DSHS Home Page
Search     for:

DSHS Home    Acronyms    Revisions    WAC Number Index    Site Map    WCCC


Revised May 5, 2014

Purpose: This section explains how going on strike impacts a client's eligibility for Basic Food benefits.

WAC 388-480-0001Does being on strike impact my eligibility for the Washington Basic Food Program?

WAC 388-480-0001

WAC 388-480-0001

Effective December 1, 2003

WAC 388-480-0001 Does being on strike impact my eligibility for the Washington Basic Food Program?

  1. A strike is a concerted work stoppage, slowdown or other interruption of work caused by employees.  This includes when a stoppage happens because a collective bargaining agreement has expired.

  2. We do not consider you to be on strike if you: 

    1. Are locked out by your employer;

    2. Do not have work available as a result of striking employees;

    3. Are not a member of the bargaining unit on strike and you fear someone may physically hurt you if you cross a picket line; or

    4. Would have been exempt from work registration under WAC 388-444-0015 the day before the strike for any reason other than being employed at least thirty hours per week.

  3. If a person in your Assistance Unit (AU) is a striker, your AU is not eligible for Basic Food unless:

    1. Your AU met all income requirements the day before the strike; and

    2. You meet all other requirements of the Basic Food program as described in WAC 388-400-0040.

  4. If someone in your AU is on strike, your AU cannot receive a higher amount of Basic Food benefits solely because the person receives less income as a direct result of being on a strike.  We count the larger of the two following amounts to determine if your AU is eligible and calculate your benefits:

    1. The striker's income before they went on strike; or

    2. The striker's current income.

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.


  1. Request the necessary verification to establish the client is, or is not, participating in a strike.

  2. If an AU member is on strike, determine the amount of income to budget for the striker using the following steps:

    1. Compare the striking member's pre-strike income to their current income; and

    2. Budget the higher of these two amounts as that member’s income.


WAC 388-444-0010 explains who is exempt from work registration.

WAC 388-444-0015 explains the BFET program.


  1. Non-strikers impacted by a strike:

    Examples of people who are not strikers but could be impacted by a work stoppage or slowdown include:

    • Truck drivers with nothing to deliver because of the strike;

    • Assembly workers idled because the bargaining unit on strike is not producing component parts;

    • Sales staff idled when the strike leaves them with no product to sell; and

    • Ticket agents idled at an airline when flights are cancelled due to a pilot's strike.

  2. Work registration:

    If a striker receives Basic Food benefits, they must register for work unless they are exempt from the Food Stamp Employment and Training Program under WAC 388-444-0010  for reasons other than employment.

  3. Striker status for cash and medical programs:

    A client's striker status does not impact their AU's eligibility for cash or medical programs.

NOTE: An AU member being on strike does not impact the AU’s allowable deductions for Basic Food.  This includes the earned income deduction for the striker’s income we count under WAC 388-480-0001.


See Interview - (DEM2) screen
Modification Date: May 5, 2014