Practice English Speaking&Listening with: How To Apply For Benefits

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Hello, and welcome to CommonHelp. This short video will explain the basics of using

CommonHelp so you can get started.

This video has sound. Be sure to turn on your speakers before you continue. If you need

more time, click the pause button below.

Should you watch this video? Let's make sure. This video is for people who have not yet

applied for assistance using CommonHelp.

It explains the basics of using CommonHelp so that you can get started.

If you have already submitted an application, exit this video and watch the video called

Using CommonHelp After Applying.

Let's begin.

The site you're visiting is called CommonHelp. It was created by the Commonwealth of

Virginia to make it easier to apply for assistance.

CommonHelp is all online. You can apply any time - day, night, weekdays, or weekends.

All you have to do is complete one simple application.

Different state program offices will figure out if you can receive assistance.

The programs that you may apply for include: * Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

(TANF), which provides a money payment as well as job skills training, work

experience, job readiness training, transportation, and other work related expenses.

* The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which can be used like

cash to buy food. * Health Care Coverage which helps cover doctor

visits, hospital visits, mental health, prescriptions, and rehab.

* Energy Assistance (EA), which helps cover heating fuel, cooling assistance, and

weatherization. And, Child Care, which can help cover the costs of child care.

Let's take a closer look at how to apply for assistance using CommonHelp. First, decide

which benefit programs are right for you. If you only want to apply for Families and

Children Health Care Coverage and do not want to request any other benefits, click the Get

Started button in the Health Care Only window.

If you want to apply for food (SNAP), child care, cash assistance (TANF), heating and cooling

benefits, aged/blind/disabled health care, or Long Term Care - or if you want to apply

for Health Care Coverage in addition to any of

the aforementioned programs - click the Get

Started button in the All Benefit Programs window.

The process is quick and easy. Plan for it to take between 20 and 40 minutes to apply


As with most things, having all the information at hand before you start will make

everything easier. This list shows you what you'll need.

You can click the pause button found at the bottom of this video to write down this list

for later.

Before you apply, you may be wondering if you are even eligible.

Applying for assistance is just one part of CommonHelp. There is another part you can

also use - a screening tool to help you find

out if you might be eligible for assistance.

You don't have to use the screening tool, but many people find it helpful before they

get started. The screening tool takes about 15

minutes to complete.

Remember, this is not an application itself, it's just a useful tool to help you find out

if you might be eligible for assistance.

Of course, all information you provide in the screening tool, and in your application,

is kept confidential. Protecting your privacy is State


Please make the information you provide as complete and accurate as you can. Good

information will give you the best picture of the assistance programs you might be eligible


This is an example of screening tool results. It shows you what assistance you might be

able to receive.

It looks like this household may be eligible for Health Care Coverage and Child Care.

You're almost ready to start. Before you go, let's take a closer look at applying.

Since you want to apply for Health Care Coverage and Child Care in this example, you'll

begin by clicking All Benefit Programs. If you wanted to apply for Health Care Coverage

only, simply click the Get Started Button on the

Health Care Only window.

Then follow the screen by screen instructions choosing to start a new application.

When prompted to log in, choose the Click here to create an account link.

It will give you the options of the kind of account to create. Choose Basic.

Let CommonHelp guide you step-by-step.

Just follow the instructions to set up a User ID. It's ok for this to be your email address.

Then provide your name, your email address, and that completes the first part of the process!

For step two, create your password. Be sure to keep this! You'll need it when it is time

to log in. Write it down and put it where you

can find it later.

The third and last step is to answer the security questions. These are in case you forget

your password and need a reset.

When you're done, CommonHelp will prompt you to login with the User ID and password

you created.

After you have created an account, the system will walk you step-by-step through a series

of questions.

If you applied for Health Care Coverage, you have the option to verify your identity once

you're finished registering your account. This is not required, but a successful ID

verification may allow you to receive your Health Care Coverage eligibility results as

soon as you're finished applying. This can result

in faster processing and delivery of benefits.

If you want to proceed with ID proofing, select the radio button below, then click Next

Provide your basic information, then click Next until you reach a list of identify proofing questions.

Select the correct response to each of the personalized questions, then click


If the ID proofing was successful, CommonHelp will let you begin the application process.

If the system was unable to verify your ID, you

can contact the Experian help desk and validate your ID over the phone using the

reference number provided.

You can still apply for assistance without verifying your ID, but you won't be able

to receive real-time eligibility results.

As always, please provide good, accurate, and complete information. When you see a red

star, the information is required.

If you leave other fields blank, you can still submit your application,

but it will be held up until workers contact you to get the missing information.

So avoid delays, be sure to fill in as much as you can.

On each screen you'll see controls just like the ones you see on a game or TV remote

control. This button lets you go back, and this one lets you go to the next screen.

There is also a Save and Exit button. If for any reason you need to stop your application

and come back at a different time, just use it.

Next time you come back to CommonHelp you'll just enter the User ID and password.

If you have any questions about your application, click up here on Page Help to open a

window of helpful information.

This is an example of Page Help.

An electronic signature is safe, and the recommended method for signing your application.

Just click the box saying that you are signing your application and enter your name.

You can also print your application, sign it, and return it to your local Department

of Social Services. Instructions for this are provided

in CommonHelp.

After signing your application, you probably wonder, what happens next?

You will be issued a tracking number. Be sure to keep this number. With it, you can log

in later to check the status of your application.

You can also call your local Department of Social Services with that tracking number

to get more information.

If you applied for Health Care Coverage and your ID was successfully verified, you may

have the option to view your eligibility results.

Review your eligibility details.

You can upload verification documents using CommonHelp.

Add the needed documentation using the Browse button, then click Upload. Once you're done, click Submit to

attach the documents to your application.

Your local Department of Social Services will process your application and send you a

Notice of Action.

This letter will let you know if you are eligible for assistance. When you are ready you can

watch the second video, Using CommonHelp After Applying.

That video will teach you how to check the status of your application, report any changes

to your case information, and renew your benefits.

Now you're ready to start using CommonHelp! Thank you for watching this video.

To begin, remember, you can use the screening tool found at Am I Eligible? Or click Health

Care Only or All Benefit Programs to get started immediately. If you have any additional

questions, please call the toll-free number provided on the website.

The Description of How To Apply For Benefits