Lunenburg social services overview

Published 11:02 am Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The profile report for the Lunenburg County Department of Social Services (DSS) for 2018 was recently released. The profiles, compiled by the Virginia Department of Social Services provides the more current rates of poverty, the percentages of the population who are enrolled in benefits programs, where funding for these programs come from, and how they are distributed in The Dispatch’s coverage area.

To access the full reports for each county, visit, and click on the link that reads, “2018 SFY (rev.).”

Once the document downloads, hover over the header “Locality name,” to look at the report.


Lunenburg County Department of Social Services Director Dorothy Newcomb, comparing the 2018 profile report with the 2017 profile report, said the figures remain relatively similar.

“It’s pretty much the same,” Newcomb said. The total population in 2017 in Lunenburg, according to the county’s profile report, comes to 12,235.

The percentage of all people in poverty for the county in 2017 was estimated to total 21 percent, or 2,299 in total. The percentage of children who live in poverty was estimated at 27 percent, or 608 total, according to the report.

The unemployment rate in 2017 was 4.4 percent, or 227 people in total, according to the report.

According to the profile, 2,557 clients received SNAP benefits in State Fiscal Year 2018, 164 received TANF and 3,400 received Medicaid.

Changes to Medicaid for Virginia, which took effect Jan. 1, include allowing childless adults to qualify if their annual income is at or falls below $16,754. A family of three would be eligible for Medicaid if their annual income is at or falls below $28,677. A person with a disability is eligible if their annual income is at or falls below $16,754.

Energy assistance by household in Lunenburg in 2018, according to the report, totaled 234. No data was available per component, or who received fuel, cooling or crisis assistance specifically.

There are nine total children in Lunenburg County in foster care and 15 receiving adoption assistance, according to the report.

There are 87 children with Child Protective Services referrals. There are 18 people who were subjects of Adult Protective Services reports.

According to the report, 97.1 percent of the funds was distributed to benefits, 2.9 percent was distributed to the DSS administration and 0 percent was distributed for services purchased for clients.

The report cites that 44.2 percent of funding for Lunenburg County DSS came from the state, 54.4 percent came from federal funds and 1.2 percent came from the locality.

The total amount spent on social services in the county in State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2018 was $26,917,139. According to the report, $385,437 were the funds provided by the county.

Newcomb said the total amount spent on social services in SFY 2018 differ from the SFY 2017 profile report, in which approximately $24,000,000 was spent on social services in SFY 2017, and approximately $398,000 was contributed by the county.

Newcomb noted that approximately $20,000 less was spent by the county in SFY 2018.

The county DSS, as of Sept. 30, 2018, had eight direct staff members, five indirect staff members, two unfilled positions for direct staff members and three unfilled positions for indirect staff members.

To reach the Lunenburg DSS, call (434) 696-2134.