Completing the Process

Revised July 18, 2019


This section contains rules and procedures related to application approvals, denials and withdrawals, including notification requirements, eligibility effective dates for approved applications, limits on denial actions, and when we may reconsider a denied application.

WAC 388-406-0050 How do I know when my application is processed?

WAC 388-406-0055 When do my benefits start?

WAC 388-406-0060 What happens when my application is denied?

WAC 388-406-0065 Can I still get benefits even after my application is denied?

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0055

Basic Food and Transitional Food Assistance:

Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) provides five months of basic food benefits as a fixed benefit amount for families leaving TANF or Tribal TANF. When someone moves out of a TFA household, they are not automatically removed from the TFA assistance unit.

Federal rules do not allow people to receive benefits under the Food Stamp program in more than one household at the same time. This includes basic food and TFA.

  • When someone is an active member of a TFA AU moves away and applies for basic food in a different household, we must remove them from the TFA before starting basic food or adding them to someone else’s basic food AU.
  • The person is eligible for basic food effective the first of the month after they were removed from the TFA AU with advance notice.
EXAMPLE: Mark, Heidi and Lance receive TFA with a certification period of March through July. On April 3rd, Lance moves out and is approved to receive basic food with his girlfriend Amber. Their worker removes Lance from Mark and Heidi’s TFA AU effective April 30th. Lance is added to Amber’s benefits effective May 1st.
EXAMPLE: Same scenario as above, but Amber applies to add Lance to her basic food on April 25th. We do not have time to provide Mark and Heidi 10 days adverse-action notice and remove Lance from their TFA benefits by April 30th.Their worker removes Lance from Mark and Heidi’s TFA AU effective May 31st. Lance is added to Amber’s benefits effective June 1st.

ABD cash: If the date of release from the facility or institution is beyond the forty-five day processing period then the beginning date of aid is the date the person is released or approved, whichever is later.

EXAMPLE: Mark applies for ABD cash on August 17th. He is scheduled to be released from Walla Walla Correctional facility on September 1st. His forty-five days ends on September 30th. We receive the medical evidence and establish disability on September 28th. He is released on October 5th. Mark is eligible for benefits beginning October 5th.

Worker Responsibilities -WAC 388-406-0055

  1. For approved applications processed outside the applicant’s catchment area, transfer the case record to the correct CSO and notify the client of the CSO address and phone number.Use ACES Letter 023-03 - Information/Action Request for Transfer. 
  2. For clients ineligible for benefits because they are institutionalized, open:
    1. Basic Food from:
      1. The date of release from the institution, if released within 30 days from the date of application and we have the information needed to determine eligibility; or
      2. The date we have the information needed to determine eligibility, if released within 30 days from the date of application, and the information was received after the 30th day but before the 60th day, and the delay was caused by the client.
    2. Cash assistance from:
      1. The date of release if released within 30 days from the date of application and we have the information needed to determine eligibility for TANF, SFA, PWA, or RCA; or
      2. The date of release if the release date is past the forty-fifth day processing deadline; or
      3. The date we have the information needed to determine eligibility, but no later than the 30th day for TANF, SFA, PWA, or RCA.
NOTE: The system does not use a client's date of release from an institution, or the date delayed verification was received, as the start date for basic food. If the application has already been screened, you must deny the existing application and re-screen basic food using the client's release date, or the date delayed verification was received, as the date of application.
EXAMPLE: Client applies for basic food on May 1st. We schedule the appointment for May 20th and give the client until May 30th to provide information needed to determine eligibility. On June 3rd we deny the application. The client gives us the needed information on June 12th. Good cause does not exist. Since the client caused the delay, open basic food from June 12th. Do not request a new application to open benefits.
EXAMPLE: Same scenario as Example 1, except we schedule the appointment on June 1st. The client is given until June 11th to provide information and doesn’t provide it until June 13th. Since the delay is our fault because we didn’t schedule an appointment timely (see WAC 388-452-0005 (6)), we must open benefits from the date of application (May 1st).
EXAMPLE: Client applies for basic food on July 1st and is interviewed the same day. The application is denied on July 15th for failure to provide information. The customer submits the required information on August 10th and is determined to be eligible. Approve benefits effective August 10th. When rescreening the AU, use August 10th as the new application date.
EXAMPLE: Same as the previous scenario, except the customer submits the information on July 20th. Rescreen and start benefits from the date of application (July 1st) because the information was received within 30 days.
EXAMPLE: A client applied for basic food on May 15th. The customer was interviewed on May 20th and asked to provide additional information by May 30th. The client was determined eligible for Equal Access and contacted the department to get assistance in obtaining the required verification. The department was able to help obtain the verification on June 24th. The application was not processed within 30 days, but the client was eligible for EA and cooperated with the department to obtain the required verification. Open benefits for the client effective the date of application (May 15th).

Processing an NCS Application:

SeeWORKER RESPONSIBILITIESNon-Compliance Sanctions (NCS) Re-Applications inWAC 388-310-1600.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0060

For basic food, when the thirty-day period ends on a weekend or a holiday the denial notice is sent the first working day after the thirtieth day.

Worker Responsibilities -WAC 388-406-0060

  1. If a basic food applicant does not show for the required initial interview:

    1. Send a letter immediately informing the client to contact their worker to schedule another appointment.
    2. Pend the application until the 30th day after the date of application.If the 30th day falls on a weekend or holiday, pend until the next working day.
  2. If a basic food applicant fails to show for the second interview:
    1. Continue the case as pending until the 30th day after the date of application.If the 30th day falls on a weekend or holiday, pend until the next working day.
    2. Deny the application on the appointment date if the interview is scheduled after the 30th day.
  3. Deny the application on the 30th day if the household does not reschedule the interview.If the 30th day falls on a weekend or holiday send the denial letter on the next working day.
NOTE:If a client is applying for classic medical as well as other programs, the client is not required to have an interview for the classic medical. Most other programs require an interview. If you have accessed the INTERVIEW function in ACES to start processing the medical, ACES will not automatically deny the other AU based on the Standard of Promptness if the client failed to attend the interview. The worker must manually track the other assistance units and deny the application on the correct date.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0065

Processing basic food Applications for Individuals Ineligible Due to Duplicate Participation

When clients apply for basic food and they are ineligible for benefits during the month of application because they received benefits from another state:

  •  Deny the application for the initial month (and second month if necessary) if they have already received or will receive SNAP benefits from the other state for that month(s).
  •  If basic food benefits can be approved for the ongoing months and the benefit start date is not more than sixty days from the initial application date, the client does not need to submit a new application.
    EXAMPLE: The client has moved to Washington from Nevada and applies for benefits on 3/15. We interview the client on 4/2 and determine they are financially eligible at the time, except that they received 3/2012 and 4/2012 benefits from the other state. We have verified that they will not receive benefits in 5/2012. Worker correctly denies basic food for March and April for duplicate participation and approves benefits for May 2012 and ongoing. Initial application can still be used and considered up until May 14.

Worker Responsibilities -WAC 388-406-0065

  1. Reconsidering a Denied Application
    If the applicant provides only part of the information we need per the timelines in WAC 388-406-0065 (1), take the following actions:
  2. Review the case to see if we can determine eligibility for each program based on what we have received; and
  3. Send the person a letter advising of our reconsideration decision for each program. This includes:
    1. An approval letter if we can determine that the person is eligible;
    2. A new denial letter if we are able to determine that the person is ineligible; or
    3. A second denial letter indicating that the original denial reason and effective date stands and why.
EXAMPLE: We request verification of income, residence, and utilities due by 5/15/04. This is not provided, and we send a denial letter on 5/20/04. Applicant then provides the residence and income verification on 5/30/04. This is within 30 days of the denial, and is sufficient to determine eligibility. We approve the benefits from the appropriate date and advise the person in the approval letter that utilities were not considered in the benefit decision, as that requested verification was not provided.
EXAMPLE: Same as above, but the applicant provides only the income verification. This information shows the person to be over the program’s gross standard. We send a new denial letter to the person advising of the change in denial reason.
EXAMPLE: Same as above, but the applicant provides only the residence verification. We cannot determine eligibility without the income information. We send a letter to the person advising that we received the partial information, but the denial from 5/20/04 stands as we still do not have the income and utility verification we require.
  1. NCS Re-applicants who failed to complete their 28 day participation:


ACES Procedures

Top of Page