WSR 02-15-067

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed July 11, 2002, 4:36 p.m. , effective August 1, 2002 ]

Date of Adoption: July 10, 2002.

Purpose: The Division of Employment and Training Assistance Programs is adopting these rules necessary to implement the sixty-month time limit statute for TANF/SFA cases, RCW 74.08A.010. Amended rules include WAC 388-310-1600 WorkFirst -- Sanctions, 388-310-1000 WorkFirst -- Vocational education, 388-310-1050 WorkFirst job skills training, 388-310-1700 WorkFirst -- Self employment, 388-310-1800 WorkFirst -- Post employment services, 388-310-0200 WorkFirst -- Activities, 388-310-0400 WorkFirst -- Entering the WorkFirst program, 388-310-0500 WorkFirst -- Individual responsibility plan, 388-310-0600 WorkFirst -- Job search, and 388-310-0900 WorkFirst -- Basic education.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-310-0200, 388-310-0400, 388-310-0500, 388-310-0600, 388-310-0900, 388-310-1000, 388-310-1050, 388-310-1600, 388-310-1700, and 388-310-1800.

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

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 02-09-075, 02-09-076, and 02-09-077 on April 16, 2002.

Changes Other than Editing from Proposed to Adopted Version: WAC 388-310-1600:

(2)(c) After "we will" deleted "have to" and inserted "make sure you have been screened for family violence and";

(2)(d) Added a new second sentence: "If you have been unable to meet your WorkFirst requirements because of family violence, you and your case manager will develop an IRP to help you with your situation, including referrals to appropriate agencies.";

(6) Added after "when" the words "you are"; and

(6)(a) Added after "until you" the words "or the household member."


WAC 388-310-0200:

(1)(k) Deleted "; and/or";

(1)(l) Deleted "family violence" after "such as"; and

Added new "(1)(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."


WAC 388-310-0400:

(1) Added after "(See WAC 388-310-0500)" the words ", which is written after the case manager asks you a series of questions about your situation to evaluate your employability.";

(1) Added after the sentence ending "develop your IRP with you." a new sentence "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.";

(1)(a), (b), (d), and (f), at the end of each subsection deleted the word "or";

(1)(g) Deleted the word "special", and changed the last sentence in parentheses to read "(For example, you may be able to look for job while you have health problems or you are homeless.)" deleting the words "or you" and "and/or dealing with family violence."; and

Added new "(1)(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."


WAC 388-310-0600:

(6) Deleted "for an" after "case manager" and inserted "who will conduct a new".

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 10, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 10, Repealed 0.

Other Findings Required by Other Provisions of Law as Precondition to Adoption or Effectiveness of Rule: The August 1, 2002, effective date is required by the TANF sixty-month statute, RCW 74.08A.010(1), that states "A family that includes an adult who has received temporary assistance for needy families for sixty months after July 27, 1997, shall be ineligible for further assistance for needy family assistance." This provision takes effect July 27, 2002. Adoption of these rules is required to implement exemptions in statute described in RCW 74.08.010. The earlier effective date is also necessary because of imminent peril to the public health, safety and welfare. To delay would cause needy TANF clients and their children to be cut off from benefits.
Effective Date of Rule: August 1, 2002.

July 10, 2002

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

3055.4
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 99-10-027, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99)

WAC 388-310-1600   WorkFirst--Sanctions.   (1) What ((is a sanction and when is it used)) WorkFirst requirements do I have to meet?

((A sanction is a penalty that alters your grant when you refuse to:

(a) Give the department the information we need to develop your individual responsibility plan;

(b) Come to scheduled appointments with people who provide WorkFirst services or activities;

(c) Do all of the activities listed on your individual responsibility plan; or

(d) Accept paid employment that meets the criteria in WAC 388-310-1500.

(2) What happens once I do not provide information, go to an appointment, follow my individual responsibility plan or accept a job?

If you do not provide information, go to an appointment, follow up on your individual responsibility plan or accept a job, your case manager or social worker will send you a notice to set up an appointment so they can talk to you about the situation. If they are unable to contact you, they will use the information already on hand to find out why you did not follow through with the required activity. Then, your case manager will decide whether:

(a) You were unable to do what was required; or

(b) You were able, but refused, to do what was required.

(3) What is considered a good reason for not being able to do what WorkFirst requires?

You have a good reason if it was not possible to follow through on a required activity due to an event outside of your control. Some examples of good reasons may include:

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

(b) Your transportation or child care arrangements broke down and you could not make new arrangements in time to comply;

(c) You could not locate child care, for your children under thirteen years, that was:

(i) Affordable (did not cost you more than your co-payment would under the working connections child care program in WAC 388-290);

(ii) Appropriate (licensed, certified or approved under federal, state or tribal law and regulations for the type of care you use and you were able to choose, within locally available options, who would provide it); and

(iii) Within a reasonable distance (within reach without traveling farther than is normally expected in your community).

(d) You could not locate other care services for an incapacitated person who lives with you and your children;

(e) You had a physical, mental or emotional condition, confirmed by a licensed health care professional, that interfered with your ability to participate;

(f) A significant person in your life died;

(g) You were threatened with or subjected to family violence;

(h) You had an immediate legal problem, such as an eviction notice; or

(i) You did not get notice telling you about our information request, an appointment or a requirement on your individual responsibility plan.

(4) What if my case manager decides that I refused to meet WorkFirst requirements without good reason?

If your case manager decides you refused to meet WorkFirst requirements without good reason, they will send you a notice that tells you:

(a) What you refused to do;

(b) You will be sanctioned (a penalty will be applied to your grant);

(c) When the sanction starts;

(d) How to request a fair hearing if you disagree with this decision; and

(e) How to end the sanction.

(5) What are the penalties to my grant?

The following penalties are applied to your grant for anyone who is sanctioned in your household:

(a) In the first month, we calculate your family's grant and then remove the noncompliant person(s) share of the grant.

(b) In the second month, your reduced grant will be sent to a protective payee every month until the sanction is lifted. (WAC 388-460-0001 describes the protective payee rules.)

(c) In the third and following months, your grant is reduced by the person(s) share or forty percent, whichever is more.

(6) How do I stop (or end) the sanction?

To end your sanction:

(a) You must provide the information we requested to develop your individual responsibility plan; and/or

(b) Start and continue to do your required WorkFirst activities.

(c) Your grant will be restored after two weeks of participation, beginning with the day you began doing your required activities.

(7) What happens if I get sanctioned again after my sanction has been stopped?

If you are sanctioned again, the sanction process will start again.

(8) What if I reapply for TANF, SFA or GA-S and I was in sanction when my case closed?

You are still sanctioned at the level which was in effect when your case closed until you cure your sanction)) You must do the following when you are a mandatory WorkFirst participant:

(a) Give the department the information we need to develop your individual responsibility plan (see WAC 388-310-0500);

(b) Show that you are participating fully to meet all of the requirements listed on your individual responsibility plan;

(c) Go to scheduled appointments listed in your individual responsibility plan;

(d) Follow the participation and attendance rules of the people who provide your assigned WorkFirst services or activities; and

(e) Accept available paid employment when it meets the criteria in WAC 388-310-1500.

(2) What happens if I don't meet WorkFirst requirements?

(a) If you do not meet WorkFirst requirements, we will send you a letter telling you what you did not do.

(b) You will have ten days to contact us so we can talk with you about the situation. You can contact us in writing, by phone, by going to the appointment described in the letter, or by asking for an individual appointment.

(c) If you do not contact us within ten days, we will make sure you have been screened for family violence and use existing information to decide whether:

(i) You were unable to do what was required; or

(ii) You were able, but refused, to do what was required.

(d) If you had a good reason not to do a required activity we will work with you and, if needed, change the requirements in your individual responsibility plan. If you have been unable to meet your WorkFirst requirements because of family violence, you and your case manager will develop an IRP to help you with your situation, including referrals to appropriate services.

(3) What is considered a good reason for not being able to do what WorkFirst requires?

You have a good reason if it was not possible to do what WorkFirst requires due to a significant problem or event outside your control. Some examples of good reasons include:

(a) You had an emergent physical, mental or emotional condition, confirmed by a licensed health care professional that interfered with your ability to participate;

(b) You were threatened with or subjected to family violence;

(c) You could not locate child care for your children under thirteen years that was:

(i) Affordable (did not cost you more than your co-payment would under the working connections child care program in chapter 388-290 WAC);

(ii) Appropriate (licensed, certified or approved under federal, state or tribal law and regulations for the type of care you use and you were able to choose, within locally available options, who would provide it); and

(iii) Within a reasonable distance (within reach without traveling farther than is normally expected in your community).

(iv) You could not locate other care services for an incapacitated person who lives with you and your children.

(d) You had an immediate legal problem, such as an eviction notice; or

(e) You are a person who gets necessary supplemental accommodation (NSA) services under chapter 388-472 WAC and your limitation kept you from participating. If you have a good reason because you need NSA services, we will review your accommodation plan.

(4) What if we decide that you did not have a good reason for failing to meet WorkFirst requirements?

If we decide that you did not have a good reason for failing to meet WorkFirst requirements, we will send you a letter that tells you:

(a) What you failed to do;

(b) That you are in sanction status;

(c) Penalties that will be applied to your grant;

(d) When the penalties will be applied;

(e) How to request a fair hearing if you disagree with this decision; and

(f) How to end the penalties and get out of sanction status.

(5) What is sanction status?

When you are a mandatory WorkFirst participant, you must follow WorkFirst requirements to qualify for your full grant. If you or someone else on your grant doesn't comply and you can't prove that you had a good reason, you do not qualify for your full grant. This is called being in WorkFirst sanction status.

(6) Are there penalties when you or someone in my household goes into sanction status?

(a) When someone in your household is in sanction status, we impose penalties. The penalties last until you or the household member meet WorkFirst requirements.

(b) There are three penalty levels:

(i) Level one: We calculate your family's grant and then remove the noncompliant person(s) share of the grant;

(ii) Level two: Your reduced grant (removing the noncompliant person's share) will be sent to a protective payee every month until you get out of sanction status. (WAC 388-460-0001 describes the protective payee rules.)

(iii) Level three: Your grant is reduced by the person(s) share or forty percent, whichever is more and your reduced grant will be sent to a protective payee until you get out of sanction status.

(c) The penalties change depending on how long you have been in sanction status and how many time you have been in sanction status:

(i) The first time you go into sanction your penalties will start at level one. If you are still in sanction after three months, you will go to level two. If you are still in sanction after another three months, you will go to level three.

(ii) The second time you are in sanction, your penalties start at level two and changes to level three after three months.

(iii) After three or more times in sanction, you start at level three.

(d) If you are in sanction status on August 1, 2002, your penalties will start at level one, two, or three depending on how long you have been in sanction status. This will be considered your first sanction.

(7) How do I end the penalties and get out of sanction status?

To stop the penalties and get out of sanction status:

(a) You must provide the information we requested to develop your individual responsibility plan; and/or

(b) Start and continue to do your required WorkFirst activities, as follows:

(i) For two weeks in a row if you are in level one of sanction;

(ii) For four weeks in a row if you are in level two or three of sanction.

(c) When you leave sanction status, your grant will be restored beginning with the day you began doing your required activities.

(8) What if I reapply for TANF or SFA and I was in sanction status when my case closed?

(a) If your case closes while you are in sanction status and is reopened in six months or less, you will start out in sanction where you were when the case was closed.

(b) If your case has been closed for more than six months, you will not be in sanction status if your case is reopened.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.050. 99-10-027, 388-310-1600, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 98-23-037, 388-310-1600, filed 11/10/98, effective 12/11/98; 97-20-129, 388-310-1600, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]

3074.2
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-15-009, filed 7/6/01, effective 8/6/01)

WAC 388-310-1000   WorkFirst--Vocational education.   (1) What is vocational education?

Vocational education is training that leads to a degree or certificate in a specific occupation and is offered by an accredited:

(a) Public and private technical college or school;

(b) Community college; or

(c) Tribal college.

(2) When can vocational education be included in my individual responsibility plan?

We may add vocational education to your individual responsibility plan for up to twelve months if:

(a) You are working twenty or more hours a week in paid unsubsidized work; or

(b) You are working sixteen or more hours per week in a federal or state work-study position; or

(c) You are working in a subsidized job, like a community jobs position, at least twenty hours per week; or

(d) 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 a recurring cycle of seasonal employment). Under WorkFirst, seasonal workers qualify for full-time education and training during the off season; or

(((c))) (e) You are in an internship or practicum for up to twelve months that is paid or unpaid and required to complete a course of vocational training or to obtain a license or certificate in a high demand field, as determined by the employment security department; or

(((d))) (f) You have limited-English proficiency and you lack job skills that are in demand for entry level jobs in your area; and the vocational education program is the only way that you can acquire the job skills you need to qualify for entry level jobs in your area (because there is no available work experience, preemployment training or on-the-job training that can teach you these skills).

(3) Can I get help with paying the costs of vocational education?

WorkFirst ((will)) may pay for the costs of your vocational education, such as tuition or books, for up to twelve months, if vocational education is in your individual responsibility plan and there is no other way to pay them. You ((can)) may also get help with paying your child care costs through the working connections child care program. (See chapter 388-290 WAC for the working connections child care program rules.)

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 01-15-009, 388-310-1000, filed 7/6/01, effective 8/6/01; 99-10-027, 388-310-1000, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 98-23-037, 388-310-1000, filed 11/10/98, effective 12/11/98; 97-20-129, 388-310-1000, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]


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

WAC 388-310-1050   WorkFirst--Job skills training.   (1) What is job skills training?

Job skills training is training in specific skills directly related to employment, but not tied to a specific occupation. Job skills training programs are generally short-term, but differ in ((how long the course lasts,)) what skills are taught and who provides the training. The training may be offered by the following types of organizations that meet the WorkFirst program's standards for service providers:

(a) Community based organizations;

(b) Businesses;

(c) Tribal governments; or

(d) Public and private community and technical colleges.

(2) When can job skills training be included in my individual responsibility plan?

We may add job skills training in your individual responsibility plan ((for the same reasons we would add vocational education. That is)) if:

(a) You are working twenty or more hours a week in paid unsubsidized work; or

(b) You are working sixteen or more hours per week in a federal or state work-study position; or

(c) You are working in a subsidized job, like a community jobs position, at least twenty hours per week; or

(d) 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 a recurring cycle of seasonal employment). Under WorkFirst, seasonal workers qualify for full-time education and training during the off season; or

(((c) You are in an internship or practicum for up to twelve months that is paid or unpaid and required to complete a course of vocational training or to obtain a license or certificate in a high demand field, as determined by the employment security department; or

(d))) (e) You lack job skills that are in demand for entry level jobs in your area((;)), and

(((e) The job skills training program is the only way you can acquire the job skills you need to qualify for entry level jobs in your area (because there is no available work experience, preemployment training, or on-the-job training that can teach you these skills))) the job skills training is short-term and is combined with job search.

(3) Can I get help with paying the costs of job skills training?

WorkFirst ((will)) may pay your costs, such as tuition or books, if job skills training is in your individual responsibility plan and there is no other way to pay them. You ((can)) may also get help with paying your child care costs through the working connections child care program. (See chapter 388-290 WAC for the working connections child care program rules.)

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 01-15-009, 388-310-1050, filed 7/6/01, effective 8/6/01; 99-10-027, 388-310-1050, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 98-23-037, 388-310-1050, filed 11/10/98, effective 12/11/98.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 99-10-027, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99)

WAC 388-310-1700   WorkFirst--Self-employment.   (1) What is self-employment?

When you work for yourself and do not have an employer, you are self-employed.

(2) When can I be deferred from job search to pursue self-employment?

(a) To be deferred from job search for self-employment, you must meet all the conditions below:

(i) You must be working at least ((twenty)) thirty-two hours a week at your business;

(ii) Your business must generate income for you that is equal to the minimum wage (state or federal, whichever is higher) times ((twenty)) thirty-two hours per week after your business expenses are subtracted.

(iii) Your case manager will refer you to a local business resource center, and they must approve your self-employment plan;

(b) If you do not meet all these conditions, you can still be self-employed, but you will also need to participate in job search or other WorkFirst activities.

(3) What self-employment services can I get?

If you are a mandatory participant and have an approved self-employment plan in your individual responsibility plan, you may get the following self-employment services:

(a) A referral to community resources for technical assistance with your business plan.

(b) Small business training courses through local community organizations or technical and community colleges.

(c) Information on affordable credit, business training and ongoing technical support.

(4) What support services may I receive?

If you have an approved self-employment plan in your individual responsibility plan all support services are available.

(5) Can I get childcare?

Childcare is available if you have an approved self-employment plan in your individual responsibility plan. (See chapter 388-290 WAC for working connections child care rules.)

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.050. 99-10-027, 388-310-1700, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 97-20-129, 388-310-1700, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]


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

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

Post employment services help low-income 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 ((or GA-S)) 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) ((You may be assigned to a job success coach, or similar services. Job success services must be delivered in accordance with the equitable access to Indians requirements in state law (in RCW 74.08A.040). The job success coach is a person who will work with you to increase your success in the workplace. The purpose of the job success coach, or similar post employment services, is to:

(i) Help you resolve problems with your employer;

(ii) Help you adjust to your workplace;

(iii) Provide job coaching;

(iv) Provide mentoring;

(v) Increase your job skills;

(vi) Help you develop the skills you need to keep your job;

(vii) Create steps to help you increase your wages; and/or

(viii) Develop educational activities to promote wage progression.

(b))) 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).

(((c))) (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) Pre-employment 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 388-290 WAC). ((To qualify, you must also be in an approved post-employment service and your family's income cannot exceed one hundred seventy-five percent of the federal poverty level.))

(b) Other support services, such as help in paying for transportation or work expenses.

(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?

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 twenty-four 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 twenty four months after exiting TANF or SFA.

(iii) Tuition assistance or pre-employment training from the community and technical college system;

(iv) Working connections childcare assistance; and/or

(v) WorkFirst support services for up to twelve 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 pre-employment 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.

(a) The employment security department will provide you with re-employment 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 74.08A.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.]

3063.8
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);

(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.

(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.]


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?)), which is written after the case manager asks you a series of questions about your situation to evaluate 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 ((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;

(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 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 ((and/or dealing with family violence.)

(3))); 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) 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)) who will conduct a new 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.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office