Under Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, the Washington Basic Food Program provides food stamps to low-income individuals and families. This food assistance program has helped thousands of families across the state eat healthy and maintain a good diet, even when struggling financially. The basic principle of the food stamp program is to assist with grocery bills, but most families will use the benefits only to supplement a part of their food bills. The Basic Food Program is federally funded by the USDA and requires individuals and families to apply for benefits. The application process will test their eligibility based on income, household size, assets and a few other variables. You can find out more about this program from the Washington Basic Food Program site or you may want to read a booklet on the program, which you may download by clicking here. Anyone who wants to receive benefits must first meet some basic income and resource requirements and possess U.S. citizenship.
Applying for Food Stamps
You must fill out an application first and then submit to a local DSHS office. You can find Application for Benefits online in various languages on the DSHS website, or you can click here to download the English form. You may also apply online through Washington Connection. As you apply, you will notice that you need some basic information to complete the form, including your contact details, social security number, income details and resource information. You will also need the social security numbers for members of your household, as well as their name and birth dates. Once you have submit an application, you can check with your local office to see if they need any more information or to inquire about your interview date. Every applicant must complete an interview to be eligible for benefits.
Receiving Food Stamps
You can use the online screening tool to see if you are eligible for receiving benefits. The screening tool is available on the Washington Connection homepage. You can find answers to your questions and find out about what income limits exist for applicants. In general, applicants who make more than $2,000 a month and have less than four persons in their household, will not be eligible for benefits. If your assets accumulate to an amount over $4,000, you will also likely not be eligible for food stamps. However, If you qualify for other programs such as TANF, Working Connections Childcare or SSI, you will likely be able to receive food stamps. Eligibility is determined by a case worker on an individual basis, and anyone can apply for benefits, however. Once you are approved, you will receive a letter in the mail explaining your benefit amount and recipient dates. You will also receive an EBT card that will electronically deliver funds to you each month.
Finding Food Service Locations
SNAP is the federal name for the food assistance programs. Every state has multiple SNAP locations. In fact, every county should have multiple locations where you can use your card. You can find specific locations near you using the SNAP retailer locator on the federal website. You may contact a local office by looking at the Community Services Office page or by dialing 211 in any part of Washington.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What income do you need to have in order to be eligible for food stamps in Washington?
The amount of food stamps benefits you qualify for is directly related to your income and the number of people in your household. Below is a list of the maximum allowable income in order to qualify for food stamps as it relates to the amount of household members for the State of Washington.
Can I apply for food stamps in another language?
Yes. By visiting Washington’s government website at dshs.wa.gov, you can apply for food stamps online in Spanish, Cambodian, Chinese, Korean, Laotian, Russian, Somali and Vietnamese. If you still need further assistance, you can always visit your local community services office.
What is considered a “household member”?
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) defines a household as anyone who lives and purchases/prepares food together. A household member may qualify for food stamps on their own and separate from the rest of the household if they are 60 years of age or older, or if they have a disability.
Who is eligible for food stamps in Washington?
All Washington State residents who meet the program and citizenship/alien status requirements may qualify for food stamps. If you are a legal immigrant who does not qualify for SNAP benefits because of your immigration status, you may qualify for the state’s Food Assistance Program (FAP).