- Social Services
New Child Support Debit Card Coming by March 31, 2023
Child support debit cards from Bank of America will be replaced soon! New debit cards will be mailed in a few weeks. Please make sure your address is correct to receive your new debit card. To make changes, call the New York Child Support Helpline at 1-888-208-4485. Continue to use your Bank of America debit card until the balance is $0. The balance cannot be transferred to the new card.
Click here to read more about the Child Support Debit Card change.
SNAP Emergency Allotments are Ending - The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Emergency Allotment benefits that have been provided throughout the pandemic are ending in February, due to federal rules. These temporary benefits have provided an extra payment each month to ensure all SNAP households received at least the maximum monthly benefit.
Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 in December 2022 that ended the supplemental EA benefits. February 2023 is the last month that supplemental EA benefits will be issued, and your SNAP benefits will return to the normal amount in March 2023. The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) and your local social services district do not have control over this change. These benefits were issued directly from NYS OTDA. OTDA will also be alerting all SNAP recipients via 3 text messages of the change.
In light of possible types of scamming, be aware that OTDA will never ask for a SNAP card number or PIN. Clients should never give their card number or PIN to anyone who attempts to solicit it.
For more information, visit https://otda.ny.gov/SNAP-COVID-19/Frequently-Asked-Questions.asp or https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/changes-2023-benefit-amounts.
For information on pop up food pantries, visit https://foodlinkny.org/program/pop-up-pantries/.
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.
Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) -
On October 1, 2022, households that received LIHWAP benefits may be eligible for additional benefits and are encouraged to re-apply if they continue to struggle with water and/or sewer arrears. Also effective October 1, 2022 new income guidelines go into effect for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. This represents an increase from 2021. On average, the income guidelines increased by 5 percent. Guidelines are set at 60% of State Median Income (SMI) or 150% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), whichever is greater. Updated income guidelines and instructions for applications can be viewed on the program’s website at https://otda.ny.gov/programs/water-assistance/.
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.
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.
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 contain HIV information.
- Domestic Violence information.
- Address that must remain confidential to safeguard any member of an applicant's or recipient's household.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.