TANF/SFA Minor Parent

Revised May 11, 2017


This section provides information that is specific to minor parent eligibility for TANF, SFA, and PWA cash assistance. These policies don't apply to medical or food assistance programs.

WAC 388-486-0005 Unmarried pregnant or parenting minors - Required living arrangement. 

WAC 388-486-0010 Unmarried pregnant or parenting minors - Required school attendance. 

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-486-0005 

As a result of implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), this clarifying page may no longer be effective for medical coverage applications received on or after 10/01/2013. Please refer clients who need to apply for medical coverage on or after 10/01/2013 to Washington Healthplanfinder.

  1. If the Department determines that an unmarried minor parent is residing in an inappropriate living arrangement with the adult parent of the minor parent's child, neither the minor parent nor the adult parent is eligible for TANF benefits. Only the minor parent's child is eligible in such cases (see ASSISTANCE UNITS).
  2. The policies in this category apply to both male and female minor parents.
  3. If the participant is a tribal member, the WorkFirst Social Service Specialist contacts and consults with the tribal government regarding the appropriateness of the teen parent living arrangements. Unless there is substantial reason to determine otherwise, adopt the tribal recommendation. 


Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-486-0005 

  1. If the unmarried pregnant or parenting minor is residing with their parent, a teen living assessment isn't required. For all other living arrangements, refer to Social Services for a teen living assessment before determining if unmarried pregnant or parenting minor is eligible for TANF benefits.
  2. Establish a protective payee for all eligible assistance units following local office procedures.
  3. If the minor resides in an inappropriate living arrangement, deny cash assistance to the minor and the adult father of the minor's child if he resides in the home. Authorize TANF for the child or children living in the home if otherwise eligible.
  4. See INCOME  for allocation rules if a minor parent is denied or terminated under this policy.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-486-0010

Educational activities include standard or alternative public school programs, state-accredited private schools, home schooling, GED programs, or any training program that contains an educational component that would lead to a high school diploma or GED. There is no requirement as to the number of hours an unmarried pregnant or parenting client must participate, but a minor must maintain satisfactory attendance as determined by the school or program in order to remain eligible for TANF or SFA unless they have:

  1. Been emancipated by a court; or
  2. A child less than 12 weeks old living in the home.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-486-0010

  1. Verify high school completion or school attendance at application or eligibility review.
    1. If it is unclear whether the client is participating in an acceptable education program, refer the client to Social Services.
  2. Deny or terminate the TANF benefits for the minor only, if that individual isn’t participating. Don’t deny or terminate the TANF benefits of the minor's child.
  3. See INCOME for allocation rules if a minor parent is denied or terminated under this policy.
Note:  Students who are unable to attend school for 4-18 weeks due to health conditions may continue to participate in school through the Home/Hospital Instruction program.
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