WSR 09-13-093



(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed June 16, 2009, 3:08 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 09-09-099.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is amending WAC 388-310-0350 WorkFirst -- Other exemptions from mandatory participation.

Hearing Location(s): Blake Office Park East, Rose Room, 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA 98503 (one block north of the intersection of Pacific Avenue S.E. and Alhadeff Lane. A map or directions are available at or by calling (360) 664-6094), on July 21, 2009, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than July 22, 2009.

Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator

P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, delivery 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA 98503, e-mail, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5 p.m. on July 21, 2009.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jennisha Johnson, DSHS rules consultant, by July 7, 2009, TTY (360) 664-6178 or (360) 664-6094 or by e-mail at

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The department is proposing to modify the rule to allow for streamlining of the WorkFirst exemption process. The current rule states that we "will" use the case staffing process to determine whether the exemption will be approved. The proposed WAC states that we "may" use the case staffing process.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: These changes are being proposed to allow for streamlining of the WorkFirst exemption process.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.08.090, and 74.08A.340.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.050, 74.08.090, and 74.08A.340.

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

Name of Proponent: Department of social and health services, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Sandy Jsames, P.O. Box 45470, Olympia, WA 98504-5470, (360) 725-4648.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This proposed rule does not have an economic impact on small businesses. The proposed rule allows for streamlining of the WorkFirst exemption process.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. These amendments are exempt as allowed under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii) which states in-part, "[t]his section does not apply to... rules of the department of social and health services relating only to client medical or financial eligibility and rules concerning liability for care of dependents." The proposed rule allows for streamlining of the WorkFirst exemption process.

June 11, 2009

Stephanie E. Schiller

Rules Coordinator

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 03-24-057, filed 12/1/03, effective 1/1/04)

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)) may 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)) a 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 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.)

(7) For time-limited extensions, see WAC 388-484-0006.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050, and 74.08A.340. 03-24-057, 388-310-0350, filed 12/1/03, effective 1/1/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08A.010(4), 74.08A.340, 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 02-12-068, 388-310-0350, filed 5/31/02, effective 6/1/02.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office