Raleigh County DHHR Office(304) 256-6930
407 Neville St
Beckley, WV - 25801
WV WORKS is the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program. WV WORKS is the cash benefit program that replaced the AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) Program on January 1997.
- You can only receive WV WORKS for 60 months or 5 years in your life time. After that you cannot get a check from welfare for yourself or your children.
- Any months you receive a check after December 1996 count towards the 60 months or 5 year limit. Time spent on welfare before January 1997 does not count.
- The 5 year limit applies to all adults and minors not living at home.
- The 5 year limit does not apply to "child only" cases. For example, if a grandmother is getting a check for her two grandchildren, but not for herself, the children's welfare will not end after 5 years.
- Not every adult can collect "child only" welfare. If you are the natural or adoptive parent of a child, you must be included in the assistance case with the child.
- The time your children spend on assistance does not count for their 5 year lifetime limit as an adult. For example, a young person who spent time on cash assistance as a child can still get 5 years of welfare as an adult.
How do I get WV WORKS?
To receive assistance from WV WORKS, you will have to sign a Personal Responsibility Contract or PRC. It is a plan of activities you will do to help you get a job. It is also a plan for how the DHHR will help you get the child care, transportation or other services you need to do these activities. Make sure that everything you need from the DHHR is written in the PRC.
You may be able to change your PRC. You must see your Family Support Specialist.
Put only those things in the PRC that you will really be able to do. Be sure to discuss with your caseworker everything you need to help you prepare to get a job. For instance, child care, transportation, car repairs, tools, books, work clothes, and supplies should be written in your PRC if you need them. If you think that the PRC you have signed is not the plan you want, talk to your caseworker to change it, or you may request a Fair Hearing for reconsideration.
What is the time line for work requirements?
With few exceptions, you must work to receive cash assistance under WV WORKS. Because you only have 5 years, use this time wisely to prepare yourself for work. To receive WV WORKS, you must do certain things to help you get a job. Some of these things are:
- Job search. If you receive WV WORKS, you may have to spend 6 weeks out of each 12 months looking for a job. The Jobs search activity will assist you in looking for and obtaining employment. Talk to a Family Support Specialist about job search.
- If you are offered a job during this time, you have to take it and try to keep it. You may lose your check if you quit without "good cause."
- After 24 months of getting a cash assistance check, you have to work an average of at least 25 hours a week. If you do not, your case can be closed.
Who is exempt from the work requirements?
You may be temporarily excused from the work requirements if:
- You are over age 60.
- You are the parent of a child under 6 years old and child care IS NOT AVAILABLE.
- You are the parent of a child under 12 months. You may be excused from work for this reason for 6-12 months.
- You are under age 18 and pursuing education leading to a high school diploma or GED.
- You are mentally or physically unable to work in any job verified by a doctor or psychologist.
What are the penalties for not working?
If you are able to work, but do not work and do not have a "good cause" for not working, there will be serious penalties. These penalties, however, cannot take away your Medicaid card.
- The first time you do not meet the requirements in your PRC, your check will be reduced by 1/3 for 3 months. Your Food Stamps could be affected.
- The second time you do not meet the requirements in your PRC, your assistance check will be reduced by 2/3 for 3 months.
- The third time you do not meet the requirements in your PRC, your check will be stopped for 6 months or until you comply with the PRC requirement, whichever is later.
Hours of Operation : M-F 8:30AM to 5PM