Benefits Programs

  1. Nutritional Assistance Program
  2. TANF
  3. Medicaid
  4. FAMIS
  5. Auxiliary Grant Program
  6. Refugee Assistance
  7. Energy Assistance Program
  8. Employment Services
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
The purpose of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is to help with supplementing a household’s food budget to provide better nutrition in order to alleviate hunger and malnutrition. The program will meet its goals by permitting low-income households to obtain a more nutritious diet by helping to supplement all eligible households' food purchasing power. It is the intent of the U.S. Congress to promote the general welfare and to safeguard the health and well-being of the population of the Nation by raising levels of nutrition among low-income households.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture administers SNAP nationally through the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). In Virginia, local departments of social services operate the Program at the county/city level under the supervision of the Virginia Department of Social Services. Households must file an application for SNAP benefits with the local social services agency in the locality where the household resides. Households may file applications in person, by mail, by fax, or online. Households may also file the application through an authorized representative.

Households must normally apply for SNAP benefits for all persons who reside together and who purchase and prepare food together.

The intent is also to help provide food in cases of emergency and financial disaster. A household’s eligibility for benefits is based on its monthly income, household composition, and shelter expenses. Eligible households in Virginia receive their SNAP benefits electronically. Households receive a plastic Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card with a magnetic strip and use a personal identification number (PIN) to access the benefits.

Federal law and the Virginia Human Rights Act, Virginia Code §2.2-2632 et seq., bar discrimination on the basis of age, race, sex, disability, religious creed, national origin, and political belief. The following civil rights laws apply for SNAP:
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §794
  • The Age Discrimination Act of 1975, 42 U.S.C. §6101 et seq.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. §12101 et seq.
  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §2000d et seq. 
Virginia has established procedures to ensure fair and equitable treatment of applicants and recipients of public assistance. The local department of social services must assure that no person will be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of age, race, color, sex, disability, religious creed, national origin, or political belief.

Notice of Change
View the SNAP Notice of Change (PDF) online.