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WashingtonLawHelp.orgWashington LawHelp

DCAP: Washington State’s Disaster Cash Assistance Program

Authored By: Northwest Justice Project LSC Funded
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This program is for people who suffered losses (income or property) and live in an area the Governor of Washington has declared a disaster. #7940EN


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Should I read this?

Yes, if:

  • You suffered losses (income or property) and live in an area the Governor of Washington has declared a disaster.

  • You cannot live in or go back to your home because of the disaster.

  • Your home is your primary residence. You were living there when the disaster struck.

  • You are a Washington state resident.

  • You meet income requirements. See below.

  • You are not eligible for any other program that could help. See “I am not eligible for DCAP. What else might I be eligible for,” below.

WAC 388-436-0055.

How much DCAP assistance can I get?

It depends on your

DSHS uses the formula found here: WAC 388-436-0050(3). Depending on how much you need, you can get up to the TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families cash assistance program) payment standard for your household size.  Different size households have different payment maximums for different emergency needs. See WAC 388-436-0050(1). It is for the state CEAP program. It also applies to DCAP.

*What is TANF? TANF Rules & Eligibility has more info.

DSHS deducts any cash on hand or income you got this month from the amount you need for your emergency needs. If you feel DSHS has unfairly counted money you cannot use to meet your need, ask right away for an administrative hearing. Representing Yourself at an Administrative Hearing explains how.

What is DCAP assistance for?

You can only use it for 

  • Food.

  • Shelter.

  • Clothing.

  • Medical care of your minor children.

  • Utilities.

  • Household maintenance supplies.

  • Costs of clothing or transportation needed to accept or keep a job.

WAC 388-436-0055(2).

How long can I get DCAP?

For up to 30 days in a row in a 12-month period. WAC 388-436-0055(3).

What if I lost everything in the disaster, including my proof of income/resources/expenses?

DSHS usually will not ask for this unless they think your reporting is questionable.

I need to apply for DCAP. Are there citizenship or alien requirements?


I do not have a Social Security number. Can I still apply for DCAP?


The DCAP grant is not enough to help with groceries. Is there any other program?

Yes. DSHS has a disaster food stamp program.  

I am not eligible for DCAP. What else might I be eligible for?

WAC 388-436-0030


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.)


Last Review and Update: Aug 30, 2018