Temporary Assistance Programs

Virginia statutes allow for an assortment of financial assistance programs. Some are established and funded by the federal government, and some are funded at the state or local level; many are joint programs. States are required by the Social Security Act to supervise locally-administered (federal) social service programs. Each state must submit a plan to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which demonstrates that the programs are in accordance with relevant federal laws and regulations and uniformly available throughout the state.

According to Federal and State law, any individual has the right to:

  • Apply for financial assistance;
  • Have eligibility determined “promptly,” in conformity with established laws and policies;
  • Receive assistance promptly and in the entitled amount, according to established policy, if found eligible and;
  • Appeal to the State agency, if dissatisfied with the determination decision by the local department


The State of Virginia has an online system which allows you to apply for assistance. CommonHelp (https://commonhelp.virginia.gov) is the Virginia Department of Social Services' fast and easy way to screen and apply for benefi programs, check your benefits, report changes or complete renewals online any time.

Movie icon Watch videos about How to Apply for assistance and  Using CommonHelp After Applying.