Disaster Cash Assistance Program

Disaster Cash Assistance Program

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Disaster Cash Assistance Program or DCAP?

The Department of Social and Health Services is activating the Disaster Cash Assistance Program, or DCAP, beginning April 17, 2020. This program is intended to help some Washingtonians meet their basic needs during the state of emergency caused by COVID-19 state of emergency.

Why is this happening?

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Inslee declared a state of emergency for all counties in Washington state. This allows DSHS to issue benefits under the Disaster Cash Assistance Program to families and individuals who wouldn’t normally be eligible for cash benefits.

How do I apply?

This program requires an interview via telephone. Households can apply by: 

  • Applying online at WashingtonConnection.org and then calling the Customer Service Contact Center at 877-501-2233 to complete the required interview. 
  • Calling 877-501-2233 to complete the whole application process. 
  • Please be aware that the Customer Service Contact Center is experiencing very high call volumes and you may have a long wait time. The best time to call is before 11 a.m. The busiest time to call is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. We can determine your eligibility for all of our programs in one interview.

How often can I get this help?

This program is available to households for only one month in a 12-month period during a state of emergency.

How long will this program be available?

This is a temporary program and will end when the state of emergency ends, or sooner.

Can I receive a DCAP cash benefit even if I don’t have kids living with me?


Can I get DCAP and other cash programs at the same time?

No. DCAP is a one-time cash program for households that don’t qualify for other DSHS cash programs.

What is the income limit for this program?

The net income limit (after deductions) for all income expected in the month of application is based on your household size. See chart below:

Is there a resource limit for this program?

During the current emergency, up to $6,000 of your available resources are exempt. Equity up to $10,000 in a vehicle is also exempt.

What information do I need for my interview?

During the interview, we will discuss all income you expect for the month, your available resources and the expenses you need help with.

What type of expenses can I get help with?

DCAP covers the following types of needs: Shelter costs, utilities, clothing, minor medical care, household supplies and transportation costs for work. DCAP can also help with food, only if you aren’t eligible for ongoing food benefits.

What is the maximum DCAP benefit amount?

The benefit amount depends on your household size, income and need. The maximum benefit is listed below:

How do I receive the benefits?

If you are approved for DCAP, your benefits will be issued to your Electronic Benefit Transfer, or EBT, card. If you do not have one, we will provide you a card. Your card will be sent to you in the mail, unless you have a general delivery address.

Do I need to be a citizen? What if I do not have a Social Security number?

You are not required to be a U.S. citizen or to have certain alien status to receive DCAP. Any DCAP payment is excluded from the public charge test. You also are not required to provide a Social Security number to receive DCAP.

For a printable PDF of this document, click here.

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