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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Workfirst in Washington State: You Do Not Need to Meet Your Participation Requirements

Authored By: Northwest Justice Project

Read this if you live in Washington state and you are taking part in the WorkFirst program. #7125EN

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Should I read this?

Read this if you live in Washington state and you are taking part in the WorkFirst program.

I was laid off or have reduced hours at work because of the Coronavirus. I cannot meet my work requirements.

Starting March 16, 2020, Washington DSHS has decided that the COVID-19 outbreak is "good cause" and you do not have to meet your participation requirements.

Will I need to meet with WorkFirst staff to talk about this?

No. They will try to get in touch with you by phone. If they cannot, they will send you a letter.

How long will this exemption last?

DSHS says this will last until the "public health condition" returns to normal. WorkFirst staff will let you know when that happens.

But I still want to take part in the activities in my IRP (work plan).

You can let WorkFirst staff know that. You might have some options. 

I have been on TANF before. I was sanctioned or my TANF ended because I did not meet my WorkFirst requirements. I need to apply for TANF again.

For now, DSHS will not hold your past sanctions against you.

Last Review and Update: Mar 17, 2020
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