For More Information
If you have any questions or would like more details, please contact the Virginia Department of Social Services at 804-726-7000.
Local community action agencies and statewide community action organizations provide an array of self-help activities for low-income people and hard-to-reach client groups to become self-sufficient. Programs designed to meet local needs are funded from a federal block grant.
Although the Department of Social Services does not provide services regarding taxes, we feel it is important to notify you that you, or someone you know, may qualify for an Earned Income Credit on your 2013 tax return. Earned Income Credit has no effect on certain welfare benefits. To learn more about the Earned Income Credit, please visit the IRS website.
Under Learnfare's Compulsory School Attendance Guidelines, parents receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) benefits for their children are required to enroll and keep their children enrolled in school in order to retain benefits for their children. The public school system completes a monthly report of truant children and matches their names with those whose parents receive TANF benefits. The report is then sent to the Department of Social Services where agency policy is followed and the case monitored.
The Virginia Department of Social Services licenses child welfare agencies as well as day care and residential facilities for children and adults. The Licensing Division sets standards and regulations in addition to monitoring the licensing of over 1,000 facilities in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Prescription Drug Card Programs
Roanoke County's Department of Social Services is often asked for websites or organizations that offer free prescription discount programs. This is not insurance - rather discounts for citizens who do not have prescription coverage. Three websites the county directs people to include:
The Virginia Department of Social Services locates absent responsible parents whose children depend on TANF for support, collects past-due child support, and establishes the parents' continuing financial responsibility for their children. The Support Enforcement Division has the authority to garnish wages, attach property, and take other actions to force responsible parents to support their own children. For more information, please call the local office of support enforcement at 800-468-8894.
Public Assistance fraud and abuse is basically defined as any intentional action which results in a recipient or provider receiving benefits or payments to which they are not entitled.
The Fraud Unit is responsible for investigating allegations of fraud for all programs where benefits or services are issued. Investigations are conducted using community contacts, field visits, and contacts with the recipient. The Fraud Unit initiates the process for recovering repayment where benefits were received as the result of fraud or inadvertent household error.
A few examples of recipient fraud include:
- Providing false or incomplete information at either the application or renewal phase.
- Falsely reporting that a parent is absent from the household.
- Falsely reporting that a child is in the household when they live elsewhere.
- Sending a child to an approved child care provider when the parent is no longer employed or in training.
- Listing a non-relative as a family member in order to obtain benefits.
- Intentionally failing to report a change in the household composition.
- Intentionally failing to report earnings from employment or monies received from unemployment compensation, disability, social security or any other source.
- Intentionally failing to disclose assets, including bank account and real estate.
- Submitting false or fraudulent documents in order to get benefits.
- Selling of a benefit card for cash, drugs or firearms.
- Using someone else's benefit card to obtain treatment, services, or benefits.
- Claiming coverage for treatments, services, or supplies not received.
By preventing, detecting, deterring, and prosecuting fraud against those who obtain public aid for which they are not entitled to, the Fraud Unit helps to protect the interests of those in genuine need and conserves taxpayer resources.
To report someone or ask questions, call 540-283-8827 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)