Basic Food Work Requirements - Disqualification
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Basic Food Work Requirements - Disqualification

Revised October 14, 2013


WAC 388-444-0055What are the penalties if I refuse or fail to meet Basic Food work requirements?

WAC 388-444-0055

WAC 388-444-0055

Effective October 1, 2010

WAC 388-444-0055 What are the penalties if I refuse or fail to meet Basic Food work requirements?

1)    If we register you for work you must meet the work requirements under WAC 388-444-0005 or 388-444-0030 unless you have good cause as defined in WAC 388-444-0050. If you do not follow these rules, you will become an ineligible assistance unit member as described under WAC 388-408-0035. The remaining members of the assistance unit continue to be eligible for Basic Food.

2)    If you do not meet work requirements and we find that you did not have good cause, you cannot receive Basic Food for the following periods of time and until you meet program requirements:

a.    For the first failure, one month;

b.    For the second failure, three months; and

c.    For the third or subsequent failure, six months.

3)    If you become exempt under WAC 388-444-0010 and are otherwise eligible, you may begin to receive food assistance.

4)    If you do not comply with the work requirements of the following programs, you cannot receive Basic Food unless you meet one of the conditions described under WAC 388-444-0010 except subsections (4) or (5):

a.    WorkFirst;

b.    Unemployment compensation;

c.    The refugee cash assistance program.

5)    Within ten days after learning of your refusal to participate in your program, the financial worker will send you a notice that your Basic Food benefits will end unless you comply with your program requirements.

6)    If you do not comply within ten days, you will be issued a notice disqualifying you from receiving Basic Food until you comply with your program, or until you meet the work registration disqualification requirements in subsection (2) of this section.

7)     After the penalty period in subsection (2) of this section is over, and you meet work requirements and you are otherwise eligible, you may receive Basic Food:

a.    If you are alone in the assistance unit and apply to reestablish eligibility; or

b.    If you are a member of an assistance unit, you may resume receiving Basic Food.

8)    During the penalty period, if you begin to participate in one of the programs listed in subsection (4) (a) through (c) and that penalty is removed, the work registration disqualification also ends. If you are otherwise eligible, you may begin to receive Basic Food.

This is a reprint of the official rule as published by the Office of the Code Reviser. If there are previous versions of this rule, they can be found using the Legislative Search page.


The disqualification rules and procedures are for Basic Food non-exempt work registrants only. Please see Section E, ABAWDS for disqualification rules and procedures for able-bodied adults without dependents.


  1. At the time the worker determines that a comparable sanction will be applied, or benefits denied because of lack of cooperation with a comparable program (Work First, unemployment compensation, or Refugee Assistance) work requirements, the worker must:
    1. Review the client's circumstances to determine if any Basic Food work registration exemptions apply.  See WAC 388-444-0010 
    2. If the client meets an exemption then the client continues to receive Basic Food benefits;
    3. If the client does not have a work registration exemption, the worker must notify the client that a Basic Food work requirements disqualification will be applied unless the client complies with the comparable program requirements
    4. When disqualifying a client for non-compliance with a comparable program, notify the non-exempt client that:
      1. Basic Food work requirements must be met within 10 days of the notice;
      2.  Basic Food work requirements can only be met by cooperating with the comparable program requirements;
      3. The disqualification period is determined under WAC 388-444-0055.
  2. If the client complies with the comparable program requirements within the 10 day notice, then the client is once again exempt from Basic Food work registration or ABAWD requirements.
  3. If the client does not comply with the comparable program requirements within the 10 day notice, the client is disqualified from receiving Basic Food benefits.
  4. Apply the disqualification in the month following the 10-day advance notice.  Enter the following information in free form text:
    1. The reason for the disqualification;
    2. The period of disqualification;
    3. The disqualification only ends if the client complies with [name of comparable program] requirements or serve the appropriate disqualification period. See WAC 388-444-0055 for when to end the disqualification period.
  5. Apply the disqualification the first month following the 10-day notice of adverse action


Procedures for Disqualifying a Client

  1. Enter non-cooperation in ACES as described in the ACES Procedures at the end of this section.
  2. If the disqualified client leaves the Basic Food program before the disqualification starts, impose the disqualification when:
    1. The person reapplies; and
    2. Start the disqualification period with the first full month of certification.
  3. If a disqualified person leaves the program before completing the disqualification period:
    1. The person serves any remaining time of disqualification when the person applies for benefits; and
    2. Start the remaining disqualification period with the first full month of certification.


Regaining Eligibility

  1. If otherwise eligible, a client regains Basic Food benefits when they complete their penalty period.
  2. A disqualified client is treated as an ineligible household member. See INCOME
  3. For a one person household, the client must reapply for benefits. A household of two or more will have the client's portion of benefits restored.


Ending a Disqualification When a Client Becomes Exempt During the Penalty Period

A disqualification ends when the client becomes exempt during the penalty phase.

NOTE: A disqualification for failing to comply with Basic Food work requirements is not canceled because of a disqualification for noncompliance with some other Basic Food program requirement. Multiple disqualifications may run at the same time.


When a person requests a fair hearing within 10 days of the issuance of the Notice of Adverse Action, and the certification period has not expired, benefits will continue.

  1. If the hearing goes against the client, and the client received continued benefits, DSHS will establish an overpayment;
  2. Give the client 10-day advance notice;
  3. The disqualification period begins the first of the month following the 10-day notice.


See Interview (WORK) screen

See Disqualified or Sanctioned Assistance Unit or Client - Quitting a Job

Modification Date: October 14, 2013