CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK)—West Virginia is one of only a few states that offers qualifying parents assistance to help cover the cost of school clothes.
The application period for the School Clothing Allowance Program opens July 1, and parents have until July 31 to apply. Those who qualify will receive $200 per school-aged child that can be used to pay for school clothes.
This year the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Children and Families raised the income limit for the program. That will likely mean more families who qualify.
“That means a larger population of people can be eligible,” said Program Director Ashley Puffenbarger. “So before maybe if you were over income limit you may possibly be within the income limit now.”
They’ll be distributing the money differently this year as well.
“This year the School Clothing Allowance payment will actually come on our Mountain State EBT card. That is the same card that is used for SNAP or WV Works benefits. And anywhere that accepts the EBT card you can use it to purchase school clothes for the children.”
Parents who believe they are eligible will have to complete an application and show verification of how much income they’ll receive in July 2021. The hope is that the funding will help level the playing field for students who may be facing poverty.
“It truly helps our children have more confidence to go to school with a good step forward and to feel as if there is nothing different with being low income,” Puffenbarger said.
Parents can also use those funds to purchase materials to make clothing for their children. Leaders at the DHHR recommend calling retailers ahead of time to see if they accept the vouchers.
If you have questions about the program and prefer to call for Customer Service, the number is 1-877-716-1212.