Frequently Asked Questions -- FAQs
- How do I apply for benefits?
You may complete an application online for most DSHS benefits here: Apply for Services. To apply for Working Connections Child Care services or to request an application for benefits you may call the Statewide Customer Service Center at 1-877-501-2233. For your convenience you have the option to visit your local community services office to access online and phone services to apply for benefits. You can view more information at How to Apply for Services.
- How do I prepare for an interview after I’ve submitted an application?
You may need to gather information to provide us with verification necessary to make a decision about your case. Verification is the proof we need to decide if you are eligible for benefits. We will tell you what we need proof of, but the type of verification you provide is up to you. The verification page of this website provides more information on what may be requested.
- How long will it take until I know if I'm eligible for benefits?
We try to process your application as quickly as possible. A lot depends on how soon we're able to get the information we need to determine if you're eligible. Generally, most food stamp and TANF cash benefits are processed within 30 days. Pregnancy medical is usually processed within 15 working days. Cases where information is needed from doctors, such as disability determinations, can take more than 45 days. You can help us by turning in requested information quickly.
- What changes do I have to report?
Your approval letter will list changes that must be reported based on the type of benefits received. You may also refer to the Client Rights and Responsibilities, DSHS Form 14-113, included in the application process. If you don’t do these things, you may be denied benefits or have to pay them back. For more detailed information you can link to our EZ-Manual on this topic.
- What do I need to tell you when I move?
We will need to know your new address, who lives with you and how much you now pay for rent. We might request proof of your new circumstances.
- I'm moving to Washington, what do I need to do?
You may not receive services in two states at the same time. You must close your benefits in the state you are leaving. If possible, obtain a letter stating your benefits have ended. After you move you can Apply for Services online, contact our customer service center at 1-877-501-2233 or visit any local community services office.
- When do I need to see a local office worker?
The majority of services you receive from DSHS are now available online here: Apply for Services or via phone by contacting the Statewide Customer Service Center at 1-877-501-2233.
If you are receiving TANF or Disability Lifeline (formerly General Assistance) benefits you may have a specific case worker and/or social worker. To reach your local office worker you may call the number provided by the person you wish to contact. If that person is not available, you have the option of leaving a message on voice mail or switching your call to another person. If the person you call does not return your call within 24 hours, or if your call does not go through, call 1-877-501-2233 to send a message to your worker.
- How do I access benefits anywhere in Washington?
The majority of your DSHS business may be conducted online at Apply for Services, by calling the Statewide Customer Service Center at 1-877-501-2233 or by visiting any local community services office near you. WorkFirst and Social Services must be conducted at your home office.
- Who do I call with questions about my ProviderOne Services Card?
You may contact the Medicaid Purchasing Administration's Customer Service Center at 1-800-562-3022. (or TTY at 1-800-848-5429) or online at Washington State Medicaid Customer Service.
- What services are covered under my medical program?
Different programs have different coverage. To find out if a specific item is covered, you can ask your medical provider or call 1-800-562-3022 (or TTY at 1-800-848-5429).
- How do I access medical services if I am pregnant?
If you are already receiving benefits, you need to notify us of this change by calling our customer service center at 1-877-501-2233. If you are in need of medical coverage, you can Apply for Services online or visit any local community services office.
- What is an EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card and how do I use it?
If you receive cash or food assistance, you will be issued an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Card. This card is also called a "Quest Card". You use this card like a debit card to purchase items at stores. You will need to know your 4 digit PIN (Personal Identification Number) to use your card. You will be given a detailed booklet describing how to use your card when you are approved for benefits. Follow this link for more information: EBT - Make Getting Benefits Easier
- Who do I call for help with my EBT card?
To check your balance, reset your PIN or report a lost/stolen EBT card, call JP Morgan Customer Service at 1-888-328-9271. If you have questions about the amount of benefits on your EBT card contact the Statewide Customer Service Center at 1-877-501-2233.
- How can I address concerns with services received or if I disagree with a decision made on my case?
You can have your concern reviewed by a supervisor or administrator who will respond to your concern as quickly as possible, but no later than 10 days of the date your concern is received. You also have the right to an administrative hearing which can be requested either verbally or in writing. Requesting a review of your case by a supervisor or administrator does not take away your right to have an administrative hearing. In addition to the above options, you can also call Constituent Services with your concerns at 1-800-865-7801 (or TTY at 7-1-1).
- What is an administrative hearing and how can I get one?
An Administrative Hearing is a process that can be initiated any time a client disagrees with an action taken by the Department. Some examples of hearing issues include but are not limited to; terminations, reductions in benefits, assignment of a protective payee, overpayments or denial of benefits. A hearing can be requested in person, by phone, or in writing using Request for Hearing (DSHS Form 05-013). If you need to cancel your Administrative Hearing you may use Fair Hearing Withdrawal (DSHS Form 02-528).