Assistance to Children, Families, & Adults

For assistance, call (607) 535-8303

Temporary Assistance

The Temporary Assistance Unit works to provide benefits and services to eligible individuals and families according to federal and state laws and regulations while striving to assist each recipient to become self-sufficient.

Temporary Assistance Services
The Temporary Assistance Unit provides the following areas of services:
  • Child Care Subsidy
  • Employment
  • Electronic Benefits Transfer
  • Family Assistance
  • Food Stamps
  • HEAP
  • Safety Net Assistance

Temporary Assistance provides short-term help to families and individuals as they work toward self-sufficiency. If you are unable to work, can’t find a job, or your job does not pay enough to meet your basic needs, Temporary Assistance may be able to help you pay expenses. Eligibility for Family Assistance and Safety Net Assistance is determined based on income, resources, and cooperation with all required actions.

Family Assistance
Family Assistance is a cash benefit program providing payments to eligible households with children. Benefits are based on the household size, income, resources available, and the needs and expenses of the household as defined by state and federal regulations. Under welfare reform, an adult is eligible for a lifetime limit of 60 total months.

Safety Net Assistance
Safety Net Assistance is a program of financial assistance to needy individuals and childless couples that do not meet the requirements for Family Assistance or SSI. Generally, cash Safety Net Assistance is received for a 24-month lifetime total. After reaching the lifetime limit, benefits are received as non-cash vouchers or direct payments to vendors like landlords or utilities.

Family Assistance Eligibility
  • Gross income limit - No household shall be eligible for a grant in any month in which the household’s total income, before application of disregards or exclusions, exceeds 185% of the household’s standard of need. Total income includes all income of all persons in the household applying for or in receipt of public assistance and their legally responsible relatives.
  • Resource limit - There is a resource limit of $2000, and the value of any cars may be counted toward the limit.

Safety Net Assistance Eligibility
If you are eligible for other assistance programs, you may be eligible for Safety Net Assistance. It is a state and locally funded program for:
  • Childless couples
  • Children over 18 living apart from adult relatives
  • Families of persons abusing drugs or alcohol
  • Families of persons refusing drug / alcohol screening, assessment, or treatment
  • Persons who have exceeded the 60 month time limit
  • Single adults
  • Some aliens

Get more information about application procedures.

When You Apply
You will be given an application and can turn the application in the same day and receive an eligibility interview within in 5 working days.

When you turn in your application, the receptionist will review it with you. If you have one of the emergencies listed below, you will have a short interview:
  • Domestic violence
  • Eviction notice
  • Homelessness
  • Little or no food
  • Out of fuel during the heating season
  • Utility shut off

The case worker will help you with your emergency and / or make referrals to other programs.

Eligibility Interview
During the eligibility interview, the worker will go over your application with you to make sure it is complete and that you understand each question. You will be asked for documents to verify your answers on the application. If you bring them to the interview, the process is much quicker.

You will be asked for:
  • Birth certificates for everyone in the household
  • Social security numbers for everyone
  • Proof of residence and shelter expense like a landlord statement, rent receipt, or mortgage payment
  • Fuel and utility receipts
  • Current pay stubs
  • Proof of all other income, like VA benefits, unemployment, support, SSI, pensions, etc.
  • Proof of resources like bank statements, insurance policies, titles to real property, and / or vehicles
  • Proof of any disability or signed consent for your doctor to complete a medical statement

Child Support Enforcement

If you have a child whose other parent is absent, you will be required to have an interview with the Child Support Enforcement Unit to seek support and / or establish paternity. You do have the right to claim good cause for not cooperating, if you have physically or mentally threatened, abused, or fear for the life of yourself or your child. You will be asked to substantiate your claim.

You will be asked to complete a substance abuse screening and may be required to go for a substance abuse assessment with a professional who can assess your treatment needs and help you get care needed to become self-sufficient.

You will be given the chance to complete a voluntary domestic violence screening form and receive important information about domestic violence services. Anyone who self-discloses domestic violence will be referred immediately to a domestic violence liaison for assistance.

Finger Imaging

You will be asked to have your picture taken and an image made of your index fingers. New York State law requires everyone eligible for Temporary Assistance to be identified so duplicate benefits payments are avoided.

Receiving Benefits
At a later date, you will receive an Electronic Benefits Card with your picture on it and be given instructions for creating your personal PIN number. This card should be retained even when your case closes.

An application for Temporary Assistance is also an automatic application for Medicaid and Food Stamps. Your eligibility determination will also inform you of your eligibility for these other programs.