Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) provides temporary financial assistance to eligible families.
A monthly cash payment is distributed to eligible families to meet their basic needs. The program is based upon the principles of personal responsibility, time-limited assistance, and work in exchange for benefits. TANF is the cash assistance component of the Virginia Independence Program (VIP) that helps families work toward their goal of total independence.

Food Assistance (SNAP) is a program that provides benefits to eligible persons for the purchase of eligible food items.
In October 2009, Virginia officially changed the name of the Food Stamp program to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP can be used like cash to buy eligible food items from authorized retailers. A SNAP account is established for eligible households and automatic deposits are made into the account each month. To access the account, an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Card is used, which will debit the account each time eligible food items are purchased. A secret Personal Identification Number (PIN) is required to use the card.

Medical Assistance Programs is a joint Federal and State program designed to provide essential medical and medically related services to the most vulnerable populations in our community. This vital program is the third largest source of health insurance after employer-based coverage and Medicare. It provides medical coverage to eligible low-income families, women, children, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities.

Long Term Care support in the form of Medicaid for nursing care or community based care and Auxiliary Grants for adult living facility care is provided through a specialized team of staff at ACDSS who understand the complexities of these services. Social workers at ACDSS complete assessments to decide the level of care needed. When a person is assessed as needing an assisted living level of care and meets financial criteria, an Auxiliary Grant supplements other income in an effort to meet the cost of care in an Assisted Living Facility. After evaluation, financially eligible individuals approved for nursing home level of care can receive that care either in the community or in the nursing home.

There are several Medical Assistance Programs offered in Virginia. Each program covers different groups of people and each program has different eligibility requirements. When you apply for Medical Assistance, you are screened for all possible programs based on your age, income, financial resources, and other information. To be eligible for a Medical Assistance Program, you must meet the financial and non-financial eligibility conditions for that program.

VDSS Covered Groups

Children Under Age 19
     Parents & Caretakers of Dependent Children
     Pregnant Women
     Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Recipients
     Adults Aged 65 or Older, Blind or Disabled (not receiving SSI)
     Individuals in Medical Institutions With Income < 300% of SSI
     Medicare Beneficiaries
     Plan First - Family Planning Services
     Breast & Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program

Auxiliary Grants (AG) are a supplement to income for recipients of Supplemental Security Income and other low-income aged, blind, or disabled individuals residing in licensed assisted living facilities.

The grant amount received by eligible individuals includes a small personal allowance plus the difference between their own income and the state reimbursed rate for assisted living level of care.  AG recipients also receive medical assistance through the Medicaid program.  The AG Program is a state (80%) and locally (20%) funded financial assistance program administered at the local level.

Prince Edward County operates a federally mandated Energy Assistance Programs with heating and cooling components for all residents with economic need.

During the summer, the Cooling Assistance Program provides for the purchase of window air conditioners and fans, or for repair of cooling equipment an/or payment for electricity for households containing a vulnerable individual who is aged, disabled, or under age six.

The Fuel Assistance Program helps with home heating fuel and related charges. Benefits are determined and authorizations for deliveries or services are sent to vendors in December.

Crisis Assistance Program is intended to meet a household's emergency heating needs. This assistance offers heating equipment repair or purchase and/or a one-time only heat security deposit. Purchase of home heating fuel or payment of heat utility bill is available beginning January 1st.

Each of the three components has income and non-financial requirements.

The Child Care Subsidy Program provides financial assistance to eligible families to help pay for the cost of child care so they can work or attend education or training programs. The Child Care Subsidy Program services are child-centered and family-focused and support the broader objective of strengthening families’ goals of economic self-sufficiency and quality early childhood programs for their children. Participating families may select any legally operating child day care facility eligible to participate in the program.

The Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare (VIEW) is a program providing employment, education, and training opportunities to recipients of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). VIEW is based on the conviction that all citizens deserve the opportunity to progress to self-sufficiency.

VIEW offers Virginians living in poverty the opportunity to:
1. Obtain work experience and work skills necessary for self-sufficiency
2. Contribute to the self-sufficiency of their families
3. Achieve economic independence

In addition to the program and client goals listed above, the Virginia Department of Social Services and local agencies must meet federal requirements regarding types and intensity of client participation in VIEWin order to maintain federal block grant funding.

The VIEWProgram offers a number of education, training, and work components designed to meet the individual needs of the TANF recipients required to participate in VIEWand to meet federal requirements. These components, referred to generically as work activities, are divided into core and non-core work activities.

Benefits Programs

Prince Edward County

Department of Social Services