Economic Services Administration

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Important Information about March Basic Food Benefits! 2/20/2019

If you get your food benefits between March 1st-10th there is no change in your issuance date.

If you get your food benefits between March 11th – 20th, they will be issued to you earlier and you will get a letter with more details.

People who normally get their benefits later in the month (the 11th through the 20th) will receive benefits earlier due to the early issuance of February food benefits during the federal government shutdown.

DSHS co-leading Governor Inslee’s Poverty Reduction Work Group

poverty reduction

Recent Partial Government Shutdown

Updated February 4, 2019

The President reopened the Federal Government last week after a partial shutdown but we know there are still many questions regarding impacts to services.  Below are some answers to the questions we have received the most. We will continue to update you as we get more information.

  • Why were February food benefits issued early?

    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) directed states to issue February benefits by Jan. 20 to protect SNAP participants’ access for February. USDA relied on a provision of the Continuing Resolution (CR) that expired Dec. 21, 2018, to provide funding for SNAP within 30 days of the CR’s expiration.


  • Which households received early February benefits?

    Most households received an early issuance of February food benefits on Jan. 20.  This included:

    • All household that did not have a Mid-Certification Review or Eligibility Review due in January.

    • All households that had a Mid-Certification Review or Eligibility Review due and whose continued eligibility was determined on or before Jan. 16.


  • Was the early issuance of February benefits an “extra benefit”?

    No. Households that received the early issuance of February food benefits will not receive another issuance in February. Households are encouraged to plan their food budget knowing they will not receive food benefits again in February.


  • Will households lose benefits if they do not spend them by the end of February?

    No. Any funds on a household’s EBT card remain there until used. Unused funds will continue to roll over into the next month.


  • Will households receive benefits in March?

    We received an update from USDA that we have funding for SNAP benefits and administrative costs through March 2019. 


  • Can workers impacted by the federal shutdown apply for benefits? 

    Yes, workers affected by the federal shutdown may apply for benefits. Applicants need to meet all program eligibility criteria, including income eligibility requirements, but we only count income that is received.


  • Where can I find out more information?

    Please visit for current information about impacts from the government shutdown.


What We Do

We transform lives by empowering individuals and families to thrive.  We serve many clients who live on the margin.  Although most are not receiving a cash grant, they may be relying on food assistance, work-related support services, assistance with child support, medical coverage, or child care subsidies.  A family crisis or change in the economy, even a small one, can force these families into situations requiring assistance, whether it’s the full support of a cash grant, help with child support, or temporary assistance to avoid losing housing.

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.