Important information about COVID-19 and your HRA benefits

Important information about COVID-19 and your HRA benefits

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 or by smart phone 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.
  • 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.  Call 311 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 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 are now closed. Consult the HRA Locations page for more information.

Learn more about what you can do on ACCESS HRA:
Available in English, Spanish/Español, Chinese (Traditional)/繁體中文, Chinese (Simplified)/简体中文, Russian/Русский, Arabic/العربية, Haitian Creole/Kreyòl Ayisyen, Korean/한국어, Bengali/ বাংলা, Urdu/اردو, Polish/Polski, French/Français

For the safety of clients and staff, HRA is taking the following actions to avoid the need for New Yorkers to visit HRA Offices until further notice:

  • All in-person HRA appointments are cancelled.  You will get a text or email from HRA letting you know your next steps.
  • If you were scheduled for a recertification interview you do not need to recertify now. Recertifications are postponed and you will get a letter in the mail when it is time to recertify.
  • Your Cash Assistance (CA) case will stay open even if you do not:
    • Go to an HRA appointment, including child support or child care services (assessments will be done over the phone, if possible).
    • Go to an HRA work or training assignment (even if you are or were sanctioned).
    • Submit your 6-month periodic report.
  • Your Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) case will stay open even if you do not:
    • Complete your eligibility interview in person if one was scheduled.
    • Submit your 6-month periodic report. Please submit all required documents through the ACCESS HRA app's mobile document upload feature.
    • Meet the Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) work requirements
  • Note: you should STILL return your cofmpleted CA and SNAP recertifications and can do so online at or by mobile phone using the free ACCESSHRA app.   
  • If proposed changes are approved by the Federal Government, your Medicaid case will stay open even if you do not:
    • Return a document or form, including your Medicaid Renewal form
    • Meet your Medicaid surplus

Health Assistance Information

View 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 1-888-692-6116 for more information. During the COVID-19 Emergency, applications may be submitted via fax to 917-639-0732.


During the COVID-19 emergency, no Medicaid cases will be closed for failure to renew or failure to provide documentation. Any case that is closed for failure to renew or failure to provide documentation will be re-opened and coverage restored to ensure no gap in coverage. Renewals will be extended for 12 months. Excess resources cases will be extended for 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.


Clients who have met their surplus for March will have their coverage 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.
  • The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) was extended and is still accepting applications until April 20, 2020.
  • All Fair Fares offices are closed until further notice. You can still apply for Fair Fares NYC online.
  • 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 Walk-in Center is encouraging customers to email inquiries to; 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.
  • For information on how to stay safe during the COVID-19 outbreak, please visit the City's COVID-19 Information page.

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.