|The Our Future WV team understands that this is a difficult time for all West Virginians, but we hope you are finding some silver linings in all of the mess. We know how difficult it can be to find accurate information that affects your daily life. So we’d like to do our part to share information that we think you’ll want to know.
Below are some FAQs from WV DHHR about SNAP, WV Works benefits, childcare and more. Please share these with your friends and neighbors. For more updates, ways to help others and positive news during these dark times, tune into our Facebook.
If you’re currently in need of assistance for essential services, call, text or chat online with West Virginia 211.
FAQs for Hotlines Receiving Calls About DHHR Services During COVID-19 Outbreak
Am I still going to get my SNAP or WV Works (TANF) benefits on time? What if I’m up for renewal and can’t make my appointment due to the outbreak?
The delivery of SNAP and TANF benefits via Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards for existing customers and new applicants are expected to remain uninterrupted during this public health emergency.
Additionally, the federal government has granted states increased flexibility to handle applications and renewals without the need for a face-to-face interview. If you are concerned about your renewal, call your local DHHR office or the DHHR Office of Constituent Services at 1-877-716-1212.
What if I’m subject to work requirements to keep my SNAP or WV Works benefits?
The emergency legislation just passed by Congress has suspended work and training requirements for SNAP for the duration of the public health crisis. Once the official public health emergency declaration is ended, DHHR will notify you about the reinstatement of work requirements.
WV Works participants who have been impacted by COVID-19 may be granted some flexibility in complying with the terms of their Personal Responsibility Contract (PRC) during the duration of the crisis. If you have questions, please call your WV Works caseworker and explain your situation.
Am I still able to apply for SNAP and WV Works benefits or Medicaid/CHIP coverage right now? How do I apply?
Application for almost all DHHR benefit programs and healthcare coverage can be made online at https://www.wvpath.org/
The portions of the WV Works application that normally require in person contact can be completed by mail or telephone for the duration of the crisis. Customers will need to contact their local DHHR office to have a telephone appointment completed and application/review forms sent to them.
Applications, Reviews and verifications can be mailed, emailed or faxed to the local office. Each office has their own individual email address and fax number. As a last resort, you may drop your applications, reviews and verifications to the local office’s drop box.
I don’t have access to a computer, but I need help. Is my local DHHR office still open?
The West Virginia DHHR prioritizes the safety and well-being of our agency staff and customers above all else. DHHR must take all precautions necessary in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. In order to achieve this goal, we must greatly reduce face-to-face applications and reviews at local DHHR offices. We are asking our customers to limit their travel to the DHHR by taking advantage of other ways to submit applications, reviews and required verifications.
That said, local offices are expected to remain open with limited staff to ensure the smooth delivery of services. Steps are being taken to ensure that local offices are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, but clients visiting any office are asked to also take steps to be safe, including following the handwashing and social distancing guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
My childcare provider has closed down during the outbreak. Where can I find childcare?
While DHHR is not directing any childcare providers to close at this time, we understand that some childcare providers have chosen to close down due to the outbreak. We encourage you to call your local Childcare Resource and Referral Agency (R&R) for help with finding childcare. Your local R&R can help you find and, if needed, get help paying for childcare.
At this time, the child care R&Rs are not currently serving clients face-to-face, but they are available by telephone or email. Contact info for your nearest R&R can be found here.
I am a first responder or healthcare worker and need emergency childcare to keep working. Is anything being done to address this need?
The Bureau for Children and Families is working to develop guidance for emergency childcare providers delivering services for fewer than 30 days during the outbreak. While we recognize that many people may need emergency access to childcare, we are asking these providers to focus their efforts on the families of first responders, healthcare workers, and other personnel critical to fighting the COVID-19 outbreak. More details on this guidance will be forthcoming.
Where can I get assistance with food for my children while the schools are shut down?
You can apply online for SNAP benefits at https://www.wvpath.org/
The WV Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) Program is available to help provide nutritious foods to pregnant and breastfeeding women, and families with young children up to their 5th birthday who meet income guidelines. You can find the telephone number for your local WIC clinic at https://dhhr.wv.gov/WIC/pages/Clinic-Results.aspx or by calling the DHHR Office of Constituent Services at 1-877-716-1212.
Local WIC clinics may be operating remotely and with limited staff. WIC benefits will continue to be issued and WIC grocery stores will continue to redeem WIC benefits.
DHHR is also working with the WV Department of Education to apply for the issuance of special assistance for low-income families with school-aged children that will be delivered through the EBT card system. More details will be forthcoming.
Where else can I get help with food for my family?
The emergency legislation newly passed by Congress has made additional funding available to food banks throughout the state. Please dial 211 to request the location of the food bank nearest you.