Program Summary

Revised April 29, 2013


This category provides brief program descriptions for the programs included in this manual. These programs are:

Aged, Blind or Disabled (ABD) Cash

Revised on: November 1, 2022 


The Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD) program provides cash assistance to eligible low-income adults who are age 65 or older, blind, or determined likely to meet Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability criteria based on a physical or mental impairment that is expected to last at least 12 consecutive months.

WAC 388-400-0060 Who is eligible for aged, blind or disabled (ABD) cash assistance?

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-400-0060

  1. Persons who are currently ineligible for TANF due to the non-compliance sanction in WAC 388-310-1600 are not eligible for ABD cash per WAC 388-400-0060.
  2. Persons who are currently ineligible for TANF due to the 60-month time limit are potentially eligible for ABD cash if they meet all other requirements outlined in WAC 388-400-0060.
  3. Persons eligible for another federal cash program (TANF/RCA) must be determined for those priority programs prior to ABD eligibility. A person eligible for RCA is ineligible for ABD until their RCA eligibility ends. At that time eligibility for ABD may be determined.
  4. Former TANF recipients who are determined to be disabled may be eligible for a TANF Time Limit Extension.  See WorkFirst Handbook 3.7.1 If a person is eligible for a TANF time limit extension, they are not eligible for ABD cash.
  5. Members of a married couple and legally emancipated persons under age 18 meet the minimum age requirement for ABD cash assistance under WAC 388-400-0060 (1)(b).
  6. Persons who apply in the month of their 65th birthday are considered Aged. For processing information please see Desk Aid "Approving ABD in the Month of a Person's 65th Birthday."
NOTE: Persons, who are not eligible for another federally funded categorically needy (CN) Washington Apple Health program ​may qualify for health care through the Medical Care Services (MCS) program, when eligible for the ABD or HEN Referral programs. Please refer to the Apple Health (Medicaid) Manual for MCS program summary information.

Food Assistance Program for Legal Immigrants (FAP)

Revised February 18, 2021


The Food Assistance Program - FAP is a state-funded program that provides food assistance to legal immigrants who aren't eligible for federal Basic Food benefits solely because of their alien status.

 WAC 388-400-0050  If I am not eligible for federal benefits through Washington Basic Food program because of my alien status, can I receive benefits through the state-funded food assistance (SFA) program?

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-400-0050

FAP benefit level

The legislature sets the benefit level for FAP in the Biennial Operating Budget.  The current budget sets FAP at 100% of the federal SNAP benefit level. This has been effective since July 1, 2015.  

Who is eligible for FAP?

FAP consists of two distinct immigrant groups:

  • Qualified aliens who have not met the requirements for age, work quarters, or 5-year time frame as a qualified alien in order to be eligible for Basic Food benefits under the federal Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). This population will cycle through FAP within 5 years or less and become eligible for federal benefits.
  • Nonqualified aliens who are immigrants, but will not be eligible for federal benefits unless they have an adjustment of their immigration status. These immigrants are referred to as Persons Residing Under Color of Law (PRUCOL).

Persons considered PRUCOL are legally in the U.S., but do not have an official status as a qualified alien with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Immigrants, such as applicants for political asylum or withholding of deportation, who have not yet received a final order are considered PRUCOL.

Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for either federally-funded Basic Food or state-funded SNAP.

Examples of Immigrants who are eligible for FAP if they meet all other eligibility criteria for Basic Food all other eligibility criteria for Basic Food including work requirements:

  • Abused aliens who are a relative of a U.S. citizen with an approved I-130 petition but not meeting the other requirements of battered immigrants, as described in WAC 388-424-0001.
  • Abused aliens who have self-petitioned under VAWA but not yet received "Notice of"Prima Facie" eligibility, as described in WAC 388-424-0001.
  • Applicants for adjustment of status, asylum, cancellation of removal, suspension of deportation or withholding of deportation or removal.
  • Cancellation of removal, deferred action or suspension of deportation granted. (Note: if a person is granted cancellation of removal or suspension of deportation based on having been abused or granted deferred action based on an approved self-petition as an abused alien, they are a "qualified alien").
  • Deferred enforced departure granted.
  • Family Unity granted.
  • "K", "S", "U"or "V" statuses, designated on a person's visa, allow holders to work and eventually to adjust to Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status.
  • Lawful temporary residents under the amnesty program of the Immigration Reform and control Act (IRCA), including those admitted under Sections 210 ("special agricultural workers") and 245A of the INA.
  • Citizens of the Marshall Islands, Micronesia or Palau. These individuals have special rights under Compacts of Free Association and are lawfully allowed to enter, reside and work in the U.S. but are not U.S. Nationals.
  • Order of suspension granted.
  • Paroled into the U.S for a period of one year or less.
  • Residing in the U.S since prior to January 1, 1972.
  • Eligible to petition as special immigrant juveniles. These are juveniles who have been declared a "dependent of the state" and eligible for long-term foster care due to abuse, neglect or abandonment.
  • Stay of deportation or removal granted.
  • Temporary protected status granted.
  • Voluntary departure granted - definite or indefinite time.

 Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-400-0050

If a person is approved for FAP, we must let the person know what documents were used to determine SNAP (Basic Food) ineligibility. This information will need to be added into the appropriate free form text box in the ACES letters.

Heat and Eat

Created on: 
Jan 01 2015

WAC 388-400-0047 Am I eligible for the heat and eat program?


Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) Referral

Revised July 16, 2019


The Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) Referral program provides access to essential needs items and potential housing assistance for low-income adults who are unable to work for at least 90 days due to a physical or mental incapacity and are ineligible for Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD) cash assistance.  Eligibility for HEN housing assistance is determined by the Department of Commerce through a network of homeless and homeless prevention service providers.

WAC 388-400-0070 Who is eligible for referral to the housing and essential needs (HEN) program?

  • Clarifying Information

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-400-0070

  1. Persons who are participating in the Department of Corrections Family Offender Sentencing Alternative (FOSA) or Community Parenting Alternative (CPA) program may be eligible for the HEN Referral program.
  2. Persons who are currently ineligible for TANF due to the non-compliance sanction in WAC 388-310-1600 are not eligible for a referral to the housing and essential needs (HEN) program per WAC 388-400-0070.
  3. Former TANF recipients who are determined to be disabled may be eligible for a TANF Time Limit Extension.  See WorkFirst Handbook 3.7.1.
  4. If a person is eligible for a TANF time limit extension, they are not eligible for the HEN Referral program.
  5. Members of a married couple and legally emancipated persons under age 18 meet the minimum age requirement for the HEN Referral program under WAC 388-400-0070 (1)(d).
  6. HEN Referral clients should report changes in circumstances as required for cash assistance programs under WAC 388-400-0070 (1)(k).
Persons, who are not Federally Qualified for MAGI medical programs may qualify for health care through the Medical Care Services (MCS) program, when eligible for the ABD or HEN Referral programs.

Please refer to the Apple Health (Medicaid) Manual for MCS program summary information.


Pregnant Women Assistance (PWA)

Revised on: June 11, 2020

WAC 388-400-0055  Who is eligible for the pregnant women assistance (PWA) program?

Clarifying Information

  1. Public Benefit Specialists and/or WorkFirst Program Specialists are responsible for verifying pregnancy and approving PWA benefits.
  2. People who are ineligible for TANF due to sanction status in WAC 388-310-1600 are not eligible for PWA. 
  3. People who are ineligible for TANF due to the 60-month time limit and do not meet a Time Limit Extension (TLE) hardship category may be eligible for PWA.
  4. PWA eligibility begins the date all verification is received, including verification of pregnancy, and continues to the end of pregnancy.
  5. Once an individual is determined eligible for PWA, their referral to the Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) program remains valid for 24 consecutive months. The individual is not required to meet any eligibility criteria outlined in WAC 388-400-0055 to maintain their referral to HEN.



WAC 388-400-0010 Who is eligible for state family assistance (SFA)?

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-400-0010 

This program is available to clients who are ineligible for TANF for specific reasons.


Created on: 
Sep 08 2016

Revised November 30, 2020


WAC 388-400-0005 Who is eligible for temporary assistance for needy families (TANF)?

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-400-0005 

  1. The rule against receiving both "state and Tribal TANF in the same month" refers to TANF programs we administer whether they are funded with federal or state dollars, i.e. neither TANF nor SFA can be combined with Tribal TANF in a given month.
  2. Tribal families who are within a tribe's service area and service population may apply for either state or Tribal TANF.

NOTE: Please review the ACES manual for Tribal Affiliation coding for the DEM1 screen in ACES and client screen in 3G.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-400-0005  

When a client who self-identifies as Native American applies for TANF, use the applicable Operating Agreement for the Tribal TANF program in the local area. Each Tribal TANF program has different rules about how to handle referrals between state and Tribal TANF.

  1. Always inform the client about the availability of the Tribal TANF program for which they appear to be eligible. Resolve any questions about the assistance unit's potential eligibility for Tribal TANF and the referral process using the procedures outlined in the Operating Agreement.
  2. Determine eligibility for Basic Food according to the Operating Agreement.
    1. The Tribal TANF program verifies Tribal TANF eligibility and grant amount.
    2. Use the ACES Tribal TANF (TT) income code.
    3. Treat Tribal TANF cases as Categorically Eligible for Basic Food.
  3. A client who self-identifies as Native American may apply for state TANF.
  4. If the client chooses to apply for Tribal TANF, the Tribal TANF program will determine eligibility and refer cases back to the CSO if it determines the assistance unit is not eligible. In this case also, the client may apply for state TANF.
  5. Cases that transfer in or out of a Tribal TANF service area are similar to cases transferring in or out of another state.

Washington Basic Food Program

Revised June 20, 2014


The Washington Basic Food Program (Basic Food) helps low-income individuals and families have a more nutritious diet by adding Basic Food benefits to your household's income.

Basic Food is Washington's name for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which was formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. Basic Food benefits are federally funded through the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).

WAC 388-414-0001 Am I eligible for benefits through the Washington Basic Food Program?

See USDA Food and Nutrition Service website for a list of the tribes and their points of contacts in Washington State that participate in the federal Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR or "commodities"). Individuals receiving FDPIR commodities from these tribal organizations are ineligible to receive Basic Food.

Working Family Support

Created on: 
Apr 29 2016

Revised: February 11, 2019


The Washington State Working Family Support - WFS program is a cash program that provides an additional food benefit to any qualifying household who are recipients of Basic Food (SNAP), Food Assistance Program for Legal Immigrants (FAP), or Transitional Food Assistance - TFA and meet WFS program eligibility criteria. The WFS program began on May 1, 2016.

WAC 388-406-0055  When do my benefits start?

WAC 388-434-0010  How do I get Basic Food benefits after my certification period has ended?

WAC 388-493-0010  Working Family Support                                              

Clarifying Information:

  1. A client must meet all of the eligibility criteria in WAC 388-493-0010 to receive the $10.00 monthly food benefit.
  2. We must verify employment hours. There are two separate hours calculations.
  • For regular employment (paid subsidized or unsubsidized):
    • The client, spouse, or co-parent included in the AU must work a minimum of thirty-five hours a week.

    • Follow financial eligibility rules to estimate the number of hours.

    • Count the hours using prospective budgeting rules. You do not need to record actual hours of employment each month after you have verified the current weekly hours after a complete month.

EXAMPLE: A parent gets paid twice a month and works 40 hours per week at $8.55 per hour. The worker calculates the income as follows: 40 x $8.55 = $342 per week x 52 weeks per year = $17784 ÷ 24 pay periods = $741 ÷ $8.55 = 86.66 hours per pay period, rounded up to 87 hours. The worker enters 87 hours per pay period into the ACES 3G Earned Income page hour field and enters Verified ‘VE’ in the required Working Family Support Hours Verification field. The worker clearly documents in Remarks how the hours were verified.
  • For self-employment:
    • Hours are based on the verified gross income minus the 50% self-employment deduction or actual business expenses, whichever is greater.
NOTE: ACES 3G will do the self-employment calculation for you.  Enter the gross income and ACES 3G will allow the 50% self-employment expense deduction and then calculate hours based on federal minimum wage $7.25/hour. The worker does not need to enter a value in the Working Family Support Hours Verification field, because ACES 3G auto calculates self-employment hours. 


EXAMPLE: Kristen has gross self-employment income of $2500 per month from her business. The worker enters this and ACES 3G calculates her hours from her net self-employment income $1250.  $1250/7.25 = 172.4 hours per month.  172.4 divided by 4.33 weeks = about 40 hours per week.  Kristen is working enough to qualify for WFS if she meets the other WFS criteria. The worker does not need to enter a value in the Working Family Support Hours Verification field, because ACES 3G auto calculates self-employment hours.


NOTE:  The WFS benefit is countable income against the Basic Food Assistance Unit (AU). Since Basic Food is the priority program, a household isn’t eligible for WFS if receipt of the additional WFS payment causes the food assistance to be terminated for excess income.

3.  If any household member of the Basic Food AU is receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Tribal TANF, or State Funded Assistance (SFA), no one in that household is eligible for the Working Family Support program.

4.  Eligible WFS households receive one monthly payment per AU. This monthly payment is budgeted against the Basic Food AU. 

5.  A Basic Food AU may have multiple active WFS AUs within it. This could occur when parents of one Basic Food AU both have children living in the home but don’t have children in common. Each adult must meet the WFS criteria. All WFS payments issued to members of the same AU are budgeted against their Basic Food AU.

EXAMPLE: Charlie has one child and his wife Emma has two children. They have no children in common. Both Charlie and Emma work 35 hours per week. Charlie and Emma would each receive WFS payments. Their Basic Food income would include the total of $20 in WFS income.

6.  An application isn’t required for the Working Family Support program, but contact must be made with the client. Clients can request WFS:

a.    During the SNAP/FAP interview;

b.    During SNAP/FAP eligibility review;

c.    At mid-certification review; or

d.    Any time the client requests WFS.

7.  The Working Family Support payments:

a.    Don’t count towards the TANF or SFA 60-month time limit;

b.    Aren’t subject to overpayments; and

c.    Aren’t prorated. Eligible clients will receive the full benefit amount regardless of the day of the month eligibility is established.

NOTE: Do not delay processing of a Basic Food application, MCR, or ER while waiting for WFS verifications.

Worker Responsibilities

  1. Screen in a new program when the client requests WFS. Use the existing AU if completing a reconsideration.
  2. Verify employment hours when processing a WFS request and complete the mandatory Working Family Support Hours verification field. This isn’t a required field when the household reports self-employment income, because ACES 3G automatically calculates the self-employment hours. Clearly document how the hours were verified in ACES 3G Earned Income Remarks.
  3. Follow the CSD Procedures Handbook section Pending an Application or Eligibility Review if pending WFS for verification of hours. When screening in Basic Food and WFS at the same time, select ‘Not Verified’ in the Working Family Support Hours verification field to pend WFS for hour verification.  Continue processing Basic Food.  
  4. Verify WFS hours every six months. Follow the CSD Procedures Handbook section Working Family Support for WFS Eligibility Review procedures at Basic Food Recertification or Mid-Certification Review.
  5. Follow Effective Date - Change of Circumstance policy and procedures for changes that occur within the six-month verification timeframe.  
  6. ACES 3G will auto deny WFS applicants coded with ’TT’ income even if there is no associated income entered.  
EXAMPLE: Deidra and her three children apply for Basic Food. Deidra is working 35 hours a week at $10.00 an hour, and provides pay stubs to verify the income and the hours worked. The worker processes the Basic Food application. Deidra is potentially eligible for WFS and agrees to participate. The worker screens and approves the WFS program.


EXAMPLE: Ellen and her two children are in the office to complete a Basic Food eligibility review. Ellen claims no changes to her previously verified gross income of $300 per week and 35 hours per week. The worker approves Basic Food and offers Ellen the WFS program. Ellen is interested in WFS but the worker must verify her employment hours before approving WFS. The worker screens in the WFS AU, selects the Not Verified ‘NV’ valid value, but leaves it pending and gives Ellen a letter requesting verification of her employment hours.