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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Where is the Franklin Department of Social Services located?
We are located in the Downtown Franklin area at 306 N. Main Street on the corner of Main and 4th Avenue.  The parking lot is accessible from 4th Avenue.

What are the hours of operation?
We are open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm unless closed in observance of a city holiday or special training.

What programs are offered by the Franklin Department of Social Services?
We administer several different Benefits and Family Services programs.

Do I contact the Franklin Department of Social Services for issues regarding Child Support?
No, in Virginia, child support issues are handled through the Division of Child Support Enforcement. Please click on the link below to visit their website.
Child Support Enforcement Contact Information

My address is in Franklin. Does that mean I am a city resident?
Not necessarily. Franklin addresses encompass the City of Franklin as well as parts of Southampton and Isle of Wight Counties. If you apply for benefits through the CommonHelp website, it will send your application to the correct local office.  If you complete a paper application, you may contact our office for clarification

How do I contact my case worker?
If you have the case worker’s direct number you may call directly or call the main number (757)-562-8520, and ask to speak with your case worker.  You will be forwarded to your case worker’s extension.  If they are unavailable, please leave a message and they will return your call as soon as possible.

If I move to Franklin from another locality, will my benefits transfer?
Usually - if you notify your former case worker of your new address and request your case be transferred.  When a DSS Agency knows that you have relocated, they will likely try to contact you to confirm your new address before transferring your case so if you provide the new address and move date, the Agency can transfer your case in a timely manner.

In some situations, you will need to reapply at your new address. 

Child Care cases cannot be transferred between localities.

Cases cannot be transferred from or to another state so if you are moving to Franklin from another state, you will need to request your old case be closed and apply in Franklin.

How do I report child abuse or neglect?
Contact the Franklin Department of Social Services by calling (757) 562-8520.

If the office is closed, please contact the state Hotline at 1-800-552-7096.

How do I report adult abuse or neglect?
Contact the Franklin Department of Social Services by calling (757) 562-8520.

If the office is closed, please contact the state Hotline at 1-888-832-3858.

How do I learn more about becoming a foster parent?
By contacting Franklin DSS and asking for the Family Services Specialist responsible for Foster Care and Adoption.  If that worker is not available, please leave a message explaining your interest and they will get back with as soon as possible. 

How to Apply for Benefits

How can I find out if I am eligible for benefits?
You may use the online eligibility questionnaire to help determine whether you are eligible for benefits. Click here to access the online questionnaire.   

An agency case worker will not be able to tell you if you are eligible or not without completing the necessary determination based on your completed application and verifications.  CommonHelp is the best tool for this process.

Please note this questionnaire is only a pre-screening tool. The final decision regarding eligibility must be made by a Department of Social Services eligibility worker based on your application, interview and verifications.

Are there any general requirements?
Yes, in order to apply you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must live in Virginia. 
  • You must be a United States Citizen or meet certain requirements if you are an immigrant. 
  • You must apply with the agency serving the city or county in which you live. 
  • You must meet the specific requirements of each program for which you are applying.

How can I get an application for benefits?

  • You can apply online by clicking here 
  • You may also apply for benefits by calling 1-855-635-4370. 
  • If you prefer to print the application, it can be obtained by clicking here.  Please note that adobe acrobat reader is needed to open the application. 
  • Applications for benefits are also available at our office or you may call us at (757) 562-8520 and request that an application be mailed to you.

Where do I return my paper application?
You may return a paper application by mail or bring it to our office.  An electronic application for benefits can be obtained by clicking here.   

Our mailing address is:
Franklin Department of Social Services
PO Box 601
Franklin, Virginia 23851

If you mail your application please be sure to include a current telephone number so the Agency may contact you to schedule an interview.  If no phone is available, an interview may be scheduled in our office.

Will someone contact me about my application?
Yes. For most programs you will need to have an interview with an eligibility worker to verify your information as they complete the determination process.  Normally, these interviews are completed by telephone but can also be done in the office.  Please call us at (757) 562-8520 if you have not been contacted to schedule an interview.

Will I need to provide any sort of documentation?
Yes, Federal, State, and local policies require that certain verifications are provided before your application can be processed. Your eligibility worker will advise you as to what specific information will be needed. Some examples of the requested verifications are:

  • Proof of identity (Driver’s license or other valid picture identification)
  • Birth Certificates for children
  • Social Security numbers for all household members
  • Verifications of all income for the prior month, such as:
    • Pay stubs
    • Social Security Checks
    • Child Support
    • Unemployment Compensation
    • Pensions and other retirement income
    • Verification of living expenses
      • Rent or mortgage payment
      • Utility bills (electric, gas, phone)

How soon will I know if my application has been approved?
With some exceptions, a decision will be made within:

  • 45 days of application for medical assistance.
  • 30 days of application for food stamps and financial assistance
    • 7 days if the household qualifies for expedited services.

My application was denied because I could not provide all of the requested information. Can I re-apply?
Yes, you may re-apply at any time. 

SNAP (Formerly Known as Food Stamps) Questions

Who is eligible for SNAP Benefits?
Anyone who meets the established income and resource limits may be eligible for Food Stamps.

When do I get my SNAP benefits?
If you are approved and remain eligible, your ongoing benefits will be available on a set day of each month by 12:00 noon.   The date of SNAP benefits availability is based on the LAST NUMBER of YOUR SNAP CASE.  This number will be included on the Notice of Action you receive notifying you of your benefit approval.

VaCMS Case numbers ending in:     

Benefits will be available at noon on:

0, 1, 2, or 3 1st day of month
4 or 5 4th day of month
6, 7, 8 or 9 7th day of month

How do I get my SNAP benefits?

Each month that you are eligible for SNAP benefits, your benefits will be added to your Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card automatically.

What is a PIN?
PIN stands for Personal Identification Number. Your PIN is a four-digit number you must use with your EBT card. The PIN is how the computer matches the card to your account and you.  This number is set by you and should be kept confidential.  Do not share your PIN with others.

What if I forget my PIN?
If you are in the grocery store and enter the wrong PIN, you have three more chances that day to enter the correct PIN. If you do not enter the correct PIN on the fourth try, a “lock” is put on your account and you will not be able to use your card until the next day. If you cannot remember your PIN, contact the number on the back of your EBT card or your local social services agency to create a new PIN.

Where can I shop with my EBT Card?
Authorized EBT retailers will display either the Quest logo or a picture of the Virginia EBT card. If you do not see these signs, ask the store manager or a clerk if they accept EBT before you start shopping.

What if I forget my card when I go to the grocery store?
You cannot use your SNAP benefits to buy food without your EBT card and PIN.

What if I get an error message when I am trying to check out?
There are three error messages that could come up on the Point of Sale Terminal when you are trying to check out:

  1. CARD NOT ON FILE: If you get this message, call the customer service help line at 1-866-281-2448.
  2. INVALID PIN: If you get this message, you have entered your PIN incorrectly. If you do not enter the correct PIN by the fourth try, a “lock” is put on your account.
  3. INSUFFICIENT BALANCE: Before you shop, check your balance. If you get this message, you have tried to spend more than the balance on your EBT card. If your groceries cost more than what you have on your card, you can put some of the items back or pay for the rest another way.

Any time you get an error message that you do not understand, call the toll free Customer Service Help Line at 1-866-281-2448.

What if I lose or damage by EBT Card?
If your EBT card is lost, stolen, or damaged, call the toll-free Customer Service Help-Line at 1-866-281-2448 to report it. A new card will be mailed to you on the next business day or you can contact your worker to request a new card and come in to the office and receive a replacement.

Will I be charged for a replacement EBT Card?
Yes, a $2.00 replacement fee will be charged and will be deducted from the balance on your EBT Card.

Will my PIN change if I receive a replacement card?
No, the PIN will stay the same unless you request that it be changed.

What if I don’t want to use all of my benefits in one month?
The SNAP benefits you do not use stay on your EBT card until you use them. However, if you don’t use your card for 90 days, your benefits will be frozen and you must contact your worker to re-activate your account.

What if I plan to move or change my address?
You must always report changes in your address, living arrangements, and/or income to your worker. This can be done by accessing your case through CommonHelp or by notifying your case worker.

What if I have questions about my EBT card?
Call the toll free Customer Service Help Line at 1-866-281-2448. This line is open 24 hours, every day, for your questions.

How can I check my EBT Account Balance?
You can check your EBT account balance online at or by calling the toll free Customer Service Help Line at 1-866-281-2448