatment that significantly interferes with your ability to look for work or work.

(d) Required to be in the home to care for another adult with disabilities when:

(i) The adult with disabilities cannot be left alone for significant periods of time; and

(ii) No adult other than yourself is available and able to provide the care; and

(iii) The adult with the disability is related to you; and

(iv) The disability is verified by documentation from DDD, DVR, HCS, MHD, and/or a RSN, or evidence from another medical or mental health professional.

(2) Who reviews and approves an exemption?

(a) If it appears that you may qualify for an exemption or you ask for an exemption, your case manager or social worker will review the information and we will use the case staffing process to determine whether the exemption will be approved. Case staffing is a process to bring together a team of multidisciplinary experts including relevant professionals and the client to identify participant issues, review case history and information, and recommend solutions.

(b) If additional medical or other documentation is needed to determine if you are exempt, your IRP will allow between thirty days and up to ninety if approved to gather the necessary documentation.

(c) Information needed to verify your exemption should meet the standards for verification described in WAC 388-490-0005. If you need help gathering information to verify your exemption, you can ask us for help. If you have been identified as needing NSA services, under chapter 388-472 WAC, your accommodation plan should include information on how we will assist you with getting the verification needed.

(d) After the case staffing, we will send you a notice that tells you whether your exemption was approved, how to request a fair hearing if you disagree with the decision, and any changes to your IRP that were made as a result of the case staffing.

(3) Can I participate in WorkFirst while I am exempt?

(a) You may choose to participate in WorkFirst while you are exempt.

(b) Your WorkFirst case manager may refer you to other service providers who may help you improve your skills and move into employment.

(c) If you choose to participate while exempt. If you decide later to stop participating, and you still qualify for an exemption, you will be put back into exempt status with no financial penalty.

(4) Does an exemption from participation affect my sixty-month time limit for receiving TANF/SFA benefits?

An exemption from participation does not affect your sixty-month time limit (described in WAC 388-484-0005) for receiving TANF/SFA benefits. Even if exempt from participation, each month you receive a TANF/SFA grant counts toward your sixty-month limit.

(5) How long will my exemption last?

Unless you are an older caretaker relative, your exemption will be reviewed at least every twelve months to make sure that you still meet the criteria for an exemption. Your exemption will continue as long as you continue to meet the criteria for an exemption.

(6) What happens when I am no longer exempt?

If you are no longer exempt, then:

(a) You will become a mandatory participant under WAC 388-310-0400; and

(b) If you have received sixty or more months of TANF/SFA, your case will be reviewed for an extension. (See WAC 388-484-0006 for a description of TANF/SFA time limit extensions.)

[]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 00-06-062, filed 3/1/00, effective 3/1/00)

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, ((WorkFirst requires you to look for a job as your first activity unless you are temporarily deferred from job search.)) you must follow instructions as written in your individual responsibility plan (see WAC 388-310-0500) ((while you are in job search.

(2) Are there any reasons why I might be temporarily deferred from looking for a job?)) 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 are a mandatory participant, your case manager will ((ask if you have any reasons why you cannot go to job search. You may be temporarily deferred from looking for a job for any of the following reasons)) refer you to job search activities unless any of the following applies to you:

(a) You work ((twenty)) thirty-two or more hours 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; or

(b) You work 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; or

(c) You work twenty or more hours a week in unsubsidized employment and attend a Washington state community or technical college at least half-time; or

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

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

(((e))) (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; or

(((f) You are fifty-five years old or older and caring for a child you are related to (and you are not the child's parent), you may go into community service (described in WAC 388-310-1400 (2)(b)); or))

(g) Your situation prevents you from looking for a job and you are conducting special 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, are homeless and/or dealing with family violence.)

(((3))) (2) What are my requirements if I am ((temporarily deferred from)) not required to participate in job search activities?

(a) If and when ((your)) you are not required to participate in job search ((is temporarily deferred)) activities, you may be required to take part in an employability evaluation ((as part of your individual responsibility plan)). Your individual responsibility plan will describe what you need to do to be able to enter job search and then find a job (see WAC 388-310-0500 and 0700).

(b) If you enter the pregnancy to employment pathway (described in WAC 388-310-1450(2)), you must take part in an assessment.

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

If you do not participate in job search, or in the activities listed in your individual responsibility plan, and you do not have a good reason, the department will ((impose a financial penalty)) reduce your WorkFirst grant (sanction, see WAC 388-310-1600).

[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 99-10-027, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99)

WAC 388-310-0500   WorkFirst--Individual responsibility plan.   (1) What is the purpose of my individual responsibility plan?

The purpose of your individual responsibility plan is to give you a written statement that describes:

(a) What your responsibilities are; and

(b) Which WorkFirst activities you are required to participate in; and

(c) What services you will receive so you are able to participate.

(2) What is included in my individual responsibility plan?

Your individual responsibility plan includes the following:

(a) What WorkFirst activities you must ((be engaged in)) do and the participation requirements for those activities including the amount of time you will spend doing the activities, a start and end date for each activity and ((how many hours a week you must spend in each activity)) the requirement to participate fully.

(b) Any other specific requirements that are tied to the WorkFirst work activity. For example, you might be required to learn English as part of your work experience activity.

(c) What services we will provide to help you ((need to)) participate in the activity. For example, you may require support services (such as help with paying for transportation) or help with paying childcare.

(d) Your statement that you recognize the need to become and remain employed as quickly as possible.

(3) How is my individual responsibility plan developed?

You and your case manager will work together and use information gathered from your employability evaluation (see WAC 388-310-0700) to develop your individual responsibility plan and decide what activities will be included in it. Then, your case manager will assign you to specific WorkFirst activities that will help you find employment as quickly as possible.

(4) What happens after my individual responsibility plan is completed?

Once your individual responsibility plan is completed:

(a) You will sign and get a copy of your individual responsibility plan.

(b) You and your case manager will review your plan as necessary over the coming months to make sure your plan continues to meet your employment needs. You will sign and get a copy of your individual responsibility plan every time it is reviewed and changed.

(5) What should I do if I cannot go to a required WorkFirst appointment or activity because of a temporary situation outside of my control?

If you cannot participate because of a temporary situation outside of your control, you must call the telephone number shown on your individual responsibility plan on the same day you were to report to explain your situation. You will be given an excused absence. Some examples of excused absences include:

(a) You, your children or other family members are ill;

(b) Your transportation or child care arrangements break down and you cannot make new arrangements in time to comply;

(c) A significant person in your life died; or

(d) A family violence situation arose or worsened.

(6) What happens if I don't call in on the same day I am unable to attend to get an excused absence?

If you do not call in on the same day you are unable to attend to get an excused absence, it will be considered an unexcused absence.

If you exceed the number of unexcused absences allowed on your individual responsibility plan, without good cause, your case manager will begin the sanction process. (See WAC 388-310-1600 for more details.)

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.050. 99-10-027, 388-310-0500, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 98-23-037, 388-310-0500, filed 11/10/98, effective 12/11/98; 97-20-129, 388-310-0500, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-04-058, filed 1/30/02, effective 3/2/02)

WAC 388-310-0600   WorkFirst--Job search.   (1) What is job search?

Job search is an opportunity to learn and use skills you need to find and keep a job. Job search may include:

(a) Classroom instruction; and/or

(b) Structured job search that helps you find job openings, complete applications, practice interviews and apply other skills and abilities with a job search specialist or a group of fellow job-seekers; and/or

(c) Preemployment training; and/or

(d) High-wage/high-demand training.

(2) What is preemployment training?

Preemployment training helps you learn skills you need for an identified entry level job that pays more than average entry level wages.

(a) Preemployment training is an acceptable job search activity when an employer or industry commits to hiring or giving hiring preference to WorkFirst participants who successfully complete preemployment training.

(b) You can find out about current preemployment training opportunities by asking your job service specialist, your case manager or staff at your local community and technical college.

(3) What is high-wage/high-demand training?

(a) There are two types of high-wage/high-demand (HWHD) full-time training options for TANF recipients to complete a certificate or degree that will lead to employment in a high-wage/high-demand occupation:

(i) Information technology & health care: This option allows you to start and finish a one-year community or technical college training program in the information technology or health care fields; and/or

(ii) Certificate/degree completion: This option allows you to finish up the last year of a two- or four-year certificate or degree in a high-wage/high-demand field on an exception basis. The high-wage/high-demand criteria for this option is based on median income and high-demand occupations within the local labor market as determined by employment security department.

(b) For both types of HWHD training, the training can be approved one-time only (barring an approved exception to policy). There is no work requirement with either option for the twelve months of training time.

(c) To qualify for HWHD training, you must also:

(i) Meet all of the prerequisites for the course;

(ii) Obtain the certificate or degree within twelve calendar months;

(iii) Participate full-time in the training program and make satisfactory progress;

(iv) Work with co-located ESD staff during the last quarter of training for job placement; and

(v) Return to job search once you completes the educational program if still unemployed.

(4) Who provides me with job search?

You get job search from the employment security department or another organization under contract with WorkFirst to provide these services.

(5) How long do I stay in job search?

Periods of job search may last up to twelve continuous weeks. Job search specialists will monitor your progress. By the end of the first four weeks, a job search specialist will determine whether you should continue in job search. Job search will end when:

(a) You find a full-time job; or

(b) You become exempt from WorkFirst requirements (see WAC 388-310-0300); or

(c) Your situation changes and ((you are temporarily deferred from continuing with job search)) the case manager changes the activities on your IRP to fit your new circumstances (see WAC 388-310-0400); or

(d) After fully participating in job search ((specialists have)), and based on your experience in looking for work in the local labor market, it is determined that you need additional skills and/or experience to find a job; or

(e) You have not found a job at the end of the job search period.

(6) What happens at the end of job search if I have not found a job?

At the end of each job search period, you will be referred back to your case manager for an employability evaluation if you have not found a job. You and your case manager will also modify your individual responsibility plan.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 02-04-058, 388-310-0600, filed 1/30/02, effective 3/2/02. 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, 388-310-0600, filed 7/26/00, effective 8/1/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.050. 99-10-027, 388-310-0600, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 97-20-129, 388-310-0600, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-15-009, filed 7/6/01, effective 8/6/01)

WAC 388-310-0900   WorkFirst--Basic education.   (1) What is basic education?

Basic education is high school completion, classes to prepare for general equivalency diploma (GED) and testing to acquire GED certification. It may include ((families that work, workplace basics,)) adult basic education (ABE) or English as a second language (ESL) training if:

(a) It is determined you need this education to become employed or get a better job; and

(b) This activity is combined with paid or unpaid employment or job search; or

(c) You have fully participated in job search without finding a job.

(2) When do I participate in basic education as part of WorkFirst?

You may participate in basic education as part of WorkFirst under any of the following circumstances:

(a) ((You may choose to participate,)) If you are twenty years of age or older and are working in paid or unpaid employment or in job search for a minimum of twenty hours a week (((in addition to the basic education))) your case manager may add basic education to your IRP as part of your full-time participation.

(b) You may attend full-time basic education classes if you have fully participated in job search without finding a job, and it has been determined that you need this training to become employed.

(c) You may be required to participate if you are a mandatory participant, a parent eighteen or nineteen years of age, you do not have a high school diploma or GED certificate and you need this education in order to find employment.

(((c))) (d) You will be required to be in high school or a GED certification program if you are a mandatory participant, sixteen or seventeen years old and you do not have a high school diploma or GED certificate.

(((d))) (e) Employment security department (ESD) has determined that you are a seasonal worker (that is, your ((normal way of life)) usual pattern of employment is based on recurring cycle of seasonal employment). Under WorkFirst, seasonal workers qualify for full-time education and training during the off season.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 01-15-009, 388-310-0900, filed 7/6/01, effective 8/6/01; 99-10-027, 388-310-0900, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 97-20-129, 388-310-0900, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]

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