Additional Requirements (AR)

Authored By: Northwest Justice Project LSC Funded
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What is Additional Requirements (AR)?

If you qualify for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), State Financial Assistance (SFA), or a Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) welfare grant through DSHS and you have an emergency, you may be eligible to get "Additional Requirements (AR)." AR is a once-a-year cash grant for emergency needs.  This publication explains:

  • who can get additional requirements (AR)

  • when you can get it

AR is an extra payment DSHS makes to help you get or keep safe housing or utilities.  DSHS pays the least amount that will get your family through the emergency. 

Am I eligible for AR?

Yes, if:

  • You qualify for or already get Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), State Family Assistance (SFA) or Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA).

  • You got TANF in another state and moved to Washington.  You are eligible for AR in the same month that you moved here.

  • You have not already gotten an AR grant.

  • If you do not get or want to get TANF, SFA, or RCA, you may not get AR to help with one-time emergency needs.

What emergency needs does AR cover?

You can get AR for:

Rent, security deposits, mortgage payments, taxes or fees to:

  • prevent eviction or foreclosure; OR

  • get new housing or housing subsidies. You can get help if you are fleeing domestic violence or you are homeless.

Needed repairs for damages or defects to your home that cause a risk to your health or safety:  If you rent, DSHS will help you only after you have written the landlord asking for the repairs (see the Residential Landlord Tenant Act at RCW ch. 59.18.)  Also, if it would cost less for you to move, DSHS will pay for that. DSHS will not pay for repairs.

Utilities help:  Repairs, deposits, fees and services needed for electricity, water, sewer and fuel for heating and cooking.  DSHS will also pay for basic local phone service if needed for your basic health and safety.

When will DSHS help?

You must have a good reason for not having enough funds to meet your housing or utility needs.  "Good reason" includes:

  • you had an emergency situation, such as an injury or illness

  • you had basic or emergency expenses for such items as shelter, food clothing, medical care necessary for work or to cure pain, emergency child care or other reasonable and vital expenses

  • you were involved in a disaster such as theft, house fire, flood, severe weather accident or medical emergency

  • you have extra, short-term expenses caused by homelessness, domestic violence, or other situations that put your family's health and safety at risk

  • DSHS has lowered or cut off your family's cash grant due to expected or budgeted income that you will not actually be able to use.

How much may I get?

  • You may get up to $750 AR benefits in a twelve-month period.

  • DSHS will pay the least amount that will get you through the emergency.

Are there any exceptions to the $750 limit?

Maybe. You can get more than $750 if your housing or utility emergency is about to cause a health and/or safety risk.  You cannot get more than $750 for any other reason. 

How does DSHS pay AR benefits?

DSHS will pay AR benefits only to a third party, such as the utility company, a mortgage company, or the landlord.

What if I am denied AR?

If your DSHS caseworker denies your request for AR, ask to speak with a supervisor or the administrator of the DSHS office.  The supervisor or administrator may change the caseworker's decision and allow your request.

You also have the right to an administrative hearing. To ask for an administrative hearing, fill out an administrative hearing request at your local DSHS office, or write to Office of Administrative Hearings, P.O. Box 42489, Olympia, WA 98504.  If it is an emergency, ask for an "expedited"(faster than usual) administrative hearing by calling the office of administrative hearings at (360) 664-8717 or 1-800-583-8271. 

If you decide to go ahead with the hearing, see our publication called Representing Yourself at an Administrative hearing.  You should also get legal advice:

  • If you are low-income and live outside King County, call CLEAR at 1-888-201-1014 weekdays between 9:10 a.m. and 12:25 p.m.

  • If you live in King County, call the King County Bar Association's Neighborhood Legal Clinics at (206) 267-7070 between 9:00 a.m. and noon, Monday – Thursday, to schedule a free half-hour of legal advice.


Does DSHS have any other programs that provide emergency cash assistance?

Yes. There are two other emergency programs that provide one-time cash assistance for needy families: 

  • Diversion Cash Assistance (DCA)- for families who choose not to apply for TANF.

  • Consolidated Emergency Assistance (CEAP)- for families who are not eligible for  TANF.

Our publications on DCA and CEAP  have more information. Get these publications from www.washingtonlawhelp.org or by calling CLEAR.




This publication provides general information concerning your rights and responsibilities. It is not intended as a substitute for specific legal advice.
This information is current as of May 2014.

© 2014 Northwest Justice Project. 1-888-201-1014
(Permission for copying and distribution granted to the Alliance for Equal Justice and individuals for non-commercial use only.)