About Common Help

CommonHelp allows Virginia residents to apply online for public assistance benefits including:

  • Food stamps (SNAP)
  • Medical assistance such as FAMIS and Medicaid
  • Child care assistance
  • Cash assistance (TANF)
  • Energy assistance

For information about benefit program eligibility and to apply online, visit  Common Help.  Also available is the  CommonHelpQuickGuide, which provides guidance on using the application tool.

Preparing to Apply

You will be able to complete your on-line application faster if you have the following information with you before you start:

  • Address, including zip code
  • Telephone number, so that we can contact you when we receive your application
  • Social security numbers and birth dates of all household members (children under 22 years of age must be included in the SNAP application)
  • Non-U.S. citizens: alien number, alien status, date of entry to the U.S.
  • Income
    • All gross income from jobs for each member of your household
    • All other income (for example: social security, pensions, etc.) received by members of your household
    • The amount and frequency of any child support payments
  • Housing and utility expense information (If applying for SNAP)
  • Child care expenses or expenses for the care of a person with disabilities
  • Medical expenses for persons with disabilities age 60 or older
  • Financial resource information, such as bank accounts, real estate property, life insurance, etc. (Only if applying for Medicaid under any of the following categories: Adults, Aged or Disabled Individuals)
  • Current or recent health insurance information (If applying for Medicaid)

NOTE: If you cannot complete your application on the first try, you may save it in the system for up to 60 days and continue on a later date.  Another option is to submit an incomplete application. A case worker will contact you to discuss any missing or unclear information.

What Happens After You Apply

After you submit your application, an Arlington County Department of Human Services worker will call you to schedule an appointment.

It will help us process your case and deliver benefits faster (if eligible), if on the day of the interview you have the following:

  • Proof of the identity of the applicant (for example, a driver’s license or a government issued i.d.)
  • Proof of where you live (for example, any of the following documents showing your current address: driver’s license, utility bill, lease agreement, etc.)
  • Pay stubs for every working member of your household for the month before you applied
  • If pay stubs are not available, the telephone number of your employer(s) so that we may verify your income
  • Verification of child support payments and/or other income such as Social Security, pensions, workmen’s compensation, unemployment benefits
  • Medical insurance cards (if applying for Medicaid)

The above information is typically all we need to process most types of applications. However, if additional information is needed, the worker will let you know.