WorkFirst HandBook


3.6 Non-compliance Sanction Policy

Legal References:

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

3.6.4 Permanent TANF Disqualification What is permanent TANF disqualification?

When a parent has been closed for non-compliance sanction three or more times since March 1, 2007, he or she will be permanently disqualified from receiving TANF/SFA benefits. This means that this person will never again be eligible to receive TANF/SFA nor Diversion Cash Assistance (DCA) from the State of Washington.

In addition, the entire household that lives with the permanently disqualified person is ineligible to receive TANF/SFA or DCA as long as the disqualified person lives in the home.

The permanent disqualification does not apply to medical or food assistance.

We start the NCS termination count from March 1, 2007, because that is when the department began NCS case closures. What do I tell sanctioned persons about permanent disqualification?

It is important to continually remind those parents who are falling out of compliance with their WorkFirst requirements about permanent TANF disqualification.  When parents are entering sanction, they must be reminded that if they are closed for non-compliance sanction three times, they will be permanently disqualified. Remind parents of the number of NCS closures they have so far. What happens to parents who already have three NCS terminations who are currently complying with WorkFirst requirements?

Parents with three or more NCS terminations who are still active on TANF will be allowed to continue to receive TANF/SFA benefits.  However, if their case closes for any reason, they will be permanently disqualified. 


Mary has had 3 prior NCS terminations.  Effective January 31, 2012, her case closes for no eligibility review.  She reapplies for TANF on March 3.  Her application for TANF will be denied because she is permanently disqualified.


Ted has had 3 prior NCS terminations.  His case closes for no Mid-Certification Review (MCR) effective March 30, 2012.  On April 10, he calls and completes his MCR.  Because he is within his 30 day window, he can be reinstated.  Since his case can be reinstated back to the date of closure, he does not need to reapply, and is therefore not permanently disqualified.


Robert has had 2 prior NCS terminations.  Effective May 31, 2012, his case closes due to an NCS termination.  He is now permanently disqualified.


Theresa has had 2 prior NCS terminations.  She goes into sanction again in April.  Her case is scheduled to close effective May 31 for NCS.  She cures her sanction effective May 30.  Because she cured her sanction prior to the end of the second month, her case can be reinstated and she is NOT permanently disqualified. 

** NOTE:  In cases where someone cures their sanction before the end of the second month, or when the NCS termination is overturned in fair hearing, be sure to go into the ACES WORK screen and remove that termination date when reinstating the case. ** How do I keep track of a parentís NCS terminations?

The dates of NCS terminations are tracked on the ACES WORK screen.  It will list the months and years of a parent’s NCS case closures (these are the paid through months, so if it says 11/2010, that means the parent received TANF through 11/30/2010). It will also list the date the parent requalified for TANF benefits.

It is extremely important that if a parent cures a sanction after deadline for the second month, that the WORK screen is corrected by removing that termination date. 

Remember that these dates will tell ACES when to permanently disqualify someone from receiving TANF. What is the process for permanently disqualifying someone?

When denying an application for TANF/SFA or DCA because someone has been permanently disqualified, or terminating TANF/SFA because of a third NCS closure, the three NCS terminations that caused the disqualification must be manually reviewed and verified.  To do this:

  1. Go into the ACES WORK screen to see the month and year of the three NCS termination dates.
  2. Go into the “B” menu for the TANF assistance unit (AU) in the month after each NCS termination month to view the reason why the case closed.  NCS closures have a 252 termination code. 
  3. Look through the narrative to ensure that none of the NCS closures listed were overturned by fair hearing. 

Once you have ensured that the NCS terminations are correct, you can process the case.  ACES will generate a denial or termination letter.  When a case is closing for the third NCS and is also being permanently disqualified, it is important to continue to follow the NCS closure process and list in the letter why they are being terminated and what they failed to do.  Please refer to chapter – What if a supervisor approves a case for sanction/penalty and it is time to close the case? 


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