Frequently Asked Questions

The Prince George’s County Department of Social Services understands that you may have questions about our programs and services. To assist the residents and citizens of Prince George’s County we have developed a page of frequently asked questions.

We will update this list frequently and invite you to visit our site often to learn of any updates and changes. If you don’t see an answer to your question and need more information, please contact our Customer Service Unit at 301-909-7025 or send an e-mail to Customer Service.

Family Investment Division – Get answers about benefits and services for such programs as Food Supplement, Temporary Cash Assistance, Emergency Assistance and Medical Assistance

Community Services Division – Get answers about benefits and services for such programs as Food Pantries, Energy Assistance, Homelessness Prevention and Volunteer Services

Child, Adult and Family Services Division –Get answers about services for such programs as Child Protective Services, Foster Care and Adoption and Adult Resources

Public Relations and Community Outreach – Get answers about where we are in the community and how to request a Department of Social Services representative to attend your community event

Family Investment

How do I apply for services?

There are three ways you can apply for services:

**We suggest if you mail your application to please send it certified mail with a signature receipt

I'm married. Do I qualify for assistance?

Any county resident may apply for benefits through any of the financial assistance programs administered by the Prince George's County Department of Social Services regardless of marital status. Please note, when processing your application we will require information about the members of your household and their income.

How long does it take to process an application?

Normal processing time for an application is 30 days.

Please note --- if you have missing forms and/or information your application could be delayed

What can I do while I’m waiting a decision?

If you are applying for Medical Assistance, you can apply for the Primary Adult Care (PAC) program at PAC. For more information please visit the Primary Adult Care (PAC) Program on Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

You may also contact your local Health Department at 888-561-4049 for additional community resources.

If you are waiting on a Food Stamp decision, you may call 301-909-6343 for information about local pantries. You may also contact Capital Area Food Bank or SHARE Food Network.

If you are waiting on Emergency or Energy Assistance, please begin or continue with any payment arrangements until we are able to make a decision.

I have a change in circumstance or have moved, what do I do?

Contact your case manager ASAP. You may also download the form to a report a change here, Change of Information.

What do I do if I don’t agree with a decision about my case?

If you feel we have made an error in processing your case or don’t agree with our decision, you can speak with your case manager about a review of your case or you may file an appeal to have your case reviewed.

You can visit the office where you applied, Office Locations to receive and submit an application or you can download the form, Appeal Form and submit it to your local office.

Community Services

How do I apply for help paying my energy bills?

When you contact the agencies or organizations who administer the program, an application will be sent to you. If you prefer, you may pick up an application at any Department of Social Services branch office or apply on-line via SAIL. Please be aware that it will be your responsibility to:

  • Continue to make all payments while your application is being processed
  • Send all required information with the application
  • Contact your utility company if you have a past-due balance
  • Mail or drop-off your application at the designated DSS office.

What happens after I submit my application?

Energy Assistance Staff will process your application and make sure all required information has been submitted. Please note that it can take up to 30 days to process an application.  Before you can be interviewed, you must have the following information:

  • Proof of County residency
  • Valid photo identification
  • Social Security cards for all members of your household
  • Most recent utility bills and/or disconnect notice
  • Copy of your most recent lease agreement, rent receipt or mortgage statement
  • Proof of total household income; wage stubs for the past 30 days, benefit letters or copies of your most recent benefit checks from DSS, SSA, VA or the Unemployment Insurance Program.

How much assistance will Energy Assistance provide?

You are able to receive assistance once within a calendar year (July 1 to June 30). The Energy Assistance Programs provide a one-time only grant which will be based on your household income and energy usage.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Elderly or disabled residents living on fixed income
  • Low-income homeowners or renters who are recipients of Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA), Food Supplements or Social Security (SSI)
  • Low-income homeowners or renters who meet the income guidelines listed below:

Are there any other energy assistance programs?

  • Catholic Charities, Forestville (301) 568-9529
  • Department of Family Services, Hyattsville (301) 265-8450
  • Laurel Advocacy & Referral Services, Laurel (301) 776-0442
  • Spanish Speaking Community, Hyattsville (301) 434-5055
  • UCAP (301) 322-5700
  • Salvation Army (301) 277-6103

If you have further questions about the programs, please click, Energy Assistance or Energy Tips. You may also visit the Department of Energy for more energy savings tips.

I’m homeless. Where can I go?

Please visit our Housing and Homeless Services page.

I’m facing a foreclosure. Where can I go?

You may contact our Emergency Assistance Program to see if you qualify for assistance. You may also access MD Hope for more information about foreclosure assistance

How can I donate to the Department of Social Services?

The Prince George’s County Department of Social Services accepts donations of new clothing, shoes and toys all-year-round. We collect donations of food baskets during our annual Holiday Sharing Campaign, which runs from October-December. To donate an item to the Department of Social Services, please contact the Office of Volunteer Services at 301-909-6319.

Child, Adult and Family Services

How can I become a Foster Parent?

More information available on the Foster Care and Adoption program page

When can I leave my child home alone?

More information available here on the What's The Buzz publication (English) or What's the Buzz publication (Spanish).

How do I make a Child Protective Service or Adult Protective Service report?

Child Protective Service reports, please call 301-909-2450 during normal business hours. Call 301-699-8605 to make a report after hours.

Adult Protective Service reports can be made at 301-909-2228 during normal business hours.

I made a Child Protective Service or Adult Protective Service report, why haven’t I heard anything?

State of Maryland law prohibits the Department of Social Services from discussing an active case. To maintain not only the integrity of the case, but the confidentiality of our client, once we receive your report our offices will follow-up and address the concern.

Public Relations and Community Outreach

How can a DSS representative attend our event?

Please click Event Request Form to download and submit your request.

How can I find out what events Department of Social Services will host or attend?

Please visit the calendar of events for more information. Interpretation Services are available for Non-English Speaking customers. Please contact one of the local offices for assistance.