Do you need food assistance right away?

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Information about who qualifies for emergency food assistance and what to do if you are denied. #7301EN

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you should read this if you live in Washington State, your income for the month is $150 or less, and you have limited cash available to you.

You should also read this if you live in Washington and your income and available cash are not enough to pay your rent or mortgage and utilities.

In either case, you might be able to get food stamps right away (called expedited food assistance). You can read the state rule about this at WAC 388-406-0015.

It will depend on your income and any expenses you have, such as housing and medical.

If you do agricultural work, there may be different eligibility requirements for you.

It depends. DSHS does not count all types of income when deciding if you are eligible. For example, they do not count tax refunds and some child support payments. You can read the state rule about this at WAC 388-450-0015.

Maybe. You can get more help if the President or Governor has declared an emergency or disaster where you live. You can read the state rules about this at WAC 388-437-0001 and WAC 388-436-0055.

You can call 877-501-2233 or apply online at Depending on staffing, you may also be able to apply in person at your local Community Services Office (CSO). You can look up your local CSO at DSHS .

You can appeal. Here is how you 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 (AHC). You can make your hearing request on the phone with the AHC. The AHC may have you follow up with a written request.

If it is an emergency, you should call OAH at (360) 407-2700 or 1-800-583-8271 to
ask them to hold the hearing as soon as possible. This is called an expedited hearing.

You must ask for it no later than 90 days after the date DSHS turned down your application (the date DSHS denied you).

Starting July 1, 2023, if circumstances beyond your control, such as medical issues, housing instability, language barriers, or domestic violence, keep you from meeting that deadline, you should still ask for a hearing as soon as you can.

Get Legal Help

Visit Northwest Justice Project to find out how to get legal help. 

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Last Review and Update: Sep 12, 2023
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