Record Number of People Applying for Benefits in VA

Published 10/05 2012 10:31PM

Updated 10/05 2012 11:38PM

FREDERICK COUNTY, VA - While experts say the economy is improving with more home sales and increasing job numbers, it would be hard to tell at Frederick County Social Services.

Social workers have seen their caseloads grow to their highest point ever over the past five years. In 2008, each social worker carried an average of 400 cases and now that number has more than doubled. 

"Frederick County has a higher population and in the past five years, our population has increased more than either Warren or Shenandoah," Benefit Program Supervisor Sharon Stanfield said. "When you talk about increased population and increases in the number of new people coming in, we have more people here that are applying."

They say it could be due to a variety of factors such as people being laid off and a change in circumstances.

Most people who need help turn to SNAP, the new name for food stamps. Also, there is TANF which is a cash assistance program helping needy families with dependent children.

Stanfield says while she watches the economic statistics, she will know the situation is improving once her pile of cases starts to drop.

If you are in need of assistance and want to see if you are eligible, click here for more information on how to apply.

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