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3.6 Non-compliance Sanction Policy

Legal References:

The Non-Compliance Sanction Policy section is divided in three separate sub-sections:

3.6.2 Ending Sanction

3.6.2.1 What happens after a case is placed in sanction?

The non-compliance sanction policy is designed to provide numerous opportunities for the parent(s) to re-engage in appropriate WorkFirst activities and address any barriers to participation. For best results, staff should intervene early and take any opportunity to contact the people who are in non-compliance with their WorkFirst requirements. Once the sanction/sanction penalty decision is approved, continue to attempt to work with the person to cure their sanction.

Continue to attempt reengagement each month until the sanction is lifted, cured or the case closes.

The NCS Review Pathway (2-Month) report on the Caseload Management Report will display the date in the Reengage Contact column whenever a “Reengagement” note type is entered into eJAS.  This note type is entered when;

The information in this section should only be followed after a case has been placed in sanction status following the procedures in section 3.6.1-Entering Sanction. If the supervisor or designee approves sanction/sanction penalty, we will close the case after:

3.6.2.2 What are the CE & IRP requirements for sanctioned persons?

Every sanctioned person must complete the Sanction Re-engagement portion of the CE to start a sanction cure after entering sanction status. The Sanction Re-engagement portion of the CE ensures the sanctioned person and their families are in the most appropriate activities to meet their needs and to help them move out of sanction.

The Sanction Re-engagement CE is a series of six questions to discuss how the person will successfully cure their sanction.  It also screens for changes that may affect the person’s ability to participate.

CE process:

The person does not require a special "sanction IRP" just because they have entered sanction. Everyone participating in the WorkFirst program is required to have a current IRP based upon his or her activities. If someone agrees to a sanction cure plan, the IRP should reflect the activities not done without good cause. The person must complete a CE and comply with their existing IRP requirements to cure the sanction.

When the person agrees to cure the sanction, update the IRP with current dates and any new activities needed to meet any new circumstances, including any activities recommended by the Sanction Re-engagement CE interview.

3.6.2.3 How does a person cure a sanction?

Once the sanction decision has been approved, a person must start and continue to do the required WorkFirst activities to cure the sanction. This holds true even if the person was originally sanctioned for failure to provide information or for refusing to accept a job. An individual must do what is in her or his IRP when the sanction decision was made, unless circumstances change and the IRP is modified (including any changes made as a result of the Sanction Re-engagement CE interview).

The length of time required to end a sanction is referred to as the "cure period". The cure period starts on the day the person completes their Sanction Re-engagement CE interview and agrees to their IRP activities. To cure the sanction, the sanctioned individual must participate for 4 weeks (28 days) in a row. After four weeks of satisfactory participation, the sanction is removed effective the first of the following month. This same process is used for each subsequent sanction.

3.6.2.4 How might changes in circumstances change a person’s grant, IRP or cure requirements?

If circumstances change, a person's grant, IRP and/or cure requirements may change.

Examples: A woman is sanctioned for refusing to do job search. Below are three different circumstances with the appropriate response for each.

3.6.2.5 When do I withdraw cases referred for NCS sanction/sanction penalties?

You can withdraw a case that has already been referred to the supervisor/designee for sanction/sanction penalties only on a limited exception basis. The table below outlines what constitutes an appropriate reason for withdrawal:


What if circumstances change after I refer a case for NCS sanction and sanction penalties?

Cases that may be removed

Cases that cannot be removed

Parent cured the sanction
Sanction lifted (e.g., unaddressed barriers discovered; parent now exempt from WorkFirst activities)

Closed cases

 

3.6.2.6 What if a supervisor approves a case for sanction/sanction penalty and it is time to close the case?

The WFPS or Financial Services Specialist closes the WorkFirst cash assistance by:

When this is done, staff should complete the question, “Was an adverse action letter sent to the parent 10 days prior to the NCS termination effective date?” on the eJAS NCS tool.

Staff must also make sure that the family receives other types of public assistance benefits they may qualify for, like Basic Food or Washington Apple Health. Encourage persons who file an administrative hearing and request continued benefits to re-apply and meet participation requirements in case they lose the hearing.

3.6.2.7 What if a sanction lasts longer than two months?

If a sanction goes beyond  2 months, input the appropriate "delay reason" code on the ACES WORK screen.

3.6.2.8 How do I resolve procedural issues & reapply sanction penalties?

This process is used when a case was sanctioned in error.

3.6.2.9 What happens when a person is closed for NCS for the third time?

When a personís case closes that has been terminated for NCS three times, that person is permanently disqualified from receiving TANF/SFA benefits. In addition, the disqualified personís household is ineligible to receive TANF/SFA benefits while the person lives in the home. For more information about permanent TANF disqualification, please refer to section 3.6.4 Ė Permanent TANF Disqualification.

See section 3.6.3.2 for instructions on removing the permanent disqualification when you reinstate a sanction case closure penalty case.

3.6.2.10 Ending Sanction - Step-by-Step Guide

Note: The NCS process and automated supports track each specific incidence of non-participation. If you consider sanction again based on another incidence of non-participation, you must conduct new appointments and create a separate NCS eJAS tool.

When a sanctioned person agrees to participate to cure the sanction:

  1. Complete the Sanction Re-engagement CE interview.
  2. Open the appropriate components(s) in eJAS (but keep the SA or SN code in place).
  3. Authorize any needed support services or child care and update the IRP.
  4. After 4 weeks of satisfactory participation is verified:
    1. Change the Participation Status from Refused – Mandatory Participant (RE) to Mandatory Participant (MP) on the Work Registration screen and enter the sanction cure date in the ‘ Re-qualifying Date’ field.
    2. Remove the SA or SN code from eJAS by entering the CS closing code.

Resources

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