Am I Eligible for Assistance?
NYS OTDA's MyBenefits site is a quick and easy way for people in New York State to find answers to questions about New York State's programs and services.
Click the button below to see if you're eligible for Food Stamps, HEAP, and more.
Commissioner: Maureen Schmidt
Insuring the provision of assistance and services necessary to sustain dependent and disabled persons, protect children and adults from abuse and neglect, and to assist applicants and recipients in achieving the greatest degree of independence possible.
FREE SUMMER MEALS
Children who rely on school breakfast and lunch during the school year have access to good nutrition this summer.
Summer should be a stress-free time full of food, friends and fun. Free summer meals can help. During the summer months, children 18 and under can receive free, nutritious meals at Summer Food Service Program meal sites. Many sites also offer fun activities, so kids and teens can stay active and spend time with friends while enjoying healthy meals.
Meals and snacks are also available to persons with disabilities, over age 18, who participate in school programs for people who are mentally or physically disabled.
Description of Services
Adult Protective Services
Individuals, age 18 or older, are eligible for protective services for adults if they meet each of the following 3 criteria:
- The Adult must have a physical illness or disability and/or a mental impairment which results in a decreased capacity for self care and self determination.
- Inability to meet their essential needs or to protect themselves from harm.
- Have no one willing or able to assist them responsibly.
If the individual meets all of the above criteria, a wide range of services can be arranged for the client such as counseling, case management, advocacy, money management, assisting with housing or alternative living arrangements or appropriate crisis interventions coordinated with various agencies equipped to serve such populations. PSA clients are among the most debilitated and neglected members of the community - the frail elderly, the mentally ill, the mentally retarded and the abused and exploited. These persons are often not known to any agency or have refused services and are isolated from family and friends. Abuse cases are those involving possible physical, sexual or emotional abuse, financial exploitation or neglect by others. Neglect cases involve an impaired adult's inability to obtain adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care or entitlements on his or her own behalf.
CASA assesses for and administers Medicaid funded home care programs including; Personal Care, Consumer Directed, Long Term Care, Private Duty Nursing and Care at Home programs. It is part of NY Connects and works closely with Office for Aging, Public Health and other Medicaid services to provide in-home care for chronically ill patients of all ages. CASA also assists with Nursing Home placement.
A domestic violence liason conducts an assesment and determination regarding the need for waivers for temporary assistance due to safety issues when domestic violence is an issue. Referrals to appropriate services are made as well.
Assesses and refers Temporary Assistance Clients for job placement, work experience, and training; supervises job search activities; maintains and updates client Employability Plans; coordinates employment case activity with other service providers.
For more information on sleeping safety and keeping children safe visit http://ocfs.ny.gov/main/cps/tips.asp
Adoption and Foster Care
The purpose of the Foster Care Program is to ensure that the right of a child to a permanent and secure home is realized. This program is charged with the responsibility for providing 24-hour care and service to children who cannot safely remain with their own family and to reunite these families by the provision of, or arrangement for, appropriate services.
Levels of foster care include placement in foster homes, therapeutic foster homes, group homes, institutions, critical care institutions, or residential treatment facilities.
There are many points of entry into foster care, but the two primary sources of intake are through JD/PINS proceedings in family court and Child Protective Services. Many of the children entering foster care are victims of repeated physical and/or emotional neglect. They are very special children with very special needs. These children often require special foster homes equipped to nurture them and heal their physical and emotional scars.
Child Protective Services
The Department of Social Services is required by law to establish and maintain a local Child Protective Services unit within the Department of Social Services. Child Protective Services (CPS) is responsible for receiving and investigating all reports of child abuse and neglect received through the state's Central Registry. In addition, upon completion of the investigation, CPS has the responsibility to protect a child's welfare and preserve and stabilize family life whenever possible. When abusive and/or neglectful families are unwilling or unable to accept and use supportive and rehabilitative services, CPS has a responsibility to initiate Family Court proceedings to protect the child(ren).
Since there is a 24-hour mandate for CPS coverage, it is essential that a caseworker is always available to ensure the protection of children. Caseworkers make contact face to face with the alleged abused and/or maltreated child or children to assess imminent risk and safety issues. A safety plan may have to be put in place to protect a child(ren) from any further harm or neglect. If you have concerns that a child may be abused or maltreated, please call the Child Protective Hotline at 1-800-342-3720.
The Child Support Unit is mandated by the state to assist in locating absent parents, assist in the establishment of paternity for children born out-of-wedlock by petitioning the Family Court to order child and medical support from absent parents, assist in the collection of support and assist in the enforcement of delinquent support orders.
Day Care is a State and Federally funded service which involves the non-residential (less than 24 hours/day) care of children outside of their homes who are placed there by their parents, guardians, or other persons responsible for them. Such care may be provided during any part of the day. There is a Day Care Block Grant consisting of Federal and State money. Each county is allocated a share of the New York State Child Care Block Grant (NYSCCBG). The Block Grant supports employment related day care given to low-income families in Warren County. Eligibility is determined by family income and a parent fee is required by all participants. The fee is based on a sliding scale based on income for all employment related Daycare.
Separate funding remains for Title XX Day Care, temporary assistance related day care and Child Protective/Child Preventive Day Care, for which there is a 25% local share.
Day Care is a critical support service in the attempts to implement the work requirements for Temporary Assistance recipients. Day Care also provides a necessary level of support for the low income families that are at risk of going on or going back on public assistance.
Child Preventive Services is a program which serves families with severe and multiple problems who have children at risk of foster care placement. Some problems include child or adult mental illness, mental retardation, alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence and child sexual abuse. The department's preventive services caseworkers, along with partner agencies, work with parents who are unable or unwilling to provide proper discipline, direction or care for their children. Preventive's goal is to improve family functioning so that children can remain in their own home and prevent foster care placement.
SNAP is a Federal nutrition program that strives to assist eligible individuals in acquiring adequate food for themselves and their families.
HEAP is a federally funded program that helps low-income households pay their home energy costs.
Medical Assistance (Medicaid) provides essential medical services to those unable to meet the cost of health care. In most cases, you may be eligible to receive medical assistance if you are in receipt of temporary assistance (TANF), receive supplemental income (SSI) or if you meet certain income, resource, age or disability criteria. There are also expanded eligibility levels, if you are pregnant or if you have a child.
Medicaid can pay for transportation to and from emergency medical care and services. Medicaid can also pay for transportation to and from non-emergency medical care or services for a Medicaid eligible individual, or reimburse that individual for the expense.
In non-emergency situations, prior approval of the request for transportation is required to ensure that:
- The mode of transportation, (i.e. private vehicle, public transit, taxi, ambulance), is appropriate to the medical needs of the client.
- The least costly appropriate transportation is arranged.
To be screened for services and make arrangements you must contact MAS, Medical Answering Services at 1-855-360-3541 or www.medanswering.com
There are three basic forms of Temporary Assistance (commonly called cash assistance). Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) provides temporary support for families with children. Emergency Assistance to Families (EAF) provides onetime emergency assistance to families with children with an immediate need (such as eviction, no heat, utility shutoff etc.). SafetyNet Assistance provides temporary support for individuals, childless couples or families not eligible for TANF. Income and resource tests apply and there is a strong emphasis on employment, reemployment or transition to entitlement programs for the disabled.
We insure that the integrity of the Social Service System is not compromised. We accomplish this by alleviating fraud, waste and abuse by Social Service clients and vendors. Please see our Fraud section for more information.