Time Limits for Processing

Revised October 17, 2016


This section includes rules and procedures related to application processing time limits and processing delays.

WAC 388-406-0035 How long does the department have to process my application?

WAC 388-406-0040 What happens if the processing of my application is delayed?

WAC 388-406-0045 Is there a good reason my application for cash or medical assistance has not been processed?

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0035

If an applicant for food assistance completes their interview late in the application process and we still need some information to determine eligibility, take the following steps:

  1. Notify the client during interview  that we must have the required information/verification no later than the 30th day from their application date, otherwise they will not receive benefits for the application month. List the 10 day deadline to provide verification. 
  2. Tell the client we can reconsider a denied application if we have the information/verification by day 60. We will prorate benefits for the second month starting the date we receive the required information/verification.
EXAMPLE: Cliff applies for Basic Food on November 1st. He interviews on November 25th. The worker pends for verification. The worker enters December 10th as the due date on the RFI letter, but explains to Cliff that we will deny the application on December 1st unless we have all the verification required to determine his eligibility. The worker also explains that we can approve benefits from the date the verification is received if we receive all verification to determine eligibility by the 60th day from the application date
NOTE: For further information and canned text, see the Procedures Manual.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0040

ACES will  deny a food program application by the 30th day, or next business day if the 30th day falls on a weekend or holiday, even if the household requests additional time to provide information.  See WAC 388-406-0040, #4. 

Applications processed after the 30-day standard of promptness are considered untimely even if the household had the interview before the 30th day and we needed verification to determine eligibility for benefits.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0045

For cash and medical assistance applications, good cause exists only when the local office meets all processing requirements and the client causes a delay in the process.

EXAMPLE Client applies for TANF. We schedule an interview appointment timely. The client does not appear for the appointment. The client requests a second appointment on the 29th day following the date of application. Because the client caused the delay, good cause for not processing the application within 30 days exists.
EXAMPLE Mark applies for ABD cash on August 17th. He is scheduled to be released from Walla Walla Correctional facility on September 1st. His forty-five days ends on September 30th. We receive the medical evidence and establish disability on September 28th. He is released on October 5th. Mark is eligible for benefits beginning October 5th. The client caused the delay, so good cause for not processing the application within 45 days exists. (See: Applications for Assistance - Completing the Process)

ACES Procedures


  • Standards of Promptness
  • Standards of Promptness - When is there good cause for not processing an application by the SOP date?