Help for Single Mothers in WASHINGTON

Washington, WA

Nowadays, it has become increasingly common for women, particularly single mothers, to manage multiple jobs just to make ends meet. Fortunately, Washington is actively addressing their challenges and offering a range of support programs to ease their financial burdens.

Washington State Working Families Tax Credit #

Applications open February 1, 2023 for the 2022 tax year and are accepted through December 31, 2023.

Modeled after the federal credit, the Washington State EITC is a new tax refund that will put more money back into the hands of low-to-moderate income individuals and families in Washington.

Once the credit takes effect in 2023, the Washington State Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC) will offer a flat credit to low-income families, ranging from $300 to $1,200 depending on the number of qualifying children.

0 300
1 600
2 900
3 or more 1,200

Eligibility for the WFTC is based in part on eligibility for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit. You can check your eligibility and apply online through the Washington Department of Revenue.

Washington WorkFirst #

WorkFirst is Washington’s welfare reform program that helps low-income people and families find jobs, keep their jobs, find better jobs, and become self-sufficient.

Under WorkFirst, welfare assistance is no longer an entitlement. Those receiving cash benefits are required by law to participate in the WorkFirst program or actively search for a job, unless otherwise exempt.

How do I get cash assistance in Washington State?

To apply for WorkFirst, you can request for an application at your local DSHS office or apply online at Washington Connection for expedited processing.

Washington Diversion Cash Assistance #

Those who are eligible for WorkFirst program but do not need ongoing monthly cash assistance may apply for Diversion Cash Assistance in the form of a lump sum cash payment of up to $1,250.

Diversion can help with expenses such as:

  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Medical bills
  • Employment
  • Childcare

Families who receive this assistance are expected to not need WorkFirst/TANF assistance for the next 12 months.

Washington Basic Food Program (SNAP) #

Basic Food, Washington’s name for SNAP, helps low-income individuals and families in Washington obtain a more nutritious diet by supplementing their income with “Basic Food” benefits.

Monthly benefits are based on how many people live in your household, your income, and living expenses. For a family of three with no income, that's about $740.

How do I apply for Basic Food in Washington?

To apply for Basic Food/SNAP, you need to submit an application at your local DSHS office in person, by mail or online through the Washington Connection.

Washington Special Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) #

Washington WIC provides nutrient-rich foods, health screening, nutrition education, breastfeeding support and referrals to other health and social services to families who qualify.

Women, infants, and children in Washington whose gross income falls below certain limits are eligible for $50 worth of healthy foods each month.

What is the income limit for WIC in Washington State?

WIC is open to families in Washington State with a household income less than or equal to 185% of the poverty level.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $2,248
  • 2 $3,040
  • 3 $3,833
  • 4 $4,625
  • 5 $5,418
  • 6 $6,210
  • 7 $7,003
  • 8 $7,795

How do I apply for WIC in Washington state?

To be fully eligible for the program, applicants must be determined by a health professional to be at “nutritional risks”.

Call the Family Health Hotline 1-800-322-2588 for assistance.

Washington Pregnant Women Assistance (PWA) Program. #

Pregnant Women Assistance (PWA) is a state-funded program that provides cash assistance to low-income pregnant women who are not eligible for TANF or State Family Assistance (SFA) program.

If you’re a resident of Washington State and are pregnant at the time of the application, you may receive a monthly cash grant of up to $363 when eligible.

You may sign up for Washington PWA at a local DSHS Community Services Office (CSO) in person or online through the Washington Connection.

Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) #

Apple Health serves needy individuals and families in Washington who lack adequate resources to pay for medical care. It is also an important source of aid for elderly people in nursing homes.

Eligible participants are low-income families with children, including pregnant women. Under Medicaid expansion, coverage will be available to all adults age 19-64 whose incomes fall below 138% of the federal poverty level.

What is the income limit for Apple Health in Washington State?

Washington Apple Health 215% 198% 138%
1 $31,350 $28,870 $20,120
2 $42,400 $39,050 $27,210
3 $53,450 $49,220 $34,310
4 $64,500 $59,400 $41,400
5 $75,550 $69,580 $48,490
6 $86,600 $79,750 $55,590
7 $97,650 $89,930 $62,680
8 $108,700 $100,110 $69,770

A 5% disregard based on the federal poverty level (FPL) for the household size is applied and is reflected in the amounts shown above.

How do I apply for Washington Apple Health?

Washington is operating a State-Based Marketplace, known as WA HealthPlanFinder — the official place where all uninsured residents of Washington State shop for health coverage.

Washington Apple Health for Kids #

Apple Health for Kids is a health insurance program for children up to age 19 in Washington who are not eligible for Medicaid and who are uninsured. It covers major medical with special preventive benefits for children, including dental coverage.

Apple Health for Kids is free for all children in families with income up to $53,450 for a three-person family. Families above that level may have to pay a small premium for coverage based on income, ranging from $20 to $30 per month. 1

What is the income limit for Apple Health for Kids?

Apple Health for Kids 215% 317%
1 $31,350 $46,220
2 $42,400 $62,510
3 $53,450 $78,810
4 $64,500 $95,100
5 $75,550 $111,390
6 $86,600 $127,690
7 $97,650 $143,980
8 $108,700 $160,280

A 5% disregard based on the federal poverty level (FPL) for the household size is applied and is reflected in the amounts shown above.

How do I apply for Apple Health for Kids?

You can sign up online via WA HealthPlanFinder. If you sign up for coverage before or on the 15th of the month, your coverage will start the 1st of the next month.

Washington Charity Care Program #

Washington has one of the strongest protections in the country for out-of-pocket hospital costs. It is one of a few states that have a law, known as “charity care”, that requires all hospitals to provide free inpatient and outpatient care to very low income and/or uninsured patients.

The law ensures all Washingtonians within 300% of the federal poverty level, about $74,580 for a family of three, are eligible for financial assistance on out-of-pocket hospital bills.

Families making up to 400% of the federal poverty level could be eligible for financial assistance depending on the hospital.

Charity Care 300% 400%
1 $43,740 $58,320
2 $59,160 $78,880
3 $74,580 $99,440
4 $90,000 $120,000
5 $105,420 $140,560
6 $120,840 $161,120
7 $136,260 $181,680
8 $151,680 $202,240

If you think you’re income eligible, ask hospital staff for a Charity Care application and for their “Charity Care Policy” when you are first admitted to the hospital, or as soon as possible after that.

Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) #

Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) helps low-income families in Washington pay for child care while they work or meet all TANF/WorkFirst requirements. Eligibility is based on income level and family size.

Families that qualify for the WCCC program can choose their own child care provider. The state pays a portion of the cost of child care, while the parent is responsible to pay a co-payment to the provider each month.

What is the income limit for child care assistance in Washington State?

The current income eligibility for families is capped at 60% of the State Median Income (SMI) at the initial eligibility test or about $4,717 a month for a family of three. Families with an income under 20% of the SMI have $0 copayment.

How do I apply for child care assistance in Washington?

To find out if your family is eligible, call the Child Care Subsidy Contact at 1-844-626-8687 or apply online through Washington Connection.

Washington Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) #

Washington LIHEAP assists eligible low-income households in Washington in meeting their immediate home energy needs. Eligible households receive a one-time credit of up to $1,000 deposited directly into their utility accounts. 2

The program is designed to help these families keep their heat on, especially those households that are most vulnerable, such as the elderly, the disabled, and households with young children.

What is the income limit for LIHEAP in Washington State?

In Washington State, LIHEAP assists households whose incomes are at or below 150% of the federal poverty level.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $1,823
  • 2 $2,465
  • 3 $3,108
  • 4 $3,750
  • 5 $4,393
  • 6 $5,035
  • 7 $5,678
  • 8 $6,320

How do I get energy assistance in Washington State?

To apply for LIHEAP, you must schedule an appointment with the agency that offers services in your area. Click here to view a county map and select the county you live in.

Washington Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) #

Washington LIHWAP provides emergency assistance to low-income households who are disconnected or are in imminent threat of disconnection.

Washington’s LIHWAP provides relief assistance to two priority groups:

  • Households without current water services for the immediate restoration of services
  • Households with existing arrearages to prevent disconnection of drinking water and/or wastewater service

Under Washington’s LIHWAP, eligible households may receive up to $2,500 in benefit assistance towards their water/wastewater bill.

How do I get help paying my water bill in Washington state?

If you are in danger of falling behind on your water bills and need help, you can schedule an appointment with a local LIHWAP agency that offers services in your area.

Washington Unemployment Insurance #

Washington Unemployment Insurance (UI) helps eligible workers who lost their job through no fault of their own by temporarily replacing part of their wages — for up to 26 weeks.

To be eligible for benefits, you must prove that you have worked at least 680 hours during the first 12 months of the 15 months prior to filing a claim.

As a condition of eligibility, you are also required to actively seek suitable employment each week that you’re filing for benefits.

How much do I get for unemployment in Washington State?

For claims on and after July 2, 2023, the minimum and maximum weekly unemployment benefits will increase to $323 and $1,019, respectively.

If you live in Washington State, you may choose to file a new claim either online or over the phone by calling 1-800-318-6022 Monday through Friday.

Washington Paid Family Leave Program #

Washington is now among a handful of states that guarantee paid family leave. It is designed to provide partial wage replacement for pregnancy-related leaves as well as for bonding with a new child.

Washington’s is among the most generous of the bunch, covering at least 12 weeks of paid leave, plus another six for complicated pregnancies.

Weekly benefits are calculated based on a percentage of the employee’s wages and the state’s weekly average wage — up to 90% of their income but no more than $1,427 a week.

Can I use Paid Family and Medical Leave if I am sick with COVID-19?

As with any illness, to be eligible for paid medical leave, a healthcare provider must certify that you are unable to work due to a serious health condition.

However, Washington law requires employers to provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked.

If you are ill with COVID-19 and have access to employer-provided paid sick leave, you should consider using that first before applying for Paid Family and Medical Leave.

Washington College Grant #

Washington College Grant provides need-based financial aid to low- to middle-income resident students pursuing postsecondary education in Washington.

Eligible student from a family of three with income of $61,500 or less per year may get a full award. Some financial aid is available for students in a family of three making as much as $94,500 a year.

Completing the FAFSA is the first step of the application process. If you can’t fill out the FAFSA due to immigration status, you can apply by submitting the WASFA.

Washington Opportunity Grant #

Washington's Opportunity Grant is designed to help low-income adults in Washington pay for post-secondary education that will lead to higher wages in high-demand careers.

Applicants must demonstrate substantial financial need, as determined by the WAFSA, and have income not exceeding 200% of the federal poverty level.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $29,160
  • 2 $39,440
  • 3 $49,720
  • 4 $60,000
  • 5 $70,280
  • 6 $80,560
  • 7 $90,840
  • 8 $101,120

If you qualify, you may receive funding for up to 45 credits of tuition — about $4000 and up to $1,000 per year for books and supplies. You may also get emergency child care, tutoring, and career advice.


  1. Find out about eligibility requirements for Washington Apple Health for Kids.
  2. On June 1, 2020, DOEE began providing emergency utility assistance to residents who owe $250 or more on a utility account.

If this is not your state, please select yours here.
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