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3.6 Non-compliance Sanction Reapplications

Legal References:

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

3.6.3 Non-Compliance Sanction Reapplications

3.6.3.1 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 3.6.3.3).

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. 

3.6.3.2 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:

  1. Remove the NCS termination so it will not count as one of the three NCS case closures that would lead to permanent disqualification;
  2. 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;
  3. 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.

Text Block

Used For

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)

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:

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. 

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. 

3.6.3.3 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 .

3.6.3.4 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.

3.6.3.5 How do I decide and track an applicant's participation requirements?

When an application is filed after the NCS termination, the intake worker:

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.

If the person is able to participate

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.

3.6.3.6 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:

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.

3.6.3.7 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.

3.6.3.8 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:

3.6.3.9 NCS Reapplication - Step-by-step guide

Non-WFSR Step-by-Step

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:

  1. Decides if the person is able to participate.
    1. If the person cannot participate, they tell the intake application worker so the application can be pended for financial eligibility or approved.
    2. 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 3.6.1.10.
    3. If the person can participate, the WFSSS or WFSSS:
      1. Schedules a CE.
      2. Develops an IRP.
      3. Approves needed supports.
      4. Tracks participation.
      5. Tells the intake worker the estimated date the person will complete participation.
  2. Decides if there is good reason if the person stops participating as required and tells the intake worker of the results. If the person:
    1. Is no longer able to participate, they will only need to meet financial eligibility criteria.
    2. Has good reason, they will pick up participation where it left off until the 28-day requirement is met.
    3. Does not have good reason, the application denial will stand.
  3. Adjusts eJAS once all participation and financial eligibility criteria are met by removing the SA or SN code.

WFSR Step-by-Step

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:

  1. Opens the REIN on the eJAS NCS tool menu:
    1. Selects the date of the approval letter from ACES letter history,
    2. Completes the questions in the REIN tool.
  1. If the client is unable to participate:
    1. Completes the ‘When Sanction is Cured or Lifted’ section of the REIN tool; and,
    2. Removes the SA or SN code.
  2. If the person is able and willing to participate:
    1. Completes or schedules the Sanction Reengagement CE interview,
    2. Develops an IRP.
    3. Approves needed supports.
    4. Tracks participation.

Resources

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