Child Care Subsidy Programs Manual

Created on: 
Oct 20 2014

WAC 170-290—effective July 1, 2016

Created on: 
Jun 30 2016

Please click here to read WAC 170-290, the code which governs the Child Care Subsidy Program.

Approved Activities

Created on: 
Oct 20 2014

14-Day Wait Period

Created on: 
Feb 01 2016

Related WACs

Working Connections Child Care Subsidy

Seasonal Child Care

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0012

After application and reapplication, when a consumer has been approved for the 14 day wait period, if the consumer fails to provide the requested verification of participation in an approved activity the case should be terminated. The consumer may incur an overpayment for care used during these 14 days.

WAC 170-290-0055

Fourteen-Day wait period

After approving the application or reapplication, the 14-day wait period can be authorized for two weeks when the consumer is waiting to enter an approved activity. Its intended use is for, but not limited to:

  • When the start date of new employment is within 14 days of the request.
  • When on the job training is required prior to the start date of the actual job.
  • When TANF applicants or recipients have not completed their IRP at the time of applying for child care.

After application and reapplication, when a consumer has been approved for the 14 day wait period, if the consumer fails to provide the requested verification of participation in an approved activity the case should be terminated. The consumer may incur an overpayment for care used during these 14 days and any subsequent care used

Additional information

No additional information on these WACs.

Able and Available

Created on: 
Feb 01 2016

Related WACS

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

 n/a

Additional information

How does being able and available affect child care?

When a client applies for childcare the Department determines the amount of care needed. The Department looks at the times the parent/guardian is in an approvable activity and contrasts that to when they are able and available. In a two-parent household, the Department compares both parents' activity schedules to determine how many hours or days of care can be authorized. We can authorize payment only for the hours that both parents are unable and unavailable to care for the children.

Example: Mom works Monday–Friday from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. and Dad works Wednesday–Sunday from 8 a.m.–5 p.m.  Dad is available to care for the children on Monday and Tuesday. Child care will only be authorized for the three days neither parent is able or available—in this example, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. 

Employment

Created on: 
Feb 01 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs

Working Connections Child Care Subsidy

Seasonal Child Care Subsidy

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0003

Jury Duty is considered to be ‘employment’ under these definitions.

WAC 170-290-0045

Subsidized Employment

Subsidized employment can include:

  • Working in a federal or state paid work study program; or
  • VISTA volunteers, AmeriCorps, Job Corps and Washington Service Corps (WSC) if the income is taxed.

Employment

Paid work study, internships and practicums count as employment.

In-Kind Activities

Unless consumer receives taxable and reported compensation for in-kind activity, this does not count as approved work activity.

Volunteer Activities

Non-TANF consumers of WCCC may not receive child care benefits for volunteer or community services activities.

Internship

An internship related to the consumer’s approved, vocational education activity is considered to be required class time.

Working under the Table

If the activity meets the definition of employment or work, as described in WAC 170-290-0003, then the activity is considered to be an approvable activity. We do not monitor if the activity has been or will be reported to the IRS nor taxes paid.

Jury Duty is considered to be ‘employment’ and is an approved activity.

Additional Information

What qualifies as employment for program purposes?

The following can be counted as employment:
  • Unsubsidized employment
  • Employment in seasonal agricultural work (Seasonal Child Care).
  • Paid work study, internships, and practicums
  • Subsidized employment
  • Self-employment

What verification is needed for employment?

The client must provide;
  • The employer’s
    • Name
    • Address
    • Phone number
  • The client’s
    • Start date
    • Work schedule *
    • Gross income

* Schedule is not needed to determine if a client is eligible, but is needed to determine how much care can be authorized.

Click here for more information on schedule verification.

Click here for more information on income verification.

 

School

Created on: 
Feb 01 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0040

Approved Activities

WorkFirst consumers found eligible for WCCC may have child care subsidy benefits approved for activities that are specified in the consumer’s current IRP, including intensive services activities (known as x-components) in the IRP.

Training and education activities

TANF/WorkFirst consumers of WCCC are not subject to the limitations described for non-TANF applicants and consumers of WCCC in 170-290-0045.

Authorizing Care for WorkFirst Participants

TANF clients participating in 110 or more hours of WF activity are eligible for full time care.  Consumers with a pending TANF application who have not completed the WorkFirst intake process are eligible for full time care during the 14-day waiting period. When a WorkFirst consumer is eligible for full time care a standard Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm schedule will be used, unless specified in the IRP or reported differently by the consumer.

WAC 170-290-0045

Employment

Paid work study, internships and practicums count as employment.

Vocational Education

  • Two-year degrees with a vocational education focus are permitted.
  • The accredited college or school defines prerequisites for their enrolled students.
  • Consumers must have had child care authorized for school for less than 36 months at the time of application, reapplication or change reporting to be eligible for school.
  • Consumers may exceed more than 24 or 36 months of education or vocational education during the eligibility period as long as at the time of application, reapplication or change reporting the consumer had been approved for less than the lifetime limits.
  • Consumers can combine work study and other employment hours to meet the minimum number of work hours required for education and training activities.

Internship

An internship related to the consumer’s approved, vocational education activity is considered to be required class time.

Additional Information

What are approved schooling activities for the Child Care Subsidy Program?

Clients may be approved for child care subsidy to enable them to participate in the following types of education activities:>

  • High School completion or High School equivalency studies, for clients aged 21 years or younger.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program employment & training. (SNAP E&T)
  • Adult Basic Education.
  • English as a Second Language.
  • Vocational Education.

What are the requirements for school to be covered?

Clients 22 years old or older must be working a minimum amount number of hours in addition to attending school:

  • 20 hours per week.
  • 16 hours per week in a paid federal or state work study program.

If the client is younger than 22 years old and attending High School or participating in High School equivalency studies, there is no minimum work requirement. However, if they are doing any other of the above listed types of school, the work requirements apply.

If the client is participating in either the SNAP E&T or the WorkFirst program, there is no minimum work requirement.

Can clients continue taking children to child care during their school breaks?

Yes, children can continue going to child care during school breaks.

What coverage do clients receive for homework and study?

Clients are allowed up to 10 hours per week of additional time for study. Clients may determine the days, times, and locations of where study time is completed. This is flexible and can be based on their need.

Self-Employment

Created on: 
Mar 01 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0045

Working under the Table

If the activity meets the definition of employment or work, as described in WAC 170-290-0003, then the activity is considered to be an approvable activity. We do not monitor if the activity has been or will be reported to the IRS nor taxes paid.

WAC 170-290-0050

Resources for Self-Employment

Direct applicants or consumers to the following resources for assistance:

Incorporations

Incorporated businesses are not self-employment enterprises.

  • Compensation received by an individual from a corporation is countable income.
  • Any distribution of income, including compensation benefits such as rent, living expenses, or transportation is countable income for consumers reporting employment and income as or under an incorporated business.

Cost of Doing Business

Self-employed consumers are responsible for the costs involved in providing verification of his or her business license, registration, UBI number or other self-employment documents needed to determine eligibility for benefits.

Standard Deduction vs Itemized Deduction

When a consumer cannot or does not submit verification of their self-employment expenses, use a standard $100 per month deduction when calculating that income.

Additional Information

When are clients considered self-employed?

A client is considered self-employed under the following conditions:

  • They have a Uniform Business Number (UBI);
  • They earn income from their business and are not paid by an employer;
  • They are responsible to pay their own federal and Social Security taxes;
  • Their work schedule is not controlled by an employer;
  • They participate directly in the production of goods or services that generate their income; and
  • They work outside of the home

What types of business owners are not considered self-employed?

People who run their business out of a corporation are not considered self-employed. This is true even if the person is the sole investor in the business. Corporations are separate entities from their investors and employees. The person is considered an employee of a corporation, and may also have income from dividends related to any investment in the corporation, and/or personal expenses paid by the business.

Corporations include S Corporations and can include Limited Liability Companies (LLC) if they are set up as corporate structures. Partnerships are not incorporated, and are considered self-employment enterprises. For more information on various business structures, visit the IRS website.

Are clients eligible for child care when they work in their own home?

No. Only self-employment activities outside of the client’s home are approved. If the client’s self-employment is split between the home and outside of the home, the Department may only cover the activities outside of the home.

Who manages self-employment child care cases?

All self-employment child care cases are managed by specially trained staff.  These employees process applications and provide ongoing case management for self employed clients.  

What verification is required for self-employed clients?

See “Self-Employment Verification.”

How is the amount of care for a self-employed client determined?

See “Units of Care.”

Sleep Time

Created on: 
Feb 01 2016

Related WACs

Working Connections Child Care Subsidy

Seasonal Child Care

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

n/a

Additional Information

Are clients eligible to receive child care benefits for sleeping?

If a client’s activity requires a night shift, which is defined as at least 6 hours between the hours of 8 p.m. and 8 a.m., they are eligible to receive child care for sleep time. Travel time can also be included in determining whether they meet the night shift criteria.

Travel Time

Created on: 
Feb 01 2016

Related WACs

Working Connections Child Care

Seasonal Child Care

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0012

Use 30 minutes as a default for travel time if travel time is unknown. Otherwise, use the consumer’s reasonable estimate if longer or shorter.

Additional Information

How is travel time determined?

The Department will authorize child care for the time it takes for the client to get to their approved activity after leaving their children with the child care provider.

WorkFirst

Created on: 
Feb 01 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs and Clarifying Information

Additional Information

What are approved activities for clients participating in WorkFirst?

At the time of their application or reapplication a WorkFirst client is eligible to receive Child Care Subsidy for activities listed in their Individual Responsibility Plan (IRP), which indicates the activity that they should be involved in.  Child care will be approved for 12 months at the time of application.  

The Department authorizes Child Care Subsidy benefits based on

How does the Department authorize Child Care Subsidy for WorkFirst?

When clients are approved for WorkFirst, eligibility workers will look at the IRP to determine how much child care is needed at the time of the application or reapplication. The WorkFirst case manager’s case notes and other available information may provide additional information that may be used to assist in determining this.

The following information should be in place in the IRP prior authorizing child care:

  • The activity the client is participating in.
  • The beginning and end dates of the activity.
  • The number of weekly hours the client will participate in the activity.

See WAC 170-290-0040 above for more information.

Clients are responsible to initiate contact with the Department to request Child Care Subsidy benefits.

What can be approved for clients waiting to enter an approved WorkFirst activity?

If TANF applicants or recipients are not in an approved WorkFirst activity, as long as they meet the child care eligibility criteria, they are eligible to have full-time child care authorized so that they can attend WorkFirst orientation, finalize the TANF application, and complete their IRP. The certification period will be 12 months.  TANF clients must enter an approved activity within 14 days of approving their child care application, or benefits will be terminated with 10 days advance notice.  

Example: A client who is pending on TANF applies for child care on June 1. The Department may approve the child care application with a certification period of June 1 through the following May 31.  On June 14 the Department will verify that the TANF has been approved and the client is an approved WorkFirst activity.  If in an approved WorkFrist activity, child care benefits will remain open.  If the client is not in an approved activity, the Department will send 10 days advanced notice and child care will be terminated June 24.  

What if a client is in WorkFirst sanction?

Clients applying for child care who are in sanction may be eligible to receive child care benefits if they are

  • Employed.
  • Working to cure a sanction.
  • In another approved activity.

If a sanctioned client is participating in another approved activity, such as employment, even if they are not working to cure sanction, they may be eligible for child care for the time they are in the approved activity.

For any TANF client whose IRP shows self-employment, the Department must determine eligibility as defined by WAC 170-290-0003 and verify there is a TANF self-employment plan on file.

Are clients eligible for child care when they are on Infant Exemption?

Clients applying for child care may still be eligible for child care when on Infant Exemption when combined with another approvable activity. Some clients take Infant Exemption which exempts them from participating in WorkFirst. Clients may take Infant Exemption but still participate part-time in an approvable activity. These clients are eligible for child care for the approved activity.

Example: Client with a newborn wants to complete their High School Equivalency program but only is able to attend school 10 hours a week. While taking the Infant Exemption, the client waives her requirement to participate fully, but opts to participate part time. She can still receive child care for the time she is in school because she is participating in an approved activity.
 

Are child care applicants eligible to receive Child Care Subsidy benefits while participating in activities with the South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency and receiving Tribal TANF?

Yes.  The Department will attempt to contact the tribal worker for participation information. Clients can provide us with the necessary contact information. If we are unable to get the needed information, clients will need to provide written verification of participation. Any activity the tribal worker approves is covered by Child Care Subsidy.

Changes

Created on: 
Feb 25 2016

Notice of Change

Created on: 
Feb 25 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs

Child Care Subsidy

Seasonal Child Care

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

n/a

Additional Information

What is 10-day advance and adequate notice?

When a case is suspended or terminated, or benefits are reduced, the Department provides clients with 10 days’ advance and adequate notice of the change or termination by mail.

Example:  On 9/15 a client reports that their income has increased and is now in excess of 85% of the State Median Income (SMI).  On 10/02, the Department processes the case and terminates child care benefits 10/12, ten days later. 

Exceptions

If a client contacts the Department to close their benefits, they may choose to waive 10 days’ notice, in which case their benefits will be terminated effective the day the client chooses.

Payments will be terminated immediately, without notice, when it is discovered that a Family, Friends and Neighbors provider becomes disqualified, or is living with a disqualified individual and is providing care in their own home. 

Reporting Requirements

Created on: 
Feb 25 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs

Child Care Subsidy

Seasonal Child Care

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0031

Due Date

If the due date for reporting changes falls on a non-business day, consumers have until the next business day to turn in required information.

Additional Information

When is verification of a change needed?

Verification of a reported change may be needed when it would either

  • increase the amount of child care authorized.
  • when it would reduce the copayment.

Can care be reduced as a result of a reported change?

If a client reports a change that would reduce their need for child care (e.g. they change from full-time to part-time employment), their authorization will remain the same unless the client requests a decrease.

Copayments

Created on: 
Feb 01 2016

Copayment Calculation

Created on: 
Feb 01 2016

Related WACs

Child Care Subsidy

Seasonal Child Care

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0075

Splitting Copayments Between Multiple Providers

A consumer may request the copayment to be split among providers. The consumer may choose which provider to assign the copayment.

Additional Information

What is a copayment?

A copayment is the amount of money the consumer is responsible to pay the child care provider toward the cost of child care.  

How is a copayment calculated?

Copayments are based on household size and total gross income. Household size determines the income limit, which is 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Countable income under 82% of the FPL will result in a $15 copayment.

Countable income more than 82% up to 137.5% of the FPL will result in a $65 copayment.

Countable income more than 137.5% up to 200% of the FPL will be calculated using the following formula: Subtract 137.5% FPL from the Countable Income, multiply by .50, and add $65.

Example: A household of two has a total countable income of $2050. The income standard at application and reapplication for a household of two in 2015 is $2656 per month. 137.5% of the Federal Poverty Level in this case is $1826. Because the countable income is higher than that, the copayment is calculated as follows:

$2050 – $1826 = $224 x 0.5 = $112 + $65 = $177. This is the client’s copayment.

The Department of Early Learning has a detailed copayment calculation table available on their website.

Copayment Changes

Created on: 
Feb 01 2016

Copayment is Higher than Cost of Care

Created on: 
Feb 01 2016

Related WACs and Clarifying Information

Child Care Subsidy

Seasonal Child Care

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0005

Copay Greater Than Cost of Care

DSHS will not authorize payments to eligible child care providers when the consumer’s copayment is more than the total cost of care for their family.  When determining the total monthly cost of care consider the maximum of what would be authorized to that provider and include the cost of any special needs payments.

WAC 170-290-0075

Copayment Amounts

DSHS will not authorize payments to eligible child care providers for any month when the consumer’s copayment is more than the total cost of care for their family. The total cost of care includes both the regular cost of care and any special needs authorization.

Splitting Copayments Between Multiple Providers

A consumer may request the copayment to be split among providers. The consumer may choose which provider to assign the copayment.

WAC 170-290-0090

When the ongoing copayment is higher than cost of care and the consumer is eligible for the minimum copayment, DSHS will authorize care for the first two months only if the consumer is eligible for a $15 copay for the first two months.  If later during the eligibility period, the cost of care exceeds the ongoing copayment amount care will be authorized.

WAC 170-290-0110

Copay Greater Than Cost of Care

When the total monthly cost of care of what would be authorized to the family is less than the ongoing copayment, the family may remain eligible.  DSHS will not authorize payments to eligible child care providers until the consumer’s ongoing copayment is less than the total cost of care for their family. 

Additional Information

Example: A client has a $600 copayment. They want to use a child care center in Spokane County. The client has one pre-school age child who needs 23 full days of care.

The state base rate for a child care center in Spokane for a 39-month-old child is $25 per full day. $25 x 23 full days = $575. Because the cost of care is less than the copayment, care will not be authorized to this provider.  The family will be responsible for paying for the cost of care to this provider. 

Some child care providers have a private pay rate that is less than the state rate. In this case, the Department will determine if a client is eligible using the provider’s private pay rate.

Example: A client has a $500 copayment. They want to use a child care center in Yakima County. The client has a child who is 42 months old and is eligible for 23 full days of care.

Yakima County is located in Region 2. The state rate for a child care center in Region 2 for a 42-month-old child is $24.61 per full day. However, the center the client wants to use only charges $20 per full day, which is less than the state rate. $20 x 23 full days = $460, which is less than the $500 copayment. Because the provider's rate is less than the copayment, care will not be authorized to this provider.  

However, if this provider charged the same as, or more than the state rate, the cost of care would be $566.03 ($24.61 x 23 full days).  Because the $500 copayment is less than the cost of the base rate, care would be authorized.  The client would pay the first $500 and the Department would pay the remaining $66.03 per month.  

Minimum Copayment

Created on: 
Feb 03 2016

Related WACs and Clarifying Information

Child Care Subsidy

Seasonal Child Care

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0090

Eligibility for Minimum Copayment at Reapplication

The break in approved activity must have ended within 30 days of the reapplication.  Consumers who have been employed more than 30 days prior to their reapplication are not eligible for the $15/$15 the first two months of their new eligibility period.

When the ongoing copayment is higher than cost of care and the consumer is eligible for the minimum copayment, DSHS will authorize care for the first two months only.  If later during the eligibility period, the cost of care exceeds the ongoing copayment amount care will be authorized.

Additional Information

When are clients eligible for the minimum copayment?

Both Working Connections and Seasonal Child Care child care subsidy clients are eligible for the minimum copayment if they meet all the other criteria and:

  • The household income is at or below 82% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

Working Connections clients are also eligible for the minimum copayment if:

  • The client is a minor parent who is receiving a TANF grant.
  • The client is a minor parent who is part of their parent’s or relative’s TANF assistance unit.
  • If this is the client’s first child care subsidy application, they are eligible to receive the minimum copayment for the first two months that child care is used. On the third month, the copayment will change to their regularly calculated copayment

When else are clients eligible for the minimum copayment?

  • When the client is guaranteed their position back after a leave and/or extended vacation period, the client is not eligible for the minimum copayment.
  • When the client returns to a previously held position after a leave and/or extended vacation period of more than 30 days and was not guaranteed their position back, they are eligible for the minimum copayment for the first two months benefits are paid. 

Examples

Example 1: A client is 4 months into his eligibility period when he loses his job.  The household remains eligible for childcare subsidies.  2 months later he is able to secure new employment.  When the client completes their eligibility review 6 months later he is NOT eligible for the minimum $15/$15 copayment because he has been employed for longer than 30 days at the time of re-application.  The $15/$15 copayment is a benefit intended for clients who have re-entered an approvable activity within 30 days of their reapplication.
Example 2: When completing their eligibility review the client reports that they were unemployed for 4 months, but just started at a new job 2 weeks ago.  The client IS eligible for the $15/$15 copayment because they were unemployed for at least 30 days and their new job began within the last 30 days.
Example 3: A teacher's eligibility period ends June 30. She goes on summer vacation, and is guaranteed her position at the end of vacation.  She reapplies and is approved for benefits in September when she returns to work. Because the teacher is guaranteed a position at the end of the vacation and returns to work, there has been no break in activities and neither WAC 170-290-0090(2) nor (3) apply. She is NOT eligible for the minimum copayment.
Example 4: Client goes on maternity leave at the end of her eligibility period and is not guaranteed her position upon return. She reapplies for child care subsidy benefits after the leave and reports a new job starting within the last 30 days. Because the client was not guaranteed a position upon return from leave, that exceeded 30 days, and didn't earn any taxable income during leave, the client is considered to have had a break in employment. WAC 170-290-0090(3) applies and she IS eligible for the $15/$15 copay.

Outstanding Copayments

Created on: 
Feb 03 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs

Child Care Subsidy

Seasonal Child Care

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

n/a

Additional Information

What happens if a client doesn’t pay their copayment?

When a provider reports that a client has an outstanding copayment and has not made payment arrangements, the client is no longer eligible for child care benefits. The case and authorization will be terminated with 10-day notice.  The client will remain ineligible until the debt is resolved.

How does a client with an outstanding copayment become eligible for child care?

The client must pay the past due amount in full, or make satisfactory payment arrangements with the provider. If they pay the balance in full, the Department can accept written or verbal verification from the provider. Verbal verification can be obtained by the Department contacting the provider or vice versa. If arrangements are made to pay the outstanding balance over time, the Department must have a written agreement between the provider and consumer. 

If the copayment has been paid or payment arrangements made during the 10-day advance notice period, the case can be reinstated without a break in eligibility if the client is otherwise eligible. If the copayment is paid or payment arrangements made after the 10-day notice period, however, the client must reapply for benefits.

Note: The failure to pay an outstanding co-pay is a dispute between the client and the provider. The provider can forgive the debt, or the client may perform in-kind services in lieu of payment of the past due amount. A third party can pay the debt, or the provider may accept payment arrangements, or require payment in full. However, if the third party is agreed to the responsible for the co-payment by the client and the provider and the third party fails to pay or make arrangements to pay an outstanding co-pay, the client's eligibility is still at risk. Ultimately, the responsibility to see the co-payment paid lies with the client.

What happens when the outstanding copayment has been sent to a collection agency?

When the past due copayment debt is turned over to a collection agency, the client must provide written verification that a payment plan has been established with the collection agency. Once written proof of the payment agreement is received, child care can be approved if the client is otherwise eligible.

A notice of a collection debt from a collection agency is not sufficient verification. The client must have an actual written agreement to repay the copayment amount to the collection agency.

Example: ABC provider calls to report that the client didn’t pay her copayment and owes $65. The Department terminates the benefits with 10 days’ notice. Six months later the client reapplies. The client states that they paid the past due amount. The Department worker calls the provider and confirms that the debt has been paid.  The client is otherwise eligible and her application approved.
Example: ABC provider calls to report that the client didn’t pay their copayment and owes $65. The worker terminates the benefits with 10 days’ advance notice. The client calls before the termination date and states that they paid the past due amount. The worker calls the provider and confirms that the debt has been paid. The client is otherwise eligible and the case is reinstated.
Example: ABC provider calls to report that the client left their center owing $400. The worker terminates the benefits with 10 days’ advance notice. Six months later the client reapplies online. The application will be denied until the Department receives verification that the balance has been paid or that payment arrangements have been made. The client returns a copy of a statement from Get Paid Now Collections showing that they are making monthly payments. The client is otherwise eligible and the application can be approved.

Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership

Created on: 
Feb 25 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

n/a

Additional Information

What is the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership?

Beginning January 1, 2016, the Department of Early Learning and the DSHS Community Services Division are joining together to implement the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership (hereafter referred to as “the Partnership”).

The Partnership provides children with access to comprehensive early learning, health coordination, and whole family services, to ensure they are entering kindergarten healthy and ready to succeed. Families receiving Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) subsidies with children enrolled in the Partnership will remain eligible for a minimum of 12 months, regardless of any changes in circumstances that do not result in the client earning more than 85% of the state median income, even if the change results in the client being ineligible for WCCC.

Main Highlights of the Partnership:

  • Non-citizen children can enroll in the Partnership.
  • Household must meet eligibility criteria at application for WCCC to be eligible for the Partnership.
  • A specialized team will process all Partnership case work.
  • All children are authorized at least 23 full day units regardless of parent activity or hours in care.
  • Partnership providers are paid the same standard daily rate regardless of the age of the enrolled child.  The rates vary based on the location and type of provider.
  • When appropriate, special needs care will be authorized for Partnership children.
  • Partnership providers are not paid Field Trip or Registration fees or the Nonstandard Hours Bonus.
  • All enrolled families have a copayment.
  • Partnership providers are paid up to 30 absent/vacancy days when a child is de-enrolled from the program.  
  • Providers will report the child’s de-enrollment or vacancy by day 15 and staff will close open Partnership authorizations effective the 30th calendar day.
  • When closing Partnership authorizations, the 30th day can extend into the next month.
  • For Partnership slots providers may bill for care for a vacant slot if any part of the 30-day vacancy extends into the following calendar month.

How do clients report that a child is enrolled in the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership?

Enrollment can be reported by either the client or Partnership provider when there is no change in provider. No additional verification is required when the provider is already authorized for the child.

When the child is changing providers, the change must be verified by the client before authorizing care. If the provider change is reported by the provider prior to the client report, eligibility workers will attempt to contact the client by phone to confirm the change. If unable to reach the client by phone, the worker will mail an Information Request letter and ask the client to report the provider change. Care will not be authorized until the client reports the provider change.

10-day notice

When the child is not changing providers and is enrolling in a Partnership slot with the same provider, 10-day advance notice is not required when closing the WCCC authorization. 

Example: A 2-year-old child is authorized 9 full day units at KinderCare, provider #123456. On January 7 the provider calls to report that the child is enrolled in an EHS Partnership slot as of January 1. Because the child is not changing providers, but only changing to the EHS Partnership program, 10-day advance notice is not required. The Department will close the 9 full day unit authorization effective December 31 and open 23 full days using the Partnership service code effective January 1 through the end of the current eligibility period.

When the child is changing providers and enrolling in a Partnership slot, 10-day advance notice must be given to the provider when closing the WCCC authorization.

Example: On February 1 a parent reports that her 3-year-old will be changing providers and enrolling in the Partnership on February 5 at a licensed family home. Her other children will be staying with their current provider. The client wants to pay her copayment to the Partnership provider. The Department will close the child’s authorization and copayment line with the current provider effective February 11 and open 23 full days using the Partnership service code effective February 5. The client will begin paying her copayment to the Partnership provider on March 1.

What rates are Partnership providers paid?

Click here for the Partnership rates.

Eligibility

Created on: 
Oct 21 2014

Age Requirements

Created on: 
Feb 01 2016

Related WACs

Child Care Subsidy

Seasonal Child Care

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

n/a

Additional Information

What are the child's age requirements?

In order for a child to receive child care services, the child must either be under age 13, or up to age 19 if the child has a verified special need or is under court-ordered supervision.

Applications

Created on: 
Feb 01 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs

Working Connections Child Care

Seasonal Child Care

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0005

AmeriCorps/Vista Child Care Subsidy

The person applying for WCCC is not eligible for child care benefits from WCCC if child care is already subsidized by AmeriCorps or Vista child care programs.

WAC 170-290-0015

In Loco Parentis

Apply WAC 170-290-0015 (1) (f) to all in loco parentis consumers.

WAC 170-290-0020

Employer-Provided Child Care Benefits

A consumer, who receives child care at no cost as a benefit of his or her employment, is not eligible for WCCC benefits.

Additional Information

Authorized Representative

An authorized representative can be any adult who is not a member of the subsidy unit and has sufficient knowledge of the client's circumstances and authority to act on the client's behalf. In general, the client chooses who will be their authorized representative.  The client must request an Authorized Representative in writing. 

Information Needed to Determine Eligibility

See verification for more information.

In order to determine if a household is eligible to receive child care subsidies, the Department needs the following information:

  • Names and dates of birth for all household members.
  • Verification that the children are citizens or legal residents of the United States.
  • The household’s physical and mailing addresses (if they are different). This is needed to send correspondence to the client as well as to verify that the household lives in Washington State. People who do not live in Washington State are not eligible to receive benefits.
  • Verification that the client or clients are participating in approved activities as defined in WAC 170-290-0040, WAC 170-290-0045, WAC 170-290-0050, and WAC 170-290-0055.
  • Verification that the household monthly income is below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. This may include verification of:
    • Gross income for the past three months.
    • Unearned income such as child support, Social Security, Veteran's Assistance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, etc.

Whenever possible, The Department will obtain verification by phone and/or use electronic data bases to verify a client’s income and citizenship status.

When is a client not eligible for Child Care Subsidy?

Individuals are not eligible for Child Care Subsidy when they:

  1. Do not meet eligibility requirements, including income eligibility limitations;
  2. Are a single parent that anticipates being out of the home for more than 30 days;
  3. Do not provide requested information;
  4. Are not in an approved activity at time of application or reapplication;

When is a client not eligible for Seasonal Child Care?

In addition the general eligibility limitations for Child Care Subsidy, individuals are not eligible for Seasonal Child Care when they:

  1. Are currently receiving TANF; or
  2. Do not live in one of these counties:  Adams, Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Franklin, Grant, Kittitas, Okanogan, Skagit, Walla Walla, Whatcom or Yakima.
  3. The applicant is not working in seasonal agricultural work.

Submitting an Application

All clients must have a completed application in order to be determined eligible. There are multiple ways for a client to apply:

  1. Contact the Statewide Customer Service Center at 1-877-501-2233.
  2. Apply online at washingtonconnection.org or at the “kiosk/computer” in the local CSO.
  3. Fill out and submit DSHS 14-001(X) Application for Benefits and check “Child Care.”
  4. Fill out and submit DSHS 14-417 CCSP Application.

 

Date of Application

The client's application date is whichever is earlier:

  1. The date the client's application is entered into the Department's automated system; or
  2. The date the client's application is date stamped as received.

Normally, the client’s first day of eligibility is the same as their application date. However, there are some exceptions.

  1. When a client submits a reapplication, his or her first day of eligibility is the first day after the current eligibility period expires.
  2. If a client does not turn in information for a reapplication within 30 days, a new application will be requested.  The date the requested information is received is the first day of eligibility.  The Department cannot reconsider the previous reapplication.

If a client submits a reapplication after the last day of the eligibility period, the first day of eligibility is the day that the reapplication was received.

A Child Care Subsidy client’s eligibility period will be one year from the date of application, up to the last day of the 12th calendar month.

Example: A client applies on May 15, 2015. If the client is determined eligible, they will have an eligibility period of May 15, 2015 to April 30, 2016. This is the same even if the client does not start to use benefits until June. This is also the same even if the client applies as late as May 31.

Non-Needy Relative Applications

If a client submits an application for their own children as well as other children in their care that are not their biological/adopted children, the Department will start two applications, one for the client and their children, and the other for the remaining children.

If a client who already has child care for their children applies for child care for any other children in their care, this is treated as a new, separate application with its own eligibility period and copayment.

Time Limits for Processing

DSHS has 30 days to complete the application process.  The Department attempts to verify all eligibility factors before asking a client for additional information.  If the application must be pended for additional information the Department will send the client a letter requesting additional information.  Clients will have 10 days to supply the requested information.  If information has not been received within that timeframe, the request for child care may be denied. However, if information is received within 30 days of the date of application, even if it has been denied, we may be able to approve the case if the client is otherwise eligible.

The application date is the first day of the 30-day count. If the information is received after the 30 days have passed, the client will need to reapply.

Example: If an application is received on April 14, the 30th day would be May 13 (there are 30 days in April, so 14 through 30 = 17 days + 13 days into May).
Example: If an application is received on August 9, the 30th day would be September 7 (there are 31 days in August, so 9 through 31 = 23 days + 7 days into September).

We count calendar days, not business days, however; if the 30th days falls on a weekend or Holiday, the next business day is considered the 30th day.  

If a client calls to request additional time to provide verification to complete the application process, Department staff notify the client that they have 30 days from the date of application to provide the missing information. If the case is denied, the denial stands unless the Department receives the missing verification within the 30-day time limit.

Completing the Process

When the pending letter is due, staff will check the client’s case record to see if all requested verification has been received. If it has not, the Department will determine if the client is eligible based on information already available.

If a client calls after providing information to check on their case status, staff will determine if all needed verification has been received, determine the client’s eligibility and inform them of their copayment amount.

Re-pending an Application

Staff will only send a second pending letter if the original letter didn't’t request all the required eligibility information. If the Department requests three items and the client only provides two, and eligibility cannot be determined with what was provided, the case will be denied.

Reconsidering a Denial

If a case has been denied for not providing all requested information, but then client provides whatever was missing within the 30-day time limit, the application will be reconsidered and the client’s eligibility determined. If the client remains ineligible, the case will be denied again with the new denial reason. If the client is eligible, the case will be approved.

If a Client is Not Eligible

If a client is not eligible due to household composition, income, activity, or outstanding copayment, the case will be denied.  If it is within the 30 day time limit, and the client meets, all eligibility criteria within the 30-day time limit from the original application the application may be reinstated depending on the reason for the original denial.  If the client becomes eligible at a later date, a new application will be started. 

Example: A client applies on January 10. On January 25 the application is denied for being over income. The client contacts the department on February 5 to report their income is reduced. The client’s income is verified on that date as within program guidelines. The begin date of the benefits would be February 5 (the date the client reported the new income). Even though the client applied on January 10, the client did not meet the eligibility requirements of the program until the date the new income was reported. Benefits could not begin until the date the client was found eligible for the program.

Note: As long as the client is eligible, the Department will approve their application without the provider information or schedule.

When provider information is received within 30 days of applying, care will be authorized using the eligibility begin date or the day the child(ren) begin receiving care whichever is later. If provider information is received more than 30 days after the application, payment will begin to the approved provider the date care began as long as the client reports the provider within 5 days of beginning care with them. 

Approved Activities

Created on: 
Feb 01 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs and Clarifying Information

Working Connections

Seasonal Child Care

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0040

In-Sanction and Working

Sanction is a penalty that reduces a WorkFirst consumer’s cash assistance. It is imposed when a person is able to, but refuses without good cause to participate in their Individual Responsibility Plan (IRP) requirements. A consumer who is in WorkFirst sanction may be eligible for WCCC benefits for employment or other approved activities during his or her sanction period.

Approved Activities

WorkFirst consumers found eligible for WCCC may have child care subsidy benefits approved for activities that are specified in the consumer’s current IRP, including intensive services activities (known as x-components) in the IRP.

Training and education activities

TANF/WorkFirst consumers of WCCC are not subject to the limitations described for non-TANF applicants and consumers of WCCC in 170-290-0045.

Tribal TANF, WCCC and Dual Eligibility

Some Tribes in WA manage their own TANF and WorkFirst program. Tribal members may receive subsidies from the Tribe or DSHS. This is called dual eligibility. A WorkFirst Tribal member’s participation requirements may be different than non-Tribal participants. If a Tribal member requests WCCC from DSHS, use WAC rules regarding family size, counting income and determining copayments. Tribal TANF activities are approvable activities for WCCC.

WAC 170-290-0045

Subsidized Employment

Subsidized employment can include:

  • Working in a federal or state paid work study program; or
  • VISTA volunteers, AmeriCorps, Job Corps and Washington Service Corps (WSC) if the income is taxed.

Employment

Paid work study, internships and practicums count as employment.

In-Kind Activities

Unless consumer receives taxable and reported compensation for in-kind activity, this does not count as approved work activity.

Volunteer Activities

Non-TANF consumers of WCCC may not receive child care benefits for volunteer or community services activities.

Vocational Education

  • Two-year degrees with a vocational education focus are permitted
  • The accredited college or school defines prerequisites for their enrolled students
  • Consumers must have had child care authorized for school for less than 36 months at the time of application, reapplication or change reporting to be eligible for school.
  • Consumers may exceed more than 24 or 36 months of education or vocational education during the eligibility period as long as at the time of application, reapplication or change reporting the consumer had been approved for less than the lifetime limits.
  • Consumers can combine work study and other employment hours to meet the minimum number of work hours required for education and training activities

Internship

An internship related to the consumer’s approved, vocational education activity is considered to be required class time.

Working under the Table

If the activity meets the definition of employment or work, as described in WAC 170-290-0003, then the activity is considered to be an approvable activity. We do not monitor if the activity has been or will be reported to the IRS nor taxes paid.

Jury Duty is considered to be ‘employment’ and is an approved activity.

WAC 170-290-0050

Incorporations

Incorporated businesses are not self-employment enterprises.

  • Compensation received by an individual from a corporation is countable income.
  • Any distribution of income, including compensation benefits such as rent, living expenses, or transportation is countable income for consumers reporting employment and income as or under an incorporated business.

Additional Information

What are approved activities for clients participating in WorkFirst?

See the WorkFirst chapter for information on use of child care subsidy for WorkFirst activities.

What are approved activities for clients not participating in WorkFirst?

Approved activities include the following:

  • Employment.
    • Employment (note: must be in seasonal agricultural work for Seasonal Child Care)
    • Federal- or state-funded work study, paid internships, and practicums count as employment.
    • Includes subsidized employment such as VISTA, AmeriCorps, Job Corps, and Washington Service Corps, if the income is taxed.
  • Self-employment.
  • Tribal TANF/SPIPA.
  • High School completion or High School equivalency studies.*
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Employment and Training (SNAP E&T programs)
  • Resources to Initiate Successful Employment (RISE) Pilot Program (October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2018).
  • Adult Basic Education.*
  • English as a Second Language.*
  • Vocational Education.*
  • Transportation time between child care and the place of the approved activity.
  • Study time
  • Sleep time

* If age 22 or older, the client must meet the employment requirements as outlined in WAC 170-290-0045 to be eligible for child care for these activities. Clients can meet the minimum average of 20 work hours per week requirement by combining employment and work study hours.

How do I provide verification of my approved activity?

See the Verification chapter for more information on what verification to provide.

Citizenship

Created on: 
Jun 30 2016

Related WACs and Clarifying Information

Working Connections Child Care

Seasonal Child Care

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

n/a

Additional Information

How does the Department verify a child’s citizenship or legal residency?

If a child is known to the Department, eligibility workers will first look in the Automated Client Eligibility System (ACES). The Department is able to verify citizenship for most children by using the Social Security Administration citizenship/identity interface, (SOLQ).

  • If the Citizenship Valid Value is coded as EW or FV, the citizenship status has been federally verified and no additional citizenship verification is required.
  • If the Valid Value is coded as T1 or T2:
    • Workers will check the consumer's Electronic Case Record for existing applicable documents. If the documents are on file, no additional citizenship verification is needed.
    • If there are no documents available, workers will look in the Department of Health database for birth certificate information.
      • If birth certificate information is available, no further verification is needed.
    • If verification of a child's birth is not available, workers will conduct a SOLQ inquiry through ACES. If the child's social security number comes back with a V, no further verification is required.
    • If citizenship cannot be verified though any of these methods, the case will be pended for verification.
  • Citizenship can be verified by birth certificate, passports, certification of naturalization, certificate of citizenship, etc.

Things to keep in mind

  • Social Security Administration does not issue Social Security Numbers to children who are not living in the USA legally.
  • Children who are receiving Medicaid are eligible for child care and have had their citizenship verified.
  • Newborn children born to a mother on Medicaid are automatically eligible for Medicaid and have had their citizenship verified for life.

Income Standards

Created on: 
Feb 01 2016

Related WACs and Clarifying Information

Working Connections Child Care Subsidy

Seasonal Child Care

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

n/a

Additional Information

What are the income standards?

The income standards vary depending upon the size of the household.  The Department will use the total gross income from the parent(s) and children when applying the income standards at application and reapplication to determine eligibility and copay.

Click here to see the current program income standards. The income limit for child care subsidy at application and reapplication can be found in Column 2.

What if a household is over-income?

Effective October 1, 2016, clients who are completing an eligibility review for Child Care Subsidy Programs and have an income between 200% and 220% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) will be eligible for an additional 3 months of child care subsidy.  This is defined as a Phase-out period to assist families in making the transition to paying for child care on their own.

Special Circumstances

Created on: 
Feb 01 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs

Working Connections Child Care

Seasonal Child Care

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0020

Employer-Provided Child Care Benefits

A consumer, who receives child care at no cost as a benefit of his or her employment, is not eligible for WCCC benefits.

Court-Ordered Substance Abuse or Mental Health Treatment.

When a parent in a two-parent family is court-ordered to attend substance abuse or mental health treatment, that parent is not considered able or available to care for the children during treatment participation.

Consumer Residence and FFN Providers

The consumer can live with the FFN provider who cares for their child as long as the approved activities are outside the provider’s home at the time of application or reapplication.

Two Parent Family

In a two parent household, when one parent is unable or unavailable to work due to verified medical reasons, their activity is not considered when requesting care to be done in the child’s home with a FFN provider.

Child’s Visitation

If a consumer currently receives WCCC for children residing in the household and another child joins the household for visitation and needs child care, that child is authorized under the consumer’s current benefits with no changes to the consumer’s family size, income or copayment.

WAC 170-290-0205

If the consumer is employed by the licensed family home, WCCC will not pay for the consumer’s child to be in care with that provider during those hours the consumer is working in the licensed family home.

Additional Information

What are some special circumstances that could affect Child Care subsidy eligibility or authorization?

When applying for child care subsidy, or reporting a change in circumstances, there are certain instances where a client may or may not be eligible for care, or may need to choose a different child care provider. 

  • Potentially eligible:
    • A person who works in a licensed child care center where his or her children attend, but does not work in the same room as his or her own children during the time child care subsidy is requested.
      • Note: If a parent and child are in the same room together, the parent is not eligible for child care subsidy coverage for this time, even if the parent is not directly caring for the children.
    • A sanctioned WorkFirst parent who is in an activity working to cure the sanction or reopen their case. Click here for more information about WorkFirst and WorkFirst sanction.
    • A married non-needy relative; only one of the spouses need be in an approved activity, unless both are named on a permanent custody order.
    • A parent in a two-parent household where one parent is not able and available to provide care while the other is in an approved activity.
      • A parent in a two-parent household who is court-ordered to attend substance abuse or mental health treatment is not considered able or available to care for the children during treatment participation.
  • Clients who are otherwise eligible for subsidy will need to use a different provider in these situations:
    • Child care will not be authorized to a provider for a child whose parent works in that providers licensed family home. 
    • Child care will not be authorized when a child receives child care in the same place the client works, such as their home, another location, or a licensed family child care home during the client's hours of employment. 
      • Note: If a client is self-employed, they are only eligible for child care subsidy for activities completed outside of the home.

What are some special circumstances that could affect Seasonal Child Care eligibility?

  • A two-parent household where one parent is not able or available to provide care while the other parent is working in seasonally agricultural work.

What if a spouse or partner is unable to work or provide care for the children?

In a two-parent family, if one of the parents claims they aren’t able to work or provide care for the children, the Department must determine if parent is physically or mentally capable of caring for a child in a responsible manner. We will request written documentation from an acceptable medical source as defined in WAC 388-449-0010.  The documentation must include:

  1. Reason the parent is unable to care for the children;
  2. Expected duration and severity of the condition that keeps them from caring for the children; and
  3. Treatment plan, including verification that he or she is cooperating with treatment. (Note: Seasonal Child Care does not need the treatment plan.)

If this is verified, only the schedule from the parent who is participating in an approved activity is considered when determining how much care to authorize.

If a two-parent household requests a Family/Friend/Neighbor provider and one of the parents are unable to care for the children due to being disabled, we must complete and submit an Exception to the Rule (ETR).  We cannot authorize care without an approved ETR from the Department of Early Learning.

In a single-parent family, the household would not be eligible.

What is needed if a client is acting in loco parentis or as a non-needy relative?

See “What is needed if a client is acting in loco parentis or as a non-needy relative?”

Termination of and Redetermining Eligibility

Created on: 
Feb 01 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0012

After application and reapplication, when a consumer has been approved for the 14 day wait period, if the consumer fails to provide the requested verification of participation in an approved activity the case should be terminated. The consumer may incur an overpayment for care used during these 14 days.

WAC 170-290-0285

Eligibility for Benefits

The consumer is eligible for WCCC benefits through the end of the current certification period providing WAC 170-290-0285 (1) (a) or (b) is met.

Additional Information

Why does the Department terminate cases?

If at any point during their eligibility period a client is determined to no longer be eligible for benefits, the Department terminates the case with 10-days’ written notice.

A child care case may also be terminated if a client does not:

  • Pay their copayment in a timely manner to their child care provider
  • Enter the approved activity at the end of the 14 day wait period
  • Return the requested income verification of new employment by the sixtieth day
  • Meet other eligibility requirements related to income and resources
  • Cooperate with the Child Care Subsidy audit process or with the DSHS Office of Fraud and Accountability

How can a case be reinstated?

A case may be reinstated if:

  • The Department erroneously terminated it
  • The Department receives any required verification before the termination date

What happens if the client disagrees with an adverse change or termination?

A client may request an Administrative Hearing to dispute the termination or adverse action taken.  As long as the request for a hearing is completed timely a consumer may request to continue receiving Working Connections Child Care benefits pending the outcome of the hearing.  If the consumer loses at hearing, any benefits used between the adverse action date and the hearing decision is an overpayment to the consumer.

The following situations are excluded from continued benefits pending an administrative hearing:

  • Payments to an ineligible provider
  • Applications or re-applications that have been denied 

Fraud Referrals

Created on: 
Apr 22 2016

How does the Department address potential fraud?

Department eligibility staff may make an internal referral for fraud investigation when they become aware of facts that indicate an overpayment has occurred as a result of a client's intent to conceal or misrepresent facts to the Department.  All fraud referrals will be routed to the appropriate DSHS staff and unit.

If information provided by a client or provider is questionable, or if verification seems tampered with, inconsistent, or unconvincing, eligibility workers may refer their case to Fraud Early Detection (FRED).

FRED investigators search various systems and documents to determine a client’s situation. They may also conduct interviews with clients, neighbors, family members, landlords, and employers to resolve questions or inconsistencies.

After an investigation, investigators report their findings to eligibility staff. Staff then take appropriate action on the information, which may include, but is not limited to, terminating benefits, issuing overpayments, requesting additional verification, or updating systems to reflect the client’s situation accurately.

Homeless Grace Period

Created on: 
Jun 08 2017

Table of Contents

Related WACs

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

n/a

Additional Information

What is the Homeless Grace Period?

Families experiencing homelessness who are not otherwise eligible for the Working Connections Child Care program may be eligible to receive special child care assistance through what is called the Homeless Grace Period. The Homeless Grace Period will provide four months of child care benefits with a licensed provider and $0 copayment to help families while they are resolving issues surrounding homelessness, such as locating housing, obtaining or verifying employment, or resolving outstanding copayments with previous providers.

How do clients apply for the Homeless Grace Period?

Clients may apply by calling 1-877-501-2233 Monday through Friday. Clients may also apply online at Washington Connection (Your Link to Services), or mail an application to CSD—Customer Service Center, PO Box 11699, Tacoma, WA 98411-9905.

Eligibility requirements for the Homeless Grace Period:

  • Clients must be experiencing homelessness.
  • Clients must not have been in the Homeless Grace Period in the 12 months prior to application.
  • Clients must meet all eligibility requirements under WAC 170-290-0005 and 170-290-0030 except for one or more of the following:
    • Participating in an approved activity under WAC 170-290-0040, 170-290-0045, 170-290-0050, or in a 14 day wait period to enter an approved activity under WAC 170-290-0055.
    • Required to provide verification of income and/or employment and unable to do so within 30 days of the date of application or reapplication.
    • Have no outstanding copayment, or no written payment plan to pay an outstanding copayment.

How will homelessness be verified?

Clients must be homeless as defined by the McKinney-Vento Act. The McKinney-Vento Act defines “homeless children” as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.

  • Fixed – Stationary, permanent, and not subject to change.
  • Regular – Used on a predictable, routine, or consistent basis.
  • Adequate – Sufficient for meeting needs typically met in home environments (operable plumbing, working kitchen, working safe electrical, not condemned, meets building code).

Families will be considered homeless if they are in one or more of the following situations:

  • Living in motel.
  • Living in a shelter.
  • Living in transitional housing.
  • Moving from place to place.
  • Living in a car, park, camp, public space, abandoned building, substandard housing.
  • Living with more than one family in a house or apartment (doubling up).

Homelessness must be verified within 30 days of the date of application.

  • If the client has reported homelessness within the last 12 months and it is documented in ACES or eJAS, no further verification is required.
  • If ACES or eJAS does not indicate homelessness, the client will need to provide a verbal or written statement from a third party outside of the client’s household who knows the family housing status.

Homeless Grace Period Policies

  • Full-time childcare will be authorized to licensed providers for Homeless Grace Period families regardless of parent activity. Family, Friends and Neighbors providers cannot be used during the Homeless Grace Period. The copayment is based on the income of the family at the time of application.  It is waived during the Homeless Grace Period, the first four months of the client’s eligibility period.
  • Clients are required to provide verification of their participation in an approved activity, income verification, and verification of any copayment resolution by the end of the four month Homeless Grace Period. Clients who have not provided verification that the waived eligibility criteria has been satisfied by the end of the Homeless Grace Period will have their child care subsidy benefits terminated at that time.
  • Clients will maintain their eligibility for the Homeless Grace Period through the end of the fourth month even if their homelessness is resolved before then. This means they must continue to use a licensed provider and will continue to have their copayment waived through the end of the four month Homeless Grace Period.
  • Clients in the Homeless Grace Period still must report changes as established in WAC 170-290-0031.
  • Families who have verified homelessness and have been approved for Working Connections Child Care will be converted to the Homeless Grace Period at the point they would lose eligibility when either the 14-day wait or the 60-day new employment self-attestation periods end.
  • The period during which the copayment is waived will begin the first of the month following the last day of the 14-day wait or 60 day self-attestation periods, and will end on the last day of the fourth month of eligibility.

Income

Created on: 
Oct 21 2014

Best Estimate Guide

Created on: 
Apr 07 2016

CONSIDER

Use information from the client, pay stubs, statements from employers, and other available proof of income to answer the following:

Rate of Pay:

  • Does the client receive a salary or an hourly wage?
    • If hourly, what is the hourly wage and how many hours does the client work each pay period?
  • Is the client paid by the piece?
    • If paid for piecework, how much is the client paid for each piece and how many pieces do they normally complete each pay period?
  • Does the client receive tips, commissions, or bonuses?

Pay Frequency:

  • What are the client's pay periods?
  • What are the client's pay dates?
  • Is the client paid on the same day each week?
  • Is the client paid on specific days of each month?

Past Income:

  • If unable to anticipate expected hours or pay rate, look at past income:
    • Do the last 3 months represent what the client should receive in the future?
    • Do the last 30 days represent what the client should receive in the future?
  • Should special circumstances be considered when looking at past income?
    • If the client has a new job, is there a partial first check?
    • Does one of the pay periods include a time the client had leave without pay due to illness or other reasons?
    • Did one pay period include overtime because the client worked extra hours for a sick co-worker?

Recent Changes:

  • Has there been a recent employment change:
    • From to part-time full-time?
    • In the number of hours worked?
    • In the client's wage or salary?
    • From one job to another?
  • Has the client received overtime pay or bonuses?
  • Have there been other changes that would impact eligibility or benefit level?

Changes Expected During the Certification Period:

  • Are the hours going to go up or down?
  • Is the income ending?
  • Has the client’s job just started?

New or Changed Employment:

  • Does the client know their rate of pay, pay frequency, and average hours per week?
  • Have we attempted to call the employer to verify employment? If we are unable to verify, we will accept the client's statement and request verification of actual pay due within 60 days of approving the application.

Income Calculation

Created on: 
May 10 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs and Clarifying Information

Working Connections Child Care

Seasonal Child Care

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0060

Irregular Pay Check

If a consumer receives a bonus or an irregular paycheck that is expected to occur only once in the calendar year, it is treated as a lump sum.

Children’s SSI

When a child receives SSI income, the following conditions must apply for the income to be used in determining the family’s eligibility:

  • The child must reside with the representative payee that administers the monthly disability SSI benefits.

  • Do not count any past-due SSI lump-sum payments in the WCCC household income.

Working under the Table.

If the activity meets the definition of employment or work, as described in WAC 170-290-0003, the income would be considered countable income for the household. We do not monitor if the income has been or will be reported to the IRS nor taxes paid.

WAC 170-290-0070

Excluded Income

Do not count income from:

  • A third-party child care copayment made directly to the provider.

  • SSI overpayments that are withheld from gross SSI income.

  • Earned income of siblings enrolled in high school or GED completion, or of siblings participating in a public special education program, until age 22.

Additional Information

Does the Department count gross or net income?

The Department counts gross income—that is, income before taxes and deductions.

What income is counted?

You may refer to WAC 170-290-0060 for WCCC or 170-290-3610 for SCC to view countable sources of income. 

What type of income is not counted?

You may refer to WAC 170-290-0070 for WCCC or 170-290-3630 for SCC for disregarded income.

Money withheld for repayment

If clients have money withheld from benefits to recover an overpayment from the same income source, this income is excluded from the gross benefit. Under these circumstances, we only count the net benefit amount.

How does the Department count loans?

Loans are not included when calculating monthly income.

What are allowable deductions?

Court-ordered child support income is deducted from total household income. If a client is paying support directly to the client through an informal agreement, however, this is not counted as a deduction. Bills and other expenses (except self-employment expenses) are not counted as deductions.

How does the Department verify income?

Click here to learn more about verifying income.

How does the Department calculate income?

When estimating future monthly income the Department looks at the number of hours worked per week, pay frequency and pay dates.  Income amounts are rounded to the nearest dollar for each source of income.

Scenario: John Smith works 40 hours per week at $10 per hour.

  • Multiply expected weekly income by 4.3 for clients paid once a week.
    • When using rate of pay and hours per week: 40 hours x $10 per hour = $400 per week x 4.3 weeks per month = $1720 per month.
    • When using wage stubs: Add all the gross amounts together, divide by the number of pay periods,  and then multiply by 4.3. See below.
  • Multiply expected income by 2.15 for clients paid every two weeks.
    • When using rate of pay and hours per week: 40 hours x 2 weeks = 80 hours per pay period x $10 per hour = $800 per pay period x 2.15 pay periods per month = $1720 per month.
    • When using wage stubs: Add all the gross amounts together, divide by the number of wage stubs, and then multiply by 2.15.
  • Multiply semi-monthly income by 2 for clients paid twice a month.
    • When using rate of pay and hours per week: 40 hours x 52 weeks / 24 pay periods = 86.67 hours per pay period x $10 per hour = $866.67 per pay period x 2 = $1733.33 per month.
    • When using wage stubs: Add all the gross amounts together, divide by the number of wage stubs, and then multiply by 2.
  • Use monthly income for clients paid once per month.
    • When using rate of pay and hours per week: 40 hours x 52 weeks / 12 pay periods = 173.33 hours per pay period x $10 per hour = $1733.33 per month.
    • When using wage stubs: Add all the gross amounts together and divide by the number of wage stubs.
  • If using a tax return, divide the gross yearly income from the tax return by the number of months worked that year. See below for more information on using W-2s and tax returns.
  • For self-employment: Clients may either itemize or use the standard $100.00 deduction. 
  • For clients receiving commission or overtime pay in addition to an hourly/monthly wage, the Department must determine if the commission or overtime pay will be on-going, and if the amount will vary due to seasonality of the industry.

When some wage stubs are higher or lower than others

For existing employment: When a client provides wage stubs, the Department determines how long it took to earn the income, and then divides that income by the same amount of time to determine an average monthly amount. This means that for existing employment all wage stubs are counted, both high and low.

Example 1: A client completes their eligibility review and provides wages stubs for the past three months. One of them is lower than the others:

$798.00 $715.00 $550.00
$836.00 $792.00 $722.00
 

The lower wage stub appears to be isolated and is not questionable. Therefore, we include all the wage stubs when determining eligibility and copayment.

Example 2: A client completes their eligibility review and provides wage stubs for the past three months. The most recent one is higher than the others:

$1205.00 $715.00 $805.00
$836.00 $792.00 $722.00
 

Because the most recent wage stub is significantly higher than the others additional questions will be asked.  Did the client receive a raise? Was it a bonus? Have their hours increased? If the wage stub itself does not show the reason for the difference -e.g.. it does not show the client’s hourly wage or have a separate line for bonuses - effort will be made to clarify the increase by questioning the client or calling the employer. If it is verified that the client received a pay raise, the Department will use the higher wage stub and estimate future earnings. The lower wage stubs will not be used because they do not accurately reflect future earnings. If the client received a bonus, the income might be treated as a lump sum (see below).

For new or changed employment: The client’s pay history may not accurately estimate their future income. Partial paychecks are not counted, and the Department makes the best possible estimate using the information provided to estimate future income.  Eligibility workers will not average wage stubs that do not accurately reflect future earnings.

Example 3: A client applies for child care and provides four wage stubs which show that they are paid every other week and that they started their job less than three months ago. The first check is lower than the rest:

$805.00 $756.00
$836.00 $325.00
 

Because the first wage stub is much lower than the others, and is most likely a partial wage stub, it is not counted when calculating future income and determining eligibility and copayment. The average of the other three stubs is an accurate estimate of what the client is likely to earn in the future.

When the client has bonus pay in addition to an hourly/monthly wage

Bonuses will be calculated depending on how often they are received.

  • Bonuses paid on a monthly schedule are treated like ongoing wages/salary. They are applied to normal monthly income.
  • Bonuses received on a time schedule other than monthly are treated as a lump sum payment (see below).

What is the lump sum process?

If a client receives a lump sum payment (such as money from the sale of property or a back child support payment) in the month of application or during the eligibility period, divide the lump sum payment by twelve to come up with a monthly amount. 

If adding the lump sum causes the household income to be more than 200% FPL the application will be denied.  If the lump sum is received after subsidy benefits have already been approved, the total monthly household income must be less than 85% State Median Income (SMI) to remain eligible. 

Note: If the lump sum is received on a regular basis other than yearly, divide the amount by a different number; e.g.. for a quarterly bonus, the payment is divided by three as it is received every three months.

To determine the monthly income from a lump sum payment take the following steps

  1. If a one-time payment, divide the total received by 12 to determine the monthly amount.
  2. Add the monthly amount to the expected average monthly income for the month it was received and the remaining months of the current eligibility period.
  3. Determine if the client is still eligible. The client must have monthly income under 200% FPL if in the month of application, or under 85% SMI if during the eligibility period after applying the lump sum. 

How does the Department use W-2s to calculate income?

Clients may provide tax returns and W-2s from the previous year as verification of income if they are currently working for the same employer as they were for entire previous year, or if they are doing similar work for the entire previous year and they expect that this year’s income will be similar to last year’s.

Example 4: A client worked at ABC Orchards last year, and is now working at 123 Orchards. Because the work is similar, this client can provide tax returns and W-2s from the previous year.
Example 5: A client worked at Sears last year, but this year is working at Amazon. This client cannot provide W-2s and tax returns to verify current income because the work is not similar.

When using tax returns and W-2s to calculate income, staff will divide the gross annual income by the amount of months it took to earn that income. If a client only works for six months in the year, the annual income will be divided by six months.

This method of verification is more common among clients working in seasonal agricultural work who are receiving Seasonal Child Care benefits. This is because of seasonal fluctuations in work where a client receives a lot of income in some months and doesn't receive very much in others. However, the requirements are the same for clients receiving Child Care Subsidy benefits.

How is income calculated when a client works variable hours?

If the Department receives verification from an employer that a client work a certain range of hours—e.g.. 35–40 hours per week—income is calculated using the average of that range; in this case, income would be calculated with 37.5 hours per week.

Can income be calculated from a year-to-date amount?

Yes. If clients are missing any wage stubs from the range that the Department has requested, they may provide as many as they are able to. Staff will determine how many wage stubs are missing with the paycheck dates and use the YTD amounts to determine the average pay on the missing stubs.

How is child support calculated?

When calculating child support, staff will typically use the Support Enforcement Management System, or SEMS. This is the system used by the Division of Child Support to manage their cases. The Department only calculates the child support clients are actually receiving, whether they are receiving less than their Monthly Ordered Amount or receiving more due to arrears. The Department also counts child support received through an informal agreement between a client and the other parent. Support provided in other forms, such as diapers, school supplies, and clothes, does not count as child support income.

Current payments

Current payments are the regular payments received every month. They are counted as income for the child(ren) for whom the support is paid.

Example 6: The court order is for $600 per month, but the client received $300 in June and July, $400 in August, and has received $200 so far in September (current month). September is not included in the average because it is not a complete month and it is possible that the client will receive additional child support. Instead, staff will use the income received in June, July, and August to determine the average monthly income [$300 (June) + $300 (July) + $400 (August) = $1000. $1000 / 3 months = $333.33/month].

Arrears

Arrears are past-due child support that is owed to the client. The payments are counted as income to the custodial parent instead of the child. The amount of arrears to budget is calculated the same way as current child support payments. However, if there are no more arrears owed on a case, previous arrears are not counted.

Example 7: Using Example 6 above, but the client has also received $50 in arrears in June, $65 in July, $30 in August, and $20 so far in September. $50 + $65 + $30 = $145, divided by 3 = $48.33/month average arrears.
Example 8: Using Example 7 above, but the client is not owed any more arrears. Staff disregard the previous arrears income as it is not reflective of future income.

What is not counted

The Department does not count the following as child support income:

  • Child support being held to fund a client’s TANF grant.
  • Any arrears being paid back by the other parent to the Department instead of the client.

Child support paid out

Court-ordered child support being paid by a client is counted as a deduction. This may be verified by using SEMS or the deductions on a client’s wage stubs. Child support paid directly to the other parent is not counted as a deduction.

 

How is income received from a corporation counted?

People who run their business out of a corporation are not considered self-employed. This is true even if the person is the sole investor in the business. Corporations are separate entities from their investors and employees. The person is considered an employee of a corporation, and may also have income from dividends related to any investment in the corporation.

Corporations include S Corporations and can include Limited Liability Companies (LLC) if they are set up as corporate structures. Partnerships are not incorporated, and are considered self-employment enterprises. For more information on various business structures, visit the IRS website.

How is Strikers' income used?

Strikers are considered employed if they receive striker pay while they on strike. They are eligible for childcare while on strike.

How is Community Jobs income calculated?

If the client has not indicated they have started receiving income and there is no income budgeted in ACES, the Department will not pend cases for verification of income. Often, parents who enter Community Jobs do not get matched with a job site immediately.

How is new seasonal employment income calculated?

Sometimes an employer's written statement is received for new seasonal employment and the employer uses anticipated hours for seasonal work.

If a client reports that the hours vary due to weather or other seasonal crop variables, the Department uses the client’s estimate of anticipated income and work schedule.

Treatment of Income Chart

Created on: 
May 10 2016

Sources

Chart

Income Type Earned, Unearned, or Excluded?
Adoption support Excluded
Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, P.L. 92-203 and 100-241 Excluded
AmeriCorps, including VISTA Earned – if income is taxed

Excluded – if income is not taxed 

Benefits received by children of Vietnam War veterans who are diagnosed with spina bifida Excluded

Unearned – if spina bifida occulta

Benefits payments Excluded
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) higher education grants Excluded
Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act, P.L. 101–392 Excluded 
Child support Unearned – counted as child’s income
Child support arrears Unearned – counted as parent’s income

Lump sum – if one-time payment

Child support paid out Deduction – if court ordered and client is paying
Christa McAuliffe Fellowship Program Excluded
Compensatory rewards Excluded
Copayments paid directly to a provider by a third-party Excluded
Corporate compensation Earned 
Court-ordered payment for personal injury, damage, or loss of property Excluded
Department of Education Excluded
Disability payments Unearned
Diversion case assistance Excluded
Earned income of 18-year-old siblings of children who require care Excluded
Earned income of children who require care up to 21-years-old Excluded
Earned income of a minor child Excluded
Employment Earned
Foster care payments Excluded
Gambling Winnings Lump Sum – if one-time payment

Unearned – if received monthly

Income from all non-parental clients Excluded
Income tax refund Excluded
Indian judgment funds distributed per capita under P.L. 93-134 as amended by P.L. 97-458 and 98-64 Excluded
Indian Trust Funds or Lands held in trust by the Secretary of the Interior for an Indian tribe or individual tribal member Excluded
Inheritance Lump Sum – if one-time payment

Unearned – if received monthly

Insurance settlement Excluded
Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program Excluded
L&I payments Unearned
Leases or other uses of individually owned trust or restricted lands, P.L. 103-66 Excluded
Library Career Training Program Excluded
Military food allowance Excluded
Military housing allowance Excluded
Money received for an absent or non-household member Excluded

Unearned – any portion retained by the subsidy unit

Needs-based assistance from other agencies or organizations Excluded
Payments from the trust fund established by the P.L. 101-41 made to a Puyallup Tribe member Excluded
Pell grants Excluded
Property Sales Lump sum – if sold in month of application or during certification period

Excluded – if sold before application

Puyallup Tribe of Indians Settlement Act of 1989, P.L. 101-41 Excluded
Refugee Assistance Unearned
Reimbursements Excluded
Self-Employment Earned
Seneca Nation Settlement Act, P.L. 101-503 Excluded
Social Security payments (SSI, SSA, SSDI) Unearned

Excluded – if SSI overpayments withheld from gross SSI income

Submarginal land held in trust for certain Indian tribes as designated by P.L. 94-114 and P.L. 94-540 Excluded
TANF Unearned

Excluded – if the client started employment less than three calendar months ago

Title IV of the Higher Education Amendments (Title IV – HEA) and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Excluded
Unemployment Compensation (UC) Unearned
Veterans’ Administration payments Unearned
Veterans’ Administration Educational Assistance Excluded
Washington Service Corps (WSC) Earned – if income is taxed

Excluded – if income is not taxed

White Earth Reservation Land Settlement Act of 1985, P.L. 99-264, Section 16 Excluded
Work study income Excluded

Other Child Care Resources

Created on: 
Feb 04 2016

Table of Contents 

Related WACs

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0005

WCCC and Children’s Administration (CA)

WCCC and CA Child Care are two different programs and families may be eligible for both at the same time, depending on the family’s specific circumstances, eligibility and activities. When both WCCC and CA child care is authorized for the same family, the WCCC child care hours must not be same as the CA child care hours.

What is Child Care Aware Resource and Referral?

Child Care Aware of Washington (CCA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that every child in Washington has access to high-quality child care and early learning programs. CCA contracts with Department of Early Learning to provide services for families seeking chid care.  CCA connects families to licensed child care programs through their Family Center. This assistance is provided for free and there is no eligibility criteria. Families can reach CCA online at http://wa.childcareaware.org/families or by phone at 1-800-446-1114.

CCA also works with DEL to administer Early Achievers, Washington’s child care quality rating and improvement system, that delivers training and professional development opportunities to licensed child care providers around the state. Early Achievers delivers research-based, culturally-responsive best practices to providers so they can offer care that improves the lives of children and families and helps close the opportunity gap.

 

What is Homeless Child Care?

Homeless Child Care provides temporary care for families who are homeless and not receiving other subsidized child care.

Parents can receive care for their children while they seek permanent housing, employment, or take care of personal business such as legal, medical, or financial appointments.

Local contracted community agencies authorize this type of child care. For information about accessing, call Washington Child Care Resource and Referral at 1-800-446-1114 or visit http://www.childcarenet.org/

What is the Children’s Administration Child Care Program?

The Children’s Administration (CA) child care program pays for child care to support children and families who have an open case with CA. The social worker and family together determine whether enrollment in a child care program promotes the safety, permanency, and well-being of the child. Child care services are available to children in foster care, relative care, and other situations where child care is a part of their CA case plan.

The Child Care Subsidy Program and Children’s Administration Child Care are two different programs. Families may be eligible for both programs at the same time, depending on the family’s specific circumstances and activities. If a family meets the eligibility criteria for the Subsidy Program they should be approved regardless of their involvement with Children’s Administration.

A family may receive child care from both Child Care Subsidy Program and Children’s Administration Child Care, depending on their individual needs. A working family may qualify for child care through the Subsidy Program but may also need child care for parenting classes, counseling or other activity to strengthen their ability to provide a safe and loving home for their children.  A WorkFirst Case Manager can approve those activities for TANF clients as part of the Individual Responsibility Plan.  For non-TANF families, these activities are not approved for Child Care Subsidy. The Subsidy Program can pay for the childcare needed for employment, and Children’s Administration can pay for the child care needed to complete their family service/care plan. When care for both programs is authorized for the same family, the hours may not overlap with one another. Subsidy Program Lead Workers have access to FamLink and can verify that duplicate services aren’t being authorized.

A family who doesn’t meet Subsidy Program eligibility criteria but has a need for child care may be eligible for short-term services through the Children’s Administration. For example; a parent may have two children, one of whom is hospitalized. The parent needs to be with the hospitalized child and needs help in assessing the options available for other children in the home, which could include short term child care. To access these services, a family can make a referral to the Children’s Administration and ask for help through voluntary services.

Child Protective Services authorizes child care on a short term basis as part of a case plan related to ensuring the safety of a child. Child and Family Services social service staff authorize child care on a short term basis as part of the case plan to assist with reunification. Employed foster parents, relative and non-relative kin placements are eligible for child care services to assist in ensuring placement stability.

If a case has been denied by the Children’s Administration and the family doesn’t meet Subsidy Program eligibility criteria, the case may be referred to a Subsidy Program supervisor or lead worker for review. 

For more information about the Children’s Administration child care program, families should call their Division of Children and Family Services social worker.

What is a Crisis Nursery?

A Crisis Nursery is for families who are in crisis and need emergency child care for children ages 6 years and younger. Some sites offer child care on a 24-hour basis. All clients are self-referred. Program goals are to prevent child abuse and neglect. Local agencies provide the service, and the agencies change periodically. At the time of this manual update, services are available at

  • Childhaven, serving Seattle and King County -206-624-6477
  • Margie's Crisis Nursery, serving Mason, Grays Harbor, Thurston Counties 360-786-8907
  • EPIC Crisis Nursery - Yakima – 509-249-9102
  • Crisis Nursery at the Children's Advocacy Center of Grays Harbor County
  • Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery in Spokane – 509-535-3155
  • Safe Harbor, serving the Tri-Cities area – 509-374-4902
  • Innovative Services NW, serving Vancouver and Clark County

For information about access to crisis care, contact any of the above programs directly.

What services are offered through the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation?

DVR may pay for child care for the children of individuals with disabilities who seek vocational rehabilitation services to get or keep a job or to advance in employment. Certain rules and restrictions apply.

For more information about DVR services, go to DVR or call toll free 1-800-637-5627 (V/TTY).

What services are offered through the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP)?

Three- and four-year old children and their families with incomes up to 110% of the Federal Poverty Level, or who who have developmental or environmental risk factors that could interfere with school success, are potentially eligible for ECEAP.   ECEAP prepares children for success in the public school system through comprehensive integrated services, including early childhood education, health and dental screenings, nutrition, parent involvement in the child's education, and family support services and referrals. ECEAP contractors determine eligibility. Visit ECEAP for more information.

What is Head Start?

Head Start and Early Head Start are high-quality early learning programs that aim to ensure that the most vulnerable children in Washington enter kindergarten healthy and ready to succeed. They provide free, comprehensive early learning, health and family services to children and their families who are low-income or who face circumstances that make it difficult for them to be ready for school. Early Head Start also provides services to low-income pregnant women. Together these programs are a vital part of the early learning system in Washington.

Payment Discrepancies

Created on: 
Apr 07 2016

Overpayments

Created on: 
Jun 07 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs and Clarifying Information

Child Care Subsidy

Seasonal Child Care

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0271

Determining Consumer Income When Calculating an Overpayment

WAC 170-290-0065 allows staff to choose the method in calculating income. When an overpayment is processed, Office of Fraud and Accountability (OFA) should use the same method as chosen and documented by the worker.

Consumers will not receive an overpayment for care used or billed during the 10 day advance notice period when changes are reported and processed timely.

Additional Information

What causes an overpayment?

Overpayments are when clients or providers receive more benefits than those for which they are eligible.

For providers: please see WAC 170-290-0268 (1).

The Department looks for the following patterns when determining when a provider overpayment may have occurred. 

  • Licensed/certified providers who consistently claim the maximum number of units authorized, (i.e., 23 full-days, 23 to 30 half days per month).
  • Family/Friend & Neighbor (FFN) providers who consistently bill for the maximum authorized units per month.
  • FFN providers who claim for more than 6 children for the same time period (overlapping days and hours).
  • FFN providers who claim payment for non-school/holiday hours (contingency hours) for which they are not eligible. 
  • Authorized payment rates that exceed the DSHS rate for the child's age or geographic area.
  • A child age 13 years or older being authorized for care.  Only children age 13 and older who have special needs or who are under court supervision can be authorized for child care. If the provider is licensed/certified, they must have a waiver to provide this care.
  • Duplicate authorizations and payments for a child.

For clients: please see WAC 170-290-0271 (1).

The Department looks for the following patterns when determining when a client overpayment may have occurred. 

  • The need for child care was not clearly supported in the case file based on factors such as household composition and approvable activities.
  • The amount of care authorized was more than the client was eligible to receive. 
  • The monthly household income was determined incorrectly.
  • The copayment was applied incorrectly.
  • The client did not disclose all income sources, or the Department did not calculate the monthly income correctly.
  • The client failed to notify the Department of a reportable change and continued using childcare while no longer eligible.

 

What if an overpayment is caused by a departmental error?

If the Department commits an error that causes an overpayment, the client or provider will still have to repay the debt.  This is because they received payment for more benefits than they were eligible for.

In some cases if certain elements are met, and the client disputes the overpayment through the Administrative Hearing process, they could be eligible for Equitable Estoppel and have the debt removed or reduced to prevent a manifest injustice.

How long do clients and providers have to provide requested information regarding an overpayment?

Clients have 14 days to provide any information the Department requests. Effective July 1, 2017 child care providers have 28 days to return attendance records when requested.  Providing the information may reduce the amount that they would be required to pay otherwise. Failure to provide the information may mean that they will be required to pay for all benefits received during the overpayment’s timeframe.

Underpayments

Created on: 
Apr 07 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

N/A

Additional Information

What is an underpayment?

An underpayment is payment made to a provider or client that is less than the amount the provider is eligible to receive.

What are the provider underpayment time frames and rules?

The time period the provider has to claim the underpayment depends on the provider type:

  • Child Care Center:
    • There is no time period limit on how far back we can consider an underpayment.
    • Center must have submitted their bill for payment within 12 months of providing service.
    • Reason for underpayment must be for payment that was made at a rate less than what they were eligible to receive.
    • Provider must have attendance records for months claimed more than 12 months in the past.
  • Licensed Family Home and Family, Friends and Neighbors provider:
    • Time period we can consider an underpayment:
      • Two years to request a corrected payment for incorrect rate paid.
      • Three years to request a corrected payment for any other reason, including an error discovered in a federal audit.
    • Provider must have submitted the invoice for payment within 12 months of providing service.
    • Reason for underpayment must be for incorrect rates paid by age or region.
    • Provider must have attendance records for underpayment months claimed.

What are the client underpayment time frames and rules?

A client may request reimbursement within three years of the date of child care service.

Payments

Created on: 
Feb 03 2016

Authorizations

Created on: 
Feb 03 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs

Child Care Subsidy

Seasonal Child Care

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0190

Flexible Schedules

Establish a typical or average number of weekly hours for the consumer’s work or approved activities, and multiply by 4.3 to get the monthly total hours.

School-Age Child Care When the Consumer’s Approved Activities are Less Than 110 Hours Per Month
  • When five days of school-age child care is needed weekly during the school year, authorize 30 half-day units (HDUs) per month.
  • When fewer than five days of school-age child care is needed weekly during the school year, authorize the HDUs needed. Add five additional half-day units to cover early release and school closure days.

Additional Information

How to determine a child’s benefit level

Care is authorized using the best available estimate of what the child needs at the time of the application or reapplication. Care is calculated by reviewing the parent(s) approved activity and the child’s school schedule. The Department uses the number of hours of care the child needs in a week and multiplies by 4.3 to determine their monthly authorization.

Note: When a parent is in an approved activity more than five days per week, the Department will do two calculations; the first for a five-day work week, and the second for the additional one to two days per week.

Full time child care benefits

When a parent participates in at least 110 hours of approved activities per month, their child will be authorized full-time care:

When using a licensed provider, full-time care is 23 full-days when the child requires five or more hours per day, or 30 half-days when the child requires fewer than five hours per day. A full-day covers five to ten hours. A half-day covers anything less than five hours.

Most school-age children in licensed care are authorized 30 half-days during the school year and 46 during July and August.  A child who attends care Monday – Friday will use between 19-23 days each month.  30 half-days are authorized so that the child can attend longer on early release days and school breaks.  On days when care provided is 5 or more hours, providers are able to bill 2 half-day units.  During the school year, 30 half-days are typically enough to cover these times.  During July and August 30 half-day authorizations are automatically increased to 46 half-days so that children can attend care 5-10 hours a day during the summer.

When using a Family, Friends and Neighbors (FFN) provider, full-time care is either 115 or 230 hours per month, depending on the amount of care a child needs.  A child who needs an average of fewer than five hours per day will be authorized 115 hours.  A child who needs an average of 5 or more hours per day will be authorized 230 hours.

Most school age children are authorized 115 monthly hours, and providers claim contingency hours when needed to cover more hours of care provided on early release days and school breaks.  A child who is in care Monday – Friday will typically need fewer than 115 hours a month during the school year.   Contingency hours are available on the monthly invoice for school age children and are to be used when extra time is needed due to early release days and school breaks.  The number of available contingency hours varies by month.  During June, July and August 115 contingency hours are available so that a child can be in care up to 10 hours a day, 5 days a week during the summer when school is not in session.   (See Contingency Chart below)

Part-time child care benefits

When a parent participates in fewer than 110 hours of approved activities per month, their children will be authorized for the amount of care needed to cover the parent’s approved activity.

When a parent works varying weekly hours, the Department uses the highest number of weekly hours when calculating the monthly hours.  The Department will attempt to authorize enough care so that children have the coverage they need each month and providers are assured that the care authorized will cover the amount of care provided.

When using a licensed provider, a full-day will be authorized for each day the child requires 5 or more hours and a half-day for each day the child needs care fewer than 5 hours.

For school age children, the authorization will be increased during the summer months so that enough care is authorized to cover the time the parent is participating in their approved activity.  

When using a Family, Friends and Neighbors (FFN) provider, the amount of care authorized will be determined by the parent’s approved activity and the child’s monthly need.  Care is not authorized for the time a child is in school or being home-schooled.    

Contingency hours are available on the monthly invoice for school age children and are to be used when extra time is needed due to early release days and school breaks.  The number of available contingency hours varies by month.  During June, July and August, 115 contingency hours are available so that enough care is authorized to cover the time the parent is participating in their approved activity.  (See Contingency Chart below)

Family, Friend or Neighbor contingency hours

The Department authorizes contingency hours FFN providers caring for school-age children, to cover additional hours of child care needed due to early release days and school vacations that occur throughout the year. The available contingency hours vary by month.

Month

Contingency Hours Allowed

January

70

February

35

March

70

April

70

May

35

June

115

July

115

August

115

September

35

October

35

November

35

December

70

Special Circumstances

  • When care is more than 10 hours per day, overtime care may be authorized as needed without supervisory approval if total care authorized is less than 15 hours.

  • When care is needed 15-16 hours per day, the additional overtime care can be authorized with a supervisor’s approval.

  • Children who are authorized 30 half-days during the school year may need additional care which can be authorized with supervisor’s approval.

  • Children who require more than 46 half-days during the summer months may have additional care authorized with supervisor’s approval.

  • In a 2-parent household, the time that neither parent is able or available to care for children is used to determine whether the family meets the 110 hour rule requirement.

  • When a family has more than one provider, the Department first determines whether the family meets the 110-hour rule requirement, and then authorizes care based on how the family intends to use each provider.

  • When a child lives with parents in two households, if both parents are eligible for CCSP, the 110-hour rule is applied separately for each parent and their approved activity. When one or both parents don’t meet the 110-hour requirement, care is authorized based on the child’s need in that parent’s case only.

  • When care takes place overnight, the Department will authorize care based on what is needed for each calendar day starting at 12:01 a.m. and ending at Midnight the same day.

Benefit level scenarios

Example 1

The parent’s approved activity including travel time at application snapshot is Monday-Friday 8:30am-1:30pm. There are 2 children, one is 3 years old, the other 6, and in school 12:00pm-3:00pm.  

Licensed Care

Calculate the monthly hours of approved activity: 5 x 5 = 25 x 4.3 = 107.5 hours per month. 
 
The family doesn’t meet the 110 hour rule requirement to be eligible for full-time care. 
 
Non-school age: The child needs full-days because care is 5 hours each day the child is in care 5FDU/week*4.3= 21.5 units, rounded up to 22.  Because the family doesn’t meet the 110 hour rule we authorize the amount of care needed which is 23 full-day units to allow enough units for the longer months of the year.

School age child:   The child needs care from 8:30 until 12:00 M-F.  The child needs half-days because care is less than 5 hours per day.    Authorize 30 half-day units using new service code so that child can be auto increased to 46 half-day units for summer.
 

Family/Friend/Neighbor Care

Calculate the monthly hours of approved activity: 5 x 5 = 25 x 4.3 = 107.5 hours per month. 
 
The family doesn’t meet the 110 hour rule requirement to be eligible for full-time care. 
 
Non-school age: The child needs care 5 hours per day, 5 days per week.  5 x 5 = 25 x 4.3 = 107.5 hours per month.  Authorize 108 hourly units.

School age child:   The child needs care from 8:30 until 12:00 M-F.  3.5 hours per day x 5 days per week = 17.5 x 4.3 = 75.25.  Authorize 76 hourly units.  No need to increase authorization for the summer as provider can bill up to 115 contingency hours for care provided.

     

Example 2

The parent’s approved activity including travel time at snapshot is Monday-Friday 8am-5pm.  There are 2 children, one is 2 years old, the other 8, and in school 9:00am-3:00pm.  

Licensed Care
Calculate the monthly hours of approved activity: 9 x 5 = 45 x 4.3 = 193.5 hours per month.
 
The family meets the 110 hour rule requirement and is eligible for full-time care. 
 
Non- school age: The child needs care 9 hours per day, 5 days per week.  Authorize 23 full-day units
 
School age: The child needs care for 3 hours per day.  Authorize 30 half-day units using new service code so that child can be auto increased to 46 half-day units for summer.
 
Family/Friend/Neighbor Care
Calculate the monthly hours of approved activity: 9 x 5 = 45 x 4.3 = 193.5 hours per month.
 
The family meets the 110 hour rule requirement and is eligible for full-time care. 
 
Non- school age:  The child needs care 9 hours per day, 5 days per week.  Authorize 230 hourly units.
 
School age:  The school age child needs care for 3 hours per day.   Authorize 115 hourly units.  No need to increase authorization for the summer as provider can bill up to 115 contingency hours for care provided.
 

 

Example 3

At application snapshot parent works a varied weekly schedule, and works 3-5 days a week from 9am-4pm.  She rides the bus to and from work which takes 1 hour each way.  There are 2 children, one is 4 years old, the other 11, and in school 8:00am – 3:00pm.   

Licensed Care

Because the parent works varying weekly hours, use the highest number of weekly hours to calculate the monthly hours of approved activity: 9 x 5 = 45 x 4.3 = 193.5
 
The family meets the 110 hour rule requirement and is eligible for full-time care.
 
Non- school age: The child needs care 9 hours per day, 5 days per week.  Authorize 23 full-day units.

School age: The child needs care for 2-3 hours per day.  Authorize 30 half-day units using new service code so that child can be auto increased to 46 half-day units for summer.

Family/Friend/Neighbor Care

Because the parent works varying weekly hours, use the highest number of weekly hours to calculate the monthly hours of approved activity: 9 x 5 = 45 x 4.3 = 193.5
 
The family meets the 110 hour rule requirement and is eligible for full- time care.
 
Non- school age:  The child needs care 9 hours per day, 5 days per week.  Authorize 230 hourly units.
 
School age: On average, the school age child needs care for 2-3 hours per day.   Authorize 115 hourly units.  No need to increase authorization for the summer as provider can bill up to 115 contingency hours for care provided.

 

Example 4

At application snapshot the parent works Monday - Wednesday 7am-3pm including travel time. There are two 2 children, one is 2 years old, the other 7, and in school Monday - Friday 9am-3pm with early release on Wednesdays at 12pm.  

Licensed Care

Calculate the monthly hours of approved activity: 8 x 3 = 24 x 4.3 = 103.2
 
The family does not meet the 110 hour rule requirement and is not eligible for full time care.
 
Non- school age:  The child needs care 8 hours per day, 3 days per week.  3 x 4.3 = 12.9.  Authorize 13 full-day units.
 
School age:  The child needs care for 2 hours on Mondays and Tuesdays and 5 on Wednesdays.  Authorize 14 half-day units and 5 full-day units. The authorization will need to be manually reviewed and the authorization increased to 13 full-days for July and August.

Family/Friend/Neighbor Care

Calculate the monthly hours of approved activity: 8 x 3 = 24 x 4.3 = 103.2
 
The family does not meet the 110 hour rule requirement and is not eligible for full time care

Non- school age:  The child needs care 8 hours per day, 3 days per week.  8 x 3 = 24 x 4.3 = 103.2. Authorize 104 hourly units.
 
School age:  The child needs care for 2 hours on Mondays and Tuesdays and 5 on Wednesdays. 9 x 4.3 = 38.7.  Authorize 39 hourly units. No need to increase authorization for the summer as provider can bill up to 115 contingency hours for care provided.

 

Example 5

At application snapshot the parent works a rotating schedule of 4 days on, 2 off and the shift is from 8:00am-5:00pm including travel time.  There are two children, one age 4 years, and the other 10, and in school 9am-3pm. 

Licensed Care

Calculate the monthly hours of approved activity: 9 x 5 = 45 x 4.3 = 193.50

The family meets the 110 hour rule requirement and is eligible for full time care. Authorize care based on the maximum number of hours so that the provider has enough units to bill each month

Non- school age:  The child needs care 9 hours per day, 4-5 days per week.  Authorize 23 full-day units. 
 
School age:
  The child needs care 3-9 hours per day, and needs both half and full-days.  Authorize two service lines.
 
Half-days:  For weekday care:  Authorize 30 half-day units using new service code so that child can be auto increased to 46 half-day units for summer. 
 
Full-days:  For weekend care:  2 x 4.3 = 8.6, round up to 9.  Authorize 9 full-day units with supervisor approval.   
 

Family/Friend/Neighbor Care

Calculate the monthly hours of approved activity: 9 x 5 = 45 x 4.3 = 193.50

The family meets the 110 hour rule requirement and is eligible for full time care. Authorize care based on the maximum number of hours needed each month so that the provider has enough units to bill each month.  

Non- school age:  The child needs care 9 hours per day, 4-5 days per week.  Authorize 230 hourly units.
 
School age:  Use the maximum weekly hours needed to determine if 115 or 230 hours should be authorized.   At most the child will need care 9 hours 2 days a week and 3 hours up to 4 days a week, depending on the weekly rotation. 

9 x 2 = 18 + 3 x 4 = 12 to total 30 hours a week.  30 hours divided by 6 days = 5 hours per day on average. Because the daily average is 5 or more hours, authorize 230 hourly units

 

Example 6

The parent works a varied weekly schedule and averages 25-35 hours per week, usually working 4-5 weekly shifts.  Shifts can be daytime, evenings and weekends.  Travel time is 1 hour each way. There are 2 children, one age 4 years, the other age 7, and in school 9am-3pm.    

Licensed Care

Because the parent works varying weekly hours, use the highest number of weekly hours to calculate the monthly hours of approved activity: 9 x 5 = 45 x 4.3 = 193.5
 
The family meets the 110 hour rule requirement and is eligible for full-time care.
 
Non- school age:  The child needs care 7-9 hours per day, 4-5 days per week.  Authorize 23 full-day units.

School age:  The child needs care for 1-9 hours per day.  Authorize 23 full-day units.

Family/Friend/Neighbor Care

Because the parent works varying weekly hours, use the highest number of weekly hours to calculate the monthly hours of approved activity: 9 x 5 = 45 x 4.3 = 193.5
 
The family meets the 110 hour rule requirement and is eligible for full-time care. 
 
Non- school age:  The child needs care 7-9 hours per day, 4-5 days per week.  Authorize 230 hourly units.
 
School age:  Use the maximum weekly hours needed to determine if 115 or 230 hours should be authorized.  The child needs care anywhere between 1 & 9 hours per day, 4-5 days a week.  Because the child may need 5 or more hours most days, authorize 230 hourly units

 

Example 7

The parent works Sunday – Thursday 7am - 4pm including travel time.  There are two 2 children, one is 4 years old, the other 7, and in school Monday - Friday 9am-3pm.  Parent uses two providers.  Licensed care for the weekdays and Family/Friend/Neighbor Care for Sundays.   The full time authorization is split between two providers, one licensed and one FFN. 

Licensed Care

Calculate the monthly hours of approved activity: 9 x 5 = 45 x 4.3 = 193.5
 
The family meets the 110 hour rule requirement and is eligible for full-time care. 
 
Non- school age:  The child needs care 9 hours per day, 4 days per week.  4 x 4.3 = 17.2 Authorize 18 full-day units to licensed provider.

School age:  The child needs care for 1 hour per day Mondays through Thursday.  4 x 4.3 = 17.2 + 5 extra half-day units = 23.  Authorize 23 half-day units to licensed provider.
 
Note:  If the family was using only licensed care, either 23 full-days or 30 half-days would be authorized even though the provider may be closed on Sundays.

Family/Friend/Neighbor Care

Calculate the monthly hours of approved activity: 9 x 5 = 45  x 4.3 = 193.5

The family meets the 110 hour rule requirement and is eligible for full-time care.
 
Non- school age:  The child needs care 9 hours per day, up to 5 days per month. Authorize 50 hourly units.  This authorization does not need supervisory approval because the total care authorized for the non-school age child does not exceed 23 full-days. 
 
School age:  The child needs care 9 hours per day, up to 5 days per month.  Authorize 50 hourly units with supervisor approval. This authorization requires supervisor approval because the total care authorized exceeds 30 half-day units.

Note: The total amount of care authorized between multiple providers must be a minimum of 23 full-days, 30 half-days, or 115/230 hours.  In this scenario the total care authorized is full time.   

 

 

 

How is care calculated for a self-employed client?

The Department takes the client’s gross monthly income and divides it by the federal minimum wage ($7.25/hour) to determine the amount of hours needed for their self-employment activity. Any other care needs—travel time, school, regular employment, study time, etc.—are then added in. If the total is 110 hours or more, the client is eligible for full-time care.

Example 8

After deducting business expenses, a client makes $1,000 per month from self-employment. The client reports their schedule as Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. including travel time of 15 minutes each way. There are two children: one is 3 years old, the other 9 and in school Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 3 pm.

Licensed Care
Calculate the monthly hours of approved activity using the self-employment calculation: $1,000 / $7.25 = 137.9
 
The family meets the 110 hour rule requirement and is eligible for full time care.
 
Non-school age: The child needs care 9 hours per day, 5 days per week. 23 full-day units will be authorized.
 
School age: The child needs care 2.5 hours per day, 5 days per week. 30 half-day units will be authorized during the school year and increased to 46 half-days in July and August.
 
Family, Friends and Neighbors Care
Calculate the monthly hours of approved activity using the self-employment calculation: $1,000 / $7.25 = 137.9
 
The family meets the 110 hour rule requirement and is eligible for full time care.
 
Non-school age: The child needs care 9 hours a day, 5 days per week.  230 hourly units will be authorized
 
School age: The child needs care 2.5hours per day, 5 days per week. 115 hourly units will be authorized.  No need to increase authorization for the summer as provider can bill up to 115 contingency hours for care provided.
 

 

Payment Rates

Created on: 
Feb 03 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs

Child Care Subsidy

Seasonal Child Care

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0240

FFN rates

If a consumer is using more than one FFN provider, each provider is eligible for the maximum FFN rate for one child.

Additional Information

What are child care providers paid?

The Department pays child care providers whichever is lower:  the rate the provider charges private pay families or the rates listed in the WACs above.  For providers who care for children in bordering Washington states, who meet their state's licensing regulations, DSHS will pay the provider's private pay rate for that child; or the DSHS daily rate for the region in which the child resides whichever is less.

Which region rates will child care providers be paid?

The following table shows which counties are in which regions.

Region 1 Region 2 Region 3 Region 4 Region 5 Region 6
Adams
Asotin
Chelan
Douglas
Ferry
Garfield
Grant
Lincoln
Okanogan
Pend Oreille
Spokane
Stevens
Whitman
Benton
Columbia
Franklin
Kittitas
Walla Walla
Yakima
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Clark
Island
San Juan
Skagit
Snohomish
Whatcom
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
King
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kitsap
Pierce
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Clallam
Cowlitz
Grays Harbor
Jefferson
Klickitat
Lewis
Mason
Pacific
Skamania
Thurston
Wahkiakum
 
 

Exceptions:

Spokane County has its own rates except in the case of special needs payments; they are paid Region 1 special needs rates.

Licensed centers in Clark County are paid Region 3 rates.

Licensed centers in Benton, Walla Walla, and Whitman counties are paid Region 6 rates.

Family/Friend/Neighbor providers are paid the same rate regardless of region.

How does the Department pay a provider who charges a rate other than a daily rate?

If a provider charges a monthly rate, the Department calculates what their daily rate would be by dividing their monthly rate by 23. The Department will then pay whatever is less.

Example: ABC Provider charges $800 per month. The Department divides $800 by 23 to determine that their daily rate would be $34.78. The Department will either pay that or the state rate.

If a provider charges a weekly rate, the Department divides that rate by the number of days the rate covers, then pays whatever is less.

Example: ABC Provider charges $50 for before-school care and $50 for after-school care, totaling $100 per five-day week. If care is less than five hours per day, the Department divides $100 by 5 to get a daily rate of $20 per half-day. If care is five or more hours per day, the daily rate is $20 per full day. The Department will pay whichever is less.
Example: ABC Provider charges $50 for before-school care and $50 for after-school care, totaling $100 per three-day week. If care is less than five hours per day, the Department divides $100 by 3 to get a daily rate of $33.34 per half-day. If care is five or more hours per day, the daily rate is $33.34 per full day. The Department will pay whichever is less.

Example: ABC Provider charges a flat rate of $50 for before school care and a flat rate of $50 for after school care to total $100 per five-day week for school age children who are in care less than five hours per day, making their daily rate $20. During school breaks when the children are in care five or more hours, the provider charges an additional $10 per day, or $30 per day total. 

  • When care is less than five hours per day, staff would authorize $20 per half day or the state rate, whichever is less.    
  • Provider would bill the appropriate number of half days to cover the spring break. It is up to the provider to bill the correct rate, and they are responsible to only bill $30 per day for spring break.

What are special needs rates?

Special needs rates are paid for children who are approved for the special needs rate through a special needs rate review.   The Department will authorize additional payment to their child care provider.

How do clients request the special needs rate for their children?

Clients may request the special needs rate by contacting the Department at 1-877-501-2233 and speaking to child care staff. They may also indicate that their child needs extra help on an online application or answer "Yes” to the question “Do you have a child with Special Needs” on the CCSP Application DSHS 14-417.

What are the rates for the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership?

Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership providers are paid the same standard daily rate regardless of the age of the enrolled child.

Rates effective July 1, 2017

Service Title

Regions 1,2,5,6 and Spokane County

Clark County Region 3 Region 4
WCCC Copayment Family Copayment Family Copayment Family Copayment Family Copayment
Licensed Center Full Day $37.56 $42.92 $42.92 $49.94
Licensed Family Home Full Day $37.14 $42.82 $42.82 $54.37
Special Needs Licensed Center Full Day $8.71 $9.75 $9.75 $11.35
Special Needs Licensed Family Home Full Day $7.15 $7.15 $8.70 $9.00
Licensed Center Overtime Care $18.57 $21.46 $21.46 $24.97
Licensed Family Home Overtime Care $18.57 $21.41 $21.41 $27.19

Payment Rates — Additional Fees

Created on: 
Mar 25 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs

Child Care Subsidy

Seasonal Child Care

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0245

The child does not need to attend in order for the provider to bill for the registration fee.

WAC 170-290-0247

The field trip/enhancement fee covers special activities, such as:

  • Admission costs to places such as zoo, museum, movies, swimming pools

  • Enrichment programs and ongoing lessons such as language classes, gymnastics,

  • swimming lessons

  • Public transportation or mileage reimbursement at the OFM Rate

  • Cost of hiring a non-employee such as clowns, pony rides, music performances

  • The purchase of a pre-kindergarten curriculum

  • Provider developed and DEL approved curriculum

WAC 170-290-0249

Nonstandard Hours During The Month

The nonstandard hours must occur over the course of a calendar month. These hours must occur within an authorization period.

Additional Information

Does the Department pay for registration fees?

Yes. When a client uses a licensed provider that has a policy to charge the fee to all families, the Department will pay for registration fees, up to $50 per child. The provider may not charge clients the difference between our fee and theirs if they usually charge a higher fee.

The Department may also pay for registration fees at one of the following times:

  • A client reports a change in provider.
  • A client has had a break in service longer than 60 days.
  • The annual registration fee is due.

What is a field trip/quality enhancement fee?

When a client uses a Family Home Child Care provider who charges certain additional fees, the Department will pay up to $30 per child per month towards those fees.

If the provider has a written policy in place, a client may voluntarily pay the difference between the field trip fee and the actual cost.

What is the nonstandard hours bonus?

When a client needs 30 or more hours of care during the times below, the Department automatically authorizes a $75 nonstandard hours bonus per child per month.

Nonstandard hours are defined as follows:

  • Before 6:00 a.m.
  • After 6:00 p.m.
  • Weekends
  • Legal holidays

Providers

Created on: 
Feb 03 2016

Criminal Background Investigations

Created on: 
Feb 03 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs

Child Care Subsidy

Seasonal Child Care

Seasonal Child Care clients can only used licensed child care providers.  This section does not apply. 

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0125

Out-of-State Providers

If the provider has not had a criminal history background check through their own state, a background check must be processed through Washington State and the BCCU.

The out of state provider is eligible for payment when DSHS has verified the background check as part of the state’s statutory requirements or when DSHS receives criminal history results from BCCU on all required applicants per WAC 170-290-0143.

WAC 170-290-0140

The provider is not eligible for any child care subsidy payments before the date DSHS receives background check results. Payment will not be made or authorized for any day prior to the date all required background check results are received and approved. 

The "received date" is the date DSHS receives the information from the Washington State Patrol.

WAC 170-290-0143

Non-Conviction Information

The provider’s non-conviction information cannot be disclosed to the consumer unless the provider has signed a release of information.

Frequency of Background Checks

  • The approved background check is good for 90 days from the date of approval for families that may request the provider.

  • A provider is not required to have a new background check when the family has a break of less than 30 days in child care with the approved provider as long as the results were received within the past 2 years.

Additional Information

What is the Criminal Background Investigation process?

All potential Family, Friends and Neighbors providers must undergo a background check in order to be determined eligible to provide care. To do this, they must fill out the Background Check Authorization form DSHS 09-653, and provide it to the Department. Once the form is complete, the Department sends it to the Background Check Central Unit to search for any background information.

If the care is done in the relative’s home, all persons 16 years of age or older living with the relative provider must also complete a Background Authorization form. If the applicant is 16 or 17 years old, the minor's parent or guardian must sign the form.

Payment will not be authorized until the date that all required background check results have been received and the results show no disqualifying information.

How does my provider fill out a Background Authorization form?

All required fields on the Background Authorization form must be filled out, legible, and complete. With the following exceptions, any box that doesn’t have an answer (e.g. the provider does not have a middle name) must be answered with “None,” “n/a,” or something similar.

The following boxes are exceptions:

  • Box 6: The social security number box may be left blank.
  • Box 8: The provider’s email address box may be left blank.

When filling out the remainder of the form, keep the following in mind:

  • Box 11A and 11B: If the provider answers “Yes” to either of these questions, the degree of the crime must be entered if known. If the degree is not known or applicable, other acceptable answers include: “N/A,” “None,” “Unknown,” and ”?”.
  • Box 17 (a) (b) and (c):
    • 17A: A mailing address is required.
    • 17B: Examples of acceptable answers: “Current address” and “Same.”
    • 17C: A phone number is required for the provider.
  • Only the Background Authorization applicant can make changes to the form. The client cannot make any changes. Department staff also cannot make any changes on behalf of the provider.
  • If the case is pending, a complete Background Authorization can still be submitted to the Background Check Central Unit.

If any required information is omitted or not legible per the instructions, then it must be returned to the client to have the background check applicant complete it, even if the eligibility worker knows the information.

How often do people have to have a background check?

Providers and people living with them (if care takes place in the provider’s home) must have a background check at least every two years. If a provider’s last background check is more than two years ago, the Department will terminate payment to them. All care used after the background check expired will be an overpayment to the client.

If a family has had a break in care of 30 days or more with a provider, the provider must undergo a new background check. If it is less, the Department can use the previous one.

If a provider has had a background check within the past 90 days from the date of approval and the background check has a result of “No Record,” they do not need a new background check. If it is older than 90 days, or if the previous background check had record information, they need a new background check.

What sources does the Department use to obtain background information?

The Department uses, at a minimum, information from the Washington State Patrol and the Background Check Central Unit. Information includes both criminal convictions and pending charges.

The Department may also use the following sources:

  • Child/Adult Protective Service case information.
  • Civil judgments, determinations, or disciplinary board final decisions of abuse or neglect.
  • Other states and federally recognized Indian tribes.
  • The Department of Corrections and the courts.
  • The individual being checked, if he or she self-discloses information on the background check form.
  • Law enforcement records of convictions and pending charges in other states or locations if reports from credible community sources indicate a need to investigate another state's records.

What disqualifies someone from being a Family, Friends and Neighbors provider?

See the DEL Director’s List in WAC 170-06-0120. Crimes in column (a) permanently disqualify an individual from being a provider. Crimes in column (b) disqualify an individual for five years from the date of conviction.

In addition, the Department permanently disqualifies an individual who knowingly provides incorrect or misleading information, or withholds information as to whether an individual 16 years of age or older living with them is a registered sex offender.

The Department can also disqualify an individual if background information other than conviction information demonstrates that the individual is not of suitable character or competence or of sufficient physical or mental health to provide care for a child, or that is determined to put the child at risk of harm.

If the individual has any conviction other that crimes on the Director’s List, or that is on the list but took place longer than five years ago, the Department lets the client determine if they will use the provider.

What if the provider is disqualified only because they live with a person with a disqualifying background?

If the provider does not have their own disqualifying background information, they are only allowed to provide care in the child’s home, away from the disqualified individual. The child must not have any contact with the disqualified individual during child care hours. The client and provider will sign the Agreement for a Disqualified Provider form, DSHS 07-080. If at any point the client and provider are found to have violated the agreement, the Department may terminate payment without notice and write an overpayment to the client.

What does it mean when a background check comes back with a result “Information Needed”?

Sometimes, when a background check is submitted to the Background Check Unit, it will return saying more information is needed. This is to give the provider the opportunity to clarify any results that have unknown or unclear findings.

Child Care Program Managers will mail a letter to the client advising them that more information is needed to issue background results for their provider and that their provider must contact the Background Check Unit to complete the process.

The provider may contact the Background Check Unit at (360) 902-0299.

Family, Friends and Neighbors Providers

Created on: 
Feb 03 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs and Clarifying Information

Child Care Subsidy

Seasonal Child Care

n/a

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0020

Consumer Residence and FFN Providers

The consumer can live with the FFN provider who cares for their child as long as the approved activities are outside the provider’s home at the time of application or reapplication.

Two Parent Family

In a two parent household, when one parent is unable or unavailable to work due to verified medical reasons, their activity is not considered when requesting care to be done in the child’s home with a FFN provider.

WAC 170-290-0125

No Referral

A provider with a “no referral” status may continue to care for children currently receiving child care subsidies. The provider may not receive any new authorizations for child care subsidy while under this status.

Status 4

Status 4 is on the provider file. It is an indication that a serious, reported concern has been made on the ability, character or background of the provider. Providers with a Status 4 are not eligible to receive child care subsidy payments. Notice of Status 4 may be sent to the child care worker from the DEL licensor or the SSPS staff who have taken action on the provider’s status.

Out-of-State Providers

If the provider has not had a criminal history background check through their own state, a background check must be processed through Washington State and the BCCU.

The out of state provider is eligible for payment when DSHS has verified the background check as part of the state’s statutory requirements or when DSHS receives criminal history results from BCCU on all required applicants per WAC 170-290-0143.

School Age Child Care

Federal rules strictly forbid child care subsidy dollars being used to pay for education costs, such as tuition, for children in grades 1-12. This includes families that home school.

WAC 170-290-0130

Employment

FFN providers are considered to be employees of the WCCC consumers.

Consumer Residence and In-Home or Relative Child Care Providers

The consumer can live with the FFN provider who cares for the consumer’s child as long as the approved activities at application and reapplication are outside the provider’s home.

WAC 170-290-0135

FFN Providers

Individuals with a documented disability must provide verification that they can perform the following requirements of caring for a child:

  • Pick up or hold a child.

  • Use a phone to call in an emergency.

  • Identify emergency situations.

  • Have a valid driver’s license if transporting the child.

  • Stay alert and responsive while caring for the child.

  • Provide age and developmentally appropriate guidance and activities for the child.

WAC 170-290-0140

The provider is not eligible for any child care subsidy payments before the date DSHS receives background check results. Payment will not be made or authorized for any day prior to the date all required background check results are received and approved. 

The "received date" is the date DSHS receives the information from the Washington State Patrol.

Additional Information

What is required for a Family, Friends and Neighbors provider?

The Provider must be

  • 18 years of age or older;
  • A U.S. citizen or legally allowed to work in the U.S.;
  • Physically and mentally healthy enough to meet all the needs of the child in care.

The Department must have a completed Background Authorization Form, Application Part 2B form, and legible copies of the provider’s photo identification and  social security card. If the provider’s background check comes back clear or with a non-disqualifying result, they are eligible to provide care for the children.

The Department must run the background authorizations for the provider and any other required household members at least every two years. See WAC 170-290-0143 for information on required household members.

If the Social Security card reports the following, there may be extra requirements:

  • Valid for work only with INS authorization: a copy of the provider’s current permanent resident card is required.
  • Valid for work only with DHS authorization: a copy of the provider’s current employment authorization care is required.

Can care take place in the provider's home?

A provider can provide care in either the children’s home or their home if they are related to the child in one of the following ways:

  • Adult sibling that lives outside the child's home;
  • Extended tribal family member;
  • Grandparent or great-grandparent;
  • Aunt or uncle, or great-aunt or great-uncle.

All other eligible providers, including other family members, friends, neighbors, or nannies must provide care in the child’s home only.

Example: A mother has two children. She wants to use her older child’s paternal grandmother as a provider. She is not married to the older child’s father. Because the FFN is a grandmother to only one of the children, she can provide care in her own home for the older child only. If she provides care for both children, it must be in the children’s home.

Can care take place in the provider’s home when the non-custodial parent lives with the provider?

The provider may provide care for the child during any time that the non-custodial parent does not have custody time with the children. As the non-custodial parent is not part of the client’s household, their schedule is not taken into consideration unless they have custody of the children during that time. During the time that they have custody, they are considered part of the household and available to care for the children, so the provider is not eligible to claim hours for that time.

Example: The non-custodial parent lives with the provider and has custody of the children every weekend. The client works Wednesday through Sunday. The provider will be allowed to claim hours for all care that takes place from Wednesday to Friday. However, as the non-custodial parent has custody on Saturday and Sunday, the provider will not be eligible to claim hours for those days.

Who is not eligible to be a Family, Friends and Neighbors provider?

The following people are not eligible to be an FFN provider:

  • The child’s
    • Biological, adoptive, or step-parent.
    • Legal guardian.
    • Legal guardian’s spouse or live-in partner.
  • Another adult acting in loco parentis or that adult’s spouse or live-in partner.

How do providers complete an Application Part 2B form?

There are two sections that the client must fill out: sections 2 and 7. The provider will fill out all other sections.

If some information is missing from the form, the Department can call the provider to obtain it. See the list below for what information can be obtained over the phone:

  • Expected Start Date of Care
  • Provider’s Telephone Number
  • Provider’s SSPS # (if they already have one)
  • Provider’s E-mail Address
  • If the Provider is Over 18 (when supporting documentation has been provided)
  • Provider DOB (when supporting documentation has been provided)
  • If the Provider is a U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident Able to Work in the US (If supporting documentation has been provided)
  • Provider Rates

When information other than what is listed above is missing, or if the Department is unable to reach the provider by phone, this information must be provided on the form. The Department will mail a copy of the form to the client for it to be completed.

The first and last names on the form must match the first and last names on the social security card. If these names do not match, the provider will need to update the form or get a new social security card

Section 4 of Part 2 B

When providers live in the same home as the child:
  • Section 4 does not need to be completed when the provider and child live in the same home.  If the form is returned with any information in this section, it will not be reviewed or acted on by the Department because the information is not needed to determine the provider's suitability for subsidy payments.   
When care is not in the child's home:
  • If Section 4 of the Part 2B Application is submitted with missing or incomplete information, the Department will send the form back to the consumer for corrections.

When is a new Application Part 2 needed for a provider?

  • At initial request to become a provider for a household;
  • At the request for a two-year background check; or
  • Whenever the provider reports a change in address or a change in the location of care.

What if a potential provider has physical or psychological issues?

The parent and provider must both attest to the suitability of their chosen FFN provider.  The Department may at times need to request additional information about the suitability of a provider to provide care. In these instances, the Department will request a letter from someone who knows the provider attesting to the provider’s ability to do the following:

  • Pick up or holding a child.
  • Use a phone to call in an emergency.
  • Identify emergency situations.
  • Drive.
  • Stay awake while the child is in need of supervision.
  • Identify situations that need adult supervision.
  • Discipline a child appropriately when needed.

After the letter is received, the Department may have a Social Worker review the information and determine if the proposed provider is suitable to provide care for the children.

What if the provider is receiving drug and alcohol treatment services?

If there is reason to believe the provider is receiving drug and alcohol treatment services, the procedures outlined above will be followed.

Provider Team

Created on: 
Feb 03 2016

What is the Statewide Provider Team responsible for? 

The provider team is responsible for
  • Answering all provider’s issues and inquiries; and
  • Monitoring the provider line phone queue, email, and fax.

The provider team phone number is 1-800-394-4571.

The provider team email is providerhelp@dshs.wa.gov

Voicemails, emails, and faxes require a 24-hour response.

Provider Types

Created on: 
Feb 03 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs and Clarifying Information

Child Care Subsidy

Seasonal Child Care

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0125

Public Preschools

WCCC may not pay for the hours a child attends part-day ECEAP or Head Start.

Full-day, full-year Head Start

If a child attends FULL-DAY, FULL-YEAR Head Start, all hours of approved activities for a consumer are paid by WCCC.

Center Exception

If the center provider cares for a child who is thirteen or older, the provider must have a child-specific and time-limited exception and the child must meet the special needs requirement according to WAC 170-290-0220.

WAC 170-290-0130

Consumer Residence and In-Home or Relative Child Care Providers

The consumer can live with the FFN provider who cares for the consumer’s child as long as the approved activities at application and reapplication are outside the provider’s home.

Additional Information

Who are approved child care providers for the program?

The Department pays for child care at any Department of Early Learning (DEL)-licensed child care providers who accept clients who receive Child Care Subsidy or Seasonal Child Care benefits. There are three types of providers:

  • Child Care Center
  • Licensed Family Home
  • Family, Friends and Neighbors

What is a Child Care Center?

A child care center is a facility that provides regularly schedule care for a group of children one month to twelve years old for less than 24 hours at a time. See WAC 170-295 for more information on licensing requirements.

What is a Licensed Family Home?

A licensed family home is a licensed facility that provides care for 12 or fewer children in the provider’s home. See WAC 170-296A for more information.

Does the Department monitor when a facility’s license expires?

The Department does not monitor a facility’s license expiration. This is the responsibility of the facility’s licensor with the Department of Early Learning.

What is a Family, Friends and Neighbors provider?

A Family, Friends and Neighbors provider is an unlicensed provider who has passed a background check and provides care for six or fewer children, either in the provider’s or the children’s home. See WAC 170-290-0130 through WAC 170-290-0167 and the chapter on Family, Friends and Neighbors Providers for more information.

Verification

Created on: 
Jun 17 2016

Verification Overview

Created on: 
Feb 01 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0012

Applicant Name

A consumer’s name must match the name on their income verification documents. Staff will ask for additional information if questionable.

Additional Information

What is verification?

Verification is proof of claimed circumstances or information. The Child Care Subsidy Program (CCSP) has rules about what does and doesn’t need to be verified. The verification must:
  • Clearly relate to what needs to be verified;
  • Be from a reliable source; and
  • Be accurate, complete, and consistent.

Clients can self-report some information without providing third-party verification.

When do clients need to provide verification?

Clients must provide verification when:

  • They report a required change as outlined in the client's Rights and Responsibilities;
  • The Department finds out that the circumstances have changed, it is a change the client is required to report, and the Department has requested additional verification; or
  • The information the Department has is questionable, confusing, or outdated and the Department has requested verification.

Applications will be processed without pending for additional information whenever possible.

 

 

Household

Created on: 
Feb 01 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs and Clarifying Information

Child Care Subsidy

Seasonal Child Care

Additional Information

What is acceptable verification of household composition?

The Department will only request verification of household composition if what a client has reported is questionable. The client may be asked to provide one of the following as verification:

  • A statement from a landlord listing everyone who lives in the client’s home.
  • Signed, written statements from collateral contacts who are willing to attest to the client’s living situation.

Who is counted as part of a household?

The client, any of their natural or adopted children in the home, and their spouse and/or the parent of any of the children living in the home are counted as part of the household. Extended family members are not counted.

Example: A female client has three children. The father of one of the children also lives in the home, along with the client’s mother. The client is not married to the father, but because they live together and have a child in common, both the client and the father are included in the household which also includes the three children.  This is so even though the father is not the natural or adopted parent of the other two children.
Example: A married client with two children applies. The two children are from a previous marriage and are not the natural or adopted children of the spouse. This is a household of four: The client, the spouse, and the children. This is so even though the spouse is not the natural or adopted parent of either of the children.
Example: A pregnant client applies with her boyfriend and her daughter. Her boyfriend is not her daughter’s father, but is the parent of the unborn child. This is a household of two: the client and her daughter. This is because the boyfriend is neither married to the client nor the parent of the child who has already been born. However, when the client reports that the unborn child is born, the boyfriend and the newborn are added and this becomes a household of four. 

What if the other parent is temporarily out of the home at the time of the application?

At application and reapplication, if one parent is out of the home either voluntarily or for employment requirements, both parents are included in the household. The Department must verify that the other parent is participating in an approved activity while away. The other parent’s income will be counted when determining eligibility, but their schedule will not. If the parent that is away is not in an approved activity, the household is not eligible, and the application will be denied.

Incarcerated Parent

At application and reapplication, an incarcerated parent is not included in the household. However, if the parent is expected to be released and return to the home within 30 days of application, they are included. The Department may verify incarceration by searching for the other parent in the proper county’s jail roster.  The incarcerated parent must be entering an approved activity upon release, or the application will be denied.

Out of the Country

If the parent is deported, under INS instruction to leave, or is waiting to enter the country legally, the Department will not consider the absent parent as part of the household.  If the parent who is out of the county sends money to the client the income will be counted as child support.

If a parent voluntarily leaves the country, such as to visit a relative, the parent and the income is counted as part of the household.  This household is not eligible for child care.

What verification is needed to show that a child is still in high school?

If a child is 18 years old and still in high school, they are counted in the household. When they graduate or turn 19 years old, they will no longer be counted. Clients do not need to provide verification whether their child is still in high school or not; a written or verbal statement is sufficient. All that is needed is to know when the child is expected to graduate.

What is needed to verify shared custody?

Shared custody does not affect eligibility, but it may affect the payment authorization.

If a client has shared custody of the children with the other parent, they can verify this verbally or in writing. If their arrangement changes, they may report this themselves.

Third-party verification is only needed if a statement is questionable. Verification may include court documentation, informal records between the parents, or collateral contacts.

What is needed if a client is acting in loco parentis or as a non-needy relative?

When an adult who is not a child’s parent has taken over the care and control of the child, they are defined as in loco parentis or non-needy relative. Clients acting in loco parentis do not need to receive a TANF child-only grant to be eligible for child care. Non-needy relatives will normally be receiving a TANF grant on behalf of the child.

In an in loco parentis/NNR case, the Department only counts the income of the children. The guardian’s income is not counted, but must be in an approved activity to be eligible for child care subsidy benefits. If the guardian receives any income or a TANF grant on behalf of the child, this is counted as the child’s income.

The Department must verify the custody arrangement before approving the child care subsidy application. When current verification is not in the case record, the Department will send a letter to the client requesting that they provide proof of the custody arrangement. Verification could include court documents signed by a judge, court order, or an informal written agreement between the two parties.  If verification is not received, the request for child care subsidy will be denied. 

The Department will need to determine if there is a legal order or an informal agreement regarding custody of the children. The type of custody and documentation will determine whose information is needed to determine eligibility.

  • Permanent Custody Orders (“legal guardianship”, “3rd Party Custody” or “Dependency Guardianship”) are final court orders signed by a judge.
    • These are generally effective until the child turns 18.
    • If permanent custody has been awarded to two adults (e.g. grandma and grandpa), both adults must be in approved activities. The Department considers both activity schedules to determine when care is needed.
  • Temporary or Emergency Custody are legal documents, signed by a judge.
    • These typically have an expiration date.
    • If the guardian is married, only one of the spouses must be in an approved activity.
  • Informal Written Agreements are signed and dated by the biological parent and caregiver assuming custodial responsibility for the children.
    • These typically have an expiration date.
    • If the guardian is unable to get a written statement from a biological parent, we are able to use collateral (third-party) statements to verify guardianship.
    • If the guardian is married, only one of the spouses must be in an approved activity.

If any documentation the Department has on file is expired or not current or if the client states that there is newer verification, the Department will request more current verification.

If either of the biological parents lives in the guardian’s home, then the non-needy relative is not eligible to apply for benefits for the child because the parent is considered to be available to care for the child. The parent must apply for benefits.

  • Exception: When a minor parent lives with the legal guardian of his or her children, the minor parent is not considered the client. The minor parent is not counted in determining family size for income eligibility and the minor parent’s ability or availability to provide child care is not to be considered.

To count as one in loco parentis/non-needy relative household, all of the children must be half- or full-siblings. If the children are related in any other way (e.g. cousins) or not at all, the household will be considered as separate cases as necessary to include only half- and full-siblings. In this way, a client may end up with multiple cases.

Example: A client has custody of three of her grandchildren. Two of them have the same mother. One has two completely different parents from the other two. This would be two NNR cases: one with the first two children (because they have the same mother), the other with the other child.
Example: A client has custody of her niece and two nephews. The niece is the child of John and Jane. One of the nephews is the son of John, but not Jane. The other nephew is the son of Jane, but not John. Even though the two nephews are not related, this is considered one household because the niece shares a parent with both of the other children.

In addition, a client applying for Child Care Subsidy benefits for their own children in addition to any other children whom they have custody of will have separate cases for their own children and the other children in their custody. Different verification may be required for each case.

Example: A client has two natural children and has custody of her niece. She applies for child care for all three children. The client and her two natural children are counted as one household while the niece is her own household. The client’s income would be needed for her own case, but verification that she is employed would be needed for her niece’s case.
Example: A client has one son and has custody of her two nieces. The two nieces do not share any parents. This client will have three separate cases: one for herself and her son, and one each for her nieces. This client will need to verify her income for the case with her and her son, and her custody and employment for both of her nieces’ cases.

Income Verification

Created on: 
Feb 01 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0012

Earned Income

  • At the time of application and reapplication processing, if verification of new employment is not available, consumers may provide a written or verbal estimation of their schedule and anticipated income for the first 60 days of new employment. If the consumer does not supply third party income verification within 60 days the case will be terminated and the worker should look into an overpayment for the care used during that timeframe.

  • The estimate will be used to determine eligibility and copayment. A consumer’s copayment may be increased or authorization reduced if the 60 day verification shows that the monthly income is more than the estimated amount, if the higher income would have resulted in a higher copayment or reduced authorization. The consumer may incur an overpayment if the copay was calculated incorrectly.

  • A full 3 months of wage verification is not required if the information supplied can be used to determine a verified average monthly income

Applicant Name

A consumer’s name must match the name on their income verification documents. Staff will ask for additional information if questionable.

Additional Information

How is income verified?

The Department must first determine if the client has new or existing employment.

New: When the client has less than 3 full months of wage stubs.

Existing: When the client has 3 full months of wage stubs.

Gross Wages: Total earned income before taxes and other voluntary deductions are taken out.

For new employment:

  • The Department will use the employer’s verbal or written statement of anticipated gross wages.
  • If the employer is unavailable by phone, clients may provide a written or verbal statement of anticipated earnings.
    • An application submitted by paper or online with anticipated earnings is considered a written statement.
  • When the client provides a written or verbal statement of anticipated earnings, the Department will approve the case if the client is otherwise eligible and send an Eligibility letter giving them 60 days to provide actual wage stubs.
    • Note: When a client provides wage stubs, it is not necessary to have every wage stub if the information provided is enough to determine average monthly income.

 

Example 1: A client works at Amazon and has been employed for two months. Because there isn't’t three months of wage verification available it is considered new employment. Before pending, the Department attempts to call the employer to verify the start date, rate of pay, hours per pay period and pay frequency. If the employer provides a statement, no further verification is necessary. If the Department is unable to reach the employer, it accepts the client’s statement and approves the application.  An Eligibility letter is sent to the client giving them 60 days from approval to provide actual wage stubs or a completed Employment Verification form.
  • When the income verification is returned within 60 days and the rate of pay and activity hours are consistent with what was reported at application or change, no further action is required.
  • If the rate of pay or hours worked are significantly different from what was initially reported, the Department will confirm that the client remains income eligible and may recalculate the copayment.
  • If the client doesn't return income verification within 60 days of approval their child care benefits will be terminated with 10 days advance notice and an overpayment may be established. 

For existing employment:

The Department uses

  • Gross income for the last three months. Three months of wage verification is not required if the information supplied can be used to determine average monthly income.
Example 2: A client calls to complete their review. The client works at Walmart and is paid weekly. They have been working there for eight months. The eligibility worker uses systems available to the Department and is able to determine the client’s average monthly income and hours per week. The client provides a statement of their schedule which is supported by the wage verification in TALX.  The worker is able to complete the review without pending for additional income/schedule information.
Example 3: A review has been pended for income verification. The client returns one pay stub for a pay period within the last 30 days. The client has worked at US Bank for six months and is a salaried employee with not tips, or bonuses. The wage stub is consistent with what was reported on the reapplication and verified when hired. The YTD income can be divided by the number of months worked in the year, to determine gross monthly income for the previous 3 months.  Documenting that this worker is salaried with no fluctuation in wages is key to using the 1 wage stub with the monthly amount combined with the YTD amount.
Example 4: A client called to apply for CCSP and states that he has been working at Target for five months. He works 25 hours per week, is paid weekly. The employer was unable to verify income over the phone, and the application was pended for income verification. The client provides five pay stubs, but they are not consecutive. The wage stubs are consistent with what was reported on the application. The Department is able to determine the gross monthly for the previous 3 months using the wage stubs provided with the YTD amounts.
Example 5: Client sends in 1 wage stub showing gross income of $700 for this pay period and a YTD amount of $3465.  The clients work schedule varies.  We have no way of knowing how much of the $3465 was earned in the last 3 months.  This is not sufficient to determine the gross monthly income for the previous 3 months and additional information is needed before approving the application or review.
  • An employer statement by phone or in writing of paid gross wages for the past three months of employment.
Example 6: Using Example 2 above, except the worker is unable to verify income. The Department attempts to call the employer to obtain verbal or written wage verification. If the employer is able to verbally verify gross income and hours worked for the past three months, no further verification is required. If the employer is unable to verify income for the past three months, the case is pended for three months of wage verification.
Example 7: A client submits a reapplication without wage verification. They have been working at Bright Now Dental for 18 months. Wage information is not available in any systems, there are no current wage stubs on file, and there is no recently verified earned income documented. The worker attempts to call the employer to obtain verbal or written wage verification. If the employer is able to supply gross income and hours worked for past three months, the worker uses the employer statement as verification. If the worker is unable to reach the employer to verify income, the case is pended for three months of wage verification.
Example 8: Using Example 7, but instead the wage stub shows the client worked only 20 hours in a two-week period, but reported a 40-hour-per-week schedule on the reapplication. Because this is inconsistent with what was reported on the reapplication, additional information is needed. The worker attempts to call the employer to verify income and hours worked for the past three months. If the employer is able to supply gross income and hours, no further verification is required. If the employer is unable to verify the income and hours worked for the past three months, the reapplication is pended for wage verification.
Example 9: Half way through the eligibility period the client calls to report their hours have been reduced. The Department advises the client that they are not required to report these changes and that they can continue to use their full time child care.  The Departments confirms with the client that the reduced hours are expected to be permanent and explains that if the client can verify the pay reduction that the monthly copayment may be reduced.  The Department attempts to contact the employer over the phone, and confirms the reduced hours.  The copayment is recalculated and reduced the first of the following month. 
  • The client’s tax return with all of the W-2s from the previous year.
    • When using tax return and W-2s, the Department must verify the client has worked for the entire previous year in the same or similar job field in order to budget the income correctly.

Who determines which option is used to verify income?

The Department will use whatever method that is easiest for the client and provides an accurate estimate of earnings and schedule.

How is child support income verified?

When a client receives child support income from the Division of Child Support, staff will use SEMS to determine the average amount received for the past three full months. 

When a client reports receiving court-ordered child support, the Department needs a copy of the court order and the client’s verbal or written statement regarding the amount received in the past three full months. When a client reports receiving an amount that is different from what is on the order, the Department will use the client’s statement to determine the average monthly amount to budget. 

When a client receives child support through an informal agreement, staff will ask for a signed written statement from the non-custodial parent detailing the amount of support paid/received for the last three months. If the custodial parent is unable to obtain the statement from the absent parent, staff may accept the client’s written statement as verification and will document the circumstances. 

When a client receiving child support under a court order or an informal agreement reports that the income has stopped or been reduced for at least one full calendar month, staff may accept their statement unless the change would reduce their monthly copayment.  If the change reduces the copayment, a signed statement from the NCP will be requested before lowering.   If the custodial parent is unable to obtain the statement from the absent parent, staff may accept the client’s written statement as verification and will document the circumstances. 

 

.

 

Schedule

Created on: 
Feb 01 2016

Related WACs

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0014

After being found eligible for WCCC, consumers can verify their activity schedule verbally or in writing at application, re-application, or at change reporting.  3rd party verification should only be requested when there is reasonable cause.

Accept consumers statement of school schedule unless questionable.

WAC 170-290-0040

Authorizing Care for WorkFirst Participants

TANF clients participating in 110 or more hours of WF activity are eligible for full time care.  Consumers with a pending TANF application who have not completed the WorkFirst intake process are eligible for full time care during the 14-day waiting period. When a WorkFirst consumer is eligible for full time care a standard Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm schedule, unless specified in the IRP or reported differently by the consumer.

Additional Information

What is acceptable verification of activity schedule?

Clients can self-report their schedule verbally or in writing. Third-party schedule verification is not required. The Department will only request schedule verification from another source when the information supplied is inconsistent or questionable.

Example 1: On a reapplication, the client reports working 40 hours a week, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with 30 minutes of travel time each way. The income verification supports the client statement. Additional schedule verification is not required.
Example 2: Using the example above, except the income verification shows that the client is only working 15–20 hours a week. Because this information is inconsistent with what the client reported on the reapplication, additional schedule information is needed. The Department will attempt to contact the client for the information. If the client cannot be reached, the Department may attempt to contact the employer. If verbal verification cannot be obtained, or the verbal verification received is questionable, the Department will not authorize payment until it receives a schedule that is not questionable.
Example 3: The client applies for child care and states she is employed at Best Buy. She works about 15–18 hours a week and her schedule changes frequently. The client verbally states what days and times she worked this week and expects to work next week. If this is not questionable, no further schedule verification is required.
Example 4: The client is employed 25 hours a week and attends community college three evenings a week. She states her work schedule is Noon to 5:00 p.m. Monday–Friday, and her school schedule is 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. She studies at the library on Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. This information is not questionable, so no further schedule verification in required.
Example 5: A WorkFirst client is participating in 32 hours of Job Search per week according to their Individual Responsibility Plan. The client did not report a schedule. The Department will use a default schedule of Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If the client reported a different schedule, or the activity was for less than 32 hours per week, the Department would accept the client’s statement of their schedule if it was not questionable. See WAC 170-290-0040 in the Working Connections Child Care Policy Manual. 

School Verification

Created on: 
Feb 01 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0014

After being found eligible for WCCC, consumers can verify their activity schedule verbally or in writing at application, re-application, or at change reporting.  3rd party verification should only be requested when there is reasonable cause.

Accept consumers statement of school schedule unless questionable.

WAC 170-290-0040

Approved Activities

WorkFirst consumers found eligible for WCCC may have child care subsidy benefits approved for activities that are specified in the consumer’s current IRP, including intensive services activities (known as x-components) in the IRP.

Training and education activities

TANF/WorkFirst consumers of WCCC are not subject to the limitations described for non-TANF applicants and consumers of WCCC in 170-290-0045.

WAC 170-290-0045

Vocational Education

  • Two-year degrees with a vocational education focus are permitted

  • The accredited college or school defines prerequisites for their enrolled students

  • Consumers must have had child care authorized for school for less than 36 months at the time of application, reapplication or change reporting to be eligible for school.

  • Consumers may exceed more than 24 or 36 months of education or vocational education during the eligibility period as long as at the time of application, reapplication or change reporting the consumer had been approved for less than the lifetime limits.

  • Consumers can combine work study and other employment hours to meet the minimum number of work hours required for education and training activities

Internship

An internship related to the consumer’s approved, vocational education activity is considered to be required class time.

Additional Information

What needs to be verified for clients in school?

Enrollment in school can be verified by the school registration printout or a written or verbal statement from a school employee. The Department must verify which school clients are attending and what kind of schooling they are participating in—e.g. Vocational Education, High School Equivalency, etc. Clients may provide a verbal or written statement of their schedule. The Department only requests third party verification when the schedule is questionable.

How are online or arranged classes verified?

  • The Department accepts a client's verbal statement of the online or arranged class schedule, unless questionable.
  • The Department accepts a client's verbal statement of where the online classes are being done, unless questionable. Online classes completed from the client's home cannot be covered without an approved Exception to Rule.

Is a WorkFirst Individual Responsibility Plan sufficient verification of class schedule?

Yes. If a WorkFirst client is in school, all the needed information should be in the Individual Responsibility Plan (IRP) and documented in eJAS. The Department will need the schedule and study time to authorize care to an eligible provider. Click here for more information about WorkFirst.

How can clients on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment & Training (SNAP E&T) verify their class schedules?

Clients on SNAP E&T may provide a written or verbal statement of their schedules. However, they may also have their SNAP E&T coordinator at their school verify the schedule. The coordinator will provide this information to the Department and can be verified in eJAS.

Self-Employment Verification

Created on: 
Mar 18 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0012

Uniform Business Identifier (UBI) of Self-Employed

Verify a consumer’s business registration and UBI number on-line at: https://dor.wa.gov/doing-business/register-my-business

WAC 170-290-0050

Resources for Self-Employment

Direct applicants or consumers to the following resources for assistance:

Incorporations

Incorporated businesses are not self-employment enterprises.

  • Compensation received by an individual from a corporation is countable income.
  • Any distribution of income, including compensation benefits such as rent, living expenses, or transportation is countable income for consumers reporting employment and income as or under an incorporated business.

Cost of Doing Business

Self-employed consumers are responsible for the costs involved in providing verification of his or her business license, registration, UBI number or other self-employment documents needed to determine eligibility for benefits.

Standard Deduction vs Itemized Deduction

When a consumer cannot or does not submit verification of their self-employment expenses, use a standard $100 per month deduction when calculating that income.

Additional Information

What verification is required for a self-employed client?

The Department requires self-employed clients to provide the following information:

  • Washington Status business license, or a business or occupation license (as needed);
  • Uniform Business Identification number;
  • Completed WCCC Self-Employment Plan (DEL 12-002/September 2011);
  • Profit and loss statement; and
  • Either of the following:
    • Federal self-employment tax reporting forms, or
    • Self-Employment Income Report (DSHS 07-042B (REV. 12/2009))

Additional verification may be required, depending on the client’s business structure. This is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Only the Department's self-employment team may process documents received on a self-employment child care case.

Two-parent households

If both parents are self-employed, both parents must provide verification of their own earnings and their own Self-Employment Plan, even if they both work in the same business.

Verification Chart

Created on: 
Feb 01 2016

In order to determine eligibility at application or reapplication, or if the client requests additional hours or reduced copayment, the Department may request verification using various methods. The following lists examples of verification for various situations that may come up during an interview. It is important to note that not every case will require most of these forms of verification. This chart is provided only to show ways something can be verified if it comes up.

Note that in most situations changes in income, employment, household composition, schedule and able/available status do not need to be reported or verified during an eligibility period, unless the client is requesting additional hours of child care or reduced co-payment.  Clients do need to report changes in income or household composition that put the household at or above 85% of the state median income. 

TOPICS

EXAMPLES OF VERIFICATION

Able and Available to Care for Children

(at Application and Reapplication only)

  • Written documentation from a licensed professional (see WAC 170-290-0020) that states the:
    1. Reason the parent is not able to care for the children;
    2. Expected duration and severity of the condition that keeps the parent from caring for the children; and
    3. Treatment plan if the parent is expected to improve enough to be able to care for the children. The parent must provide evidence from a medical professional showing he or she is cooperating with treatment and is still not able to care for the children.

Address Confidentiality Program (ACP)

  • Call to (360) 753-2972

Alien Status (For all non-citizen SU members)

See tables in the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) Guide for documents used to verify alien status

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment & Training (SNAP E&T)

  • eJAS

Child Support Obligation

  • Court order
  • Pay stubs showing child support deducted
  • SEMS data
  • Statement from the custodial parent
  • Receipts

Child Support Received

  • Bank statements
  • Copies of canceled checks
  • Court order
  • Data from out-of-state Support Enforcement agencies if applicable
  • SEMS data
  • Statement from the non-custodial parent
  • Receipts
  • Client statement (if unable to obtain a written statement from the non-custodial parent)

Citizenship and Identity

CPS Involvement

  • FAMLINK

Custody

  • Court order
  • Court documents signed by a judge
  • Written statement from the non-custodial parent
  • Written statement from a third-party if unable to obtain verification from the parent

Household Composition

  • Client written or verbal statement
  • Statement from landlord
  • Rental agreement
  • Collateral contact

Income (Employment)

  • Pay stubs
  • Tax return with all W-2s from the previous year
  • Payroll History
  • Employer statement (verbal or written)
  • ACES Interfaces
  • TALX
  • Bank statement that shows direct deposits (many deposits show the net amount, you may need additional information that shows the gross income)
  • Collateral contact
  • Client statement (NEW or CHANGED EMPLOYMENT ONLY) followed by actual verification within 60 days

L&I Claims

  • Data from 1-800-LISTENS (1-800-547-8367)
  • L&I award letter
  • Statement from L&I case manager

Outstanding Copayment

  • Verbal or written statement from the provider (if copayment has been paid in full)
  • Written verification, signed by the client and the provider, if there are arrangements to pay the copayment

Provider Suitability

  • A letter of recommendation from someone who knows the provider describing how the provider is able to fulfill the duties of a provider by:
    1. Picking up or holding a child.
    2. Using a phone to call in an emergency.
    3. Identifying emergency situations.
    4. Driving.
    5. Staying awake while the child is in need of supervision.
    6. Identifying situations that need adult supervision.
    7. Disciplining a child appropriately when needed.

Residency

  • Rental or lease agreement
  • Statement from landlord
  • Mortgage papers
  • Utility company records or bills

Schedule (Employment, School, or WorkFirst)

  • Client statement (verbal or written) (if consistent with other information and not questionable)
  • Copy of schedule sheet
  • Employer statement (verbal or written)
  • eJAS
  • Time card/time punch sheet
  • Unofficial transcript (for school)

School

  • eJAS
  • Individual Responsibility Plan
  • Unofficial transcript
  • Statement from school employee (verbal and written)
  • Client statement (for high school/High School Equivalency)

School (Online Class Location)

  • Client statement (if not questionable)

Self-Employment

  • Washington State business license;
  • Uniform business identification (UBI) number;
  • Completed self-employment plan;
  • Profit and loss statement; and
  • Either:
    • Federal self-employment tax reporting forms for the most current reporting year; or
    • DSHS self-employment income and expense declaration form

Shared custody

  • Client statement (if not questionable)
  • Court documentation
  • Informal statement between both parents
  • Collateral contact

Social Security/Supplemental Security Income

  • BENDEX
  • SDX
  • SOLQ

Special Needs

  • DEL Special Needs Request form; and
  • One of the following:
    1. Individualized education plan (IEP);
    2. Individual health plan (IHP);
    3. Individual family service plan (IFSP);
    4. Basic health records from his or her health care provider;
    5. Comprehensive assessments from a mental health professional; or
    6. Medical or psychological reports from a mental health professional.

TANF

  • ACES Mainframe CAFI screen
  • ACES.online Eligibility Results screen

Travel Time

  • Client statement
  • Google Maps
  • MapQuest
  • Bus schedules/bus trip planners

Tribal TANF income and activity

  • Verbal statement from tribal worker
  • Written IDP
  • Tribal TANF award letter

VA Benefits

  • PARIS Federal
  • Award letters from the VA

Unemployment

  • Spider
  • GUIDE

WorkFirst Activity

  • Individual Responsibility Plan (IRP)