Cortes Bill Boosts Support for Families Facing Hardships

OLYMPIA – Legislation to provide greater financial assistance to Washington families experiencing hardships passed out of the House of Representatives with bipartisan support today.

House Bill 2415, introduced by Rep. Julio Cortes (D-Everett), increases the maximum Diversion Cash Assistance (DCA) benefit from $1,500 to $2,000, offering crucial support during periods of job transitions or unexpected emergencies. The one-time payment covers essential expenses like rent, utilities, or car repairs, preventing the need for long-term assistance programs.

The DCA program serves as an alternative to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) currently supports about 44 families through the DCA program and has the capacity to assist up to 140 households per month. Doubling the program’s reach along with the increased maximum benefit is feasible within existing resources.

“This small bill will have a big impact on Washington families,” said Rep. Cortes “By increasing the DCA maximum, we’re ensuring families can bridge short-term gaps and stay afloat, preventing them from falling into deeper financial trouble.”

House Bill 2415 advances to the Senate for further consideration. Learn more here or by clicking on the video below.