3.6 Non-compliance Sanction Reapplications
The Non-Compliance Sanction Policy section is divided in three separate sub-sections:
- Section 3.6.1 - Entering Sanction describes how to make the sanction decision.
- Section 3.6.2 - Entering Sanction describes what happens if a person decides to stay in sanction for more than three months. This section includes:
- Section 3.6.3 - NCS Reapplications describes how to process reapplications from non-compliance sanction case closures. This section includes:
- 126.96.36.199 Can a person reapply for TANF cash assistance after non-compliance sanction case closure?
- 188.8.131.52 What is a WorkFirst Sanction Reopen (WFSR) case?
- 184.108.40.206 Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP) for non-compliance case closures for non-compliance sanction.
- 220.127.116.11 What if a person reapplies before their case is closed?
- 18.104.22.168 How do I decide and track an applicant's participation requirements?
- 22.214.171.124 What if the person stops participating?
- 126.96.36.199 How is the application approved?
- 188.8.131.52 What if a person is reopened and the person stops participating again?
- 184.108.40.206 NCS reapplication - step-by-step guide
- Section 3.6.4– Permanent TANF Disqualification describes why and how a person can be permanently disqualified from receiving TANF/SFA.
3.6.3 Non-Compliance Sanction Reapplications
220.127.116.11 Can a person reapply for TANF cash assistance after non-compliance sanction case closure?
Yes. A person may reapply for TANF cash assistance or State Family Assistance by filing a new application. Unless it is a WorkFirst Sanction Reopen case, he or she will need to participate for 4 weeks in a row before they get cash. The sanctioned family may be eligible for CEAP while they meet the participation requirement (see Section 18.104.22.168).
If a person has had three NCS case closures, they will be permanently disqualified from receiving TANF/SFA benefits. If a person with three or more NCS closures reapplies for TANF/SFA, their application will be denied. Please refer to section 3.6.4 – Permanent TANF Disqualification.
22.214.171.124 What is a WorkFirst Sanction Reopen (WFSR) case?
A WorkFirst Sanction Reopen (WFSR) case is when a person has received a sanction case closure penalty, applies for TANF, and completes a financial interview by the end of the month following the paid through date. For example, if a person received the sanction case closure penalty with a 2/28 paid through, and they reapply and complete their financial interview by 3/31, process the application as a WFSR case.
Refer to the CSD Procedures Handbook, ‘Processing a WFSR Red Application’, to process a WFSR case. To summarize, the WFPS will:
- Remove the NCS termination so it will not count as one of the three NCS case closures that would lead to permanent disqualification;
- Determine whether to open the TANF grant effective the beginning of the month using the reopen function, without requiring participation for the 4 week cure period first. You won’t reopen the case when the person received 10-day notice of case closure for sanction and for another reason, unless the person resolves the other reason for case closure when they reapply, and;
- Determine whether to code the sanction grant reduction penalty so the month of application will be month one of a two-month reduced grant sanction. You won’t code a sanction grant reduction penalty when the person is unable to participate.
Use the text blocks below for WFSR approval and denial letters. You can access the text blocks at the CSD WorkFirst SharePoint Sanction Documents page.
WFSR reopened in sanction
Approval letter when the WFSR case closed for NCS only and the client is able to participate
WFSR reopened without sanction
Approval letter when the WFSR case closed for NCS only and the client is NOT able to participate
Ineligible WFSR– remains in sanction status
Denial letter when the WFSR case closed for NCS and another reason and the client is able to participate. If the client later reapplies and is found eligible, they will reopen in sanction status.
Ineligible WFSR – no longer in sanction status
Denial letter when the WFSR case closed for NCS and another reason and client is NOT able to participate. If the client later reapplies and is found eligible, they will NOT reopen in sanction status.
Example #1 (WFSR reopens in sanction)
- A client fails to attend his scheduled non-compliance staffing appointment at the office on 07/10 and is not available for his scheduled home visit on 07/15, so he receives the sanction case closure penalty and his TANF grant is terminated for non-compliance sanction on 07/31. His case is closed for NCS only.
- On 08/20, he submits an application for TANF and he completes a financial interview on 8/28, so this is a WFSR case. The WFPS determines that he is able to participate.
- The WFPS removes the NCS termination and opens TANF, and follows the CSD Procedures Handbook to open as of 08/01 in month one of sanction. The WFPS uses the ‘WFSR reopened in sanction’ text block on the approval letter
- The client does not cure or end his sanction by the end of September, so the WFPS imposes the NCS case closure effective 09/30.
Example #2 (WFSR reopened without sanction)
Same scenario as example #1 except the WFPS determines the client is no longer able to participate due to a recent verified back injury. The WFPS:
- Removes the NCS termination and documents that the client is unable to participate and is no longer in sanction status.
- Reopens the case as of 8/1 and uses the ‘WFSR reopened without sanction’ text block on the approval letter.
Example #3 (ineligible WFSR – remains in sanction status)
Same scenario as example #1 except the client received 10-day notice for both NCS case closure and for having no eligible child.
- On 8/28, when he completes a financial interview, the WFPS determines that there is still no eligible child in the household and the client is able to participate.
- The WFPS removes the NCS termination and keeps the case closed as the person has already received 10-day notice of case closure due to no eligible child. The WFPS uses the ‘ineligible WFSR – remains in sanction status’ text block on the denial letter.
- The client reapplies three months later, the child has returned home, and he is financially eligible and able to participate. The WFPS reopens the case in month one of sanction. The client does not need to cure the sanction before we reopen the case because he met the WFSR criteria on 8/28.
Example #4 (ineligible WFSR – no longer in sanction status)
Same scenario as example #1 except the client received 10-day notice for both NCS case closure and for having no eligible child and is NOT able to participate.
- On 8/28, when he completes a financial interview, the WFPS determines that there is still no eligible child in the household and the client is no longer able to participate due to a serious chemical dependency issue.
- The WFPS removes the NCS termination and keeps the case closed as the person has already received 10-day notice of case closure due to no eligible child.
- The WFPS documents that the client is unable to participate and is no longer in sanction status.
- The WFPS uses the ‘ineligible WFSR – no longer in sanction status’ text block on the denial letter. If the client later reapplies and is reopened, he will not reopen in sanction.
126.96.36.199 Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP) for non-compliance sanction case closures.
Persons closed for non-compliance sanction (NCS) may qualify for CEAP. They are eligible to apply for CEAP under the same rules as other applicants.
To determine eligibility and authorize benefits follow the CEAP eligibility and procedures described under WAC 388-436-0015.
188.8.131.52 What if a person reapplies before their case is closed?
A person may choose to reapply before the non-compliance sanction (NCS) end date. If so, the intake worker will accept the application and track it in DMS. The intake worker will not be able to input the application into ACES until the first of the following month. They will, however, refer the person to WorkFirst staff right away so we can lift their sanction or the person can begin to meet their 4-week participation requirement immediately.
When we receive the referral from the intake worker, the WorkFirst Program Specialist (WFPS) or WorkFirst Social Service Specialist (WFSSS) will decide whether the person is able to participate.
- If the person cannot participate, notify the intake worker, lift the sanction per 184.108.40.206 and restore full benefits the first of the following month.
- If the person can participate, manually track participation until the 1st of the following month. After the 1 st of the month, participation can be tracked in eJAS.
220.127.116.11 How do I decide and track an applicant's participation requirements?
When an application is filed after the NCS termination, the intake worker:
- Decides financial eligibility.
- Pends application approval for WorkFirst participation.
- Refers the case to WorkFirst staff to find out whether the person is required to participate before they receive cash.
Once that decision is made, the WFPS or SSS will let the intake worker know so they can update the application pend letter as needed. Once the person is in pending status, they will appear on the 'NCS Reapplicant report' on the Caseload Management Report. Only the person who caused the termination will appear on the report.
The person must participate, if able, for four weeks in a row (28 consecutive days) before they will be eligible for cash benefits.
- Waive a person's 4-week participation requirement (and remove the SA or SN code) when they enter the third trimester of pregnancy if they have completed a Pregnancy to Employment assessment and are not required to participate in mental health and/or chemical dependency treatment. The requirement can also be waived if their situation is now severe enough that they are exempt.
- Once the participation requirement is waived, the person starts over with zero months in sanction.
- Tell the application intake worker if you lift the participation requirement so they can update the pend letter or approve the application.
If the person is able to participate
- Track the person's participation in eJAS.
- Schedule the person for a Sanction Re-engagement Comprehensive Evaluation (CE) interview. The Sanction Re-engagement CE interview must be done in addition to the short-term, mid-term or long-term returner comprehensive evaluation for reapplicants. It is not necessary to complete the last question (screening for other issues) of the Sanction Re-engagement CE interview.
- Develop the person's IRP and set up necessary supports, such as WCCC and transportation, the person needs to participate.
- Tell the application intake worker of the estimated date the person will complete participation.
If both parents in a 2-parent household were refusing to participate and caused their case to be closed, both parents will need to meet the 28-day participation requirement. The application will not be approved until both parents meet this requirement.
The day the WFPS or WFSSS interviews the person counts as day one of participation. Excused absences count towards meeting the 28-day requirement. You can also credit any uninterrupted participation in month 4 up to the end of the month towards meeting the 4-week participation requirement.
A full or returner comprehensive evaluation must be done every time a person reapplies for benefits. In addition, a Sanction Re-engagement CE interview must be done for applicants who are re-entering TANF in sanction. The four-week participation period starts as of the date the Sanction Re-engagement CE interview and the IRP is completed. After the CE and Sanction Re-engagement CE interview is completed, the person must be referred to other approved activities until the full 4 weeks of participation is completed.
Tell the application intake worker when the four-week participation requirement is met. WorkFirst cash assistance benefits start on the date the person met all other eligibility factors.
18.104.22.168 What if the person stops participating?
When you are told that an applicant has stopped participating, tell the intake worker so they can deny the application. Tell the applicant to contact WorkFirst staff if they want a reconsideration of the denied application. The WFPS or WFSSS finds out if there was a good reason for interrupting participation.
Good reason may be granted if the person is determined unable to perform the required WorkFirst activities or if there are significant barriers outside their control which prevented participation as described under WAC 388-310-1600(3). Issues that may be considered good reason are:
- An unmet need for Necessary Supplemental Accommodation (NSA)
- Limited-English Proficiency (LEP) not addressed through interpreters or translations that result in the person not understanding what is required
- Emergent or severe medical condition (verified by a health care professional) of the person or a family member in their care
- Family Violence
- Immediate legal concerns
Non-participation because of unexcused absences will not be considered good reason unless there is a significant circumstance outside the person's control (such as family violence or hospitalization). This circumstance must make it impossible for the person to call in to show a good reason for stopping the 4-week participation.
If the WFPS or WFSSS decides good reason exists, the request is approved and the person will be allowed to continue their participation where it left off. For example, a person stops participating on March 7th which is the 6th day of the 28-day period. On March 12th, it is determined that good reason exists and the person will start to participate again on March 15th . March 15th is now day 7 of participation of the 28-day period. The person must participate 4-weeks (28 days) regardless of the time it took to show good reason.
When you approve good reason, tell the application intake worker so they can rescreen the application, re-pend the case and apply Standard of Promptness (SOP) coding if applicable.
If the WFPS or SSS decides good reason does not exist, the request is denied. Tell the application intake worker so they can take action. The denial stands and the intake worker will send the denial letter with free form text.
If the WFPS or SSS decides that no participation is required and grants the person an exemption, tell the application intake worker. The intake worker will rescreen and approve the application if no further financial items are required to determine eligibility.
22.214.171.124 How is the application approved?
Tell the application intake worker when the applicant meets the participation requirement and remove the SA or SN code from eJAS. The intake worker approves the application back to the date financial eligibility was met.
Follow the approval instructions in the CSD procedures handbook, for WFSR cases.
126.96.36.199 What if a person is reopened and the person stops participating again?
Follow the sanction or NCS process; the person will have two months to complete four weeks of participation or the case may be closed again for NCS.
After following the sanction guidelines of section 3.6.1- Entering Sanction the WFPS or WFSSS must:
- Schedule the sanctioned person to go through the Sanction Re-engagement comprehensive evaluation interview.
- Continue to try to reengage the sanctioned person.
188.8.131.52 NCS Reapplication - Step-by-step guide
The intake application worker refers applicants to WorkFirst who have been closed for non-compliance sanction to meet a 4-week WorkFirst participation requirement. Once the person is in pending status, they will appear on the 'NCS Re-applicant report' on the Caseload Management Report. Only the person who caused the termination will appear on the report.
Once the referral is received, the WFPS or WFSSS:
- Decides if the person is able to participate.
- If the person cannot participate, they tell the intake application worker so the application can be pended for financial eligibility or approved.
- If the person reapplies before the NCS termination effective date and cannot participate, notify the intake worker, lift the sanction and restore the grant effective the first of the following month per 184.108.40.206.
- If the person can participate, the WFSSS or WFSSS:
- Schedules a CE.
- Develops an IRP.
- Approves needed supports.
- Tracks participation.
- Tells the intake worker the estimated date the person will complete participation.
- Decides if there is good reason if the person stops participating as required and tells the intake worker of the results. If the person:
- Is no longer able to participate, they will only need to meet financial eligibility criteria.
- Has good reason, they will pick up participation where it left off until the 28-day requirement is met.
- Does not have good reason, the application denial will stand.
- Adjusts eJAS once all participation and financial eligibility criteria are met by removing the SA or SN code.
The intake worker follows the procedures in the CSD procedures manual to reopen the case, and then refers sanctioned recipients to meet a 4-week WorkFirst participation requirement, as needed, to cure their sanction. Once TANF is reopened, the WFPS or WFSSS:
- Opens the REIN on the eJAS NCS tool menu:
- Selects the date of the approval letter from ACES letter history,
- Completes the questions in the REIN tool.
- If the client is unable to participate:
- Completes the ‘When Sanction is Cured or Lifted’ section of the REIN tool; and,
- Removes the SA or SN code.
- If the person is able and willing to participate:
- Completes or schedules the Sanction Reengagement CE interview,
- Develops an IRP.
- Approves needed supports.
- Tracks participation.
Related WorkFirst Handbook Sections
Forms & Other Resources
- EA-Z Manual - Food Stamp E & T Chapter
- WorkFirst Opportunities Brochure (DSHS 22-1125)