Temporary Assistance (TA) is temporary help for needy men, women and children. If you are unable to work, cannot find a job, or your job does not pay enough, TA may be able to help you pay for your expenses.
New York state Family Assistance (FA) provides cash assistance to needy families that include a minor child living with a parent (including families where both parents are in the household) or a caretaker relative. FA operates under Federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) guidelines.
Under FA, eligible adults are limited to receiving benefits for a total of 60 months in their lifetime, including months of TANF-funded assistance granted in other states. Once this limit is reached, that adult and all members of his or her FA household are ineligible to receive any more FA benefits. The months need not be consecutive, but rather each individual month in which TANF-funded benefits are received is included in the lifetime count
In order to qualify for this benefit program, you must be a resident of New York, have no or low income, be either pregnant or responsible for a child under 18 years of age or under 19 years of age and the child regularly attends secondary school, a U.S. national, citizen, legal alien, or permanent resident.
Parents and other adult relatives receiving FA, and who are determined to be able to work must comply with Federal work requirements to receive FA benefits.
Parents and other caretakers are also responsible for cooperating with the local department of social services in locating any absent parent. Non-cooperation without good cause could result in lower benefits.
Safety Net Assistance (SNA)
If you are not eligible for other public assistance programs you may be eligible for SNA. Use the Program Contact Information below to find more information.
To find out if you are eligible to receive Temporary Assistance, including help with an emergency, you need to file an application with your county Department of Social Services or, if you live in one of the five boroughs of New York City, with your local Job Center.
You can find the location of your local Department of Social Services online here:
Or you may call the toll-free New York state Temporary Assistance hotline at 1-800-342-3009.
You must fill out the application form http://otda.ny.gov/programs/applications/2921.pdf and file it at your local department of Social Services. You should identify any emergency needs you may have at this time. If you have an emergency, you will be interviewed and told in writing about the decision on your emergency the same day you apply.
For Temporary Assistance, your interview should be within seven working days of your filing an application. You should be told within 30 days of the date you filed your application if your application for Family Assistance is approved or denied; be told within 45 days of the date you filed your application for Safety Net Assistance if your application is approved or denied.