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 Cash assistance in Virginia from TANF.

Cash assistance in Virginia is provided by three benefit programs, including TANF, VIEW, and EA Emergency assistance. There is financial help for low-income families, single moms and the working poor. Free government money in Virginia is combined with transportation, job training and other aid. Find how to get free cash assistance from TANF benefits in VA.

TANF in Virginia is run by the Department of Social Services, or DSS. The program, which can be applied to online or locally, is designed to provide temporary financial help to low-income families or single people who are experiencing financial hardship. By offering free government money, the program aims to help beneficiaries afford basic needs such as food, housing, utilities, transportation such as car repairs, and clothing. There may even be a free car giveaway to recipients, and locate free cars for single moms.

However, TANF cash assistance is more than just a financial assistance program or government grant. It is inherently aimed at assisting low-income families to become self-sufficient by encouraging employment and providing necessary supportive services. This includes free clothes for work, gas cards or bus passes, job training and other benefits.

Details on Virginia cash assistance

A separate component of TANF is the Virginia Diversionary Assistance program, also administered by DSS. Sometimes families face short-term financial hardships that could be alleviated with a one-time payment of government money. Instead of enrolling these families in ongoing monthly assistance through TANF, Diversionary Assistance offers a one-time payment that helps families overcome immediate barriers to self-sufficiency.

For instance, this could include helping a family repair a vehicle that is necessary for employment. Like TANF, eligibility for Diversionary Assistance is determined by family size, income, and circumstances with applications taken by Department of Social Services.

The Virginia TANF benefit is also deeply committed to the principles of personal responsibility, budgeting and work. The Virginia Initiative for Education and Work (VIEW) Program is an embodiment of this commitment and is also part of the Virginia cash assistance program.




VIEW is a mandatory employment program for TANF recipients. It assists participants in obtaining employment through job readiness training, career counseling, job search assistance, and by addressing barriers to employment such as lack of childcare or transportation. Participation in VIEW is required for most TANF recipients, with exceptions for individuals who are disabled or caring for a disabled family member.

The Virginia DSS program VIEW places a strong emphasis on education, training, and support services that can help TANF recipients secure sustainable employment. By addressing the root causes of unemployment and underemployment, VIEW contributes significantly to the goal of helping families become self-sufficient.

Emergency Assistance is another component that is often combined with TANF. This government grant program provides help to families who are in crisis due to circumstances such as natural disasters, people that need money for rent to avoid a housing crisis, or funds to pay electric bills to stop utility cut-offs. Emergency Assistance, like TANF and Diversionary Assistance, requires that the applicants meet certain eligibility criteria.

All of these TANF benefits in Virginia are temporary. In terms of time limits and constraints, it’s important to note that the Virginia TANF program is typically limited to a period of 24 months, after which beneficiaries must participate in work activities. Moreover, there is a lifetime limit of 60 months.

Recipients are required to develop a Family Contract in conjunction with a DSS worker that outlines specific responsibilities and goals for the family and the agency. The cash assistance is also often provided along with SNAP food stamps, Medicaid, Energy Assistance and other public aid.

This cash assistance is typically given monthly and the dollar amount of TANF calculated based on family size, income, and other factors. Low-income families or single mom households eligible for TANF usually include those with children under 18 and pregnant women in their last trimester who meet specific income criteria.





Contact for TANF in Virginia

The Virginia Department of Social Services is the government agency to apply at for TANF benefits with online applications available on CommonHelp. As noted, the cash is provided along with Initiative for Education and Work (VIEW), emergency financial help (EA) and more. Apply at a local DSS office, or call customer support at (804) 726-7000.


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By Jon McNamara











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