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. 


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.