The Roanoke County Department of Social Services has paid more than $135,000 in unpaid and overdue bills for those experiencing job losses during the coronavirus pandemic.
Roanoke County, Vinton and Salem contributed a combined $600,000 of their Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funding to the assistance program, which began in mid-July. The federal CARES Act is intended to assist local and state governments with expenses that arose due to the pandemic and mandated closures.
Joanna Spar, the assistant director of benefits, said the department has received 177 applications. Some people who applied were not eligible, but she said a large number of people have been approved.
Citizens in the three localities are eligible to apply if they lost their job, had their hours cut, were furloughed,