Apply For Virginia TANF Benefits

Learn how to apply for Virginia TANF. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, called Virginia Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, may help you become self-supportive while receiving monthly cash benefits to meet your everyday needs such as rent, utilities, clothes, transportation, or additional expenses.

Sometimes you may not be eligible to receive TANF for yourself, but a child or children in your household may. The TANF program is administered by the Department of Social Services. In most cases, in order to qualify for TANF you must meet both types of eligibility, categorical and financial.

Additionally, to qualify for TANF there are work requirements. The VA TANF program requires most adults be employed or participate in certain work-related activities, which you will be assigned for a certain number of hours on a weekly basis in order to continue receiving TANF benefits.

The total number of hours needed to fulfill your work activity requirement depends on your family composition. Qualified state residents are required to produce information including household income, age, citizenship and resources.

Only household members who are eligible for Virginia TANF can receive welfare benefits. For more information about applying for VA TANF benefits, view the information below. If you still have questions or issues, then contact TANF Virginia.

Virginia's TANF program emphasize personal responsibility. Participants may be provided with services such as job skills training, work experience, job readiness training, child care assistance, transportation and other work-related expenses. A child will not be eligible if born to or adopted by a TANF recipient more than 10 months after an applicant begins to receive TANF payments.

The Division of Child Support Enforcement will send all support collected for this child directly to the family. This support will not count as income in the Virginia TANF program. The amount of the TANF benefit is based on the size of the family. A family may still be eligible to receive TANF while receiving money from other sources.

Virginia TANF issuance methods

VA TANF benefits can be received by one of three issuance methods. They are:

  • Virginia debit MasterCard
  • Direct Deposit to your personal bank account
  • A check

You must tell your TANF worker which issuance method you want to use. If you decide to change your issuance method, you must complete a Request for Change of Issuance Method form and return it to your worker.

Virginia TANF eligibility

You can use their online pre-screening tool to see if you are eligible for the Virginia TANF program. To be considered eligible for Virginia TANF, you must:

  • Live in Virginia
  • Be a US citizen or meet certain requirements if you are an immigrant
  • Apply at the agency that serves the city or county where you live
  • Meet specific requirements of each program for which you are applying
  • Apply for other benefits that you may be entitled to receive, such as Social Security, Worker's or Unemployment Compensation
  • Before they can determine if you are eligible, some of the information you give must be verified
  • Depending on the program, eligibility and the amount of benefits may be based on your income, the number of people in the family, available resources and certain household expenses

As soon as a decision about your application is made, they will send you a written notice. This notice will tell you if you are eligible and the amount of benefits you will receive

TANF verification

Each program has its own verification requirements. You must provide any information requested to establish your eligibility. Your worker will tell you what you need to provide and the deadline to provide it.

Please ask for assistance if you need help. Examples of items the agency may need to verify and some suggested ways you may verify the items include:

  • Identity, residence
  • Driver's license
  • Alien registration card
  • Voter registration card
  • Work or school ID
  • Library card
  • Birth certificates
  • Social Security Numbers for everyone for whom you are requesting assistance
  • Expenses
  • Lease or mortgage agreement, rent receipts
  • Most recent utility and phone bills
  • Bills for the care of children, or elderly or disabled adults
  • Bills for medical expenses
  • Child support paid by a member of the household
  • Resources
  • Most recent statements for bank accounts such as checking and savings accounts
  • Proof of stocks and bonds
  • Information about burial trusts, burial arrangements, and burial plots
  • Registration or title for all motor vehicles
  • Medical insurance policies or medical cards
  • Life insurance policies that may be cashed
  • Income
  • Pay stubs for this month and last month for everyone working
  • Records of tips, bonuses, or commissions
  • Divorce decrees or support orders
  • Award letters or notices

Apply for Virginia TANF

You can download a copy of the Virginia TANF application, fill it out and submit it to a local Department of Social Services (DSS) office. To find a location, view a list of DSS offices near you. Or if you prefer, you can apply online at

If you receive VA TANF benefits, you may be required to participate in the Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare (VIEW) program. Families in the VIEW program may earn income and receive a TANF check. However, the total income cannot be more than the federal poverty level for the family size.

A family with someone in VIEW may receive TANF for no longer than 24 months followed by a period of 24 months ineligibility. A family may receive TANF no more than a total of 60 months in a lifetime.

I was denied TANF benefits. What can I do?

State and local agencies are responsible for establishing the eligibility criteria and procedures that apply in their programs, not the Federal government. If you disagree with a decision regarding welfare benefits, you have the right to file an appeal. For more information about your state's appeals procedures, contact the VA TANF office.