vanessa-newVanessa Remmers covers Stafford County government and schools for and The Free Lance-Star.

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Grant to Stafford Social Services enables families to get health insurance

The Stafford Department of Social Services has received a $17,750 grant  that will go toward a program that helps eligible families get access to state-sponsored health insurance programs such as Medicaid and Family Access to Medical Insurance Security, or FAMIS.

It’s the third year in a row that Stafford DSS has received the grant from  Stafford Hospital Community Service Fund. The grant requires no local matching funds.

“This grant makes it possible to help Stafford’s less fortunate children by giving them and their families access to state health insurance programs,” said Department of Social Services Director Michael Muse in a county press release. “We will be able to give parents the help they need to successfully apply for health benefits for their children.”

Stafford DSS will hire a part-time 24-hour a week benefit programs specialist worker over the 12-month period of the grant with the money, according to the release. The county said that this worker will do extensive one-on-one assistance and follow-up with prospective applicants in compliance with the Virginia Department of Social Services’ state and federal regulations.

SHINE targets expectant mothers and families with children under age 18 in households with income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Applicants may obtain applications for Medicaid/FAMIS by picking up an application from the Stafford DSS main office at the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center or applying online at The office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and is located on a route served by the Fredericksburg Regional transit system (FRED). Interested applicants may also request an application be mailed to them.

Anyone needing additional information may contact the SHINE worker, Jane Namiot, at 540-658-4203.