Financial Assistance

The Financial Assistance Division administers many financial assistance programs, most of which are funded by the federal and state government. The programs are targeted for families and individuals with incomes at or below the poverty level. Programs include: temporary emergency or general assistance to needy families or indigents; grants for the disabled; food stamps; and Medicaid; or refugee re-settlement.

​​​​​​​​​​​

 General Financial Assistance

  • Provides temporary financial assistance to eligible families and children under the age 18. 
  • Grant amount is based upon family size. 
  • Federal policy limits families to sixty months of TANF eligibility unless they are Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare (VIEW) program who is limited to 24 months followed by a period of ineligibility for 24 months.
  • Virginia Initiative for Employment Not Welfare (VIEW)
  • Provides employment, education, and training opportunities to recipients of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).
  • Offers Virginians living in poverty the opportunity to obtain work experience and work skills necessary for self-sufficiency; contribute to the self-sufficiency of their families; and achieve economic independence.
  • Supportive services such as child care, transportation, domestic violence, mental health, and substance abuse services are offered to meet individual client/family needs.​​​

General Relief
  • General Relief (GR) is a local program designed to provide maintenance or emergency assistance that cannot be provided through other means.  Components in Virginia Beach include cash assistance for unattached children and for burial expenses.​
  • General Relief for Unattached Children - Needy children under 18 who would be eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) except for the relationship requirement may qualify for this component.  This means that the caretaker is not "a specific relative" of the child for TANF.  For example: when evidence of paternity does not exist, a putative father or his relatives are not specified relatives; therefore a child living with one of these individuals who would be otherwise eligible for TANF is eligible for GR as an unattached child.  In addition to the money payment the approved GR Unattached Child receives Medicaid if the caretaker has established legal custody of the child.
  • General Relief for Burial Expenses - An application for assistance with burial expenses may be made by relatives, friends, or other persons having knowledge of the deceased Virginia Beach resident's circumstances within 30 days of the date of death. ​The available income and resources of the deceased and any legally responsible relatives (spouse for spouse and parent for minor child) is evaluated.  The total funeral expenses billed to the family or other designated representative cannot exceed $2500.  The maximum assistance is $500 towards the burial/cremation and is paid to the service provider.

Auxiliary G​rant
  • An auxiliary grant is a supplement to income for recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and certain other aged, blind, or disabled individuals residing in a licensed assisted living facility or an approved adult foster care home.  
    ​​​​

 Health and Nutrition


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

This program is available to individuals meeting financial and other criteria.

Determination of income and liquid resources in addition to allowable deductions for shelter, medical expenses, child support, etc. are considered in identifying the amount of food stamps available to individuals and families.

When a SNAP appli​cation is approved the household is issued a plastic Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Card that looks like a credit card and works like a debit card.

The Commonwealth of Virginia deposits the benefits into an account which is accessed via a credit card/debit card machine at the checkout line in the grocery store. A secret Personal Identification Number (PIN) is required to use the card.​

USDA SNAP Fraud Hotline: (800) 424-9121

Virginia Department of Social Services Fraud Hotline: (800) 552-3431​

Medicaid

Medicaid pays for health and medical care for certain groups of people who have low income

Health Insurance Premium Payment (HIPP) Pr​ogram - pays the employee's share of employer-based health insurance premiums.​​​


 Energy Assistance

​​​​The Energy Assistance Program assists low-income households, particularly those with the lowest incomes that pay a high proportion of household income for home energy. The program consists of three components: 

Water Assistance Program
The Water Assistance Program is a locally funded, year-round program, that’s an agreement between the Virginia Beach Department of Human Services and Virginia Beach Department of Public Utilities. The program is to assist low income households with bill payment up to a maximum of $350, and minor plumbing repairs up to a maximum of $250 for the owner, annually.​ 

In order to be eligible, applicants must be a Virginia Beach resident and reside at the registered property; be an active residential water service customer of VB Public Utilities; the bill must be in the application's name and the applicant must meet the resource limitations. 

Applications are accepted at the Virginia Beach Department of Human Services or click here to access an application; comprehensive details and eligibility requirements for the program are available here.​​

Fuel Assistance
The Fuel Assistance Program (Offset Heating Fuel Costs) helps low income households offset heating fuel costs; applicants must be responsible for paying a heating bill to be eligible. Fuel assistance helps with home heating costs and can be used for connection fees, installation charges and furnace restarts. The program begins the second Tuesday in October and ends the second Friday in November.  

Crisis Assistance​
The Crisis Assistance component is intended to meet a qualifying household's emergency heating needs, when no other resource is available. The program
 assists households with emergency heating costs to include: primary heat security deposits, utility bills, repair and replacement of heating equipment, primary heating fuel or emergency shelter. The program begins November 1 and ends March 15, annually.

Applications are accepted online at https://commonhelp.virginia.gov/access and at the Virginia Beach Human Services Department. 

​​Cooling Assistance
The Cooling Assistance component provides purchase or repair of cooling equipment and/or payment of electricity to operate cooling equipment.  To be eligible, a household must contain at least one vulnerable individual who is defined as a person under age 6, age 60 or over, or disabled.  In addition, households must reside in Virginia Beach, have a cooling expense responsibility, provide a copy of their current electric utility bill, and may not exceed defined earned and unearned income limits.  Cooling Assistance applications are accepted from June 15 through August 15.

To be eligible, an applicant must: be a resident of Virginia Beach; submit a completed, signed application that includes information for everyone who lives in the household, whether they are included on any case (SNAP, Medicaid or TANF) or not; provide verification of all gross income for everyone in the household, earned and unearned f​or the month prior to the month of application.  Earned income includes wages and salaries - pay stubs or copy of contract - self-employment (will need to provide last year's income tax return or bookkeeping records).

 Financial Empowerment

​The Ba​nk On Virginia Beach​ program provides resources and classes to assist residents with financial management.
Contact Information

 ​​​​​​​​​CommonHelp for Virginia

The Virginia Department of Social Services operates a one-stop application for financial assistance for state programs called "CommonHelp." You can learn more about state programs and the application process at the CommonHelp website.​

 Non-Discrimination Policy

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) policy, this institution is prohibited from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.  Under the Food Stamp Act and USDA policy, discrimination is also prohibited on the basis of religion or political beliefs.

To file a complaint of discrimination, contact USDA or HHS

USDA Director
1400 Independence Ave. SW
Washington, DC 20201
(800) 795-3272
(202) 720-6382

HHS Director
Room 506-F, 200 Independence Ave. SW
Washington, DC 20201
(800) 795-3272
(202) 619-3257

USDA and HHS are equal opportunity providers and employers.