Virginia



  • $409
    Monthly Cash Benefit
  • $394
    Monthly SNAP Benefit
  • $378
    Maximum Weekly Benefit
  • 33%
    Income Eligibility

One of the most pressing needs we encounter with single mothers is the lack of financial means to provide the basic needs for their families

With limited or no resources, they are forced to make do with what they have. This often leads to many serious consequences

The state of Virginia offers financial assistance to single mothers who carry the burden of providing for their children alone.

This is through different state-specific programs that serve to provide both short and long-term solutions to their problems.


$Virginia Earned Income Credit (EIC)


The state of Virginia joins 25 other states and the District of Columbia in implementing a version of the Earned Income Credit or EIC, which is modeled after the federal guidelines and eligibility rules.

Virginia’s EIC lets working families claim a modest credit — one-fifth of the amount of the federal credit, against the state income taxes they owe. The less they owe and the more they work, the more money they can keep for their family.

However, unlike the federal EITC and similar credits in many other states, Virginia’s EIC is non-refundable. In other words, the credit can only be used to offset any taxes you owe but you’ll not receive the difference in tax refund.


1Virginia Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)


Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a temporary cash assistance program for very low income families in Virginia. Its primary aim is to assist families near the poverty level to become self-sufficient.

As a condition of eligibility, active participation in VIEW – the Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare,1 is required for most people on TANF — for as long as they’re collecting TANF benefits.

You may apply for TANF in person at your local DSS office or electronically through CommonHelp — Virginia’s online application for public assistance, including SNAP.


2Virginia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)


Virginia SNAP helps low-income people and families in Virginia with cash assistance to buy the food they need for a nutritionally adequate diet. A family of three with a monthly income of $2,213 qualifies for SNAP benefits worth 394 per month.2

Eligible SNAP participants are issued a Virginia EBT Card used to make food purchases at grocery stores and supermarkets, in lieu of paper food stamp coupons.

Unless otherwise exempt, you may be subject to a work requirement in order to receive SNAP. This requirement would limit the number of months for which you could receive SNAP to three months in a 36 month period.


3Virginia Special Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)


WIC is a federally funded program that provides FREE nutritious foods and supplement diets for eligible pregnant women, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants and children under age five who meet the income guidelines.

To be eligible, you must be a resident of the state of Virginia with income not exceeding 185% of the federal poverty guidelines; and be individually determined by a health professional to be at nutrition risk.

Application for WIC benefits can be made through the Virginia Department of Social Services or via myVAWIC — the official portal to pre-screen and apply for Virginia WIC.


4Virginia Medicaid


Medicaid serves needy individuals and families in Virginia who lack adequate resources to pay for medical care. Eligible applicants include children under the age of 19, disabled adults, seniors as well as pregnant women.

As Virginia is not expanding Medicaid coverage, eligibility for non-disabled adults is limited to parents with incomes below 33% of poverty, or about $6,700 a year for a single mother of two.3

To apply for Medicaid, you can use CommonHelp or you can also apply by telephone by calling Cover Virginia at 1-855-242-8282 and speak to a person who can answer your questions.


5Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS)


FAMIS is Virginia’s health insurance program for children under age 19. It provides access to quality health services for uninsured children in families that earn too much for Medicaid.

FAMIS Plus is Virginia’s name for children’s Medicaid that covers children in families with lower or no income. FAMIS MOMS will cover uninsured pregnant women of any age with incomes up to 200% of the poverty level.

There are no enrollment costs or monthly premiums for FAMIS. For some services, you will have to pay a co-payment. Most co-payments are just $2.00 or $5.00.


What does FAMIS MOMS cover?
FAMIS MOMS provides comprehensive health care benefits during your pregnancy and for two months following your baby’s birth as well as dental benefits during your pregnancy coverage.


6Virginia Child Care Subsidy Program


The Child Care Subsidy Program provides financial assistance to the neediest families in Virginia to help pay for the cost of child care so they can work or attend education or training programs.

Recipients of TANF are considered income eligible for child care subsidy. Because funding is limited, you may be placed on a waiting list. As of early 2016, Virginia had 17,516 children on a waiting list.4

To screen for eligibility or apply online, visit CommonHelp — the official website to apply for public assistance in Virginia such as Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, energy and child care assistance.


7Virginia Head Start


Virginia Head Start serves pre-school children ages 3 to 5 from families living at or below the federal poverty level; providing comprehensive educational, health, nutritional, social services, and parent involvement opportunities.

Children in foster care, homeless children, and children from families receiving public assistance are automatically eligible for Head Start, regardless of income.

Home-based services to families and child care for infants and toddlers are also available through Early Head Start. To register your child, contact the Head Start Center closet to your home.


8Virginia Unemployment Insurance


Unemployment insurance (UI) provides temporary replacement of lost wages to workers unemployed through no fault of their own — for up to 26 weeks.

Part of the requirement for continuing to receive a weekly unemployment check is that you must be actively seek a job until you find one. Failure to do so will result in denial of benefits.

If you’re a new claimant, call 1-866-832-2363 to file a new claim by telephone, otherwise call 1-800-897-5630 for your weekly benefits. Alternatively, you may file electronically over the internet.


9Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (VTAG)


Tuition Assistance Grant Program (VTAG) is designed to assist Virginia residents who attend accredited private, nonprofit colleges and universities in Virginia. Applications are due July 31 each year but no later than December 1.

The award amount is based on the number of eligible students and the availability of funds. Based on recent funding thresholds, the maximum award for undergraduates is $3,300 and $1,650 for graduates.


  1. VIEW program provides job search support, crisis intervention, training, educational opportunities, transportation, and other services so that families can gain and maintain stability.
  2. Virginia DSS, SNAP Income Eligibility Limits
  3. What are the income guidelines for Medicaid in Virginia?
  4. NWLC, State Child Care Assistance Policies: Virginia