Families in need here can now apply for a $200 back-to-school clothing voucher for their kids.

In addition, all families with children can pencil tax-free dates in Maryland and Virginia to buy more back-to-school supplies next month.

West Virginia’s program is through the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Children and Families, which is accepting applications for school voucher allowance through July 31.

Each eligible child enrolled in West Virginia schools can receive a $200 benefit toward purchasing or making school clothing.

The allowance automatically goes to families with school-age children who receive WV WORKS cash assistance, parents or guardians of children in foster care, and children ages 4-18 who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, are enrolled in school and whose household income is under 130% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Families with Medicaid who received the vouchers in 2020 received a 2021 application in the mail last month.

Others might be eligible for the vouchers, but monthly income for a family of 4 cannot exceed $2,839. The limit rises $486 for each additional family member.

Apply online at www.wvpath.org or request a paper application by contacting the local DHHR office, or by calling 1-877-716-1212. 

School clothing allowance program recipients will receive an EBT, or electronic benefit transfer, card instead of the traditional paper voucher. Parents or guardians of children in foster care will receive the school clothing allowance benefit as a check. 

The states neighboring the Eastern Panhandle go a different route in helping parents equip students to return to school. They use sales tax holidays, which are open to all income levels.

Virginia’s 3-day sales tax holiday is Aug. 6-9. Shoppers in the Old Dominion on those days can buy school supplies that cost less than $20 per item or shoes or clothing that’s under $100 per item.

Maryland offers no sales tax on the first $100 of clothing and footwear. The tax holiday runs Aug. 9-15 in Maryland.

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