Cyndi Joyce In 2009, Washington gave households who did not pay utilities separate from their rent or mortgage $1 in Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds. Getting $1 in LIHEAP meant these households could take the highest utility deduction. Taking the highest deduction meant getting higher benefits. Congress raised the amount of LIHEAP a household had to get to $20 to take the highest deduction in the 2014 Farm Bill. About 200,000 Washington households were affected. These households lost up to $90 per month in food assistance. This cut will affect people who do not pay for heating and cooling separately from rent or mortgage. This cut will not be permanent. Benefit allotments for those households will be restored in late January. DSHS sent out a Flyer to Basic Food households whose benefits will be cut on September 15th. Households NOT receiving the Flyer are: Recipients receiving SUA WASHCAP recipients Recipients that receive $1 or less in benefits Receipts that receive the maximum benefit allotment already In October these households will receive a notice that tells them how much Food Stamps they will get in November and December. November cut. and December benefits will be Benefits This will go back up in January 2015. will happen in two stages. Households will get the lower benefit amount. Later in the month, they will get a supplemental payment. This supplemental payment will bring them back up to what they were getting before the November cut. Beginning in February, these households will be back where they were in October. Urge clients to contact DSHS immediately to provide this information so they will continue to qualify for higher benefits with NO months of reduced benefits by September 30th. Families should contact DSHS if they do not receive two benefit deposits in January 2015. The Y or N on: HeatElectricPhoneNone- calculates the utility estimate based SUA LUA TUA ZUA When the financial worker determines what utility standard a household is eligible for the system will automatically calculate the deduction. What is BFET? The mission of BFET is to provide training and education with a goal of assisting clients in attaining a living wage career. Basic Food Employment & Training (BFET) services are available from all WA State community and technical colleges as well as many noncollege community based organization (CBO) contractors. How does a Basic Food client receive BFET services? The DSHS staff may provide the client with basic information about BFET as well as contact information for Colleges and CBOs. If the student is enrolling in college and appears eligible for BFET, but is not yet on Basic Food, the college will fill out a referral to DSHS informing the student has been accepted into BFET; upon approval of Basic Food benefits, the client should be considered an eligible student. Who can receive BFET services? Most clients who receive federally funded Basic Food (SNAP) and are at least 16 years old can receive BFET services. Even clients with college education may benefit from retraining or job search services. The following are not eligible: Clients who receive TANF or the State Food Assistance Program (FAP) are not eligible to receive BFET. How does a student become eligible for Basic Food through BFET? If a client appears to be an ineligible student, the financial worker should give the client basic information about BFET to help decide if they could become eligible for Basic Food. BFET recipients who are college students are typically eligible students (pending other Basic Food eligibility factors). www.basicfoodet.org Current BFET Providers Scope of Services www.SBCTC.ctc.edu Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges WAC 388-444-0015 How can the Basic Food Employment and Training (BF E&T) program help me find work?