Food Stamps are like cash to buy certain foods from approved stores. Approved stores will display either the Quest logo or a picture of a Virginia EBT card.
Once a Food Stamps account is started for your household, automatic deposits are put into your account each month. To use the account, you will also get an EBT Card.
Each time you buy approved foods, the EBT Card will deduct the amount from your account. You will need a secret Personal Identification Number (PIN) to use the card.
To apply for food stamps, visit your local Department of Social Services. Visit the VirginiaNavigator website and select “Departments of Social Services” and put in your zip code. To apply online, visit the Department of Social Services website.
These items are okay:
- Food that is meant for people
- Vegetable seeds
- Food producing plants, roots, and trees for your family to eat
- Baby formula, diabetic, and diet foods
- Items that can be eaten and are used in preparing or preserving food (such as spices and herbs, pectin, and shortening)
- Water and ice labeled for human use
- Snack foods
- Meals delivered to seniors, or people with disabilities, using food stamps if the agency providing the meal is authorized to accept EBT cards
These items are not okay:
- Prepared hot foods
- Any prepared food (hot or cold) sold and meant to be eaten at the store
- Alcoholic beverages and tobacco
- Cleaning products, paper products, toiletries, and cooking utensils
- Pet food
- Items for food preservation: canning jars and lids, freezer containers, or food wrappings
- Medicines, vitamins, or minerals
- Garden supplies (i.e. fertilizer or peat moss)
Go to the Department of Social Services website.
An auxiliary grant is extra income that may be available if you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or if you are older, blind, or have a disability. To be eligible you must live in an assisted living facility licensed by the Virginia Department of Social Services' Division of Licensing Programs. You could also live in an adult foster care home approved by the local department of social services. Not all assisted living facilities accept people who receive the auxiliary grant.
People receiving an auxiliary grant also receive a personal allowance that can be used for:
- Medical co-payments
- Personal items
- Tobacco products
- Sodas, snacks
- Non-prescription medicine
- Prescriptions not covered by Medicaid
- Dental care
- Personal telephone and long-distance service
- Personal transportation
- Activities outside of what is offered by the assisted living facility or adult foster care provider
You cannot use the personal allowance for:
- Required recreation
- Administration of accounts
- Debts owed the assisted living facility for basic services
- Laundry charges of more than $10 per month
Some communities offer an optional General Relief (GR) Program. GR gives you either ongoing or emergency help. Think of GR as a last resort, when you have no other means. GR is paid for through state and local funding. GR may help with:
- Medical or dental services
- Burial expenses
- Assistance for unattached children
- Temporary assistance
To find out about GR, call your local department of social services. Visit the VirginiaNavigator website and select “Departments of Social Services” and put in your zip code.
Family Access To Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS)
Virginia’s FAMIS helps families provide health insurance to their children. FAMIS stands for Family Access to Medical Insurance Security. There is also FAMIS MOMS - for pregnant women; and Smiles For Children - a dental program.