Disaster cash assistance available to eligible Washingtonians affected by recent eastern Washington wildfires

Aug. 19 photo of a downed power line near Medical Lake in eastern Washington after the Gray Fire came through the day before. Courtesy of DSHS staff.
Aug. 19 photo of a downed power line near Medical Lake in eastern Washington after the Gray Fire came through the day before. Courtesy of DSHS staff.

Contact: Norah West, DSHS Media Relations, 360–489–5587

OLYMPIA — As of Aug. 31, eligible Washington residents affected by recent wildfires in eastern Washington can apply through the Department of Social and Health Services for emergency cash assistance to help meet their immediate needs. DSHS is now able to access funding through a new proclamation from Governor Inslee to activate this temporary program that can help certain residents of Pend Oreille, Spokane and Whitman counties through this time of disaster recovery.

The governor’s proclamation enables DSHS to offer Disaster Cash Assistance Program benefits to some people who are not eligible for other programs that may meet their needs. The assistance is available only to those families and people without children who meet the location, income and resource limits of the program and who do not already receive other benefits like Aged, Blind or Disabled cash assistance or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

“We know people are grappling with significant loss and also struggling to meet their immediate needs in the aftermath of these devastating wildfires,” said DSHS Secretary Jilma Meneses. “DCAP is one step toward helping people recover during this incredibly challenging time.”

DCAP is available regardless of citizenship status and does not require applicants to provide a Social Security number. People who have received DCAP benefits previously and are still in need may reapply each month the program is active. The proclamation is currently in effect through Sept. 29, 2023.

The DCAP benefit amount depends on household size, income and need, and ranges from a maximum of $417 for a single person to a maximum of $1,539 for a household of 10 or more people. Once approved, people will receive their DCAP benefits on an existing Electronic Benefit Transfer or EBT card. A new EBT card can also be issued at local Community Services Offices or sent via U.S. mail.

People can apply for DCAP online at WashingtonConnection.org and then call the Customer Service Contact Center at 877–501–2233 to complete the required interview. People can also apply in person at their local Community Services Office or call 877–501–2233 to complete the entire application process over the phone. Due to much higher than normal call volumes, people are asked to call before 11 a.m. and to keep in mind that the busiest call times are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Customer Service Contact Center is open for interviews from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, visit the DSHS website.

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