WSR 02-10-138

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed May 1, 2002, 11:49 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

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

Title of Rule: WAC 388-310-0300 WorkFirst -- Infant care exemption and 388-310-1450 Pregnancy to employment.

Purpose: The purpose of the change is to comply with the law passed from HB 1144 allowing a one time only exemption from full-time participation for a parent with a child age four to twelve months. The exemption requires only part-time program participation up to twenty hours.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.08A.270.

Summary: Changes participation requirements for WorkFirst participants with a child between the age of four months and twelve months, by requiring full-time participation, except for a one-time/part-time exemption from full-time participation. The one-time exemption only requires up to twenty hours of participation.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Comply with law.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Debbie Miller, P.O. Box 45480, Lacey, WA 98504-5480, (360) 413-3101.

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: Changes participation requirements for WorkFirst participants with a child between the age of four months and twelve months, by requiring full-time participation, except for a one-time/part-time exemption from full-time participation. The one-time exemption only requires up to twenty hours of participation in: (a) Instruction or training to improve your parenting skills or child well-being; (b) pre-employment or job readiness training; (c) high school completion of GED program; (d) volunteer in a child care facility licensed under chapter 74.15 RCW. The child care facility has to agree to accept you as a volunteer.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: See Explanation of Rule above. Amends WAC 388-310-0300 WorkFirst -- Infant care exemption and 388-310-1450 WorkFirst -- Pregnancy to employment.

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

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii) exempts DSHS rules that only apply to client medical or financial eligibility.

Hearing Location: Office Building 2 Auditorium (DSHS Headquarters) (parking on 12th off Jefferson), 1115 Washington, Olympia, WA 98504, on June 4, 2002, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Andy Fernando, DSHS Rules Coordinator, by May 31, 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., June 4, 2002.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than June 5, 2002.

April 24, 2002

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit


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

WAC 388-310-0300   WorkFirst--Infant care exemptions for mandatory participants.   (1) If I am a mandatory participant, when can I be exempted from participating in WorkFirst activities?

(a) You can claim an exemption from participating in WorkFirst activities during months that you are needed in the home to personally provide care for your child ((under)) three months or less of age.

(b) You or the other parent of your child, living in your household can claim a one-time exemption from full-time participation, for one child only, if that child is between the age of four months and up to twelve months old. This means the parent who claims this exemption will only be required to participate part-time, up to twenty hours in certain activities described in WAC 388-310-1450.

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

(a) You may choose to participate in WorkFirst while you are exempt with a child under four months old. 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. For a description of participation activities see WAC 388-310-1450.

(b) You may choose to participate full time while you are taking your one-time/part-time exemption. If you decide later to stop participating full-time, and you still qualify for the part-time exemption, you will be put back into part-time exempt status with no financial penalty. For a description of participation activities see WAC 388-310-1450.

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

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

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 00-06-062, 388-310-0300, filed 3/1/00, effective 3/1/00; 99-10-027, 388-310-0300, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 97-20-129, 388-310-0300, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]


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

WAC 388-310-1450   Pregnancy to employment.   (1) How do I know if I am eligible to participate in ((the)) pregnancy to employment ((pathway))?

If you are on TANF and are pregnant or have a child under the age of twelve months, you are a participant in the pregnancy to employment pathway.

(2) What am I required to do while I am in the pregnancy to employment ((pathway))?

You will receive an assessment from a DSHS social worker. Based on the results of the assessment you receive as a pregnancy to employment participant, you and your case manager/social worker will decide ((if)) how you will be required to((:

(a) Work; or

(b) Look for work; and/or

(c))) participate ((in a combination of pregnancy to employment services)) and which activities best meet your needs. The activities you are required to do will depend on where you are in the pregnancy or the age of your child.

(3) What am I required to do while I am pregnant?

(a) In the first and second trimester of pregnancy: Your participation is based upon the results of the assessment you receive and includes work, looking for work or a combination of pregnancy to employment services. You will be required to participate full-time during the first two trimesters of pregnancy unless you have a good reason to participate fewer hours (see WAC 388-310-1600).

(b) In the third trimester of pregnancy: Your participation is voluntary and may include meeting your medical needs.

(4) What am I required to do after my child is born?

You are exempt from participation after the birth of your child and until your child reaches the age of four months. You may volunteer to participate in WorkFirst activities while you are exempt (see WAC 388-310-0300).

(5) Do I have to participate full time once my child reaches age four months?

Once your child reaches four months old, you are required to participate full time unless you qualify for the one-time exemption from full-time participation. This exemption is called a part-time exemption and you can only receive it once for one child who is between four and up to twelve months old.

(6) How do I qualify for the part-time exemption?

Effective June 13, 2002, you can be exempt one-time only, from full-time participation, if you have a child age four months to twelve months old.

(7) If I qualify for the part-time exemption, what will I be required to do?

You will have to participate part-time for up to twenty hours per week (per state law) until your child is reaches twelve months old. During this time, you will be required, based upon the results of your assessment, to participate in one or more of the following:

(a) Instruction or training to improve your parenting skills or child well-being (if available);

(b) Pre-employment or job readiness training;

(c) High school completion or GED program;

(d) Volunteer in a child care facility licensed under chapter 74.15 RCW. The child care facility has to agree to accept you as a volunteer; or

(e) Volunteer to participate in job search or work activities full-time or part-time. If you change your mind about job search or work activities you will be required to participate up to twenty hours in one of the required activities listed above.

(8) What if I have used my one-time part-time exemption from full-time participation?

If you have used your one-time, part-time exemption and you have another child, when that child is between four months and twelve months old, you will be required to participate full-time in one or more of the following activities:

(a) Work;

(b) Looking for work; or

(c) Preparing for work by participating in a combination of activities based upon the results of your assessment.

(9) What services are provided in the pregnancy to employment ((pathway))?

This pathway provides you with services, as available within your community, to help you learn how to work while still meeting your child's needs. You and your case manager will decide which of the variety of services you need, such as help finding:

(a) Parenting classes;

(b) Safe and appropriate child care;

(c) Good health care for yourself and your child; and/or

(d) Employment services.

(e) If you are currently employed you will receive the assessment at your next individual responsibility plan review.

(((4))) (10) What determines which services I will receive and what my participation will be?

((As a participant in the pregnancy to employment pathway you may receive:))

(a) ((An)) Your assessment results (see WAC 388-310-0700)((;

(b))) determine the services ((()), as available within your community(() based on the results of the assessment;

(c))), that you will receive;

(b) An individual responsibility plan will be developed jointly that reflects participation and services ((designed)) available to meet your needs and the needs of your child; and

(((d))) (c) Follow up contact every three months to jointly reassess your needs and the services and activities you are participating in, until your child reaches age twelve months.

(((5) How much do I have to participate?

(a) Unless a determination of non-participation has been made as described in WAC 388-310-1600, you will be required to participate up to forty hours per week during the first two trimesters of pregnancy. Your participation activity will be determined by the results of your assessment.

(b) During the third trimester of pregnancy your participation is voluntary and may include meeting your medical needs.

(c) From the birth of your child, until your child reaches three months, you are exempt from participation. You may volunteer to participate.

(d) From the third month forward, you will be required to participate part-time, twenty hours per week or more, and transition into full time participation, up to forty hours per week, in work, looking for work or preparing for work by the time your child reaches age twelve months. Your participation activity will be determined by the results of your assessment.

(6))) (11) Will I be sanctioned if I refuse to participate in pregnancy to employment pathway?

(a) If you are a pregnant woman in your third trimester of pregnancy or if you have an infant less than three months old you will not be sanctioned for not participating.

(b) If you are in the first two trimesters of your pregnancy or have a child ((three)) four months of age or older, you are required to participate and are subject to the WorkFirst sanction rules (see WAC 388-310-1600).

(12) What if I have a child between the ages of four months and twelve months but I have a good reason not to participate?

If you have a good reason not to participate and you claim good cause (WAC 388-310-1600(3)), your needs will be assessed as soon as possible, but no later than ninety days from your request. A good cause determination will establish if you will be required to participate and the types of services that will best meet your needs.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 00-06-062, 388-310-1450, filed 3/1/00, effective 3/1/00.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office