SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)
Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 10-10-074.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The community services division is proposing to amend WAC 388-444-0030 Work requirements for persons who are able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs), 388-444-0035 When am I (able-bodied adult with no dependents) exempt from ABAWD provisions?, 388-444-0040 Work programs for ABAWDs in the food stamp employment and training program, 388-444-0045 Regaining eligibility for food assistance, 388-444-0065 What happens if I quit my job?, 388-444-0070 Good cause for quitting a job, and 388-444-0075 What are the disqualification periods for quitting a job without good cause?
Hearing Location(s): DSHS Office Building 2 Auditorium, 1115 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98504 (a map or directions are available at http://www1.dshs.wa.gov/msa/rpau/docket.html or by calling (360) 664-6094), on October 26, 2010, at 10:00 a.m.
Date of Intended Adoption: Not sooner than October 27, 2010.
Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, delivery 1115 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98504, e-mail DSHSRPAURulesCoordinator@dshs.wa.gov, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5 p.m. on October 26, 2010.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jennisha Johnson, DSHS rules consultant by October 5, 2010, TTY (360) 664-6178 or (360) 664-6094 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The department is proposing to amend Basic Food work requirement rules to:
• Change the names "food stamps" and "food stamp employment and training" program to "Basic Food" and "Basic Food employment and training" program or "BF E&T";
• Make edits so rules are easier to read and understand; and
• Align rules with current federal regulations on
ABAWD and job quit requirements.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: Rule changes will help reduce Basic Food payment errors and compliance with federal regulations is required to continue to receive federal funding.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.515, 74.08.090, 74.08A.120, and 74.08A.903.
Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.005, 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 74.08.090.
Rule is necessary because of federal law, 7 C.F.R. §§273.7 and 273.24.
Name of Proponent: Department of social and health services, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Robert Thibodeau, 712 Pear Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98504, (360) 725-4634.
No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. These proposed rules do not have an economic impact on small businesses. The proposed amendments only affect DSHS clients by aligning Washington Basic Food work requirements with current federal supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) work requirement rules and remove obsolete program names.
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."
September 17, 2010
Katherine I. Vasquez
(2))) An able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD) is a person who:
(a) Is physically and mentally able to work;
(b) Is age eighteen through forty-nine; and
(c) Has no child in the household.
(2) If you are an ABAWD, you must participate in employment and training activities under subsection (4) unless you are exempt from ABAWD requirements under WAC 388-444-0035.
(3) Nonexempt ABAWDs who fail to participate may continue to receive food assistance until September 30, 2011.
(3))) (4) Beginning October 1, 2011, an ABAWD is not
eligible to receive food assistance for more than three full
months in a thirty-six month period, except as provided in WAC 388-444-0035, unless that person:
(a) Is exempt from ABAWD requirements under WAC 388-444-0035;
(b) Works at least twenty hours a week averaged monthly;
(b))) (c) Participates in (( and complies with the
requirements of a work program for twenty hours or more per
(c) Participates in a workfare program as provided in WAC 388-444-0040.
(4) A work program is defined as a program under:
(a) The Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA);
(b) Section 236 of the Trade Act of 1974; or
(c) A state-approved employment and training program)) on the job training (OJT), which may include paid work and classroom training time, for at least twenty hours a week;
(d) Participates in an unpaid work program as provided in WAC 388-444-0040; or
(e) Participates in and meets the requirements of one of the following work programs:
(i) The job training partnership act (JTPA);
(ii) Section 236 of the trade act of 1974; or
(iii) A state-approved employment and training program.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090, 74.04.500, 74.08A.120, and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. 10-13-046, § 388-444-0030, filed 6/9/10, effective 7/10/10; 09-14-018, § 388-444-0030, filed 6/22/09, effective 7/23/09. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, § 388-444-0030, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]
(1) Under eighteen or fifty years of age or older;
(2) Determined to be physically or mentally unable to work;
(3) A member of a household with responsibility for a
determined to be)) who is incapacitated;
(4) An adult in a household that has a member who is
under the age of eighteen, even ((
when)) if the child is (( an
ineligible household member)) not eligible for Basic Food;
(6) Living in an area approved as exempt by U.S. Department of Agriculture;
(7) Complying with the work requirements of an employment and training program under temporary assistance for needy families (TANF);
(8) Applying for or receiving unemployment compensation;
Students)) A student enrolled at least half time as
defined by the institution in:
(a) Any accredited school;
(b) Training program; or
(c) Institution of higher education. A student enrolled
in higher education must ((
follow the student criteria defined
in chapter 388-482 WAC)) meet the requirements under WAC 388-482-0005 in order to be eligible for Basic Food.
(10) Participating in a chemical dependency treatment and rehabilitation program;
(11) Employed a minimum of thirty hours per week or receiving weekly earnings which equal the minimum hourly rate multiplied by thirty hours;
(12) Eligible for one of the annual federal-approved
exemption slots under ((
what is called)) the fifteen percent
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050 and 74.04.510. 03-05-031, § 388-444-0035, filed 2/10/03, effective 4/1/03; 00-04-006, § 388-444-0035, filed 1/20/00, effective 3/1/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510. 99-07-024, § 388-444-0035, 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, § 388-444-0035, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]
(1) The following are considered unpaid work programs:
(a) Workfare ((
consists of)), which includes:
(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
the client)) you to remain eligible for (( food
stamps)) Basic Food benefits.
(iii) Workfare ((
is not)) does not include enforced
community service or for paying fines or debts due to legal
(b) Work experience (WEX) ((
is)) which provides
supervised, unpaid work for at least twenty hours a week. (( The work)) WEX is intended to improve a person's work skills
and make them more competitive in the job market. WEX must be
for a nonprofit (( agency or governmental)) organization,
government agency, 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.))
The department)) We may not require you to
participate more than one hundred and twenty hours per month
in an unpaid-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 ((
actual expenses needed for the client to)) the costs for you
to participate in work programs. (( Standards for paying
expenses are set by the department)) We set the standards for
the amount we will pay for these expenses.
[Statutory Authority: 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 and Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008. 09-04-009, § 388-444-0040, filed 1/22/09, effective 2/22/09. 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.]
(a) Working eighty hours or more during a thirty-day period;
(b) Participating in and ((
complying with)) meeting the
requirements of a work program for eighty hours or more during
a thirty-day period;
(c) Participating in and ((
complying with)) meeting the
requirements of the community service part of a Workfare
(d) Meeting any of the work requirements in (a) through
(c) of this subsection in the thirty days after ((
application for benefits has been filed)) the date you have
applied for Basic Food.
A client who regains)) If you regain eligibility
for food assistance under subsection (1) of this section
(( is)), you are eligible for Basic Food from the date (( of
application)) you applied for Basic Food and as long as you
continue to meet the requirements of WAC 388-444-0030 (( are
(3) If ((
otherwise eligible, a client who regains)) you
meet all other requirements for Basic Food and you have
regained eligibility under (( the provision of)) subsection (1)
(( of this section)), you may receive an additional three
consecutive months of (( food assistance)) Basic Food benefits
when (( the client)) you:
s)) employment; or
s)) the opportunity to participate in a work
The provisions in)) We only allow the additional
three months of Basic Food under subsection (3) (( of this
section are allowed only)) once in (( the)) each thirty-six
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510. 99-07-024, § 388-444-0045, 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, § 388-444-0045, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]
(a) You were working twenty hours or more per week or the job provided weekly earnings equal to the federal minimum wage multiplied by twenty hours;
(b) The quit was within sixty days before you applied for
food assistance)) Basic Food or any time after;
(c) At the time of quit you were ((
applying for Basic Food and would have been required to
register for work as defined in WAC (( 388-444-0010))
(d) If you worked or you were self-employed and working thirty hours a week or you had weekly earnings at least equal to the federal minimum wage multiplied by thirty hours.
(2) You are not eligible to receive ((
Basic Food if you have participated in a strike against a
federal, state or local government and have lost your
employment because of such participation.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050 and 74.04.510. 00-04-006, § 388-444-0065, filed 1/20/00, effective 3/1/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, § 388-444-0065, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]
Good cause)) You must have a good reason (good
cause) for quitting a job or you will be disqualified from
receiving Basic Food under WAC 388-444-0075. Good cause
includes the following:
For all food assistance clients, the)) Your
employment is unsuitable as (( defined)) under WAC 388-444-0060;
The client is)) You were discriminated against by
an employer based on age, race, sex, color, religious belief,
national origin, political belief, marital status, or the
presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or
other reasons in RCW 49.60.180;
(c) Work demands or conditions make continued employment unreasonable, such as working without being paid on schedule;
The client accepts)) You accepted other employment
or (( is)) are enrolled at least half time in any recognized
school, training program, or institution of higher education;
The client)) You must leave a job because another
assistance unit member (( accepts)) accepted a job or is
enrolled at least half time in any recognized school, training
program, or institution of higher education in another county
or similar political subdivision and (( the)) your assistance
unit must move;
The client who is)) You are under age sixty and
retire(( s)) as recognized by (( the)) your employer;
The client accepts)) You accept a bona fide offer
of employment of twenty hours or more a week or where the
weekly earnings are equivalent to the federal minimum wage
multiplied by twenty hours. However, because of circumstances
beyond (( the)) your control (( of the client)), the job either
does not materialize or results in employment of twenty hours
or less a week or weekly earnings of less than the federal
minimum wage multiplied by twenty hours;
The client leaves)) You leave a job in connection
with patterns of employment where workers frequently move from
one employer to another, such as migrant farm labor or
construction work; and(( .))
For FS E&T participants,)) Circumstances included
under WAC 388-444-0050;
A client who quits the most recent job is eligible
for food assistance)) You are eligible for Basic Food after
quitting a job if the circumstances of the job involve:
(a) Changes in job status resulting from reduced hours of employment while working for the same employer;
(b) Termination of a self-employment enterprise; or
(c) Resignation from a job at the demand of an employer.
The client must verify good cause for quitting.
Food assistance is not denied if the client and the department
are unable to obtain verification)) You must provide proof
that you had good cause for quitting a job. However, we do
not deny your application for Basic Food if you are unable to
get this proof even with our help.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, § 388-444-0070, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]
(2) If you ((
are)) already (( receiving food assistance))
receive Basic Food and you quit your job without good cause,
(( the department must)) we send you a letter notifying you
that you (( are going to)) will be disqualified from (( food
assistance)) Basic Food. The disqualification in subsection
(3) of this section begins the first of the month following
the notice of adverse action.
(3) You are disqualified for the following minimum periods of time and until the conditions in subsection (4) of this section are met:
(a) For the first quit, one month;
(b) For the second quit, three months; and
(c) For the third or subsequent quit, six months.
(4) You may reestablish eligibility after serving the disqualification period, if otherwise eligible by:
(a) Getting a new job; or
In nonexempt areas, participating in the FS E&T
(c))) Participating in Workfare as provided in WAC 388-444-0040((
(d) In an exempt area, serving the penalty period)).
The department can end the disqualification period
if you become exempt from the work registration requirements
as provided in)) If you become exempt from work registration
under WAC (( 388-444-0015)) 388-444-0010, we end your
disqualification for a job quit unless you are exempt for
applying for or receiving unemployment compensation (UC), or
participating in an employment and training program under
(6) If you are disqualified and move from the assistance
unit and join another assistance unit, ((
you)) we continue to
(( be treated)) treat you as an ineligible member of the new
assistance unit for the remainder of the disqualification
(7) If you are disqualified and move to a FS E&T exempt
area, you must serve the remainder of the disqualification
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050 and 74.04.510. 01-05-006, § 388-444-0075, filed 2/7/01, effective 3/1/01; 00-04-006, § 388-444-0075, filed 1/20/00, effective 3/1/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.510. 99-07-024, § 388-444-0075, 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, § 388-444-0075, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98.]