Virginia Department of Social Services launches new interactive service

Gov. Bob McDonnell on Wednesday announced the launch of CommonHelp, an easy to use and secure self-service delivery system that will provide Virginians with the ability to screen, apply, check on the status of applications, update or renew for public assistance benefits online.

“Technology is changing how state agencies do business,” said McDonnell. “Self-service delivery systems not only save time and money, they improve the efficiency of government by providing online flexibility and services our citizens have come to expect from the private sector.”

The governor’s announcement was held in conjunction with a press conference today at the South County Government Center in Fairfax, Virginia. Secretary of Health and Human Resources, Dr. William A. Hazel, was joined by the Virginia Department of Social Services’ Commissioner, Martin D. Brown, to unveil CommonHelp to non-profit associations, community partners and media outlets.

“CommonHelp is one of the best examples of our commitment to the Governor’s statewide health reform initiative,” said Secretary Hazel. “The Virginia Department of Social Services and technology partner, Deloitte LLP, have set a new state standard for streamlining multiple programs and processes into one personalized customer service model.”

“Virginians can now apply for our services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from their homes, libraries, schools or anywhere the Internet is available to them,” said Commissioner Brown. “For some of our most vulnerable citizens, including the disabled and seniors, online services will make it easier to screen and apply for assistance.”

The public assistance programs currently available through CommonHelp include: temporary assistance for needy families (TANF), child care services, energy assistance, the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP), as well as medical assistance.  Additional information about these programs may be found at

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