The Washington Basic Food Program helps low-income individuals and families obtain a more nutritious diet by supplementing their income with Basic Food benefits.
Anyone can apply for food benefits. Food benefits are available to single persons as well as families. The benefit amount is based on the household income and certain deductions such as shelter costs, childcare costs, and child support paid for a child out of the home.
Clients access their benefits by using their Quest/EBT card at the merchant where they are making their purchases. A Quest/EBT card works like a debit card or gift card.
Food benefits can be accessed anywhere in the United States with a Quest card.
When you apply for basic food, DSHS is required to make a decision within 30 days of the date of application. In some circumstances, a decision must be made within 5 days of the application date.
To be eligible for Basic Food benefits, each household member must:
- Be a resident of the State of Washington
- Meet the citizen or alien status requirements
- Provide their Social Security number
- Provide proof of identity (head of household only)
- Participate in the food stamp employment and training programs if required
- Meet the eligibility criteria for strikers if they are on strike from their job
If a household lives on or near an Indian reservation and participates in a tribal food distribution program approved by Food and Nutrition Services, that household is not eligible for Basic Food benefits.
Resources are not considered for the food benefit program unless a household member is disqualified for an intentional program violation or for failure to participate in a mandatory work program.
To be eligible for food benefits, household must have countable income at or below the gross and net income standards. Households that contain an elderly or disabled person only have to meet net income standards and are allowed a deduction for their medical costs.
How to Apply
To apply for Basic Food, contact your local Community Service Office. You must complete an application and turn it in to the local CSO so an interview can be completed to determine if you are eligible. You can pick up an application in person or have one mailed to you. You can also apply online or print and fill out this application.