Benefits Programs

Financial Assistance Benefit Programs

The Virginia Department of Social Services develops and administers programs that provide timely and accurate income support benefits and employment services to families and individuals in the Commonwealth. These programs assist citizens as they transition from dependency on public assistance programs to self-sufficiency

Food Assistance (SNAP)

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, is a federal program that operates under the requirements of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service to provide nutritional assistance benefits to eligible individuals and families. SNAP provides a monthly benefit to households through an Electronic Benefits Card (EBT) to supplement the purchase of nutritious foods. Eligibility for SNAP benefits is based on financial and nonfinancial criteria.

SNAP benefits will help you buy nutritious food for your household. You may also buy seeds or plants to grow your own food.

To determine eligibility and/or apply for SNAP benefits online, visit CommonHelp. If you would like to request a paper application one can be mailed to you by calling (540)459-6226 or coming into the office at 494 N. Main St. Suite 200, Woodstock, VA 22664.

mother and daughter preparing food
doctor checking a child's blood pressure

Medical Assistance Programs

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.

To apply for Medical Assistance there are multiple ways you can apply. You can apply online by visiting CommonHelp. If your application includes a parent, child and/or pregnant woman you can also apply by telephone by calling Cover Virginia at 1-855-242-8282. To apply for Medical Assistance using a paper application form, you can download and print the form at Cover Virginia Application for Health Coverage . You can also call the department of social services (DSS) at 540-459-6226 and ask for a form to be mailed to you or pick one up at 494 N. Main St. Suite 200, Woodstock, VA 22664.

Energy Assistance

The Virginia Energy Assistance Program (EAP) assists low-income households in meeting their immediate home energy needs. To be eligible, households must have a heating or cooling expense and gross monthly income may not exceed 150 percent of the federal poverty level. Applications for Fuel, Crisis, and Cooling assistance are accepted at the local departments of social services. The EAP consists of four components: Fuel Assistance, Crisis Assistance, Cooling Assistance and Weatherization Assistance.

Fuel Assistance:
Applications are accepted from the second Tuesday in October until the second Friday in November.
Fuel Assistance Application (English)
Fuel Assistance Application (Spanish)

Crisis Assistance: 
Crisis Assistance Application(English)
Crisis Assistance Application (Spanish)

Equipment-related assistance & security deposits – November 1 through March 15
Heating fuel & utility bills (primary heat expense) – First workday in January through March 15

Cooling Assistance:
Applications are accepted June 15 through August 15
Cooling Assistance Application (English)
Cooling Assistance Application (Spanish)

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) administers this program. For details, visit their website.

lady adjusting temperature of a house
photo of a family

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

The TANF program provides eligible families with a monthly cash payment to meet their basic needs. For a child to be eligible he must be:

●     Under the age 18, or if 18, but not yet 19, enrolled and attending a secondary school or vocational/technical school of secondary equivalency and is meeting the enrollment and attendance requirements as determined by the local school board

●     Living with a parent or other relative

●     A U.S. citizen or an eligible immigrant

To determine eligibility and/or apply for TANF benefits online, visit CommonHelp. If you would like to request a paper application one can be mailed to you by calling (540)459-6226 or coming into the office at 494 N. Main St. Suite 200, Woodstock, VA 22664.

Child Care Assistance

The Child Care Subsidy Program assists families in paying child care costs for children under age 13 who are not eligible to attend public school during the part of the day when public education is available, or children with special needs under age 18 who reside with the applicant. If you are eligible and are approved for services, the Subsidy Program can pay a portion of your child care costs directly to the child care provider.

●     Apply online, or screen for eligibility through CommonHelp, a self-service portal available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A video or Quick Guide for the application portal is also available.

●     Submit a Child Care Service Application and Redetermination Form to your local department of social services. You can print an application (Spanish version) and submit it to  the Shenandoah County DSS at 494 N. Main St. Suite 200, Woodstock, VA 22664, or request that one be mailed to you by calling (540)459-6226.

Your application will be reviewed within 30 days. During that time, you may be required to participate in an interview and provide documentation of basic eligibility requirements.

If you are eligible, and approved for services, your local department will authorize child care with a participating child care provider of your choice, and a portion of your child care costs will be paid directly to your provider.

children in childcare

Questions About an ongoing case? If you have items to submit such as verifications, applications, or questions in regards to your ongoing case you can contact your worker at