SNAP Schedule: Washington State Basic Food Benefits for January 2023

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Washington’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known simply as Basic Food in Washington, provides food assistance to low-income families to help them buy groceries. 

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Basic Food benefits are paid out by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services on a staggered schedule over the first 20 days of the month depending on the date you applied for benefits and the date your benefits were approved. Washington Basic Food benefits are paid out to electronic benefits transfer, or EBT, cards. Payments for January will include the 12.5% cost-of-living adjustment approved for 2023.

Your eligibility for Basic Food benefits depends on your family size and income. To check your eligibility, you can try the Washington DSHS online benefit estimator. You can apply for Basic Food Assistance online through the Washington Connection portal, by phone at 877-501-2233 or at your local Community Services Office.

Washington has another program, called the Food Assistance Program, for legal immigrants who do not qualify for Basic Food due to their immigration status. According to the Washington DSHS, households can receive both FAP and Basic Food benefits depending on the citizenship or alien status of each person in the home.

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Washington Basic Food benefits come with additional perks that go beyond purchasing food — including discounts on certain products and services. For example, as GOBankingRates previously reported, Basic Food recipients can sign up for an Amazon Prime EBT discounted subscription, which is $6.99 per month. Your EBT card can also be used for free or discounted admission to hundreds of museums, aquariums and zoos nationwide. Free or low-cost landline or cell phone service is also available through the Federal Lifeline Program.

Washington’s Basic Food deposit schedule is staggered over the first 20 days of the month. The date you receive your benefits depends on the date you applied for benefits and the date your benefits were approved. According to Washington State, the eligibility system will automatically assign the day you get your benefits when your Basic Food application is approved. The day will be listed on your approval letter. 

Here is the Washington EBT card deposit schedule for January 2023:

Application Date: Application Finalized Period: Assigned Issuance Date:
1st through 15th 1st through 15th 1st through 10th
1st through 15th 16th through 31st 11th through 20th
16th through 22nd Any date 1st through 10th
23rd through 31st Any date 11th through 20th

The Basic Food EBT card can be used in most grocery stores and at some online retailers. You can also use your Washington EBT card at participating farmers markets to purchase fresh produce. The USDA’s Food Nutrition Service provides a monthly list of the names and locations of markets across the country that are currently authorized to accept Basic Food benefits.

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You can use your SNAP EBT card to purchase:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meat, poultry and fish
  • Dairy products
  • Breads and cereals
  • Snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Seeds and plants that produce food for the household to eat

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However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture does have restrictions on how you can use your SNAP benefits. Among the items you can’t buy with SNAP benefits are alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, vitamins, medicines, supplements, live animals, pet foods, cleaning supplies, paper products and cosmetics. You also cannot purchase hot and prepared food or meals.

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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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