Disaster Cash Assistance Program

Revised February 11, 2021


This section describes a cash program activated due to natural disasters or other specified states of emergency declared by the Governor. It is available to families or individuals without children who face an emergency and don’t have the money to meet their basic needs. This program is available only once within a twelve-month period unless waived by the Governor.  

WAC 388-436-0055 What is the Disaster Cash Assistance Program (DCAP)?

WAC 388-436-0060 How much money can I receive from the Disaster Cash Assistance Program (DCAP)?

Clarifying Information - ​WAC 388-436-0055

When the Governor declares a state of disaster or emergency, the Disaster Cash Assistance Program (DCAP) will be authorized through the Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP) to provide funds for families and individuals with or without children who have suffered losses because of the disaster or emergency.

NOTE: For COVID-19, there is no requirement that the applicant is unable to return to their home. 


  1. In order to be eligible for DCAP, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
    1. The applicant must be a Washington resident.
    2. The applicant had to be living in the declared disaster county or emergency area at the time the emergency was declared or the disaster occurred.
    3. The applicant must have suffered a loss of  property or income. This includes an inability to go to work.  
    4. In the event of a declared natural disaster, the applicant must be unable to live in their primary home or return to this home because of the disaster.

      NOTE: The requirement above (d) has been waived for the COVID emergency.

    5. The CEAP income rules apply to DCAP. See WAC 388-436-0045.
    6. The applicant must apply for any other assistance available, (see WAC 388-436-0030) such as:
      1. TANF/SFA/RCA
      2. DCA
      3. PWA
      4. ABD cash
      5. Basic Food Assistance
      6. Unemployment

NOTE: If the applicant reports a declared need for food, check first to see if they are eligible for SNAP. Don’t issue DCAP benefits for food, if the applicant is eligible for those programs or eligible for food replacement due to loss.

  1. Under DCAP, applicants aren't required to:
    1. Meet citizenship or alien requirements; or
    2. Provide a Social Security number.

NOTE: DCAP is not subject to Public Charge. 


Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-436-0055

  1. Review the application with the DCAP applicant.
  2. The applicant may request help with any of the basic requirements listed in WAC 388-436-0055 (2) without verifying the need with a bill or receipt unless questionable.  Use the DSHS 12-208 DCAP calculation form to discuss the applicant’s income and, resources, losses, declared expenses. This form is now available in Barcode under forms.
  3. Explain to the DCAP applicant the limited availability of this program.
  4. ABD applicants may be eligible to receive DCAP while ABD is pending for a disability determination from the SSS.
    1. Screen a DCAP AU along with the ABD AU.
    2. Explain to the applicant that the income received will be counted if they are eligible for ABD during the same month as DCAP.
    3. Finalize the DCAP but keep ABD pending and follow normal ABD procedure and refer to the SSS after financial eligibility has been determined.
    4. Encourage the applicant to work with the SSS to continue to determine eligibility for ABD.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-436-0060

Use CEAP rules when calculating the income and resources for DCAP.
The differences between DCAP and CEAP are in how the program looks at household composition and deductions:

  1. Household composition:
    1. DCAP doesn't require a dependent minor child to be in the home.
  2. Deductions:
    1. The disaster or emergency losses (for example, damage to the home or property in a flood), can be used as a deduction from the income/resources calculation for DCAP.
    2. The losses are only used if the applicant doesn't expect to be reimbursed (such as insurance settlement) during the month of application.

Example: Dakota reported that the house rented as his primary home burned down with everything inside. Dakota reports a renters insurance policy, although was told the claim would take 45-60 days to process. Dakota reports all of the destroyed belongings are valued at $2,000.  This does not appear questionable so staff must code the $2,000 as a financial loss on the DCAP calculation worksheet.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-436-0060

  1. Determine who must be included in the household. This is anyone living with the applicant that they are financially responsible for or who shares the financial responsibility such as;
    1. Your spouse;
    2. Domestic partner; or
    3. Your children or step-children.
  2. Proof of the income, resources, or expenses isn't required unless questionable.
  3. Complete the calculations using the DSHS 12-208 form (also available in Barcode).  Send or save a copy of this form to the applicant's ECR.