New York TANF Application Information

New York Temporary Assistance (TA) provides cash assistance to the needy families and individuals. Families and individuals struggling with their finances may qualify for TA and improve their financial status. The program wants families and individuals to stabilize financially within certain period while following certain financial plan. Families and individuals enrolled in the program will look to become financially self-sufficient using the cash assistance provided through the program.

New York Temporary Assistance (TA) program has two major programs i.e. Family Assistance (FA) and Safety Net Assistance (SNA). You will be able to enroll for SNA if you fail to qualify for other assistance programs available in the state of New York.

Temporary Assistance program requires enrollees to follow a work plan that will help them to become self-sufficient economically. The program will provide cash assistance during the plan so that families can train for work and take care of family health. Families and individuals will also have to cooperate with Social Services in order to stay in the program.

When you apply for the program, you will have to provide birth certificate or other proof of your identity. You will be required to provide proof of shelter and residence expenses. If you are applying for SNA, you will be required to provide a proof of your fuel and utility expenses as well.

Families will also be required to provide proof of their income as well as resources. Proof of wages for the last four months will also be required in case you had a job during the period.

Applicants will have to download and fill the application before they hand it over to their local Department of Social Services. Applicants will also be able to send their completed applications along with required documents through regular mail.

If you are eligible for the program and enrolled, you will receive cash through an Electronic Benefit Transfer System (EBT). It's easy to manage your account since you will get a benefit card as well as a personal identification number.

Major programs available under Temporary Assistance (TA)

Temporary Assistance (TA) provides cash assistance through two major programs

  • Family Assistance (FA)
  • Safety Net Assistance (SNA)

Family Assistance (FA)

As the name suggests, Family Assistance (FA) provides cash assistance to needy families who meet program requirements. Such families will have to meet financial eligibility as well to receive benefits through this program. FA follows the guidelines set by federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

FA provides benefits to adults for a period of 60 months throughout their lifetime. The program will consider any funds received through TANF program in another state and compute period left for FA after considering the time for which such funds were received.

In order to receive FA benefits, one must cooperate with federal work requirements and agree to follow training and work activities. Individuals failing to cooperate or participate in such activities will not receive cash assistance through FA program.

Safety Net Assistance (SNA)

Those, who are not eligible for any other assistance program, may qualify for Safety Net Assistance (SNA). The program provides benefits for a period of two years during the lifetime of an individual.

Once you have received benefits for two years, you can still continue receiving non-cash benefits. Such benefits are also available to families and persons abusing alcohol or drugs, refusing drug screening, or have already exceeded their limit for cash assistance.

Emergency Assistance

Families and individuals facing emergency (homeless, having no food, without heating in cold weather, utilities shut-off etc) can receive emergency assistance through New York Temporary Assistance (TA) program.

Emergency assistance usually includes payment for shelter, utility, fuel, and payments for temporary accommodation such as motel or hotel.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to enroll in the program successfully, applicants will have to meet certain requirements:

  • You must be a citizen of U.S or a legal alien. Certain types of immigrants can also apply for the program
  • The program is only available to residents of New York. If you are in another state, you can find a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program for your state.
  • You must be on very low income
  • You must be either a pregnant woman or responsible for a child under the age of 19 years. Such child should be attending the school regularly.

The individuals looking to apply for Family Assistance (FA) will have to cooperate with Social Services and federal work requirements.

Applicants will also be required to meet federal TANF guidelines in order to receive benefits through the program.

Applicant will also have to ensure that they are providing proof of their income so that their eligibility can be determined. Applicants will have to provide proof of their resources as well. If you are unsure what documents to attach, you can call the helpline or contact the Department of Social Services.

TANF Application Instructions

You can apply for Temporary Assistance (TA) in different ways:

Download/Paper Application

Apply through Department of Social Services: You can apply through your local Department of Social Services. Find your
nearest office here

Apply through Department of Social Services: You can apply through your local Department of Social Services. Find your
nearest office here

You will have to download the application and hand it over at your local Department of Social Services. Alternatively, you can send the application to Department of Social Services through regular mail.

Apply through local Job Center: You can also apply through your local Job Center if you live in one of the five boroughs of New York City.

After you have applied

After you have completed the application process, you will get an appointment for the interview within seven working days. Department of Social Services will inform you about the status of your application within 30 days of filing the application. If you are applying for Safety Net Assistance, you will receive update about acceptance or denial of your application within 45 days of filing the application.

You can contact New York Temporary Assistance through their hotline at 1 800 342 3009 to get further information about the program.

New York TANF Office

Address: Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA)
40 North Pearl Street
Albany, NY 12243
(518) 473-1090