Written by: Rebecca Campbell, MA
Navigating DHHR Benefits can be tricky, especially since COVID restrictions do not allow most workers on site. The good news is figuring out your benefits doesn’t have to make you pull your hair out. I’m going to review a few of the common benefits and how to best get in contact with a worker if you are needing more assistance.
Some of the common benefits that leave people feeling frustrated are WIC (Women, Infants, and Children), SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program), and Clothing Vouchers for school-aged children. These programs have had changes since the beginning of COVID, but with those changes, WV DHHR has also created more ways to access the programs.
SNAP is a program which provides monthly benefits to help eligible households buy food. One of the main changes that has come with COVID-19 is the ability to review updates and submit concerns through the EBT card app on your phone. The app for WV DHHR services is called EBT Edge. Be sure you are using the correct app because scam apps have been popping up recently which have attempted to obtain personal information. Another huge change for the SNAP program is the ability to make online purchases from Walmart, Aldi’s, and Amazon. This includes the ability to use grocery delivery and pickup services to help ensure safety while shopping. Amazon has also provided Prime services to individuals receiving SNAP benefits at a reduced monthly cost.
WIC is a program to improve the health of women, infants and children in West Virginia by providing quality nutrition and breastfeeding counseling and education; as well as health monitoring and nutritious foods. The best way to review WIC benefits is to download the WIC app onto your phone. With the app, you register your WIC benefits card and scan foods to see which ones are eligible if you have benefits to purchase, locate WIC-approved grocery stores, and more. This has simplified the WIC process so much and makes carrying folders and checks a thing of the past. Another great benefit to the WIC app is that it has a recipe search to assist you in creating meals your family will love while using the purchased WIC foods to the fullest.
Clothing Vouchers/Allowance have been provided to ensure school-aged children have clothing. Children continued to receive their clothing allowance this past year despite changes in schooling. The change to this process was allowances being put on the regular EBT card. To apply for Clothing allowance the process has also been streamlined and can be completed on WVPath.org
To get into contact with a DHHR representative if you have questions, you can use the client services number at 1-877-716-1212. The WV DHHR website encourages individuals to try to use their apps or website to submit any questions as their hotline has long wait times. Another method you can try is to contact your local office and see if your worker has the ability to email you to get specific questions answered.
While it is easy to get overwhelmed with all of the changes COVID has brought to each and every one of us, just know WV DHHR is trying to maintain the most recent COVID updates on their website to ensure transparency for individuals receiving benefits.
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