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Mayor Bowser Highlights District First Mobile App for Residents to Apply and Recertify for Public Benefits

Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Residents Who Need to Recertify Benefits Can Download the Mobile App from Apple or Google Play Stores

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the District of Columbia Department of Human Services (DHS) highlighted District First – a mobile application providing District residents with a user-friendly way to apply or recertify for cash, food, and medical benefits.

“Through District First, we are increasing the accessibility to public benefits for District households in a safe and convenient way,” said Mayor Bowser. “We encourage residents to download the app and recertify their benefits to ensure services are not interrupted during these particularly challenging times.”

District First will allow residents to recertify their benefits at a time when the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) may end the automatic re-certification, which has been in effect since the District entered a public health emergency. Without the continued flexibilities, starting in September, District families who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will be required to recertify and demonstrate their need to continue to receive food benefits.

“We continue to work with USDA to maintain the flexibilities needed to safely meet the needs of District residents,” said DHS Director Laura Zeilinger. “We want to ensure those who receive SNAP do not experience a lapse in benefits. We are excited to offer online access and encourage residents to use District First for new applications and to recertify for public benefits.”

In addition to District First, District residents may access an online application to apply and recertify for food, cash, and medical public benefits. Both the District First mobile app and the online application allow District residents to update personal information, upload verification documents, and review notifications and payment information.

Since its release in June 2020, District First has been downloaded more than 5,000 times and has been used to submit more than 2,000 applications for public benefits.

For more information about District First and how to download the mobile app, visit


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