Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET) Program

Created on: 
Jun 11 2024

Revised June 11,2024

Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET) Program

WAC 388-444-0015 How can the Basic Food Employment and Training (BF E&T) program help me find work?

 Clarifying Information - WAC 388-444-0015

What is BFET?

Basic Food Employment & Training (BFET) assist federally funded Basic Food (SNAP) participants gain skills, training or work experience to increase their ability to attain a living wage career.  BFET services are available from all WA State community and technical colleges as well as many community-based organization (CBO) providers including the Employment Security Department (ESD). Additional information on the type of services and benefits is located on the BFET public

 Who can receive BFET services?

Most clients who receive federally funded Basic Food (SNAP) and are at least 16 years old can receive BFET services. Even clients with college education may benefit from retraining or job search services.

 How can BFET help pay for college?

BFET students should utilize other forms of funding for tuition whenever possible. Typically, all students who attempt to enroll into BFET will be asked by the college to apply for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as part of the enrollment process for BFET.

Who can't receive BFET services? 

Clients receiving the following programs:

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF);
  • State Food Assistance Program (FAP);
  • LEP Pathway;
  • Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA)*; or
  • Career Ladder for Educated and vocationally Experienced Refugees (CLEVER)

* RCA recipients are not eligible for BFET, however there is one exception. In counties where there are no LEP Pathway providers, RCA recipients may receive BFET services from community colleges. RCA recipients may not receive services from college providers in counties in which there is at least one LEP Pathway provider, although exceptions may be made under extenuating circumstances. Extenuating circumstances may include limited provider capacity, distance from the provider, and/or client request for a particular provider.

BA (Bachelor of Arts or Science) educational degrees, also known as four year degrees are not eligible through the BFET program so clients seeking these degrees should not be referred to BFET.

Do clients have to participate in BFET?

No. BFET is voluntary and intended to focus resources on the most motivated individuals Services are available for exempt and non-exempt clients who are eligible for federal SNAP benefits living in Washington.

There are clients categorized as Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWD) who do have additional work requirements in order to stay eligible for Basic Food benefits. BFET is an option to fulfill this requirement, though is not mandatory. To learn more about ABAWDs please see

How does a student become eligible for Basic Food through BFET?

If a client appears to be an ineligible student, give the client basic information about BFET to help decide if they could become eligible for Basic Food. Refer to WAC 388-482-0005 for student eligibility. BFET recipients who are college students are typically eligible students (pending other Basic Food eligibility factors).

How do I find a list of current BFET providers?

See our public web site for a list of BFET Providers and the counties in which they offer services.

BFET Processes and Procedures

How does a Basic Food client receive BFET services?

DSHS staff will provide the client with a referral to BFET provider(s) with their contact information... You can find a list of current BFET Providers at the following:  BFET Brochures, EJAS BFET Referral tool, or the BFET public website.

Once the referral is received, the BFET Provider will determine if the perspective individual is SNAP eligible and will complete an intake to determine appropriate BFET services. The BFET Provider will address the referral with appropriate EJAS coding.

If the perspective individual is enrolling in a BFET college program and appears eligible for BFET, but is not yet on SNAP, then the college will complete the 10-501 Referral Form to be submitted to DSHS. This form tells DSHS the client will be accepted into BFET upon approval of SNAP benefits, so the client should be considered an eligible student. The college will open the BFET components in eJAS after SNAP is approved.

If client was closed for ABAWD requirements they must meet requalifying requirements as outlined in ABAWD participating in BFET.

How do I know a client is participating in the BFET program?

Barcode has a BFET indicator in red at the top of the client’s ECR. If you have access, you can also review their information in their electronic case record in eJAS. The BFET program uses the FI component to distinguish BFET participants from other programs that use eJAS. Components are open based on the actual activity of the client, such as BK (supervised job search), BG (vocational education) or BR (job retention). Components reflect the scheduled hours per week for each activity and dates of participation.

Verification of participation from BFET provider: This can be a verbal verification or a provider document.

ACES Procedures

Work Registration

  • Interview - (WORK) Work Registration / Participation Screen
  • Basic Food - Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD)