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Community Updates

DSS Contact Information

Please refer to the contact information for general assistance:

  • All case-specific inquiries: DSS OneNumber at 718-557-1399
    • Hours: Monday - Friday: 8 AM - 5 PM
  • Medicaid inquiries: Medicaid Helpline at 888-692-6116
  • General HRA/DHS questions and questions that are related to these updates and/or to enroll in the ACCESS HRA Provider Portal: DSSoutreach@dss.nyc.gov.
  • State Pandemic EBT program questions: call 833-452-0096 or use the P-EBT contact form
  • Child Support inquiries: NY State Child Support Helpline at 888-208-4485

Stay Connected with DSS

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What's New

New Health Insurance Option for Undocumented Immigrants Aged 65 and Over

As of January 1, 2024, there is a new option for health insurance available for undocumented

immigrants who are age 65 and older. The new insurance is through Medicaid Managed Care plans, with a carved-out Fee-for-Service pharmacy benefit and offers a more comprehensive benefit package for this population. Previously, undocumented immigrants aged 65 and older qualified for Emergency Medicaid. The new insurance adds preventive and primary care benefits, including routine doctor visits, recommended screenings, lab tests, wellness services, prescription drugs and supplies, and more. 

Click here to learn more.

January 2024 Social Security (RSDI/SSI) COLA Increases

The January 1, 2024, federal cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Title II Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance (RSDI) Social Security benefits and Title XVI Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits has been set at 3.2%. Recipients of RSDI and SSI will now have this increased benefit budgeted against their Cash Assistance and/or SNAP benefits.

One-Time Six-Month Earned Income Disregard (EID)

The State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2023-24 New York State Budget established a new disregard on all earned income that a CA participant gets from participation in a qualified work activity or training program, provided the individual’s overall income does not exceed 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) for their household size. This disregard does not apply to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. 

The SFY 2023-24 State Budget will also disregard all earned income of a CA participant following a new job for a maximum of six consecutive months, once per lifetime, provided that the individual’s overall income does not exceed 200% of the FPL for their household size. Following the six-month period, regular budgeting of income for purposes of CA eligibility would apply. This disregard does not apply to SNAP benefits.

HRA Concourse Benefit Access Center and SNAP Center Announcements

Effective Friday, February 16, 2024, at 5:00 PM, HRA will end operations at the Concourse SNAP Center located at 1365 Jerome Avenue, Bronx, NY 10452.

The Benefit Access Center (BAC) also located at 1365 Jerome Avenue, Bronx, NY 10452 will be relocated to 845 Barretto Street, Bronx, NY 10474. Operations will begin at the new location on Tuesday, February 20, 2024, at 8:30 AM. Regular operating hours will be from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

We encourage clients to avoid unnecessary trips to our offices by using our remote or online services through ACCESS HRA to complete and submit Cash Assistance (CA), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Emergency Assistance (EA), Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), Fair Fares NYC, and Medicaid (MA) applications and recertifications, submit supporting documentation, manage their case, and receive case information. 

Those unable to utilize online services may submit completed SNAP and CA applications, as well as supporting documentation, using self-service drop boxes at all BACs and SNAP Centers, or self-service PC banks and scanners, which are available at all HRA BACs and SNAP Centers. HRA staff are on site to help clients use self-service scanners and computers to submit forms, and to answer questions and accept paper forms.

HRA plans to send notifications of the Concourse SNAP Center closure and Benefit Access Center relocation to clients via USPS mail prior to the move date. This notification will include general information such as contact information for the new BAC location, and other SNAP locations where clients can still receive in person assistance as well as program access telephone numbers. A flyer will also be posted in the waiting area, and a sign will be posted outside the building alerting clients that the SNAP Center Concourse has closed and indicating alternate locations where clients can receive walk-in services, and for the Benefit Access Center, alerting clients that the Benefits Access Center will move to 845 Barretto Street.

If you have any questions about the relocation, please contact us at DSSoutreach@dss.nyc.gov.

New Child Support Application

The NYC Office of Child Support Service (OCSS) has implemented a new child support application: Child Support Enrollment Form (LDSS-5258). This form replaces the three prior forms - LDSS-5145 (Cash Assistance Referral Form), LDSS-5143 (Non-cash Assistance Application Form), and LDSS-4882 (Medicaid Referral Form). Please use the new form when enrolling for child support services.

Child Support Pay It Off Program 2024

OCSS is excited to announce that Pay It Off will be offered from March 1-15 this year. This time-limited program could help noncustodial parents lower the amount of permanently assigned child support debt they owe to the New York City Department of Social Services (NYC DSS) twice as fast. If they sign up for the Arrears Credit Program (ACP) while participating in Pay It Off, they can receive a sign-up bonus of up to $2,500. Furthermore, if noncustodial parents pay the principle of a money judgement, all interest associated with the money judgment will be erased! More than 4,000 noncustodial parents have participated in a past Pay It Off (PIO) program. The average debt reduction was $4,822 per case. Learn more at https://nyc.gov/hra/ocss.

IDNYC Service Update

As of January 29, 2024, DSS/HRA moved to an appointment-only model across all 10 of IDNYC's enrollment sites. 

Appointments for in-person enrollment are released each week on Friday afternoons for the following Monday through Friday and can be booked by visiting the IDNYC Online Portal. If clients are not able to book an appointment, we ask they check back as availability changes daily.

Click HERE for IDNYC Enrollment Center locations.

About IDNYC

IDNYC is a free, municipal photo identification card for New York City residents ages 10 and up to use in the five boroughs which provides access to a wide variety of services and programs offered by the City. For cardholders 16 and older, cards are valid for five years from the date the application was approved. For cardholders under the age of 16, cards are valid for two years from the date the application was approved. IDNYC cardholders enjoy benefits and discounts offered by businesses and cultural institutions across the five boroughs. IDNYC can be used as your public library card, to access your own and your child's immunization records, and to open a bank account at select financial institutions. 

Please note the following:

  • IDNYC does not provide work authorization
  • IDNYC does not impact immigration status

Document Guidance

An applicant must present four (4) total points of documents:

  • Three (3) points of documents proving identity and
  • One (1) point of documents proving NYC residency (A “Care Of” letter will suffice for 1 point of NYC residency housed in NYC agencies).
    • IDNYCcards with a Care Of address MAY NOT be used as proof of address.

If the IDNYC application is approved a card will be mailed within 10-14 business days to the address provided on the Care Of/Residency Verification Letter.

Clients cannot use IDNYC to: 1) drive; 2) purchase alcohol or tobacco, or 3) travel by plane or across land or sea borders

Asylum Seekers may provide other documents to prove identity:

  • Notice to Appear form I-862
  • Alien Booking Record form I-385
  • Order to Release on Recognizance form I-220A
  • Order of Supervision form I-220B
  • Copy of Foreign Passport*
  • Copy of Foreign Birth Certificate*

*These must be accompanied by an ICE form before they can be accepted.

Please refer to IDNYC Document Calculator - How to Apply - IDNYC for additional information.

2023-24 Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)

The 2023-2024 Regular HEAP benefit component opened on November 1, 2023. Applications will be accepted through close of business on Friday, March 15, 2024, or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first. Applications for the Regular HEAP benefit component be submitted using any of the following methods:

  • Online: ACCESS HRA
  • Fax:(212) 387-1639
  • Mail: Home Energy Assistance Program/HEAP, P.O Box 1401, Church Street Station, New York, NY 10008
  • In Person: Apply or drop off a completed application at a HEAP office.

Paper applications can be downloaded and printed from the OTDA website or requested by calling the DSS OneNumber at (718) 557-1399.

If eligible, households will receive one regular HEAP benefit per program year to help pay for heating their homes.

Regular benefits for households that pay for heat based on actual usage are paid directly to the vendor that supplies the household's primary source of heat.

SNAP/CA recipients who do not pay for heat will receive a HEAP AUTOPAY benefit of $21 or $50 and will not need to apply. The payment will be sent by check routed to the vendor, or placed on their EBT Card. 

SNAP/CA recipients who pay for heat and received a heating benefit last season will receive a HEAP AUTOPAY benefit between $400 and $976 and will not need to apply. The payment will be routed to the heating vendor.

Visit the OTDA Website for more information on eligibility requirements, 2023-24 benefit amounts and add-ons for households paying directly for heat. 

2023-24 Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)

The 2023-2024 Emergency HEAP benefit component opened on January 2, 2024. Applications will be accepted through close of business on Friday, March 15, 2024, or until funding allocated to this component is exhausted, whichever comes first.

Emergency benefits are available to assist eligible households with a heating emergency or a heat-related domestic emergency. Only one Emergency benefit of each type is available per HEAP household for the 2023-2024 program year. Regular component benefits, if available, must be utilized first to resolve heating emergencies for eligible households. Temporary relocation for housing emergencies and propane tank deposits to obtain new propane vendors are also available under the Emergency benefit component. 

To apply for an Emergency HEAP benefit, applicants can call 718-557-1399 or visit a HEAP office.

Note: Emergency HEAP benefit applicants will not be able to apply on ACCESS HRA.

For more information, including detailed eligibility requirements, click here.

Using the DSS OneNumber Self-Service Feature

The DSS OneNumber (formerly Infoline) offers a quick way for clients to get accurate information about their case without waiting to speak with a DSS OneNumber agent. 

Clients can use the DSS OneNumber self-service feature to hear automated case information and request certain forms for some of the Agency’s largest benefit programs, including SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), Cash Assistance, Medicaid, HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program), and HASA (HIV/AIDS Services Administration).

It is important to note that clients can also use ACCESS HRA to apply for some HRA benefits, submit documents for their application, manage their case, and much more! Read the ACCESS HRA Users Guide for more information.

How to Access the Self-Service Feature

To access the self-service feature, follow the steps below:

  • Choose your spoken language.
  • Press 1 when prompted with “If you have applied for benefits or already have a case, you can get information without waiting for an agent.”
  • Enter the requested information to locate your HRA case.
    • Choose one of three identifiers (listed below):
  • Social Security Number,
  • Case number, or
  • ACCESS HRA confirmation number.
    • Enter the identifier number when prompted.
    • Enter the date of birth for the case member whose information you provided.

Types of Self-Service Information and Requests Available for Clients

The list below provides the automated case information and form requests that are available to clients who use the self-service feature.

  • SNAP & Cash Assistance
    • Application status
    • Appointment information
    • Benefit amount
    • Budget letter requests
    • Payment information
    • Recertification information
    • Requests forms
  • Medicaid
    • Case status
    • Coverage type & status
    • Deferral status
    • Deferral extension requests
    • Individual status
    • Renewal status
    • Request forms
    • Surplus information
  • Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
    • Application status
    • Benefit period
    • Benefit status
    • Benefit type
    • Payment amount, status, and type 
  • HIV/Aids Services Administration (HASA)
    • Assigned Center
    • Case-by-case financial assessment (CBCFA)
      • application date
      • benefit amount
      • benefit type
      • status
    • Case Worker’s email address

Self-Service Feature for Medicaid Providers

Medicaid providers can use the self-service feature to get case status and case information for their Medicaid clients.

To access the self-service feature, follow the steps below:

  • Choose your spoken language.
  • Press 1 when prompted with “If you have applied for benefits or already have a case, you can get information without waiting for an agent.”
  • Enter the requested information to locate your client’s Medicaid case.
    • Choose one of three identifiers (listed below):
  • Social Security Number,
  • Case number, or
  • ACCESS HRA confirmation number.
    • Enter the identifier number when prompted.
    • Enter the date of birth for the case member whose information you provided.

Fair Fares NYC Income Eligibility Increase

We are proud to share that the Fair Fares NYC income eligibility has increased. More New York City households may now be eligible for discounted fares! 

The NYC Department of Social Services- Human Resources Administration (DSS-HRA) has significantly expanded access to the Fair Fares transit discount by implementing a rule change that increases the program’s income eligibility standard to 120% of the federal poverty level – the first such increase in the program’s history. Previously, the Fair Fares discount was available only to New Yorkers ages 18 - 64 whose income was at or below the federal poverty level. As a result of this modification to eligibility standards, more New Yorkers will be able to enroll in the program and utilize this critical discount to commute to work, visit friends and family, access medical care, and enjoy all our great city has to offer without facing an undue economic burden as a result of transit expenses.

2023 Fair Fares NYC Income Guidelines

Household/Family Size

120%

1

$17,496

2

$23,664

3

$29,832

4

$36,000

5

$42,168

6

$48,336

7

$54,504

8

$60,672

9

$66,840

10

$73,008

11

$79,176

12

$85,344

13

$91,512

14

$97,680

For households with more than 8 persons, add $6,168 for each additional person.

The Fair Fares NYC Program helps New York City residents with low incomes manage their transportation costs by providing them with a 50% discount on public transportation. Eligible New York City residents receive a 50% discount on subway and eligible bus fares. Pay-per-Ride, weekly unlimited, and monthly unlimited options are all available. Fair Fares can also provide 50% off MTA Access-A-Ride paratransit trips.

Fair Fares NYC applications are open to eligible New Yorkers, ages 18-64, whose household income meets program income eligibility requirements. Subway and eligible bus discounts are open to New Yorkers who do not have, and are not eligible for, discounted transportation from the MTA or the City. If individuals meet the Fair Fares NYC eligibility criteria, they may be eligible for the Fair Fares NYC discount on Access-A-Ride fares even if they are already enrolled in the MTA reduced-fare Program for persons with disability or have an Access-A-Ride MetroCard.

Fair Fares enrollment is simple and can be completed online: Apply for Fair Fares on ACCESS HRA! View the “How to Enroll” videos in English and Spanish.

Many Cash Assistance and SNAP recipients can ride for half price. Each non-elderly adult should log into Access HRA or create an account if they are not the head of their case and click “Enroll Now”.

If you need assistance applying or have questions, please visit the Fair Fares website to find a location near you. Fair Fares enrollment assistance is also available at the NYC Asylum Seeker Resource Navigation Center.

Fair Fares Outreach Materials

Encourage everyone to ride for half price with Fair Fares by sharing our Social Media Fair Fares toolkit and short video. Share and amplify!

The City has also created Fair Fares outreach materials - including palm cards, brochures, and posters that community organizations and others can order. Please use the Design and Print Ordering System (DPOS) website after registering on the login page.

The Fair Fares NYC FAQs and Suggested Document List can be found here.

Trainings

The DSS Office of Community Outreach (OCO) offers trainings and presentations to community-based organizations, elected officials and their staff, and other municipal agencies. These trainings are conducted multiple times per month and allow for flexible scheduling. The OCO currently offers the following trainings: 

  • ACCESS HRA General Overview Webinar
  • ACCESS HRA Provider Portal Webinar
  • ACCESS HRA Benefit Application Webinar
  • CityFHEPS Program Overview and Renewal Application Webinar
  • DSS Overview Webinar
  • EBT Skimming and Replacement Benefits Webinar
  • Fair Fares Program Overview and Application Webinar
  • Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Webinar
  • Medicaid and Medicare Savings Program Overview and Application Webinar

Click here to view training descriptions and register for an upcoming session.

Organizations interested in requesting any of the trainings listed above specifically for their staff (10 or more) should complete and submit the DSS Training Request Form. The DSS Outreach unit will follow-up with organizations to confirm their training requests on a first come, first serve basis. Contact DSSOutreach@dss.nyc.gov with any questions or issues submitting the form.

Community Partner Event Requests

The DSS OCO welcomes requests to participate in events hosted by community partner organizations. Please complete and submit the Community Partner Event Attendance Request Form to request DSS presence at your event and the Outreach Events unit will follow-up on a first come, first serve basis to arrange for DSS representation. 

Contact OutreachEvents@dss.nyc.gov if you have any questions or encounter issues submitting the form.

Employment Opportunities with the City of NY

Join the NYC Department of Social Services! Find out how rewarding it is to serve fellow New Yorkers with care and compassion. 

Apply for the Medicaid Helpline Agent position at Constituent Services.

  • Search Job I.D. 599852 at gov/jobs or click here to learn more and apply.

Apply for the DSS OneNumber (formerly Infoline) Agent position at Constituent Services.

  • Search Job I.D. 579787 at gov/jobs or click here to learn more and apply.

 Apply for the Policy Advisor position at IDNYC

  • Search Job I.D. 533743 at gov/jobs or click here to learn more and apply.

To view jobs available with the City at any time, start at this page, or search for jobs here (to search by agency or area of interest) or here (to search by Job ID# or Agency). Please find a helpful flyer with more information about applying for HRA open positions which can be shared widely here.

Click a topic, or press the enter key on a topic, to reveal its answer.

Previous Communications

Prior Community Updates Weekly Bulletins

Prior Community Update Weekly Bulletins

  • 2023
  • 2022
  • 2021
  • 2020
  • Community-wide Conference Calls

    Service Information

    January 2024 Social Security (RSDI/SSI) COLA Increases

    The January 1, 2024, federal cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Title II Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance (RSDI) Social Security benefits and Title XVI Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits has been set at 3.2%. Recipients of RSDI and SSI will have this increased benefit budgeted against their Cash Assistance and/or SNAP benefits effective in January. Clients will receive a notice of the change to their budget later this month identifying what impact, if any, it will have on their benefits beginning in January.

    Using the DSS OneNumber Self-Service Feature

    The DSS OneNumber (formerly Infoline) offers a quick way for clients to get accurate information about their case without waiting to speak with a DSS OneNumber agent.

    Clients can use the DSS OneNumber self-service feature to hear automated case information and request certain forms for some of the Agency's largest benefit programs, including SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), Cash Assistance, Medicaid, HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program), and HASA (HIV/AIDS Services Administration).

    It is important to note that clients can also use ACCESS HRA to apply for some HRA benefits, submit documents for their application, manage their case, and much more! Read the ACCESS HRA Users Guide for more information.

    How to Access the Self-Service Feature

    To access the self-service feature, follow the steps below:

    • Choose your spoken language.
    • Press 1 when prompted with "If you have applied for benefits or already have a case, you can get information without waiting for an agent."
    • Enter the requested information to locate your HRA case.
      • Choose one of three identifiers (listed below):
        • Social Security Number,
        • Case number, or
        • ACCESS HRA confirmation number.
      • Enter the identifier number when prompted.
      • Enter the date of birth for the case member whose information you provided.

    Types of Self-Service Information and Requests Available for Clients

    The list below provides the automated case information and form requests that are available to clients who use the self-service feature.

    • SNAP & Cash Assistance
      • Application status
      • Appointment information
      • Benefit amount
      • Budget letter requests
      • Payment information
      • Recertification information
      • Requests forms
    • Medicaid
      • Case status
      • Coverage type & status
      • Deferral status
      • Deferral extension requests
      • Individual status
      • Renewal status
      • Request forms
      • Surplus information
    • Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
      • Application status
      • Benefit period
      • Benefit status
      • Benefit type
      • Payment amount, status, and type
    • HIV/Aids Services Administration (HASA)
      • Assigned Center
      • Case-by-case financial assessment (CBCFA)
        • application date
        • benefit amount
        • benefit type
        • status
      • Case Worker's email address

    Self-Service Feature for Medicaid Providers

    Medicaid providers can use the self-service feature to get case status and case information for their Medicaid clients.

    To access the self-service feature, follow the steps below:

    • Choose your spoken language.
    • Press 1 when prompted with "If you have applied for benefits or already have a case, you can get information without waiting for an agent."
    • Enter the requested information to locate your client's Medicaid case.
      • Choose one of three identifiers (listed below):
        • Social Security Number,
        • Case number, or
        • ACCESS HRA confirmation number.
      • Enter the identifier number when prompted.
      • Enter the date of birth for the case member whose information you provided.

    Requesting Replacement Benefits for SNAP & Cash Victims of EBT Skimming

    As of Monday, August 21, 2023, NYC households can now submit claims to the NYC Department of Social Services/Human Resources Administration at nyc.gov/hra to request the replacement of SNAP and/or Cash Assistance benefits stolen electronically.

    As a result of the Federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) now permits states to use SNAP funds to issue replacement benefits to households who had a scam-related electronic benefit theft of SNAP benefits on or after October 1, 2022, through September 30, 2024.

    Similarly, the NYS Legislature enacted a law that permits the issuance of replacement benefits for households who had a scam-related electronic benefit theft of Cash Assistance benefits on or after January 1, 2022.

    Clients are not required to have an active SNAP or Cash Assistance case to submit a claim for replacement benefits. Clients with a closed or rejected case should submit a claim for replacement benefits under their old case number rather than submitting a new SNAP or Cash Assistance application.

    What should clients do if their SNAP or Cash Assistance benefits are stolen?

    If a client's SNAP or Cash benefits are stolen, they must complete the following steps in order to request replacement benefits:

    • Report their EBT card as lost or stolen immediately after realizing the theft: Prior to submitting a claim for replacement benefits, clients are required to take the following steps to ensure their benefits are protected: report their EBT card lost or stolen, request a new card and change their account PIN by visiting ConnectEBT or calling EBT Customer Service at 888-328-6399. Note: Clients are not required to report the benefit theft to the NYPD in order to submit a claim for replacement benefits with DSS/HRA. If clients have already reported their EBT card as lost or stolen after the theft, they do not need to report it lost or stolen again to submit a claim.
    • Obtain EBT Transaction history: Part of the process of requesting replacement SNAP and/or Cash Assistance benefits requires clients to review and make note of their EBT transaction history so that they can report the following information for each fraudulent transaction: the date the transaction occurred, the name and address of the business where the transaction occurred, the benefit type (whether Cash Assistance or SNAP), and the amount of each fraudulent transaction. The transaction history will include mostly transactions that clients remember making and purchases that they're familiar with, from stores that they frequent. However, there is also the possibility that they may see transactions that look strange—from stores they've never shopped at, maybe even in states that they've never visited. These kinds of transactions may indicate potentially fraudulent activity. Clients should consider fraudulent transactions to be ones that they did not make or consent to. DSS/HRA recommends that clients use any of the following methods to obtain their EBT transaction history:
      • Option 1: Accessing EBT transaction history at ConnectEBT or by downloading the ConnectEBT mobile app (available for download in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store). Please refer to the OTDA LDSS-5066 Cardholder Online EBT Account User Guide for instructions on creating a Connect EBT account, reporting a CBIC card lost or stolen, requesting a new card, changing the account PIN, and reviewing transaction history. The User Guide is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, Haitian Creole, Italian, Korean, Russian, and Spanish. Please note: If clients have never used Connect EBT, they will need to create an account using an email address and valid EBT Card Number. If they have reported their card stolen, they will need to wait for their new card to arrive to create a ConnectEBT account.
      • Option 2: Call the toll-free EBT Customer Service line at 1-888-328-6399. Through the Customer Service line, clients can access an automated menu that allows them to hear their ten most recent transactions. Clients can also use the automated menu to request a two-month statement of their account history. Clients can also review transactions with and request a two-month statement from a live Customer Service representative. Agents are available 24/7 and offer assistance in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, Haitian Creole, Italian, Korean, Russian, and Spanish.
    • Submit a Claim for Replacement Benefits: After reviewing their transaction history and identifying the fraudulent transactions, the client can then submit their claim to DSS/HRA. To file the claim, they will need the following:
      • Client Identification Number (CIN) of the head of household or case payee
      • Case Number
      • Current Mailing Address
      • Date, location, benefit type, and amount of each fraudulent transaction.

    How can clients submit claims for replacement SNAP and/or Cash benefits?

    Clients can submit a claim for replacement SNAP and/or CA benefits using any of the following methods:

    • Online at nyc.gov/hra: Submitting a claim online is the fastest and easiest way to file! Filing a claim online may take as little as 10 minutes if the fraud has already been reported and the client has reviewed & identified the suspected fraudulent transactions. Submitting an online claim is strongly recommended by DSS/HRA.
    • By mail: Clients can print a paper claim form from nyc.gov/hra, or they can obtain a paper claim form by calling DSS OneNumber (718-557-1399) and requesting a form be mailed to them. Paper claim forms are also available in the local BAC or SNAP Center. Completed paper applications can be mailed to:
      Department of Social Services
      PO BOX 02-9121
      Brooklyn GPO
      Brooklyn, NY 11202
    • In-Person: Clients can submit a claim via paper form or on PC Banks in any Benefits Access, SNAP, or HASA Center. Find a Center near you.

    When should a client expect to receive a decision on their claim?

    Once a claim is submitted, the client should allow up to 30 calendar days to receive a decision notice in the mail. Clients should anticipate receiving their replacement benefits on their newest and most recently used EBT card at or around the time they receive their notice of determination.

    Need Help Submitting A Claim?

    If clients need assistance submitting their claims or have questions about the overall process, community-based organizations across the city can help. For more information on the assistance available or to schedule an appointment, clients should contact their preferred local organization at the phone numbers provided in the following links:

    DSS OneNumber Initiative

    On January 30, 2023, DSS launched OneNumber, an agencywide initiative which consolidates most of DSS-HRA's Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system telephone numbers into one telephone number. The DSS OneNumber initiative will modernize and expand the Agency's call center capabilities, as well as provide clients with the ability to remotely request assistance and receive information about their benefits and services. The DSS OneNumber is a new Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system that will consolidate most of the Agency's separate IVR systems into one public-facing customer service number. It will also provide clients with self-service and agent-assisted supports for some of the Agency's largest benefit programs, including SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), Cash Assistance, Medicaid, HASA (HIV/AIDS Services Administration), and HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program). Stand-alone numbers, including the SNAP On-Demand interview number and the Homebound Customer Service Unit number, will, however, remain in place.

    Streamlining phone numbers and IVR systems under the DSS OneNumber will make it easier for DSS-HRA clients to get the information they need by accessing one number with a comprehensive menu. Notable features of the DSS OneNumber include:

    • Direct Dialog: Allows callers to use their voice to navigate through the menu in certain languages. Touchtone navigation will also be available.
    • Multi-language support: DSS-HRA will be in full compliance with Local Law 30 by offering menu options and responses to self-service inquiries in all required languages. In the first phase, the DSS OneNumber will be in English and Spanish, rolling out in additional languages by phase two. At any point, the caller can speak to a DSS-HRA agent to request interpretative services through Language Line.
    • Call Back Assist: Instead of waiting on hold during periods of high call volume, callers can opt to receive a call back from the Agency when their position in the queue is reached.

    Calls placed to an existing agency phone number that is part of the OneNumber consolidation will be automatically forwarded to the DSS OneNumber. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and use a videophone and/or communicate using American Sign Language (ASL) can still reach DSS-HRA by calling 347-474–4231.
    Download a list of the programs and their corresponding phone numbers that are being consolidated under OneNumber
    Download a list of numbers that are not being consolidated under OneNumber.

    Waivers

    Waiver Extensions – SNAP and Cash Assistance Telephonic Signatures

    The temporary adjustment to the requirements for recording telephonic signatures for SNAP applications filed over the telephone or submitted without a signature has been extended. The waiver will now expire June 30, 2024. While this SNAP adjustment is in effect, CA, or Medicaid case applications may also be accepted over the telephone.

    To apply by telephone, applicants should reach out to DSS OneNumber (formerly Infoline) to be referred for assistance.

    The telephonic signature waiver was previously set to expire on June 30, 2023, following the May 11, 2023, lifting of the federal PHE.

    SNAP – Fiscal Year 2023 Cost-of-Living Adjustments

    The USDA announced the COLA adjustments that will go into effect on October 1, 2022. Amongst a number of other elements for determining SNAP eligibility, this includes a 12.4% increase in the maximum SNAP benefit allotments. The table below shows the numbers that went into effect on 10/1/21 and those that will be in effect as of 10/1/22. Learn more and access documents that identify the other COLA-adjusted amounts.

    Household Size 2021 Max Allotments - 48 States and DC 2022 Max Allotments - 48 States and DC
    1 $250 $281
    2 $459 $516
    3 $658 $740
    4 $835 $939
    5 $992 $1,116
    6 $1,190 $1,339
    7 $1,316 $1,480
    8 $1,504 $1,691
    Each additional person $188 $211

    Reporting Rules: Most SNAP households with income only have to report changes every six months. Every six months, the household either will be asked to recertify or will be mailed a form for them to use to report changes. The one exception to this rule is if the household's gross monthly income becomes more than 130% of the federal poverty level. Gross income includes all income any member of the household receives during the calendar month before taxes and other deductions are taken out.
    Get more information about updated federal poverty levels and changes to SNAP

    Designation of Temporary Protected Status

    Cameroon

    Reminder: On June 7, 2022, Cameroon's designation as a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) country became effective and will last for 18 months. Cameroon was designated to the list of TPS countries for the first time on April 14, 2022 "due to the extreme violence perpetrated by government forces and armed separatists, and a rise in attacks led by Boko Haram." To qualify for TPS under this designation, individuals must have continuously resided in the U.S. since April 14, 2022 and have had continuous physical presence in the U.S. since June 7, 2022. Those traveling to the US after April 14, 2022 will not be eligible.

    Ethiopia

    The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary has recently designated Ethiopia for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). As a reminder, TPS can be extended to a country experiencing ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or extraordinary and temporary conditions. Ethiopia's designation, effective December 12, 2022, was made due to ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions that prevent nationals and habitual residents from returning safely.

    TPS is not automatically granted, individuals must apply for it through USCIS and provide the required proof that they meet the criteria to receive TPS. Therefore, individuals from Ethiopia will not automatically be granted TPS.

    The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) recognizes non-citizens with TPS as Permanently Residing Under Color of Law (PRUCOL) for the purposes of Safety Net Assistance (SNA) eligibility. Non-citizens with TPS can receive SNA, if otherwise eligible. Non-citizens granted TPS are ineligible for Cash Assistance (CA), the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), unless they are also in some other qualifying non-citizen status.

    President Biden recently signed the Consolidated Continuing Appropriations Act, 2023 into law. This law extends the period of parole under which certain individuals from Afghanistan may be eligible for certain benefits to September 30, 2023 (see: Division M, Title V, Sec. 1501 of H.R. 2617: Consolidated Continuing Appropriations Act, 2023).

    Haiti

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the extension and redesignation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, from February 4, 2023, through August 3, 2024. DHS previously announced the decision to extend and redesignate TPS for Haiti on December 5, 2022.

    This extension and redesignation of Haiti for TPS allows nationals of Haiti (and individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Haiti) who have continuously resided in the United States since November 6, 2022, and who have been continuously physically present in the United States since February 4, 2023, to apply for TPS. Those who have been continuously residing in the United States since November 6, 2022, and have a pending TPS application with USCIS do not have to refile at this time.

    Somalia

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the extension and redesignation of Somalia for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

    The TPS extension and redesignation for Somalia went into effect on March 18, 2023, due to ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Somalia that prevent Somali nationals, and those of no nationality who last habitually resided in Somalia, from returning to Somalia safely.

    TPS is not automatically granted, individuals must apply for it through USCIS and provide the required proof that they meet the criteria to receive TPS. Therefore, individuals from Somalia will not automatically be granted TPS. USCIS is responsible for making the TPS eligibility determination. For information from USCIS regarding TPS, click here or call the USCIS TPS Hotline at 202- 272-1533.

    Program Implications

    Temporary Assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Home Energy Assistance Program, Refugee Cash Assistance

    HRA Centers and Virtual Resources

    Benefit Access Center Name Changes and Relocations

    Concourse Centers

    Effective, Friday, February 16, the HRA Concourse SNAP Center will be closing and the HRA Concourse Benefit Access Center (BAC) will be relocating--both currently located at 1365 Jerome Avenue, Bronx, NY 10452. HRA will end operations at that location on Friday, February 16, 2024, as of 5:00 PM and reopen Benefit Access Center (BAC) operations on Tuesday, February 20, 2024, at 8:30 AM at the new location, 845 Barretto Street, Bronx, NY 10474. Regular operating hours will be from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

    We encourage clients to avoid unnecessary trips to our offices by using our remote or online services through ACCESS HRA to complete and submit Cash Assistance (CA), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Emergency Assistance (EA), Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), Fair Fares NYC, and Medicaid (MA) applications and recertifications, submit supporting documentation, manage their case, and receive case information. Those unable to utilize online services may submit completed SNAP and CA applications, as well as supporting documentation, using self-service drop boxes at all BACs and SNAP Centers, or self-service PC banks and scanners, which are available at all HRA BACs and SNAP Centers. HRA staff are on site to help clients use self-service scanners and computers to submit forms, and to answer questions and accept paper forms.

    HRA plans to send notifications of the Concourse SNAP Center closure and Benefit Access Center relocation to clients via USPS mail prior to the move date. This notification will include general information such as contact information for the new BAC location, and other SNAP locations where clients can still receive in person assistance as well as program access telephone numbers. A flyer will also be posted in the waiting area, and a sign will be posted outside the building alerting clients that the SNAP Center Concourse has closed and indicating alternate locations where clients can receive walk-in services, and for the Benefit Access Center, alerting clients that the Benefits Access Center will move to 845 Barretto Street.

    Crotona Center

    Effective Monday August 14th, 2023, the Crotona Center and the Grand Concourse Center, both HASA sites, located at 1790 Grand Concourse in the Bronx, will be consolidated and operate as one site under the name: Grand Concourse Center. The consolidated center will be located at 1790 Grand Concourse, 3rd floor, Bronx NY 10457, in the same building where both sites are currently located. All HASA Crotona Center cases will be serviced at the consolidated Grand Concourse Center. Please note that no action is required on the part of clients of this center and there will be no impact on benefits or services.

    As a reminder, most non-emergency issues can be handled over the telephone or by using Access HRA. However, should clients need to visit the center in person, upon arriving at 1790 Grand Concourse go straight to the 3rd floor reception desk.

    Jerome and Kingsbridge Centers

    Effective Monday, August 14th, 2023, the Jerome Center and the Kingsbridge Center, both HASA sites, located at 888 Garrison Avenue in the Bronx, will be consolidated and operate as one center under the name: Garrison Center. The consolidated center will be located at 888 Garrison Avenue, 3rd floor, Bronx NY 10474, in the same building where both sites are currently operating. All Jerome and Kingsbridge Center HASA cases will be serviced at the consolidated Garrison Center. Please note that no action is required on the part of clients of these centers and there will be no impact on benefits or services.

    As a reminder, most non-emergency issues can be handled over the telephone or by using Access HRA. However, should you need to visit the center in person, upon arriving at 888 Garrison Avenue go straight to the 3rd floor reception desk.

    Fair Fares Bronx and Queens Borough Office Relocations

    Bronx Office

    As of July 31, 2023, the Bronx office has been relocated to 888 Garrison Avenue, 3rd Floor. Office operations at 555 East Tremont Avenue closed on July 28, 2023.

    Queens Office

    Effective August 28, 2023, the Queens office will be relocated to 165-08 88th Avenue, 3rd floor. The current location at 32-20 Northern Boulevard will close on Friday, August 25, 2023, as of 5:00 PM. Subsequently, office operations will resume at the new location on Monday, August 28, 2023, at 9:00 AM.

    FFNYC borough office locations in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island will remain the same. Currently, FFNYC borough office locations are co-located in CA and SNAP locations, one in each borough of New York City. Click here to see an updated listing of all FFNYC office locations.

    As a reminder, clients can avoid unnecessary trips to our offices by using our remote or online services through ACCESS HRA to complete and submit Fair Fares applications and renewals, submit supporting documentation, report a Fair Fares NYC MetroCard lost or stolen, and other issues.

    HRA continues to strongly encourage clients to use ACCESS HRA to submit applications and recertifications for benefits, case changes and special grant requests to the agency. HRA is encouraging clients to only come into a Center if they are unable to complete their request online, by mail, by fax, or over the phone. HRA can help clients in person if they require assistance and are unable to use the methods described above.

    See an interactive map of locations

    FIA Benefits Access Centers and SNAP Centers can issue a temporary vault card to clients who cannot wait to receive their permanent CBIC card (which should arrive within 10 days of their case becoming active) in the mail. Clients can use ACCESS HRA or the ACCESS HRA mobile app to apply and recertify for most benefits or to get information about their case, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    USCIS Budget Letters for Fee Waivers

    USCIS's fee waiver process for certain applications has an option to indicate receipt of a means-tested benefit as a reason cited for requiring a fee waiver. This can be demonstrated with a budget letter from the agency administering the benefit. HRA is able to provide these letters to clients/consumers upon request, including at Centers and via ACCESS HRA.

    The 4 things every budget letter for a means-tested benefit must have in order to be acceptable to USCIS for fee waiver purposes are:

    1. The client's name
    2. The agency's name
    3. The name of the benefit received
    4. The validity dates for the benefit

    These validity dates do not need to include the date when the client originally began receiving benefits from the agency, the most recent recertification date is fine. The end date can either be the next recertification date or "12/31/9999" which is understood to mean indefinite. Either of these will be acceptable.

    Please note that a signature is not required on these letters.
    Learn more about fee waivers
    Visit the HRA Immigrant Resources page

    Guidance on Providing Assistance to Ukrainians

    In response to the "Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act" passed by Congress on May 21, 2022, OTDA released a GIS Message explaining that effective May 21, 2022, Ukrainian humanitarian parolees are eligible for resettlement assistance and "other benefits available for refugees." This applies to Ukrainian nationals paroled into the US between February 24, 2022 and September 30, 2023 (this will include many participants in the Department of Homeland Security's "Uniting for Ukraine" program) and Ukrainian nationals paroled into the US after September 20, 2023 who are either 1) a spouse or child of a Ukrainian national paroled into the US between February 24, 2022, and September 30, 2023; or 2) a parent, caregiver, or legal guardian of a Ukrainian national unaccompanied minor paroled into the US between February 24, 2022, and September 30, 2023.

    DSS clients who meet the definition in the Act would be eligible for the same level of benefits as refugees including Cash Assistance (including emergency assistance), SNAP, HEAP, and Medicaid as long as they also meet the non-immigration eligibility requirements for the programs. Once an applicant is able to show that they meet the definition of a Ukrainian parolee, they will immediately meet the non-citizen requirements for these programs. There is no 5-year waiting period for eligibility for federal benefits for this group.

    Free, confidential language support, including Ukrainian interpretation, is available in all DSS/HRA locations. All applicants, regardless of immigration status, should go to their nearest Center for assistance.

    This new change does not apply to Ukrainian nationals with any other status aside from parole, or with no status, including:

    • Ukrainian nationals with only Temporary Protected Status (TPS). These individuals may be eligible for State funded benefits from DSS/HRA. There is no 5-year waiting period for State funded benefits
    • Ukrainian nationals with Legal Permanent Residence (green card holders). These individuals may be subject to a 5-year waiting period for federal benefits. But they may be eligible for State funded benefits from DSS/HRA without a 5-year waiting period
    • Ukrainian nationals in the US on B1/B2 visitor visas
    • Undocumented Ukrainian nationals

    Health Care and Mental Hygiene Worker Bonus (HWB) Program

    Temporary Assistance (TA)

    Health Care Worker Bonus payments received by eligible individuals are excluded as income when determining eligibility for Cash Assistance. In addition, the bonus payment(s) are also excluded as a resource for Cash Assistance and emergency assistance.

    The Health Care Worker Bonus payment(s) is also excluded as a lump sum for the month of receipt of the bonus payment(s) and the following two months.

    For example, if a household receives the bonus payment(s) in April 2023, the district must not count it as income or a resource for April and must exempt it as a countable resource for May and June. In July, if the household has remaining funds from the bonus payment(s), the district must count the remaining funds as a resource.

    Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

    For SNAP, any Health Care Worker Bonus paid to individuals are excluded from consideration as income. For any household subject to a resource test, these payments are considered countable resources in the month received and in subsequent months as long as they remain readily available to the household.

    Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)

    Health Care Worker Bonus payments are excluded as countable income and liquid resources for HEAP eligibility determinations.

    Assistance with Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

    Social Security Administration (SSA) Benefit Increase for 2023

    On Thursday, October 13th, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced an 8.7 percent benefit increase for 2023. Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which benefits approximately 70 million Americans, will see an increase of 8.7 percent in their benefit payments beginning in January 2023.

    Social Security and SSI beneficiaries are normally notified by mail starting in early December about their new benefit amount. Recipients can also find out new benefit amount by accessing the My Social Security account to view the cost-of-living (COLA) notice online.

    The Social Security Administration is offering a new tool to provide assistance with applications for Social Security Income (SSI). The process takes 5 – 10 minutes and asks for basic information about the person who wants to apply for SSI. A Social Security representative will schedule an appointment and send the appointment information by mail (or email, if provided). In some cases, a Social Security representative may call to schedule the appointment.

    Using this tool documents intent to file an application and establishes a protective filing date. The protective filing date determines when payments can begin if an application is approved.

    Certain third parties, such as parents of minor children, family members, representatives, or members of advocacy groups, can also use the tool to express interest about applying for SSI on behalf of someone they are helping.

    If you have any questions, please email your Public Affairs Specialist or regional contacts at ny.rpa@ssa.gov.

    The tool can be found at: Get Started to Apply for SSI | SSA

    SNAP/EBT Scams

    Using ConnectEBT and EBT Customer Service To Help Keep EBT Cards Secure

    Did you know that HRA clients can monitor their recent EBT transactions and review transaction history through the ConnectEBT website, mobile application, or by calling EBT Customer Service?

    Conducting regular reviews of EBT transactions can help clients manage benefits, keep their cards secure, and prevent fraudulent activity. There are several ways for a client to review their EBT transaction history:

    • Checking EBT transaction history at the ConnectEBT website or by downloading the ConnectEBT mobile app (available for download in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store); or
    • Calling the toll-free EBT Customer Service line at 888-328-6399.
    • Through the Customer Service line, clients can access an automated menu that allows them to hear their ten most recent transactions. Clients can also use this feature to request a two-month statement of their account history.
    • Additionally, clients can also review transactions with and request a two-month statement of their account activity from a live Customer Service representative. For transactions that were more than 15 months ago, clients will need to speak to a Customer Service Representative.

    Please see the LDSS-5066 Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Cardholder On-line EBT Account User Guide for detailed instructions on account creation and how to view/obtain transaction history: English, Spanish, Italian, Korean, Russian, Haitian Creole, Chinese, and Arabic.

    EBT transaction history will include mostly transactions that clients remember making purchases that they're familiar with, from stores that they frequent. However, there is also the possibility that they may see transactions that look strange—from stores they've never shopped at, maybe even in states that they've never visited. These kinds of transactions may indicate potentially fraudulent activity known as electronic benefit theft or "skimming," "phishing," or "card cloning."

    Should a client believe they've been a victim of electronic benefit theft, they should immediately report their card as stolen. To file a report, request a new card, and change the PIN associated with their account, clients should call the EBT Customer Service Helpline at 888-328-6399 or go to the ConnectEBT website or mobile application

    EBT Scams Currently Impacting Recipient Households

    In response to increasing incidents of temporary assistance and SNAP benefits theft via several scams, including phishing and card skimming, the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) has created a public service announcement (PSA): Act Fast: Protect Your EBT Benefits Against Skimming Thieves

    Phishing scams have employed deceptive tactics ranging from "smart tablet giveaways", in which recipients are asked to submit personal case information to participate. OTDA will never send correspondence prompting a recipient to provide their account information. Households can help safeguard their benefits going forward by:

    • Frequently changing the EBT account PIN. It is recommended that cardholders avoid selecting a PIN that is easy to guess such as a repeated or consecutive numbers.
      • Clients should NEVER give their PIN to anyone, not even to an HRA employee. HRA employees will never ask a client for their EBT card PIN. Clients also shouldn't give their PIN to a person if they are told that their case will close.
    • Reviewing the account and transactions on a regular basis. Households should regularly review their account transactions and balances and immediately report their card lost or stolen should they notice any suspicious or questionable activity or transactions.
    • Reporting suspicious devices and activity. If they notice any sign that a skimmer may be in use, it's recommended that they alert the retailer and refrain from using the possible compromised machine.

    Households may report their card lost or stolen at the EBT Customer Service Helpline (888-328-6399), or on the ConnectEBT website, or on the ConnectEBT mobile app. Learn more about what steps can be taken to safeguard information and benefits. Download a flyer with useful information about fraud prevention and protection.

    Mandatory Engagement with FIA & Employment Services and Support Administration: Employment Services Providers

    On October 2, 2023, HRA began making mandatory appointments for Cash Assistance recipients who are required to participate in an Employment Services program.

    Engagement with HRA Employment Services and Support Administration (ESSA) providers is mandatory for Cash Assistance recipients but was paused during the COVID-19 pandemic. Employment Services offers Cash Assistance clients opportunities to learn new skills, improve their chances of connecting to careers, works closely with clients to identify opportunities that match their needs, skills, and career goals, with a goal of establishing long-term financial stability and security. Clients work with an appropriate Employment Services providers as described below. These providers will also assist clients who need them with connecting to childcare services.

    CareerCompass assists clients with finding employment, training, or education programs, as well as internship and community service opportunities, to match their skills and reach their goals.

    YouthPathways provides career, education, and training services for clients ages 18-24, including internships and community service opportunities tailored to their goals and needs.

    CareerAdvance offers career, education, and training services in specific employment sectors, including people with limited English proficiency and older adults.

    WeCAREprovides a continuum of services to help cash assistance clients and applicants with medical and/or mental health conditions that affect their employability to attain their maximum levels of self-sufficiency.

    Substance Use Centralized Assessment Program (SUCAP) provides assessment and referral treatment based on client needs for clients with a substance use disorder.

    Office of Reasonable Accommodations (ORA) provides a clinical review of requests for Reasonable Accommodations that support clients with physical, mental, or medical disabilities in accessing HRA programs and services. ORA clinicians review clinical documentation and make recommendations on Reasonable Accommodation requests that support clients in accessing HRA programs and services.

    Update to Federal Poverty Guidelines

    The 2023 Federal Poverty Guidelines for the Emergency Assistance to Families (EAF) and Emergency Safety Net Assistance (ESNA) Categories of Temporary Assistance are effective April 1, 2023, through March 31, 2024.

    Emergency Assistance to Families (EAF) provides assistance to meet the emergency needs of pregnant persons and families with at least one child under age 18, or under age 19 and regularly attending full time secondary school. For a household to be financially eligible for EAF, the household's immediately available income on the date of application must be at or below the 200% Federal Poverty Guideline for their household size and the applicant must not have available resources to meet the emergency need.

    The new Federal Poverty Level Guidelines for EAF & ESNA can be found below.

    Federal Poverty Guidelines

    ASL Direct at Infoline

    ASL Direct is a video calling system that provides clients who are within the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities a way to contact HRA and communicate with an ASL Direct agent at Infoline via a video phone. Clients can reach the ASL direct agent via video phone at 347-474-4231, Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

    Learn more about how DSS assists people who are deaf or hard of hearing including help with scheduling interpretation services for visits to HRA Centers.

    Free in NYC: YouTube Video for NYC Seniors and People Living with a Disability

    HRA's YouTube channel now features the first Free in NYC video for New York City residents who are age 65 and older or have disabilities. This new video provides important information about free enrollment assistance that helps New Yorkers apply for Medicaid and the Medicare Savings Program. The assistance is provided by the New York City Facilitated Enrollment Program for the Aged, Disabled and Blind program and is funded by the New York State Department of Health.

    The video, Free help to Enroll in Medicaid for Seniors and People with Disabilities, is the first in a series of explainer videos created by HRA's Office of Citywide Health Insurance Access to help NYC seniors and people with disabilities learn more about Medicaid and the Medicare Savings Program, and how to access these programs.

    You can watch the video on YouTube. Please share the video with clients and partners to help us increase awareness of this free program.

    Non-citizens and SNAP Benefits Information

    As a reminder, participating in SNAP does not affect a person's immigration status and/or ability to become a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident. Applying for or receiving SNAP benefits does not make someone a public charge and will not be considered in a public charge determination. Learn more about SNAP benefits.

    Applying for or receiving SNAP will not affect an individual's ability to:

    • Remain in the United States
    • Get a Green Card/Lawful Permanent Resident Status
    • Keep a Green Card/Lawful Permanent Resident Status
    • Become a United States citizen

    New Yorkers can also apply for SNAP on behalf of the eligible immigrants or U.S. citizens in their family, even if they do not want to apply for benefits for themselves, without affecting their immigration status. The SNAP office is not allowed to ask for immigration documents for people who are not applying to receive benefits themselves.

    Many non-citizens may be eligible for SNAP benefits if they are one of the following:

    • Refugees, Cuban/Haitian Entrants, Asylees, Amerasian immigrants, individuals with deportation or removal withheld, Hmong or Highland Laotians, victims of human trafficking, parolees for at least one year, conditional entrants, North American Indians born in Canada, and members of federally recognized tribes
    • Honorably discharged U.S. veteran, the spouse, and unmarried dependent children
    • Aliens on active duty in the U.S. military service, the spouse and unmarried dependent children
    • Aliens paroled into the U.S. for at least one year
    • Certain battered immigrants and their children or parents
    • Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) in the U.S. for 5 years
    • LPR with certain disability benefits
    • LPR with 40 qualifying quarters
    • LPR under age 18

    Non-citizen benefit access quick facts

    • All New Yorkers are encouraged to apply for benefits, regardless of immigration status.
      • Non-citizen parents ARE able to apply for their US citizen children.
    • Clients do NOT need to be Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) to qualify for benefits. Many different immigration statuses allow for certain benefits eligibility. Each case is assessed individually and in consideration of all available documents and information.
    • HRA provides free language services for any language a client may need (including sign language), so all clients are welcome and encouraged to apply for benefits regardless of their preferred language.
      • DSS produces documents in the following 12 languages: Arabic, Bengali, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, English, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu. One of the ways that clients can indicate their language preference for written notices is through AccessHRA.
    • When submitting a benefits application, clients should include any and all documents that they think may be relevant to their immigration status. This includes documents that are expired, and documents issued from other countries.
      • Copies of documents should be legible and complete, including front and back of cards, forms, and passports (including blank pages of passports).
    • If clients do not have their immigration documents or have concerns relating to public charge issues, they should contact ActionNYC at 800-354-0365 or call 311 and say "ActionNYC" for further assistance.
    • is available to all persons in New York regardless of immigration status. For more information, please visit the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance website.
    • Resources providing an overview of non-citizen benefits eligibility can be found at the following websites: However, we encourage clients to apply for benefits regardless of immigration status and to allow HRA to make the benefits eligibility determination.
    • If you have any concerns that an error has been made in a client's benefits eligibility related to their immigration status, please contact the DSS Office of Refugee and Immigrant Affairs (ORIA) at oria@dss.nyc.gov for assistance.

    Obtaining Temporary CIN for Clients without Social Security Number

    For clients applying for benefits who do not have a social security number, the social security number of the eldest child will be used to identify the case. When an application is initially submitted through ACCESS HRA, the system is not yet able to connect the case using the SSN of the eldest child. In these cases, when a client needs to access a case before processing has begun, they can obtain a temporary CIN as follows (this process is for use by CBOs only at this time and is not available for applicants directly):

    CBOs can email the ITS HRA team at ACCESSHRASuppapp@dss.nyc.gov to ask for the temporary CIN, as an alternative if POS is not an option.

    When submitting a request, CBOs should include the following information;

    • ACCESS HRA confirmation number for the online application submitted
    • Client name and date of birth
    • AHRA Username (can be an email address)

    Infoline Updates

    Infoline and Third-Party Authorization

    In order to provide case management support or advocacy, advocates and caseworkers are allowed to join HRA clients or applicants on phone calls with Infoline. HRA Infoline representatives are allowed to share information over the phone with both the client (or applicant) and the third party, if the client (or applicant) provides the representative with verbal consent to do so

    Clients or applicants may also complete a fillable PDF of the HRA third-party authorization form that can be signed digitally / electronically using Adobe or other third-party software. Download the form. Completed third-party authorization forms can be emailed to constituentaffairs@hra.nyc.gov or faxed to 212-331-4685.

    Once a third-party authorization form is on file, Infoline agents are able to reference these forms and can provide case updates to a third-party representative as authorized by a client.

    Reporting Changes in Income for SNAP or Cash Assistance

    In accordance with federal and state law, clients are required to submit changes in income to HRA. On our SNAP Frequently Asked Questions, we include important information about the rules for changes which must be reported 10 days after the end of the month in which the change happened. Some examples include:

    • Changes in any source of income for anyone in your household
    • Changes in your household's total earned income when it goes up or down by more than $100 a month
    • Changes in your household's total unearned income from a public source such as Social Security Benefits or Unemployment Insurance Benefits when it goes up or down by more than $100 a month

    Clients should not submit a new application to report a change in income. For both CA and SNAP, clients should report income changes, including the loss of a job via a case change request in ACCESS HRA. Documentation to support the change may include paystubs, an employer letter, a layoff/termination letter or form, or an attestation of loss of employment from a client when one can-not be obtained from their employer.

    Reporting Requirements for Changes in Residence

    Individuals are required to receive public assistance benefits in the county where they reside. Clients who may travel outside of the district for a limited period of time are permitted to do so without reporting a change. Those who plan to change their residence need to first alert the district they have been living in. That district will note the change and close the benefits case accordingly, with that district maintaining responsibility for benefits for the month following the month of the move. Clients may then file with the new local district office for public assistance benefits once they have moved.

    The five boroughs of New York City comprise one social services district. The remainder of New York State is divided into 57 Local Departments of Social Service (LDSS). View the listing of all LDSS offices for New York State.

    MyCity & Child Care Subsidy Portal Launch

    The NYC Office of Technology and Innovation has launched MyCity, a New Yorker's streamlined online connection to City services and benefits.

    MyCity is a one-stop shop for New York City services and benefits. Through this multilingual website, New Yorkers can check eligibility qualifications, complete applications, track service status, and securely store personal information and documentation for future use.

    MyCity Child Care

    The first service launched through MyCity is the subsidized child care application. It is now simplified to make it easier for families to apply for free or reduced cost child care and manage their benefits.

    Through a single application, MyCity helps New Yorkers apply for several child care subsidy programs offered and administered by the New York City Administration for Children's Services, Department of Education, Human Resources Administration/Department of Social Services, and New York State. Agency staff receive applications electronically immediately after they are submitted and can provide status updates to applicants through MyCity.

    The new portal transforms the way families apply for care by screening for eligibility upfront, securely uploading and storing their documentation, tracking the status of their application, and receiving notifications if more information is needed. The portal provides parents with a seamless, user-friendly online application process that eliminates the need to print and mail forms from multiple websites to apply for subsidized child care.

    Learn more about MyCity and provide feedback on current and future offerings at mycity.nyc.gov.

    Benefit Eligibility for Parolees

    Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently implemented new parole processes for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans. The new parole processes allow qualified beneficiaries who are outside the U.S. and lack U.S. entry documents to be considered for advanced authorization to travel and a temporary period of parole for up to two years for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans participating in these processes must have a supporter in the U.S. who agrees to provide them with financial support for the duration of their parole in the U.S. Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans who enter the U.S. under these new processes may be paroled into the U.S. for up to two years.

    Non-citizens paroled for less than one year may be eligible for Safety Net Assistance (SNA), if otherwise eligible. Non-citizens paroled for one year or more are qualified non-citizens and may be eligible for federal public benefits such as Family Assistance (FA), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).

    Afghan Humanitarian Parolees

    Effective September 30, 2021, the federal government began providing evacuees from Afghanistan who entered the U.S. on humanitarian parole access to federal benefits and services through the Afghanistan Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022. The date through which Afghan citizens or nationals habitually lived in Afghanistan has now been extended from September 2022 to September 30, 2023.

    The Afghanistan Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022 allows these individuals to receive benefits for a limited period of time. Benefits may include resettlement assistance, entitlement programs (including TA and SNAP), and other benefits available to refugees admitted under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act through March 31, 2023, or until the end of their parole term, whichever is later. These individuals are not subject to a waiting period and are immediately eligible for benefits as long as they meet all other TA/SNAP financial and non-financial eligibility requirements.

    PRUCOL Safety Net Assistance Eligibility Changes

    On May 12, 2023, OTDA announced new regulations impacting eligibility for Non-citizens Recognized as Permanently Residing Under Color of Law (PRUCOL) for Safety Net Assistance (SNA). The policy, which took effect upon publishing, expanded the pool of non-citizens who are considered PRUCOL for the purposes of Safety Net Cash Assistance (SNCA). As a reminder, PRUCOL is not an immigration status, but a public benefit category used for the purposes of Safety Net Assistance Eligibility.

    The new categories of noncitizens now eligible to receive SNCA include:

    • Applicants for Asylum, regardless of employment authorization status
    • Applicants for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
    • Applicants for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
    • Applicants for Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) Classification
    • Applicants for Adjustment of Status to Lawful Permanent Residence (LPR)
    • Applicants for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident under Section 245 of the INA that the USCIS has accepted as "properly filed"
    • Applicants for Cancellation of Removal
    • Applicants for Suspension of Deportation (under former 244 of the INA)
    • Applicants requesting Deferred Action
    • Applicants for a special non-immigrant visa, including individuals applying for a K (spouse or fiancé of a U.S. citizen), S (certain non-citizens supplying critical information related to terrorism or organized crime), T (trafficking victims and their family members),[1][1] U (victims of criminal activity and their spouse/children), or V Visa (spouse and children of LPR who are in the process of immigrating to the U.S).
    • Persons Granted Stays of Deportation – Non-citizens who have been found deportable, but deportation is deferred for a specified period of time
    • Persons Granted Indefinite Stay of Deportation – Non-citizens who have been found deportable, but deportation is deferred indefinitely
    • Persons Granted Indefinite Voluntary Departure – Relief that was granted before April 1997 to non-citizens who have been found deportable, but deportation is deferred indefinitely
    • Persons Granted Suspension of Deportation pursuant to former Section 244 of the INA (Non-citizens in this category have been found deportable, have met a period of continuous residence and have filed an application for the EOIR to suspend deportation, which has been granted.)
    • Persons on whose behalf an immediate Relative Petition has been approved and family members covered by the petition (Non-citizens who are immediate relatives (spouse, father, mother, or unmarried child) of a U.S. citizen/LPR who has filed an I-130 Relative Petition on their behalf).

    Re-Opening of Subpoena Window for All Service of Legal Process

    As of June 20th, all service of legal process will be conducted in person at 4 World Trade Center. At that time the subpoena window will re-open and the email address which was previously used to serve the agency with subpoenas or other legal papers will no longer be in use. The service window will be open from 9 am – 5 pm Monday – Friday on the 38th floor of 4 World Trade Center. Anyone who attempts to serve the agency via the email address on or after June 19th will receive an automatic reply directing them to the in-person service window.

    SNAP & Cash Assistance

    New SNAP Standards and Changes to New York State Nutrition Improvement Project (NYSNIP) Benefit Amounts - October 1, 2023

    New SNAP standards went into effect on October 1, 2023 and some items used to figure the amount of SNAP benefits a household gets has changed. These changes are a result of federally-required changes to the following standards and deductions. The information below outlines the new standards:

    • The Standard Deduction for households of one to three persons is $198.
    • The Standard Deduction for households of four persons is $208.
    • The Standard Deduction for households of five persons is $244.
    • The Standard Deduction for households of six persons or more is $279.
    • The SNAP Maximum Excess Shelter Deduction is $672.
    • The SNAP Maximum Homeless Shelter Deduction is $179.66.
    • The Boarder/Lodger Exclusion is $291 for one person and $535 for two persons

    The standard deduction amounts that are now used in the annual SNAP mass re-budgeting effective October 1, 2023, are also at the bottom of this communication.

    The minimum allotment for one and two-person households remain $23.

    The new Standard Utility Allowance (SUA) amounts for NYC, as of October 1, 2023 are:

    Heating/Air Conditioning SUA

    • Old SUA : $1,002
    • New SUA : $992

    Basic Utility SUA

    • Old SUA : $395
    • New SUA : $391

    Phone SUA

    • $31

    The new Federal Poverty Limit (FPL) thresholds effective October 1, 2023 are at the bottom of this communication.

    These changes may affect the amount of SNAP benefits New Yorkers get. Depending on their individual circumstance, the amount of their monthly SNAP benefit may not change or it may decrease or increase as a result of these changes.

    Learn more about updated federal poverty levels and October 2023 changes to SNAP.

    Free Head Start and Early Head Start Programs for SNAP Households

    Head Start and Early Head Start programs are designed to provide free, comprehensive services for children age birth through five years and their families. Core services focus on early learning, health, nutrition, and family well-being. Early Head Start programs are for infants, toddlers, and pregnant women, and provide up to 10 hours of care. Head Start preschool programs primarily serve three and four-year-old children, which include up to 6 to 8 hours of care. All services are free for those eligible and all meals are included.

    Congress established eligibility criteria in the Head Start Act to include families with incomes at or below the federal poverty level and families eligible for public assistance. Prior to this change in Head Start policy, SNAP participation and eligibility was excluded from the term "public assistance", requiring SNAP households to verify their income. Previous policy only considered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as "public assistance" in determining categorical eligibility for Head Start programs.

    Now SNAP households are allowed to demonstrate their Head Start eligibility through providing verification of their SNAP receipt or eligibility and are no longer required to verify their income twice for programs with similar requirements. To be deemed categorically eligible for Head Start services, SNAP households must provide acceptable verification such as a copy of a SNAP notice of approval, other documentation of eligibility or benefits from a local district office, or proof of an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card with a SNAP case number.

    To find Head Start programs in your county, visit the Head Start | ECLKC Center Locator.

    Learn more about Head Start and Early Head Start programs. For more information about SNAP eligibility for Head Start programs, visit the Head Start | ECLKC website.

    Household Composition Attestation at Recertification

    Recipients of Cash Assistance can now attest to the household composition for minors in their household at recertification. Benefit recipients no longer need to provide verification of household composition, unless there are questions raised at recertification that call into question the household composition, such as documentation or information provided by the application during the recertification interview.

    For SNAP only clients, verification is not required at the time of application and recertification, unless there are questions raised.

    SNAP On-Demand Interviews

    SNAP On-Demand telephone eligibility interviews resumed on June 1, 2022. SNAP recertifications that are expiring in July and SNAP applications submitted after May 31 must now complete an interview or be rejected for failing to interview.

    The availability of On-Demand interviews gives clients more flexibility as they do not have to wait for HRA to call them to complete their eligibility interview. Beginning June 1st, once they submit their application or recertification form via ACCESS HRA, at a PC Bank, in-person, or by mail, clients are able to call HRA at 718-SNAP-NOW (718-762-7669) anytime between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday, for an "on-demand" telephone interview. If an applicant has an emergency need for SNAP they should call right after they submit their application. Clients have up to 30 days from the time they submit their form to complete an interview either over the phone or in-person.

    New York State Combined Application Project (NYSCAP)

    The New York State Combined Application Project (NYSCAP) began on December 1, 2021. NYSCAP is a replacement to the New York State Nutrition Improvement Project (NYSNIP) with the programs running concurrently through 2023 at which point all current NYSNIP cases will have been converted to NYSCAP. The goal of this Federal SNAP Demonstration project is to establish a combined application process with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and to use data readily available to State OTDA to automatically enroll certain SSI households into SNAP.

    The NYSCAP automatic auto-enrollment process is the same as the auto-enrollment process for NYSNIP. Single individuals in active receipt of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) who do not already have a SNAP case will have a SNAP case automatically created and will be automatically enrolled in NYSCAP. Individuals that meet these conditions and already have an active SNAP case also will be enrolled in NYSCAP.

    As in NYSNIP, NYSCAP cases:

    • Do not have to submit an application to be enrolled in SNAP.
    • Will be opened and will receive a nominal SNAP benefit amount.
    • Will receive a NYSCAP Statewide SNAP Case Information Collection Sheet with their opening letter. There is no requirement to return the form, and failure to return it to the district will not result in negative action. It is provided to make it easier for newly enrolled households to qualify for higher benefits.
    • Must redeem SNAP benefits within 90 days of the auto-opening. Redemption of the benefits is considered an electronic application signature and assent by the household to participate in SNAP. NYSCAP cases in which benefits are not accessed within 90 days are automatically closed and the benefits expunged.
    • Do not have any reporting requirements outside of the required interim contact. However, because NYSCAP cases receive a 36-month (and not a 48-month) certification period, the Interim Contact for NYSCAP is at 18 months into the certification period. Households must return the Case Interim Report to continue receiving NYSCAP benefits.
    • Households that fail to return the Interim Report but subsequently return it within 30 days of case closure are eligible for the normal case reactivation process.

    Unlike NYSNIP, NYSCAP eligible cases:

    • Must participate in NYSCAP in order to receive SNAP.
    • Will receive a 36-month certification period.
    • Will be opened with the household's actual SSI and other income budgeted, but with no shelter,
    • Will automatically receive a reminder notice 6 months after opening if the SNAP budget has not been updated. This will provide the household with another opportunity to provide the district with the complete household circumstances to maximize the household's SNAP benefit. Households that do not respond to this notice will not be subject to negative action, however, the household will remain in receipt of a nominal benefit.

    NYSCAP Budgeting

    NYSCAP cases will be budgeted according to regular SNAP budgeting rules once information required for the budget (e.g., shelter expense) is provided. Note that NYSCAP cases may attest to the shelter expenses without the need to provide further verification unless the information provided is deemed questionable.

    Interim Contact

    At approximately 18 months into the certification period, NYSCAP households will receive the updated Interim Report which collects all the information about the household circumstances that are required to complete a budget using standard SNAP budgeting procedures. Households are required to respond to the Interim Report and failure to do so will result in case closure.

    Recertification

    NYSCAP cases are eligible to recertify over the phone using the interactive voice response system (IVRS). Failing to recertify will result in the case closing.

    Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Increase Details

    Federal Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD) Time Limit Waiver Extended

    The federal ABAWD (Able-bodied Adult Without Dependents) time limit is a statute that limits an ABAWD client to 3 months of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in a 36-month period unless the individual is working or participating in certain employment and training activities. The USDA has granted an extension of the statewide waiver of the Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) work requirements through February 28, 2025. The waiver was previously set to expire on February 29, 2024.

    Therefore, ABAWD clients will continue to not be subject to the ABAWD requirements through February 28, 2025.

    End of COVID-19 Emergency Allotments to SNAP Households

    Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, the SNAP Emergency Allotments are scheduled to end after the February 2023 issuance. The continuation of the SNAP Emergency Allotments is no longer tied to the continuation of the Public Health Emergency.

    As such, households currently receiving SNAP benefits will only receive one SNAP deposit in the first half of the month with the end of these emergency allotments.

    Pilot Program for SNAP Access for New Yorkers Being Released from State Prisons

    HRA received requested waivers from the State OTDA and the USDA allowing individuals incarcerated in State prisons to apply for benefits while incarcerated, including conducting application interviews, which is currently prohibited by New York State regulation. This common-sense reform, which the State allowed us to initially implement at two State prisons (Queensboro Correctional Facility and Edgecombe Residential Treatment) has now been expanded to five additional facilities (Bedford Hills, Taconic, Greene, Fishkill and Sing Sing). This effort will ensure individuals who were formerly incarcerated are better supported as they re-enter society. Individuals leaving State prisons can connect with the benefits they need pre-release rather than having to first begin the application process after release. This pilot was developed in partnership with the National Executive Council (NEC) at Columbia University's Center for Justice and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

    Time Period for Accessing Benefits

    In response to questions received on our weekly call, below is information confirming the length of time that benefits remain available in accordance with federal and State requirements:

    SNAP Benefits (Food Stamps)

    SNAP Benefits are issued to an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) SNAP Benefits account on the same date each month. If benefits remain unused on an EBT SNAP Benefits account for 274 consecutive days, the benefits will fall into expungement status. This means that any SNAP Benefits that have been available in an account for at least 274 days will be expunged (removed). Expunged SNAP Benefits cannot be replaced/reissued.

    Cash Assistance

    Cash benefits are available to the recipient as long as there is activity in the account. If there is no account activity for 90 days, the remaining benefits are expunged without notice. Regardless of activity, a cash benefit must be entirely withdrawn by the recipient within 90 days of its availability date. The client may request a reissuance only of the expunged cash benefit for which they are eligible.

    Regardless of activity, a cash benefit must be entirely withdrawn by the recipient within 180 days of its availability date. The remaining balance of the 180-day cash benefit will be expunged from the account without notice to the recipient.

    Bureau of Eligibility Verification (BEV) – Resuming Operations

    Starting in February 2023, The DSS Bureau of Eligibility Verification (BEV) will resume operations. Similar to pre-COVID operations, DSS will make any necessary BEV referrals during the Cash Assistance eligibility interview. Unlike pre-COVID, however, BEV investigative interviews will be conducted over the phone. Cash Assistance applicants who are referred to the BEV for investigation will receive verbal notice of the date and time (two-hour window) when to expect the BEV investigator's call. DSS will also mail the client a BEV referral with the date and time of the telephone interview. BEV will make a second outreach call if the first call is not answered.

    How to Apply for Cash Assistance

    How to Apply

    Those unable to file an application using the methods described above may call Infoline to set up an appointment to complete an application over the phone.

    How to Return or Submit Documents

    Documents can be submitted in the following ways:

    Both SNAP and Cash Assistance applications can be accessed on the "Forms" page of the OTDA website.

    Through an Executive Order initially and now with a waiver, the interview portion of the CA application process has been conducted by telephone. Download the flyer (in English and Spanish) for clients regarding the public benefits changes that we have described.

    How to close a CA case

    • You can request a Cash Assistance case closure via ACCESS HRA or can mail/fax a written statement requesting the case to be closed. Requests can also be made verbally by calling Infoline.

    How to Apply for and Recertify SNAP

    How to Apply

    Those unable to file an application or recertify using the methods described above may call Infoline to set up an appointment to complete an application over the phone.

    How to Return or Submit Documents for New Applications

    • Upload documents using the ACCESS HRA mobile app. Go to nyc.gov/hradocs
    • For new application, fax documents to MARU at 917-639-1111*
    • Mail to Centralized Recertification Mail Unit, PO Box 29197, Brooklyn, NY 11201*
    • Drop off to an open SNAP center.

    *When faxing or mailing documents please be sure to write the client's name and case number on each page of the document to ensure accurate indexing.

    How to Recertify

    Those unable to file an application or recertify using the methods described above may call Infoline to set up an appointment to complete an application over the phone.

    How to Return or Submit Documents for Recertifications

    • Upload documents using the ACCESS HRA mobile app. Go to nyc.gov/hradocs
    • For recertifications, fax documents to CRMU at 917-639-2544*
    • Mail to Centralized Recertification Mail Unit, PO Box 29008, Brooklyn, NY 11202*
    • Drop off to an open SNAP center.

    *When faxing or mailing documents please be sure to write the client's name and case number on each page of the document to ensure accurate indexing.

    One Shot Deals/Emergency Grants

    One Shot Deal (OSD) – Eligibility

    Eligibility for a One-Shot Deal is not contingent on being sued for rent arrears. Please reference and share the One Shot Deal fact sheet, which makes it clear that an eviction case is not required to receive a One Shot Deal. In September, HPD shared this information with their citywide landlord contacts. Other limitations on the provision of these grants are set by State statute and regulations, including the repayment agreement requirement that we have asked the State to waive during the continuing public health emergency. An applicant does not have to appear on the lease or be the primary tenant in order to apply for a One-Shot-Deal. However, RAU may ask for written confirmation that the individual will be able to reside in the household for a period of time after the OSD as a condition of eligibility. HRA continues to process One-Shot Deal applications for rental and utility arrears.

    Applying for an Emergency Assistance Grant (One-Shot Deal)

    Below are instructions for applying for Cash Assistance/Emergency Grants (One-Shot Deal) through ACCESS HRA. We encourage providers and advocates to sign up for an ACCESS HRA provider training webinar for additional information on using our online tools, including how to apply for an emergency grant (One-Shot Deal). View the webinar options.

    To apply for Cash Assistance or a one-time emergency grant (One Shot Deal), clients will need to take the following steps:

    1. Visit ACCESS HRA and log-in
    2. Select the 'Benefits' link from the menu options on the homepage
    3. Select 'Start a New Application'
    4. Select the 'Cash Assistance' option in the 'Select Application' page
    5. Identify any applicable emergency indicators and click 'Next'
    6. Select the type of benefits you would like to apply for
      The three options are: Cash Assistance, One Shot Deal, or Child Care without Cash Assistance (CILOCA). If the need is for emergency assistance and ongoing assistance, select the Cash Assistance option.
    7. Complete and submit the application
    8. Follow instructions in the ACCESS HRA confirmation page and submit required documents using the ACCESS HRA Mobile App

    Clients with an active Cash Assistance case can submit a special grant request for things like rent or utility arrears via ACCESS HRA. To submit a Cash Assistance Special Grant Request, clients will need to:

    1. Visit ACCESS HRAand log-in
    2. Enter identifying information to 'Find My Case' and link to HRA case
    3. Select 'View Case' in the ACCESS HRA user home page
    4. Select 'Request Special Grant,' located on the left-hand side
    5. Identify the special grant being requesting, complete the request and submit
    6. Follow instructions in confirmation and submit required documents using the ACCESS HRA Mobile App

    All applications and requests for emergency assistance are evaluated on an individual case-by-case basis.

    Emergency Grants for Clients Receiving Cash Assistance

    In response to questions we've received on our call, clients with open cash assistance cases can request additional allowance or emergency benefit(s) beyond their regular monthly benefits, if necessary. In these instances, clients should not submit a new one-shot-deal application, and should instead utilize the various grants available for request through ACCESS HRA.

    One Shot Deal (OSD) – Repayment and Appeals

    In response to questions received on the August monthly community call, we are confirming that billing of One-Shot Deals remains suspended for the duration of the Public Health Emergency, currently through April 11, 2023. Clients may make voluntary payments. Clients with cases approaching the statute of limitations will receive letters from HRA regarding their One-Shot Deals and clients should not ignore those letters.

    Not all emergency grants require repayment. As part of the application process, if rent arrears or utility arrears are identified, clients are asked to sign a State-required repayment agreement at the time of application in ACCESS HRA. We do so because when the application is initially filed, HRA does not know which category of assistance the client will ultimately be eligible for, and we want to avoid the delay of having to ask clients to sign the State-required repayment agreement at the end of the process when an eligibility decision has been made and time is of the essence to prevent an eviction or maintain/restore utility services. In order to make this clear to clients during the application process, we have included the below-clarifying information to the grant applications:

    "Please note that you will have to review and e-sign the repayment agreement before submitting your application. Not all emergency grants require repayment. If you are eligible for a grant, the notice you receive will let you know whether or not you need to repay."

    In particular, clients receiving SSI are not required to repay emergency grants. Clients eligible for Emergency Assistance to Needy Families (EAF) may be required to repay a portion of their EAF grant. Other clients may also be eligible for non-recoupable rent arrears or utility arrears payments under State law. These determinations are made upon review of the full application.

    Although we requested a waiver due to the COVID public health emergency, to date, there have been no State easements regarding the repayment of One-Shot Deals (OSD). The repayment of OSD's is mandated at 12 months for payments related to shelter, and 24 months for payments related to utilities.

    Clients who believe they fall into a category in which they should not be required to repay their OSD – even if the determination is that they are required to pay – can request a State fair hearing. Clients who received an OSD for an amount that differed from their requested amount are also entitled to a State fair hearing. However, repayment schedules and amounts for OSD's are set by State statute and cannot be addressed by a fair hearing.

    One Shot Deal (OSD) – Client Identifier

    In response to concerns raised by community partners, as of April 21, we are now printing the names of clients on the check stub for One Shot Deal rental payments so that housing advocates are able to link the check with the client. This was done previously on checks for recurring payments and is now available for OSD checks as well.

    SNAP Elderly Simplified Application Process

    The Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP) is available as of December 1, 2021.

    In response to questions received on our weekly call, as a reminder, the SNAP simplified application for seniors is available for download on the "Forms" page of the OTDA. The simplified form is LDSS 5166. The page does not indicate that this is the simplified form, so when applicants are looking for the application they need to know the form number or know to find it at the bottom of the SNAP section on the page. Download the form from the OTDA website.

    Clients, providers, and advocates can now call Infoline to request a paper copy of the Simplified SNAP application kit (LDSS-5166) by mail. As a reminder, the simplified SNAP application can be used by households where:

    • All adults are 60 years or older and/or have a disability
    • No adult in the household has earned income

    The initial application requirements for households that appear to be ESAP-eligible are the same as for any SNAP applicant household. Households that submit complete applications with necessary documentation can expect to be evaluated for expedited SNAP (E-SNAP) within 7 days and for recurring SNAP benefits within 30 days. As a reminder we continue to operate under a partial SNAP interview waiver which means that applications are being processed even if a client is not contacted by HRA.

    While New York State has the highest SNAP participation rate of any state among adults age 60 and older and individuals with disabilities, historically the participation rate among this population has been lower than among the general population. To ease access to and improve the participation of older adults and adults with disabilities in SNAP, New York State applied to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and has been approved to implement and operate a shorter application beginning in December 2021.

    The ESAP is intended to simplify the SNAP application, recertification and verification processes for eligible households, where all adult members are aged and/or have disabilities, thereby facilitating access to and preventing interruptions in receipt of benefits for these households.

    Participation in ESAP is limited to households where:

    • All adult members are seniors (age 60 or older) and/or have disabilities and are not otherwise eligible to participate in the New York State Combined Application Project or NYSCAP (formerly known as the New York State Nutrition Improvement Project or NYSNIP); and,
    • No household members have any earned income.

    For the purposes of ESAP, the following definitions apply:

    • "Adult" is an individual age 18 or older
    • "Senior/aged/elderly" is an individual age 60 or older
    • "Disabled" – an individual must be in receipt of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits or receiving other federal or state-administered disability or blindness benefits for a disability considered permanent under the Social Security Act or other standard

    Additionally, single individuals in receipt of SSI who are eligible for both ESAP and NYSCAP (formerly NYSNIP) are required to be enrolled in NYSCAP.

    Under ESAP, eligible households may now have SNAP certification periods of up to 36 months.

    ESAP-eligible clients can download the application form (LDSS-5166 form) or call Infoline to have the form mailed to them. The application can be completed in hard copy and submitted by mail to:

    Centralized Mail Unit
    PO Box 29008
    Brooklyn, NY 11202

    All applications for SNAP will be evaluated for the ESAP extended certification period of 36 months, regardless of whether the LDSS-5166 form is used, or if the regular application is submitted through ACCESS HRA or by mail.

    The initial application requirements for households that appear to be ESAP-eligible are the same as for any SNAP applicant household. For recertifications, form LDSS-5166 should be used and can be uploaded using the ACCESS HRA mobile app.

    Those who are completing a new application should submit using fax/email/mail in order to ensure timely application registration date:

    Fax: 917-639-1111
    Email: MARUfax@hra.nyc.gov

    Households that submit a complete applications with necessary documentation can expect to be evaluated for expedited SNAP (E-SNAP) with 7 days and for recurring SNAP benefits within 30 days. As a reminder we continue to operate under a partial SNAP interview waiver which means that applications are being processed even if a client is not contacted by HRA.

    Authorized Representative Forms for SNAP Applications

    As a reminder, SNAP applications can be submitted by community organizations on behalf of clients by serving as an authorized representative for the client. Clients may authorize a representative to submit applications and communicate with HRA on their behalf.

    To become an authorized representative, service providers will need to obtain a signed copy of the SNAP Authorized Representative Request Form and complete the application on the individual's behalf on ACCESS HRA by doing the following:

    1. Once you have the signed and completed authorization in hand, create an account for the individual at gov/accesshra by selecting a username (this could be a username or email address), password and answering one security question. If the individual does not have an e-mail address, please select the User Name option.
    2. During the course of completing the SNAP application, you will be asked to indicate if an Authorized Representative has been appointed to represent the individual. Indicate "Yes" and enter the information requested.
    3. At the end of the application, you will need to initial the application as the authorized representative, using your own initials.
    4. After submitting the SNAP application, immediately download the HRA Mobile Application at nyc.gov/accesshramobile. Using the same credentials that you used to login to the website, upload the completed and signed Authorized Representative Request Form referenced above, connecting it to the pending case. The form must be complete, signed and dated by both parties. If this step is not completed appropriately, the application will not be able to be processed. If you are unable to immediately link to the case, please note that application registration only occurs on business days and there is occasionally a delay in the Application Registration process, so the application may have not been registered yet. Please try again later.

    It is recommended, but not required, that all applicants/providers use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Authorized Representative Request Form (LDSS-4942) when designating an authorized representative. However, if the Authorized Representative form cannot be completed and submitted, the applicant/provider may write a letter with the relevant information from the form to designate an authorized representative.

    Requesting a Replacement of Temporary CBIC or EBT Card

    Benefit cards are sent directly to clients by mail via the State's vendor. There is no need to come into a service center to request a card or receive a replacement CBIC card. If an emergency card is needed for a new applicant who is eligible for expedited SNAP or an immediate needs grant, applicants can visit any open HRA center to request a Vault Card (temporary benefit card). Note that State photo cards cannot be issued in-person or through the mail for clients who never had their photo taken as part of the prior Automated Finger Imaging System (AFIS) process which has been eliminated by the State, a change for which we advocated.

    Clients can request a replacement card from the State by calling EBT Customer Service at 888-328-6399 for account information or to request that a replacement Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card for SNAP or Cash Assistance be mailed. For anyone having difficulty accessing a replacement card by phone, cards can also be requested by setting up an online EBT account. Clients can use this account to request a replacement card, check card balance, review transaction history, change a PIN, and more.

    If an EBT card is lost or stolen, it must be reported to NYS EBT Customer Service right away at 888-328-6399 to disable the old card.

    Replacement cards requested online or by telephone will be mailed to the address on record in 7 to 10 business days.

    For the purposes of proof of identity for receipt of benefits, HRA does not require a photo ID. New York State and New York City operate a public benefits eligibility process whereby if individuals can provide a Social Security Number and the correct name and date of birth, no additional identification documentation is required. In some cases, HRA can also accept an attestation from someone who knows the individual applying for benefits.

    SNAP Eligibility – Assets

    Under federal broad-based categorical eligibility, most SNAP households are not subject to a resource or asset test. The only income-eligible households that are subject to SNAP resource limits are households that contain individuals who are disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits due to an intentional program violation (IPV) or sanction, and households that contain an individual who is aged or has a disability and have gross income in excess of 200% of the federal poverty level. For these households, assets/resources for SNAP recipients must fall below the following limits:

    • $4,250 for households that contain at least one person who is aged (60 years of age or older) or disabled.
    • $2,750 for all other households which are subject to the resource test.

    For the purposes of SNAP eligibility, funds that could be made available for the purchase of food are considered assets, such as money in a bank account. Equity in a home is not considered money that is available for the purchase of food and is thus not counted in the asset calculation for SNAP eligibility.

    Emergency Assistance for Families (EAF) Eligibility

    In response to questions received on our weekly community call, below we have outlined eligibility criteria for Emergency Assistance for Families (EAF). EAF is a federally-funded program dedicated to meeting the emergency needs of families with children. Applicants who need emergency assistance with rent arrears or utility arrears may be eligible for an EAF/One-Shot Deal payment to prevent eviction or foreclosure, or utility disconnect. HRA will evaluate households for EAF eligibility at the time of application for emergency assistance or a rental subsidy program.

    • The applicant household must contain either
      • An individual with a medically verified pregnancy;
      • or a child under the age of 18;
      • or an individual age 18 and attending full-time secondary school or the equivalent level of vocational or technical training
    • The child must be currently living with an adult related by blood, marriage, or adoption
    • The child, parents, or other eligible relatives must be without immediately accessible resources necessary for meeting their needs, and those needs cannot be met by an advance allowance
    • The child must be requiring emergency assistance to provide living arrangements for them in a home
    • The emergency could not have been foreseen by the applicant and was not under their control

    Financial Eligibility for EAF

    • Gross available income of the applicant on the date of application must be at or below 200% of the poverty level for that household size
      • These standards DO NOT apply to households receiving child protective, child preventative, or any other child welfare services paid for under EAF (such households must, however, include one member in receipt of CA or SSI and/or SSP at the time of EAF determination)
    • The applicant must be without the resources to meet the emergency need (income, money on hand, bank accounts, etc.)

    Individuals can file an application for emergency assistance/One-Shot Deal and/or get more information using ACCESS HRA.

    Repayment and EAF

    If a household is found eligible for EAF, they may still be required to repay a portion of the EAF grant. If rent arrears exceed the monthly shelter allowance for public assistance, then the excess portion of the grant is subject to repayment. Utility arrears paid with EAF may be recoverable if the household's gross monthly income on the date of repayment is more than the monthly standard of need for public assistance.

    Emergency assistance grants /One-Shot Deals are also available for single adults and childless couples.

    Childcare for Cash Assistance Recipients

    Recipients of Cash Assistance who are participating in an approved education or training program outside of the home, or are employed, may be eligible for childcare assistance. These needs are assessed at application and recertification. Clients who become employed or engaged outside of the home in between recertifications should take the following steps to apply for child care:

    We have updated ACCESS HRA to guide applicants through the process and we also have information on our website.

    Below are links to relevant information:

    Expiration of the Temporary Expansion of SNAP Student Eligibility Exemption Criteria

    The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 created two temporary SNAP eligibility exemptions for students enrolled at least half-time in an institution of higher education in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This legislation expanded SNAP eligibility by providing temporary exemptions from SNAP student eligibility requirements to two groups of college students:

    • Students eligible for a work study program (actual participation in a program was not required);
    • Students with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0 on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

    The temporary student eligibility exemptions are scheduled to end because the federal public health emergency (PHE) expired on May 11th, 2023. Following the PHE expiration on May 11, 2023, the temporary exemptions will remain in effect for an additional 30 days and during this period, SNAP applications and recertifications can continue to be processed using the temporary exemptions. This means that the temporary student exemptions end for initial SNAP applications filed on or after June 10, 2023. For ongoing households, the temporary exemptions end at the household's next recertification, beginning July 1, 2023.

    Timeline for Expiration of Temporary Student Exemptions

    • For new applications, the temporary student exemptions can be applied to applications submitted on or before June 9, 2023. After that date, only the permanent exemptions can be considered when determining eligibility.
    • For students recertifying, the temporary student exemptions can be applied to recertifications submitted by June 30, 2023. Recertification applications submitted through June 30, 2023, must be processed using the temporary student exemptions, regardless of when the recertification is processed or the household's expiring certification end date. Recertifications submitted on or after July 1, 2023, must be processed using only the permanent exemption criteria. Students in households that submit their recertification application by June 30, 2023, and are recertified retain their temporary student exemption until their next recertification.

    The DOE sent an email on May 17, 2023, to all students with an EFC of $0, informing them of their potential eligibility for SNAP, the timeline of the expiration of the temporary exemptions, and how to apply.

    This DOE email may serve as verification of a student's EFC of $0 if they submit a new SNAP application on or before June 9, 2023, or submit a recertification on or before June 30, 2023.

    OTDA has developed an End of the Temporary COVID-19 SNAP Student Eligibility Exemptions—Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document which outlines important information about the end of the temporary student eligibility exemptions and how some students may remain eligible for SNAP due to at least one of the permanent student eligibility exemptions. The FAQ can be accessed by visiting the OTDA College Student Expanded SNAP Rules.

    SNAP Eligibility for Children Receiving Social Security Income (SSI)

    In response to a question received on our weekly community call, we want to clarify how SNAP eligibility would be determined for a child in receipt of SSI. A child receiving SSI would not be eligible for their own SNAP case, but would be considered a mandatory household member with their parent/guardian. Both the SSI income and the income of their parents/guardians would be included in the budgeting and eligibility determination for their household.

    Cash Assistance Benefits Eligibility and Substance Use Disorders

    We are still screening CA applicants for substance use issues, and, if needed, connecting them to remote telephonic substance use assessment and/or treatment. However, we have waived the requirements that would normally apply to clients in substance use treatment programs, and we are not taking negative case actions for noncompliance.

    Clients may also receive Case Management services to support substance use treatment compliance, as well as other services such as medical and/or mental health services. HRA Customized Assistance Services (CAS), which oversees this program, is conducting proactive outreach to HRA clients receiving substance use treatment. CAS offers support with treatment, and with COVID-19 and other wellness related issues and provides referrals when appropriate.

    Clients who complete qualifying substance use treatment programs and who owe child support arrears to NYC DSS may qualify for the Office of Child Support Services Parent Success Program, which can reduce their DSS child support debt. Clients can ask their substance use treatment provider about the Parent Success Program.

    Cash Assistance Application Interviews On-Demand

    HRA now offers on demand interviews for all Cash Assistance new applicants and existing recipients. Clients are now receiving instructions to contact the on-demand call center in Cash Assistance related correspondence from HRA as well as in ACCESS HRA when submitting a new application.

    In order to minimize the time a client waits on hold, the CA on demand system allows callers to request a call back rather than wait on hold. This option will keep a caller's place in line and they will receive a call back for their interview when the call center reaches their place in the queue.

    Clients who have questions regarding an existing application or case should continue to visit the ACCESS HRA website at nyc.gov/accesshra or call the DSS OneNumber (formerly HRA Infoline) at 718-557-1399.

    Availability of Two Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Cards to Certain SNAP Households

    Effective immediately, certain SNAP households are now permitted to have two EBT cards with access to their SNAP benefits. For a SNAP household to be eligible for a second EBT card, the SNAP household must include two parent(s)/guardian(s) who:

    • Are both on the SNAP case,
    • Live in the household full-time, and
    • Are over the age of 18 or, regardless of age, are a parent/guardian of a minor child.

    Households that meet the above criteria may request an additional EBT card by:

    • Calling the DSS OneNumber at 718-557-1399
    • Going into a Benefits Access Center or SNAP Center
    • Going to the Over-the-Counter site at 227 Schermerhorn Street in Brooklyn

    The second card does not entitle a SNAP household to any additional SNAP benefits. Both EBT cards are associated with the household's SNAP case and transactions made using either card will draw down from the same SNAP account. The second EBT card will contain the payee/head of household's name and the name of the second parent/guardian in the household. Each card will have its own card number.

    SNAP & P-EBT Targeted Text Outreach – New Sender Short Code Phone Number

    As of April 25, 2023, the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) is using the new short code phone number "696832" to send all future SNAP and P-EBT related text messages to households.

    Since 2020, OTDA has employed largescale text blasts to inform households of P-EBT issuances, as well as the termination of supplemental SNAP Emergency Allotments. The most recent targeted text effort sent messages from 877-902-0684. Moving forward, text messages will no longer be sent from 877-902-0684, and will instead be sent from the short code "696832." Messages received from the short code phone number "696832" are legitimate and not a scam or spam.

    Cash Assistance (CA) Earned Income Disregard (EID)

    As of June 1, 2023, the EID increased from 50% to 62%. The work expense disregard remains as $150 per month. The 2023 poverty level guidelines are used to determine the maximum earnings that can count toward the EID.

    Note: Based on policy changes that were included in the enacted 2022-23 New York State budget, effective October 1, 2022:

    • The 185% Gross Income Test (GIT) and the Poverty Level Test were eliminated;
    • The eligibility to receive the EID was expanded to all households with earned income; and
    • The budgeting methodology was changed to apply the EID prior to the work expense disregard.

    Cash Assistance Six-Month Mailer Recertification Waiver

    The State OTDA has approved the City's request to waive the regulation requiring households in receipt of Cash Assistance to complete the six-month mail-in recertification if the household is identified as having no earned income in order to maintain eligibility for CA benefits.

    These households will still be required to complete a recertification once every twelve (12) months and to report any changes to the household circumstances (composition, income, etc) within ten (10) days of the change.

    Households receiving CA will be reminded of their 10-day reporting requirement by HRA in the first month they would normally receive their 6-month mailer. The notice also provides information on how they can submit changes to their circumstances to the agency.

    Food Assistance Programs

    WIC Infant Formula Updates

    USDA's Food and Nutrition Service has granted waivers of certain WIC regulations to WIC agencies across the country so that they can take immediate action to ensure that WIC participants can exchange their recalled baby formula and use WIC benefits to purchase products that have not been recalled. WIC-Eligible Families can contact their local WIC office to identify or obtain additional sources of infant formula nearby.

    Baby Formula Shortage Social Media Toolkit

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is working to ensure infant formula is safe and available to families across the country that need it, and has created a multilingual social media toolkit features graphics, info and links to additional resources. Messages and graphics are available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Haitian Creole.

    View the toolkit

    Half-Off Farm Box Program for SNAP Recipients

    New Yorkers who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can get a pre-assembled box of locally grown farm-fresh fruits and vegetables for half off the price of a full box. Prices vary by site. Each box contains six to 10 items and must be pre-ordered one week in advance.

    Find participating sites on the DOH website

    Grow NYC Fresh Food Boxes

    Half-priced Fresh Food Boxes are now available for customers shopping with SNAP. SNAP recipients can receive the same great bag of produce for just $7 when paying with an EBT card at every GrowNYC Fresh Food Box site. GrowNYC Fresh Food Box sites are part of a network of food access retail sites operated by GrowNYC, along with Greenmarkets and Farmstands. Through Fresh Food Box, customers pay one week in advance for a pre-assembled box of healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables grown primarily by regional farmers and sourced through GrowNYC Wholesale. The program allows customers to take advantage of the cost benefit of buying in a group and enjoy the flexibility of a weekly commitment while supporting farmers.

    For more information visit GrowNYC.

    "Find Food Support" Website

    Find Food Support is a website using a Google Maps tool to help individuals locate sources of free food in their communities. Google partnered with No Kid Hungry, FoodFinder, and the United States Department of Agriculture to identify more than 90,000 food support sites including food banks, food pantries, and school lunch pick-up locations across all 50 states.

    Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)

    COVID-19 Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) Issuance for the 2021-22 School Year & Summer 2022

    OTDA recently started issuing Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) food benefits to eligible children for the 2021-22 school year and summer 2022. Automatic payments were issued beginning May 2023, with majority of benefit payments continuing through September 2023.

    All P-EBT food benefits for the 2021-2022 school year will be issued in the following manner: If an eligible child is still on an existing SNAP case, P-EBT food benefits will be deposited into their household's existing EBT account. Eligible children who are no longer receiving SNAP will be issued a new P-EBT Food Benefit card with instructions explaining how to activate the card and access the P-EBT food benefits, or they will receive the benefits on an existing P-EBT Food Benefit card if they have already been issued one.

    P-EBT food benefits will remain available and accessible on the EBT or P-EBT food benefit card for 274 days from the date they were issued.

    Households may be notified that benefits have been issued either via text message issued by OTDA (OTDA text message short code 696832) or robocall from the P-EBT Helpline, operated by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) Human Services Call Center.

    P-EBT Summer 2022 Benefits for Kindergarten through Grade 12 Students

    For the Summer 2022 period, students attending and enrolled in an NSLP-participating school in June 2022 and certified eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch are eligible for a one-time $391 benefit. Once school enrollment data is received by schools and processed by OTDA, all eligible children will receive the summer 2022 benefit automatically. There is no application for the summer 2022 benefit, except for some Pre-K students who must apply for school year and summer benefits through the application portal. Benefits will be issued in the same manner as the 2021-2022 school year benefit, and in many cases, will be paid at the same time as a 2021-2022 school year benefit.

    P-EBT Food Benefits for SNAP and TA Households with Children Under Age 6

    OTDA also started issuing P-EBT food benefits to children under age 6 who received SNAP during the 2021-2022 school year, including any eligible children who attended pre-kindergarten (Pre-K). Each eligible child will receive $31 per month for each month they received SNAP from September 2021 through June 2022. Eligible children will also receive a Summer 2022 P-EBT food benefit of $391 if they received SNAP for the months of June, July, or August 2022. Most of the benefits for this group were issued in April 2023.

    Households may apply to be considered for additional benefits for any month that a child under age 6:

    • Was in receipt of SNAP,
    • Received $31 automatically as described above,
    • Attended pre-kindergarten, AND
    • Was absent or remote learning for 6 or more days in that month due to COVID-19.

    Parents will be asked to submit additional documentation from the child's Pre-K school to verify this information. If approved, the child will be issued the difference between the $31 benefit and the school year P-EBT benefit for that month.

    Application Portal

    For any additional absences during the 2021-2022 school year (other than five consecutive days for which benefits will automatically be issued) families will have the option to apply via a newly created online application. The application allows parents to attest to their child's total number of COVID-19 related absences and remote learning days for each month of the 2021-2022 school year. The child's school must have submitted attendance data, which OTDA will compare to the parent's attestation to validate the household's application for benefits. OTDA will pay the difference between any benefits that have already been issued for the 2021-2022 school year and the tiered monthly benefit amounts based on parent/guardian attestation and the attendance data received from the child's school.

    Because daily attendance records were not available for children attending Pre-K programs, most children who attended Pre-K in the 2021-22 school year will not receive automatic school year or summer payments. The online application will allow parents/guardians to provide documentation validating FRPL eligibility, NSLP school enrollment, and eligible absences. Applications and supporting documentation will be reviewed to determine eligibility for P-EBT food benefits and benefit levels for the 2021-22 school year and the Summer 2022 benefit.

    The application portal opened on May 15. Applications will be accepted through August 15, 2023. All approved benefits will be issued by the end of September 2023 Applicants can receive assistance with applying by calling the P-EBT Helpline at 833-452-0096. Applicants can refer to the P-EBT FAQ webpage for answers related to P-EBT.

    Any additional P-EBT related inquiries should be directed to the State's P-EBT Food Benefits Helpline at 833-452-0096 or to the P-EBT Information Form at otda.ny.gov/PEBT-Info. OTDA's SNAP COVID-19 webpage also provides a wealth of information about P-EBT and links to further and more detailed information about P-EBT. P-EBT Frequently Asked Questions can also be found on the OTDA website.

    Information about benefits for the 2022-2023 school year and Summer 2023 period is forthcoming.

    P-EBT Scam Text Messages

    OTDA has been sending texts to households of children that are being issued their summer 2021 P-EBT benefits. It has come to the attention of HRA and OTDA that clients and some SNAP workers are receiving messages about P-EBT that appear to be suspicious.

    Official texts about P-EBT will come from the phone number 877-902-0684 and include the following text:

    Your child's Summer P-EBT food benefits for the 2022-2023 school year have been issued. Visit otda.ny.gov/SNAP-COVID-19 for more information.

    Recipients should not respond to any messages from a different number, especially those including the following information:

    • Message is from 21125686@access.nyc.gov
    • Message instructs the person to call 888-984-1165
    • Message also contains the following: #MSGID 2096589 P-EBT Blocked

    NYC Food Pantry Locator

    If you are interested in the location of a food pantry, please visit the pantry locator. We recommend calling to ensure the particular location is open. We've provided all of our emergency food providers with information about grab and go meals and how to implement social distancing at food pantries.

    Plentiful Food Pantry App

    Plentiful Pantry App is an app that lets New Yorkers find food pantries and make reservations ahead of time. There is a map of pantries all over NYC with over 300 locations. With Plentiful, pantries can easily keep track of clients, and clients can manage pantry visits directly from their phone. Pantries use Plentiful to manage reservations and communicate with clients. Clients get reservation reminders on their phone. Plentiful was created by The New York City Food Assistance Collaborative, a coalition of public and private organizations working to alleviate hunger in New York City. Collaborative members include the NYC Mayor's Office of Food Policy, City Harvest, United Way of New York City, the New York City Human Resources Administration - EFAP, and the New York State Department of Health Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program.

    New York City Common Pantry (NYCP) Mobile Pantry

    FreshDirect and its charitable partner, NY Common Pantry (NYCP), announced the launch of a new mobile pantry that will distribute food to people across New York City. The NYCP Mobile Pantry will also host social services staff, who will arrange enrollment in New York Common Pantry's program for distributing free food to eligible people, provide emergency food assistance and help people apply for programs like SNAP. Additional information on this new program will be provided as it becomes available.

    Farmers Market Health Bucks and Pharmacy to Farm Prescriptions

    Many NYC farmers markets remain open as an essential service and all accept Health Bucks coupons and most accept SNAP. Health Bucks are $2 coupons that can be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at all NYC farmers markets. SNAP recipients are eligible to receive Health Bucks. In the past, for every $5 spent at farmers markets using SNAP on an EBT card, individuals could receive $2 in Health Bucks. Due to a recent federal grant, farmers market customers will receive $2 in Health Bucks for every $2 spent in SNAP benefits, up to $10 in Health Bucks per day. Learn more about the program, which is run by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

    CityHarvest offers free food every other week across NYC. Find locations and more information.

    City Harvest Mobile Markets

    City Harvest Mobile Markets provide free fresh produce throughout the five boroughs. Beginning April 3, Mobile Markets will be open from 9:30 to 11:30 am. Each site may have its own eligibility criteria to receive free food. See a list of Mobile Markets by borough.

    Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP) is now Community Food Connection (CFC)

    We are pleased to share that what was formerly the Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP) has a new name and new program. The Community Food Connection (CFC), is partnering with a new vendor, H. Schrier & Company, to provide supplemental food and funding to approximately 600 emergency food programs throughout the five boroughs of New York City. Our new model of emergency food distribution will provide a variety of fresh produce, and shelf-stable and frozen foods, and increased flexibility when ordering and setting up convenient deliveries.

    For more information on DSS' Community Food Connection, contact 929-221-7679 or efap@hra.nyc.gov.

    Food Resource Guides

    The Hunter College Center for Food Policy has created food resource guides for 59 New York City neighborhoods. Each resource guide includes information related to food access within the community, such as the location and hours of food pantries, meals for students and seniors, delivery services for people with disabilities, and resources for immigrants.

    Financial Resources & Updates

    U.S. Small Business Administration - 9/29 Flood Disaster Loan Assistance

    Eligible New York City residents and businesses in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island affected by the significant flash flooding event on September 29, 2023, may now apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. These loans are made available for those whose homes and/or businesses were damaged due to flooding.

    The filing deadline to submit applications is February 2, 2024 for physical damage, and September 4, 2024 for economic injury.

    Learn more about the loan terms.

    For more information and to apply, please visit the Disaster Loan Assistance website

    Applications can also be submitted in person at two Disaster Loan Outreach Centers (DLOC), which are staffed by SBA personnel. The DLOCs listed below opened on Wednesday December 6 at 11:00 am, and will close on Friday, December 22 at 4:00 pm:

    United Jewish Organizations
    32 Penn Street
    Brooklyn, NY 11249

    • Monday-Thursday: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. ET
    • Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. ET
    • Saturday: Closed
    • Sunday: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. ET

    Health Essentials
    2336 86th Street
    Brooklyn, NY 11214

    • Monday-Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. ET
    • Saturday: 10:00 a.m. -2:00 p.m. ET
    • Sunday: Closed

    Electric and Gas Utility Bill Credit Program for Low-Income Families

    Temporary Assistance Implication

    Temporary Assistance (TA) funding may continue to be utilized to pay utility arrears when the applicant presents with an emergency or immediate need, after first exploring the availability of HEAP. A payment can be made to prevent termination if it is determined that an immediate threat of shut off is present and the applicant/recipient (A/R) is otherwise eligible.

    Earned Income Disregard for Summer Youth Employment Program Participants

    All earned income derived from participation in the SYEP or similar workforce development program by individuals not older than 24 at the time of enrollment is exempted from the determination of need for Temporary Assistance (TA). This policy applies to all Family Assistance (FA) and Safety Net Assistance (SNA) case types.

    For SNAP eligibility determinations, the earned income is excluded if the earner is a household member who is under age 18, attends elementary/high school or classes to obtain a High School Equivalency diploma, and lives with a parent or another household member who has parental control over the individual.

    NYC SafeStart Account

    The Department of Consumer and Worker Protection in partnership with various banks and credit unions across the City offers a savings account program with:

    • NO overdraft fees
    • NO monthly fees, provided minimum balances are met
    • LOW minimum balance requirements ($25 or less)
    • ATM card (No debit card)

    This service may be helpful to those who are receiving tax credits and stimulus funds. Learn more and see a list of participating banks and credit unions.

    Reminder about Temporary Vault Cards

    As a reminder, CBIC cards are issued by the State OTDA. While a client is waiting for a replacement CBIC card, a temporary Vault Card can be issued at a Benefits Access Center. Current SNAP or CA clients who need a replacement CBIC card can go to the Center that is most convenient to them to request a temporary Vault card while they wait for their CBIC card from the State in the mail.

    Emergency Utility Intervention Program (EUIP)

    As a reminder, recipients of social service benefits are eligible for the National Grid and Con Edison utility rate reduction program. In November, HRA completed its final low-income rate match for the 2020 program year for the utility rate reduction for customers receiving social services benefits. HRA clients with utility accounts were automatically enrolled and were provided an opportunity to opt-out of the program if they wished to do so.

    Enrollment is ongoing and HRA clients who were not automatically enrolled can participate by contacting their utility company to enroll. Clients can contact Con Edison at 800-75-CONED (800-752-6633) to enroll by phone, or by email at lowincomerate@coned.com. Con Edison will provide further instructions regarding enrollment requirements.

    For questions, clients should contact the Emergency Utility Intervention program at 212-331-4120 or by email at EUIP@hra.nyc.gov.

    Winter Electricity and Gas Bill Increases – Con Edison & National Grid

    The NYC Mayor's Office of Climate & Environmental Justice is anticipating higher prices for gas and electric services this coming winter. Con Edison & National Grid utility bills are increasing because of geopolitical events, supply constraints, and dynamic market forces which have resulted in an increase to the commodity price of fuel.

    There are financial assistance and payment assistance programs available to help income-eligible customers manage their utility bills:

    • Con Edison's Energy Affordability Program – apply online or on paper (English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, or Korean)
    • National Grid's Energy Affordability Program – sign up online or on paper. National Grid offers help through their consumer advocates. Call 718-643-4050 or email ConsumerAdvocatesNYC@nationalgrid.com.
    • The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) – administered by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA). Visit the OTDA website or call 800-342-3009.
    • Emergency Temporary Assistance – may be available for income-eligible customers. Payment of past-due bills may be available if the customer's utilities are shut off, are about to be shut off, or a 72-hour disconnect notice has been received. Visit OTDA, NYS myBenefits, or HRA.

    Financial Counseling

    NYC Financial Empowerment Center counselors are available to support New Yorkers over the phone with free financial counseling. It is free and confidential. Book an appointment online.

    SUNY Application Fees Waived

    Starting Aug. 1, 2022, all students at designated public high schools across New York State can apply to up to seven SUNY schools for free. SUNY has automatically waived application fees for every student at the 500 high schools statewide with the highest percentages of students receiving free lunch.

    Additionally, any student at any high school in the state who receives free lunch will also have their fees waived. Learn more and see which schools qualify.

    Free Municipal Broadband for NYCHA Residents

    Mayor Adams last week announced the citywide launch of 'Big Apple Connect' – a landmark digital equity program that will make free high-speed internet and basic cable TV available to approximately 300,000 New Yorkers living in more than 200 New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments by the end of 2023. Big Apple Connect will provide residents of NYCHA developments a free bundle that consists of in-home, high-speed internet connection, including a modem and router; basic cable TV service, including a cable box and remote control; and common area Wi-Fi hotspots.

    Learn more here.

    New York State ABLE

    State Comptroller DiNapoli administers the NYS Achieving a Better Life Experience (NY ABLE) program which allows eligible New Yorkers with disabilities to save for qualified short-term and long-term disability-related expenses on a tax-free basis while also keeping Medicaid, SSI and other government benefits. Disability-related expenses are costly and can make it hard to save for long-term financial security; NY ABLE can help.
    Learn more about New York State ABLE

    Health Insurance

    Reinstatement of Medicaid Sanctions for Clients Noncompliant with Child Support

    With the official ending of the federal public health emergency, HRA is required by federal law to reinstate, the process of sanctioning Medicaid coverage for the case head of those clients who do not comply with child support as of July 7, 2023.

    Medicaid Surplus Cases

    In accordance with State DOH requirements, Medicaid surplus consumers must continue to meet their surplus requirement during the COVID-19 health emergency. Surplus consumers can continue to submit medical bills to cover their surplus by mail or fax.

    HRA Medicaid Surplus Unit
    785 Atlantic Avenue
    Brooklyn, NY 11238
    Fax: 917-639-0645

    Payment may also be submitted to the HRA Division of Accounts Receivable and Billing (DARB) at 150 Greenwich Street, 34th Floor, NY NY 10007. Those who submit payment to DARB must then call the Surplus Hotline at 929-221-0835 to report that a payment has been made and provide case information.

    Medicaid consumers who cannot submit payment or bills because of health issues related to COVID-19 can call the Surplus Hotline at 929-221-0835 to attest that they have the money or the bills to satisfy their surplus but are unable to submit them.

    For Medicaid consumers who have lost income, they should have their case re-budgeted, which may lower or eliminate their surplus in some instances. Proof of a change in income should be faxed to 917-639-0645.

    Medicaid Income Eligibility Expansion for Older Adults and People with Disabilities

    Medicaid Income Eligibility Expansion for Older Adults and People with Disabilities Effective January 2023, Medicaid income eligibility has expanded for people who are 65 and older or living with a disability. Currently, a single person and a married couple are eligible for Medicaid at $934/month and $1,367/month, respectively. As of January 2023, a single person will be eligible at $1,563/month and a married couple at $2,106/month. The resource level for an SSI-related individual will increase from $16,800 ($24,600 for a couple) for 2022 to $28,133 for an individual ($37,902 for a couple) effective January 1, 2023.

    The new Medically Needy income and resource levels apply to new applications and requests for an increase in coverage received on or after January 1, 2023. HRA will do a one-time mailing to clients with a surplus in January asking if they would like to have their surplus amount reviewed. The mailing will include a postage-paid business reply envelopes, so clients can mail their request.

    Income eligibility has also expanded for the Medicare Savings Program, which helps people pay for Medicare costs.

    Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB)

    Clients with income less than or equal to 138% of the FPL are QMB eligible, as of January 1, 2023. QMB eligible clients may also have active Medicaid coverage. NY Medicaid will pay Medicare Part B premiums, coinsurance, and deductibles for those eligible at the QMB level. The current SLMB level will be subsumed by QMB in January 2023.

    Qualifying Individuals (QI) Clients with income above 138% of the FPL and less than or equal to 186% of the FPL are QI eligible, as of January 1, 2023. Clients cannot be enrolled as QI and enrolled in NY Medicaid at the same time. They must choose which program they prefer. NY Medicaid will pay only Medicare Part B premiums for those eligible at the QI level.

    Medicaid Renewals

    As a reminder, Medicaid easements were lifted as of April 1, 2023. Renewals with authorization end dates in June 2023 and beyond must be fully processed (i.e., clients must return their renewal and provide relevant documentation to continue their coverage). Clients with cases that are due for renewal in June 2023 (authorizations ending in June) have been mailed their renewal packages and should proceed with completion of such. Please help to make sure that clients are aware of these requirements. These cases will undergo a full review with no easements applied. Clients will be required to provide all documentation for application and renewal as was required pre-pandemic.

    NYS Private Health Insurance Application Deadline for 2023

    The open enrollment period for NYS private health insurance coverage for 2023 will continue to remain open during the active Public Health Emergency. For more information visit the New York State of Health website

    Medicare Savings Program Enrollment in New York City

    The Medicare Savings Program (MSP) in New York expanded in 2023! The expansion raised monthly income eligibility limits from 135% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) to 186% of the FPL, helping more people to pay for Medicare costs.

    As a reminder, the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) easements and waivers that have streamlined the MSP application process will end on June 30, 2023. The pre-COVID-19 MSP application process will resume on July 01, 2023.

    Eviction Protections & Housing Resources

    NYCHA Legislative Package

    Governor Kathy Hochul signed a package of legislation to support residents of public housing and improve conditions in the New York City Housing Authority. Legislation S.7859-A/A.8612-A requires NYCHA to create and maintain a searchable database of ticket numbers showing complaints filed by residents. Legislation S.72-A/A.9387-A requires that data of outstanding code violations in public housing developments be maintained in the same manner as it is for privately owned housing.

    Legislation S.7859-A/A.8612-A requires NYCHA to have a searchable database of ticket numbers, which will expand transparency and accountability in the authority's operations. Ticket numbers and complaints will be viewable by the public, but will exclude personal information about the residents who file any grievances.
    Learn more about the NYCHA legislative package

    Housing Education Series for Older Adults

    Manhattan Community Board 7's Senior Task Force sponsored a virtual housing education series for older adults on obtaining housing, maintaining housing, and thriving in housing. Please click on the links below to view each webinar.

    • Session I - Obtaining Housing: Learn how to navigate the housing search process, including waitlists, housing lotteries, income verifications, and types of affordable housing.
    • Session II - Maintaining Housing: Resources to help tenants maintain housing, including rental assistance, benefits and entitlements, and basic human rights.
    • Session III - Thriving in Housing: Community resources and organizations working in CB7 that can help tenants thrive in their housing. Some of these resources might be available to you as well.

    Mayor's Public Engagement Unit's Tenant Helpline

    The Public Engagement Unit's Tenant Helpline serves as a one-stop shop to inform New York City tenants about their rights and connect them to housing-related resources, including free legal services. Because tenants who call the helpline are frequently experiencing a range of connected hardships, the Helpline also offers assistance with additional City programs like SNAP, Cash Assistance, Homebase, and One-Shot Deals, etc and helps with applying for State programs like rent relief and unemployment insurance. If you are at risk of eviction or experience a housing-related issue, please call 311 and ask for the Tenant Helpline.

    HASA Rental Assistance

    In order to align rental assistance levels for HASA clients with the recent changes for our CityFEHPS program, we will be providing rental assistance grants to HASA clients in private-market apartments up to the NYCHA Section 8 payment standard. Over 55% of HASA (HIV/AIDS Services Administration) clients reside in independent, private-market apartments. These maximum rent levels can be found on the DSS website on the CityFHEPS page

    Rental Assistance Finder

    The federal government continues to enact an all-of-government effort to ensure renters and landlords are able to take advantage of the relief available to them on a local level.

    As part of that effort, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has developed a new tool, the Rental Assistance Finder that allows renters and landlords to find rental assistance programs in their area.

    Pet Owner Eviction Project

    Animal Haven's Pet Owner Eviction Project, in partnership with the Mayor's Office of Animal Welfare and NYC Emergency Management's Animal Planning Task Force, is seeking to connect vulnerable tenants at risk of losing their pets while facing a potential eviction with free and low-cost resources. For more information and assistance, individuals can call the COVID-19 Pet Hotline: 877-204-8821

    Fair Hearings

    Extension of Remote Fair Hearings

    HRA clients or applicants may request a Fair Hearing in any of the following ways:

    • Call the statewide toll-free number at 800-342-3334
    • Request an emergency Fair Hearing in NYC by calling 800-205-0110
    • Using the Fair Hearing Online Request Form

    Client notices with Fair Hearing information provide a unique phone number that clients can use to request a pre-hearing HRA conference by phone. Once a pre-hearing conference to resolve a hearing issue is requested, clients will be contacted by HRA at or around the date and time requested by the client.

    As Fair Hearing determinations are made, the agency is complying with the determinations. When a Fair Hearing finds in favor of the client, benefits will be re-instated, including any rental subsidies.

    Incoming Fair Hearing Telephone Calls

    Clients or applicants who are expecting a telephone call for their Fair Hearing should be reminded to ensure that their phone settings will allow calls to get through even if they are from unknown numbers. Fair Hearing calls may come from an unfamiliar or unknown number, so anyone expecting a Fair Hearing call should answer any incoming call to make sure they do not miss their Fair Hearing.

    Fair Hearings Demonstration Project Extension

    The Fair Hearing demonstration project which began on March 12, 2020, is being extended through March 12, 2024. The OTDA Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) began the virtual hearing demonstration project to assess the viability of conducting fair hearings to the greatest extent possible utilizing telephone, video, and other means of communication.

    In-person hearings will be held when:

    • the applicant or recipient makes a request for an in-person hearing;
    • when, in the judgment of OAH or the Hearing Officer, a party's due process rights would best be served by conducting a hearing in-person; or
    • when, in the judgment of OAH or the Hearing Officer, there are circumstances which make proceeding with the hearing by telephone, video, or other means inadvisable.

    Questions about this demonstration project should be directed to OAH Deputy Commissioner Roy A. Esnard at Roy.Esnard@otda.ny.gov and 718-923-4334 or Deputy Director Samuel Spitzberg at Samuel.Spitzber@otda.ny.gov and 518-486-9570.

    Time Limited Zip-Code Based CITYFHEPS Landlord Bonus

    The NYC Department of Housing and Preservation & Development (HPD) has designated certain zip codes in NYC as expanded housing opportunity areas. Because rents tend to be higher in these zip codes, CityFHEPS is now offering a landlord bonus of two month's rent to landlords in these zip codes who accept a CityFHEPS voucher holder at their market rate rent. Stabilized rents already at or below the CityFHEPS maximum are not eligible for this bonus. This incentive will be available until at least December 31, 2023.

    Previously, this incentive was only for one month's rent and expired on June 30, 2023.

    Brooklyn Civil Housing Court Emergency Rental Assistance Pilot Project

    The Department of Social Services (DSS)/HRA will participate in a pilot program beginning February 21, 2023, to assist tenants at the Brooklyn Civil Housing Court on their first scheduled court dates to apply for emergency rental assistance. To start, a brochure will be distributed at the Brooklyn Housing Court answer window, informing tenants when they are first summoned how to get HRA help before their first court date. At their first court date, those who don't have legal representation will be directed by court staff to on-site HRA staff for assistance in applying for rent arrears and ongoing assistance via ACCESS HRA. They will also be screened for and connected to legal services. Their next court date will be scheduled at least 45-days out, to allow time for HRA to process the application for those who are eligible. A centralized HRA team will expedite processing so that cases can be resolved in time for the next court date.

    New York City Rent Subsidies for Landlords

    The Family Homelessness and Eviction Prevention Supplement (FHEPS) payment standards and utility allowance amounts have increased. Download the updated payment standards and utility allowances

    Connecting DHS clients to permanent housing is a key priority for the agency, and we have maintained a strong focus on rehousing throughout the pandemic. We want to encourage landlords who may not have worked with the City in the past to rent units to families and individuals leaving the DHS shelter system. The majority of DHS clients exit with a rental subsidy such as CityFHEPS – in addition to rent, these subsidies come with a variety of other benefits to landlords and brokers, including an upfront landlord incentive payment and brokers' fees. In this challenging economic climate, the City rent subsidies provide a tangible financial upside to landlords. Renting to DHS clients is a win for both those households who can exit shelter and the owners who receive upfront incentives and ongoing subsidized rent. Download the rent subsidy flyer. We encourage you to share this information with landlords and brokers in your community to help us both connect households to permanent housing and support local property owners.

    Enterprise Data Warehouse Report for Housing Advocates

    As of July 10, 2020, we have a streamlined process for obtaining client and case information to assist in Housing Court cases. The Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) will produce a consolidated report providing all relevant client and case information to assist advocates in Housing Court cases. This report replaces the numerous screens and printouts from the State Welfare Management System (WMS) that the HRA Landlord Ombudsman Service Unit (LOSU) was collecting and providing upon request. Housing Advocates can submit requests to LOSU using the newly created Housing Court Report Request Form (HPA-106).

    The State Family Homelessness Eviction Prevention Supplement (FHEPS) for Cash Assistance Recipients

    The State FHEPS program is a rent supplement for families with children who receive Cash Assistance and have been evicted or are facing eviction, who lost their housing due to a domestic violence situation, or who have lost their housing because of health or safety issues. Formerly known as the Family Eviction Prevention Supplement (FEPS), the program has been expanded to include survivors of domestic violence and their children. The administration of this State program has transitioned from the State to the City. Potentially eligible families must have an active Cash Assistance case and will be screened for this benefit once an Emergency Grant and/or ongoing Cash Assistance application has been received. There is no dedicated State FHEPS application. Clients can only be considered for the program by applying for Cash/Emergency Assistance. Cash/Emergency Assistance applications are available on ACCESS HRA or at open HRA Benefits Access Centers. State FHEPS information and documentation for providers, landlords and brokers can be accessed in multiple languages on our FHEPS page.

    Updates on FHEPS

    The maximum FHEPS rent levels will increase in line with our State approved FHEPs plan. The new levels will match those of CityFHEPS as set by the standards adopted by NYCHA. Families potentially eligible for FHEPS will receive shopping letters with the new levels. Those with shopping letters at the old rates may request a new letter by coming into a Homebase office, by telephone, or email. For those who are already in receipt of FHEPS may request an increase at the time they receive a new lease/rental agreement if their rent goes up.

    In response to questions received on our monthly call, walk-in appointments are available at Homebase offices, but we strongly encourage clients to schedule an appointment for everyone's safety and efficiency in processing applications. For those who are requesting a revised shopping letter, walk-ins are appropriate. HASA rent levels are already at the same level as CityFHEPS. FHEPS rent levels have increased to meet the level of CityFHEPS and HASA, thus HASA clients with shopping letters will not see an increase in levels.

    OTDA and HRA have an approved plan to raise the FHEPS rent levels to 108% of the FMR, aligning to the change the City made last year for CityFHEPS payments. The new plan is effective as of February 16th. Listed below are the new FHEPS Payment Standards. For more information and updated forms, visit our FHEPS page.

    Number of Bedrooms All Utilities Included Without Cooking Gas & Electric With Cooking Gas Only With Electric Only No Utilities Included
    0 $1,900 $1,802 $1,825 $1,877 $1,738
    1 $1,945 $1,835 $1,861 $1,919 $1,760
    2 $2,217 $2,078 $2,107 $2,188 $1,986
    3 $2,805 $2,636 $2,669 $2,772 $2,529
    4 $3,006 $2,809 $2,845 $2,970 $2,686
    5 $3,457 $3,230 $3,270 $3,417 $3,092
    6 $3,908 $3,681 $3,721 $3,868 $3,543
    7 $4,359 $4,132 $4,172 $4,319 $3,994
    8 $4,810 $4,583 $4,623 $4,770 $4,445
    • Pursuant to State waiver, an eviction proceeding is not required for FHEPS eligibility.
    • The State Hardship Declaration along with a rent demand or other written threat of eviction can be used in lieu of an eviction proceeding for FHEPS eligibility.
    • The signature waiver used for Cash Assistance can also be used for the FHEPS application.
    • The extenuating circumstances requirement, to permit arrears in excess of $9,000, is fulfilled by the Hardship Declaration.
    • A Policy Bulletin has been shared with staff providing guidance on these updated rules.

    Hardship declaration forms are available to download in 20 languages on the New York Courts EEFPA webpage.

    The FHEPS A and FHEPS B payment standards and utility allowance amounts have increased. Download a revised table of allowance levels.

    The following temporary changes to the FHEPS A program have been extended until December 31, 2023:

    • Waiver of the court action requirement and acceptance of a rent demand letter.
    • Increase in the rent arrears amount without documentation of extenuating circumstances to $20,000.

    Right-to-Counsel/Universal Access Legal Services Progress Report

    New York City's Right to Counsel law is implemented citywide, regardless of zip code. All tenants appearing in eviction proceedings in New York City Housing Court and in NYCHA termination proceedings have access to free legal services provided by nonprofit legal services organizations supported by HRA's Office of Civil Justice (OCJ). For more information, New Yorkers can visit OCJ's website at www.nyc.gov/rtc or call 311 and ask for the City's Tenant Helpline.

    HRA's Office of Civil Justice has released the 2021 Right-to-Counsel/Universal Access to Legal Services Progress Report. Download the report.

    Tenant and Property Owner Resources

    The Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants (MOPT) and the Mayor's Public Engagement Unit's (PEU) Tenant Support Unit (TSU) have created an online tool to help renters in New York City navigate public and private resources that can stabilize their housing situation. A tenant seeking help will be taken through a series of questions and directed to the most useful resources based on their responses, including information about free legal services for tenants through HRA's Office of Civil Justice (OCJ). MOPT and PEU have included resources from multiple City agencies, Legal Services Providers, and Community-Based Organizations.

    Legal Services Providers or Community-Based Organizations are encouraged to recommend additional resources using the online feedback form.

    This page is updated regularly as new information is made available. Please visit the Tenant Protection site.

    Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants – Resource Guides

    The Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants has created resource guides for tenants and residential property owners to help those struggling as a result of financial hardship caused by the pandemic.

    Download a Resource Guide for Residential Owners, The guide summarizes programs through which owners can access rental arrears, foreclosure protections, loans, and individualized assistance.

    The Tenant Flyer provides useful information for tenants who may be struggling to pay rent or facing eviction. Download the flyer from the MOPT website.

    CityFHEPS

    Tenants who were rejected at renewal for their CityFHEPS for being over income and are still in the same unit but having issues with paying their rent can now resubmit their renewal application at the higher income threshold of 80%amI.

    The best way to return a completed and signed CityFHEPS Renewal Request form is to email it along with images of all supporting documents to RAPrenewals@hra.nyc.gov. Applicants can also mail the completed and signed form along with copies of all supporting documents to the Rental Assistance Program Unit, 109 E 16th Street, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10003.

    Strengthening City FHEPS

    • This package of reforms to the CityFHEPS program will make vouchers more widely accessible and easier to use more quickly. Additional information will be shared as the reforms are implemented:
    • An expansion of CityFHEPS eligibility to include single adults working full-time on minimum wage, even if the income is slightly higher than 200 percent of the federal poverty level,
    • Reducing the monthly contribution by CityFHEPS tenants who move into single-room occupancy units from 30 percent of their income to a maximum of $50 per month,
    • Reducing the number of hours families are required to work to become eligible for CityFHEPS from 30 to 14 hours per week,
    • Covering the cost of apartment application fees for New Yorkers living in New York City Department of Homeless Services shelters,
    • Allowing CityFHEPS voucher-holders who choose to secure an apartment that rents above the CityFHEPS maximum to supplement their voucher by contributing up to 40 percent of their income,
    • Expanding Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility for CityFHEPS families from an adult in the household in receipt of SSI to any household member in receipt of SSI, such as a child,
    • Piloting a limited bonus equal to one month's rent for landlords renting to CityFHEPS voucher-holders in high-cost neighborhoods,
    • Significantly increasing staffing at the New York City Department of Social Services (DSS) to speed up voucher processing and increase placements,
    • Significantly increasing New York City Human Resources Administration staff presence in Housing Court to ensure that eligible clients receive quick access to financial assistance that will allow them to stay in their homes, and
    • Creating consistency across CityFHEPS, Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHV), and the Special One-Time Assistance (SOTA) program by providing a "unit hold" incentive payment equal to one month's rent for landlords who agree to hold an apartment while an EHV holder or SOTA participant's materials are processed.

    About CityFHEPS

    CityFHEPS is one of the programs that provides ongoing rental assistance. This is a benefit that is made available to clients who are in shelter or for some individuals facing eviction. Learn more about CityFHEPS eligibility for community tenants. Learn more about eligibility for households residing in shelter.

    CityFHEPS information is available in additional languages.

    In the community, Homebase and HRA's Adult Protective Services (APS) program can help eligible clients facing eviction obtain rental assistance. CityFHEPS letters are generated by the Homebase or APS program and given to the client by the client's case manager at the time they are created. Homebase locations are currently closed but are providing their services by phone. Clients can find the phone number for the Homebase location that serves their zip code on our website, and access information about Homebase in numerous languages.

    In DHS shelter, most CityFHEPS shopping letters are generated automatically through a data match and issued to the client's shelter through the DHS CARES system. After a letter is generated, it is placed in the shelter Provider's folder in the S drive and in the CARES system. Providers are instructed to check these folders on a regular basis. Additionally, a shelter case manager can request a letter if they don't see a letter for their client in their folder. Usually, letters are generated within 24 hours after the request.

    For existing CityFHEPS clients in shelter, we continue to operate the program with some modifications to our usual process:

    • For clients whose eligibility is based on employment, they will still be eligible to rent housing with City FHEPS even if they have reduced or lost work during the pandemic.
    • We will automatically reissue City FHEPS shopping letters as they expire. There is no need to reapply.
    • For apartment inspections, we have created a virtual viewing and walk-through process. Clients are also able to view apartments virtually.
    • HRA is still processing and issuing rental assistance checks.

    CityFHEPS Processing Delays

    In response to a question on our weekly call about delays in CityFHEPS being processed at shelters, DHS is able to provide training to any shelter sites if submissions are found to be incomplete or inaccurate, which can result in processing delays.

    CityFHEPS Renewals

    The best way clients can return their completed and signed CityFHEPS Renewal Request form is to email it along with images of all supporting documents to RAPrenewals@hra.nyc.gov. Clients can also mail the completed and signed form, along with copies of all supporting documents, to Rental Assistance Program Unit, 109 E 16th Street, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10003. The Rental Assistance Unit remains closed to the public at this time.

    Household Income Limits for CityFHEPS Renewals

    In accordance with DSS's recently published final rule, total household income limits for CityFHEPS renewals will now be based on Area Median Income (AMI) instead of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Previously, the maximum gross income for households was up to 250% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

    Effective immediately, a household may have gross income up to 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) to qualify for a CityFHEPS renewal. View the New York City AMI Chart on the HPD website.

    CityFHEPS New Payment Standards

    The CityFHEPS payment standards increased on January 1, 2023. The FHEPS payment standards did not change.

    The Payment Standard refers to the maximum number of bedrooms for which HRA will pay. Payment Standards are based solely on the number of individuals residing in the household. HRA will allow one bedroom or sleeping area per two individuals. Any utilities paid by the tenant must be subtracted from the payment standard.

    Some important information about payment standards for CityFHEPS participants:

    • The CityFHEPS payment standards increased on January 1, 2023.
    • The payment standards are applicable to applications for CityFHEPS with a lease start date on or after 1/1/2023
    • The payment standards are applicable to CityFHEPS clients during their annual renewal, if they produce a lease that shows an increased rent amount within the allowable limit
    • Landlords of existing CityFHEPS clients cannot increase the rent amount mid-year unless the unit is subject to government regulations with respect to allowable rents.

    CityFHEPS MAXIMUM RENT AMOUNTS (effective 01/01/2023)

    Number of Bedrooms

    Family Size

    ALL Utilities Included

    WITHOUT Cooking Gas & Electric

    WITH Cooking Gas Only

    WITH Electric Only

    NO

    Utilities Included

    SRO

    1

    $1,751

    $1,652

    $1,676

    $1,727

    $1,574

    0 (studio)

    1

    $2,335

    $2,236

    $2,260

    $2,311

    $2,158

    1

    1 or 2

    $2,387

    $2,275

    $2,302

    $2,360

    $2,184

    2

    3 or 4

    $2,696

    $2,555

    $2,586

    $2,665

    $2,443

    3

    5 or 6

    $3,385

    $3,214

    $3,249

    $3,350

    $3,084

    4

    7 or 8

    $3,647

    $3,446

    $3,485

    $3,608

    $3,296

    5

    9 or 10

    $4,194

    $3,963

    $4,006

    $4,151

    $3,794

    6

    11 or 12

    $4,741

    $4,510

    $4,553

    $4,698

    $4,341

    7

    13 or 14

    $5,288

    $5,057

    $5,100

    $5,245

    $4,888

    8

    15 or 16

    $5,835

    $5,604

    $5,647

    $5,792

    $5,435

    9

    17 or 18

    $6,383

    $6,152

    $6,195

    $6,340

    $5,983

    10

    19 or 20

    $6,930

    $6,699

    $6,742

    $6,887

    $6,530

    FHEPS MAXIMUM RENT AMOUNTS

    Number of Bedrooms

    Family Size

    ALL Utilities Included

    WITHOUT Cooking Gas & Electric

    WITH Cooking Gas Only

    WITH Electric Only

    NO

    Utilities Included

    0 (studio)

    1

    $2,179

    $2,081

    $2,104

    $2,156

    $2,017

    1

    1 or 2

    $2,218

    $2,108

    $2,134

    $2,192

    $2,033

    2

    3 or 4

    $2,527

    $2,388

    $2,278

    $2,498

    $2,296

    3

    5 or 6

    $3,188

    $3,019

    $3,052

    $3,155

    $2,912

    4

    7 or 8

    $3,426

    $3,229

    $3,265

    $3,390

    $3,106

    5

    9 or 10

    $3,940

    $3,713

    $3,753

    $3,900

    $3,575

    6

    11 or 12

    $4,454

    $4,227

    $4,267

    $4,414

    $4,089

    7

    13 or 14

    $4,968

    $4,741

    $4,781

    $4,928

    $4,603

    8

    15 or 16

    $5,483

    $5,256

    $5,296

    $5,443

    $5,118

    9

    17 or 18

    $5,997

    $5,770

    $5,810

    $5,957

    $5,632

    10

    19 or 20

    $6,511

    $6,284

    $6,324

    $6,471

    $6,146

    CityFHEPS Employment Requirement

    • Families who currently have a CityFHEPS shopping letter due to employment status will be able to use their letters to find an apartment, regardless of loss of employment or reduction in hours.
    • Families who were working and would otherwise have become eligible for CityFHEPS, but for the economic disruption caused by COVID-19, can also receive a shopping letter by submitting their unemployment information to HRA and the Department of Homeless Services (DHS).

    HRA will automatically reissue new CityFHEPS shopping letters to people in shelter who were previously eligible as their current letters expire.

    Rent Freeze and Homeowner Tax Exemption Events for People with Disabilities/65+

    The NYC Department of Finance (DOF) recently released their 2022 Annual Rent Freeze Report. New Yorkers who are 62 years or older or have a disability may qualify to freeze their rent. Assistance is available by contacting the Public Engagement Unit's Rent Freeze support office at (929) 252-7242 or by visiting one of the DOF Business Centers weekly (more information is available on the Finance Department's website). To be eligible, individuals must:

    • Be 62 years old OR at least 18 years old and disabled
    • Be the primary tenant named on the lease/rent order or have been granted succession rights in a rent-controlled, rent-stabilized, or a rent-regulated hotel apartment;
    • Have a combined household income for all members of the household that is $50,000 or less; and
    • Spend more than one-third of your monthly household income on rent.

    Learn more and apply

    Interested individuals can speak to a PEU Specialist directly by calling the rent freeze and homeowner tax exemption hotline at (929) 252-7242.

    NYCHA Rent Reduction

    A household may qualify for a NYCHA rent reduction based on a rent hardship. NYCHA has simplified its Rent Hardship Policy to make it easier to reduce rent in NYCHA during the COVID-19 crisis.

    NYCHA accepts applications through an Interim Recertification if an individual's hours at work have been cut or for loss of a job.

    • Households can now submit Interim Recertifications for Income Changes via a new simplified Self-Service Portal interface.
    • There is no waiting period to apply.
    • Until further notice, NYCHA residents may self-certify their income loss. This means that supporting documents such as pay stubs, a letter from the employer, and/or verification of unemployment benefits, which are usually required to submit the Interim Recertification, are not required at this time.
    • Households now have the ability to contact the Customer Contact Center (CCC) to make these requests over the phone. NYCHA CCC staff is equipped to answer questions related to the Rent Hardship policies put in place in response to the COVID-19 state of emergency. Households can call 718-707-7771 and select option 5.

    Tenant Protection Information resources for tenants impacted by COVID-19 can be found at the Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants' webpage Information and Resources for NYC Tenants Impacted by COVID-19

    Homeless Services

    Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE) Survey 2024

    DSS-HRA-DHS is seeking volunteers for our annual Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE) Survey, a point-in-time survey undertaken each winter that helps the City estimate the number of unsheltered New Yorkers living on the street on one of the coldest nights of the year. HOPE is scheduled to take place on the night of Tuesday, January 23rd, 2024. The results gathered through this survey provide the City with valuable information that helps determine how to allocate resources to best serve New Yorkers in need with care and compassion. Each year, thousands of volunteers across the five boroughs participate in HOPE.

    Please visit nyc.gov/hope to learn more and to register. Your participation is essential to helping us address the challenge of homelessness and support some of our City's most vulnerable residents as they get back on their feet.

    DHS Curfew Update

    The objective of the NYC Department of Homeless Services is to provide clients with the structure, support, and resources they need to obtain permanent housing. With that said, it is critical that we give our clients the flexibility to integrate within their community, and visit family and friends.

    In the past, advocates and some New Yorkers experiencing homelessness have cited strict shelter curfews as a deterrent to accessing the shelter services and supports they need to get back on their feet. That is why DHS has changed its curfew rules from 10pm to 11pm, in order to maintain the agency's mission of serving with care and compassion, and so that we can treat our clients like the autonomous adults they are.

    This shift does not change DHS' good neighbor policy. Shelters will continue to reinforce the message that clients must be responsible members of the community. Most shelters have 24/7 contact numbers where the community can report any issues in real time, and run Community Advisory Boards that meet quarterly and provide a forum for discussion of issues.

    • Note that safe havens and stabilization beds do not have any curfew. The curfew for families is 10 pm, 9 pm for children. That means if there are two adults in the family, the adult not supervising the children can be out until 10.

    Subway Safety Plan Video

    Since Mayor Adams implemented his Subway Safety Plan in February, the City has connected more than 1,300 people with shelter and with the services they deserve. In collaboration with the NYPD, DOHMH, MTA, and community-based providers, DSS is providing outreach services at the end-of-line stations every night and throughout the subway system every day.
    Learn more about these efforts

    Child Care Options for Families Experiencing Homelessness

    For families experiencing homelessness, or living in shelter or temporary housing may be eligible for free child care assistance. This includes families who may be sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason.

    These applicants can apply for a child care voucher, follow the directions on how to apply above, select "Homelessness" as the reason for care in Section 3, and submit the application with a housing questionnaire and all other required documentation to TemporaryHousingRA@acs.nyc.gov. Sending applications to this email address will help expedite processing..

    The Early Care & Education Programs for Families Experiencing Homelessness Flyer has more information on all early care and education programs available for families in shelter or temporary housing. Download translations of the flyer.

    Storage Allowance/Grant for Cash Assistance Recipients

    An allowance for storage of furniture and personal belongings is available under client circumstances involving temporary shelter, eviction or relocation as long as eligibility for Cash Assistance or Emergency Assistance is met. Applicants and clients can apply for storage assistance through ACCESS HRA. Applicants for a storage allowance are no longer required to provide three (3) estimates before payments can be made, but the request must meet certain storage size and cost requirements. Information below outlines these allowable costs and sizes:

    Household Size Storage Space Size Max Rate
    1+ 5x5x4 (locker) – 100 Cubic Ft $60.00
    1+ 5x5x8 – 200 Cubic Ft $150.00
    1+ 5x10x8 – 400 Cubic Ft $216.00
    2+, 3+ 5x15x8 – 600 Cubic Ft $279.00
    4+, 5+ 10x10x8 – 800 Cubic Ft $368.00
    6+ 10x15x8 – 1200 Cubic Ft $547.00

    If a client has a lot of belongings they want to keep:

    • The outreach teams will assist clients through the HRA storage process - and DHS works closely w HRA to expedite and/or address any issues
    • The outreach teams try to work through all barriers to coming inside with a client, so if belongings are an issue, the teams will engage the client and work with them to consolidate or reorganize as necessary, as well as continue to work on identifying storage. Additional information can also be found in the Special Grant Document Guide.

    Reasonable Accommodation Process for DHS Clients

    DHS applicants and clients may request a reasonable accommodation at any point in time and do not need to use specific language (e.g., reasonable accommodation) in order to ask for help that they need because of a disability or medically-related condition. Applicants and clients may ask for help because of a disability from staff at any intake, assessment, or shelter location. They may complete the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form (DHS-13) and if they need assistance with completing the request form, staff can help. Please note that applicants and clients do not have to fill out the request form to request an accommodation; staff can fill out the request form on behalf of the client. Once a request is made, the request will be reviewed. If documentation is needed for a condition/need that is not obvious or apparent, supporting documentation will be needed from the client so that the request can be reviewed. Applicants and clients can use this process for any reasonable accommodation requests, including single room requests. Download the DHS Reasonable Accommodation Flyer.

    Homeless Drop-In Centers

    Drop-In Centers (DICs) are low-barrier programs specifically targeted toward unsheltered individuals who may be resistant to accepting other services, including traditional shelters. DICs are equipped with on-site services and staff who work closely with unsheltered New Yorkers to build trust, stabilize lives, and encourage further transition off the streets and into transitional and permanent housing. These facilities can often be the first step towards helping unsheltered New Yorkers back on the path to stability.

    Drop-In Centers provide baseline services with the goal of meeting immediate needs for unsheltered New Yorkers, such as showers and meals. DICs also have on-site case management services and staff, providing an immediate option for individuals who want to transition off the streets.

    New Yorkers who are experiencing unsheltered homelessness and residing on the streets and/or subways can visit Drop-In Centers to receive specialized services including:

    • Hot meals
    • Clothing, showers and laundry facilities
    • Counseling, case management services, and connections to medical care and mental health care as appropriate
    • Help finding a job or applying for benefits

    There are DICs in each borough and all centers are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays.

    Bronx

    The Living Room
    800 Barretto Street (at Lafayette Avenue)
    By Subway: 6 train to Hunts Point Avenue
    For more information, please contact: Noel Concepcion at 718-893-3606 or nconcepcion@bronxworks.org

    The Haven
    2640 Third Ave (between East 141 Street and East 142 Street)
    By Subway: 6 train to 3 Ave/138th St Station

    Brooklyn

    Gathering Place
    2402 Atlantic Avenue (between Sackman Street and Jardine Place)
    By Subway: A train to Broadway Junction
    Phone: 718-287-2600

    Manhattan

    Mainchance
    120 East 32nd Street (between Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue)
    By Subway: 6 train to 33rd Street
    By Subway: 6 train to 33rd Street
    Phone: 212-833-0680 Ext. 108
    Email: admin@gcnssc.org

    Olivieri Center for Homeless
    257 West 30th Street (between 7th Avenue and 8th Avenue)
    By Subway: A, C, E, 1, 2, or 3 train to 34th Street-Penn Station
    Phone: 212-947-3211

    Queens

    Breaking Ground
    100-32 Atlantic Avenue (at 102 Street)
    By Subway: J/Z to 104th Street Station

    Staten Island

    Project Hospitality
    150 Richmond Terrace (between Wall Street and Schuyler Street)
    718-720-0079, ext. 10

    Shelter Acquisition Fund for Nonprofit Homeless Service Providers

    The City has launched a new $15 million shelter development and acquisition fund for nonprofit homeless service providers to build, own, and operate shelters. The revolving fund will alleviate the upfront financial burden that often prohibits experienced, mission-driven nonprofit homeless service providers from developing and owning their own shelter sites.
    Learn more and apply for the fund

    Other DSS Services

    Early Care & Education Programs for New York City Families

    New York City offers many free or low-cost child care and educational programs for families that qualify. These programs provide care and education for children from birth to thirteen years old (or up to 19 years old for children with disabilities), all year round. Eligibility is based on your family's income and reason for care. If you qualify and there is a seat available, your child can begin any time.

    The Early Care & Education Programs for New York City Families Flyer has more information on all early care and education programs available for New York City families. Download translations of the flyer.

    Fair Fares NYC Income Eligibility Increase

    We are proud to share that the Fair Fares NYC income eligibility has increased. More New York City households may now be eligible for discounted fares!

    The NYC Department of Social Services- Human Resources Administration (DSS-HRA) has significantly expanded access to the Fair Fares transit discount by implementing a rule change that increases the program's income eligibility standard to 120% of the federal poverty level – the first such increase in the program's history. Previously, the Fair Fares discount was available only to New Yorkers ages 18 - 64 whose income was at or below the federal poverty level. As a result of this modification to eligibility standards, more New Yorkers will be able to enroll in the program and utilize this critical discount to commute to work, visit friends and family, access medical care, and enjoy all our great city has to offer without facing an undue economic burden as a result of transit expenses.

    2023 Fair Fares NYC Income Guidelines

    Household/Family Size 120%
    1 $17,496
    2 $23,664
    3 $29,832
    4 $36,000
    5 $42,168
    6 $48,336
    7 $54,504
    8 $60,672
    9 $66,840
    10 $73,008
    11 $79,176
    12 $85,344
    13 $91,512
    14 $97,680

    For households with more than 8 persons, add $6,168 for each additional person.

    The Fair Fares NYC Program helps New York City residents with low incomes manage their transportation costs by providing them with a 50% discount on public transportation. Eligible New York City residents receive a 50% discount on subway and eligible bus fares. Pay-per-Ride, weekly unlimited, and monthly unlimited options are all available. Fair Fares can also provide 50% off MTA Access-A-Ride paratransit trips.

    Fair Fares NYC applications are open to eligible New Yorkers, ages 18-64, whose household income meets program income eligibility requirements. Subway and eligible bus discounts are open to New Yorkers who do not have, and are not eligible for, discounted transportation from the MTA or the City. If individuals meet the Fair Fares NYC eligibility criteria, they may be eligible for the Fair Fares NYC discount on Access-A-Ride fares even if they are already enrolled in the MTA reduced-fare Program for persons with disability or have an Access-A-Ride MetroCard.

    Fair Fares enrollment is simple and can be completed online: Apply for Fair Fares on ACCESS HRA! View the "How to Enroll" videos in English and Spanish.

    Many Cash Assistance and SNAP recipients can ride for half price. Each non-elderly adult should log into Access HRA or create an account if they are not the head of their case and click "Enroll Now".

    If you need assistance applying or have questions, please visit the Fair Fares website to find a location near you. Fair Fares enrollment assistance is also available at the NYC Asylum Seeker Resource Navigation Center.

    Fair Fares Outreach Materials

    Encourage everyone to ride for half price with Fair Fares by sharing our Social Media Fair Fares toolkit and short video. Share and amplify!

    The City has also created Fair Fares outreach materials - including palm cards, brochures, and posters that community organizations and others can order. Please use the Design and Print Ordering System (DPOS) website after registering on the login page.

    Visit the Fair Fares NYC FAQ and Suggested Document List.

    2023-2024 Regular Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Season

    The 2023-2024 Emergency HEAP benefit component is scheduled to open on January 2, 2024. Applications will be accepted through close of business on Friday, March 15, 2024, or until funding allocated to this component is exhausted, whichever comes first.

    Emergency benefits are available to assist eligible households with a heating emergency or a heat-related domestic emergency. Only one Emergency benefit of each type is available per HEAP household for the 2023-2024 program year. Regular component benefits, if available, must be utilized first to resolve heating emergencies for eligible households. Temporary relocation for housing emergencies and propane tank deposits to obtain new propane vendors are also available under the Emergency benefit component.

    To apply for an Emergency HEAP benefit, applicants can call 718-557-1399 or visit a HEAP office.

    Note: Emergency HEAP benefit applicants will not be able to apply on ACCESS HRA.

    Learn more aboutEmergency HEAP, including detailed eligibility requirements and benefit amounts.

    As a reminder, the 2023-2024 Regular HEAP benefit component opened on November 1, 2023.

    Applications for the Regular HEAP benefit component be submitted using any of the following methods:

    • Online: ACCESS HRA
    • Fax: 212-387-1639
    • Mail: Home Energy Assistance Program/HEAP, P.O Box 1401, Church Street Station, New York, NY 10008
    • In Person: Apply or drop off a completed application at a HEAP office.

    Paper applications can be downloaded and printed from the OTDA website or requested by calling the DSS OneNumber at 718-557-1399.

    If eligible, households will receive one regular HEAP benefit per program year to help pay for heating their homes.

    Regular benefits for households that pay for heat based on actual usage are paid directly to the vendor that supplies the household's primary source of heat.

    SNAP/CA recipients who do not pay for heat will receive a HEAP AUTOPAY benefit of $21 or $50 and will not need to apply. The payment will be sent by check routed to the vendor, or placed on their EBT Card.

    SNAP/CA recipients who pay for heat and received a heating benefit last season will receive a HEAP AUTOPAY benefit between $400 and $976 and will not need to apply. The payment will be routed to the heating vendor.

    Visit the OTDA Website for more information on eligibility requirements, 2023-24 benefit amounts and add-ons for households paying directly for heat.

    Office of Child Support Services Updates

    As a means to ensure services continued during COVID, OCSS' Customer Services Walk-in Center located at 151 W. Broadway, 4th floor, NY, NY 10013. offered telephone interviews for customers seeking assistance with their child support case. Now that customers can get their child support questions answered by telephone or by visiting a child support worker located in a Family Court, there has been a significant drop in the number of visitors during the 6:00-and 7:00 pm time slot. Therefore effective January 17th, the office hours will change from 8am – 7pm to 8am – 6pm. , OCSS changed its hours of operation at its 151 West Broadway location.

    Clients with questions or who need to schedule an interview can email or send mail. They must include their name, Child Support case number, a description of their issue/concern(s), phone number and the best time to be reached.

    • Online: www.nyc.gov/hra/ocss
    • NYS Call Center: 888-208-4485
    • Email: dcse.cseweb@dfa.state.ny.us
    • Mail: OCSS PO Box 830, Canal Street Station, New York, NY 10013

    As a reminder, the OCSS website at www.nyc.gov/hra/ocss includes links to specific topics relevant to custodial and non-custodial parents.

    The ACCESS HRA Child Support Mobile app is also available for assistance and can be used by both HRA and non-HRA clients.

    Other Updates

    The Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) also recently updated the content on their website, www.nyc.gov/hra/ocss to include links to specific topics relevant to custodial and non-custodial parents (payments, debt reduction, employment programs), a frequently asked questions section, and other resources. Visit the OCSS website

    OCSS Annual Report 2022

    The OCSS Annual Report for 2022 was recently released on the OCSS website. The report highlights some of the important initiatives and services available to our child support clients. It also explains our program and approach to new and existing government and community-based partners. Click here to view the report.

    Referral Appointments

    Negative case actions may now be taken if clients do not return referral forms and/or comply with their interview. OCSS staff will make two attempts to reach the client by telephone to conduct the interview.

    OCSS no longer restores Cash Assistance grants and Medicaid cases for clients who have a Child Support sanction. Clients must comply with the child support program, or they will be sanctioned.

    Family Courts Updates

    Effective immediately, all new petitions filed with the Family Court to establish parentage will be heard in-person. Virtual hearings will no longer be used, unless requested by a litigant. This only impacts cases filed as of Monday, July 25th.

    Some Family Court hearings are being scheduled for as far away as one year. The length of time varies by Family Court. Given the extensive timeframe and the need for families to receive relief, we want to remind the public that we offer parents the opportunity to enter into an agreement to establish a child support order or modify one. The agreement must still be approved by the court, but in the interim parents can follow the agreed upon amount.

    OCFS Child Care Payments Updated Policy

    Attendance Submission for Payment Policy

    Effective July 1, 2022, child care attendance, including corrections to attendance, must be submitted by a child care provider or program within 6 months after the month of service to receive payment by ACS for subsidized children enrolled with the child care provider or program. If attendance is not submitted within those 6 months, the child care provider or program may forfeit payment for those services.
    Learn more about child care payment policies

    DSS Office of Ombudsman Contact Information

    The DSS Office of the Ombudsman moved from the 20th Floor of 33 Beaver Street to the 8th Floor of 109 East 16th Street, where DSS provides client-facing services. Currently the Office of the Ombudsman at its new location remains closed due to the national health emergency. Ombudsman staff are working remotely.
    Clients can reach the DSS Office of the Ombudsman as follows:

    • Send an email to Ombudsman@dss.nyc.gov.
    • Call the DSS OneNumber at 718-557-1399 or dial 311 to report shelter complaints or request repairs. These numbers are answered 24 hours, 7 days a week.
    • Call the Office of the Ombudsman at 800-994-6494, Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, to speak with a staff member.

    While constituents always have the option of contacting DSS' Office of the Ombudsman directly, they may also submit a Constituent Grievance Form in writing to their shelter director or shelter case worker, as a way of presenting grievances concerning their receipt of DHS-funded services. The Office of the Ombudsman Brochure and the Constituent Grievance Form are available in numerous languages online.

    IDNYC for All New Yorkers

    IDNYC is a free municipal ID card for all New Yorkers that not only provides government photo identification, but can serve as a library card, provides free memberships to more than 30 cultural institutions, qualifies an individual for discounts at health and wellness centers, and a multitude of other benefits. New Yorkers can also use the card to access City services, and apply for jobs when submitted with proof of work authorization. Certain financial institutions will accept IDNYC as identification to open a bank account.

    In the last seven years since the launch of IDNYC, this innovative program not only became an international model for cities globally but has provided more than 1 million New Yorkers with proof of identification, which is vital for vulnerable individuals looking to access the city resources and support to which they are entitled.

    Effective August 26, 2022, both IDNYC and Fair Fares NYC have modified their documentation requirements at initial eligibility to accommodate the incoming population of non-citizens from the southern border. This adjustment takes into account the potential for missing documentation and as a result identifies additional forms of proof which will be accepted as 1-point documents to establish identity. The following documents will now be able to be used as additional forms of proof:

    U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Notice to Appear

    Notice to Appear issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), dated no more than one year prior to the date submitted and including complete name, file number, and official stamp/signature. May be issued by U.S ICE as Form I-862. Document will serve as proof of identity.

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Alien Booking Record

    Alien Booking Record (or booking card) issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), dated no more than one year prior to the date submitted and including complete name, photo, and fingerprint. May be issued by U.S. ICE as Form I-385. Document will serve as proof of identity and photo, if photo is included.

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Order to Release on Recognizance

    Order to Release on Recognizance issues by U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), dated no more than one year prior to the date submitted and including complete name, file number, and official stamp/signature. May be issued by U.S. ICE as Form 1-220A. Document will serve as proof of identity.

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Order of Supervision

    Order of Supervision issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), dated no more than one year prior to the date submitted and including complete name, file number, and official stamp/signature. May be issued by U.S ICE as Form I-220B. Document will serve as proof of identity.

    Foreign Birth Certificate (copy)

    A copy of a certificate of birth issued by a current of former sovereign nation may be accepted as proof of identity only if accompanied by a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) document accepted by IDNYC/Fair Fares. Copy must be legible/readable.

    Foreign Passport (copy)

    A copy of a foreign passport may be accepted as proof of identity and photo only if accompanied by a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) document accepted by IDNYC/Fair Fares. Copy must be legible/readable.

    IDNYC Renewals

    IDNYC has made renewals easy and fast with the NEW and Improved Online Portal. For those who have no changes to make, renewing online takes 5 minutes or less. Even a renewal with a change of address can be done online, saving a trip to an enrollment center.

    For those that need to make a change that requires an appointment, we have 15 convenient locations around the city open to the public. These locations require an appointment. New Yorkers can visit the IDNYC Portal or call 311 and say "IDNYC" to learn about the amazing benefits of the card, and for more information on how to enroll or renew.

    Learn more about IDNYC

    For additional information, download a shareable flyer about IDNYC renewal.

    Enhancements to IDNYC Online Portal

    We have made the following enhancements to the Online IDNYC Portal to improve the user experience by providing clients with the ability to renew IDNYC cards and update some of their information online without having to visit an enrollment center. This new functionality allows users to:

    • Check their application status online
    • Create and manage in-center appointments
    • Submit applications online for renewal and/or update applications
    • Upload documents for online applications.

    Health Resources

    GetCoveredNYC

    The Mayor, Mayor's Public Engagement Unit, and NYC Care recently teamed up to promote GetCoveredNYC, NYC Care, and the importance of accessing high-quality primary care.

    The Open Enrollment Period for health insurance continues to be extended and GetCoveredNYC is available to support New Yorkers through the process of signing up for the health coverage they deserve. GetCoveredNYC provides free assistance for New Yorkers seeking to enroll in health care, regardless of immigration status or income. GetCoveredNYC Specialists speak more than 20 languages and conduct outreach to proactively identify uninsured New Yorkers and help them get access to health care and other health-related benefits.

    Enrolling in health insurance can be confusing and hard to navigate. A GetCoveredNYC Specialist from the NYC Public Engagement Unit (PEU) is here to help. New Yorkers can now check out where GetCoveredNYC Specialists are going to be so they can get 1-on-1 support in person. See where we'll be this week and join us for health care resources.

    Contact GetCoveredNYC:

    Suicide and Crisis Emergency Hotline

    There is a new Suicide and Mental Health Crisis hotline (like 911 for mental health). This new emergency number is 988. Learn more about the Suicide and Mental Health Crisis hotline.

    COVID-19 Mobile Response Initiative

    The mobile "Test and Treat" program, managed by the NYC Test & Trace Corps, will see participating mobile testing units include a clinician on board to provide instant access to COVID antiviral medication at no cost to eligible New Yorkers who test positive at these sites. The program, which was launched June 30, will be the first of its kind in the nation with three starting units and will expand to include over 30 units through July.

    New Yorkers can visit nyc.gov/covidtest to find a city-run testing site most convenient and accessible to them. Multiple COVID-19 treatments are available for people ages 12 and older and can be delivered to New Yorkers' homes for free.

    For more information on COVID-19 treatments, call 212-COVID19 and press 9 or visit nyc.gov/health/covidtreatments. Calling 212-COVID19 provides New Yorkers an immediate connection to a clinician who can refer them to monoclonal antibody treatment or prescribe antiviral medications, like Paxlovid, and arrange to have it delivered to their home that same day.

    Reproductive Rights Resources

    Abortion is legal and protected in New York. Abortion services are still available to all patients seeking care. Patients seeking a medication abortion may be able to receive their medicine by mail without visiting their doctor's office. Learn more, access resources, and find help getting services.

    In New York, information and resources are also available on the New York State website.

    HHS has launched a new website, ReproductiveRights.gov, to provide accurate, up-to-date information about access to and coverage of reproductive health care and resources.

    Additionally, New York Attorney General Letitia James, 24 national law firms, and eight reproductive rights organizations announced the launch of a legal hotline that will provide legal guidance and resources to patients, healthcare providers, and supporters seeking information about their legal rights to access and provide abortions. The legal hotline, which is part of Attorney General James' new Pro Bono Task Force on Reproductive Health, will be available to anyone who is seeking legal information and legal advice about abortions in New York, patients seeking to travel to New York to obtain an abortion, healthcare providers, and people and organizations providing material support. The hotline is free and will be available in the 12 most common languages spoken in New York.

    Hotline Number: 212-899-5567

    Learn more about the hotline and other NY resources.

    NYC Care Health Care Access Program

    NYC Care is a health care access program that guarantees low-cost and no-cost services to New Yorkers who do not qualify for or cannot afford health insurance. All NYC Care services are provided through NYC Health + Hospitals.

    NYC Care is the nation's largest and most comprehensive initiative to guarantee health care for New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay.

    Eligibility

    • You must live in the five boroughs of New York City
    • Must not qualify for any health insurance plan available in New York State
    • Not be able to afford health insurance based on government guidelines

    To enroll: 646-NYC-CARE

    More details are available in multiple languages.

    Resources for Providers: The Academy for Community Behavioral Health

    The Academy for Community Behavioral Health – a partnership between the Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity, the Mayor's Office of Community Mental Health, and the CUNY School of Professional Studies – provides training, coaching, and technical assistance to community-based organizations and City and State agencies to build capacity and integrate proactive and culturally responsive behavioral health support into social services.

    Free courses are open to staff at NYC community-based organizations and City and State agencies who fund or deliver services in NYC, with priority given to staff who serve the 33 TRIE neighborhoods identified by the New York City Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity (TRIE) as most impacted by COVID-19 or experiencing a high rate of health or other socioeconomic disparities.

    Learn more or view and sign-up for upcoming courses.

    Mental Health Resources

    Mental Health For All

    MentalHealthforAll.nyc.gov is a new comprehensive hub with helplines and services that offer a range of free, direct support to meet the needs of all New Yorkers, including young people, communities of color, and people with serious mental illness. Everyone has been affected in some way by this past year, and our mission is to ensure that every person has the support they need.

    Visit MentaHealthforAll.nyc.gov to find mental health resources and substance misuse support.

    You can contact NYC Well, a confidential 24/7 helpline, staffed by trained counselors, providing counseling and referrals to care in over 200 languages.

    Call 888-NYC-WELL (888-692-9355)

    Text "WELL" to 65173

    Chat at NYC.gov/nycwell

    Learn more about free mental health services accessible from home at Thrive NYC

    Vaccination Records and Testing Apps

    New Yorkers can meet vaccine and/or testing requirements with:

    • CDC Vaccination Card. A digital photo or photocopy of this card is also acceptable.
    • NYC Vaccination Record or other official immunization record, including from a health care provider. A digital photo or photocopy of this card is also acceptable. If you are unable to get this record, call 311.
    • NYC COVID Safe App. Android. iOS. This app can be used to upload a photo of a vaccine card and/or a recent COVID test. The vaccine card will stay on the app unless removed, but test results will disappear from the app after seven days.
    • CLEAR Health Pass. Android. iOS. Individuals can use the digital vaccine card option in the CLEAR app if they are age 18 or older and are fully vaccinated.
    • NYS Excelsior Pass (or Excelsior Pass Plus). Allows an individual to find and store proof of vaccination right on their phone with a QR code, or to print out their QR code instead. New York residents who were vaccinated out of State can learn more about their options at the Excelsior Pass Frequently Asked Questions. The app, called NYS Excelsior Pass Wallet, is available for download on iPhone and Android phones.

    Vaccine Records

    Individuals who are fully vaccinated but have lost their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or need verification of their vaccine status can request a copy of their COVID-19 vaccination record. Individuals cannot get a replacement COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card at this time, but can get an official record noting they have been vaccinated. Learn more and submit a request

    Individuals can access all vaccine records, not just COVID 19 vaccines. Please visit the My Vaccine Record website.

    COVID Vaccines

    Coronavirus vaccines have been added to the list of routine immunizations recommended by the CDC for children, adolescents and adults.

    To be eligible for the new bivalent booster you must be at least two months out from completing your primary two-dose vaccination series or your last booster and be aged 12+ for the Pfizer shot and 18+ for Moderna. If you have recently had Covid, you must be fully recovered with negative tests to receive another vaccine.

    COVID-19 Testing

    Resources and information about COVID-19 Testing is available at the NYC Test and Treat home page, as well as our COVID-19 Community Updates page.

    When the public health emergencies end on 5/11/23, Medicare recipients will no longer be eligible for free at-home COVID tests, but those with Part B will be covered for COVID tests done at labs.

    Currently, free at-home COVID-19 rapid tests continue to be available to order online and by phone from the Federal Government. Every home in the United States is eligible to order 4 free at-⁠home tests per residential address.

    The United States Postal Service will deliver tests to anyone who wants them. All orders in the continental United States will be sent through First Class Package Service.

    By Phone

    You can get assistance by phone if you are having difficulty accessing the internet or need additional support to place your order.

    • Agency: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • Division: Test Kit Fulfillment Line
    • Phone Number: 800-232-0233
    • Business Hours: Daily: 8 AM - Midnight
    • Staff is available during business hours. Most languages are available through a representative.

    Test-and-Treat

    New Yorkers can visit nyc.gov/covidtest to find a city-run testing site most convenient and accessible to them. Multiple COVID-19 treatments are available for people ages 12 and older and can be delivered to New Yorkers' homes for free.

    For more information on COVID-19 treatments, call 212-COVID19 and press 9 or visit nyc.gov/health/covidtreatments. Calling 212-COVID19 provides New Yorkers an immediate connection to a clinician who can refer them to monoclonal antibody treatment or prescribe antiviral medications, like Paxlovid, and arrange to have it delivered to their home that same day.

    Federal COVID-19 Resource Website

    The Biden administration has introduced covid.gov, a federal website meant to help Americans who are infected with the virus find the treatment they need quickly and at no cost. On the website, people can find locations to get tests and anti-viral pills, find the locations of vaccination sites and places to acquire high-quality masks; fill out a form to order eight free at-home coronavirus tests per household; view their community's risk level according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and get general information on Covid symptoms, treatment, testing and travel.

    The website is available in English, Spanish and Chinese. The administration is also making all these tools available over the phone through the national vaccine hotline at 800-232-0233 (TTY 888-720-7489), which supports over 150 languages.

    AfterCare Program for Long COVID

    The NYC Test & Treat Corps AfterCare program has launched a hotline for New Yorkers seeking information and resources to recover from Long COVID. New Yorkers who are suffering from or suspect they may have Long COVID can now call AfterCare Navigators directly. AfterCare Navigators are health outreach specialists with experience supporting people during their COVID infection and will assess patients for their specific health and social needs and connect them to Long COVID resources. AfterCare Navigators connect patients to holistic resources – including physical and mental health referrals, community support, and financial assistance – to address the various physical symptoms, as well as the social and economic impacts, that New Yorkers with Long COVID may experience.

    New Yorkers can call 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319), select their preferred language, and press 4 to speak directly to an AfterCare navigator. Learn more on the AfterCare website and through AfterCare's Long COVID recovery guide.

    Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL)

    The trained staff at the Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) can provide assistance with:

    • Ordering tests.
    • Understanding instructions for test administration and test results.
    • Providing alternative instructions for traditional at-home tests for people who are unable to access, read, or understand the manufacturer's version.
    • For those who cannot use an at-home test, DIAL operators can:
    • Assist with ordering "swab and send" kits to collect a sample and mail it back for results.
    • Connect callers to local organizations for assistance locating other testing options in their community, including in-home testing programs or transportation or companion support to visit a community-based testing site.

    Call 888-677-1199 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Eastern) or email DIAL@usaginganddisability.org.

    ACCESS HRA & Provider Resources

    DSS Services & Benefits One Pager

    DSS is announcing the release of an informational one-pager which outlines all the benefits and services available through the Human Resources Administration. The FLY-1128 is available to order from DPOS, in the following languages: Arabic, English, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Polish, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, and Urdu.

    ACCESS HRA Child Support Mobile App

    Office of Child Support Services Child Support App Adds New Features for Noncustodial and Custodial Parents

    While the initial release of the app made it easier for custodial parents and guardians to enroll in the program, this latest update offers features designed to simplify child support processes for parents who pay support.

    One fundamental form that was recently added to the app is the Affidavit of Net Worth, which is required for multiple processes.

    Others may not be needed by all noncustodial parents, but many parents do challenge administrative enforcement actions taken against them. The app now lets them complete and submit forms for:

    • Federal or state tax refund intercepts
    • Driver's license or professional license suspensions
    • Withholding too much additional income
    • Frozen bank accounts or certain property liens
    • Credit reporting information
    • Denials of passport applications or renewals

    The app also allows noncustodial parents to fill out and submit forms for key services to reduce or avoid debt. These include applications to our Arrears Credit and Arrears Cap programs and forms for our Modifying Orders Through Stipulation (MOTS) program. Parents whose driver's license was suspended for not paying child support can also access the form needed to enter into a payment agreement.

    For many of these forms, noncustodial parents can also submit supporting documentation through the app as well. Once we receive a noncustodial parent's submission, we will contact them to discuss any next steps.

    Simplifying Processes for Custodial Parents

    Alongside other improvements to the enrollment experience for Cash Assistance clients, the most recent set of updates to the app gives custodial parents applying for or receiving Cash the ability to link their Cash case with their one for child support. By giving them direct access to notices and appointment information related to child support, we hope Cash clients will find it easier to track their case and minimize the stress that often accompanies the application and referral process.

    Custodial parents, whether receiving Cash Assistance or not, can also now update their contact information using app—a small improvement that can potentially have significant benefits, especially for parents whose housing is unstable.

    Helping Spread the Word

    We hope anyone who works with custodial or noncustodial parents will tell their clients about the app.

    Not only can parents and guardians benefit from the app's many current capabilities, but as these most recent updates suggest, we plan to continue to expand the app's features as part of our overall effort to improve access to child support services.

    How to Download the App

    Go to nyc.gov/childsupportmobile to download the app or visit the App Store (Apple) or Google Play (Android).

    ACCESS HRA System Updates

    Recent Updates

    The NYC Department of Social Services -Human Resources Administration (DSS HRA) is pleased to announce the following ACCESS HRA updates went live on Saturday, December 9, 2023:

    Featured updates in the client portal

    CityFHEPS Cases: CityFHEPS is being introduced into the ACCESS HRA family of benefit programs! Clients will now be able to link to their CityFHEPS case and view information about their case online.

    CityFHEPS Renewals: Eligible clients can now submit their CityFHEPS Renewal through ACCESS HRA and upload any supporting documents and the ACCESS HRA Mobile App.

    CityFHEPS Good Cause: Clients who are completing their fifth-and-final year of rental assistance can apply for a good cause exemption or extension during the online renewal.

    CityFHEPS and FHEPS Case Changes: Clients who receive Cash Assistance can download the CityFHEPS modification form to report a change in their rent, household, or income. They can also receive direction on how to restore FHEPS to their case.

    Medicaid and MSP Benefits text updates: The AHRA Benefits page now displays more detailed information on Medicaid, the Medicare Savings Program (MSP), and how to apply.

    CA and SNAP Apps/Recertifications Consent Language: NYCHA Consent to Share Information clause and acknowledgement added.

    CBO/311 Assistance: Enhanced messaging shows how to get assistance via 311 or from a listed provider organization.

    HEAP Regular Updates for 2023-24:Modifications in the HEAP Regular application for the 2023-24 benefit year

    Featured updates in the AHRA Mobile App

    CityFHEPS: CityFHEPS case information, document status, and renewals are all fully integrated into the AHRA Mobile App in addition to the client portal.

    Resources

    Corresponding trainings on ACCESS HRA and the Provider Portal are available for community partners! Sign up online. Organizations interested in becoming Provider Portal Partners should email DSSOutreach@dss.nyc.gov for an onboarding package.

    ACCESS HRA Multi-Factor Authentication Reminder

    ACCESS HRA's optional multi-factor authentication process will become mandatory when clients try to access their SNAP, Cash Assistance, Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), Fair Fares, or Medicaid case data online in 2023.

    To simplify this process for more of our clients, as of December 10, clients can now use either email or a phone number to set up multi-factor authentication. Previously this could only be done through email. Clients are now able to receive a phone call, text, or email in order to authenticate.

    DSS is exploring methods for clients without an email address or phone to access their benefit information online, such as via challenge questions, to be in place when multi-factor authentication becomes mandatory.

    Overview

    • This new feature will allow AHRA users to set a Recovery Email Address voluntarily. An email address will not be a requirement to use ACCESS HRA.
    • Process Flow:
      • A user creates an ACCESS HRA account with either a username or an email address and connects to:
        • their SNAP or CA case using CIN or SSN and DOB or;
        • their Fair Fares case using CIN or SSN or Fair Fares ID and DOB
      • Users that enter a Recovery Email Address will be sent a verification code to that email address. When the code is entered into ACCESS HRA the recovery email address will be considered verified. The verified recovery email address will be connected to that user's ACCESS HRA account and CIN or SSN, Fair Fares ID and DOB. Users can choose "I'll do it this later" and continue without verifying the recovery email address.
      • If, at a later time, a different ACCESS HRA account logs in and tries to connect to the same CIN or SSN or Fair Fares ID and DOB, the user will be sent a verification code to the recovery email address (if one was provided) to confirm this action. If the user is unable to access the email, they can continue with "I did not get a code" and use "Cancel" to proceed without verifying the recovery email address.
      • For the linked users that do not have a verified recovery email address on file, the "Contact information" pop-up is displayed. Users can either use 'Update Now' to enter their recovery email address or do it 'Later'.

    Join the ACCESS HRA Updates Mailing List

    Sign up to get ACCESS HRA notifications related to new releases, outages, and scheduled maintenance.

    ACCESS HRA User Resources

    In response to questions received on our last call, answers to frequently asked questions about the use of ACCESS HRA can be found on the ACCESS HRA FAQ page. Tutorials providing assistance with use of ACCESS HRA can be found on the ACCESS HRA Resources page. Download the ACCESS HRA User Guide.

    PASSPort Procurement Portal

    City contracting opportunities are now available through the City's digital procurement portal, PASSPort. Should your organization be interested in submitting a proposal, please be aware that the City requires all organizations to have a PASSPort account in order to submit responses to opportunities released in PASSPort. Create a PASSPort account. For simple step-by-step instructions on creating a PASSPort account, please refer to the one-page Account Creation Guide. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact help@mocs.nyc.gov.

    "PASSPort Public" Portal for NYC Procurement

    New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Mayor's Office of Contract Services (MOCS) Director Lisa M. Flores announced the beta launch of PASSPort Public, a data transparency portal that will give unprecedented insight into the city's main procurement system. The city's Procurement and Sourcing Solutions Portal (PASSPort) is the City of New York's end-to-end digital procurement platform that manages every stage of the procurement process, from vendor enrollment to the solicitation of goods and services to contract registration.

    PASSPort Public beta makes that current information available to city vendors, not-for-profits, and the public. For new and small businesses who face barriers to accessing the procurement process, in particular, the minority- and women-owned business enterprise (M/WBE) community, PASSPort Public beta represents a new window into city contracting.
    Learn more about PASSPort Public

    Ordering HRA Informational and Outreach Materials Online

    DSS has launched a new online ordering system for community partners to order DSS materials for distribution to clients and the public (such as our informational flyers, brochures, the HRA guide to benefits, etc.). The new system, DSS Design and Print Ordering System, replaces the Central Intake Workflow system (CIWS) that had been in use. The new system is more user friendly and simplifies the ordering process with a catalog of materials for outreach from which to order. As was the case with CIWS, each CBO requires a requestor who will register through the online application located. Shipments will be delivered directly to the organization placing the order.

    Instructions to register

    1. Go to the DSS Design and Print Ordering System.
    2. Once you are in the DSS Design and Print Ordering System, in the upper right-hand corner click on "log-in"
    3. Follow the instructions to register as a new user. When the registration is complete, you can begin ordering.

    If you have any questions regarding the launch of the DSS Design and Print Ordering System, please contact Robert Stockwell, stockwellr@dss.nyc.gov. For questions about registering or other system issues, contact DPOSCustomerService@dss.nyc.gov.

    ACCESS HRA and Document Upload

    Clients applying for benefits should be opening a new account through ACCESS HRA and uploading documents through the ACCESS HRA mobile app. Watch a tutorial on how to submit documents using the ACCESS HRA mobile app.

    We are aware of problems that users reported previously due to unprecedented demand and traffic on the system. We have implemented improvements to the system in order to handle the increased volume and we are continuing to monitor performance.

    The ACCESS HRA document upload is the most effective way to submit documentations to HRA. As an alternative, clients can submit documents using SNAP and Benefits Access Center RightFax, but this should only be used if clients are unable to use ACCESS HRA as it takes longer to associate these documents with a case. The fax number for submitting documents to SNAP is 917-639-2544 and is listed on the HRA SNAP Benefits webpage. If faxing documents to a Benefits Access Center, find the contact information for your local center on the HRA Benefits Access Center Locations webpage.

    Remember: When submitting by fax, the process of indexing the documents to the client's case number will take more time than a submission through ACCESS HRA.

    ACCESS HRA Provider Portal

    To enroll in the ACCESS HRA Provider Portal, email DSSoutreach@dss.nyc.gov to receive the onboarding package and information on how to become a Provider Portal Partner.

    If your organization is already a member of the Provider Portal, but does not have an account, email DSSoutreach@dss.nyc.gov to receive your Organization ID and instructions on how to create an account.

    Authorized Representative Forms for Clients

    As a reminder, SNAP applications can be submitted by community organizations on behalf of clients by serving as an authorized representative for the client. Clients may authorize a representative to submit applications and communicate with HRA on their behalf.

    To become an authorized representative, service providers will need to obtain a signed copy of the SNAP Authorized Representative Request Form and complete the application on the individual's behalf on ACCESS HRA by doing the following:

    1. Once you have the signed and completed authorization in hand, create an account for the individual at nyc.gov/accesshra by selecting a username (this could be a username or email address), password and answering one security question. If the individual does not have an e-mail address, please select the User Name option.
    2. During the course of completing the SNAP application, you will be asked to indicate if an Authorized Representative has been appointed to represent the individual. Indicate "Yes" and enter the information requested.
    3. At the end of the application, you will need to initial the application as the authorized representative, using your own initials.
    4. After submitting the SNAP application, immediately download the HRA Mobile Application. Using the same credentials that you used to login to the website, upload the completed and signed Authorized Representative Request Form referenced above, connecting it to the pending case. The form must be complete, signed and dated by both parties. If this step is not completed appropriately, the application will not be able to be processed. If you are unable to immediately link to the case, please note that application registration only occurs on business days and there is occasionally a delay in the Application Registration process, so the application may have not been registered yet. Please try again later.

    It is recommended, but not required, that all applicants/providers use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Authorized Representative Request Form (LDSS-4942) when designating an authorized representative. However, if the Authorized Representative form cannot be completed and submitted, the applicant/provider may write a letter with the relevant information from the form to designate an authorized representative.

    Electronic Authorization to Release Case Information

    In response to requests from our community partners, we have created a fillable PDF of our third-party authorization form that can be signed digitally / electronically by clients using Adobe or other third-party software. Download the Electronic Authorization to Release Case Informatio form. Completed third-party authorization forms can be emailed to constituentaffairs@hra.nyc.gov or faxed to 212-331-4685.

    HRA Guide to Services

    As a reminder, HRA provides a comprehensive guide to benefits and services offered. The Guide to Services can be found here, and can be ordered for distribution and use on our website.

    Municipal agencies should use this link to order, and community partner organizations should use this link for ordering.

    DSS Office of Community Outreach Trainings & Event Requests

    Trainings

    The DSS Office of Community Outreach (OCO) offers trainings and presentations to community-based organizations, elected officials and their staff, and other municipal agencies. These trainings are conducted multiple times per month and allow for flexible scheduling.

    View training descriptions and register for an upcoming session.

    Organizations interested in requesting any of the trainings listed above specifically for their staff (10 or more) should complete and submit the DSS Training Request Form. The DSS Outreach unit will follow-up with organizations to confirm their training requests on a first come, first serve basis. Contact DSSOutreach@dss.nyc.gov with any questions or issues submitting the form.

    Community Partner Event Requests

    The DSS OCO welcomes requests to participate in events hosted by community partner organizations. Please complete and submit the Community Partner Event Attendance Request Form to request DSS presence at your event and the Outreach Events unit will follow-up on a first come, first serve basis to arrange for DSS representation.

    Contact OutreachEvents@dss.nyc.gov if you have any questions or encounter issues submitting the form.

    Other Information/Resources

    City Services for Asylum Seekers Arriving in NYC

    As of October 8, 2023, over 126,700 asylum seekers have gone through the system and been offered a place to rest at night since last spring. Over 64,100 asylum seekers are currently in the City's care. The City has opened 213 emergency shelters, including 17 large-scale humanitarian relief centers. This does not reflect the total number of asylum seekers in New York City, it does not include those who are staying with family, friends, and networks here after being connected.

    Learn more about the City's efforts to support asylum seekers.

    Get news from the NYC Department of Social Services in your inbox. Sign up for important updates!

    DFTA Bill Payer Program

    The Bill Payer Program helps adults, 60 years or older, manage their household bills. DFTA has partnered with SilverBills, a financial-technology company, to provide services. A Bill Payer representative will make a one-time visit to the home to help with budgeting and enrollment. After that, the program will continue to review and process the payment of bills each month and inform the participant of any discrepancies or potential fraud.

    To qualify for the Bill Payer Program, a person must:

    • Be 60 years or older;
    • Live in one of the five (5) boroughs of NYC;
    • Have an annual income below $60,000 per individual, OR below $100,000 per couple;
    • Have the financial capacity and willingness to make their own financial decisions;
    • Have enough money to pay their basic bills, such as rent, utility, healthcare, and insurance; and
    • Have a checking account or be willing to open one.

    Enrollment into the Bill Payer Program is contingent upon referrals. Referrals must be made through case-management agencies.

    Once a person has enrolled, the Bill Payer Program staff will do the following for the participant every month:

    • Provide individual bill payer services remotely (out of home);
    • Provide customer service to handle all questions and problems related to bills;
    • Eliminate paper bills by handling all bill management electronically;
    • Pay any household bill(s) on time; and
    • Help manage bills for clients using Pooled income Trusts (PIT).

    Assistance will be available upon request for the following:

    • Account monitoring for fraud; and
    • Help finding alternatives to cash via smart or debit cards.

    The NY Public Library Bookmobile

    The New York Public Library's Bookmobile service provides on-the-go access to library materials to their patrons.

    The NYPL Bookmobile service provides access to library services in neighborhoods where the local branch is temporarily closed for renovation, and makes stops at community events and local partner organizations.

    Bookmobile Service

    At NYPL Bookmobiles, you can:

    • Sign up for a library card.
    • Browse a small collection of books for people of all ages.
    • Speak with a librarian to get reading recommendations, reference services, and more.
    • Return and renew books.
    • Manage your account. (Though please note, fees cannot be settled at the Bookmobiles.)

    Service Schedule

    To find out where NYPL Bookmobiles will be popping up next, follow @NYPLBookmobile on Twitter. Please note, the schedule and locations of service are subject to change based on weather, parking availability, and other factors. Bookmobile service is available in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island!

    Please note: Schedules are tentative and subject to change. Please check the NYPL Bookmobile Twitter feed for recent updates

    Statewide Workplace Sexual Harassment Hotline

    Governor Kathy Hochul has announced the launch of a statewide hotline, 800-HARASS-3 (800-427-2773), for issues of workplace sexual harassment. The confidential hotline will be operated by the New York State Division of Human Rights and will connect workers who have faced sexual harassment with experienced pro-bono attorneys to advise them.
    Learn more about the hotline

    The Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ)-funded Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI) programs and Community Justice Reentry Network have released updated program booklets to reflect changes to program contacts and services. These program booklets are geared toward individuals seeking services, service providers, judges, prosecutors, defenders, and other City agencies interested in these services and supporting justice-involved individuals.

    The program booklets can be found on the MOCJ website for the Alternatives to Incarceration program and the Community Justice Reentry Network.

    Citi Bike Memberships for NYCHA Residents and SNAP Recipients

    Citi Bike, the nation's largest bike share system, is partnering with Healthfirst to expand access to bike share through $5 monthly memberships for NYCHA residents and SNAP recipients that do not require an annual commitment.

    How to Join

    NYCHA Residents

    All New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents 16 years and older are eligible for a discounted membership of only $5 per month.

    Applicants will need the following to verify their eligibility:

    • NYCHA Account Number (found on their tenant rent bill)
    • Credit or debit card

    SNAP Recipients

    Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/food stamp) recipients 16 years and older are eligible for a discounted membership of only $5 per month.

    Applicants will need the following to verify their eligibility:

    • EBT card number (for verification purposes only)
    • Credit or debit card

    If more than one person in a household wants to sign up, they should call 855-BIKE-311 for assistance.
    Learn more and apply

    Grandparent Resource Center (GRC)

    The Department for the Aging's (DFTA) Grandparent Resource Center can help older adults with primary caregiver responsibilities for their grandchild or another young relative. Grandparent Resource Center services include:

    • Workshops on legal issues, benefits and entitlements, nutrition, budgeting, and other topics
    • Referrals and information about available resources and services
    • Peer support groups and guidance on starting individual groups
    • Virtual Empowerment Series course for kinship caregivers
    • Computer classes and technology support
    • Parenting a Second Time Around classes
    • Grandparent Sensitivity training, Kinship Care 101 for professionals, and the basics of kinship care for caregivers

    For more information about the GRC, visit the DFTA Intergenrational page, or call 212-AGING-NYC or 212-244-6469.

    City of New York Jobs

    The City of New York is hiring! Search for open positions and learn more about NYC government employment.

    Many City jobs require a civil service title. The NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) is responsible for administering civil service exams. Find out about upcoming civil service exams citywide by subscribing to the DCAS mailing list and select "City Jobs and Civil Service Announcements" to receive announcements for upcoming exams.
    Learn more about City employment

    New Online Portal for DFTA Volunteers

    On Thursday, June 9, the Department for the Aging (DFTA) launched a new volunteer portal to make it easier for individuals and public/private partners to sign up for opportunities to support older adults. With the portal's new streamlined process, New Yorkers can see what opportunities are available and register online.
    Learn more about these opportunities

    NYC Save for College Program Updates and Resources

    Starting this school year, and every year going forward, kindergarten students enrolled in a New York City public school – including participating charter schools – automatically receive a scholarship account invested in a NY 529 Direct Plan, with an initial $100 from NYC Kids RISE, unless their families choose not to participate.

    Families of NYC kindergarteners participating in the Save for College Program can go to nyckidsrise.org/activate to activate and view their kindergarteners' new NYC Scholarship Accounts and start earning more money for their educational futures.

    The Save for College Program is a scholarship and savings platform that provides families, schools and communities with a way to work together to invest in and save for children's futures. The public-private-community partnership is designed to make college and career training more accessible and achievable for public school students, regardless of their income or immigration status.

    Please use the NYC Kids RISE social media toolkit to learn more and spread the word!

    NYC Speaks Survey Results and Community Conversations

    NYC Speaks Releases Survey Results

    62,000 New Yorkers responded to the "NYC Speaks" Survey on topics including public safety, housing, transit, mental health, broadband, workforce policy, child-care and climate change

    Findings and community engagement events will culminate in Action Plan to inform the Adams administration, city policy.

    Full results of the survey are available on the NYC Speaks Dashboard at nycspeaks.org/data where data points can be viewed by income, race, gender and more.

    Community Conversations

    Expanding on the work of "NYC Speaks" the City is holding conversations with communities across the five boroughs on various topics of concern to New Yorkers. Please sign up to discuss issues from the survey and other critical local issues. Register on the NYC Speaks website.

    OMNY for Reduced-Fare

    OMNY, the MTA's contactless fare payment system, is now available for Reduced-Fare customers (this does not include Fair Fares at this time). There is no need to re-apply for Reduced-Fare program – if you have a Reduced-Fare MetroCard, you can make the switch to OMNY immediately.

    You can now put your Reduced-Fare benefit on a contactless credit or debit card or the digital wallet on your smart phone or wallet at any time, from anywhere, using the MTA's online Digital Assistant. It is as easy as 1-2-3: go to  omny.info to create an OMNY account, open the Assistant and enter your Reduced-Fare program info, and enter your payment info.

    In order to switch to the OMNY system, customers will need their Reduced-Fare MetroCard number along with the bank card number that will carry the Reduced-Fare benefit. Once the contactless debit/credit or digital wallet is linked to the Reduced-Fare MetroCard, users will receive a success message and can begin using the selected payment method immediately. Those using a physical credit or debit card can tap and go using the physical card at the turnstile. Those using a smart phone or watch need to make sure the card chosen for payment is uploaded into that digital wallet.

    Watch a video demonstration of how make the switch, or call users can call the OMMY call center at 877-789-6669 (8:00 AM-5:00 PM EST any day of the week) for assistance.

    Lime Scooters Pilot in Bronx

    DOT plans to expand its e-scooter pilot in the eastern Bronx this June, which will double the program's footprint and bring new micromobility options to more residents. Limited free access to a scooter is available for low income New Yorkers living in certain Bronx zip codes. Lime Access also provides access to Lime scooters for people without smartphones or credit cards. To qualify, an individual must demonstrate participation in an eligible local, state or federal public benefits program. Individuals interested in the Lime Access program can apply for the program online, and learn more about the program on the DOT website.

    Museums for All Program for SNAP Recipients

    Free admission at the Frick is now being offered to families and individuals receiving food assistance, identified by showing a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card; and each individual/families can bring up to three guests. This is being offered as part of the Museums for All initiative, where individuals with a New York SNAP EBT card are eligible for free or discounted admission to over 600 museums nationwide. Participating museums provide reduced admission, ranging from free to $3.00. One EBT card can be used to gain entry into any of these destinations for up to 4 individuals to take advantage of the free or reduced fee. Learn more about the Museums for All program

    Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) for Broadband Internet

    The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) gives a discount on your household's monthly broadband internet service, if you are eligible. Participating broadband providers will apply this discount to your broadband plan.

    If eligible, your household can receive:

    • Up to a $30/month discount on your internet service
    • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (you will need to pay a copay between $10 and $50)
    • Only one monthly service discount and one device discount is allowed per household

    Your household may be eligible if someone in the household falls under just one of these criteria:

    • If a household income is 200% or less than the federal poverty guideline (ex: at or less than $35,775 for a household of 4)
    • If you or your child or dependent participate in certain government assistance programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, WIC, or other programs
    • If you or your child or dependent already receives a Lifeline benefit
    • If a child in your household attends an NYC public school that participates in the free or reduced lunch program (all NYC public schools do!)
    • Note: You do not need to be a U.S. citizen to be eligible. If you do not have a Social Security Number (SSN), you can provide other documents.
    • Note: Additionally, customers are not required to submit to a credit check.

    Find out if you qualify and enroll at getinternet.gov

    The ACP Outreach Grant Program is comprised of four complementary grant programs:

    Through this ACP Outreach Grant Program, the FCC seeks to enlist and empower trusted community messengers to develop innovative outreach strategies to reach historically underserved and unserved communities. This includes providing those partners with the funding and resources needed to increase participation among eligible, low-income households in need an affordable internet connection

    Your Home, Your Internet Pilot Program (YHYI) Outreach Grants

    The Your Home, Your Internet Pilot Program is a one-year pilot program designed to increase awareness of the ACP, specifically among recipients of federal housing assistance, including: recipients of Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program (Section 8 Vouchers); Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA)/Section 202/Section 811; Public Housing; and Affordable Housing Programs for American Indians, Alaska Natives or Native Hawaiians. This pilot program will facilitate enrollment in the ACP by providing targeted assistance with completion of the program application.

    ACP Navigator Pilot Program (NPP) Outreach Grants

    The ACP Navigator Pilot Program is a one-year pilot that will provide a limited number of neutral, trusted third party entities, such as schools and school districts, or other local, Tribal or state government entities, access to the National Verifier for purposes of assisting consumers with completing and submitting an application for the Affordable Connectivity Program.

    Eligible Entities: For FY 2023, eligible entities may include the following governmental and nongovernmental organizations to serve as outreach partners to the FCC to conduct outreach to persons who live in low-income households:

    • State governments and subdivisions thereof (including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico);
    • U.S. Territory governments and subdivisions thereof such as the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands;
    • Local governments and subdivisions thereof (including county, borough, municipality, city, town, township, parish, local public authority, special district, intrastate district, council of governments, and agencies or instrumentalities of multi-regional or intra-state or local government);
    • Tribal governments and subdivisions thereof, as well as tribal organizations;
    • Public housing agencies;
    • Tribal designated housing entities;
    • Social service providers (e.g., food banks, community transportation, childcare);
    • Education organizations, such as schools and other institutions of higher education;
    • Workforce development training organizations;
    • Non-profit organizations;
    • Community-based organizations (including faith-based organizations and social service organizations);
    • Community anchor institutions;
    • Public service organizations; and
    • Consortia of the entities listed above

    Complete applications must be received through the Grants.gov website .grants.gov no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on January 9, 2023. Late applications will not be accepted. FCC expects to complete its review, make selection of successful applicants, and process awards on or before March 10, 2023.

    Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs (OOPPs) and Trainings

    To expand access to naloxone in NYC, organizations can register to become Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs (OOPPs). After registering with the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH), OOPPs can order overdose rescue kits at no cost from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) to give out to clients, patients, staff and community members.

    To register and operate as an OOPP, organizations must:

    • Identify a Clinical Director and a Program Director:
      • A Clinical Director is a health care professional who can prescribe medication. The clinical director signs naloxone order forms and issues standing orders to allow designated staff at your organization to dispense naloxone under their medical license. They do not have to be employed by your organization. If you need help finding a clinical director, email naloxone@health.nyc.gov.
      • A Program Director is a staff member who is passionate about overdose education and can coordinate naloxone dispensing, manage inventory, and submit reports to the NYC Health Department and NYS DOH. Program Director responsibilities can be shared among organization staff.
    • Have key staff trained by the NYC Health Department to dispense naloxone.
    • Order supplies from the NYC Health Department (at no cost).
    • Assemble and give out overdose rescue kits.
    • Provide overdose response instruction with every overdose rescue kit dispensed. This instruction can be provided in five-minute conversations or in longer, more formal group settings.
    • Submit monthly reports to the NYC Health Department and quarterly reports to NYS DOH.

    If your organization has questions about becoming an OOPP, email naloxone@health.nyc.gov. You can complete an OOPP application at nyoverdose.org.

    The Office for Faith-Based and Community Partnerships (OFCP) Survey

    The Office for Faith-Based and Community Partnerships (OFCP) works to build bridges among City government, diverse religious communities and nonprofit organizations to better serve all New Yorkers. OFCP will reflect the diversity of religion, race, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation of the New Yorkers it will serve. This survey was created as a tool to better understand and respond to the needs of faith-based leaders across the City. Access the survey.

    Protections for Domestic Workers Under the New York City Human Rights Law

    As of March 12, 2022, the New York City Human Rights Law's employment protections will apply to all domestic workers, including nannies, home care workers, housecleaners, and any other worker who is employed in a home providing childcare, eldercare, companionship, or housekeeping services in New York City. This ruling extends the coverage of the NYC Human Rights Law to full and part-time domestic workers, regardless of employer size - eliminating the typical 4-employee minimum for employer liability. More information and fact sheets in multiple languages are available on the CCHR website.

    Reduced Fare Metrocards for Seniors and People with Disabilities – Online Application

    Seniors and people with disabilities can now apply for a Reduced-Fare MetroCard online. Learn more about Reduced-Fare MetroCards.

    As a reminder, this program is separate from the Fair Fares program.

    NYC Paid Safe and Sick Leave

    As a reminder, under New York City's Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law), covered employees have the right to use safe and sick leave for the care and treatment of themselves or a family member, to seek legal and social services assistance, and more.

    The amended paid sick leave law also provides private-sector employees who are covered by the NYC Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law with an extra four hours of paid leave per child under the age of 18, per COVID-19 vaccine injection. The time can be used to take their child to get vaccinated or to care for their child if they experience any side effects from the vaccine. The leave is retroactive to November 2, the day when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved vaccines for children 5-11 years old.

    Employers and employees can visit nyc.gov/workers or call 311 for more information about the NYC Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law, including the required Notice of Employee of Rights, which is available in 26 languages, one-page overviews for employers and employees, and the complaint form.

    Accessibility Guides

    The Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities has developed guidance to assist organizations in improving communication with the 11% of New Yorkers who identify as having a disability. The Accessible Documents Guide and Accessible Social Media Guide provide assistance to organizations to ensure communication is clear to those with disabilities.

    Lifeline Telephone Discount

    Lifeline is a federal program that offers a monthly discount on telephone service to qualified low-income customers. Consumers qualify for Lifeline by participating in certain federal or state assistance programs or by having income at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines. The Lifeline discount can be applied to either home telephone service (landline or cable) or wireless service and is available for only one line per household. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in conjunction with two national utilities associations, is working to share information about this program with low-income New Yorkers who may be eligible for this program for the first time. Get more information about Lifeline that is specific to New York.

    Service providers and consumer advocates can learn more about the program at usac.org/lifeline.

    Consumers can learn more about the program at LifelineSupport.org.

    Family Justice Centers

    NYC Family Justice Centers are available by phone to offer guidance on immediate safety planning, shelter assistance, legal consultations, counseling sessions, case management sessions, community resources, and more. Find borough-specific phone numbers and more information on the OCDV website.

    Persons with hearing impairments can use TTY 866-604-5350 to speak with a counselor.

    Resources for People with Disabilities

    The Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities has created a resource website with information on Food/Supply Delivery, Social Security/Medicaid Benefits, Home Healthcare Services and more.

    Health and Human Services Disability Information and Access Line

    U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind national hotline to connect people with disabilities to information and services to improve access to COVID-19 vaccines. The newly established Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) is now available to help people with disabilities find vaccination locations in their communities, assist callers with making vaccination appointments, and connect callers to local services – such as accessible transportation – to overcome barriers to vaccination. The hotline can also provide information and resources to answer questions and address concerns about the vaccines and can connect callers to information and services that promote independent living and address fundamental needs, such as food, housing, and transportation. Learn more at acl.gov/dial or call 888-677-1199 from 9:00am to 8:00pm ET.

    CBO Referrals from 311

    In an effort to connect clients with organizations that can provide assistance with access to benefits and other support services, we are asking for any organizations interested in accepting referrals from 311 to contact us. If your organization is currently providing in-person or phone assistance to clients applying for HRA benefits, including providing assistance with ACCESS HRA and/or Fair Fares, and you are interested in accepting referrals from 311, please reach out to dssoutreach@dss.nyc.gov for more information or to share your information with 311.

    HRA Office of Burial Services and FEMA Funeral Reimbursement

    The NYC Dept of Health has created a fact sheet to navigate the process of applying for and receiving funeral assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Act (FEMA) and the NYC Human Resource Administration COVID-19 Burial Assistance. Download the flyer from the DOH website (available in additional languages).

    HRA Office of Burial Services Information

    The HRA Office of Burial Services (OBS), formerly the Burial Claims Unit, is now open for in-person services and to receive phone calls Monday – Friday from 9am – 5pm. The office had previously only been open on Wednesdays due to COVID-19.

    In-person: 33-28 Northern Blvd, 3rd Floor, Long Island City, NY 11101

    By phone: 718-557-1399

    Clients can find OBS information (including the Application for Burial Allowance [M-860w] fillable form, brochure, and frequently asked questions) online by:

    1. visiting www.nyc.gov/hra
    2. clicking on I Need Help
    3. selecting Burial Assistance and scrolling through the information on that page.

    As a reminder, DSS/HRA issued an emergency rule regarding burial assistance:

    • Increasing the burial allowance from $900 to $1,700 and increasing the cap on burial costs from $1,700 to $3,400.
    • Extending the timeframe for when you can apply to 120 days from the date of the individual's death.

    Applications received on or after March 12, 2020, will be considered for the increased burial assistance allowance. All applications received will be reviewed regardless of immigration status. Clients can submit the application and supporting documents to the agency by email at BurialServices@hra.nyc.gov or by fax at 917-639-0476.

    To be eligible for burial assistance from the HRA Office of Burial Services (OBS), State OTDA has directed that clients who meet the eligibility requirements for FEMA funeral assistance must explore and apply for the FEMA reimbursement. If a client hasn't received a decision from FEMA, they can submit an application for burial assistance from HRA and HRA will wait for FEMA's decision before processing the HRA burial assistance application. Learn more about the HRA Office of Burial Services (OBS) burial assistance

    Additionally, if an applicant for or recipient of Temporary Assistance benefits receives FEMA funeral reimbursement and the funds remain available to them, these monies must be considered as a resource in initial or ongoing eligibility determination.

    Information on burial assistance can be found on the HRA burial assistance web page. Download a brochure including a list of funeral homes that have agreed to work within the payment amounts for burial assistance.

    FEMA Funeral Reimbursement Program

    Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA is providing financial assistance to individuals with COVID-related funeral expenses.

    Applicants must meet the following conditions to qualify to receive FEMA funded COVID-19 Funeral Assistance:

    • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or "qualified alien" as defined by federal law. There is no requirement for the decedent to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or "qualified alien".
    • FEMA must be able to verify the applicant's identity.
    • Funeral expenses must be incurred by the applicant after January 20, 2020.
    • A medical examiner, coroner, or other certifier indicated that COVID-19 played a role in the decedent's death on the death certificate.
    • Applicants may also submit a statement or letter from the death certificate's certifying official, medical examiner or coroner that attributes the death to COVID-19 for fatalities that occurred between January 20, 2020, through May 16, 2020.
    • The death occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
    • No other applicant received Funeral Assistance funds for the same decedent.

    To apply, individuals are directed to call the dedicated FEMA toll-free phone number at 844-684-6333 (TTY 800-462-7585) to complete a COVID-19 Funeral Assistance application with help from FEMA's representatives. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 9 am to 9 pm. Multilingual services are available. There is not an online application.

    For more information, including a listing of what documentation an individual will need to have ready prior to calling, please visit the FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Frequently Asked Questions.

    STRIVE Workforce Development

    STRIVE is a national workforce development leader that for 38 years has successfully provided services to populations facing significant employment barriers. They are an HRA-approved training provider offering trainings in Green Construction and Healthcare and Office Operations. STRIVE has three programs, Career Path, Future Leaders and Fresh Start. They currently offer ZOOM information sessions for candidates who may qualify or are interested Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and offer in-Person information sessions are offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Learn more at this shareable flyer and access their website.