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Emergency Assistance to Adults (EAA) program in New York.

Emergency financial assistance is offered to New York families to help them pay for basic needs such as rent, utilities, food, security deposits, and heating bills, among other expenses. A wide variety of bills can be paid using this resource, however everything will need to be approved in advance by the government

The Emergency Assistance to Adults program provides cash grants for temporary bills and expenses. It is intended to help families that are in a crisis and that also meet program guidelines. The grant money does not need to be repaid by the recipient.

Emergency Assistance to Adults is available to households that are in recipient of SSI. Any funds paid out are in the form of a cash grant that does not need to be paid back. This provides the individual with maximum flexibility. The financial aid can be used to pay a number of emergency expenses for qualified low income households in New York.

Grants can be used to pay for different types of bills, depending on the applicant’s situation. For example, the money can be used for paying for utility costs, such as electric, heating and utility bills. Basic needs can be provided too, including clothing, food, medical equipment, or household supplies. Other funds are for housing expenses including rent or moving expenses, including security deposits.

The expenses need to have been incurred during the 4 months before an individual submits an application for a grant. While program terms can change, there is not currently a need to show an unforeseeable sudden catastrophic event, as the EAF program requires. If the expenses that you need help with or older than four months, and in particular for rent arrearage that is over 4 months, consider other sources of financial assistance. There are a variety of other housing programs and agencies in New York, like the ESNA resource, that may be able to help in those cases.

There are a number of conditions that need to be met for an Emergency Assistance to Adults (EAA) grant, and those include the following.

  • The applicant needs to have some type of emergency that they are facing. It must be extreme, and threatens the welfare, health, or safety of the household. This can include facing an eviction, utility disconnection, lack of food, or some other similar crisis.




  • A member of the household, or the applicant, must be either currently receiving or be eligible for SSI.
  • There can’t be a history of repeated requests for emergency assistance, so the goal is to provide one-time only support.
  • The program is a last resort, and the emergency that is being experienced cannot be met by other programs like SSI, EAF, or from your own income. There can’t be other non-profits or resources in New York that can help either.
  • The applicant must meet the immigrant and citizen requirements for SSI.

Type of financial emergencies covered

Assistance from this state of New York program is wide ranging, but usually focuses on people who need these needs met. The Department of Social Services can also provide more information.

  • Renters who are faced with an eviction or people who are currently homeless, or if your landlord has given you eviction papers or told you that you must move.
  • People who have little or no food, and need to provide for their next meal.
  • If your utilities are currently shut-off or if they are about to be shut-off, or if you have a 72-hour disconnect notice for your utilities.
  • Renters and homeowners who are at critical stages of fuel or have run out of heating fuel or oil in the cold weather period.
  • Someone in your family, maybe even you, have been abused, beaten, or threatened with violence by a partner, husband, wife, or other member of the household.

Those are some of the more common emergencies that are covered in New York by Emergency Assistance to Adults program. The state may approve other situations though, but this is limited and at their discretion. Grants from the emergency assistance program include, but are not limited to:





  • Payment of utility bills, both arrears and current.
  • Funds for housing, shelter, or transitional housing.
  • Payment of heating oil, fuel or even grants to cover the delivery of it.
  • Vouchers for temporary housing, such as motel or hotels, may be provided too.

Contact information

You need to apply at your local New York City Department of Social Services office. You can find the location of your local DSS center online, or call customer service at 1-800-342-3009.

By Jon McNamara














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