Friday, January 14, 2011

Working Connections Child Care subsidy program changes on February 1

Beginning February 1, there will be new eligibility rules for the Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) subsidy program due to budget shortfalls and caseload increases.
At the Department of Early Learning, we know there has been some confusion about what exactly these new rules will mean. Here is a brief explanation of how it will work. For more information, please visit our WCCC web page.
Beginning February 1:
  • For new families applying for WCCC: These families must also receive a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) grant or be determined eligible for TANF to be eligible for WCCC. Once approved for WCCC, families may remain on the program—so long as they continue to meet all eligibility requirements—until they go above 175 percent federal poverty guidelines (FPG).
  • Families currently receiving WCCC: These families may remain on the program—so long as they continue to meet all eligibility requirements—until their income is more than 175 percent federal poverty guidelines (FPG). Click here to see the eligibility chart.
  • If your family currently pays monthly copayment is $50 or more, $10 will be added to your share of the cost of child care.
Families currently receiving WCCC must reapply before their current eligibility period ends, or they will need to meet the new eligibility requirement.
So what does “be determined eligible for TANF” mean?
Those eligible for TANF must be Washington State residents who are responsible for the care of children or who are pregnant. Families must meet:
  • Income and resource requirements
  • Citizenship or alien status requirements
Income and resource requirements:
TANF benefits are based on family size and income. When a household member starts working, half of the earnings are counted against the grant. If a member of the household starts receiving unemployment or another type of unearned income, the entire amount is counted against the grant.
To be eligible for TANF, families must have resources of $1,000 or less. Resources are things like:
  • Checking and savings accounts
  • Stocks, bonds, or mutual funds
  • Vehicle equity over $5,000
Find out more about TANF eligibility and how to apply, on the Department of Social and Health Services TANF section.

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