9.2 Tribal Members

Revised June 28, 2019

Legal References:

The Tribal Members section includes:

  • 9.2.1 Tribal Enrollment
  • 9.2.2 Tribal ACES Codes - Step-by-Step Guide
  • 9.2.3 Equitable access
  • 9.2.4 Dual child care eligibility
  • 9.2.5 Tribal Non-relocation policy

9.2.1 Tribal Enrollment

Tribal governments are made up of individuals who are citizens of the United States, citizens of the State in which they reside, and also citizens or "members" of their own tribes. These individuals are usually described as being "enrolled" in a tribe. Eligibility for enrollment is based on the laws of each respective tribe.

Individual enrolled tribal members may be entitled to certain rights and benefits under tribal or federal law. These rights are based on treaties, executive orders, and federal legislation.

To make sure people can take advantage of all of their rights and benefits, we capture race and tribal affiliation information in ACES/3G for every member of the family. We also use ACES/3G to identify tribal members who are living on a reservation and which reservation they live on.

We use this information to support Tribal TANF programs and to administer the Indian County disregard (federal time limit exemptions for tribal members who live on reservations with high unemployment). For additional information about:

9.2.2 Tribal ACES and 3G Codes - Step-by-Step Guide

  • Enter race, tribal affiliation, reservation, and Indian Country codes in ACES/3G for every member of the family.
  • Document the tribal affiliation for each member of the family. Most tribal members will share this information and proof is not required.

On the (DEM1) scree in ACES and the client screen in 3G

  • Enter the appropriate race codes including Indian (American) or Alaska Native.
  • Enter the four-digit tribal affiliation code in the "NAVAM" field for each member of the family.
    • If a person belongs to one of the tribes not on the list enter "9999".
    • For "no tribal affiliation" enter "0000".
  • Enter yes or no on the "IND RES" field to indicate whether the family is living on an Indian reservation /Indian Country.

On the (ADDR) screen:

  • If ACES cannot auto fill the "Indian Country" field based on the address (i.e. rural routes, non-standard street address or homeless), you will be required to enter the four-digit code for one of the 29 Reservations. Enter "0000" if the family does not live on a reservation. It is very important to update and standardize the address every time a tribal member moves as s/he could have moved on or off a reservation.
  • ACES coding, refer to the ACES User Manual , Interview
  • The Indian Country Disregard, refer to the EA-Z Manual, TANF/SFA Time limits .

9.2.3 Equitable Access

WorkFirst is committed to provide tribal families with equitable access to all activities and benefits. We coordinate with tribal service representatives to facilitate access and ensure that services reflect tribal cultures whenever possible. Local and regional offices work with tribal counterparts in tribal governments and Indian organizations to coordinate services that assist American Indians move into employment as quickly as possible.

There are many state and federal laws that require equitable access:

  • Federal law requires the State to provide equitable access to assistance under the State TANF program for tribal families who are not enrolled in a Tribal TANF program (42 U.S.C. 602 (a)(5)).
  • The State is required to certify in its State TANF Plan that it is providing equitable access for tribal families.
  • State law ( RCW 74.08A.040 ) and WAC 388-310-1900(2) require WorkFirst state agencies and their community partners to give tribal members equitable access to all WorkFirst activities and services.
  • State law requires that DSHS provide Indian tribes with on-going, meaningful opportunities to participate in the development, oversight, and operation of the state WorkFirst program. DSHS provides these opportunities through activities provided for in DSHS Policy 7.01 implementation.

9.2.4 Dual Child Care Eligibility

American Indians have dual eligibility for child care. Tribal members are eligible for Working Connections Child Care funds and may also be eligible for tribal child care services. Federal funding to tribes for child care assistance allows tribes to choose to provide services to families directly or to refer families to DSHS for these services.

For additional information about Working Connections Child Care (WCCC), please refer to WorkFirst Handbook Chapter 2.3 and to the Child Care Subsidy Programs Policy Manual.

9.2.5 Tribal Non-Relocation Policy

According to Department of Social & Health Services Administrative Policy 7.01 and in recognition of the 1989 Centennial Accord, federal treaties and executive orders, coupled with the recognition of sovereignty, the State recognizes that tribal communities have legal and political ties to their lands. Therefore, the longstanding policy of the WorkFirst partners is that no American Indian living on or near a reservation or tribal community will be required to relocate in order to meet work participation requirements.

Relocation is a sensitive cultural issue because of the past federal policy that forcibly removed American Indians from their ancestral lands. Tribal members may also benefit from lower living expenses by virtue of living on ancestral lands, and may face a much steeper cost of living outside of their homelands. Under WorkFirst, if an American Indian is offered a job that requires relocation and this is unacceptable to the participant, we develop an Individual Responsibility Plan to find alternative activities that do not require relocation. Our goal is to provide all the advantages and opportunities of WorkFirst to tribal members who choose to live in Indian Country.


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