SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)
Effective Date of Rule: January 27, 2009.
Purpose: The department is amending via an emergency rule WAC 388-444-0005 Food stamp employment and training (FS E&T) program -- General requirements and 388-444-0040 Work programs for ABAWDs in the food stamp employment and training program, to allow participants in the FS E&T program the option to volunteer to participate more than one hundred twenty hours per month.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-444-0005 and 388-444-0040.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510, 74.04.515, 74.08.090, 74.08A.903.
Other Authority: Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008.
Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest.
Reasons for this Finding: The rule change is necessary to comply with changes in the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, which allows FS E&T participants the option to volunteer to participate beyond one hundred twenty hours per month, effective October 1, 2008. The department filed an emergency rule on September 29, 2008, as WSR 08-20-084. A CR-101 was filed on January 17, 2008, as WSR 08-03-095. A CR-102 was filed on November 19, 2008, as WSR 08-23-102. The public hearing was held December 23, 2008.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 2, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 2, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: January 20, 2009.
Stephanie E. Schiller
(2) We determine if you must register for work and participate in FS E&T under WAC 388-444-0010:
(a) If we require you to register for work and participate in FS E&T you are nonexempt from FS E&T.
(b) If you meet one of the conditions under WAC 388-444-0015, you are exempt from FS E&T. If you are exempt, you may choose to receive services through the FS E&T program.
(3) If you are nonexempt from FS E&T requirements, we register you for work:
(a) When you apply for Basic Food benefits or are added to someone's assistance unit; and
(b) Every twelve months thereafter.
(4) If you are nonexempt, you must meet all the FS E&T program requirements in subsections (5) through (7) of this section. If you fail to meet the requirements without good cause, we disqualify you from receiving Basic Food benefits:
(a) We define good cause for not meeting FS E&T requirements under WAC 388-444-0050; and
(b) We disqualify nonexempt persons who fail to meet E&T requirements as described under WAC 388-444-0055.
(5) If you are nonexempt, you must:
(a) Report to us or your FS E&T service provider and participate as required;
(b) Provide information regarding your employment status and availability for work when we ask for it;
(c) Report to an employer when we refer you; and
(d) Accept a bona fide offer of suitable employment. We define unsuitable employment under WAC 388-444-0060.
(6) If you are nonexempt, you must participate in one or more of the following FS E&T activities:
(a) Job search;
(b) Paid or unpaid work;
(c) Training or work experience;
(d) General education development (GED) classes; or
(e) English as a second language (ESL) classes.
(7) If you must participate in WorkFirst under WAC 388-310-0200, you have certain requirements for the Food Stamp Employment and Training Program:
(a) Your FS E&T requirement is to fully participate in the WorkFirst activities approved in your Individual Responsibility Plan (IRP) under WAC 388-310-0500; and
(b) If your IRP includes unpaid community service or work experience, we use your TANF grant and the Basic Food benefits received by members of your TANF assistance unit to determine the maximum hours of unpaid work we include in your plan.
Your FS E&T activities including paid or unpaid
work will not exceed one hundred twenty hours a month whether
you are exempt or nonexempt)) Exempt or nonexempt FS E&T
participants will not be required to participate more than one
hundred and twenty hours per month, but exempt or nonexempt FS
E&T participants may volunteer to participate beyond one
hundred and twenty hours.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090, and 7 C.F.R. 273.7 and 273.25. 07-14-125, § 388-444-0005, filed 7/3/07, effective 8/3/07; 06-24-026, § 388-444-0005, filed 11/29/06, effective 1/1/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, § 388-444-0005, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]
(1) The following are considered work programs:
(a) Workfare consists of:
(i) Thirty days of job search activities in the first month beginning with the first day of application, or sixteen hours of volunteer work with a public or private nonprofit agency; and
(ii) In subsequent months, sixteen hours per month of volunteer work with a public or private nonprofit agency allows the client to remain eligible for food stamps. Workfare is not enforced community service or for paying fines or debts due to legal problems.
(b) Work experience (WEX) is supervised, unpaid work for at least twenty hours a week. The work must be for a nonprofit agency or governmental or tribal entity. This work is to improve the work skills of the client.
(c) On-the-job training (OJT) is paid employment for at least twenty hours a week. It is job training provided by an employer at the employer's place of business and may include some classroom training time.
(2) The department may not require you to participate
more than ((
thirty hours a week of Workfare and paid work
combined)) one hundred and twenty hours per month in a work
program, paid work, or a combination of activities. ABAWDs
may volunteer to participate in activities beyond one hundred
and twenty hours per month.
(3) The department may pay for some of a client's actual expenses needed for the client to participate in work programs. Standards for paying expenses are set by the department.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510. 99-07-024, § 388-444-0040, filed 3/10/99, effective 4/10/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, § 388-444-0040, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]