Public assistance programs and services are available in New York for low income families and others who need help. Most of the assistance is focused on those faced with an emergency. Typically short term cash assistance can be provided at the same time as longer term self-sufficiency and case management services. The New York Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance is one of the leading organizations to contact.
Food Stamps and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food assistance can be used on a monthly basis to purchase food at authorized grocery and retail stores. The public benefits from New York food resource may be able to help low-income senior citizens, working people, the disabled and others in need of help feed their families.
The program is paid for by public funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The New York State Food Stamp (FS) Program issues monthly cash vouchers as well as electronic benefits that can be used like cash at authorized retailers. The total amount of aid provided will depend on the household’s income, size, assets and other factors. Cash assistance and other benefits are provided through an electronic benefit card issues by New York State, and the card is similar to a debit or credit card.
Utility and heating bill assistance is provided in New York from the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). The formal name of the public resource is the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and it can help qualified households pay their home energy bills. Whether you need help paying for Oil, Electricity, Propane, Natural Gas, Wood, Kerosene, Coal, or any other heating fuel, then the HEAP program may help you pay for those bills.
The New York state version of HEAP provides heating benefits to supplement a household's annual energy cost. A second component of the HEAP program also provides emergency cash assistance for households in a heat related energy emergency, such as disconnection or running out of fuel. Another not so well known component of HEAP is that it will assist with paying for furnace replacements or repairs for households with inoperable heating equipment.
Heating Equipment Repair or Replacement can also be paid for by this public assistance program. The component of HEAP that provides for heating equipment repair, tune ups or replacement can help low-income homeowners or even renters repair or replace furnaces, boilers, HVAC units, and other direct heating components necessary to keep the home's primary heating source functional and operating at peak performance.
Crisis and emergency benefit can be paid for by HEAP. Assistance can be provided to qualifying low-income New Yorkers who are facing a heat related energy emergency and do not have the financial resources or money available to resolve the emergency.
Temporary Assistance (TA) in New York can help people pay for their basic needs and bills. There are two main components of this public resource, including Safety Net Assistance as well as Family Assistance. If you can’t find a job, are unable to work due to a medical condition or emergency, or your job does not pay enough, public funds from TA may be able to help you pay for your bills and basic needs.
Families with a minor child may benefit from Family Assistance. Cash and grants can be disbursed from this component. It is a part of the federal government funded Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) guidelines.
Under the Family Assistance (FA) component, qualified adults are limited to receiving cash assistance and other benefits for a total of 60 months in their lifetime, so there is a defined limit to the amount of aid offered. In addition, assistance will be offered to help people find a job. For example, parents and other adult relatives receiving FA from New York State need to fully comply with federal government work requirement. They also need to be involved and adhere to all local social service programs.
New York Safety Net Assistance is offered for people who are not eligible for other government or financial assistance programs. The resource, known as SNA and run by Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, can help single adults, children living apart from any adult relative, childless couples, and others who may not be eligible for federal reimbursement or public assistance programs.
Rent, housing, and similar support services – A number of programs to stop evictions and address homelessness in New York State are offered. These services range from programs to prevent homelessness to funds to pay deposits and get people into safe and affordable home and apartments.
The Bureau of Housing and Support Services programs are designed to help pay rent to prevent homelessness, provide shelter and transitional housing for the homeless, construct supportive housing for the homeless and offer other essential services to stabilize housing.
One of the key housing programs run is the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program (HHAP). In addition, a wide range of support services and programs for at risk families, homeless and individuals are offered. They include the Emergency Shelter Grants Program, Homelessness Intervention Program, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program, Supplemental Homelessness Intervention Program, and Single Room Occupancy Support Services Program.
Eat Smart New York – Offers free nutrition education and other public aid to all food stamp participants and those eligible to receive food stamps.
Employment and Advancement Services – Job finding and career counseling services are provided to assist Food Stamp as well as Temporary Assistance recipients in securing and retaining employment and achieving self sufficiency over the long term. A key to getting off public assistance is finding and retaining a job.
Local social service offices across New York provide help to support participation in approved, required work activities for the low income and unemployed. These Career and Employment services are designed to assist individuals in both achieving self sufficiency and securing employment. The following is a list of self-sufficiency services that may be available in your local department of social services:
Resources for Working Families include the following:
Nutrition programs for children and families – Get information on how to participate in food assistance programs such as Women, Infants and Child program (WIC), School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, New York States Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program, as well as information on Food Banks in New York State. The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance is the lead agency for this public aid.
Weatherization Assistance Program – The Weatherization Assistance Program is funded by public funds and it can assist income-eligible individuals and families by reducing their cooling and heating bills through energy conservation measures and improvements.
Rent and Housing - Find affordable housing; locate rental assistance; avoid foreclosure, and more helpful tips and information on public housing programs.
Child Care Assistance - The state of New York offers many resources and financial assistance, including subsidies to low-income families, to help them make safe, quality child care both affordable and accessible. Read New York child care assistance.
Military and Veteran’s Benefits – Cash assistance, vouchers, and advice may be offered for people who served in the United States Armed Forces. Military members are eligible for government benefits and public assistance.
Save money from tax credits – Apply for and get information on the following tax credit programs: Child Tax Credits and Child and Dependent Care Tax Credits, Earned Income Tax Credits, and New York State Noncustodial Parent Earned Income Tax Credit.
Free Tax Preparation and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Sites - VITA is a free, public IRS-sponsored program to help working poor and low- and middle-income workers have their federal and New York income taxes prepared and filed electronically at no cost to them.
Medical and Health Insurance Programs – Options include various New York State programs such as Family Health Plus and Healthy NY, Medicaid, and Child Health Plus.
Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income Programs - The Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs provide assistance to people with disabilities. While these two programs are different in many ways, only individuals who have a disability or severe medical and meet pre-determined medical criteria may qualify for benefits under either program.
Paying for College - Learn about the private and public financial aid that can help you finance your education and pay for college costs.
New York Unemployment Benefits – Government provided unemployment insurance is temporary income for qualified low income workers who lose their job or who just become unemployed through no fault of their own.
Telephone Assistance and Affordable Wireless Services - A program created by the federal government known as Lifeline Assistance can help provide discounted or free telephone service to income-eligible consumers.
Job Search Assistance – Office of Temporary & Disability Assistance partners with social service agencies and together they offer offer tools and support that can assist people in writing a resume, training for a new career, and finding a job.
NYS Kinship Navigator - A statewide program specifically designed to provide financial resources and information to kinship caregivers across all of New York State.
Head Start and Early Head Start - These programs are comprehensive child development programs. The Head Start program serves children ages 3 to 5 and their families. Early Head Start serves pregnant women and their families and children birth to age 3. Parents can also benefit from Head Start.
Immigrant and Refugee Assistance – Financial assistance and services are offered for certain immigrant populations, including refugees, victims of human trafficking and other immigrants, and asylees.
Financial Education - Information to assist you with debt reduction, credit repair and counseling, illegal debt collection practices and mediation and how to open a bank account. Get information New York credit counseling.
Consumer Protection Information - New York State Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection offers free legal advice and support. A host of consumer protection information is available for activities such as dealing with predatory home loans, prevention and assistance with identity theft, debt collectors and much more.
Call New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance at 518-473-1090.
Albany County, 162 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12207, call 518-447-7300
Allegany County, 7 Court St., Belmont, New York 14813-1077, 585-268-9622
Broome County, 36-42 Main Street, Binghamton, New York 13905-3199, 607-778-8850
Cattaraugus County, 1 Leo Moss Drive, Suite 600, Olean, New York 14760-1158, 716-373-8065
Cayuga County, 160 Genesee Street, Auburn, New York 13021-3433, dial 315-253-1451 for information on the public assistance programs.
Chautauqua County, Hall R. Clothier Building, Mayville, New York 14757, 716-753-4421
Chemung County, 425 Pennsylvania Ave PO Box 588, Elmira, New York 14902, call 607-737-5309 for intake.
Chenango County, 5 Court Street, Norwich, New York 13815, 607-337-1500
Clinton County, 13 Durkee Street, Plattsburgh, New York 12901-2911, 518-565-3300
Columbia County DSS, 25 Railroad Avenue, PO Box 458, Hudson, New York 12534, telephone number is 518-828-9411
Cortland County DSS, 60 Central Avenue, Cortland, New York 13045-5590, 607-753-5248
Delaware County Social Services, 111 Main Street, Delhi, New York 13753, main number is 607-832-5300
Dutchess County, 60 Market Street, Poughkeepsie, New York 12601-3299, main number is 845-486-3000
Erie County is based at a facility at 95 Franklin Street, Buffalo, New York 14202-3959, 716-858-8000
Essex County, 7551 Court Street, Elizabethtown, New York 12932-0217, call 518-873-3441 for intake.
Franklin County, 355 W. Main St., Suite 331, Malone, New York 12953, dial 518-481-1873
Fulton County, 4 Daisy Lane, PO Box 549, Johnstown, New York 12095, main number is 518-736-5600
Genesee County, 5130 East Main Street, Suite #3, Batavia, New York 14020, 585-344-2580
Greene County, 411 Main Street, Catskill, New York 12414-1716, 518-719-3700
Hamilton County, PO Box 725, White Birch Lane, Indian Lake, New York 12842-0725, 518-648-6131
Herkimer County, 301 North Washington Street, Suite 2110, Herkimer, New York 13350, 315-867-1291
Jefferson County, 250 Arsenal Street, Watertown, New York 13601, telephone - 315-782-9030
Lewis County, 5274 Outer Stowe Street, Lowville, New York 13367, 315-376-5400
Livingston County DSS, 1 Murray Hill Drive, Mt. Morris, New York 14510-1699, 585-243-7300
Madison County, North Court Street, Wampsville, New York 13163, dial 315-366-2211
Monroe County, 111 Westfall Road, Rochester, New York 14620-4686, call 585-753-6000
Montgomery County, PO Box 745, Fonda, New York 12068, 518-853-4646
Nassau County, 60 Charles Lindbergh blvd., Uniondale, New York 11553-3656, call 516-227-8519
New York City. Residents should call the Human Resources Administration at 718-557-1399
Niagara County, 20 East Avenue, Lockport, New York 14095-0506, 716-439-7600
Oneida County DSS, 800 Park Avenue, Utica, New York 13501-2981, call 315-798-5700
Onondaga County, John H. Mulroy Civic Center, 421 Montgomery Street, Syracuse, New York 13202, 315-435-2985
Ontario County, 3010 County Complex Drive, Canandaigua, New York 14424-1296. Call toll free at 1-877-814-6907
Orange County, 11 Quarry Road, Goshen, New York 10924-0678, 845-291-4000
Orleans County, 14016 Route 31 West, Albion, New York 14411-9365, dial 585-589-7000 for information on government programs.
Oswego County, 100 Spring Street, PO Box 1320, Mexico, New York 13114, 315-963-5000
Otsego County, 197 Main Street, Cooperstown, New York 13326-1196, 607-547-1700
Putnam County, 110 Old Route 6, Carmel, New York 10512-2110, call 845-225-7040
Rensselaer County, 127 Bloomingrove Drive, Troy, New York 12180, telephone 518-833-6000
Rockland County, Sanatorium Road, Pomona, New York 10970, 845-364-2000
Saratoga County DSS, 152 West High Street, Ballston Spa, New York 12020, 518-884-4140
Schenectady County, 797 Broadway Schenectady, New York 12305-2704, 518-388-4470
Schoharie County is managed at the County Office for the Aging Building. State Route 30, Schoharie, New York, 518-295-8334
Schuyler County DSS, 323 Owego Street, Unit 3, Montour Falls, New York 14865, main number is 607-535-8303
Seneca County, 1 Di Pronio Drive, Waterloo, New York 13165-0690, 315-539-1800
St. Lawrence County, 6 Judson Street, Canton, New York 13617-1197, dial 315-379-2111
Steuben County, 3 East Pulteney Square, Bath, New York 14810, phone 607-776-7611
Suffolk County DSS, 3085 Veterans Highway, Ronkonkoma, New York, 11779, phone 631-854-9963.
Sullivan County, 16 Community Lane, Liberty, New York 12754, main number is 845-292-0100
Tioga County, 1062 State Road, Owego, New York 13827, 607-687-8300
Tompkins County is located at 320 West State Street, Ithaca, New York 14850. Telephone - 607-274-5345
Ulster County, 1061 Development Court, Kingston, New York 12401-1959, call 845-334-5000
Warren County, Municipal Center Annex , 1340 State Route 9 , Lake George, New York 12845-9803 , 518-761-6300
Washington County DSS, 383 Broadway, Fort Edward, New York 12828, 518-746-2300
Wayne County, 77 Water Street, PO Box 10, Lyons, New York 14489-0010, call 315-946-4881
Westchester County, County Office Building #2 , 112 East Post Road , White Plains, New York 10601 , 914-995-5000
Wyoming County, 466 North Main Street, PO Box 231, Warsaw, New York 14569, 585-786-8900
Yates County, 417 Liberty St. Suite 2122, Penn Yan, New York 14527-1118, telephone 315-536-518