Economic Services Administration

Latest News

Visit this page for the latest news on food benefits replacements, EBT card skimming and phishing scams, what to do if you believe you’re a victim of EBT fraud, and more.


About ESA

Nearly one out of every four Washington residents turns to the Department of Social and Health Services for assistance with cash, food, child support, disability determination, transition to employment and other services. Each day, more than 4,000 employees in our Economic Services Administration provide families and individuals across the state with the resources and support they need to build better lives. In 2022, ESA served more than 1.8 million people – representing approximately 22% of all Washington state residents.

ESA’s core services focus on:

  • Poverty reduction and stability – Helping low-income people meet their basic needs and achieve economic independence through cash grants, food and medical assistance as well as employment-focused services. Major programs include Temporary Assistance for Needy Families cash assistance and WorkFirst (Washington’s Welfare to Work program); Basic Food assistance (Washington’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program); Aged, Blind or Disabled cash assistance; Pregnant Women’s Assistance; Refugee Cash Assistance; and medical assistance.
  • Child support – Ensuring parents are supporting their children and improving their family’s well-being through increased financial and medical support.
  • Disability determination – Determining whether people applying for Social Security disability benefits have a disability that prevents them from working. Under contract with the Social Security Administration, Disability Determination Services determines whether people qualify for benefits from the Social Security Administration and for medical assistance.


Strategic Plan

ESA’s agency-wide strategic plan addresses priorities for all of DSHS, and sets measurable objectives and goals. Using data, we monitor our progress to ensure DSHS serves our clients to the best of our ability within our funding. Every DSHS employee contributes to the mission of transforming lives by addressing the priorities and accomplishing the objectives within our agency-wide strategic plan. Each objective supports five broad goals for DSHS: public trust, health, protection, quality of life and safety.

Read the 2023-2025 Strategic Plan.


Find Services

Start with Washington Connection! Washington Connection offers you a way to find and apply for a variety of services and assistance online. By entering in basic household information, Washington Connection will let you know what programs or services you or your family may be qualified to receive from various state, federal or local sources.