Important information about COVID-19 and your HRA benefits

Important COVID-19 Information

Need Assistance?

If you need assistance, you don't need to come to an HRA Office. You can:

  • New: Apply for Cash Assistance or Emergency One Time Assistance with the ACCESS HRA website and mobile app. An HRA staff member will call you to complete your eligibility interview.
  • Apply for SNAP online at nyc.gov/accesshra or by smartphone with the ACCESS HRA app. An interview may not be required, if we need additional information, HRA will contact you. Please remember to submit as many documents as you can using the ACCESS HRA Mobile app.
  • New: If you receive SNAP benefits and have lost your job or had a change in your income, please submit a Case Change using ACCESS HRA. You do not need to submit a new application. You will need to submit documents to prove the change you report.
  • Apply for SNAP or Cash Assistance by mail. Send Cash Assistance applications to the open Job Center location in your borough. Send SNAP applications to:
    • HRA/Family Independence Administration
      Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
      Mail Application Referral Unit
      PO. Box 29197
      Brooklyn, NY 11201-9956
  • Apply for a Special Grant online through ACCESS HRA if you are a Cash Assistance client.
  • Get food assistance at a food pantry near you. Visit the Get Food NYC map for locations.
  • Use ACCESS HRA online or download the ACCESS HRA app to view your case information.
  • Apply for child support services by downloading an application at childsupport.ny.gov OR calling the NYS child support helpline at 888-208-4485 to have an application mailed to you.
  • Please only visit an HRA Office if your needs cannot be met through ACCESS HRA or over the phone. Many HRA locations have consolidated. Consult the HRA Locations page for more information. The Common Benefit Identification Card (CBIC) office will now close at 5 PM until further notice.
  • All Cash Assistance and SNAP applicants that have been approved for benefits will receive an EBT card in the mail. If your EBT card has not yet arrived, you can go to the Brooklyn OTC site for your permanent card, or one of seven open center locations for a temporary card that will have all benefits available until the EBT card arrives.
    View the list of locations

Service Information 

To help stop the spread of COVID-19, many HRA locations have consolidated until further notice. If your needs cannot be met by ACCESS HRA, call 311 or consult the HRA Locations page for more information.

Important Notice – No Mandatory Dispute Resolution Appointment

If you are Cash Assistance recipient, the Human Resources Administration (HRA) may have sent you a notice for a Mandatory Dispute Resolution (MDR) appointment.

The notice was sent to you in error. Please disregard the notice.

The appointment that was scheduled for you has been cancelled. You DO NOT have to appear for that appointment. No negative action is being taken as a result of the notice. You may still receive other notices about the Fair Hearing you requested. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. If you have any questions, please call (718) 557-1399.

Important Information about Recertifications

  • Recertification Extension: Recertifications due January 1, 2021 through March 31, 2021 have been extended up to six months on cases that did not previously get an extension due to COVID-19. If eligible, HRA will mail you a notice about the extension and you will not need to submit a recertification form. Check ACCESS HRA to see if your recertification is due. If it is, submit it to keep your benefits.

  • CA 6-month mailer and SNAP periodic report suspended: There will be no negative actions taken for failing to return the SNAP periodic reports and Cash Assistance mailers due between January 1, 2021 through March 31, 2021.

Department of Social Services COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Read the Department of Social Services (DSS) COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Burial Assistance

To address the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, DSS/HRA issued an emergency rule:

  • Increasing the burial allowance from $900 to $1,700 and increasing the cap on burial costs from $1,700 to $3,400.
  • Extending the timeframe for when you can apply to 120 days from the date of the individual‘s death.

Applications received on or after March 12, 2020, will be considered for the increased burial assistance allowance. All applications received will be reviewed regardless of immigration status

Federal Stimulus Payments: Economic Impact Payments

On March 27th, 2020, the federal CARES Act authorized a one-time payment of $1,200 to certain individuals. While many people will receive their payments through direct deposit or mailed checks, those who were not required to file a federal income tax return for 2018 or 2019 will need to take additional steps.

According to the IRS, if you don't file taxes, use the "Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info Here" application to provide information to receive your payment. You should use this application if:

  • You are a citizen or a non-citizen with a Social Security Number;
  • You did not file a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return because your gross income was under $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples). This includes people who had no income. Or
  • You weren't required to file a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return for other reasons.

If you receive the below benefits, the IRS already has your information and you will receive $1,200. If you have qualifying children under age 17, you can use the "Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info Here" application to claim the $500 payment per child.

  • Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), or survivor benefits
  • Railroad Retirement and Survivor Benefits

For more information, please visit the IRS website.

EIP UPDATE - 8/24/2020:

You can still get the $500 Economic Impact Payment for your children if you haven't already received it, or filed for it, and:

(1) You get Social Security retirement, survivors or disability benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments, Veteran's Affairs or Railroad Retirement benefits;

(2) You did not file a 2019 or 2018 tax return;

(3) You have an eligible child under age 17; and

(4) You did not already enter information in the IRS’ Non-Filer Tool for yourself and at least one child.

Apply today! Visit www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here to use the IRS Non-Filer Tool. The deadline to file is September 30, 2020.

Already filed for your Economic Impact Payment? The IRS will issue you a payment in October. 

For more information, see: www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-takes-new-steps-to-ensure-people-with-children-receive-500-economic-impact-payments.

SSI/SSD Recipient Stimulus Payments

SSI recipients with no qualifying children do not need to take any action in order to receive their $1,200 economic impact payment. The payments will be automatic.

SSI recipients who have qualifying children under age 17, however, should not wait for their automatic $1,200 individual payment. They should now go to the IRS's webpage and visit the Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info Here section to provide their information. By taking proactive steps to enter information on the IRS website about them and their qualifying children, they will also receive the $500 per dependent child payment in addition to their $1,200 individual payment. If SSI beneficiaries in this group do not provide their information to the IRS soon, they will have to wait until later to receive their $500 per qualifying child.

Health Assistance Information

Visit HRA's Health Assistance page.

COVID-19 Easements

New Applications

Clients may attest to all elements of eligibility except Immigration Status and Identity, if immigration document does not also prove identity. Copies of documents that prove immigration/identity status should still be submitted. Do not submit original documents. If clients are unable to submit this documentation due to the COVID-19 Emergency, the application should still be submitted. Clients will be given an opportunity to submit the documents later. Clients whose citizenship status is not verified through data sources will also be given an opportunity to submit the documents later.

Clients do not need to provide proof of their Medicare application; this requirement is waived for the period of the COVID-19 emergency.

Call the HRA Medicaid Helpline at 888-692-6116 for more information. During the COVID-19 Emergency, applications may be submitted via fax to 917-639-0732.

Renewals

During the COVID-19 emergency, Medicaid cases with authorization that ends in March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November December 2020 and January, February, March, April 2021 will be automatically extended. Any case that is closed for failure to renew or failure to provide documentation during COVID-19 will be re-opened and coverage restored to ensure no gap in coverage. Excess resources cases will be extended for 6 months. Surplus cases will be extended 6 months. See below for information regarding coverage for Surplus cases.

The renewal extension applies to all renewal cases including Office of Mail Renewal, MLTC, Nursing Home Eligibility, Medicare Savings Program, MBI-WPD (entitled to 6 months extended grace period if loss of employment), Stenson/Recipients who lose their SSI eligibility and Rosenberg/Recipients who lose their eligibility for cash assistance.

Surplus

If you met your surplus during the COVID-19 emergency, your coverage will be extended for 6 months. Clients who have a spend down and have been unable to submit a bill or payment due to the COVID-19 emergency should call the MICSA Surplus Helpline at 929-221-0835 and leave a voicemail with the following information.

  • Name
  • CIN
  • Phone Number
  • If submitting a bill, please provide the name of the provider, the date of the service, and the amount of the bill.
  • If submitting a payment, please indicate the amount of the payment. Please do not leave credit card information on the voicemail.
  • Clients will only receive a call back if additional information is needed.
  • If the requested information is provided, coverage will be extended for 6 months.

Other Important Information

  • All eviction proceedings are temporarily suspended by the courts until further notice. This means that you will not need to apply for back rent to stop an eviction until further notice.
  • All utility companies are temporarily suspending utility shut-offs until further notice. You do not need to apply for Emergency Assistance (a one-shot deal) because your electricity, gas or oil for heat, will not be turned off for non-payment, even if you get a notice that your service will end, until further notice
  • All Fair Hearings will be done over the phone until further notice.
  • NYS Family Courts are limiting service to emergency court hearing parts. These include Domestic Violence, Child Welfare, Juvenile Delinquency, Emergency Custody and Visitation and child support violation petitions. All existing scheduled court proceedings, except those in emergency parts, will be adjourned.
  • The Child Support Customer Service Walk-in Center and Borough Offices are closed until further notice. Please email inquiries to dcse.cseweb@dfa.state.ny.us; call the New York State Child Support Helpline at 888-208-4485, or mail us at NYC OCSS, P.O. Box 830, Canal Street Station, New York, NY 10013. Be sure to include your name, case number, and contact information.
  • You can restore your Cash Assistance grant and Medicaid if you have a Child Support sanction by calling 929-221-7656 or emailing dcse.cseweb@dfa.state.ny.us to let us know that you will comply with the child support program. Give your name, case number, and contact information, and state that you will comply with the child support program.

Help New Yorkers Stay Informed about HRA Services During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Download HRA's COVID-19 Social Media Toolkit to help us spread the word about services that clients can access without leaving home through the ACCESS HRA website and mobile app, along with other important announcements about service changes. Thanks for helping us share this important information.

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