Basic Food Work Requirements - Disqualification

Revised December 20, 2022


WAC 388-444-0055 What are the penalties if I refuse or fail to meet Basic Food work requirements.

  • Clarifying Information and Worker Responsibilities

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-444-0055

The disqualification rules and procedures are for Basic Food non-exempt work registrants only. Please see Section E, ABAWDS for disqualification rules and procedures for able-bodied adults without dependents.


Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-444-0055

  1. At the time the worker determines that a comparable sanction will be applied, or benefits denied because of lack of cooperation with a comparable program (Work First, unemployment compensation, or Refugee Assistance) work requirements, the worker must:
    1. Review the client's circumstances to determine if any Basic Food work registration exemptions apply.  See WAC 388-444-0010 
    2. If the client meets an exemption then the client continues to receive Basic Food benefits;
    3. If the client does not have a work registration exemption, the worker must notify the client that a Basic Food work requirements disqualification will be applied unless the client complies with the comparable program requirements
    4. When disqualifying a client for non-compliance with a comparable program, notify the non-exempt client that:
      1. Basic Food work requirements must be met within 10 days of the notice;
      2.  Basic Food work requirements can only be met by cooperating with the comparable program requirements;
      3. The disqualification period is determined under WAC 388-444-0055.
  2. If the client complies with the comparable program requirements within the 10 day notice, then the client is once again exempt from Basic Food work registration or ABAWD requirements.
  3. If the client does not comply with the comparable program requirements within the 10 day notice, the client is disqualified from receiving Basic Food benefits.
  4. Apply the disqualification in the month following the 10-day advance notice.  Enter the following information in free form text:
    1. The reason for the disqualification;
    2. The period of disqualification;
    3. The disqualification only ends if the client complies with [name of comparable program] requirements or serve the appropriate disqualification period. See WAC 388-444-0055 for when to end the disqualification period.
  5. Apply the disqualification the first month following the 10-day notice of adverse action


Procedures for Disqualifying a Client

  1. Enter non-cooperation in ACES as described in the ACES Procedures at the end of this section.
  2. If the disqualified client leaves the Basic Food program before the disqualification starts, impose the disqualification when:
    1. The person reapplies; and
    2. Start the disqualification period with the first full month of certification.
  3. If a disqualified person leaves the program before completing the disqualification period:
    1. The person serves any remaining time of disqualification when the person applies for benefits; and
    2. Start the remaining disqualification period with the first full month of certification.


Regaining Eligibility

  1. If otherwise eligible, a client regains Basic Food benefits when they complete their penalty period.
  2. A disqualified client is treated as an ineligible household member. See INCOME
  3. For a one person household, the client must reapply for benefits. A household of two or more will have the client's portion of benefits restored.


Ending a Disqualification When a Client Becomes Exempt During the Penalty Period

A disqualification ends and the client may again receive benefits effective the first of the month following report of the change when the client becomes exempt during the penalty phase.

A disqualification for failing to comply with Basic Food work requirements is not canceled because of a disqualification for noncompliance with some other Basic Food program requirement. Multiple disqualifications may run at the same time.

Examples for AUs receiving Basic Food while an adult is in a BF Work Registration penalty period:

Example 1: Tessa is in a BF work requirement penalty period and, begins attending school, becomes responsible for caring for a child under age six, or meets another Basic Food Work Registration exemption.  Tessa can begin receiving Basic Food again, if otherwise eligible, effective the first of the month following the reported change. Update Tessa’s Work Registration Details in ACES Case Actions with the new status in the ongoing month.

Example 2: Ellery is in WorkFirst sanction. They agree to a new IRP and begin to participate during their second BF work requirement penalty period. This changes Ellery’s status to exempt due to participating in a cash program even if the full WF sanction period has not been served. The BF disqualification will end and, if otherwise eligible, Ellery may receive benefits effective the first of the month after the change.

 Fair Hearing Procedures

When a person requests a fair hearing within 10 days of the issuance of the Notice of Adverse Action, and the certification period has not expired, benefits will continue.

  1. If the hearing goes against the client, and the client received continued benefits, DSHS will establish an overpayment;
  2. Give the client 10-day advance notice;
  3. The disqualification period begins the first of the month following the 10-day notice.

ACES Procedures


See Interview (WORK) screen

See Disqualified or Sanctioned Assistance Unit or Client - Quitting a Job