New York Family Assistance

Updated June 14, 2019

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.

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 — one of the most generous among the contiguous 48 states and the District of Columbia.

Under FA, eligible parents and other adult relatives are limited to receiving benefits for a total of 60 months in their lifetime.

To find out if you are eligible to receive Temporary Assistance, you need to file an application with your county Department of Social Services.

You can find the location of your local Department of Social Services online, or by calling

OTDA Hotline

Family Assistance 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.

If you or your family are experiencing an emergency situation, you may also be eligible for emergency assistance such as:

  • Emergency Assistance to Adults (EAA)

    that provides assistance for individuals and couples who have been determined eligible or are receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income) or State Supplementation Program (SSP) payments.

  • Emergency Assistance to Needy Families (EAF)

    that provides assistance to meet the emergency needs of pregnant women and families with at least one child under age 18, or under age 19 and regularly attending full time secondary school.

  • Emergency Safety Net Assistance (ESNA)

    that provides emergency assistance to single adults and childless couples.

You do not, however, have to be eligible for ongoing Family Assistance to receive Emergency Assistance.