As of January 2016, DSHS has reinstated time limits on able-bodied adults without children. If you are receiving Basic Food — also known as Food Stamps or SNAP benefits — there may be changes for you. Adults 18 to 49 without children who do not qualify for an exemption will only be able to receive Basic Food for three months out of every 36 months if they do not meet the work requirements. These changes only apply to people living in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties. If you live in Tacoma or Lakewood, these changes do not apply to you.
Exemptions from the work requirement include receiving unemployment benefits, being enrolled at least half time in high school or college, or experiencing homelessness. If you do not qualify for an exemption, you can meet the requirements by working for pay at least 80 hours per month, participating in an eligible work training program, or volunteering for a nonprofit organization for at least 16 hours per week. Call 1.800.501.2233 if you are concerned about these changes.
March 31 will be the earliest that anyone would have their benefits discontinued as a result of this rule change. You still have time to contact DSHS and make sure that you qualify for an exemption.