Chesapeake Virginia Social Services and public aid programs.

The Chesapeake Social Services office is the main point of contact in order to apply for any state of Virginia or federal government benefits. The department will help qualified low income, unemployed, or working poor families access many of the assistance programs or benefits that they may qualify for.

Food Stamps, or SNAP, is the main federal government food assistance program. The benefits offered by the government will enable qualified, very low income recipients to buy groceries and food items at their local store. Only certain items can be bought using SNAP.

The way the process works is that the participant will be issued a card. Then, an amount is placed on that EBT - electronic benefit card purchase approved food items from stores in Chesapeake that accept food stamps. Groceries can be bought, but there are exceptions. Some example of what can’t be purchased include Pet foods, Alcoholic beverages, tobacco, soap or paper products, or hot foods that are ready to eat. To apply or for more information, dial 757-382-2000.

Cash assistance is available as part of TANF. The federal and state of Virginia public aid program, also known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, is short term aid for qualified families with children. A cash payment will be given to approved applicants for their basic needs. Examples of what may be eligible for payment from TANF include rent, food, utilities, medications, or clothing. Division of Social Services processes applications for it.

Medicaid - Medical Assistance Program from Chesapeake Social Services pays for medical bills and health care for certain groups of low income or uninsured people. Medicaid is only available in Virginia for individuals who fall into certain income categories and who have very limited finances.

Chesapeake Jobs Work! Center is where the employment programs are run from. Case managers will assist individuals, the unemployed and in general help families to become independent. Partnering with both public and private groups, the department works to help low income and working poor families achieve economic stability. The following social services and employment resources are provided by the Jobs Work! Center.




  • SNAPET - SNAP Employment and Training Program is for people that receive food stamps in the region. They can qualify for Employment, information on job Training, Education and Supportive Services. Clients need to be under or unemployed in order to get help from this public program.
  • Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare is for those that receive cash assistance from TANF. VIEW offers both work and work related activities to clients along with education and training.
  • Another service at the Jobs Work! Center is Intensive Case Management Services. This is for those facing long term welfare dependency and significant barriers to employment or self-sufficiency.
  • Workshops are arranged by the The Jobs Work! Center. The Chesapeake Social Services Department will offer Employability Assessments, Job Development and Placement, Counseling, Education and Skills Training, along with free access to Computer Lab Facilities.

Low income Energy Bill Assistance includes cooling assistance, winter fuel assistance, and funds for those in a crisis. The public funded Energy Assistance Program (ESP) assists eligible low income households, with a focus on seniors and the disabled, offset the costs of home energy.

The cooling program can help pay air conditioning bills or provide for the purchase or repair of cooling equipment, such as fans or air conditioners. Summertime electricity bills can also be paid, and those can be excessive in Chesapeake County. The energy bill program - Crisis Assistance is intended for addressing emergency situations. This will include when someone is faced with a disconnection or if their equipment is no longer working. Call 757-382-2112 for more information on the energy programs in Chesapeake.




The Burial Assistance Program is part of General Relief. Social Services will help the very low income or indigent with paying for the burial or funeral costs of a deceased relative. To be eligible for this form of help, a family must be financially needy and must meet certain income and asset requirements.

For more information on these or other benefits, such as weatherization or SSDI disability, the Division of Social Services is located at 100 Outlaw Street, Chesapeake, Virginia 23320. You may also request an application by calling 757-382-2000.


By Jon McNamara

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