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WashingtonLawHelp.orgWashington LawHelp

Your Rights Dealing with DSHS

Authored By: Northwest Justice Project LSC Funded
Read this in:
Spanish / Español
Russian / Pусский

This lists services available by DSHS and your rights when dealing with this state agency. #7900EN.


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What can I apply for at DSHS?

  • Food Stamps (Basic Food).

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

  • Emergency Financial Help for Families.

  • Childcare.

  • Child Support Enforcement Services.

  • Financial assistance and health care coverage for Aged, Blind and Disabled persons (ABD).

  • In-Home Care, Personal Care, Nursing Home, and other Long-Term Care Services.

  • Drug and Alcohol Treatment.

  • Developmental Disability Services.

  • Mental Health Services.

  • Child Protective Services.

  • Adult Protective Services.

  • Foster Parent Services.

What are my rights when dealing with DSHS?

  • To apply and get a written decision on your application.

  • To see and get copies of anything in your file right away as soon as possible.

  • To talk to any DSHS employee’s supervisor.

  • To ask for an administrative hearing whenever DSHS denies, lowers, or stops benefits.

  • You may also have a right to keep getting benefits until the hearing if you ask for the hearing within ten days of the notice.

  • Not to experience retaliation for exercising these rights.

What if I do not speak English?

You have these rights

  • To an interpreter.

  • To get DSHS’s notices and letters in your own language if you do not speak or have limited ability to speak English.

  • DSHS must provide you an interpreter as soon as possible to help you in interviews, filling out forms in English, and answering DSHS’ letters.

What if I need help?

If you feel you need help filling out forms or understanding what DSHS wants you to do to qualify for benefits, tell your worker. You can get special help called Necessary Supplemental Accommodations (NSA) in getting and keeping benefits if you have a health problem, or for other reasons, such as a hard time reading or communicating.

For more info, visit www.washingtonlawhelp.org.


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 use only.)


Last Review and Update: Aug 31, 2018