Apply for Public Assistance Online

CommonHelp is the Commonwealth of Virginia's fast and easy way to apply online for many Virginia social services assistance programs, such as Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, Energy Assistance and Child Care. Through a single online site, you can find out for what assistance you might be eligible and submit one application.

Note: It is important to apply as soon as possible because for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) - formerly food stamps - the processing time and amount of benefits you will receive, if your household is eligible, will depend on your application date. Generally, benefits for the first month are prorated. Separate rules exist for the SNAP program, so you should apply for SNAP, even if other programs have limitations on the receipt of benefits.

Here are the steps you will take to apply:

Step -1 – Set up your account.  Be sure to choose a user ID and password you will remember.  You will need to use it every time you sign in to CommonHelp.

Account problems, contact the toll-free helpline: (855) 635-4370 (TTY: 711) or email:

Step -2 – Get ready to apply. You will need:

  • A pen and paper to write down your confirmation number.
  • Identifying Information
    • Your complete address
    • A telephone number where you can be reached
    • Social Security number and birthdates for all household members (For the SNAP program, you must include children under 22 years old as part of your household.)
    • For non-U.S. citizens, you will need the alien number, alien status and date of entry to the U.S. 
  • Income & Expenses
    • All gross (before taxes) income from jobs for each member of your household
    • All other income (pensions, unemployment, etc.) for each member of your household
    • The amount of child support payments you receive per month
    • Housing and utility expenses (if you are applying for SNAP)
    • Child care expenses or expenses for the care of a disabled person
    • Medical expenses for any household members who are over 60 or disabled
  • Other
    • Financial resource information (bank accounts, real estate, life insurance, etc.) if you are applying for Medicaid for the Aged, Blind or Disabled
    • Current or recent health insurance information (if applying for Medicaid)
    • If you are applying for TANF, you will need the names and addresses of your child’s or children’s absent parent(s)

Step – 3 – Apply

  • The CommonHelp system will ask you questions. Please try to answer all the questions completely.
  • If you cannot complete the application on the first try, you may save it in the system and continue it later. The system will save it for 60 days.
  • Once you feel you have completed the application, submit it.
  • Please note that your benefits may be delayed if you application is not complete.
  • Once your application has been submitted, you will receive a confirmation number. This number will start with the letter “T.”  Write this number down. You will need your confirmation number to send in verifications and to check on your benefits.

Step 4 – Provide verifications

  • We will have an online form coming soon to our site, where you can upload scanned verification documents and submit them to us electronically.
  • Until then, you will need to send or bring in a copy of your verification documents to our offices (pay stubs, rent receipt, etc.) along with our Verification Submission Form. Please print this form before filling it out.
  • Our offices are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the following locations:
    • Sudley North Government Center, 7987 Ashton Ave., Manassas, VA
    • Dr. A.J Ferlazzo Building, 15941 Donald Curtis Drive, Woodbridge, VA

Step 5 – What to expect after you submit your application

  • The Prince William County Department of Social Services is open from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Applications received after 5 p.m. are dated the following business day.
  • SNAP Applications – An appointment letter will be mailed to you the day we receive your application. The letter will have the name and phone number of your assigned worker. You should contact your worker if you need to reschedule your appointment. Most interviews are done by phone. If you prefer to come into the office, please let your worker know that. If we cannot contact you on the day of your appointment and you haven’t called to reschedule, we will send a letter asking you to contact us. If we do not hear back from you, your application will be denied on the 30th day.
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) - If you are applying for TANF without SNAP, you will also be mailed an appointment letter, which will have the name and phone number of your assigned worker. You should contact your worker if you need to reschedule your appointment. Most TANF appointments are held in the office.
  • Medicaid (not also applying for SNAP) Applications – Your application will be assigned to a worker. If the application is complete, the worker may process it without an interview. If necessary, the worker will contact you.
  • Child Care Applications – A member of the Child Care team will manage your application. Since we currently have a waiting list for most of our child care programs, you may be placed on a waiting list.
  • Energy Assistance Applications – Energy assistance is only available seasonally. CommonHelp only allows you to apply when the program is open.

 Visit CommonHelp to start your application.