Bureau for Family Assistance Programs

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Families with children may be eligible for assistance programs that can provide them with food and shelter costs, help paying utility bills, and educational resources. Please see the information below for more information.

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WV WORKS provides monthly cash assistance to eligible families. Most people who receive a monthly WV WORKS benefit also receive SNAP and Medicaid, but these are not guaranteed based just on receipt of WV WORKS.

​To determine eligibility and apply for benefits, visit the WV Path website​ or contact your local DHHR office. Click here for a list of all county offices. 

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is administered by DHHR and governed by federal law and regulations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Nutrition Services. SNAP provides monthly benefits to help eligible households buy food. Eligibility to receive benefits is based on household size, income, assets and some household expenses as determined by the federal government. The asset limit is $2,750 for households.  NOTE:  Most households will not be subject to the asset limit; however, if at least one person is at least age 60 or disabled, the asset limit is $4,250.

Most people must pass a gross income test and then a net income test. Before total income is compared to the federal net income limits, certain deductions are applied to the income, such as: 20% earned income disregard, child care costs, excess shelter/utility costs, court-ordered child support paid out, etc.

The amount of SNAP benefits issued to eligible persons is based on household size and countable income, after all deductions are applied. Households with an elderly or disabled person are given special consideration. In addition to the higher asset limit, there is no gross income test and more excess shelter/utility costs can be deducted, and medical expenses over $35 per month.

SNAP benefits may only be used to purchase food for human consumption and seeds/plants to grow food at home. SNAP benefits cannot be used for household items, grooming products, tobacco, alcohol products, pet food, etc.​

To download a SNAP Education & Training brochure/fact sheet, click here.​​

Print Versions of Forms:

To make a complaint regarding SNAP to the Bureau for Family Assistance, call Client Services at 1-800-642-8589. 


Medicaid provides medical care in the community or in an institutional setting, such as a nursing home, to individuals who otherwise may not be able to afford the care. A variety of services are provided, according to state and federal guidelines, depending upon the individual or family circumstances. Recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) automatically qualify for Medicaid. In addition, other individuals or families may apply for and receive Medicaid if eligible and it is provided under a number of coverage groups. Medicaid is administered at the federal level by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

There are many ways to qualify for Medicaid. Some of these coverage groups are mandatory, i.e., required by CMS to be provided by each state, and some are optional. With the combination of the mandatory and optional coverage groups, and those for which West Virginia has received waivers from federal requirements, West Virginia offers coverage to a wide range of groups. 

Click here to download the Medicaid Eligibility and Requirements fact sheet. 

​Print Versions of Forms:

For questions or application assistance, contact your local DHHR office. Click here for a list of all county offices. 

Medicaid for Long Term Care

There are four types of Medicaid for Long Term Care coverage:
  • SSI-Related Medicaid (pays for nursing home care)
  • Home and Community Based Care for aged, blind and disabled individuals (HCB Waiver)
  • Intermediate Care Facility/Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IDD)
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD)​​

The individual must meet certain medical criteria, as well as the financial requirements. 

Click here​ to download the Medicaid for Long Term Care Eligibility and Requirements fact sheet. 

For information about how to apply for this program, contact your local DHHR office. Click here for a list of all county offices. 

Medicare Premium Assistance Programs

​This program assists individuals with the cost of Medicare premiums, co-pays and deductibles. The individual must meet certain financial requirements. 

Click here​ to download the Medicare Premium Assistance Programs Eligibility and Requirements fact sheet.

For information about how to apply for this program, contact your local DHHR office. Click here​ for a list of all county offices. 

Educational Opportunities​

Most people who receive a monthly WV WORKS check also receive SNAP and Medicaid, but these are not guaranteed based just on receipt of a check.

Eligible participants may receive educational programs including assessment, vocational training, college, job skills related to employment and education related to employment.

More information about education opportunities may be found at the WV Path website​

School Clothing Allowance

The School Clothing Allowance (SCA) program provides vouchers for clothing appropriate for school such as pants, shirts, skirts, dresses, shoes, coats, underwear and other basic clothing. Piece goods may be purchased to make clothing if the family desires. Purchases made with the vouchers are exempt from sales tax and some stores offer discounts to customers who use the vouchers in their stores. Applications will be accepted from July 1 through July 31 or as designated by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. Vouchers must be redeemed by October 31 of the current program year. Clothing cannot be returned for cash (only exchanged).

Click here to download a list of SCA eligible items.

For more information about the SCA program, contact your local DHHR office.  Click here for a list of all county offices.

Utility Assistance/LIEAP

The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) assists eligible households with the cost of home heating through direct cash payments or payments to utility companies on their behalf. A crisis component is available for households without resources facing the loss of a heating source. Eligibility for both program components is based on a combination of factors, including income, type of heating payment, and total heating costs.

The Division of Family Assistance (DFA) operates LIEAP in each of the DHHR field offices for a short time each winter, usually beginning with a mail-out to targeted households. In addition, DFA contracts with the Community Action network and with regional Agency on Aging offices to perform outreach and accept LIEAP applications at their local sites.

For more information about the LIEAP program, contact your local DHHR office.  Click here for a list of all county offices.

20% Discount Program

The Special Reduced Rate Service Program (20% Utility Discount Program) was established by West Virginia state government to assist eligible participants in receiving a 20 percent discount from their gas, electric and water companies. If you are a recipient of SNAP and over age 60, SSI and over age 18, or WV WORKS, you may be eligible.

For more information about the LIEAP program, contact your local DHHR office.  Click here for a list of all county offices.  

Child Care Assistance

West Virginia's Child Care Program provides financial assistance to working parents or, in some cases, parents attending school, to cover the costs of certified family based or licensed center based child care.The Program provides subsidy for child care to families who meet income requirements, promoting long-term self-sufficiency by enabling parents to work or attend education activities.  Financial assistance covers the majority of the cost of direct care and protection of children while parents work, attend training or may otherwise be unable to provide care.    This program strives to educate parents about the availability of quality child care, enhance children's early learning and support early learning programs working to improve the quality of child care services.  A statewide system of Child Care Resource and Referral agencies provide child care resource information and financial assistance to eligible families.   The Child Care Resource and Referral agencies also educate consumers on selecting appropriate child care and refer parents to child care providers in their area.​

Child Support

The Bureau for Child Support Enforcement (BCSE) assists in establishing paternity, child support and medical support, even if the parties are out-of-state. After establishing orders, BCSE collects and distributes your support, including spousal support and modifies existing child support orders.

Should you have questions about child support services, contact the BCSE Customer Service Unit at 1-800-249-3778.

Burial Assistance

The burial assistance program assists with payment up to $1000 toward the cost of funeral expenses for an indigent adult or child. The program benefits are determined by the burial rate and, when applicable, the amount which exceeds the maximum allowable.  

Additional information can be found in the 2021 Funeral Director's Handbook.

Disaster Programs

When a disaster is declared you must first complete a FEMA application by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or by going online here​

After contacting FEMA, you can call 1-866-982-4685 for information regarding programs administered by the State of West Virginia and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

West Virginia Other Needs Assistance (ONA) Program

Money is awarded for necessary expenses and serious needs caused by the disaster. This includes medical, dental, funeral, personal property, transportation, moving and storage, and other expenses that are authorized by law. To receive money for needs other than housing that are the result of a disaster, you must have accepted assistance from all other sources for which you are eligible such as insurance proceeds or Small Business Administration (SBA). 

For more information about the ONA program, contact your local DHHR office.  Click here ​​for a list of all county offices.

Emergency Assistance

The Emergency Assistance program is used to assist individuals and families in meeting financial crises when they are without available resources. The program is designed to provide short-term emergency financial assistance with which eligible individuals and families may obtain items or services needed to eliminate an emergency or crisis. Items of need include rent utilities, food, household supplies, clothing, transportation and medical service. Assistance is limited to one 30 consecutive day period during any 12 consecutive months.

For more information about the Emergency Assistance program, contact your local DHHR office.  Click here for a list of all county offices.

Refugee Resettlement

​Refugee cash, medical, and social/employment services are provided to qualifying individuals and families who are refugees. The cash assistance and medical coverage are similar to WV WORKS and Medicaid. Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) provides a grant to purchase Refugee Social Services through a contract with the West Virginia Office of Migration and Refugee Services, part of Catholic Community Charities.

Applicants for WV WORKS, Medicaid and SNAP must declare whether they are U.S. Citizens. If they are aliens, the Bureau for Family Assistance (BFA) Department of Family Assistance Policy seeks verification of their lawful status from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). The INS inquiries are handled centrally by the 
BFA Division of Family Assistance Policy, Office of Family Support Policy.

The Repatriation program provides temporary assistance to U.S. Citizens and th
eir dependents who are returned to the U.S. from a foreign country by the Department of State because of an emergency/crisis and other resources are not available to the citizen(s). This program is administered through the cooperation of the appropriate Federal Office, BFA Office of Family Support Policy, and the DHHR county office of the repatriate's county of residence to provide needed arrangement, services,​ and financial assistance.

For more information about Refugee Resettlement, ​​contact your local DHHR office.  Click here​ for a list of all county offices.

Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT)

​NEMT reimburses recipients of Medicaid and the Children with Special Health Care Needs programs for the cost of transportation associated with receiving medical services. Payments are made to the client or transportation providers and can include meals, lodging and turnpike tolls when required. 

As of 2014, NEMT is provided by the Bureau of Medical Services. For assistance call 1-844-549-8353.  For further information, visit the Bureau for Medical Services NEMT webpage​.

WV Head Start and Early Head Start Programs

​West Virginia Head Start provides children with essential educational resources, including school readiness, so that every child is awarded an opportunity to learn. West Virginia Head Start programs help parents grow as individuals, professionally and within their families, through training and leadership opportunities.  West Virginia Head Start​ offers these services with the ultimate goal of providing the opportunity for success to each participating family.  For more information, visit https://www.wvheadstart.org/​

Early Care Share West Virginia

Early Care Share WV is a free resource designed to share information, cost savings, and management resources to help early childhood programs, professionals and students access up-to-date state-specific and national information. The site provides access to forms, handbooks, policies, cost savings, classroom material templates and more. Membership is entirely free. Visit www.earlycaresharewv.org to request a log-in account.

West Virginia Infant/Toddler Specialists Network

The Infant/Toddler Specialist Network provides technical assistance and professional development opportunities to caregivers of infants and toddlers. The 12 specialists across the state assist caregivers in providing West Virginia’s youngest children supportive, nurturing environments. Their mission is to help these caregivers foster responsive relationships with both children and their families, which will support children in achieving optimal developmental outcomes. For more information, visit www.wvit.org.

WV Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Designation

The WV Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Designation Initiative is a voluntary program to support families in their choice of infant feeding plans. If you would like more information, please contact your local Child Care Resource and Referral agency’s Infant/Toddler Specialist, or visit the Infant/Toddler Specialist Network website at www.wvit.org and click on the BFCCD tab.

WV Early Childhood Training Connections and Resources

WV Early Childhood Training Connections and Resources (WVECTCR) is a statewide program designed to provide professional development opportunities for the early care and education community. Through an extensive network of information, training and technical assistance, resources, and collaboration, WVECTCR strives to improve the quality of early education services for young children and their families. For more information, visit www.wvearlychildhood.org​.

Resource and Referral Professional Development Teams

Six Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies across West Virginia employ a professional development team to provide training and technical assistance to early childhood programs. See the Resource and Referral Agency Area Map to contact your local CCR&R agency.

Tiered Reimbursement​​

The Child Care Tiered Reimbursement System​ is a quality initiative that offers higher subsidy payments to child care programs that demonstrate they meet higher standards of care. Programs that are licensed as a center or facility and registered family child care homes are eligible to apply for a higher quality tier level. West Virginia currently has three quality tier levels: Tier I reimbursement rates for licensed or registered programs, Tier II rates for programs that meet a state-specific set of quality standards, and Tier III reimbursement rates for programs that are accredited by an approved accrediting agency. For more information, contact Elizabeth Teel at Elizabeth.D.Teel@wv.gov​

WV Pre-K

West Virginia passed legislation in 2002 requiring the state to expand access to preschool education programs in order to make prekindergarten available to all 4-year-olds in the state by the 2012-2013 school year. West Virginia's preschool program, called West Virginia Universal Pre-K, is available in all 55 counties. West Virginia requires that a minimum of half of the programs operate in collaborative settings with private prekindergarten, child care centers, or Head Start programs in order to facilitate expansion of the program. For more information, visit the WVDE Office of Early Learning​.​