Public Benefits are Key! TANF & WorkFirst Training

Public Benefits are Key! Campaign

Our Public Benefits are Key! campaign is a partnership with Solid Ground’s Benefits Legal Assistance (BLA) team and REACH, which combines training, technical assistance, and advocacy to ensure public benefits remain accessible. Last week’s training covered eligibility, income and resource limits for public benefits, and best practices for helping clients apply for these benefits.

Our goal of offering Public Benefits training is to help case managers and others feel more confident in their ability to support their clients in accessing public benefits, and we are the only organization (to our knowledge) in Washington state offering trainings to access public benefits!

Participants can also email questions to the BLA team (please put Ask a Lawyer in the subject line).

Here are some helpful tips (full training video linked below):

• The COVID-19 Hardship Extension, which extended public benefits even for folks over the 60 month eligibility limit, is valid through June of 2023. Even if your benefits were already terminated for being over the 60 month limit, you can reapply for benefits through June of 2023.
• Case workers are encouraged to go to eligibility meetings with clients when possible to advocate alongside clients.
• While often not advertised, DSHS provides support services for clients in WorkFirst, which can include work clothes, haircuts, relocation expenses, bus passes, etc. Advocate to benefit from support services available!
• Eligibility for public benefits is confusing, and ending up in sanctions is an unfortunate result of that confusion. However, clients can appeal with “good reason,” such as family violence or child care difficulties. Clients have a right to an attorney during their appeal, and still receive benefits during the appeal process.

For more details about public benefits, check out the full video of the training and PDF below!

Video Recording and Slides

Upcoming Public Benefits are Key! Trainings

These trainings are geared towards case managers working with people experiencing homelessness – both new case managers as well as experienced providers who have questions and would like additional support in navigating public benefits. 

Training will go in-depth about strategies you can use to assist people who are experiencing homelessness successfully navigate the application process, and how to troubleshoot issues for people who already have public benefits. You will learn  what you can do as a case manager to help your client with this process, and when to contact an attorney. This will be a practical, hands-on training. Participants will come away with tangible action steps and additional resources to ensure that people who are experiencing homelessness are not at a disadvantage when applying or qualifying for public benefits.

Register for our training on Medicare Savings Program on July 21st from 1-3pm.

More FREE Training from the Coalition!

Check out our Training and Professional Development page to register for Mindfulness In Real Life and You Don’t Need a Home to be a Voter trainings.