Medical Care Services

Medical Care Services (MCS) is a DSHS program that offers limited medical coverage to people experiencing temporary disabilities.

MCS benefits are also available to persons who are enrolled in the ADATSA program for treatment of addiction.


Provides medical coverage to treat the cause of disability.  Coverage is generally limited to this purpose.

MCS recipients are eligible to apply for the Housing and Essential Needs program.


  • Must be "incapable of gainful employment" as a result of a physical or mental impairment that is expected to continue for less than 12 months from the date of application.
  • "Perform gainful employment" means you can perform, in a regular and predictable manner, an activity usually done for pay or profit.
  • Occasional or part-time work is generally NOT considered gainful employment.

Application Process

  1. Complete DSHS “Application for Benefits.” You can do this several ways:
    1. Go to the Community Services Office at 6860 Capitol Blvd SE, Tumwater, wait in line and fill out an application with a worker there.
    2. Go to Washington Connection to fill out an application online or contact CHOICE (( 360) 539- 7576) Regional Health Network. One of their representatives will meet with you to complete the application, making sure all the 't's are crossed and 'i's dotted.
  2. In either case, DSHS will require an in-person interview. You will be contacted to set up that appointment.
  3. At that appointment you may be scheduled again for a Medical/psychological evaluation.
  4. You will be determined to be either eligible, ineligible, or more information will be requested.
  5. If denied, file for Fair Hearing, and call the Northwest Justice Project (360) 753-3610.
  6. Previously, after filing for a hearing, one could request a medical coverage to gather further medical evidence. That may still be the case and an update on this is on the way.

Related issues

Eligibility Reviews

Frequent eligibility reviews and treatment requirements make a lot of work for the recipient.  Do not be shy about seeking help from an advocate in the community or a DSHS specialist! Benefits are often wrongly terminated. File for a Fair Hearing!!! (360)753-2531.

Mental Health

Mental health services through MCS will differ from other DSHS coverage programs.  Don't assume the care or specific prescriptions will be the same on your MCS coverage as your friend gets through her TANF medical coverage 

Additional Resources

MCS online: