Basic Food Work Requirements - Good Cause

Revised January 1, 2024


WAC 388-444-0050 What is good cause for failing to meet Basic Food work requirements?

  • Worker Responsibilities

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-444-0050

When you are informed that a non-exempt Basic Food client has not complied with work requirements:

For Mandatory Work Registrants

  1. Begin the good cause process no later than 10 calendar days from the date you are notified on noncompliance, by sending a letter to the client. The letter must include:
    1. A description of the non-compliance; and
    2. The date by which the client must contact the worker to provide good cause for non-compliance. (This date should not exceed 10 calendar days from the date the notice is sent.)
If the client does not respond within 10 calendar days, determine that good cause does not exist. Refer to step 3 below.
  1. Determine good cause for clients not meeting the work registration requirements described in WAC 388-444-0005, #3.
  2. When good cause does not exist the client must be disqualified. See Disqualification.
  3. Inform disqualified clients how they may regain eligibility for Basic Food.
  4. Volunteers for Basic Food E&T components (services) who fail to participate are not disqualified.


  1. Good cause is considered when determining if a mandatory ABAWD client has met the participation requirements.
  2. Consider an ABAWD to have met the work requirement if they have a temporary absence from work that causes them to not meet the required hours of participation and they have not lost their job.
  3. Good cause includes unexpected circumstances beyond the individual’s control, such as:
    • Illness;
    • Care for another household member;
    • A household emergency; or
    • The unavailability of transportation.
      A household emergency can cover a range of unexpected events such as fire, extreme weather or domestic violence event.
Unavailability of transportation does not refer to a lack of transportation due to living in a remote area.
  1. Document the reason for good cause in the case notes. Good cause should not exceed two months in a row. If the frequency of good cause requests become questionable, a worker can ask the the client to provide collateral contact for the exemption. Assess the client for a personal exemption if it appears that the good cause reason will last for longer than two months.
  2. If you determine there is no good cause, record non-qualifying work months as described in Worker Responsibilities WAC 388-444-0030 – Monitoring Participation


Rita is an ABAWD who lives a remote area in a non-waived county. She had a vehicle to get to her part time job, but it is in need of repairs and is not drivable. She calls to report that she will not be able to meet the required number of hours for ABAWD. The worker does not change the ABAWD Participation status but records the Good Cause decision in the case remarks and explains to Rita that Good Cause is limited. The worker refers Rita to a BFET provider in her area to explore options for aid to repair her vehicle.



Sahar is an ABAWD who lives in a non-waived county. She is volunteering at a Workfare site in the next town over. She usually takes the bus to the location. There is a snowstorm which has caused the buses to not run in her neighborhood. She does not feel safe walking to a farther bus stop. Sahar calls to report that she will not be able to meet her volunteer hours for that month. The worker does not change the ABAWD Participation status but records the Good Cause decision in the case remarks..



Parker is an ABAWD who lives in a non-waived county. He reports that he is not going to be able to work for a few months because he has broken his leg. This is not a case of Good Cause, instead, the worker should evaluate Parker for a personal exception for being unable to work.