Exception to Rule

Revised September 22, 2016


To explain how, in certain circumstances, the department can grant exceptions to program rules.

WAC 388-440-0001 Exception to rule. 

  • Clarifying Information and Worker Responsibilities

WAC 388-440-0005 How am I informed of the decision my request to the department for an exception to rule? 

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-440-0001

  1. The Secretary of DSHS has delegated the authority for approval of exceptions to rule to the Economic Services Administration, Community Services Division (RCW 43.20A.110).
  2. Direct requests for exceptions to procedures or policies that are not specified in rule to a supervisor.
  3. The Secretary's coordinator for exception to rules is located in CSD Headquarters.
  4. All ETR requests must be submitted through the Barcode ETR Screen.
  5. Each CSO designates an Exception to Rule Coordinator.
  6. Requests for Exception to Rule must accurately cite the rule that is being considered for an exception. Direct questions about the correct citation to a supervisor or the Secretary's Designee in CSD headquarters.
NOTE: Refer to WAC 388-501-0160 for anyone requesting an ETR for medical or dental services or related equipment. 

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-440-0001

  1. Determine on a case by case basis, using the criteria in WAC 388-440-0001, whether a request for an exception is appropriate.
  2. If the request isn't appropriate, send client ACES Online letter 0070-03 (05-177) Exception to Rule Not Requested.

If the request is appropriate: 

  1. Submit the request through the ETR Screen in Barcode. The following step by step instructions for requesting an ETR are provided for DSHS staff:​​

  2. Notify the client of the decision regarding the request by sending an ACES Online letter 0070-04 (Approval) or 0070-05(Denial) or use DSHS 05-177(x).
  3. Take action to authorize benefit if exception is approved.
  4. Document actions on the case narrative, and retain completed ETR in the electronic case record.

ACES Information

If any exception is approved,  use the proper valid value (EP - Exception to Policy Recurring or NR - Exception to Policy Non-Recurring) on the AREQ screen to identify the payment as an exception to rule.

Document what was approved in the ETR on the REMARKS screen (F9) behind the screen that contains the information relating to the exception.

If an exception to rule is approved for Disability Lifeline time limits, you must also enter the appropriate ETR code on the WORK screen closure delay reason field:

  •  RM - Receiving Medical Treatment
  •  AF - Alternate Living Facility