Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund

Created on: 
Apr 11 2022


This section reviews the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund, which provides a one-time non-recurrent cash payment to certain low-income families with eligible minor children due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

WAC 388-436-0065 – What is the pandemic emergency assistance fund (PEAF)?

​Clarifying Information - WAC 388-436-0065

  1. A household must meet all eligibility criteria in WAC 388-436-0065 to receive the one-time non-recurrent cash payment:
    1. In the month of issuance, the household must meet all of the following:
      1. Have at least one qualifying child as defined in WAC 388-404-0005.
        1. The child must not have already received PEAF,
      2. Be active, eligible, and receiving at least one of the following benefits:
        1. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF),
        2. State Family Assistance (SFA),
        3. Basic Food (including Transitional Food Assistance)
        4. Food Assistance Program.
      3. Have a reported household income at or below 75% of the 2022 federal poverty level.
      4. Be a Washington resident.
  2. An application isn’t required for the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund (PEAF) payment.
  3. The PEAF payment amount is automatically generated for all eligible households in the month of issuance. 
  4. The PEAF payment is limited to one per qualifying child. 
    1. ACES automatically checks if a payment has been issued to a qualifying child, and if so, the system won’t issue another payment, even if the child changes households.
  5. The benefit amount is based on the number of eligible children in the home and availability of PEAF funds at the time of issuance.
  6. PEAF benefits aren’t subject to overpayments.
Example: Patrick and Melissa White and their son Ron, age 12, received food assistance in the month of May 2022.  They are Washington State residents and have an income of $1000 per month, therefore under the 75% FPL.  They received the PEAF payment for their qualifying child in May of 2022.

In May of 2024, the family is still on food assistance with income under the 2022 FPL, no additional children.  This family would not be eligible for the second PEAF payment as the child Ron already received PEAF in 2022.

Benefit Level:

We base the PEAF benefit level on two factors:

  • Available PEAF funding; and
  • Number of qualifying children in the month of issuance.
Example: Tarimah K. FitzMintzer is receiving TANF for herself and two children, ages 5 and 2. She is a resident of Washington State and has an income below 75% of the 2022 FPL. As they meet the eligibility criteria, she will receive the PEAF payment for each child.

PEAF Issuance

PEAF benefits for qualifying children are a one-time payment. If a child already received the PEAF payment in May of 2022, they will not be eligible to receive PEAF again in May of 2024.  This is a one-time payment and doesn’t impact other food or cash benefits.

  1. ACES automatically issues a combined total PEAF payment for all qualifying children to the TANF, SFA, SNAP or FAP head of household. PEAF isn’t prorated.
  2. PEAF payments are issued as follows:
    1. The current cash payment method for the cash head of household (EBT, warrant, EFT).
    2. For food (non-cash) households, it will be deposited into an EBT account accessed by the head of household’s EBT card.
  3. When a PEAF payment is approved, an approval letter will be sent, with the DSHS 14-520 notice attached, to advise of the approved usage of the benefits.

Worker Responsibilities:

  1. Staff aren’t required to take any actions to approve/issue PEAF benefits, as this is an automated process.
  2. Households may call in with questions. There are resources available to help answer their questions.