Virginia 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 through job training, education and work activities.

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

VIEW program provides job search support, crisis intervention, training, educational opportunities, and other supportive services. While in VIEW you are also entitled to Medicaid as well as help with child care costs and transportation.


Who qualifies for TANF in VA? #


In order to qualify for TANF in Virginia, you must be a U.S. national, citizen, legal alien or permanent resident, and be unemployed or under employed (working for very low wages).

You must also be a resident of the state of Virginia and be responsible for a child under 19 years of age.

How do I apply for TANF in Virginia? #


Application may be made either electronically or in person at your local DSS office by submitting a signed “Request for Assistance”. An intake interview with an eligibility worker may be conducted on the day assistance is requested.

For convenience, you may also apply online through CommonHelp — Virginia’s online application for public assistance, including SNAP.

Applications for TANF or General Relief, are considered an application for SNAP, unless you request otherwise.

If you need short-term help rather than long-term ongoing cash assistance, you may request for one lump-sum payment through the Diversion Assistance Program.

For additional help regarding this program, please contact
Department of Social Services
(804) 726-7000