Kanawha County and Charleston public assistance.

Low income families, including those living in poverty in Kanawha County, can apply for public assistance from the Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR). There are multiple offices in the community as well as Bureaus that operate as many as 20 different programs. Some of these 20 resources include cash assistance as well as other services that offer financial help.

More details on each social service from the DHHR office is below. Note that many of them have a waiting list or are time limited, such as WV WORKS. Others, including Right from the Start Medicaid, are focused on very specific needs. The social worker from the Department of Health and Human Resources can provide more information when needed.

Public medical and health care programs

One program that is strictly focused on providing low cost health care for children is the Kanawha County WVCHIP. It will assist low income parents that do not qualify for Medicaid or other public health care. It provides many types of assistance, including Immunizations, help paying for Doctor or Hospital visits, free Dental care, Prescriptions, Emergency care, and more. Find additional information on CHIP medical care for children.

There is also a dedicated immunization program for newborns, adults and children in the Charleston West Virginia area. It was intended to cover the shots and immunizations that are not provided by other resources. So if a low income or uninsured family can't get them at a Federal government Qualified Health Clinics or Rural Health Centers (or any other location), then this DHHR program may help.

Females can get information on healthy living from Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for Women Across the Nation, or WISEWOMEN. Clinics are held in Kanawha County that show females how to live a healthier lifestyle. It covers exercise, medical tests, and dietary needs as well. Anything that is important to women in Kanawha County may be addressed.

Medicaid, disability, and several other federal government supported programs are also part of public assistance. Each covers a specific needs, but DHHR can link struggling residents to them.





Cash assistance in Kanawha County

The most widely used public assistance program in Kanawha County is SNAP food stamps. The office will process applications, answer questions, and load up EBT cards with monthly allotments. There are tens of thousands of Kanawha County families that rely on SNAP to help pay for groceries each month.

The assistance will help pay for some of the food that the family needs. The amount of public aid issued on an EBT card will depend on the number of people in the home, the applicant's income, and many other factors. SNAP food stamps were never intended to cover all of a family's food costs but only a portion. For more information on the application process, or if a household thinks they may qualify, they can call the Kanawha County DHHR office at the number below.

Kanawha County WV Works is the primary cash assistance program for the region. It is time limited and requires the client to be employed, in job training, or aggressively seeking work. Residents of Charleston West Virginia often refer to WV works by many other names, including TANF or welfare.

Any type of public aid issued will be in small dollar amounts. It is intended to cover “core” living expenses, such as housing, utilities, transportation, rent, or even food. There may also be grants issued for employment or job training costs. As an example, if a beneficiary needs help in paying for transportation to a workforce center, then public assistance may pay for bus passes or gasoline. But this needs to be pre-approved by the county of Kanawha.




WIC vouchers help feed new moms or pregnant women in Kanawha County. This public aid program was created to ensure that newborns get the formula they need. Not only that, but a social worker from the Department of Health and Human Resources can direct the female were to go for other needs while they are expecting. Whether it is diapers, classes on being a good parent, or items for their newborn, the WIC service may cover that need.

The office is located in Charleston at 4190 Washington St W. However the Department of Health and Human Resources does have an intake line, and that number is 1-877-716-1212.


By Jon McNamara

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