Economic Services Administration

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Important information regarding presidential executive orders

In recent weeks, we have received a lot of questions about what the presidential executive orders mean for immigrants and refugees in Washington state. Gov. Jay Inslee has spoken out against these orders, pledging that Washington will remain a state that welcomes people of all faiths, nationalities and orientations. The governor is supporting a suit filed Jan. 30, 2017 by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson to challenge the constitutionality of some of the president’s orders.

The Department of Social and Health Services wants to provide reliable information for the individuals and families we serve. We will update this page if new information becomes available.  

What you should know:

  • We transform lives by empowering individuals and families to thrive. Existing programs, designed to support this goal, administered by the Department of Social and Health Services - DSHS remain in place and accessible to eligible refugees and immigrants in Washington state.
  • DSHS requires written and official proof of immigrant status from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services - USCIS at the Department of Homeland Security. There is no change to the kind of information and documentation we are required to collect to determine program eligibility.
  • DSHS is unable to guarantee that the implementation of current presidential executive orders or any future presidential executive orders will not affect benefit eligibility. The Department of Social and Health Services is committed to providing current and accurate information regarding benefits through regular updates to our agency website.

Tax returns for many low-income, working taxpayers will arrive after Feb. 15 this year

Many Washington families are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit - EITC the largest anti-poverty program in the United States. In 2016 Washington tax filers received more than $956 million through the program.

This year, tax refunds that include EITC are required by law to be held until Feb. 15 before they are released. The Internal Revenue Service is cautioning taxpayers that these refunds likely won’t arrive in bank accounts or on debit cards until the week of Feb. 27.

If you still have questions about reasons for the delay on the refund, IRS has more information online. If you need assistance filing your taxes there are volunteer programs that will help you. And after you file your return if you want to check on status of that return you can go online at Where’s My Refund? or check out the IRS2Go mobile app.


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.