SNAP FAQ: What Is the Washington EBT Quest Card and How Can Residents Apply For Benefits?

Mother and daughter buying groceries at store stock photo
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Washington’s SNAP, also called Basic Food, is administered by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). Benefits are sent out monthly to eligible low-income households on the Quest Card, Washington’s EBT card.

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Washington residents may qualify for Basic Food benefits if they meet federal program requirements and citizenship or alien status requirements. The DSHS will consider your household’s income and resources.

Some able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) will also need to participate in work activities in order to remain eligible for Basic Food. ABAWDs must work at least 20 hours per week averaged monthly, or 80 hours per month, volunteer in the community through Workfare monthly and participate in state-approved employment or training programs. Not all Washington counties have ABAWD requirements.

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The USDA has approved a statewide ABAWD waiver. ABAWDs in Washington State are exempt from the ABAWD rules between June 1, 2021, and May 31, 2022.

Once you’re approved for Basic Food, a Washington Quest Card is mailed to your address within 30 days. The Washington Quest Card works just like a credit or debit card, and can be used to buy eligible food items at any participating store. If you qualify for cash benefits, your Washington Quest Card can be used to withdraw benefits at ATMs.

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You can apply for Washington’s Basic Food program online, by phone at 1-877-501-2233 or at your local Community Services Office. An online application can be completed and submitted through the Washington Connection portal. You can also do a prescreening to see if you qualify for benefits, renew your benefits, report a change, complete a mid-certification review or find additional resources via the online service.

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About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.
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