Food Stamps Offer Help to Families Who Have Lost Unemployment Benefits
Written by AmeriCorps members Travis Bassett and Lisa Andersen
For the 1.3 million people across the county who have lost their unemployment income, this is a challenging and unnerving time. At WithinReach we have heard from people across Washington who have lost their unemployment benefits and are looking for resources to help them fill the gap.
We recently assisted a client who faced precisely that difficult situation: the client’s unemployment benefits had been cut, which meant that he had lost his only source of income, despite having moved from state to state in hopes of finding a job over the past several years. His story was like that of many families in Washington – his home was in foreclosure, and he decided to apply for food stamps because he felt like he could no longer make ends meet. He said that he had simply “run out of things to sell.” We were able to help him navigate the application for food stamps within 10 minutes, and he was eligible to receive food benefits just 24 hours after an interview with DSHS.
Recent news stories suggest an eventual reinstatement of unemployment benefits, but in the meantime, far too many families are struggling to make ends meet. Many are struggling to put food on the table, and the money that Basic Food, (food stamps) provides families for groceries can make a huge difference. The families and individuals we help to apply for Basic Food often receive their benefits in less than two days.
We have also discovered that people who are eligible for Basic Food are very often eligible for free health insurance. Washington Apple Health (the new name for Medicaid in WA) has been expanded to cover more people, meaning that many of those who were not eligible for free health insurance a few months ago are now eligible for free coverage. Clients are usually thrilled to learn that they are eligible for free health insurance that includes dental and preventative care.
At WithinReach we specialize in helping people navigate the application processes for both food stamps and health insurance. To get started you can visit ParentHelp123 or call our Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588 for assistance. If you are unsure of what programs you may be eligible for just give us a call and our friendly and knowledgeable staff can help you figure it out.