PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Portsmouth is offering direct-pay gift cards to eligible households in the city.

The one-time $500 direct payment, made possible through the American Rescue Plan Act, will be given to households that meet the criteria for Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed (ALICE) which are not typically eligible to receive assistance.

The gift cards will be distributed from June 1 until August 1, or until funds are exhausted, at the Portsmouth Department of Social Services, 1701 High Street, Suite 101. The program will not be open on June 20 and July 4 which are observed holidays.

To be eligible, you must be:

  • A Portsmouth resident
  • 18 years old or older
  • The household must meet the size and income levels below:
Family SizeAnnual Minimum IncomeAnnual Maximum Income

To apply:

  • Submit an application with an ID
  • Applications for the Direct Payment Program Gift Cards are now available for pick-up and/or drop-off at the Portsmouth Department of Social Services’ Main Entrance from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 1701 High Street
  • In-person applications will continue to be accepted during the program hours, only, which are from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at the Portsmouth Department of Social Services, 1701 High Street, Suite 101.
  • Submit an application with an ID
  • Household must provide verification of their current gross income. 
  • Acceptable verifications of income are: a 2021, not 2020, IRS Tax Return; and, a 2021 W-2 from employer.  Income from other sources must be verified using an official document from that income source. 
  • Provide verification of residency

One application is permitted per household and gift cards will not be issued the same day that applications are submitted. For more information on the program, call 757-393-8815.