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Washington State DSHS Emergency Cash Assistance Programs

friendshelpingfriends started this conversation

DSHS Emergency Programs

You can expect a prompt response when you are in an emergent situation. If you need help with any of the following, you should be able to talk to someone about your situation right away:

  • Eviction
  • No food
  • Homelessness
  • Pregnancy medical
  • Utility shut off
  • Domestic violence
  • Medical emergency
  • Non-receipt of benefits


  • Daycare needed due to work
  • Circumstances which present harm to yourself or others


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Emergency Programs We Offer Include:

Medical Programs:

If you have a medical emergency, we may have a medical program to help. A financial worker can explain more about the eligibility requirements of the medical programs provided by DSHS.

Emergency Food Assistance:

If you have very little money are are in need of food, you may qualify for emergency food assistance. If you meet expedited guidelines and are eligible for food assistance, your assistance will be available within five days of your application's receipt at your Community Services Office. You may be eligible for expedited service if you meet any of the conditions below:

  • Little or no money
  • Not enough money to cover your rent and utilities
  • Have a destitute migrant or seasonal farm-worker household member whose available cash does not exceed $100

Emergency Cash Assistance:

If your family has an emergency and you need a one-time cash payment to get or keep safe housing or utilities, you may be eligible for the Additional Requirements for Emergent Needs (AREN) or the Diversion Program. To be eligible for these programs, you must meet ALL the requirements listed below:

  • Meet eligibility requirements for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), State Family Assistance (SFA), or Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA)
  • Have an emergency housing, utility or other need; and
  • Have a good reason that you had insufficient funds to pay your housing or utility costs.

A WorkFirst case manager or other staff member can tell you more about these programs.

How to Apply:

You can apply for any of the emergency services listed above at your local Community Services Office or apply online using our Online Application for Services.

The Application for Benefits is available in several languages. requires Adobe Acrobat reader

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Click here to add your comment...
I work for the government as a civilian. I am a single mother---recieve little and most of the time NO child support from my non working ex husband. I live payday to payday....there is no savings account to pull me through if anything happens. The looming government shutdown is scaring me, as I will probably be furloughed since I am not an essential personnel. Is there any assistance that I can qualify for if this happens?
Talk to fsmstar

People who get payday loans when they need emergency cash have to pay them back – they are accountable for them. Banks that got massive amounts of bailout funds seem to think that the rules don’t apply to them. There are an increasing number of reports and articles about bank executives that refuse to disclose any details on where exactly the bailout money they received from the Federal Government, in other words the American People, was put, or spent. Hundreds of billions of the taxpayer’s money has been spent to keep these companies afloat after the mismanagement of their holdings – there should be a modicum of transparency, and an effort to pay it back.


  Maybe in the future the government should look to PaydayLoans

companies as a guideline for how to hand out emergency cash.



Talk to GraysonA