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Do You Need Food Assistance Right Away?

Authored By: Northwest Justice Project LSC Funded
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Information about who qualifies for emergency food assistance and what to do if you are denied. #7301EN


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Can I get expedited food assistance? WAC 388-406-0015

Maybe, if one of these is true:

  • Your income for the month is $150 or less AND you have limited cash available.

  • Your income and available cash are not enough to pay your rent or mortgage and utilities.

How much help can I get?

It will depend on your income and expenses such as housing and medical.

*People who do field work in agriculture may have different eligibility requirements.

How does DSHS count income?

DSHS does not count all types of income when deciding if you are eligible. Examples: They do not count tax refunds and some child support payments. WAC 388-450-0015.

Do I have other options?

You can get more help if the President (WAC 388-437-0001) or Governor (WAC 388-436-0055) has declared an emergency or disaster where you live.

How do I apply?

What if they deny my application?

You can appeal:

  • Ask in writing for an administrative hearing. Write the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), P.O. Box 42488, Olympia, WA 98504.


  • Call the local DSHS office. Ask for the Administrative Hearing Coordinator.

If it is an emergency, call OAH at (360) 407-2700 or 1-800-583-8271. Ask them to hold the hearing as soon as possible. This is an “expedited” hearing.  See Representing Yourself at an Administrative Hearing


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 August 2018.


© 2018 Northwest Justice Project — 1-888-201-1014.

(Permission for copying and distribution granted to the Alliance for Equal Justice and to individuals for non-commercial purposes only.)

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Last Review and Update: Aug 27, 2018