Virginia Department Of Social Services Assistance

The Virginia Department of Social Services has two assistance programs currently available for Virginia residents, and we spoke to the Highland County DSS to learn more.

“My name is Breanna Hartman and I’m a Benefits Program Specialist with the Highland County Department of Social Services.”

“So I’m here today to talk about the Fuel Assistance Program. This is a program for low-income households to help assist with purchasing home heating fuel, or to help pay primary heat utility bills. In order to qualify, households must meet the monthly gross income eligibility, they must apply in the Virginia locality in which they reside, and they must be responsible for the heating cost.”

“Applications are accepted from October the 11th through November the 14th. You can apply by calling the enterprise customer service at 1-855-635-4370. You can apply at, or you can obtain an application at your local Department of Social Services.”

“Eligibility requirements are based off of household size and income. The eligibility requirements are listed on the Department of Social Services Facebook site.”

“My name is Emily Malcolm and I’m the Director at the Department of Social Services of Highland.”

“I’m here to talk about the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program. The Low Income Water Assistance program can assist with the payment of arrearages for disconnected households, or those households who are at risk of disconnection within the next 30 days after application. The Low Income Water Assistance Program is a temporary Federally funded program created specifically to assist low income households.”

“Community members can now apply for this assistance by visiting Virginia, or by calling 1-888-373-9908, or by stopping by the local Department of Social Services and requesting a paper application. It is important to know that the local department is not processing these applications, and any inquiries should go directly to The Promise Network.”

“For more information about either of these programs, please contact the Highland County Department of Social Services at 540-468-2199 or by stopping by Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm.”

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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