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Suffolk County DSS aid and assistance programs.

Working closely with the state of New York and the federal government, the Suffolk County DSS runs several assistance programs for the very low income in the county, as listed below. The resources can address medical care (Medicaid), basic needs (TANF), nutrition (SNAP food stamps), housing in the form of rent assistance and more.

Medicaid is a government medical assistance program for the low income and uninsured. It provides critical medical services for low income persons that are currently receiving Public Assistance. The free or low cost medical care offered pays for physician services, inpatient and outpatient hospital care, early and periodic screening of children, medications, skilled nursing care, laboratory and X-ray services. There is even some transportation services available in Suffolk County, as noted below.

Transportation is offered for some Medicaid beneficiaries. Call 1 (866) 952-1564. Patients with an active case, need for health care and with no means of transportation to that service may get help in the form of a ride. They can get transportation to and from health care providers, such as a hospital or doctor appointment. Appointments are needed.

Food stamps, or SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) applications are processed by Suffolk DSS. The federally funded SNAP helps persons and families with limited income buy food at a local grocery store or retailer.

SNAP-ED, or ESNY, is an educational type program. Non-profits, in collaboration with the Suffolk County Department of Social Services, provide nutrition education and advice to food stamp participants. The goal of the program will enable participants of the free food vouchers to make healthier choices when buying what they need, when considering their limited budgets.

Child care assistance is offered in Suffolk County too. DSS offers subsidized care for children from lower income families under 13 years of age. The county provides this in fully licensed day care center, group family day care homes, school age child care programs, registered family homes, and even so called informal child care programs. Families must meet income requirements, be working, in training and satisfy other program guidelines.





The subsidies may be available for parents who are attending eligible education, working, or in job training. Financial aid may also be paid out when the parents are unable to provide child care due to incapacity or illness. In some cases a voucher is paid out as part of child protective plan. The place to apply is at is in the county and can be reached at (631) 854-3349. Call for information or an application.

The New York State HEAP, Home Heating Assistance Program, is for paying utility and energy bills. The Suffolk DSS can distribute information about low income energy bill assistance for low income and elderly households.

Suffolk County DSS runs the Temporary Assistance / TANF program. This is run as a temporary cash assistance programs that offers grants on a monthly basis. The funds can be used to pay for bills such as rent, clothing, food, and medications.

Suffolk Works Employment Program, or SWEP, helps individuals on TANF - Temporary Assistance. The county DSS will work with them to help them obtain the skills they need to find a job, full time employment or gain new skills. Once employed, participants can receive financial help with paying for childcare and other employment related expenses. Call the local Compliance Unit at (631) 853-3664 to apply or look into other job training programs.

Housing or rent assistance is for people facing evictions or homelessness. Funds, or maybe a short term loan, can be used to pay the rent if the application is approved by the Suffolk County Social Services Center. (631) 854-9100





Applying for social services in Suffolk County New York

For more details, call an office below. There are multiple locations with case workers on site.

  • Riverhead Center, 893 E. Main Street, Riverhead, New York 11901-2542, telephone: (631) 852-3500
  • Smithtown Center is at 200 Wireless Boulevard, Hauppauge, New York 11788. Call the number at (631) 853-8714.
  • Coram Center, 80 Middle Country Road, Coram, New York 11727, call (631) 854-2300 for intake.
  • South West Center – Address is 2 South 2nd Street, Deer Park, New York 11729, main number (631) 854-6600


By Jon McNamara

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