WorkFirst

Created on: 
Feb 01 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs

DCYF Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 110-15-0040

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 110-15-0045.

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.

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 110-15-0055

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

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 110-15-0040 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 110-15-0003 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.