TAYLOR COUNTY—The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) Family Assistance Office announced that the application period for the annual school clothing allowance has been extended.
The organization began accepting School Clothing Allowance applications earlier this month with a July 31 deadline, however, due to a statewide system outage affecting multiple agencies and state services, families will be given an additional window to have their application completed.
Applications through WV PATH must be received by 5:00 p.m., August 12, and paper applications must be postmarked by this date for students to be considered for the program.
According to DHHR, families with children enrolled in the WV WORKS cash assistance program will automatically receive school clothing allowance vouchers for each school-aged child at home.
In addition, parents or guardians of children in the foster care system and children between the ages of four and 18 who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and are enrolled in school will receive the service.
The groups listed above must qualify with a household income below 130% of the federal poverty level.
Additionally, families who received School Clothing Allowance vouchers in 2021 and are currently receiving Medicaid should have received a School Clothing Allowance application in the mail by the end of June.
Others not listed above may qualify for the program, on a scale based on income. Families with only one person in the household must earn no more than $1,396 per month, while two-person households have a limit of $1,888 per month.
A family of three cannot earn more than $2,379; a family of four $2,871; the five-person household limit is $3,363; and a family of six cannot bring in more than $3,855.
For those living in a house of seven, the income must not exceed $4,347, while a family of eight cannot earn more than $4,839. Similarly, a household of nine can earn up to $5,331 per month and a family of ten can earn $5,823 per month while qualifying.
Proof of household income must be submitted with applications.
Those who need to update their information, including their mailing address, or those who wish to apply for the School Clothing Allowance can do so by visiting www.wvpath.org.org or by calling the DHHR Customer Service Center at 1-877-716-1212.
The School Clothing Allowance program provides a $200 cash benefit to eligible children in West Virginia to purchase appropriate clothing for school such as pants, shirts, skirts, dresses, shoes, coats, underwear and other basic items. Piece items can be purchased to make clothes if the family wishes.
Beneficiaries will receive an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card in place of a traditional voucher. However, parents or guardians of children placed in the foster care system will receive the school clothing allowance in the form of a cheque.
“This system change was implemented in 2021 to enable both online transactions and increased seller choice when purchasing school wear or piece goods,” WV DHHR revealed. “The EBT card will function as a debit card and can be used at any retailer that accepts EBT cash transactions.”
Benefits can be used on Mountain State’s EBT card beginning Friday, July 1. But before using the benefits, families are encouraged to check with the store they’re shopping at to make sure they accept EBT, as not all stores do.
A list of retailers accepting EBT cash purchases and more information about the program can be found at https://dhhr.wv.gov/ebt/cardholders/Pages/School-Clothing-Allowance.aspx.