Basic Food Work Requirements - Work Registration
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Basic Food Work Requirements - Work Registration

Revised October 14, 2013


WAC 388-444-0005Am I required to work or look for work in order to be eligible for Basic Food?

WAC 388-444-0005

WAC 388-444-0005

Effective November 22, 2013

WAC 388-444-0005 Am I required to work or look for work in order to be eligible for Basic Food?

Some people must register for work to receive Basic Food.


1)     If you receive Basic Food, we register you for work if you are:


a.    Age  sixteen through fifty-nine with dependents;


b.    Age sixteen or seventeen, not attending secondary school and not the head-of-household;


c.    Age fifty through fifty-nine with no dependents; or


d.    Age eighteen through forty-nine, able-bodied and with no dependents as provided in WAC 388-444-0030.


2)    Unless you are exempt from work registration under WAC 388-444-0010, we register you for work:


a.     When you apply for Basic Food benefits or are added to someone's assistance unit; and


b.    Every twelve months thereafter.


3)    If we register you for work, you must:


a.    Contact us as required;


b.    Provide information regarding your employment status and availability for work if we ask for it;


c.    Report to an employer if we refer you;


d.    Not voluntarily quit a job or reduce your work effort as defined under WAC 388-444-0065  unless you have good cause under WAC 388-444-0070; and


e.    Accept a bona fide offer of suitable employment. We define unsuitable employment under WAC 388-444-0060.

4)     If we register you for work, you must meet all of the requirements under subsection (3) of this section.  If you do not meet these requirements, we disqualify you from receiving benefits as described in WAC 388-444-0055, unless you meet the good cause conditions as defined in WAC 388-444-0050.


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.


Nonexempt clients or mandatory work registrants are people who receive Basic Food and must be registered for work. They are divided into two groups:


Non-exempt able-bodied adults ages 18 through 49 without dependents are required to participate in specific activities outlined below in section 2 to stay eligible for Basic Food and avoid the three month time limit. Exemptions for ABAWDs are different than other mandatory work registrants.  See Section E - ABAWDs for more detail.


All other non-exempt clients age 16 through 59 must meet work registration requirements or they could be disqualified from Basic Food.

  • All non-ABAWDs who receive Basic Food benefits must register for work.
  • There is no time limit for non-ABAWD clients.


1)    Determine if members of the Basic Food AU are mandatory work registrants (non-exempt), voluntary registrant (exempt), or ABAWDs.


2)    Register the client for work by coding the WORK screen in ACES with the appropriate E&T status code.


3)    Code the most appropriate exemption, if applicable, on the Exempt Reason field on the WORK screen in ACES.


4)    Notify the client in writing of the work requirements and consequences of not following through with these requirements. You can notify the client by adding text to their award letter to explain the work registration requirements under WAC 388-444-0005 (3.) or ABAWD requirements under WAC 388-444-0030 (3).


5)    If a WorkFirst household is sanctioned, determine whether or not the sanctioned persons are exempt from Basic Food work requirements.  Disqualify non-participating members of the TANF household from receiving Basic Food unless they are exempt under WAC 388-444-0010. 

Modification Date: October 14, 2013