Frequently Asked Questions
How to apply for Benefits/Assistance?
You may get an Application for Benefits form at our offices. If you prefer, you can call us to request an application and we will send you the requested form(s). An interview is required to go over the information to complete the application process. Please note: Applications for Food Stamps, TANF, Medicaid, and other services can be found online here.
How do I get Food Stamps?
You may apply for food stamps at our office. Your application will be accepted the same day you come in. However, an interview is required and may be held on a different day. If you are eligible for food stamps, you will receive a card that may be used to purchase food on your account.
How do I get energy assistance?
You may apply by visiting our offices and completing the appropriate application. Please note that their are deadlines each year for the various programs.
How to get child health insurance?
You may come into our offices and apply for Medicaid. If you are not eligible for Medicaid, you may qualify for FAMIS (The Family Access to Medical Insurance Security).
People who believe that they were subject to discrimination may file a complaint by calling (866) 632-9992 (voice). (800) 877-8339 (Federal Relay Service), or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish), or by writing:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Director, Office of Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410
Copyright 2007 © Portsmouth Department of Social Service. All Rights Reserved
1701 High Street Suite 101 Portsmouth, VA 23704 (757) 405-1800
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
The purpose of Virginia's Temporary Assitance for Needy Families (TANF) program is:
to provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the home of relatives, end the dependence of needy parents on government beneifts by promoting job preparaion, work and marriage and encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.
In order to be eligible for TANF the following criteria's apply:
- Family must be financially in need
- There must be a child in the home under age 18, and will graduate from high school before the age 19
- Child is going to school regularly if he is between the ages 15 and 18
- Child is living with parent or other relative
- Is a citizen of the U.S. or an eligible immigrant
The purpose of the Food Stamp Program is to alleviate hunger and malnutrition. Food Stamps are electronic benefits that
can be used like cash to buy food at any store that has a sign displaying the Cardinal Card or the Quest sign. Each eligible household will receive a card that may be used to purchase food using benefits from your account.
The two components of this program are designed to either reduce or freeze the Real Estate Tax Liability for qualified elderly and/or disabled homeowners. Other eligibility and income restrictions apply for both programs. If qualified, a citizen's real estate taxes can be reduced and/or frozen at the prior year's amount. It is necessary to reapply each tax year
to continue participating in the program.
The Energy Assistance Program is comprised of four components: Fuel Assistance, Crisis Assistance, Cooling Assistance and Weatherization. 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. There are deadlines for each type of assistance -- for more information or to apply, please contact us
Medicaid and FAMIS
Medicaid provides medical care and insurance for low income individuals and families. The Medical Assistance program (Medicaid) was established under Title XIX of the Federal Social Security Act to enable states to provide medical care for public assistance recipients and medically needy persons: i.e. persons of low income who can meet their maintenance needs but have insufficient income to provide the cost of medical care. The program is financed by state and federal funds.
FAMIS - The Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS) program was created to meet the health care needs of Virginia's uninsured children between the ages of 0 through 18 years, in working families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford private health insurance. To learn more about FAMIS visit www.famis.org
The General Relief program provides assistance for burial costs. A portion of burial costs will be paid for qualified inidividuals. This program also provides financial assistance to children not eligible for TANF because they are living with an unrelated adult.
State and Local Hospitalization
The State-Local Hospitalization Program was established to provide medically necessary services for indigent persons. Through joint State and local funding, a program of both inpatient and outpatient hospitalization services, ambulatory surgical services, and Health Department clinic visits is available to those persons without adequate resources to secure medical care.
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
The City of Portsmouth