Working Family Support

Created on: 
Apr 29 2016

Revised: April 17, 2017

Purpose:

The Washington State Working Family Support - WFS program is a cash program that provides an additional food benefit to any qualifying household who are recipients of Basic Food (SNAP), Food Assistance Program for Legal Immigrants (FAP), or Transitional Food Assistance - TFA and meet WFS program eligibility criteria. The WFS program began on May 1, 2016.

WAC 388-406-0055  When do my benefits start?

WAC 388-434-0010  How do I get Basic Food benefits after my certification period has ended?

WAC 388-493-0010  Working Family Support                                              


Clarifying Information:

  1. A client must meet all of the eligibility criteria in WAC 388-493-0010 to receive the $10.00 monthly food benefit.
  2. We must verify employment hours. There are two separate hours calculations.
  • For regular employment (paid subsidized or unsubsidized):
    • Follow financial eligibility rules to estimate the number of hours.

    • Count the hours using prospective budgeting rules. You do not need to record actual hours of employment each month after you have verified the current weekly hours after a complete month.

EXAMPLE: A parent gets paid twice a month and works 40 hours per week at $8.55 per hour. The worker calculates the income as follows: 40 x $8.55 = $342 per week x 52 weeks per year = $17784 ÷ 24 pay periods = $741 ÷ $8.55 = 86.66 hours per pay period, rounded up to 87 hours. The worker enters 87 hours per pay period into the ACES 3G Earned Income page hour field and enters Verified ‘VE’ in the required Working Family Support Hours Verification field. The worker clearly documents in Remarks how the hours were verified.
  • For self-employment:
    • Hours are based on the verified gross income minus the 50% self-employment deduction or actual business expenses, whichever is greater.
NOTE: ACES 3G will do the self-employment calculation for you.  Enter the gross income and ACES 3G will allow the 50% self-employment expense deduction and then calculate hours based on federal minimum wage $7.25/hour. The worker does not need to enter a value in the Working Family Support Hours Verification field, because ACES 3G auto calculates self-employment hours. 

 

EXAMPLE: Kristen has gross self-employment income of $2500 per month from her business. The worker enters this and ACES 3G calculates her hours from her net self-employment income $1250.  $1250/7.25 = 172.4 hours per month.  172.4 divided by 4.33 weeks = about 40 hours per week.  Kristen is working enough to qualify for WFS if she meets the other WFS criteria. The worker does not need to enter a value in the Working Family Support Hours Verification field, because ACES 3G auto calculates self-employment hours.

 

NOTE:  The WFS benefit is countable income against the Basic Food Assistance Unit (AU). Since Basic Food is the priority program, a household isn’t eligible for WFS if receipt of the additional WFS payment causes the food assistance to be terminated for excess income.

3.  If any household member of the Basic Food AU is receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Tribal TANF, or State Funded Assistance (SFA), no one in that household is eligible for the Working Family Support program.

4.  Eligible WFS households receive one monthly payment per AU. This monthly payment is budgeted against the Basic Food AU. 

5.  A Basic Food AU may have multiple active WFS AUs within it. This could occur when parents of one Basic Food AU both have children living in the home but don’t have children in common. Each adult must meet the WFS criteria. All WFS payments issued to members of the same AU are budgeted against their Basic Food AU.

EXAMPLE: Charlie has one child and his wife Emma has two children. They have no children in common. Both Charlie and Emma work 35 hours per week. Charlie and Emma would each receive WFS payments. Their Basic Food income would include the total of $20 in WFS income.

6.  An application isn’t required for the Working Family Support program, but contact must be made with the client. Clients can request WFS:

a.    During the SNAP/FAP interview;

b.    During SNAP/FAP eligibility review;

c.    At mid-certification review; or

d.    Any time the client requests WFS.

7.  The Working Family Support payments:

a.    Don’t count towards the TANF or SFA 60-month time limit;

b.    Aren’t subject to overpayments; and

c.    Aren’t prorated. Eligible clients will receive the full benefit amount regardless of the day of the month eligibility is established.

NOTE: Do not delay processing of a Basic Food application, MCR, or ER while waiting for WFS verifications.

Worker Responsibilities

  1. Screen in a new program when the client requests WFS. Use the existing AU if completing a reconsideration.
  2. Verify employment hours when processing a WFS request and complete the mandatory Working Family Support Hours verification field. This isn’t a required field when the household reports self-employment income, because ACES 3G automatically calculates the self-employment hours. Clearly document how the hours were verified in ACES 3G Earned Income Remarks.
  3. Follow the CSD Procedures Handbook section Pending an Application or Eligibility Review if pending WFS for verification of hours. When screening in Basic Food and WFS at the same time, select ‘Not Verified’ in the Working Family Support Hours verification field to pend WFS for hour verification.  Continue processing Basic Food.  
  4. Verify WFS hours every six months. Follow the CSD Procedures Handbook section Working Family Support for WFS Eligibility Review procedures at Basic Food Recertification or Mid-Certification Review.
  5. Follow Effective Date - Change of Circumstance policy and procedures for changes that occur within the six-month verification timeframe.  
  6. ACES 3G will auto deny WFS applicants coded with ’TT’ income even if there is no associated income entered.  
EXAMPLE: Deidra and her three children apply for Basic Food. Deidra is working 35 hours a week at $10.00 an hour, and provides pay stubs to verify the income and the hours worked. The worker processes the Basic Food application. Deidra is potentially eligible for WFS and agrees to participate. The worker screens and approves the WFS program.

 

EXAMPLE: Ellen and her two children are in the office to complete a Basic Food eligibility review. Ellen claims no changes to her previously verified gross income of $300 per week and 35 hours per week. The worker approves Basic Food and offers Ellen the WFS program. Ellen is interested in WFS but the worker must verify her employment hours before approving WFS. The worker screens in the WFS AU, selects the Not Verified ‘NV’ valid value, but leaves it pending and gives Ellen a letter requesting verification of her employment hours.