Buffalo New York and Erie County residents can receive emergency financial assistance from the Department of Social Services. A number of conditions do need to be met, and the programs focus on people who are unemployed, individuals who can't find a job, or those who are physically unable to work. Other assistance can help families with children, those whose income is not high enough to pay bills and living expenses, and seniors.
Temporary assistance can be offered to Erie County New York residents from the government run and funded Department of Social Services. Any cash assistance for paying bills, medical expenses, rent, and other basic needs is short term in nature. All of the funds and programs are temporary and have defined time limits and parameters. One of the big reasons is that Erie County has a Work First policy that focuses on satisfying the individual’s responsibility to achieve self-sufficiency over the long term.
Social Services in Erie County can help needy men, children, and women pay bills and other expenses. If an applicant is unable to work, is jobless from the difficult economy, or can't find a job then the county may be able to help. Emergency Temporary Financial Assistance offers county residents help for an urgent need or some type of crisis situation that has to be taken care of right away. Some examples of what social services can help pay for include:
Financial assistance can be provided for victims of domestic violence. If you or someone in your immediate family has been abused, beaten, or even just threatened with harm by a partner, husband, wife, ex-partner or other member of the household, then you may be able to get help for bills.
The county office is also the place to contact to get information on and to learn how to apply for the federal government Medicaid Program. The program is administered across Erie County New York. It may be able to provide low income families with access to a variety of public health insurance programs including Family Health Plus (FHP), Medicaid, Medicare Savings Program, as well as Family Planning Benefits Program.
You can apply for energy bill help at the social services office. The HEAP resource is a federal government funded utility and heating assistance program that was designed to assist low to moderate income households in Erie County. Funds can help pay heating and electric bills. Individuals can also save money on their energy bills from LIHEAP and specifically the weatherization program.
The local government office can also help people sign up for this program. Tens of thousands of families across Erie County New York receive free food, groceries, and meals from the food stamp program, which is also known as SNAP. It has helped many people make it through a temporary hardship or crisis situation, and you should never hesitate to apply.
To learn about any of these programs, or other offerings, call the Erie County Department of Social Services at  858-8000.
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