New York Financial Assistance Programs.

Find how to get assistance and grants in all cities and counties listed below throughout New York, including Buffalo, New York City, Hempstead, and Brookhaven. In addition to the programs below, find organizations and charities in New York that can provide assistance with paying bills, rent, mortgages, heating costs and more. the government as well as counties provide emergency financial help to needy families.

Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) Program
EPIC is a New York State assistance program that will help seniors pay for their prescription drugs. There are more than a quarter million people enrolled in EPIC and they are saving an average of 90 percent of the cost of their medicines. Most enrollees in this program have Medicare Part D or other drug coverage, and they then use EPIC to lower their drug and medicine costs even more by helping them pay the co-payments and deductibles that are maybe required by their other drug plan. EPIC will also help members pay for Medicare Part D premiums. Call 1-800-332-3742. Call to find additional ways to get free prescription drugs and help with health care.

Child Health Plus
New York State has a health insurance plan that is for kids which can help reduce medical bills and expenses. The program is called Child Health Plus. Depending on your family's total income, your child may be eligible to join either Child Health Plus or Children's Medicaid. Both of these programs are offered through dozens of providers throughout the state. 1-800-698-4543

Some of the benefits include :

  • Well-child care
  • Immunizations
  • Physical exams including diagnosis and treatment of illness and injury
  • X-ray and lab tests
  • Outpatient surgery





  • Prescription and nonprescription drugs if ordered
  • Inpatient hospital medical or surgical care
  • Short-term therapeutic outpatient services (chemotherapy, hemodialysis)
  • Limited inpatient and outpatient treatment for alcoholism and substance abuse, and mental health
  • Dental and vision care

Prescription Saver Card Program
This is a statewide prescription drug discount card program for New York residents whose incomes are too high to qualify for Medicaid, people with disabilities, and individuals who are too young to qualify for Medicare savings. You can save between 25-40% on prescription drug prices. 1-800-788-6917.

Emergency Financial Assistance
One of the leading non-profit agencies to contact for help is the Salvation Army. They have locations around the state. The organization may have funds for rent, utility bills, food and holiday assistance, limited gasoline vouchers, and more. Click here.

Mortgage and Foreclosure Aid
New York also offers programs that can help you pay your mortgage and avoid foreclosure. Towns and counties may offer counseling and mediation services, and non-profit organizations also support New York homeowners. Read more.

In addition to these programs, also find how a HUD approved mortgage counselor can help you get back on track with your mortgage. Click here.

Help From Medical Debt Collectors and Free Health Care
New York has instituted laws and regulations that will prevent illegal and aggressive collection efforts from medical debt collectors and agencies. Also, the laws ensure patients get access to free health care. Read more.

Family Health Plus
A public health insurance program for uninsured adults who are between the ages of 19 and 64 and who have limited income or resources. The program can offer help with paying medical bills. Contact your local county government to apply.

Social Services and Cash Assistance
Financial assistance, grants and cash can be provided to low income, unemployed, and the working poor. Several social services and crisis programs can help individuals pay bills and provide for their families. Read more New York public assistance.





Healthy NY
This is a low cost health insurance plan for qualified working families and individuals. Participants need to pay a low cost monthly premium and co-pays to be enrolled in the program. 1-866-432-5849

Energy Company Programs
In addition to the resources offered in your county, click here for other New York heating and utility assistance programs. Many energy companies have their own cash grant, disconnection prevention and weatherization services for low income customers.

Food Stamps
The Food Stamp Program will issue monthly benefits and grants that can be used to purchase food at numerous authorized retail and grocery stores. Food stamp benefits will help senior citizens, lower income working people, the disabled and many others feed their families. 1-800-342-3009

New York State RESTORE Program
The RESTORE Housing Assistance Program (HAPEC) provides emergency home repair assistance to lower income elderly homeowners. The HAPEC program will act rapidly to correct housing conditions which may pose a threat to health, life, or the safety to homeowners over the age of 60. This home repaid assistance program provides grants of up to $5,000 per homeowner and is allocated for cases of emergency. Grants are distributed on a first come first serve basis until all of the programs funds have been paid out. (212) 749-1800. Additional ways to receive free home repairs.

Homeless Housing Programs
OTDA also manages an array of programs that help to address homelessness in New York State. The help offered ranges from programs to both prevent homelessness to the actual construction of housing for homeless persons.

Employment Programs, Government Grants, Self-sufficiency, and Referrals
Dozens of resources may be offered by your local community action agency. Services include career counseling, assistance in gaining new skills, low income assistance, and more. If you are faced with a crisis, the centers may be able to refer or provide direct help for housing, food, and other emergency needs. Learn more New York community action agencies.

Career and Workforce Centers
Dozens of offices are located across New York. They focus on helping the unemployed find a new job and providing experience and additional training to those who currently hold a position. All services are provided at no cost to residents. Click details.




Disability Assistance Programs, Applications, and Benefits
Residents filing for a disability or that may be currently disabled have a number of benefits and resources for their needs. The Office of Temporary and Disability can help with information on the New York application process, cash assistance, food, respite care and other aid. More information.

Free Legal Help is the one-stop legal information portal for low-income New Yorkers. They offer numerous free services and legal advice. Learn more.

In addition, several non-profit law firms offer advice, representation, and other forms of legal assistance to New York state residents. Continue.

NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal
This program will help you locate affordable rental housing anywhere in New York State. You can drill down to a map with a list of the street address(es). This agency also provide additional information on stores, area services, hospitals, and nearby education and child care facilities.

Refugee and Immigrant Assistance (BRIA)
BRIA is the single state agency that is fully responsible for the implementation of services to refugees and for the administration of programs targeted at immigrants. (518) 473-1178

Help with Telephone Bills
New York families living in poverty or that are on public assistance can get help from Lifeline or Link-Up. The programs provide discounts as well as credits on both wireless or landline phones and can also pay the deposit costs. Continue with New York telephone programs.

Programs for Elderly and Seniors
A number of locations focus their assistance on individuals who are 55 years of age or older. The office of aging centers provide resources that range from emergency financial assistance to prescription medications, health insurance, transportation, and food.  Learn more on the services administered.

Credit Counseling for Bills, Mortgages, and Debts in New York
Individuals may qualify for free advice and debt and credit counseling. A number of government certified and approved non-profit housing and credit counseling agencies help consumers deal with unpaid debts, bills, and can provide advice on paying mortgages. Read more.

Vouchers for Paying Rent
The main resource available is the HUD housing choice vouchers, which are used to subsidize a low income family's total rental costs. Other federal government assistance is for senior citizens or households with a disabled member. Click New York section 8.

Temporary Assistance (TA)
TA is temporary help for needy women, men, and children. If you are unable to work, if you can't find a job in the slowing economy, or if your job does not pay enough to meet your bills, TA may be able to help you pay for your bills, expenses, and debt. 1-800-342-3009. Or learn more on the Emergency Assistance to Adults financial assistance program.

Assistance for Homeless and Eviction Prevention
The New York Bureau of Housing and Support Services, local non-profits, and county social service offices may have government grants to pay a portion of rent to stop an eviction. The homeless can access transitional housing, case management, and programs for paying security deposits. Read more.

Vouchers and Child Care Subsidies
Parents that are working or seeking employment, attending job training, or in school may qualify for financial assistance for paying their child care expenses. State of New York and federal government funds are used to pay a portion of your costs. Click more details.





New York Food Banks and Distribution Centers
Get information on a network of food banks and distribution centers across the state. These organizations coordinate the distribution of free food and groceries to people who need help. More on New York food banks.

Community Clinics for Health Care
Several locations and facilities are located across New York that may be able to offer qualified individuals with either free or low cost health care. More on New York community clinics.

Families that do not have health insurance can receive medical care from government sponsored and non-profit programs. Assistance is available for a number of needs, including check ups, family health care, and medical bill assistance for children. Click New York uninsured health care programs.

Dental Assistance - If you need a facility that focuses on your dental needs, click here for information on where to get free or low cost help.

Assistance from New York Cities and Counties

Albany County (Albany)

Allegany County (Belmont)

Broome County (Binghamton)

Cattaraugus County (Little Valley)

Cayuga County (Auburn)

Chautauqua County (Mayville)

Chenango County (Norwich)

Chemung County (Elmira)

Clinton County (Plattsburgh)

Columbia County (Hudson)

Cortland County

Delaware County (Delhi)

Dutchess County (Poughkeepsie)

Erie County (Buffalo)

Essex County (Elizabethtown)

Franklin County (Malone)

Fulton County (Johnstown)

Genesee County (Batavia)

Herkimer County

Jefferson County (Watertown)


Kings County (Brooklyn)

Livingston County (Geneseo)

Madison County (Wampsville)

Monroe County (Rochester)

Nassau County (Mineola)

Niagara County (Lockport)

New York City

Oneida County (Utica)





Onondaga County (Syracuse)

Ontario County (Canandaigua)

Orange County (Goshen)

Orleans County (Albion)

Oswego County

Otsego County (Cooperstown)

Putnam County (Carmel)

Rensselaer County (Troy)

Rockland County (New City)

Saratoga County (Ballston Spa)

Schenectady County

Seneca County (Waterloo)

St. Lawrence County (Canton)

Steuben County (Bath)

Suffolk County (Riverhead)

Sullivan County (Monticello)

Tioga County (Owego)

Tompkins County (Ithaca)

Ulster County (Kingston)

Warren County (Queensbury)

Washington County (Fort Edward)

Wayne County (Lyons)

Westchester County (White Plains)

Wyoming County (Warsaw)

Yates County (Penn Yan)

New York Energy and Heating Bill Assistance

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
This program, the Low-Income (HEAP), is a federally funded assistance program that will help eligible households in paying for heating bills and in meeting their home energy needs.

Citizens Energy Oil Heat Assistance Program
Heating oil dealers across New York, working with Citizens Energy and fuel assistance agencies, provide home deliveries of free heating oil to those families who need help paying their winter heating bills. Just this year alone, this aid program helped tens of thousands of families across the country with a one-time delivery of 100 gallons of home heating oil. More.





HEAP Emergency Benefit
The emergency benefit of the HEAP program is available to New Yorkers who are facing a heating related energy emergency and if they do not have any resources to pay their bill or meet their need. You may be eligible for an HEAP Emergency Benefit if

  • Your electricity is needed for your heating system to work and if your electricity is either shut-off or scheduled to be shut off,
  • Your natural gas heat is scheduled to be shut-off or is off,
  • If you are out of fuel or are in danger of running out of fuel, such as heating oil, propane, wood, or coal
  • If your heating equipment is not working or is inoperable

New York Energy $mart -Assisted Home Performance with ENERGY STAR
This aid program will reduce the energy costs of low- and moderate-income households. It does so by providing affordable energy efficiency improvements to those households that are not eligible for the federally funded Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP).


By Jon McNamara

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