You may apply by completing an application and leaving it at or mailing it to our agency.
Applications are available at our office any time during regular office hours, or you can request that an application be mailed to you. Applications can also be downloaded from the Virginia Department of Social Services (see following links)
All information that you provide is confidential. Information will only be given to persons directly connected with administering or enforcing provisions of the programs for which you apply.
To be eligible for assistance, applicants must meet certain general requirements. For most programs you must:
- Live in Virginia
- Apply in the city or county where you live
- Be a U.S. citizen or meet certain requirements if you are an immigrant
- Meet the specific requirements of each program for which you are applying
Before we can determine whether you are eligible, most of the information that you give must be verified. Eligibility will be based on your income, resources, the number of people for whom you are applying, and for some programs, certain household expenses. You will be notified in writing as soon as a decision about your application has been made.
Each program has different verification requirements (see link below under Resources). The most important things for you to bring to your first interview are:
- Proof of any income (money) that you have received in the month before the month that you are applying in and proof of any income (money) for the month of application and
- Identification and Social Security Numbers for each person that you are apply for
The information that you give may be matched against Federal, State and Local records including the Virginia Employment Commission, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the Department of Corrections, to determine if it is accurate and truthful.
With some exceptions, action on application must be taken within:
- Forty-five days of application for financial and medical assistance
- Thirty days of application for SNAP - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (seven days if the household qualifies for emergency service) and TANF - Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
If you disagree with any decision or action concerning your application, you have the right to request a conference with the agency or file an appeal. In most cases, if you file an appeal within ten days of your advance notice to reduce or terminate your benefits, your benefits will continue until after your appeal has been heard and a decision has been made.
To request a SNAP hearing call our office or call toll free 1-800-552-3431.
For financial assistance, your appeal request must be in writing. You can use a form available at our office or send a letter to:
Manager, Appeals and Fair Hearings
Virginia Department of Social Services
730 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
For Medicaid there are also forms available at your request or you may send a letter to:
Director, Division of Client Appeals
Department of medical Assistance Services
600 East Broad Street, Suite 1300
Richmond, Virginia 23219
There is a separate unit that deals exclusively with investigating all allegations of fraud. Investigations are conducted through collateral contacts and/or home visits. The Fraud Unit tracks and recovers all debts incurred for all programs where benefits are issued. To report suspected fraud you may call the Chesterfield - Colonial Heights Department of Social Services at (804) 748-1100, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays and ask for the Fraud Unit.