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Department of Social Services

Public Assistance

How to Access Public Assistance Programs:

  • Screen for potential eligibilty of benefits and apply for benefits online at https://commonhelp.virginia.gov . Through the CommonHelp portal, you can do the following:
    • Screen to see if you may be eligible for benefits.
    • Apply for SNAP, Medicaid, TANF, Energy Assistance, and Child Care online.
    • Report changes to your worker online.
    • Complete your renewals online.

      Interviews can often be done over the phone.
  • Walk-in interviews Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-3:15 p.m.

  • Drop-off completed applications Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

  • Most programs require an interview. Some interviews can be completed by telephone.

  • Screen daily for emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

You may come in and pick up an application and complete it in the office, or you may call (804) 785-5977 or (804) 769-5003 and request that an application be sent to you.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discrimination on the basis of race, color, origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs, or disability.

To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights. 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington D.C., 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Energy Assistance Emergency seasonal program. Provide vendor payment to supplement heating budget for low-income families. Income and resource limits.

Fraud – We investigate situations where false or incomplete information is given to receive public assistance benefits.

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) – Provides time limited cash assistance to families in which a minor child is dependent because of lack of parental support due to death, disability, and absence from home or unemployment. The child must be under age 18 plus living with a parent or relative. Eligible persons receive Medicaid. Participants are subject to Employment Services Participation and there are income and resource limits.

Auxiliary Grant for Aged and/or Disabled – Money provided to the aged, blind, and disabled individuals who reside in a licensed home for adults. The money received, plus individual’s income is used to pay for their care. Eligible persons may also receive Medicaid.

General Relief – Provides cash assistance to non-relative adults providing a stable home for a child. This is a temporary program.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program "SNAP"– The program has income and resource limits. Approved recipients are provided with an Electronic Benefit Transaction Card to purchase food.

Medicaid – Pays health and medical care for certain groups of people who have low income and limited resources.

Emergency Services – Coordination of community resources and budget counseling to prevent eviction and utility turn off, or to obtain emergency food, shelter, clothing, and medications. Limited financial assistance is given to families with children who have had a fire or natural disaster.


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