Transitional Food Assistance (TFA)
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Transitional Food Assistance (TFA)


Revised September 26, 2013



Purpose: Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) is a program to provide stable food benefits to families leaving the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Tribal TANF programs while receiving Basic Food. TFA is meant to help meet a family’s nutritional needs for five months as they transition into self-sufficiency.

WAC 388-489-0005Who is Eligible for Transitional Food Assistance?
WAC 388-489-0010How is my Transitional Food Assistance Benefit Calculated?
WAC 388-489-0015How Long Will My Household Receive Transitional Food Assistance?
WAC 388-489-0020Am I Required to Report Changes in My Household's Circumstances while on Transitional Food Assistance?
WAC 388-489-0022What happens if I reapply for Basic Food while receiving transitional food assistance?
WAC 388-489-0025Can My Transitional Food Assistance Benefits End before the End of My Five-Month Transition Period?

This section includes rules and procedures on:

  • Who is eligible for Transitional Food Assistance (TFA);

  • How the department calculates TFA benefits;

  • How long people can get TFA benefits;

  • How changes impact TFA;

  • How to apply for Basic Food; and

  • When the department ends TFA benefits early.


WAC 388-489-0005

WAC 388-489-0005

Effective November 1, 2005

WAC 388-489-0005 Who is Eligible for Transitional Food Assistance?

If your family stops receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families cash benefits, including benefits from a tribal program, you will be eligible for transitional food assistance for up to five months if you meet all the following eligibility requirements:  

  1. Your family was receiving Basic Food at the time we determined you were no longer eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families;

  2. After your family stops receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, no other member of your Basic Food assistance unit continues to receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families;

  3. Your family did not move out of the State of Washington WAC 388-468-0005;

  4. Your family was not in sanction status at the time your Temporary Assistance for Needy Families grant ended. Sanction status means:

    1. We reduced or stopped your family’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families grant payment because a family member is not:

      1. Meeting WorkFirst Program requirements WAC 388-310-1600; or

      2. Cooperating with the Division of Child Support WAC 388-422-0010; or

    2. We decided that a member of your family was not eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families because the member:

      1. Failed to meet teen parent living arrangement WAC 388-486-0005 or teen parent school attendance requirements WAC 388-410-0010; or

      2. Was convicted of unlawful practices WAC 388-446-0005 or for receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families in two or more states at the same time WAC 388-446-0010; or

    3. If you are receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits from a tribal program, your family’s grant is reduced or stopped for a reason that is the same as one of the reasons listed in 4.a. or 4.b;

  5. At the time your family’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families grant ended your Basic Food assistance unit did not become ineligible because:

    1. You were applying for recertification of your Basic Food benefits and refused to cooperate with the application process; or

    2. All members are ineligible for Basic Food for the reasons stated in WAC 388-489-0025(3).

  6. There is no limit to the number of times your family may leave Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and receive Transitional Food Assistance.

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.

CLARIFYING INFORMATION

*** As a result of implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), this clarifying page may no longer be effective for medical coverage applications received on or after 10/01/2013. Please see the ACA Transition Plan for more information. Clients who need to apply for medical coverage on or after 10/01/2013 should be referred to Washington Healthplanfinder. ***

  1. Authorizing Transitional Food Assistance:

    When a Basic Food AU is eligible for TFA, the system opens TFA using the existing Basic Food Assistance Unit (AU), calculates transitional benefits as described under WAC 388-489-0010, and sends the AU letter 008-01 to tell them about their transitional benefits. TFA cases are automatically taken out of the mid-certification review cycle and will not receive a MCR for Basic Food.


EXAMPLE

Cindy receives SSI and receives Basic Food with her 20-year old daughter Brittany and her two grandchildren. Brittany gets TANF for herself and the two children.

Brittany leaves TANF and is not in sanction. The four- person Basic Food AU will get TFA.


EXAMPLE

Simon lives with his two brothers, his sister Dana, and Dana’s two children. All six people are in Simon’s Basic Food AU.

Dana receives TANF, but recently started a job. Dana will get her last TANF check July 1st. Because Dana’s AU was not in sanction when TANF terminated, Simon’s entire Basic Food AU gets TFA from August through December.


  1. When a family leaving TANF / Tribal TANF is not eligible for TFA:

    A family leaving TANF/Tribal TANF that is not eligible for TFA may be eligible for Basic Food.

    • If a Basic Food AU cannot receive TFA benefits based on the requirements of WAC 388-489-0005, the system will not provide TFA.

    • If the AU is not eligible for TFA, we consider all of the Basic Food AU’s current circumstances to determine the impact on eligibility and benefits.


EXAMPLE

Ms. Robinson’s TANF grant is in sanction for DCS non-cooperation. She reports that she started a new job and asks to terminate TANF benefits.

Since the TANF AU was in DCS sanction at the time the worker took action to close TANF, Ms. Robinson is not eligible for TFA. We process the TANF termination and update the case for the income from the new job as well as other known changes. We consider both the loss of TANF and the income from the new job to determine ongoing eligibility and benefits for Basic Food.


EXAMPLE

Same situation as example above, but Ms. Robinson provides proof that she is now cooperating with DCS requirements. She met DCS requirements after we took action to close TANF.

Since the TANF AU was in DCS sanction at the time the worker took action to close TANF, Ms. Robinson is not eligible for TFA. We consider all the AU’s current income, expenses, and other circumstances to determine ongoing eligibility and benefits for Basic Food.


EXAMPLE

Same situation as the first example above, but Ms. Robinson provides proof that she was cooperating with DCS requirements at the time we took action to close TANF.

Since the TANF AU was cooperating with DCS requirements at the time we closed TANF, Ms. Robinson is eligible for TFA. The worker would reinstate TANF, update the DCS cooperation status, and terminate TANF to start TFA.


EXAMPLE

Mark receives Basic Food and Tribal TANF for himself, his wife, and their two children. Mark did not meet Tribal TANF work requirements, and has been notified that the family will be terminated from Tribal TANF as a result.

Because Mark left Tribal TANF due to a sanction, the family is not eligible for TFA. We consider all the AU’s current income, expenses, and other circumstances to determine ongoing eligibility and benefits for Basic Food.


EXAMPLE

Steve, Mary, and their two children receive TANF and Basic Food.

Steve is sanctioned for failing to meet WorkFirst requirements. Mary is employed. Mary’s income and the reduction due to sanction results in the TANF closing.

Since the family left TANF while in sanction, the family is not eligible for TFA. We consider all the AU’s current income, expenses, and other circumstances to determine ongoing eligibility and benefits for Basic Food.


EXAMPLE

Heidi lives alone. She is pregnant and receives TANF and Basic Food.

On October 4th, she contacts her worker and informs them that she has been sentenced to 2 years in prison for forging a prescription. Her worker terminates TANF and Basic Food effective October 31st.

Heidi will not get TFA because she is the only person in her AU, and she is ineligible for Basic Food while she is in prison.


  1. Basic Food applications during the last month of TANF:

    If a household does not already receive Basic Food at the time we take action to close TANF or remove Tribal TANF income, they are not eligible for TFA. This includes:

    • Basic Food applications pending at the time we take action to close TANF or remove Tribal TANF income;

    • Basic Food applications approved after we have taken action to terminate TANF benefits or remove Tribal TANF income.


EXAMPLE

A family receives TANF benefits in January. On January 4th, the family turns in an application for Basic Food. The worker has pended the application for necessary verification. On January 7th, the client requests termination of their TANF benefits. They have indicated that they still want food benefits. The worker immediately updates the case to terminate TANF effective January 31st.

On January 9th, the client provides the necessary verification to open Basic Food benefits. The family is eligible for food benefits back to their date of application of January 4th.

Even though the AU was eligible for Basic Food for the period of time we took the action to terminate TANF benefits, the TANF AU did not receive Basic Food on January 7th, the date we terminated TANF. The family is not eligible to receive TFA. We would process the application for Basic Food.


EXAMPLE

The Parker family receives F04 medical benefits, Basic Food, and Tribal TANF in March. They failed to recertify their Basic Food benefits in March, so Basic Food terminates on March 31st.

On April 10th, we hear from the Tribal TANF worker that Mr. Parker has started working, and that Tribal TANF benefits are ending. The worker updates the F04 case based on this information. On April 14th, Mr. Parker turns in an application requesting Basic Food benefits.

The Parker family did not receive Basic Food at the time we removed the Tribal TANF income. They are not eligible to receive TFA. We would process the application for Basic Food.


  1. Pending clients in an active Basic Food AU:

    If a person is pending on an active Basic Food AU when the TANF/ Tribal TANF closure moves the AU into TFA, the pending AU member stays in pending status.

    When we complete the add-a-person actions for the person in pending status, the system will automatically designate them as a non-member with ACES Reason Code 130.

  2. TANF / Tribal TANF suspension and TFA:

    People on an active TANF or Tribal TANF case who are in suspense are not eligible for TFA, even though they do not receive a cash benefit. These families may receive TFA when TANF/Tribal TANF benefits end.

  3. Moving between TANF and Tribal TANF:

    If someone leaves TANF or Tribal TANF to apply for the other program, the family may be eligible for TFA while the other benefits are pending. When we approve TANF or we learn Tribal TANF is approved, the system automatically terminates TFA with advance notice.

  4. Two or more TANF Assistance Units in a single AU for Basic Food:

    No person in a TFA AU can receive TANF or Tribal TANF.

    The system will not allow someone to receive TFA if someone living in the home and in the Basic Food AU receives TANF or Tribal TANF.


EXAMPLE

Sally receives Basic Food in a five-person AU with her 20-year old daughter Allie, Allie’s child, and her 19-year old daughter Kate and Kate’s child. Both Allie and Kate receive TANF with their children.

In January, Allie reports new employment and requests to have her TANF case closed. The Basic Food will not switch to TFA because Kate and her child still receive TANF on an associated AU.

In April, Kate requests termination of her TANF benefits. TANF ends April 30th, and TFA starts for everyone in the Basic Food AU on May 1st.


  1. Two Basic Food AUs associated with a single TANF/ Tribal TANF AU:

    If TANF / Tribal TANF ends, and more than one Basic Food AU is associated with the TANF AU, only the Basic Food AU with the TANF Head of Household changes to TFA.


EXAMPLE

Pauline and her child Mario receive TANF and Basic Food.

In the Summer, Mario lives with his dad Luigi. While there, Mario gets Basic Food on Luigi’s Basic Food AU. We keep Mario on the TANF AU as “Temporarily Absent” but remove him from Pauline’s Basic Food.

If Pauline requests closure of her TANF during this temporary absence, she will get TFA based on a one-person assistance unit. If Mario returns to Pauline’s home before TFA is over, she can reapply for Basic Food to see if leaving TFA would give them more benefits.


  1. Ineligible person in a Basic Food AU when TANF ends:

    A person’s status as an ineligible member of a Basic Food AU does not prevent the eligible members of the AU from getting TFA.


EXAMPLE

Ms. Jones and her two children receive TANF and Basic Food based on no income. Last year, Ms. Jones had committed an Intentional Program Violation (IPV) before applying for TANF. Because of the IPV, she is disqualified from receiving Basic Food for one year beginning in October.

On January 3rd, Ms. Jones reports a new job. Her TANF case closes at the end of January based on her new income. The Basic Food AU changes to TFA for February through June, calculated based on zero income. Ms. Jones remains as an ineligible member for TFA.


  1. Refusing to cooperate with the application process:

    Refusing to cooperate with the application process for Basic Food is not the same as failing to provide information necessary to determine eligibility for Basic Food.

    We consider someone to be refusing to cooperate with the application process, only if the following conditions have been met:

    1. The AU is able to cooperate in taking the required action necessary to determine eligibility; and

    2. They clearly demonstrate that they will not take the required action to complete the application process.

    Clients are not refusing to cooperate with the application process if they simply fail to provide the requested information or verification.


EXAMPLE

Pam failed to show up for her scheduled interview. Her worker unsuccessfully attempts to contact her for a phone interview to complete her recertification.

Because Pam simply failed to appear for the interview, we cannot determine that she is refusing to cooperate with the application process. Pam could receive TFA.


EXAMPLE

Brent is in the office to complete his recertification interview for Basic Food and TANF. In the course of the interview, Brent reports a new job requests termination of his TANF benefits.

His worker asks Brent to provide information about his income to determine eligibility for Basic Food, or a contact person at work to provide the needed verification. Brent states that he has pay stubs at home, but he doesn’t want to bring in the documents or send us a copy. Additionally, Brent said that he doesn’t want us contacting his work.

Brent is able to cooperate with the application process but has made it clear that he doesn’t intend to do so.  Because Brent refused to cooperate with the application process for Basic Food, he is not eligible for TFA when TANF closes.


  1. Non-recipient members of a TANF/SFA AU and TFA:

    People who are non-recipients of a TANF/SFA Assistance Unit do not impact the household’s eligibility for TFA.


EXAMPLE

Stephanie is the head of household for TANF and Basic Food. Stephanie is an undocumented immigrant and has failed to cooperate with the Division of Child Support (DCS) for TANF. As an undocumented immigrant, she does not receive TANF for herself.

Because Stephanie is not a TANF recipient, the failure to cooperate with DCS does not impact TFA. When the household leaves TANF, they may receive TFA.


WORKER RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. When Basic Food is terminated before TANF:

    • If you try to terminate a TANF AU, or remove Tribal TANF income from an AU that has a Basic Food case that is closed effective the end of the month, ACES provides a hard edit to reinstate Basic Food before terminating TANF.

    • If the system terminates TANF in batch, and Basic Food is already closed effective the end of the month, ACES sets Alert 104 – “TANF closed in batch, review HH for correct TFA elig”.

    Reinstate Basic Food and take action to terminate TANF or remove the Tribal TANF income. The system will automatically open TFA benefits.

  2. People moving between TANF and Tribal TANF:

    When people are not eligible for TFA because they are transferring between TANF and Tribal TANF, enter the appropriate code to prevent TFA:

    1. If the family is leaving Tribal TANF to get TANF, approve the TANF benefits before removing the Tribal TANF income.

    2. If the family is leaving TANF to get Tribal TANF, enter the Tribal TANF income before closing the TANF grant.

  3. Basic Food issued with postponed verification:

    To improve the process for expedited service and support TFA, the system now accepts future application dates when we have approved expedited service with postponed verification.

    If you issued Basic Food benefits with postponed verification under WAC 388-406-0015  and now have the needed verification, take the following actions:

    1. Re-screen the Basic Food AU with a future application date for the ongoing month. Do not screen in a new AU for Basic Food; and

    2. Finalize the application with the new information.


WAC 388-489-0010

WAC 388-489-0010

Effective December 18, 2010

WAC 388-489-0010 How is my Transitional Food Assistance Benefit Calculated?

  1. We base your Transitional Food Assistance benefit amount on the regular monthly benefit allotment issued to your Basic Food assistance unit for the last month your household received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. We will not count your last Temporary Assistance for Needy Families grant payment when we calculate your Transitional Food Assistance benefit amount. For example:
    1. If your Basic Food assistance unit’s only income was Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Transitional Food Assistance benefit will be the amount your household would have received if you had no income. 
    2. If your Basic Food benefit was calculated using Temporary Assistance for Needy Families plus income from another source, we will count only the income from the other source when calculating the Transitional Food Assistance amount.
  2. We will adjust your Transitional Food Assistance benefits if:

    1. Someone who gets Transitional Food Assistance with you leaves your assistance unit and is found eligible to receive Basic Food in another assistance unit. We will adjust your benefits by:

      1. Reducing your assistance unit size by the number of persons who left your assistance unit; and

      2. Removing the income and expenses clearly belonging to the persons who left your assistance unit.

    2. A change to the maximum allotment for Basic Food under WAC 388-478-0060 results in an increase in benefits for Basic Food assistance units.

    3. You got an overpayment of Basic Food benefits and we need to adjust the amount we deduct from your monthly benefits to repay the overpayment as required in WAC 388-410-0033. This includes

      1. Starting a new monthly deduction;

      2. Changing the amount of the monthly deduction; and

      3. Ending the monthly deduction when the amount you owe has been paid off.

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.

CLARIFYING INFORMATION

  1. Calculating Transitional Food Assistance benefits:

To calculate TFA benefits, we use the Basic Food budget from the AU’s last month on TANF/Tribal TANF, minus the TANF/Tribal TANF income. We do not consider any other changes in income, expenses, or household composition to calculate TFA benefits.


EXAMPLE

Rebecca and her two children receive TANF and Basic Food. In the middle of September, Rebecca starts work and also starts to get child support from the non-custodial parent. She requests termination of TANF benefits.

To calculate TFA benefits, the system uses the Basic Food calculation for September, subtracts the TANF income, and determines the AU’s TFA benefits for October through February.

We do not use the child support or Rebecca’s earnings in the TFA calculation because we did not use them to calculate Basic Food benefits for September.


EXAMPLE

Ms. Green receives TANF and Basic Food for herself and one child. Her only income is TANF. On September 8th, she reports to her case manager that she got married and her husband is employed. She wants her TANF case closed.

Her case is closed effective September 30th. She will get TFA from October through February. The benefit is based on a 2-person household with no income.


EXAMPLE

Joann receives Basic Food and TANF for herself and two children. Joann starts a full-time job on December 21st. When she reports her new job, her worker enters the wage info of $1,100 per month and terminates the TANF effective January 31st.

TFA begins February 1st and continues through June 30th. The system calculates TFA benefits using the income, expenses, and HH size from the Basic Food budget for January and subtracts the TANF grant amount.


EXAMPLE

Lance and his two children receive a TANF grant in the amount of $246. He also receives $300 in social security benefits for the two children.

On January 27th Lance reported that he got a job and requested closure of his TANF case. TANF closes effective the end of February.

The system calculates TFA using the social security income of $300 Lance received during the last month of TANF. His new earnings were not used to calculate Basic Food in February and will not count for TFA.


EXAMPLE

Sandra lives with her 20-year old daughter and her two grandchildren. The daughter receives TANF for herself and the daughter’s two children in the amount of $546. Sandra receives SSI income of $545 monthly. They are all included in the same Basic Food AU.

In August, Sandra’s daughter got a job. She reported the information to her case manager on September 5th, after receiving her first pay. The daughter is now over income for TANF. TANF case closes effective September 30th.

The Basic Food AU switches to TFA effective October 1st. Sandra’s SSI is the only income we use to calculate the TFA benefits. Neither the TANF income nor the income from the new job is used to calculate TFA benefits.


EXAMPLE

Gary and his two children receive a Tribal TANF grant in the amount of $146. He also receives $400 in social security benefits for the two children. On January 27th, Gary reported that he got a job and would receive his first monthly check of $800 on February 10th. He requests closure of his Tribal TANF and the Tribal TANF worker informs the CSO that Tribal TANF is ending on February 28th.

Gary’s Basic Food switches to TFA beginning March 1st with a certification ending July 31st. Since we did not use the earned income to determine Basic Food in February, we do not use the income for TFA. The system calculates the TFA using the $400 Social Security from the February Basic Food budget and removing the Tribal TANF income. The system does not use the income from Gary’s new job to calculate TFA.


  1. How mass changes affect TFA benefits:

    The only change to Basic Food standards we use to adjust TFA benefits is the change to the Maximum Allotment under WAC 388-478-0060. The Maximum Allotment is also known as the Thrifty Food Plan.


EXAMPLE

The department increases the maximum allotment, standard deduction, maximum shelter cost, and standard utility allowance for October benefits.

  • If we ended TANF or removed Tribal TANF income before October monthly issuance, the system recalculates benefits with the new maximum allotment, and uses the original standard deduction, max shelter cost, and utility standards.

  • If we ended TANF or removed Tribal TANF income after October monthly issuance, the system calculates benefits with the new maximum allotment, and also uses the updated standard deduction, max shelter cost, and utility standards.


  1. When a person on TFA is approved for Basic Food in a different AU:

    If someone in a TFA assistance unit is approved for Basic Food in another AU, the person can no longer be an active member on TFA.

    We reduce the TFA AU size for the person who will get Basic Food in the other AU, but we do not change the income or expenses used to calculate the TFA benefits.  We adjust the TFA benefits based on the new AU size and the removal of income and expenses clearly belonging to the person who left (such as any allowable medical expenses).

    1. A shelter expense is considered to be the expense of the household, not the individual.  Any adjustment to TFA benefits will not include changes in the shelter deduction.


EXAMPLE

Amber, Brent, and Larry receive TFA with a certification period of March through July. Because Larry was working part time before their TANF grant ended, his income is used to calculate the TFA benefits.

On April 3rd, Larry moves out and is approved for Basic Food with his girlfriend Veronica. Larry is removed from Amber’s TFA effective April 30th. Larry is then added to Veronica’s Basic Food AU beginning May 1st using both of their current income and expenses.

Amber and Brent continue to receive TFA through July.  Their TFA benefit amount is recalculated based on a two-person household and the removal of Larry's income.


WORKER RESPONSIBILITIES

TFA member moves and is eligible for Basic Food in another AU:

People cannot be an active member of a TFA assistance unit and get Basic Food on their own or as a member of another assistance unit. If someone in a TFA AU moves out and becomes eligible for Basic Food in another AU, take the following actions:

  1. Remove the person leaving TFA from the TFA Assistance Unit using reason code 549. The system removes the person from the AU and displays Reason Code 233 - Change in household size on the FSFI screen.  ACES will issue benefits based on the change in the household size.

  2. Add the mandatory freeform text to inform the TFA assistance unit:

    • The name of the person we removed from the AU; and

    • That we removed this person from Transitional Food Assistance to get Basic Food in another AU under WAC 388-489-0010.


WAC 388-489-0015
WAC 388-489-0015

Effective August 1, 2010

WAC 388-489-0015 How Long Will My Household Receive Transitional Food Assistance?

If your Basic Food assistance unit is eligible for Transitional Food Assistance according to WAC 388-489-0005, you will receive Transitional Food Assistance for up to five months after your household leaves Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.  

  1. If you stopped getting Temporary Assistance for Needy Families from the department, you are eligible for transitional benefits beginning the month after your household received their last grant.

  2. If you stopped receiving Tribal TANF benefits, you are eligible for transitional benefits:

    1. With the next monthly issuance after we update your case to show you no longer have Tribal TANF income, if the Tribal TANF end date is the end of the current month or the end of a prior month; or

    2. On the first of the month following the Tribal TANF end date, if the Tribal TANF end date is the end of a future month.

  3. If necessary, we will extend or shorten your Basic Food assistance unit’s current certification period to match the five-month transition period.

  4. You may choose to end your five-month transition period early by submitting an application for regular Basic Food under WAC 388-489-0022 or by asking us to terminate your benefits.

  5. We send you a notice before the end of your five-month transition period so you can re-apply for regular Basic Food benefits and continue to receive benefits without interruption as described under WAC 388-434-0010.

  6. We may terminate your Transitional Food Assistance early for the reasons stated in WAC 388-489-0025.

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.

CLARIFYING INFORMATION

  1. When TFA starts based on the end of Tribal TANF:

    Because we do not issue Tribal TANF benefits, the date we start TFA based on the end of Tribal TANF varies:

    • If the Tribal TANF end date is the end of the current month or the end of a prior month, TFA begins with the next monthly issuance after the date we delete Tribal TANF from the system.
    • If the Tribal TANF end date is the end of a future month, TFA begins on the first of the month following the Tribal TANF end date.

    People leaving Tribal TANF are still eligible for up to 5 months of TFA benefits even if we remove the Tribal TANF benefits one or more months after they stopped getting Tribal TANF.

    Monthly issuance is normally around the last week of the month with exceptions. To determine the monthly issuance for a given month, refer to the Production Calendar of ACES online.

Example TFA start dates based on end of Tribal TANF and date income is deleted:

Tribal TANF End Date Date Tribal TANF Income Deleted Date of Next Monthly Issuance TFA Start Date
06/30/06 07/21/06 07/22/06 08/01/06
06/30/06 07/25/06 08/26/06 09/01/06¹
07/31/06 07/21/06 07/22/06 08/01/06
07/31/06 07/25/06 08/26/06 09/01/06²
08/31/06 07/21/06 N/A 09/01/06
08/31/06 07/25/06 N/A 09/01/06
  1. The worker will most likely need to issue a supplement for the Basic Food for the benefit month of August. Depending on when we learn about the end of Tribal TANF, the worker may need to supplement the Basic Food benefits for July.

  2. The worker will most likely need to issue a supplement for Basic Food for the benefit month of August.


EXAMPLE

Bill and Susan receive Tribal TANF and Basic Food with their daughter. Their Tribal TANF ends on November 30th. On January 16th, their Tribal TANF worker reports that Tribal TANF benefits have ended.

On January 26th, their worker Stephanie updates the case record to remove Tribal TANF income. Monthly issuance is January 27th.

Because Stephanie removed the Tribal TANF income by February monthly issuance, the family enters TFA beginning February 1st. The TFA certification period ends June 30th.


EXAMPLE

Pat and Alice receive Tribal TANF and Basic Food benefits with two children. At their request, their Tribal TANF ends effective October 31st. On November 23rd, Laura’s Tribal TANF worker reports that Tribal TANF has ended.

On November 28th her worker Jack updates the case record to remove Tribal TANF. Monthly issuance is November 23rd.

Because December monthly issuance already happened by the time Jack took action to remove the Tribal TANF income in November, Pat and Alice’s AU starts to get TFA on January 1st. The TFA certification period ends May 31st.


EXAMPLE

Nick and Jessica receive Tribal TANF and Basic Food benefits with their son Simon. On July 23rd, they come into the local office with a letter informing them that their Tribal TANF benefits are ending on July 31st because their new jobs put them over income for cash benefits.

That same day, their worker Steve removes Nick and Jessica’s Tribal TANF income and updates the case record for their new jobs. Monthly issuance is July 23rd.

Because Steve removed the income by close of business on monthly issuance in July, the family will get TFA beginning August 1st. The TFA certification period ends December 31st.


EXAMPLE

Rose and James receive Tribal TANF and Basic Food benefits with their daughter Tiffany. The family stops receiving Tribal TANF on September 30th, but we do not learn of this change until November 25th. December monthly issuance happened on November 23rd.

Their worker Jason removes the Tribal TANF income on November 25th. Because December monthly issuance has occurred, the family gets TFA beginning January 1st with the TFA certification period ending on May 31st.

Because Rose reported the end of Tribal TANF before December, Jason makes a historical change to supplement the December Basic Food benefits based on the loss of Tribal TANF.


EXAMPLE

Kathy and her children receive Basic Food and a Tribal TANF grant.

On February 15th, Kathy’s Tribal TANF worker reports that her Tribal TANF will end on March 31st. Kathy’s worker deletes the Tribal TANF income from the ongoing month and enters the end date of March 31st.

Kathy’s TFA benefits begin April 1st and run through August 31st.


  1. TFA certification periods:


EXAMPLE

TANF / Basic Food benefits both terminate effective March 31st. The AU is not in any sanction status. The system opens TFA benefits effective April 1st through August 31st. We base benefits on the information as of the March monthly issuance minus the TANF benefits.


EXAMPLE

Family receives TANF and Basic Food benefits with their next ER / Recertification due in August. In early January, the head of household gets a job and requests termination of TANF.

TANF closes effective January 31st and the Basic Food converts to TFA in February. The system automatically adjusts the certification end date to June 30th, for when the five months of TFA benefits end.


EXAMPLE

Tom and his child receive Basic Food and TANF based on no income. They are certified for Basic Food from January through June.

On May 10th, Tom reports a job that puts him over the income limit for TANF. TANF ends on May 31st; and the AU gets TFA from June 1st through October 31st based on zero income. The system extends the certification period beyond the original certification end date to provide 5 months of TFA.


EXAMPLE

Lenny receives Basic Food for himself, his daughter, his girlfriend Linda, and Linda’s two sons. Basic Food is certified from November through October. Linda receives TANF for herself and her sons.

On December 4th, Linda requests closure of her TANF because she now receives social security survivor’s benefits. TANF benefits close effective December 31st. The Basic Food AU switches to TFA effective January 1st with a certification period ending May 31st. To receive food benefits after May, the AU must recertify for Basic Food.


WAC 388-489-0020

WAC 388-489-0020

Effective October 1, 2013

WAC 388-489-0020 Am I Required to Report Changes in My Household's Circumstances while on Transitional Food Assistance?

  1. If you only receive Transitional Food Assistance, you are not required to report any changes in your household circumstances.
  2. If you receive benefits from another cash program, you must meet the reporting requirements for the other program as required by WAC 388-418-0005. Except for changes listed under WAC 388-489-0025, the changes you report for the other program will not affect your household's eligibility for Transitional Food Assistance.
  3. If your household experiences a change in circumstances during your five-month transition period, and you think that you may be eligible for more food assistance, you may submit an application for the regular Basic Food program under WAC 388-489-0022. Examples of such changes include the loss of income by a person who gets Transitional Food Assistance with you or adding a new person to your household.

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.

CLARIFYING INFORMATION

  1. Reporting requirements - TFA and other benefits combined

If people receive TFA and have an associated case for other benefits, they receive information about the reporting requirements for the other program.


EXAMPLE

A family receives TANF, Basic Food, and SSI-related medical.

The family leaves TANF and begins to receive five months of TFA benefits. The letters they receive will tell them to report based on the requirements for SSI-related medical.


  1. Changes reported when not recertifying to end TFA:

    If someone reports a change in circumstances and they do not reapply for Basic Food benefits, TFA benefits remain the same even if we update the case information. However, the changes may impact other benefits.


EXAMPLE

Ritchie’s family gets TFA and SSI-related medical benefits. TFA certification ends on August 31st. On May 10th, the family reports increased income for SSI-related medical.

The worker updates the case for the change in income. The system re-determines eligibility for SSI-related medical, and leaves Ritchie’s TFA benefits unchanged.


  1. Opting out of TFA based on new circumstances:

    Basic Food AUs who meet TFA eligibility requirements are automatically converted to TFA the month after their last month of TANF / Tribal TANF.

    This includes when we have made changes to the household composition in the ongoing month for Basic Food. – The start of TFA has priority over the change for Basic Food.

    If someone wants to opt out of TFA and get Basic Food, the household must reapply for Basic Food to end TFA.


EXAMPLE

Carole and her daughter receive Basic Food and TANF benefits. Due to Carole’s unemployment benefits, Carole’s TANF grant is $20 monthly. On March 3rd, Carole reports that her unemployment benefits have increased slightly causing -the TANF grant to close effective the end of the month.

The system triggers TFA to start effective April 1st. We determine TFA using the U.C. benefits budgeted against Basic Food for March, and excluding the TANF grant as well as the increase in unemployment.

On March 15th, Carole reports that her boyfriend Robert has moved in. Robert has no income, and she wants to add him to her Basic Food.

TFA benefits are already set to start on April 1st. Robert cannot be added to the TFA AU, but Carole can reapply for Basic Food to include Robert in her benefits.


EXAMPLE

Denise and her son Timmy receive TANF and Basic Food benefits. The TANF grant is $40 monthly based on Denise’s $800 monthly earnings. On June 2nd, Denise requests to add her sister Sally to her Basic Food AU. Sally has no income, so the change results in Denise’s Basic Food increasing effective July 1st.

On June 23rd, Denise asks us to terminate her TANF benefits and waives adverse action. Her TANF benefits close effective June 30th.

The system will open TFA effective July 1st based on the budget and household composition for Basic Food in June. Because Sally was not in the Basic Food AU in June, she is not included in the TFA benefits. The benefits for the two-person TFA assistance unit are lower than benefits the AU would have received by adding Sally effective July 1st. The AU does not receive advance notice of the change in this circumstance.

If Denise wants to end TFA and add Sally to Basic Food again, she can reapply for Basic Food.


WORKER RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. Updating the case record:

    Update the case record to reflect changes in circumstances even if these changes do not result in a change to TFA benefits. This information is necessary to maintain the integrity of the case record.

  2. Requests to add a someone to a TFA AU:

    If someone receiving TFA reports that a person has moved into the household and asks to add them to their food benefits, we cannot add the person to TFA. Take the following actions:

    • Send the client letter 10-01 to inform them that the reported change had no impact on their TFA benefits.

    • Inform them that to add the person(s) to their food benefits, they must reapply for Basic Food.


WAC 388-489-0022

WAC 388-489-0022

Effective August 1, 2010

WAC 388-489-0022 What happens if I reapply for Basic Food while receiving transitional food assistance?

  1. You can choose to reapply for Basic Food at any time during your TFA period.  If you submit an application for Basic Food, we will:
    1. Interview you according to WAC 388-452-0005.
    2. Send you a letter if we need additional information and give you at least ten days to provide the information according to WAC 388-458-0020.
    3. Process your application within thirty days.  We will keep your TFA active while your request for Basic Food is pending.
    4. Process your application according to WAC 388-434-0010 if your application was submitted in the last month of your TFA period.
  2. If you are eligible for Basic Food, we tell you the amount you will receive and allow you to choose if you want Basic Food or continue your TFA.
  3. If you choose to go back on Basic Food, we will start your new benefit amount on the first day of the month after we receive your application for Basic Food.  If you already received transitional food assistance for this month and are eligible for:
    1. More assistance on Basic Food, we will pay you the additional amount.
    2. Less assistance on Basic Food, you will have to pay back the additional amount.
  4. If you choose to go back on Basic Food and receive less assistance, we do not have to give you advance notice.
  5. If we are unable to approve your request for Basic Food, we will deny your application and continue your TFA through the end of your transitional period, unless you become ineligible for TFA under WAC 388-489-0025.

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.

CLARIFYING INFORMATION

Basic Food certification period after people opt-out of TFA:

If a TFA AU applies for Basic Food and is eligible for benefits, Basic Food must start the first of the month after the date they applied for Basic Food.  If TFA benefits have already been issued for this month, we must determine the amount of Basic Food benefits the AU was eligible to receive and create a BEG for the difference.


EXAMPLE

Jerry and his family receive TFA with a certification period of January through May. On February 22nd his adult daughter and her three children move into the home. Jerry’s daughter has no income, and he would like to add the four of them to his food benefits.

On February 23rd, Jerry reapplies for Basic Food for everyone in the household. His worker Lora approves the application for Basic Food on March 3rd.

Jerry’s family is eligible for Basic Food beginning March 1st, but TFA benefits have already been issued for March. Lora must determine the correct overall benefits and manually create a BEG for the difference between the TFA benefits received, and the amount of Basic Food benefits the AU is eligible to receive for March.


WORKER RESPONSIBILITIES

When someone chooses to end TFA early:

People in TFA may opt out at any point by reapplying for Basic Food. If someone would lose benefits by leaving TFA, we must tell them of the difference in benefits and encourage them to withdraw the application for Basic Food and continue to get TFA.

If someone applies for Basic Food benefits while getting TFA, take the following actions:

  1. Inform the client how many months they have left on TFA;
  2. Provide them with the following information about ending TFA:
    1. To reapply for Basic Food, we must verify their income and expenses as we would for any Basic Food recertification.
    2. We use all of the AU's current circumstances to determine their eligibility for Basic Food and their monthly benefits; and
    3. They may have to report more changes.  The changes they do report are likely to impact their food benefits.
  3. Screen the Basic Food AU. 
    1. Do not close the TFA.
    2. If the client fails to follow through with the application process or is denied Basic Food for any other reason, TFA benefits continue.
  4. Determine the Basic Food amount:
    1. Go through the Interview, Process, and start the Finalize function for the pending Basic Food AU;
    2. In Finalize for the current month, ACES will provide the dual participation edit on ELIG.  F4 past the ELIG screen to review the Basic Food calculation on the FSFI.  Make note of the benefit amount, then F3 out (do not finalize).
  5. Tell the client the amount of Basic Food the household is eligible to receive.
    1. If the amount is less than the TFA amount, encourage the client to withdraw the Basic Food application and continue with TFA.
      1. If the client wants to withdraw, deny Basic Food as a voluntary withdrawal.
      2. If the client still wants Basic Food, close TFA and approve Basic Food. If the client already received TFA for the first month of the Basic Food certification period, process an overpayment for any over-issuance.
    2. If the amount is more than the TFA, close the TFA and approve Basic Food.  
  1. If the client already received TFA for the first month of the Basic Food certification period, process a supplement for any under-issuance.

WAC 388-489-0025

WAC 388-489-0025

Effective July 1, 2012

WAC 388-489-0025 Can My Transitional Food Assistance Benefits End before the End of My Five-Month Transition Period?

Your Transitional Food Assistance benefits will end early if:

  1. Someone who gets Transitional Food Assistance with you applies and is approved for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families while still living in your home. You may reapply to have your eligibility for Basic Food determined;

  2. We learn that you and your household are no longer residing in the State of Washington, or

  3. All members of your household are ineligible to get Basic Food for any of the following reasons:

    1. Refusal to cooperate with Quality Assurance ( WAC 388-464-0001);

    2. Transfer of property to qualify for Basic Food assistance ( WAC 388-488-0010);

    3. Intentional Program Violation ( WAC 388-446-0015, WAC 388-446-0020);

    4. Fleeing felon or violating a condition of probation or parole ( WAC 388-442-0010);

    5. Alien status ( WAC 388-424-0020, WAC 388-424-0030);

    6. Employment and training requirements ( WAC 388-444-0055, WAC 388-444-0075);

    7. Work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents ( WAC 388-444-0030);

    8. Student status ( WAC 388-482-0005);

    9. Living in an institution where residents are not eligible for Basic Food ( WAC 388-408-0040); or

    10. Deceased

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.

CLARIFYING INFORMATION

  1. When a TFA member returns to TANF:

EXAMPLE

Pam receives TANF and Basic Food for her family. On November 12, Pam requests termination of TANF. The Basic Food AU switches to TFA with a certification period of December 1st through April 30th.

On March 1st, Pam applies for and begins to receive TANF. TFA closes effective March 31st following advance notice requirements. The AU must reapply for Basic Food.


EXAMPLE

Patti receives Basic Food for herself, her husband, her two minor children, and her 19-year old daughter. Everyone except the 19-year old receives TANF.

In early December, Patti reports that she has a job and requests to end her TANF benefits. TANF closes effective December 31st. The Basic Food AU switches to TFA with a certification period of January through May.

In February, Patti’s 19-year old daughter is approved for GA-U. The TFA benefits continue unaffected through the end of May. We consider the daughter’s GA-U benefits, as well as all other current circumstances, when the AU recertifies for Basic Food.


  1. Moving into and out of TFA based on short-term TANF/SFA closure:

    When TANF/SFA closes on an AU that is TFA-eligible, the case automatically transforms to TFA.


    Sometimes TANF/SFA may be closed for a short period. Examples of when this may happen include when someone completes their six-month report late, or they fail to provide needed verification within the requested timeframe.

    In the circumstances where we reinstate TANF or SFA, TFA terminates with advance notice when the worker completes the action to reinstate TANF/SFA.

    For the AU to receive food benefits, we must re-open Basic Food benefits after reinstating TANF/SFA by re-screening an old AU or screening a new AU. This allows the AU to resume Basic Food and match the certification period end date to the TANF/SFA review date. Reopening Basic Food benefits in this manner is not considered a new application for Basic Food benefits, and we do not need clients to complete a new application.


NOTE:
  • If we reinstate the AU, it reinstates TFA, which will close in overnight batch because someone gets TANF benefits.

  • If we initiate a review, the TFA will switch to Basic Food, but receive a new certification period. This action would be treated the same as if we had completed an application or recertification for Basic Food.


EXAMPLE

Julie’s worker Bart requests information to determine her continued eligibility for TANF. Julie does not provide the information within the given timeframe and Bart closes her TANF, which transforms her Basic Food to TFA.

The following week, Julie submits the requested information and Bart reinstates her TANF, which causes the TFA to close. At this point, Bart must screen in an old Basic Food AU or screen a new AU.

When Bart processes the approval for Basic Food, the certification period will be set to match the TANF review end date.



  1. When some TFA members become ineligible for Basic Food:

    If the TFA AU contains some members who become ineligible under WAC 388-489-0025  (3)(c), and at least one member who remains eligible, they all stay as eligible members of the TFA unit until TFA benefits end.

    We terminate TFA benefits early if:

    1. Someone in the TFA AU begins to receive TANF or Tribal TANF;
    2. The head of household has moved out of state, died, or been institutionalized; 
    3. We discover that all people in the TFA AU have left the state; or
    4. All TFA members are ineligible for reasons under WAC 388-489-0025  (3).

EXAMPLE

Gayle is certified to get TFA from January 1st through May 31st with her husband Steve, their 19-year old son Tom, and their two-year old daughter Cindy.

In March, Gayle is disqualified for an Intentional Program Violation. Additionally, her son Tom is now fleeing a felony warrant for his arrest.

Since at least one person is still an eligible member in the TFA AU, everyone remains eligible for benefits.

 When TFA ends in May, Both Gayle and Tom are ineligible for Basic Food.


  1. TFA and EBT Out of State Reports:

    When someone uses TFA benefits outside of the State of Washington, they will appear on the EBT out of state (OOS) report.

    Because we do not consider this notification that all members of the TFA AU have moved out of state, we do not need to work this report for TFA households.

    Normally, we will not close TFA based on moving out of state unless a member of the AU or another state tells us that all AU members have moved out of Washington.


WORKER RESPONSIBILITIES

When TFA member enters TANF / Tribal TANF:

When someone in a TFA AU is approved for TANF or Tribal TANF income is entered on the person’s UNER screen the system terminates TFA benefits with ACES Reason Code 131 allowing for advance notice.

Complete a reapplication to determine eligibility for Basic Food based on the AU’s current circumstances and re-open food benefits.


ACES PROCEDURES

See ACES User Manual
Modification Date: September 26, 2013