Basic Food Work Registration Exemptions

Revised January 1, 2024


WAC 388-444-0010 Who is exempt from work registration while receiving Basic Food?

  • Clarifying Information

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-444-0010

  1. We apply and code personal exemptions (such as child under six, etc.) in all areas of the state.  There is no geographic or regional exemption for Basic Food work registration.
  2. The exemption for drug or alcohol addiction only applies when the participation in this program would prevent the individual from meeting the work requirement or participating in an employment/training program the required number of hours.
  3. The exemption for employment or self-employment is applied if either situation occurs: 
    1. Client is earning 30 x Federal Minimum wage ($7.25/hr in 2024) a week averaged monthly. 
    2. Client is working over 30 hours a week averaged monthly. 
  4. We must register non-exempt persons who receive state-funded FAP benefits even though they cannot receive federally- funded BFET services.
    1. The one exception is WAC 388-444-0010(9). If the client does not have authorization to work in the United States they can be exempt from work registration rule. 
  5. Caring for an incapacitated person exemption: The incapacitated person does not have to be related, or in the household.
  6. ABAWD is a small subset population of Work Registrants that have extra requirements; therefore, specific ABAWD exemptions (such as pregnancy or waived counties) under WAC 388-444-0035 that apply to those extra requirements do NOT apply to work registration in general. See ABAWD Chapter.
EXAMPLE: A Work Registrant who is also ABAWD attends a methadone clinic once a month for a total of two hours in order to refill a methadone prescription. The client does not attend any additional counseling or treatment. This drug addiction treatment and rehabilitation program does not prevent the client from meeting the work requirements or participating in an employment or training program.
EXAMPLE: A Work Registrant who is also an ABAWD enters a specialized hospital for treatment for addiction. As part of the program, the client is expected to live at the hospital and receive treatment for the next 30 days. Since the client is enrolled in a program that does not allow the client to leave the hospital, this program prevents the ABAWD from meeting the work requirements or participating in an employment or training program.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-444-0010

  1. Screen for work registration status:
    1. Determine the client's exempt or non-exempt status for work registration. See WAC 388-444-0010; and
    2. Code work exemption information on the WORK screen for every person age 16 and over.
  2. Volunteering for BFET Services:
    All clients who receive federally-funded Basic Food (SNAP) benefits may volunteer for E&T services. As a volunteer they may:
    1. Receive supportive services (see BFET Reimbursement of Participation Expenses); 
    2. Meet eligibility requirements (see Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET) Program); and 
    3. Not be disqualified for not cooperating with the program.
  3. Verifying a Personal Exemption
    1. Accept a client's statement of employment status or job availability unless the information is questionable.
    2. To verify questionable information have the client provide:
      1. Evidence of the claimed exemption; or
      2. The name and contact information of an acceptable collateral source who can be contacted for further verification.
    3. If a client claims to be physically or mentally unable to work and the client's statement is questionable, verify the claim by:
      1. Proof of permanent disability benefits issued by a public or private source; or
      2. A statement from a qualified professional or their staff; or
      3. A medical verification through DSHS form 10-353 (Document Request for Medical Condition and Residual Functional Capacity) or DSHS form 14-541 (ABAWD Requirement: Medical Report). Find forms in English and other languages on our forms website:
      4. Do not refer to an SSI facilitator for purposes of Basic Food disability verification.
        NOTE: A client qualifies for the personal disability exemption if they are a veteran receiving 100% disability benefits.
        NOTE: Washington Paid Family & Medical Leave (PFML), L&I, other Worker’s Compensation or Private disability insurance benefits can be used as verification for this exemption.
    4. For self-employment the client must provide records to show the hours and income worked. (See Self Employment Income chapter). 
    5. An adult may claim a child under 6, as their exemption, if they have a majority (50% or more) parental responsibility to care for that child. In households with multiple adults, any adult that has a valid claim to majority parental responsibility for the child can claim the exemption. Allow the client to change their election of who is claiming the child under 6 as an exemption up to once per month if necessary; however, the change of election may not be utilized as a means to remove an individual's work registration food disqualification (by becoming exempt).