New York State



Monthly Cash Benefit


Monthly SNAP Benefit


Maximum Weekly Benefit


Income Eligibility


The state of New York enjoys the prominence of its capital city in terms of global financial success — making it one of the most expensive state to live in.

Even a basic lifestyle can cost a king’s ransom. Not surprisingly, single mothers and those with little or no income fare the worst.

The state of New York provides on a wide range of state programs to help them cope with the high cost of living.

While no one participates in all of them, many New Yorkers who qualify can and do collect assistance from multiple programs.

01New York Family Assistance

New York Family Assistance (FA) provides temporary cash assistance to very needy families with children under the age of 18 as well as pregnant women. FA operates under federal TANF guidelines with no lifetime limit on cash benefits.1

As a condition of eligibility, each person who applies for or is receiving FA, is required to comply with federal work requirements to receive FA benefits.

The maximum monthly benefit for a single mother of two with no income living in New York City is $789 — the highest among the contiguous 48 states and the District of Columbia.

FA is one of two programs providing temporary cash assistance in New York. The other is Safety Net Assistance (SNA), a New York State program with no federal participation.

This program provides money for basic living expenses for single adults and childless couples or families who are not receiving any cash benefits through Family Assistance.

02New York Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

The SNAP Program provides food support to lower income New Yorkers including working families, the elderly and the disabled to feed their families. Eligibility and benefit levels are based on household size and family’s income.

Eligible SNAP participants are issued a EBT card used to make food purchases at grocery stores and supermarkets, in lieu of paper food stamp coupons.

In New York, eligible single mother with two children may get up to $399 in monthly benefits. For an application as well as eligibility pre- screening, go to ACCESS NYC.

03New York Medicaid

New York Medicaid is a health care coverage for low-income New Yorkers who couldn’t afford to pay for medical care — mostly uninsured children under age 18, pregnant women, disabled adults and seniors.


As New York is expanding Medicaid eligibility threshold, Medicaid will now cover most New Yorkers age 19-65 with income up to 133% of the federal poverty level.

New York is operating a State-Based Marketplace, known as NY State of Health — through which you can apply for Medicaid, CHPlus or other private health insurance.

04New York Child Health Plus (CHPlus)

If you’re looking for health coverage for your children, New York State has a health insurance plan for kids, called Child Health Plus or CHPlus.

Under the ACA, CHPlus covers uninsured children from families with incomes up to 400% of the federal poverty level or about $81,100 annually for a single mother of two.

Starting January 1, 2014, you must apply for Child Health Plus coverage through the NY State of Health Marketplace. For assistance, please call 1-800-4543.

05New York Special Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program is a special supplemental food program for women, infants, and children up to the age of five. All applicants must be income eligible and be individually determined by a health professional to be “at nutrition risk”.

It provides nutritious foods along with nutrition education, breastfeeding support and information on where to apply for free or low-cost health care or other needed services in the community.

Participants in an adjunct program — Medicaid, food stamps (SNAP), TANF, Head Start, Early Head Start are automatically eligible for the program.

06New York Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

CACFP provides nutritious meals and snacks to infants and children as a regular part of their day care. It aims to improve the quality of nutrition offered at a critical time in young children’s development.

The majority of CACFP participants are preschool-aged children up to 12 years of age. Eligibility is based either on the poverty status of the area or on the family income of the enrolled children.

If you have questions about the Child and Adult Care Food Program, contact the New York State Department of Health at 1-800-942-3858.

07New York Subsidized Child Care

The Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) provides free or low cost child care to eligible families living in New York State. Fees for child care services, if any, are based on a sliding scale.

Eligibility is based on family’s income and reasons for needing child care. In general, families with incomes below 200% of the State Income Standard (SIS) may qualify for assistance.

Find out if you qualify for subsidized child care.

If you’re interested in subsidized child care, you should apply by contacting ACS-funded programs in your area. Go to 311 Online to search for ACS-funded child care programs near you.

08New York Section 8 Assistance Program

Section 8 helps lower income families in NYC obtain a decent place to live in at a rent they can afford. Eligible families are issued a housing voucher to search for a unit in neighborhoods of their choice.

The program works as a rent subsidy allowing families to pay a reasonable share of their income for rent with NYCHA making up the difference up to a specific limit.

NYCHA is currently not accepting applications. When NYCHA begins accepting applications, there will be a public notice and you may apply based on that notice’s requirement.

09New York Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment insurance benefits provide temporary financial assistance to workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own — for up to 26 weeks.

As a condition of eligibility, you are required to actively seek suitable employment during each week in which you are claiming benefits. If you qualify, you can receive UI benefits of up to $430 per week.

More Grants for Single Mothers in New York State →

10New York State Paid Family Leave (PFL) Program

Approved in 2016, the New York State Paid Family Leave goes into effect on January 1, 2018. Under FMLA, the New York Law guarantees paid time off — up to 12 weeks’ job-protected leave by 2021.

For the first year of the program, employees can take up to eight weeks of paid family leave, with a weekly benefit of 50% of the employee’s average weekly wage — capped at 67% when fully phased-in in 2021.

For example, in 2018, an employee who makes $1,000 a week would receive a benefit of $500 a week (50% of $1,000) or no more than $670 a week in 2021.

11New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is a need-based grant that helps eligible New York students pay tuition at an approved postsecondary institution in New York State (NYS).

Depending on the academic year in which you apply, an annual TAP award ranges from $500 to $5,165 per year.2 And since TAP is a grant, it does not have to be repaid.

To be eligible for TAP, you must file a FAFSA and list a New York State school or college on the form. The TAP application deadline is June 30 of the academic year for which aid is sought.

12New York Aid for Part-time Study (APTS)

The Aid for Part-time Study (APTS) program provides grant assistance for eligible part-time students enrolled in approved undergraduate studies in New York State. APTS is not the same as the Part-time TAP.

Awards provide up to $2,000 per year for eligible part-time undergraduate students to help pay tuition expenses but will not exceed tuition charges.

To qualify for APTS, you must meet all the TAP eligibility requirements as well as the APTS income limits. The APTS application, along with copies of the NYS Tax Returns, must be submitted.

  1. Besides Massachusetts, New York is one of two states with no lifetime limit on cash benefits.
  2. Use this TAP Award Estimator to estimate the amount you may receive from the New York State Tuition Assistance Program.