WorkFirst Orientation

Created on: 
Jun 24 2014

Revised September 1, 2020


Purpose: This section describes the WorkFirst Orientation, which is a condition of eligibility for TANF/SFA applicants. 

WAC 388-310-0200


WAC 388-310-0800

WorkFirst-Support services.

WAC 388-400-0005

Who is eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families?

WAC 388-400-0010

Who is eligible for State Family Assistance?

WAC 388-406-0010

How do I apply for cash assistance or Basic Food benefits?

WAC 355-406-0055

When do my benefits start?


Clarifying Information

  1. Effective September 1, 2020 applicants who will be mandatory WorkFirst participants if approved for TANF/SFA must complete the WorkFirst orientation as a condition of eligibility. This includes adding an adult to an active TANF/SFA AU.
  2. All adults added to TANF/SFA AUs must complete orientation, including those transferring from other cash programs:
    1. If the adult is unable to complete orientation immediately, send a Request for Information (RFI) letter 0023-02, giving the new adult 10 days to complete the orientation and provide any other outstanding verification, if needed.
    2. When adding an adult to a current TANF AU and the adult is not available, continue the procedures in Pending an Application or Eligibility Review.
    3. If the contact is initiated with a PBS, send a Request for Information (RFI) letter 0023-02 for WorkFirst Orientation, following #4 of Pending and Application or Eligibility Review Procedure.
    4. If the adult does not follow through, after adequate advance notice of adverse action, close the TANF AU using code 552, failure to provide information.
  3. Once the orientation is completed, the date of TANF approval goes back to the date all other eligibility factors are met.
  4. Applicants who are not required to complete the orientation:
    1. Child only cases
    2. DCA cases
    3. Clients open on TANF/SFA within the past 30 days.
  5. In-person orientations - Note - all WorkFirst Orientations are completed over the telephone at this time due to the COVID-19 emergency.
    1. Are required unless the client states he or she:
      1. Is employed; or
      2. Have a serious health condition that makes it difficult to come into the CSO; or
      3. Have family violence issues that would put them or their children at risk if they came into the CSO.
    2. If the in-person requirement is waived, staff must document the reason in the Remarks for the client's Work Registration/Participation screen.
  6. Applicants who state it is not possible for them to complete an orientation either in person or by phone may request an Exception to Rule (ETR).​

  1. CSD HQ will provide the decision on the ETR request to waive the orientation.
  2. If the ETR waive in-person requirement for orientation is approved, staff must document the ETR approval in Remarks for the client's Work Registration/Participation screen.

Worker Responsibilities

  1. TANF/SFA applications should be processed no later than two (2) working days when the application was pended solely for completion of the orientation.
  2. Support services are available to allow applicants to attend and complete the WorkFirst Orientation prior to TANF/SFA approval:
    1. Child care (WFHB Ch.2.3.4)
    2. Transportation
      1. Whenever possible, issue bus tickets to the client
      2. If unable to issue bus tickets, use the AP (Appointment Pending) component in eJAS to issue a voucher or gas card 
  3. If the TANF paid-thru date is more than 30 days prior to the application date, the following information must be added to the Work Registration/Participation screen before the system will allow TANF to be approved
    1. Client WF Orientation Status Code:
      1. C  - WF Orientation Completion
      2. R – Recent Tribal TANF/out of state TANF
      3. W – WF Orientation Waiver
    2. Client WF Orientation Status Effective Date:
      1. WF Orientation completion date; or
      2. End date of the Tribal or out-of-state TANF  received within 30 days of the application date
      3. Exception to Rule (ETR) waiver approval date; or
  4. If both the status code and status effective date are not entered on the Work Registration screen and the TANF paid thru date is more than 30 days prior to the application date, the system will:
    1. Deny the application with reason code “134 – No WorkFirst Orientation” – if the only reason for the denial is not meeting the orientation requirement.
    2. Generate a General Denial letter (004-05) to include the name of the client who did not meet the orientation requirement, what action he or she failed to do, and the appropriate WAC.
  5. When adding a person to an active TANF/SFA AU who has not completed the orientation by the date requested in the RFI:
    1. Close the TANF/SFA with a "552 - Failed to Provide Verification" if orientation has not been completed by the pending adult.
    2. Generate the Termination of TANF/SFA (0006-02) to include the name of the client who did not meet the orientation requirement, what action they failed to do, and the appropriate WAC.


Note:  For further information on the WorkFirst orientation see the WorkFirst Handbook.
Note:  For information on scheduling and tracking the orientation and processing the application see the CSD Procedures Handbook.