Social Services

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Notice to all Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) standard deductions are changing due to the annual SNAP mass re-budgeting for October 1, 2022.  Click here to read more about the federally required changes to the standards and deductions.

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Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) - is being authorized through the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.  On December 1, 2021, LIHWAP benefits became available to assist low-income New York State households who have past due bills (arrears) for drinking water and/or wastewater services though LIHWAP, which is a centrally located state, administered program. LIHWAP benefits will be based on the actual amount of drinking water and/or wastewater arrears, up to a maximum of $2,500 per drinking water or wastewater provider, or $5,000 if drinking water and wastewater services are combined, per applicant household. Benefits will be paid directly to the household’s drinking water and/or wastewater vendor(s).  On December 2021, the LIHWAP application became available for download on the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) LIHWAP website. Households will also be able to apply through an online portal.  Local municipalities will need to sign up to become a LIHWAP vendor. Information on how to become a vendor can be found on the OTDA LIHWAP Vendor information page.

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NOTICE TO CURRENT SNAP RECIPIENTSBeginning October 1, 2021, some items used to figure the amount of SNAP benefits a household gets have changed

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer - The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) has begun the process of issuing Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) food benefits for the 2020-2021 school year to students who have been certified as eligible to receive free school lunches under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and who had a reduction in in-person learning during the 2020-2021 school year due to COVID-19. 

P-EBT benefits are issued directly by OTDA. Local Districts have no role in the administration or issuance of P-EBT benefits. Click here for any questions related to P-EBT benefits

Frequently Asked Questions for the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) Food Benefits 

The Chafee Funds Program (CFP) of New York State offers limited financial awards to assist eligible current and former foster care youth with expenses incurred as a result of COVID-19.  To be eligible for these funds you must be at least 18 years old, but not reached your 27th birthday and have been in foster care in New York State on or after the age of 14; or be a foster care youth, aged 20 or 21.    

Awards will be distributed on a first come first serve basis until September 30, 2022 or until exhausted.  Apply for Chafee Funds Program awards online here

ATTENTION NEW YORK STATE ESSENTIAL WORKERS:  

The Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) is administering $25 million in funds for the Essential Worker Scholarship (EWS) to provide child care support for children of essential workers. If you make less than 300% of the federal poverty level ($79,500 for a family of 4) and are considered an essential worker you may be eligible. More information on the Essential Worker Scholarship can be found here.

Emergency Rental Assistance - Applications are being accepted for the New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) through the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA). ERAP can provide rental arrears, temporary rental assistance and utility arrears assistance to low and moderate-income households at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The application portal is now open. Click here and select Apply for ERAP on the linked page.  

Landlords/Property Owners will need to submit information in order for the tenants application to be processed. Instructions for landlords can be found here, select Apply for ERAP and look under Quick Links.

More information is available - please click on the links below to access:

  1. Informational Flyer
  2. Navigating the Emergency Rental Assistance Home Page
  3. Using the Tenant Application & Uploading Documents for ERAP
  4. Understanding the Landlord Portal for ERAP

Any household needing assistance with the application process can call the Department of Social Services at (585) 243-7300. More information will be shared on the Livingston County website as it becomes available.  

                                                                                                                                               

CHANGES TO SOCIAL SERVICES IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19 CONCERNS:  
The Livingston County Department of Social Services (DSS) remains operational.  In order to minimize face to face requirements, please call the office in advance at (585) 243-7300.  Many questions can be answered or needs met over the phone or online.  Some benefits have income eligibility requirements and you will receive guidance on applying.

The Department of Social Services assists all Livingston County residents with a myriad of family supports, both financial as well as social. Some of our assistance solutions have income eligibility requirements.   You can apply for many benefits on-line. 

 SNAP
(previously called Food Stamps) is an income based program and is intended to supplement the food budget of eligible households. Applications for SNAP can be made online at www.mybenefits.ny.gov or at our office on the computers located in our lobby.   

Public Assistance (PA) is an income based program that covers families and single adults with ongoing and/or emergency assistance.  Applications for PA can be made online at www.mybenefits.ny.gov or at our office on the computers located in our lobby.    
 
Medicaid is the umbrella that supplies the financial source for many variations in medical assistance. Community Medicaid is provided mainly through Managed Care plans. Applications for Medicaid can be made online at nystateofhealth.ny.gov or at our office on the computers located in our lobby
 
Day Care provides for reimbursement of Day Care expenses to Day Care Centers, Registered Providers, and approved Legally-Exempt Day Care Providers on behalf of those determined eligible for this subsidy.  Applications for Day Care can be made online at www.mybenefits.ny.gov or at our office on the computers located in our lobby.   
 
HEAP can help you with heating and utility costs, and certain essential heating equipment repairs.  Traditional HEAP opens on October 1, 2021 and runs until March 15, 2022. Emergency HEAP opens on January 3, 2022. 

In addition a Regular Arrears Supplement (RAS) benefit is also available for qualifying households. RAS is a one-time benefit funded with the HEAP appropriation received under the American Rescue Plan Act of 202. This benefit will be available from September 22, 2021 through September 30, 2022 or until funding is exhausted, whichever occurs first.

RAS benefits are a Regular HEAP supplement available to assist HEAP eligible households who have electricity and/or gas account arrears as documented by their utility vendor. Only one RAS benefit per current electricity and/or gas account is permitted, and total RAS benefits must not exceed $10,000 per applicant household. This benefit is not available for any deliverable heating sources (propane, wood, etc.).

The applicant must be the customer of record for the electricity and/or gas account(s), or must document that they pay the utility vendor(s) directly for the bill(s). The RAS benefit will be in addition to a regular HEAP benefit.

Applications for HEAP can be made online at www.mybenefits.ny.gov or at our office on the computers located in our lobby. 
 
Documents can be submitted using NYDocSubmit (more information below), dropped off in our outdoor Drop Box (located to the left of our front door), faxed to (585) 243-7344 or mailed.
 

DSS participates in NYDocSubmit, a Mobile Document Upload Application that allows you to take pictures of required documents for Temporary Assistance (TA), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) and Medicaid (MA) and submit them directly to our office.


Documents that may not be submitted using NYDocSubmit are:
  • Applications
  • Documents that contain HIV information.
  • Domestic Violence information.
  • Address that must remain confidential to safeguard any member of an applicant's or recipient's household.