Assistance Programs in the State of Washington

The state of Washington has a population of over 7 million with a poverty rate of 13.2%. The poverty rate among children is even higher at a rate of 17%. There are over 900 000 people in the state of Washington living in a state of poverty. Many single parents and families struggle to provide the necessities their families need to live a proper, normal life. Fortunately, there are numerous financial assistance programs available in the state of Washington to assist those living in poverty. This guide will list and explain all the assistance programs available in the state of Washington.

Financial Assistance in Washington

Many single parents and families are in need of financial assistance to help pay for basic expenses and bills that their families need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are a few programs that can be of assistance to these families.

Washington WorkFirst

The Washington Work First program provides single parents and families with cash relief to assist them with their everyday expenses and bills. The program also provides job training and assists parents in finding better employment. To be eligible, the parents must by actively looking for better employment.

To be eligible for this program you must have a child under the age of 19 living in your household, and be of very low income. To apply and to learn more about this program, you can visit the Washington WorkFirst webpage.

Crime Victims Compensation

If you are a victim of crime, you might be entitled to monetary compensation. To apply you must file a claim which will be reviewed. To learn more about this program, and to begin the application process, check out the Crime Victims Compensation website.

Washington Unemployment Insurance

Washington Unemployment Insurance provides cash assistance payments to those who have lost their job through no fault of their own. The payments are made on a weekly/bi-weekly basis. In order to be eligible for this program you must have worked 680 hours in Washington within the last 12-18 months. To learn more and to apply check out the Washington Unemployment Page.

Food Assistance in Washington

If you are struggling to provide the necessary foods for your family, there are some helpful food assistance programs available.

Washington Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program  (SNAP)

The Washington Snap Program provides low income families across the state with food benefits to ensure families have the food they need to stay healthy. The benefits are received on a card called the Washington Quest card which had funds loaded onto the card. Simply swipe your card like a debit card when you are ready to check out with your groceries. The card is loaded with additional funds on a monthly basis.

To be eligible for this program you must be of low income, meeting the income requirements. To learn more and to apply check out the state of Washington SNAP webpage.

Washington Special Nutritional Program for Women and Children (WIC)

The Washington WIC program provides free nutritious, supplemental foods, nutrition education and even health care referrals to pregnant, postpartum or breastfeeding women and their children up to age 5. The WIC program will provide up to $100 monthly checks for healthy food when two people in your family enroll in the program.

To be eligible for this program you must meet specific annual income requirements based on your household size, and either be pregnant or have children aged 0-5. To apply you must contact the WIC office in your area of the state. You can use this Washington WIC locator to find the office nearest you. Check out the Washington WIC page to learn more.

Washington School Breakfast and Lunch Program

The Washington School Breakfast and Lunch Program provides children of low income families with low cost or free breakfasts’ and lunches while they are attending school. To apply for this program you must contact the school that your child attends. You can use this Washington School Locator to locate your child’s school contact info. To learn more about the program you can check out the Washington Child Nutrition Page.

Child Care Assistance in Washington

Child care costs are very expensive, forcing some parents to stay home and miss out on employment opportunities. Thera are some child care assistance programs available to the low income single parents and families throughout Washington.

Working Connections Child Care Program (WCCC)

The Washington WCCC program assists low income families with their child care costs. The parents must either be employed or meet the WorkFirst Program requirements. Each month the WCCC will pay a portion of the payments with the parents paying the remaining portion. To be eligible for this program you must be of low income. To check out the income requirements, and to apply check out the WCCC website.

Washington Head Start/Early Head Start

These child care assistance programs provide child care assistance and help the readiness of young children from the ages of 0-5 by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development in preparation for school  In order to be eligible for this program you must be of low income, meeting the income requirements.To learn more and to apply check out the Washington Head Start website.

Medical Assistance in Washington

The state of Washington has extensive medical assistance programs for those who do not have any other health insurance plans.

Washington Medicaid

The State of Washington’s Medicaid program provides free health care services to low income families across the state of Washington. It covers the cost of a variety of health related expenses such as:

  • doctor’s visits
  • prescription drugs
  • lab tests and X-rays ordered by doctors
  • hospital care
  • eye care
  • dental care
  • treatments
  • vaccination
  • MRI’s

Medicaid eligibility in Washington is based on your income in relation to the number of people living in your household. Depending on your income and the specify service, not all services will necessarily be covered, or some services might require co-pay. It is a lot easier for children and pregnant women to qualify for medical assistance as the income guidelines are lower. To learn more and to apply for Medicaid in Washington, check out the Washington Medicaid webpage.

Washington Apple Health for Kids; Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

The Washington CHIP program is basically Medicaid for children, with the main difference being the income levels required. All of the services covered under Medicaid are covered under CHIP.

The income levels are a lot lower, making it easier for children to qualify. This program is for children who do not qualify under the main Medicaid program. All the service covered with Medicaid are covered under CHIP. To learn more and to apply check out the Washington Apple Health for kids webpage.

Housing Assistance in Washington

Many low income single parents and families struggle with their housing and rent payments, placing a large financial burden on their lives. Fortunately, there are numerous housing and rental assistance programs available.

Washington Low Income Housing Program

The Washington low Income Housing Program allows low income single parents and families to receive reduced rent payments in dwellings owned by the local Housing Agencies, whether it be an apartment, single houses or condos. The State of Washington provides funding to local housing agencies (HAs).These local housing agencies will then provide the funds to low income families or single parents to ensure they safe and sanitary housing with rent payments that they can afford to pay.

To begin the application process, you must go through your local Housing Agency. This list of Washignton Public Housing Agencies provides an in depth list of all the Housing Agencies located across Washington. Once you find the Housing Agency in your area, you can contact them to find out the specific income guidelines required, as well as any details or questions you might have about the program.

Washington Housing Choice Voucher Program

The Washington Housing Choice Voucher program makes it easier for low income single parents and families to be able to afford their housing of choice on the housing market by reducing their rent costs. This program is somewhat similar to the Public Housing program except with this program you get to choose your apartment/home. It can be difficult locating a well priced apparent that is safe and sanitary, so this program enables you to afford high quality apartments. Once you have chosen your home, or if you already have a home you would like the rent assistance, the Housing Agencies provides a voucher to your landlord which covers a good portion of your rent payments. You will only pay a portion of your total rent payment, usually 30-40% of the total rent cost.

To be eligible for this program you must also be of low income and meet the income requirements. Similar to the Public Housing Program, you must apply through your local Washington Housing Agencies to get started.

Washington Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

The Washington LIHEAP program is managed by 26 community based non profit organizations that will help cover the costs of utility bills (electric or gas) to low income residents of Washington. If you are of low income and are having trouble paying your heating or cooling bills this program can benefit you.

To be eligible you must be of low income, meeting the income requirements. To learn more and to apply, check out the Washington LIHEAP webpage.

Washington Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

The Washington WAP program provides assistance to low income households by performing energy conservation techniques on your household. This includes insulation, closing heat escaping gaps, repairing furnaces and more.

To be eligible you must meet the income requirements. To learn more about this program and to apply check out the Washington WAP webpage.

Affordable Apartment Locator

This PDF list contains a listing of low cost, yet high safe and sanitary apartments around the state of Washington.

Washington First Time Home Buyer Programs

The state of Washington offers programs designed for those who need assistance purchasing their first home/mortgage. These programs will help with down payments, paying up to 5% of your mortgage amount, which decreased the amount you have to put down. These programs such as the Home Advantage Program will help lock in low interest rates. To learn more and to check out all the programs offered, check out the Washington Housing Finance Commission website.

Transportation Assistance in Washington

Transportation costs can really add up, especially if you do not own a vehicle, and take a taxi frequently. There are a few other options which are cheaper then cabs. You can also get free rides for medical reasons.

Washington Medical Transportation Assistance

The state of Washington features free medical transportation for doctors appointments, tests etc. The service will pick you up and drive you home. To receive the free rides, you must be enrolled under Medicaid or CHIP. To learn more check out the Washington Medical Assistance webpage.

Dial a Ride Transportation (DART)

The Washington DART programs provides those with medical conditions to receive free rides by calling the DART service. You can receive free transportation for not only medical appointments, but for shopping, recreation and more. Check out the Washington DART webpage.


There are two driving services that work like a taxi service, however ordinary people drive you where you need to go in their own vehicles. The prices are cheaper than taking a cab, saving you good money over time. Check out and

Legal Assistance in Washington

Legal advice and services are very high priced making it difficult for the low income to receive the legal advice and service they need. Fortunately there is a good legal organization that offers lower legal costs.

Washington Law Help Organization

The Washington Law Help Organization features several different areas of legal advice and services you might need. It has a variety of information on how and where to find legal advice based on your issue. Many of the legal services provided helps with issues such as domestic violence, immigration issues, employment issues, evictions, family law and more. To learn more and to find assistance for your needs check out

The State of Washington has a wide variety of program available for it’s residents. If you are facing tough times and are of low income the chances are good you will receive assistance through the state of Washington. Be sure to visit this guide for reference to the programs that can best assist you.

Additional Links and Resources

  • Washington Benefits Page
  • Washington Housing and Rental Assistance Resource
  • Washington.Gov

Find Local State Assistance Financial Help Programs for Single Mothers

Click on any one of the states below on the map (or via the table) to go to our local state assistance guide for that specific state