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Washington WorkFirst Benefits

Program Description

WorkFirst is Washington State's temporary cash assistance program. The goals of the WorkFirst Program is to help low-income families stabilize their lives, so they can go to work and take better care of their families. Parents who can work will work, parents who cannot work will be supported, and parents who choose not to work will be held accountable. Washington initiated the WorkFirst program in August 1997 to help low-income families become self-sufficient by providing training and support services necessary for parents to get a job, keep a job and move up a career ladder.
Under WorkFirst, welfare assistance in Washington State is no longer an entitlement. Cash assistance is limited to a maximum of 60 months (five years) in a person's lifetime. During that time, the person must be involved in the WorkFirst program and working or actively looking for a job. However, benefits may be extended beyond 5 years for parents who continue to abide by the rules and seek work. Adults who are unable to participate will continue to receive assistance.

General Program Requirements

In order to qualify for this benefit program, you must be a resident of Washington, either pregnant or responsible for a child under 19 years of age, a US national, citizen, legal alien, or permanent resident, have low or very low income, and be either under-employed (working for very low wages), unemployed or about to become unemployed.

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this program.

Application Process

You may confirm you eligibility and apply online at:

Or you may apply at a local Department of Social and Health Services office. To Find the office nearest you:

Program Contact Information

To read more about the Washington WorkFirst program, please visit:
Or you can contact WorkFirst program representatives: