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.