Economic Assistance/ Benefit Programs
Economic Assistance/Benefit Programs provide medical, financial and food assistance to the residents of Bedford, paid from Federal, State, and Local funds. These programs span both the Adult Division and Families and Children Division.
Auxiliary Grants (AG)
Auxiliary Grants (AG) are a supplement to income for recipients of Supplemental Security Income and other low-income aged, blind, or disabled individuals residing in licensed assisted living facilities.
The grant amount received by eligible individuals includes a small personal allowance plus the difference between their own income and the state reimbursed rate for assisted living level of care. Auxiliary Grant recipients also receive medical assistance through the Medicaid program. The Auxiliary Grant Program is a state (80%) and locally (20%) funded financial assistance program administered at the local level.
Child Care Services is a program that provides low-income families with funding to enhance the quality, affordability, and availability of child care.
Child Care Services assist low-income parents who are working and/or are attending school and whose children have child care needs. Child Care Services are also provided to families who are receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and are working towards economic self-sufficiency. With welfare reform's increased emphasis on employment, many single parent households become low-income working families. These services are designed to help parents locate affordable quality care to support their efforts toward greater self-sufficiency.
For more information regarding Child Care Services, please visit Virginia Department of Social Services.
Bedford County operates three federally mandated Energy Assistance Programs with heating and cooling components for all citizens with economic need.
During the summer, the Cooling Assistance Program provides for the purchase of window air conditioners and fans, or for repair of cooling equipment and/or payment for electricity for households containing a vulnerable individual who is aged, disabled, or under age six. Applications for Cooling Assistance can typically be submitted between June 15th and August 15th each year.
The Fuel Assistance Program helps with home heating fuel and related charges. Benefits are determined and authorizations for deliveries or services are sent to vendors in December. Applications for Fuel Assistance can be submitted starting on the 2nd Tuesday in October through the 2nd Friday in November each year.
Crisis Assistance Program is intended to meet a household's emergency heating needs. Assistance needed to purchase/repair heating equipment or a one-time only heating security deposit for the applicants’ heating source can be provided. Applications for this type of assistance open yearly from November 1st through March 15th.
Purchase of home heating fuel or payment of heat utility bill is also available. Applications for this type of assistance open on the 1st working day of January and extend until March 15th each year.
Each of the three components has income and non-financial requirements.
Food Assistance- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Food Assistance - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/EBT/ WIC) are programs that provide benefits to eligible persons for the purchase of vital food items.
In October 2009, Virginia officially changed the name of the Food Stamp program to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP can be used like cash to buy eligible food items from authorized retailers. A SNAP account is established for eligible households and automatic deposits are made into the account each month. To access the account, participants will also receive an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Card, which will debit the account each time eligible food items are purchased. A secret Personal Identification Number (PIN) is required to use the card.
Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC) safeguards the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care. The program is administered by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). A link has been provided here for applications. Apply here.
Medical Assistance Programs
Medical Assistance Programs (Medicaid) is a joint Federal and State program designed to provide essential medical and medically related services to the most vulnerable populations in our community. This vital program is the third largest source of health insurance after employer-based coverage and Medicare. It provides medical coverage to eligible low-income families, women, children, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities.
Long Term Care support in the form of Medicaid for nursing care or community based care and Auxiliary Grants for adult living facility care is provided through a specialized team of staff at Bedford County DSS who understand the complexities of these services. Family Service Specialists at Social Services complete assessments to decide the level of care needed. When a person is assessed as needing an assisted living level of care and meets financial criteria, an Auxiliary Grant supplements other income in an effort to meet the cost of care in an Assisted Living Facility. After evaluation, financially eligible individuals approved for nursing home level of care can receive that care either in the community or in the nursing home.
There are several Medical Assistance Programs offered in Virginia. Each program covers different groups of people and each program has different eligibility requirements. When you apply for Medical Assistance, you are screened for all possible programs based on your age, income, financial resources, and other information. To be eligible for a Medical Assistance Program, you must meet the financial and non-financial eligibility conditions for that program.
VDSS Covered Groups
- Children Under Age 19
- Parents & Caretakers of Dependent Children
- Pregnant Women
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Recipients
- Adults Aged 65 or Older, Blind or Disabled (not receiving SSI)
- Children or Adults Who Need Long-term Care in a Facility/Home & Community-based Care (Waiver) Services
- Individuals in Medical Institutions With Income < 300% of SSI
- Medicare Beneficiaries
- Plan First - Family Planning Services
- Breast & Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program
Hospice. Pop Up- "Hospice" is a covered group of terminally ill individuals whose life expectancy is 6 months or less and who have voluntarily elected to receive hospice care. The term “hospice” is also used to refer to the covered service or a terminally ill Medicaid recipient, regardless of his covered group.
Hospice services can be provided in the individual’s home or in a medical facility, including a nursing facility.
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) provides temporary financial assistance to eligible families.
A monthly cash payment is distributed to eligible families to meet their basic needs. The program is based upon the principles of personal responsibility, time-limited assistance, and work in exchange for benefits. TANF is the cash assistance component of the Virginia Independence Program (VIP) that helps families work toward their goal of total independence.
Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare (VIEW)
Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare (VIEW) provides employment education, training and support services to qualified Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) recipients.
VIEW, Virginia's welfare reform program, is designed to encourage self-sufficiency through a "work first" philosophy. VIEW offers recipients the opportunity to work and continue to receive some TANF benefits and supportive services. VIEW also encourages personal responsibility. In addition to employment, other VIEW work activities can include on-the-job training or community work experience for at least the minimum federally required hours per week. VIEW participants can also participate in optional transitional services such as child care.
Simple Solution Career and Support Center
All of Bedford County’s VIEW participants are eligible to receive supportive services from Simple Solution. Simple Solution is a private non-profit contracted by Bedford County Department of Social Services to provide job readiness training and support. Simple Solution works with participants to build skills needed to obtain and keep employment. The center uses the “Bridges Out of Poverty” philosophy and uses the “Getting Ahead in a Just Getting By World” curriculum.
The mission of Simple Solution is to provide career resources and services to prepare a workforce that is informed, capable and ready for work. Job seeker assistance at the center is free and open to the public. Simple Solution is an inclusive "one-stop" center that can assist the individual in conducting a successful job search and provide guidance and support in all areas of your career advancement. Job search seminars are conducted on a regular basis. They are free and open to the public, however, registration is required. Transportation is provided and is free.
The Simple Solution Career and Support Center has all the tools you need to help in your job search. Services that are available include:
- Internet ready computer
- Resume software and services
- Cover letters and job searches
- Fax, phones, and copier
- Resource library
- TV/VCR, educational video
- Newspapers and magazines
- Experienced career counselors
- Skill assessment
- Local employment information
- Access to employer websites
- Tools to help you apply online and access your own e-mail account
The Simple Solution Career and Support Center also provides training to help participants advance in their journey to improved employment:
- Skill Assessment
- Understanding Attire/Dress
- Mock Interviews
- Money Management/Budgeting
- Help understanding and repairing your credit report
- Proper Nutrition
Transportation to and from class is provided.
204 East Main Street
Bedford, VA 24523
Office hours are 9-4 M-F
Class: Monday-Friday 9-1