Healthcare Reform
The federal Affordable Care Act, often referred to as the Healthcare Reform law, is providing additional, new opportunities for people to find health care insurance coverage. Some key provisions of the law go into effect on Sept. 23, 2010, although health insurance plans are not required to implement the new provisions until the beginning of their coverage year, often January 1. Check with your health plan for the most accurate information about when the provisions will be effective for your coverage.

Auxiliary Grants
An AG is an income supplement for individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and certain other aged, blind, or disabled individuals who reside in a licensed assisted living facility (ALF) or an approved adult foster care (AFC) home.

An AG payment is issued to an individual monthly, to be used with a designated amount of their monthly income to pay an ALF or AFC a maximum monthly rate. This rate is determined by the Virginia General Assembly and is adjusted periodically.

The AG Program is 80 percent state funded and 20 percent locally funded and is administered by the Virginia Department of Social Services. It is only for individuals who reside in an ALF licensed by the Virginia Department of Social Services' Division of Licensing Programs or in an AFC home approved by their local department of social services. Not all ALFs accept AG payments.

Benefits & Services Appeals
These types of appeals include client appeals pertaining to:

  •     SNAP
  •     TANF
  •     General Relief
  •     Auxiliary grants
  •     Refugee Programs
  •     Energy Assistance
  •     Child Day Care
  •     Foster Care
  •     Adoption Subsidy
  •     Home Based Services
  •     Neighborhood Assistance Program

Also included are administrative disqualification hearings in the SNAP and TANF programs based on fraud referrals from local agencies.

Benefits - Determining Eligibility
Preliminary eligibility screening.

  •           Aged, Blind or Disabled (ABD) Medicaid
  •           Child Care
  •           Children's Health Insurance (FAMIS, FAMIS Plus)
  •           Energy Assistance (Fuel, Crisis, Cooling)
  •           Help With Medicare Costs
  •           Medicaid for Pregnant Women
  •           Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)  (formerly known as Food Stamps)
  •           Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  •           Women, Infants & Children (WIC)


Benefits - Frequently Asked Questions
Contains information about some of the benefits offered through the VDSS, along with information about your rights and responsibilities. This pamphlet addresses the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medical Assistance Programs and Energy Assistance Program.

Benefits - Verification Requirements
Different programs have different verification requirements. Following are examples of items the agency may need to verify and suggested ways to verify the items. If possible, please give the agency these verifications when you apply. Federal law and regulations require you to provide Social Security numbers for everyone on your application. You must also provide any documents necessary to establish your eligibility. If documents are not available, you must provide the names of individuals or organizations that can verify the information you give on your application.

Benefits - Your Responsibilities
Provide information the agency requests to determine your eligibility. If you refuse to cooperate with any review of your eligibility, including reviews by Quality Control, your benefits may be denied or stopped until you cooperate. Your signature authorizes the release to the agency of all information needed to determine eligibility. It also authorizes the release of any medical or psychological information obtained from any source to the Social Security Administration, or to the state or local agency that may review your application for financial or medical assistance.

Disaster Assistance
Established by federal and state law, the Disaster Assistance Program uses public funds to provide financial assistance to persons and governments victimized by a major disaster. Following an emergency declaration by the President and Governor, state and local disaster assistance programs are made available for those governments and individuals who suffered loss or damage within the designated area.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
EITC is a federal tax credit for low-to-middle income working individuals and families. To qualify you must file an income tax return - even if the IRS doesn't require filing taxes for your income level.

Energy Assistance (EA)
The EA Program assists low-income households, particularly those with the lowest incomes that pay a high proportion of household income for home energy.

Food Assistance (SNAP/EBT/TEFAP/WIC)

  •     Application for Food Assistance
  •     SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
  •     EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer)
  •     WIC, TEFAP & Other Nutritional Assistance
  •     Nutrition & You

Application for Food Assistance
This application (The Virginia Food Connection) allows Virginia residents to apply for multiple benefits from the following programs:

  •     Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly known as Food Stamps)
  •     Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
  •     The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)


Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT)
Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) is a system for issuing SNAP benefits using debit card technology. After benefits are added to eligible household accounts, cardholders spend them by swiping their EBT card at the point of sale (POS) and then entering their PIN number. When retailers who do not have POS terminals, they must resort to paper vouchers.

EBT Retailer Search

Nutrition & You
The Virginia Alliance for Healthier Virginians is an inclusive, formal public/private partnership working to increase participation in SNAP and other nutrition programs in the Commonwealth and improve the SNAP application process. Nutrition assistance programs include SNAP; the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program; nutrition education provided through the Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension Program; commodities and services offered through area agencies on aging and community action agencies; the Food Banks and the food industry.

SNAP                    SNAP Manual
In October 2009, Virginia officially changed the name of the Food Stamp program to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, "SNAP." As you access information on food assistance, you may see either of these names. They are the same program. If you are currently receiving Food Stamps, you will not need to reapply for SNAP.

WIC, TEFAP & Other Nutritional Assistance
The WIC program safeguards the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care. Although the program is administered by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), application for benefits can be made through the Virginia Department of Social Services .

TEFAP is a federal program that helps supplement the diets of low-income needy persons, including elderly people, by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance. Food is distributed to soup kitchens, food pantries, and other organizations that serve the public.

General Relief (GR)
The GR Program is an optional local program designed to provide assistance, either maintenance or emergency, which cannot be provided through other means.

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.

Medicaid Forms/Applications          Medicaid Manual
Medicaid is an assistance program that pays medical service providers for
medical services rendered to eligible individuals. The Medicaid eligibility
determination consists of an evaluation of an individual's situation that
compares each of the individual's circumstances to an established standard.
Requests for Virginia Medicaid must be made in written form on an
official Medicaid application or in the Application/Benefit Delivery
Automation Project (ADAPT) system.

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 age 18, or if 18, will graduate from high school before age 19
  •     Going to school regularly if he is between the ages of five and 18
  •     Living with a parent or other relative
  •     A U.S. citizen or an eligible immigrant


Updated on August 17th, 2011 | §Permalink