New York Family Assistance

Updated June 26, 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.

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


Family Assistance is one of the two programs providing temporary cash assistance in New York State. The other is Safety Net Assistance aimed directly at those who have exceeded the 60-month time limit on FA.


FAQ

  • How much cash assistance will I get in NY?

    How much cash assistance you’ll get in NY largely depends upon your family’s income and size. New York pays a maximum of $789 a month to a family of three — one of the most generous among the contiguous 48 states and the District of Columbia.

  • How can I get cash assistance in NYC?

    To find out if you are eligible to receive Temporary Assistance, you need to file an application with your county Department of Social Services or, if you live in one of the five boroughs of New York City, with your local Job Center.

    You can find the location of your local Department of Social Services online, or by calling the OTDA Hotline at 1-800-342-3009.

  • How long does it take to get cash assistance in NYC?

    Once your application is received, an interview will be scheduled to determine your eligibility, usually within 7 days. An eligibility determination will then be made no later than 30 days after completing the application process.

    If you have an emergency, you will be interviewed and told in writing about the decision on your emergency the same day you apply.

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.

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