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How to Apply for Assistance
You may apply by completing an application and returning/leaving it in person or mailing it to the Petersburg Department of Social Services. Applications are available at our office any time during regular office hours, or you can request one to be mailed to you. Applications can also be downloaded from the Virginia Department of Social Services at: www.dss.virginia.gov. The Department of Social Services will provide benefits and services without regard to race, color, national origin, disability, sex, age, political beliefs, religion, sexual orientation, marital or family status.

Time Standards
Action must generally be taken on applications within 10 work days for Medical Assistance for a pregnant woman; within 45 days of application for Medical Assistance (may take up to 90 days if a disability determination is needed); within 30 days of application for TANF; within 30 days of application for SNAP benefits-7 days if you qualify for expedited services; as soon as possible but no later than the last day designated for processing for Fuel Assistance; within three working days of all information being received for Crisis Assistance; and by the close of the application period for Cooling Assistance.

All information that you provide is confidential. Information will only be give to persons directly connected with administering or enforcing provisions of the programs for which you apply. Information may also be disclosed to law enforcement officials who are investigating program violations or in some instances who are investigating persons fleeing prosecution or punishment for a felony.

To be eligible for most programs, applicants must live in Virginia; be a U.S. 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; and apply for benefits that you may be entitled to receive, such as Social Security, Worker's or Unemployment Compensation. Before we can determine whether you are eligible, some of the information you give must be verified. Eligibility will be based on your income, resources, the number of people for whom you are applying, and for some programs, certain household expenses. You will be notified in writing as soon as a decision about your application has been made.

Required Verifications
Each program has its own verification requirements. You must provide any information requested to establish your eligibility. Your workers will tell you what you need to provide and the deadline to provide it. Please ask for assistance if you need help.

If you disagree with any decision or action concerning your application, you have the right to request a conference with the agency or file an appeal.
For more information and on-line services visit
The Virginia Dept of Social Services  »