Elimination of Permanent Disqualifications for Repeated Sanctions
Beginning on July 28, DSHS will no longer be able to permanently disqualify families from TANF if they have received three noncompliance sanctions (a harsh three-strikes policy). In addition, families that have been permanently disqualified but remain otherwise eligible will be able to receive TANF.
New Time Limit Extension for Families Experiencing Homelessness
Beginning on July 28, families will be able to access a new extension to TANF’s 60-month time limit if the family is experiencing homelessness. (This will be added to Washington state’s current time limit extensions for disabilities and domestic violence.) Unfortunately, the definition adopted by the department will not include couch-surfing/doubling-up.
Resources for community outreach
It will be very important for community-based organizations to help spread the word about these policy changes, especially because DSHS has indicated they will not be alerting newly eligible families in advance of the changes (and possibly not until late summer/early fall). To help with outreach, Statewide Poverty Action Network has put together a number of helpful resources:
- Blog post: You can share our in-depth blog post that outlines the policy changes and how to reapply with your communities, networks, and on social media: https://povertyaction.org/some-of-tanfs-harshest-policies-set-to-be-repealed-in-washington-state/?fbclid=IwAR1OMKG0Xkh6d2cbRkn9AvZkl1JYb9YRei2yK9I51Q7OBStpC-e2BhXchSQ
- Social media shareable: You can share the attached social media shareable image with policy changes and application information to Facebook or Twitter. Use the hashtag #TANFIsALifeline
- Flier for community events: You can also print and distribute the attached PDF flier for outreach, tabling, and community event