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COVID-19 Community Updates

COVID-19 Community Updates

DSS Contact Information

Please refer to the contact information for general assistance:

  • All case-specific inquiries: Infoline at 718-557-1399 (legal advocates have been provided with additional contacts)
  • Medicaid inquiries: Medicaid Helpline at 888-692-6116
  • General HRA/DHS questions and questions that are related to these communications/changes, and/or to enroll in the ACCESS HRA Provider Portal: email DSSoutreach@dss.nyc.gov
  • State Pandemic EBT program questions: call 833-452-0096 or use the P-EBT contact form
  • Child Support inquiries: NY State Child Support Helpline at 888-208-4485

Click a topic, or press the enter key on a topic, to reveal its answer.

Previous Communications

Prior Community Update Weekly Bulletins

If you would like to reference a specific prior communication, please click on the links below:

Community-wide Conference Calls

Here are the most recent Community-wide Conference Call recordings. For prior meetings, please refer to the recording links in the emails within the "Prior Community Update Weekly Bulletins" drop-down.

Use Covid-19 as the password to listen to the below recordings.

Service Information

NEW: Fair Fares Updates and Outreach Materials

Fair Fares Borough Offices

Fair Fares borough offices are open to assist customers with application submissions and document uploads. To find a location please visit the Fair Fares website.

The Fair Fares NYC program continues to offer eligible New York City residents a 50% discount on eligible transportation. In our ongoing efforts to get the word out about this valuable benefit, the City has created Fair Fares outreach materials - including palm cards, brochures, and posters that can be ordered by community organizations and others. Please use the Design and Print Ordering System (DPOS) website, after registering on the login page.

We have also created this Social Media Fair Fares toolkit and this short video to help get the word out. Please share and amplify as much as possible!

About

The Fair Fares NYC program offers eligible New York City residents a 50% discount on eligible transportation. Fair Fares NYC clients may now request an in-person appointment to:

  • Submit an application or renewal,
  • Upload documentation,
  • Obtain a replacement Fair Fares card, or
  • Disenroll from Fair Fares.

Clients will be able to request an in-person appointment by calling 311.

To request a replacement card for a card that is damaged or not working, or to request an immediate refund on an expired card that has money remaining on the card, please mail such cards to:

Fair Fares NYC
PO Box 7099
New York, NY
10008-7099

The following information should be included in the envelope with the returned card:

  • First and last name
  • Fair Fares Client ID number
  • Indicate if there are funds remaining on the card

Assistance with Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

The Social Security Administration is offering a new tool to provide assistance with applications for Social Security Income (SSI). The process takes 5 – 10 minutes and asks for basic information about the person who wants to apply for SSI. A Social Security representative will schedule an appointment and send the appointment information by mail (or email, if provided). In some cases, a Social Security representative may call to schedule the appointment.

Using this tool documents intent to file an application and establishes a protective filing date. The protective filing date determines when payments can begin if an application is approved.

Certain third parties, such as parents of minor children, family members, representatives, or members of advocacy groups, can also use the tool to express interest about applying for SSI on behalf of someone they are helping.

If you have any questions, please email your Public Affairs Specialist or regional contacts at ny.rpa@ssa.gov.

The tool can be found at: Get Started to Apply for SSI | SSA

SNAP/EBT Scams

Scam Calls

There are reports of clients getting spam calls from phone numbers that start with 929-265-xxxx and end with different 4-digit combinations. For example, a client will get a call from 929-265-2525. The call plays a message “Please hold for an important message from Human Resources Administration.” and then switches to a message in a different language.

Clients should know that it is not HRA calling and that they shouldn’t give the person any of their personal information.

Text Scam

HRA has been advised that there is a scam using texting to obtain personal information from individuals. Personal information includes, but is not limited to, their social security number, bank information, or SNAP electronic benefits transfer card or PIN number.

The texting scam message tells people that they were approved to get food stamps or SNAP and to click on a link to start them.

This is not a text from HRA, OTDA, or USDA. Clients should be advised not to respond or click the link. They should not share any personal information.

There are also reports of clients receiving calls from 929-385-3938. Clients should be advised not to give their PIN information even if they are told that their case will close. For more information or assistance call the NYS EBT Customer Service Hotline at 888-328-6399.

EBT Card Skimming Scam

There is a new scam in which thieves are using card-swiping machines to steal personal information from debit and credit cards. In some cases, skimmers have been used to steal EBT card information. The thieves clone client EBT cards and are able to access and steal the benefits.

Flyers with more information are available online in multiple languages, under "EBT Scam Alerts."

HRA is actively investigating this fraud, and is working with the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to try to make clients whole.

Update to Federal Poverty Guidelines

United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently published its annual update of the HHS poverty guidelines. The figures on the chart provided represent 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for a given family size, both by monthly and annual income. These revised figures are effective - June 1, 2022, through May 31, 2023.

For Emergency Assistance to Families (EAF) the 200% Federal Poverty Guidelines go into effect on April 1, 2022.

The 200% of Federal Poverty Guidelines do not go into effect for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on June 1st. Poverty guidelines for SNAP are updated each year on October 1st.

2022 NYSNIP Benefits COLA Adjustments

As we reported previously, in response to the 5.9% increase in Regular Social Security, Social Security Disability, and SSI benefits, SNAP benefit levels for affected SNAP households have been adjusted effective January 1, 2022. The new NYSNIP SNAP benefit amounts are effective for any NYSNIP SNAP Shelter Type budgets with a FROM Date of January 1, 2022, or later.

The NYSNIP chart previously shared has been updated with new COLA NYSNIP adjustments as of January 31, 2022.

As a reminder, the New York State Combined Application Project (NYSCAP) replaced NYSNIP effective December 1, 2021. However, NYSNIP and NYSCAP will run concurrently for at least two years, until all existing NYSNIP cases have been converted to NYSCAP. Therefore, the NYSNIP standard benefit amounts will continue to be updated until NYSNIP is completely phased out.

Vaccine/Testing Employment Separation – Impact on Benefits

Applicants or recipients of Cash Assistance and SNAP benefits who quit or are terminated from a job due to failure or refusal to comply with a COVID-19 vaccine and/or testing mandate may be ineligible for benefits or subject to a sanction on their benefits case. This includes individuals who stopped going to work in advance of the mandate effective date.

Applicants/recipients will be given an opportunity to demonstrate good cause before being denied or sanctioned. Good cause may be granted after the review of a case for medical reasons or an inability to access the vaccine. Clients who are terminated or quit based on a refusal to get vaccinated or comply with employer testing mandates will not be granted good cause.

Applicants/recipients will also be afforded an opportunity to demonstrate that they did not leave their employment in order to qualify for initial or increased Cash Assistance or SNAP benefits. If the applicant/recipient can demonstrate that they have made reasonable efforts to support themselves prior to applying for benefits, HRA will accept this as an adequate demonstration that they did not leave employment to seek benefits.

If HRA staff determines that the applicant/recipient does not qualify for good cause and has lost employment in order to qualify for initial or increased benefits, they will be subject to a voluntary quit sanction or denial of their application.

A voluntary quit sanction will be determined using standard criteria which is used for non-compliance with work requirements for CA clients. Clients will be afforded an opportunity to demonstrate compliance in order to avoid a sanction.

ASL Direct at Infoline

ASL Direct is a video calling system that provides clients who are within the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities a way to contact HRA and communicate with an ASL Direct agent at Infoline via a video phone. Clients can reach the ASL direct agent via video phone at 347-474-4231, Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Learn more about how DSS assists people who are deaf or hard of hearing including help with scheduling interpretation services for visits to HRA Centers.

Free in NYC: YouTube Video for NYC Seniors and People Living with a Disability

HRA's YouTube channel now features the first Free in NYC video for New York City residents who are age 65 and older or have disabilities. This new video provides important information about free enrollment assistance that helps New Yorkers apply for Medicaid and the Medicare Savings Program. The assistance is provided by the New York City Facilitated Enrollment Program for the Aged, Disabled and Blind program and is funded by the New York State Department of Health.

The video, Free help to Enroll in Medicaid for Seniors and People with Disabilities, is the first in a series of explainer videos created by HRA's Office of Citywide Health Insurance Access to help NYC seniors and people with disabilities learn more about Medicaid and the Medicare Savings Program, and how to access these programs.

You can watch the video on YouTube. Please share the video with clients and partners to help us increase awareness of this free program.

Extension of Public Health Emergency

On April 16, 2022, the United States Department of Health and Human Services extended the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency for another 90 days. The renewal will expire on July 16, 2022.

Non-citizens and SNAP Benefits Information

As a reminder, participating in SNAP does not affect a person's immigration status and/or ability to become a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident. Applying for or receiving SNAP benefits does not make someone a public charge and will not be considered in a public charge determination. Learn more about SNAP benefits.

Applying for or receiving SNAP will not affect an individual's ability to:

  • Remain in the United States,
  • Get a Green Card/Lawful Permanent Resident Status,
  • Keep a Green Card/Lawful Permanent Resident Status, or
  • Become a United States citizen.

New Yorkers can also apply for SNAP on behalf of the eligible immigrants or U.S. citizens in their family, even if they do not want to apply for benefits for themselves, without affecting their immigration status. The SNAP office is not allowed to ask for immigration documents for people who are not applying to receive benefits themselves.

Many non-citizens may be eligible for SNAP benefits if they are one of the following:

  • Refugees, Cuban/Haitian Entrants, Asylees, Amerasian immigrants, individuals with deportation or removal withheld, Hmong or Highland Laotians, victims of human trafficking, parolees for at least one year, conditional entrants, North American Indians born in Canada, and members of federally recognized tribes;
  • Honorably discharged U.S. veteran, the spouse, and unmarried dependent children;
  • Aliens on active duty in the U.S. military service, the spouse and unmarried dependent children;
  • Aliens paroled into the U.S. for at least one year;
  • Certain battered immigrants and their children or parents; and
  • Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) in the U.S. for 5 years
  • LPR with certain disability benefits
  • LPR with 40 qualifying quarters
  • LPR under age 18

Non-citizen benefit access quick facts:

  • All New Yorkers are encouraged to apply for benefits, regardless of immigration status.
    • Non-citizen parents ARE able to apply for their US citizen children.
  • Clients do NOT need to be Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) to qualify for benefits. Many different immigration statuses allow for certain benefits eligibility. Each case is assessed individually and in consideration of all available documents and information.
  • HRA provides free language services for any language a client may need (including sign language), so all clients are welcome and encouraged to apply for benefits regardless of their preferred language.
    • DSS produces documents in the following 12 languages: Arabic, Bengali, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, English, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu. One of the ways that clients can indicate their language preference for written notices is through AccessHRA.
  • When submitting a benefits application, clients should include any and all documents that they think may be relevant to their immigration status. This includes documents that are expired, and documents issued from other countries.
    • Copies of documents should be legible and complete, including front and back of cards, forms, and passports (including blank pages of passports).
  • If clients do not have their immigration documents or have concerns relating to public charge issues, they should contact ActionNYC at 800-354-0365 or call 311 and say "ActionNYC" for further assistance.
  • is available to all persons in New York regardless of immigration status. For more information, please visit the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance website.
  • Resources providing an overview of non-citizen benefits eligibility can be found at the following websites: However, we encourage clients to apply for benefits regardless of immigration status and to allow HRA to make the benefits eligibility determination.
  • If you have any concerns that an error has been made in a client's benefits eligibility related to their immigration status, please contact the DSS Office of Refugee and Immigrant Affairs (ORIA) at oria@dss.nyc.gov for assistance.

Obtaining Temporary CIN for Clients without Social Security Number

For clients applying for benefits who do not have a social security number, the social security number of the eldest child will be used to identify the case. When an application is initially submitted through ACCESS HRA, the system is not yet able to connect the case using the SSN of the eldest child. In these cases, when a client needs to access a case before processing has begun, they can obtain a temporary CIN as follows (this process is for use by CBOs only at this time and is not available for applicants directly):

CBOs can email the ITS HRA team at ACCESSHRASuppapp@dss.nyc.gov to ask for the temporary CIN, as an alternative if POS is not an option.

When submitting a request, CBOs should include the following information;

  • ACCESS HRA confirmation number for the online application submitted
  • Client name and date of birth
  • AHRA Username (can be an email address)

Calls from HRA to Clients

As a reminder, when clients are receiving calls from HRA – from Infoline or for a CA/SNAP interview – there are four telephone numbers that the calls may come from:

  • 347-227-3301
  • 718-269-3231
  • 929-267-5002
  • 914-274-5743

Infoline Updates

Infoline Extended Hours of Operation on Wednesdays

On June 8, 2022, the Infoline call center began a pilot that extends the hours of operation on Wednesdays to 7 PM until further notice. The Infoline hours of operation will remain 8 AM to 5 PM for all other weekdays.

We made this change to provide clients with greater access to information about their cases and general questions about the programs that are offered by the Department of Social Services. We hope that the extended business hours on Wednesdays will make it more convenient to reach Infoline.

Infoline and Third-Party Authorization

In order to provide case management support or advocacy, advocates and caseworkers are allowed to join HRA clients or applicants on phone calls with Infoline. HRA Infoline representatives are allowed to share information over the phone with both the client (or applicant) and the third party, if the client (or applicant) provides the representative with verbal consent to do so

Clients or applicants may also complete a fillable PDF of the HRA third-party authorization form that can be signed digitally / electronically using Adobe or other third-party software. Download the form. Completed third-party authorization forms can be emailed to constituentaffairs@hra.nyc.gov or faxed to 212-331-4685.

Once a third-party authorization form is on file, Infoline agents are able to reference these forms and can provide case updates to a third-party representative as authorized by a client.

Reporting Changes in Income for SNAP or Cash Assistance

In accordance with federal and state law, clients are required to submit changes in income to HRA. On our SNAP Frequently Asked Questions, we include important information about the rules for changes which must be reported 10 days after the end of the month in which the change happened. Some examples include:

  • Changes in any source of income for anyone in your household
  • Changes in your household's total earned income when it goes up or down by more than $100 a month
  • Changes in your household's total unearned income from a public source such as Social Security Benefits or Unemployment Insurance Benefits when it goes up or down by more than $100 a month

Clients should not submit a new application to report a change in income. For both CA and SNAP, clients should report income changes, including the loss of a job via a case change request in ACCESS HRA. Documentation to support the change may include paystubs, an employer letter, a layoff/termination letter or form, or an attestation of loss of employment from a client when one can-not be obtained from their employer.

Reporting Requirements for Changes in Residence

Individuals are required to receive public assistance benefits in the county where they reside. Clients who may travel outside of the district for a limited period of time are permitted to do so without reporting a change. Those who plan to change their residence need to first alert the district they have been living in. That district will note the change and close the benefits case accordingly, with that district maintaining responsibility for benefits for the month following the month of the move. Clients may then file with the new local district office for public assistance benefits once they have moved.

The five boroughs of New York City comprise one social services district. The remainder of New York State is divided into 57 Local Departments of Social Service (LDSS). View the listing of all LDSS offices for New York State.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Designations for Sudan and Afghanistan

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary has recently designated Sudan and Afghanistan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). As a reminder, TPS can be extended to a country experiencing ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or extraordinary and temporary conditions. Sudan’s designation, effective April 19, 2022, was made due to extraordinary and temporary conditions that prevent nationals and habitual residents from returning safely. Afghanistan’s designation, effective May 20, 2022, was made due to ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions making it dangerous to return.

TPS is not automatically granted, individuals must apply for it through USCIS and provide the required proof that they meet the criteria to receive TPS. Therefore, individuals from Sudan or Afghanistan will not automatically be granted TPS. While Afghan nationals who arrived as part of the US evacuation effort were paroled into the United States on a case-by-case basis, for humanitarian reasons, for a period of two (2) years and received employment authorization, other Afghan nationals who were not a part of the evacuation but are present in the US may qualify for TPS. Similarly, those who were evacuated may qualify for TPS as well.

The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) recognizes non-citizens with TPS as Permanently Residing Under Color of Law (PRUCOL) for the purposes of Safety Net Assistance (SNA) eligibility. Non-citizens with TPS can receive SNA, if otherwise eligible. Non-citizens granted TPS are ineligible for Cash Assistance (CA), the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), unless they are also in some other qualifying non-citizen status.

Child Care Stabilization Grant Program - Impact on Benefits Eligibility

Since 2020, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) has utilized funding from the federal government to provide licensed and registered child care providers with grants that assist child care providers in order for them to continue to provide services during the pandemic. 

Funds can be used for things such as rent/mortgage obligations, personal protective equipment, personnel costs, and facility improvements. There is also a provision to pay child care providers for up to 24 days of retroactive child care absences. For a full list of allowable uses and more information regarding the FFY 2020-2021 Child Care Stabilization Grant Program, please visit the OCFS website at Child Care Stabilization Grant | Contracts, Grants and RFPs | OCFS (ny.gov).

Individuals who are applying for, or in receipt of TA, SNAP, and/or HEAP may be impacted by the receipt of these benefits, especially in-home and family-based child care providers. 

Since 2020, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) has utilized funding from the federal government to provide licensed and registered child care providers with grants that assist child care providers in order for them to continue to provide services during the pandemic. 

Funds can be used for things such as rent/mortgage obligations, personal protective equipment, personnel costs, and facility improvements. There is also a provision to pay child care providers for up to 24 days of retroactive child care absences. For a full list of allowable uses and more information regarding the FFY 2020-2021 Child Care Stabilization Grant Program, please visit the OCFS website at Child Care Stabilization Grant | Contracts, Grants and RFPs | OCFS (ny.gov).

Individuals who are applying for, or in receipt of TA, SNAP, and/or HEAP may be impacted by the receipt of these benefits, especially in-home and family-based child care providers. 

Treatment of Grant Payments for Benefits:

  • Temporary Assistance (TA)
    Grant funds that are earmarked for a specific purpose that is not reimbursement of income and must be excluded as income, and disregarded as a resource for the purposes of determining TA eligibility for both emergency and ongoing TA. 

    If these payments are received retroactively, they would still be excluded as income and not subject to the lump sum provisions.

    If the grant funds were issued specifically as reimbursement of income, including retroactive absence reimbursements, the funds cannot be excluded and will be used in determining TA eligibility for both emergency and going TA, and will be budgeted accordingly.  
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
    All payments provided under the grant program will be excluded as income. 

    Unless otherwise exempt, payments received under this program would be considered countable resources in the month received, and in subsequent months, as long as they remain liquid and readily available to the household. However, most households in NYC are not subject to a resource test and thus would not be impacted.
  • Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) 
    All payments provided under the grant program will be excluded as countable income for HEAP eligibility determinations. Any remaining balance from these payment(s) is not considered a liquid resource for the Emergency and HERR benefit components.

SNAP & Cash Assistance

SNAP On-Demand Interviews

SNAP On-Demand telephone eligibility interviews resumed on June 1, 2022. SNAP recertifications that are expiring in July and SNAP applications submitted after May 31 must now complete an interview or be rejected for failing to interview. 

The availability of On-Demand interviews gives clients more flexibility as they do not have to wait for HRA to call them to complete their eligibility interview. Beginning June 1st, once they submit their application or recertification form via ACCESS HRA, at a PC Bank, in-person, or by mail, clients are able to call HRA at 718-SNAP-NOW (718-762-7669) anytime between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday, for an “on-demand” telephone interview. If an applicant has an emergency need for SNAP they should call right after they submit their application. Clients have up to 30 days from the time they submit their form to complete an interview either over the phone or in-person. 

Cash Assistance Six-Month Mailer and SNAP Period Report Waivers

Starting in April 2022, all Cash Assistance and SNAP households that are due to return either a CA Six-Month Mailer or a SNAP Periodic Report must do so to keep getting benefits. Households who failed to return their mailer/report in January, February, or March 2022 did not have their case closed for failing to return the mailer/report.

New York State Combined Application Project (NYSCAP)

The New York State Combined Application Project (NYSCAP) began on December 1, 2021. NYSCAP is a replacement to the New York State Nutrition Improvement Project (NYSNIP) with the programs running concurrently through 2023 at which point all current NYSNIP cases will have been converted to NYSCAP. The goal of this Federal SNAP Demonstration project is to establish a combined application process with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and to use data readily available to State OTDA to automatically enroll certain SSI households into SNAP.

The NYSCAP automatic auto-enrollment process is the same as the auto-enrollment process for NYSNIP. Single individuals in active receipt of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) who do not already have a SNAP case will have a SNAP case automatically created and will be automatically enrolled in NYSCAP. Individuals that meet these conditions and already have an active SNAP case also will be enrolled in NYSCAP.

As in NYSNIP, NYSCAP cases:

  • Do not have to submit an application to be enrolled in SNAP.
  • Will be opened and will receive a nominal SNAP benefit amount.
  • Will receive a NYSCAP Statewide SNAP Case Information Collection Sheet with their opening letter. There is no requirement to return the form, and failure to return it to the district will not result in negative action. It is provided to make it easier for newly enrolled households to qualify for higher benefits.
  • Must redeem SNAP benefits within 90 days of the auto-opening. Redemption of the benefits is considered an electronic application signature and assent by the household to participate in SNAP. NYSCAP cases in which benefits are not accessed within 90 days are automatically closed and the benefits expunged.
  • Do not have any reporting requirements outside of the required interim contact. However, because NYSCAP cases receive a 36-month (and not a 48-month) certification period, the Interim Contact for NYSCAP is at 18 months into the certification period. Households must return the Case Interim Report to continue receiving NYSCAP benefits.
  • Households that fail to return the Interim Report but subsequently return it within 30 days of case closure are eligible for the normal case reactivation process.

Unlike NYSNIP, NYSCAP eligible cases:

  • Must participate in NYSCAP in order to receive SNAP.
  • Will receive a 36-month certification period.
  • Will be opened with the household's actual SSI and other income budgeted, but with no shelter,

  • Will automatically receive a reminder notice 6 months after opening if the SNAP budget has not been updated. This will provide the household with another opportunity to provide the district with the complete household circumstances to maximize the household's SNAP benefit. Households that do not respond to this notice will not be subject to negative action, however, the household will remain in receipt of a nominal benefit.

NYSCAP Budgeting

NYSCAP cases will be budgeted according to regular SNAP budgeting rules once information required for the budget (e.g., shelter expense) is provided. Note that NYSCAP cases may attest to the shelter expenses without the need to provide further verification unless the information provided is deemed questionable.

Interim Contact

At approximately 18 months into the certification period, NYSCAP households will receive the updated Interim Report which collects all the information about the household circumstances that are required to complete a budget using standard SNAP budgeting procedures. Households are required to respond to the Interim Report and failure to do so will result in case closure.

Recertification

NYSCAP cases are eligible to recertify over the phone using the interactive voice response system (IVRS). Failing to recertify will result in the case closing.

Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Increase Details

Emergency Allotments

Beginning in March 2020, SNAP benefits have been supplemented with emergency allotments each month, so that households that were not receiving the maximum benefit for their household size began receiving a supplement to bring them to that level. In April 2021, the emergency allotment amounts were modified so that the minimum monthly SNAP emergency allotment was $95, even for households already receiving the maximum benefit allotment. Households that previously would have received a supplement of less than $95 began receiving a supplement of at least $95. For households receiving a supplement of greater than $95, this policy change did not affect the amount of the supplement received. For households receiving supplements greater than $95, the supplement continued to be the difference between the amount the household was issued and the maximum benefit amount for the household size.

As an example, if the maximum allotment for a household is $430 and the household received $370, the supplement is $95 rather than $60 (as it would have been earlier during the pandemic). But if the maximum allotment for the household is $430 and the household received $320, the supplement remains at $110.

These emergency allotments are scheduled to continue for one month beyond the end of the federal public health emergency. The public health emergency is currently set to end in July 2022.

The emergency SNAP supplement is being issued to households even if their SNAP case closed during the month of issuance. Further information is available on the OTDA website.

Permanent SNAP Increase

Effective October 1, 2021, permanent changes to the Thrifty Food Plan (that the US Department of Agriculture uses to calculate SNAP benefits) went into effect, resulting in a sizeable increase in the maximum benefit amounts by household size.

Until the emergency allotments end (these are being extended monthly and are expected to end one month after the end of the declaration of the Public Health Emergency which was recently extended to July 16, 2022), both emergency allotments and the permanent SNAP increase will be in effect. After the emergency allotments are no longer being issued, the permanent SNAP increase will remain in effect. For some individuals and families, the continuing increase may be less than the temporary increase coupled with the maximum allotment amount that was received during the pandemic.

Please refer to this chart for additional details about the federal changes.

Updated SNAP Standards

Download the updated SNAP standards that went into effect on October 1, 2021.

Below are the new Federal Poverty Limit (FPL) thresholds effective October 1, 2021:

Household Size 200% of FPL 165% of FPL 150% of FPL 130% of FPL 100% of FPL Maximum Allotment
1 $2,147 $1,771 $1,610 $1,396 $1,074 $250
2 $2,903 $2,396 $2,178 $1,888 $1,452 $459
3 $3,660 $3,020 $2,745 $2,379 $1,830 $658
4 $4,417 $3,644 $3,313 $2,871 $2,209 $835
5 $5,173 $4,268 $3,880 $3,363 $2,587 $992
6 $5,930 $4,893 $4,448 $3,855 $2,965 $1190
7 $6,687 $5,517 $5,015 $4,347 $3,344 $1316
8 $7,443 $6,141 $5,583 $4,839 $3,722 $1504
Each Additional Member $757 $625 $568 $492 $379 +$188

Federal Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD) Time Limit Waiver Extended

The federal ABAWD (Able-bodied Adult Without Dependents) time limit is a statute that limits an ABAWD client to 3 months of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in a 36-month period unless the individual is working or participating in certain employment and training activities. USDA has approved OTDA's request to waive the ABAWD time limit in all areas of the State for the period of October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022. Therefore, ABAWD clients will continue to not be subject to the ABAWD requirements through September 30, 2022. New York States waiver of the ABAWD time limit was previously due to expire September 30, 2021.

Individuals who are not meeting ABAWD rules will still be eligible for SNAP, and anyone who lost eligibility already can regain it without meeting the ABAWD requirements.

Emergency SNAP Allotments

As it has in previous months, the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) will issue an emergency SNAP supplement to households who are issued SNAP benefits for June 2022. The emergency allotment will be the difference between their budgeted allotment and the maximum allotment for their household size or $95, whichever is greater. Further information is available here. As a reminder, these benefits are not on a regular schedule. If clients want to know when their emergency SNAP allotments are available, they can check their available SNAP balance at https://otda.ny.gov/workingfamilies/ebt/.

These emergency allotments are scheduled to continue for one month beyond the end of the federal public health emergency. The public health emergency has been extended and is currently set to end on July 16, 2022.

On October 1, 2021, permanent changes to SNAP went into effect, resulting in a sizeable increase in the benefit issuance by household size. SNAP households have continued to receive emergency allotments on top of this permanent increase. Once the emergency allotments are no longer being issued, the permanent SNAP increase will remain in effect, but families and individuals will see a decrease in the total amount of SNAP received per month. Additional details will be shared as they become available.

New Pilot Program for SNAP Access for New Yorkers Being Released from State Prisons

HRA has received requested waivers from the State OTDA and the USDA allowing individuals incarcerated in State prisons to begin the benefits application process while incarcerated, including conducting application interviews, which is currently prohibited by New York State regulation. This common-sense reform, which the State is allowing us to implement at two State prisons (Queensboro Correctional Facility and Edgecombe Residential Treatment), will ensure individuals who were formerly incarcerated are better supported as they re-enter society. Individuals leaving State prisons will now be able to connect with the benefits they need pre-release, such as food assistance, rather than having to first begin the application process after release. This pilot was developed in partnership with the National Executive Council (NEC) at Columbia University's Center for Justice and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. HRA will continue its work with the NEC during the implementation of the pilot.

Time Period for Accessing Benefits

In response to questions received on our weekly call, below is information confirming the length of time that benefits remain available in accordance with federal and State requirements:

SNAP Benefits (Food Stamps)

SNAP Benefits are issued to an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) SNAP Benefits account on the same date each month. If benefits remain unused on an EBT SNAP Benefits account for 365 consecutive days, the benefits will fall into expungement status. This means that any SNAP Benefits that have been available in an account for at least 365 days will be expunged (removed). Expunged SNAP Benefits cannot be replaced.

Cash Assistance

Cash benefits are available to the recipient as long as there is activity in the account. If there is no account activity for 90 days, the remaining benefits are expunged without notice.

Regardless of activity, a cash benefit must be entirely withdrawn by the recipient within 180 days of its availability date. The remaining balance of the 180-day cash benefit will be expunged from the account without notice to the recipient.

How to Apply for Cash Assistance

How to Apply

Those unable to file an application using the methods described above may call Infoline to set up an appointment to complete an application over the phone.

How to Return or Submit Documents

Documents can be submitted in the following ways:

Both SNAP and Cash Assistance applications can be accessed on the "Forms" page of the OTDA website.

Through an Executive Order initially and now with a waiver, the interview portion of the CA application process has been conducted by telephone. Download the flyer (in English and Spanish) for clients regarding the public benefits changes that we have described.

How to close a CA case

  • At this time, the best way to close a Cash Assistance case is to take a picture of a written statement requesting the case to be closed and upload it through the ACCESS HRA Mobile upload. Requests can also be made verbally by calling Infoline.

How to Apply for and Recertify SNAP

How to Apply

Those unable to file an application or recertify using the methods described above may call Infoline to set up an appointment to complete an application over the phone.

How to Return or Submit Documents for New Applications

  • Upload documents using the ACCESS HRA mobile app. Go to nyc.gov/hradocs
  • For new application, fax documents to MARU at 917-639-1111*
  • Mail to Centralized Recertification Mail Unit, PO Box 29197, Brooklyn, NY 11201*
  • Drop off to an open SNAP center.

*When faxing or mailing documents please be sure to write the client's name and case number on each page of the document to ensure accurate indexing.

How to Recertify

Those unable to file an application or recertify using the methods described above may call Infoline to set up an appointment to complete an application over the phone.

How to Return or Submit Documents for Recertifications

  • Upload documents using the ACCESS HRA mobile app. Go to nyc.gov/hradocs
  • For recertifications, fax documents to CRMU at 917-639-2544*
  • Mail to Centralized Recertification Mail Unit, PO Box 29008, Brooklyn, NY 11202*
  • Drop off to an open SNAP center.

*When faxing or mailing documents please be sure to write the client's name and case number on each page of the document to ensure accurate indexing.

One Shot Deals/Emergency Grants

One Shot Deal (OSD) – Eligibility

Eligibility for a One-Shot Deal is not contingent on being sued for rent arrears. Please reference and share the One Shot Deal fact sheet, which makes it clear that an eviction case is not required to receive a One Shot Deal. In September, HPD shared this information with their citywide landlord contacts. Other limitations on the provision of these grants are set by State statute and regulations, including the repayment agreement requirement that we have asked the State to waive during the continuing public health emergency. An applicant does not have to appear on the lease or be the primary tenant in order to apply for a One-Shot-Deal. However, RAU may ask for written confirmation that the individual will be able to reside in the household for a period of time after the OSD as a condition of eligibility. HRA continues to process One-Shot Deal applications for rental and utility arrears.

Applying for an Emergency Assistance Grant (One-Shot Deal)

Below are instructions for applying for Cash Assistance/Emergency Grants (One-Shot Deal) through ACCESS HRA. We encourage providers and advocates to sign up for an ACCESS HRA provider training webinar for additional information on using our online tools, including how to apply for an emergency grant (One-Shot Deal). View the webinar options.

To apply for Cash Assistance or a one-time emergency grant (One Shot Deal), clients will need to take the following steps:

  1. Visit ACCESS HRA and log-in
  2. Select the 'Benefits' link from the menu options on the homepage
  3. Select 'Start a New Application'
  4. Select the 'Cash Assistance' option in the 'Select Application' page
  5. Identify any applicable emergency indicators and click 'Next'
  6. Select the type of benefits you would like to apply for
    The three options are: Cash Assistance, One Shot Deal, or Child Care without Cash Assistance (CILOCA). If the need is for emergency assistance and ongoing assistance, select the Cash Assistance option.
  7. Complete and submit the application
  8. Follow instructions in the ACCESS HRA confirmation page and submit required documents using the ACCESS HRA Mobile App

Clients with an active Cash Assistance case can submit a special grant request for things like rent or utility arrears via ACCESS HRA. To submit a Cash Assistance Special Grant Request, clients will need to:

  1. Visit ACCESS HRAand log-in
  2. Enter identifying information to 'Find My Case' and link to HRA case
  3. Select 'View Case' in the ACCESS HRA user home page
  4. Select 'Request Special Grant,' located on the left-hand side
  5. Identify the special grant being requesting, complete the request and submit
  6. Follow instructions in confirmation and submit required documents using the ACCESS HRA Mobile App

All applications and requests for emergency assistance are evaluated on an individual case-by-case basis.

Emergency Grants for Clients Receiving Cash Assistance

In response to questions we've received on our call, clients with open cash assistance cases can request additional allowance or emergency benefit(s) beyond their regular monthly benefits, if necessary. In these instances, clients should not submit a new one-shot-deal application, and should instead utilize the various grants available for request through ACCESS HRA.

One Shot Deal (OSD) – Repayment and Appeals

Not all emergency grants require repayment. As part of the application process, if rent arrears or utility arrears are identified, clients are asked to sign a State-required repayment agreement at the time of application in ACCESS HRA. We do so because when the application is initially filed, HRA does not know which category of assistance the client will ultimately be eligible for, and we want to avoid the delay of having to ask clients to sign the State-required repayment agreement at the end of the process when an eligibility decision has been made and time is of the essence to prevent an eviction or maintain/restore utility services. In order to make this clear to clients during the application process, we have included the below-clarifying information to the grant applications:

"Please note that you will have to review and e-sign the repayment agreement before submitting your application. Not all emergency grants require repayment. If you are eligible for a grant, the notice you receive will let you know whether or not you need to repay."

In particular, clients receiving SSI are not required to repay emergency grants. Clients eligible for Emergency Assistance to Needy Families (EAF) may be required to repay a portion of their EAF grant. Other clients may also be eligible for non-recoupable rent arrears or utility arrears payments under State law. These determinations are made upon review of the full application.

Although we requested a waiver due to the COVID public health emergency, to date, there have been no State easements regarding the repayment of One-Shot Deals (OSD). The repayment of OSD's is mandated at 12 months for payments related to shelter, and 24 months for payments related to utilities.

Clients who believe they fall into a category in which they should not be required to repay their OSD – even if the determination is that they are required to pay – can request a State fair hearing. Clients who received an OSD for an amount that differed from their requested amount are also entitled to a State fair hearing. However, repayment schedules and amounts for OSD's are set by State statute and cannot be addressed by a fair hearing.

One Shot Deal (OSD) – Client Identifier

In response to concerns raised by community partners, as of April 21, we are now printing the names of clients on the check stub for One Shot Deal rental payments so that housing advocates are able to link the check with the client. This was done previously on checks for recurring payments and is now available for OSD checks as well.

Income Savings Plan (ISP)

In response to questions received on our most recent community call, as we reported previously, HRA's request to the State to extend the Income Savings Plan waiver has been granted. This enables HRA to continue to suppress the Income Savings Plan (ISP) notices and apply good cause for nonpayment.

SNAP Elderly Simplified Application Process

The Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP) is available as of December 1, 2021.

In response to questions received on our weekly call, as a reminder, the SNAP simplified application for seniors is available for download on the "Forms" page of the OTDA. The simplified form is LDSS 5166. The page does not indicate that this is the simplified form, so when applicants are looking for the application they need to know the form number or know to find it at the bottom of the SNAP section on the page. Download the form from the OTDA website.

Clients, providers, and advocates can now call Infoline to request a paper copy of the Simplified SNAP application kit (LDSS-5166) by mail. As a reminder, the simplified SNAP application can be used by households where:

  • All adults are 60 years or older and/or have a disability; AND
  • No adult in the household has earned income.

The initial application requirements for households that appear to be ESAP-eligible are the same as for any SNAP applicant household. Households that submit complete applications with necessary documentation can expect to be evaluated for expedited SNAP (E-SNAP) within 7 days and for recurring SNAP benefits within 30 days. As a reminder we continue to operate under a partial SNAP interview waiver which means that applications are being processed even if a client is not contacted by HRA.

While New York State has the highest SNAP participation rate of any state among adults age 60 and older and individuals with disabilities, historically the participation rate among this population has been lower than among the general population. To ease access to and improve the participation of older adults and adults with disabilities in SNAP, New York State applied to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and has been approved to implement and operate a shorter application beginning in December 2021.

The ESAP is intended to simplify the SNAP application, recertification and verification processes for eligible households, where all adult members are aged and/or have disabilities, thereby facilitating access to and preventing interruptions in receipt of benefits for these households.

Participation in ESAP is limited to households where:

  • All adult members are seniors (age 60 or older) and/or have disabilities and are not otherwise eligible to participate in the New York State Combined Application Project or NYSCAP (formerly known as the New York State Nutrition Improvement Project or NYSNIP); and,
  • No household members have any earned income.

For the purposes of ESAP, the following definitions apply:

  • "Adult" is an individual age 18 or older.
  • "Senior/aged/elderly" is an individual age 60 or older.
  • "Disabled" – an individual must be in receipt of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits or receiving other federal or state-administered disability or blindness benefits for a disability considered permanent under the Social Security Act or other standard.

Additionally, single individuals in receipt of SSI who are eligible for both ESAP and NYSCAP (formerly NYSNIP) are required to be enrolled in NYSCAP.

Under ESAP, eligible households may now have SNAP certification periods of up to 36 months.

ESAP-eligible clients can download the application form (LDSS-5166 form) or call Infoline to have the form mailed to them. The application can be completed in hard copy and submitted by mail to:

Centralized Mail Unit
PO Box 29008
Brooklyn, NY 11202

All applications for SNAP will be evaluated for the ESAP extended certification period of 36 months, regardless of whether the LDSS-5166 form is used, or if the regular application is submitted through ACCESS HRA or by mail.

The initial application requirements for households that appear to be ESAP-eligible are the same as for any SNAP applicant household. For recertifications, form LDSS-5166 should be used and can be uploaded using the ACCESS HRA mobile app.

Those who are completing a new application should submit using fax/email/mail in order to ensure timely application registration date:

Fax: 917-639-1111
Email: MARUfax@hra.nyc.gov

Households that submit a complete applications with necessary documentation can expect to be evaluated for expedited SNAP (E-SNAP) with 7 days and for recurring SNAP benefits within 30 days. As a reminder we continue to operate under a partial SNAP interview waiver which means that applications are being processed even if a client is not contacted by HRA.

Suspension of the Billing Process for SNAP, Cash Assistance and Medicaid Overpayment Cases

Billings for recovery of overpayments and repayable grants for SNAP, Cash Assistance, and Medicaid remains stayed through July 16, 2022, which is the date of the current extension of the public health emergency. Where we are legally required to continue collection efforts and the case is approaching the Statute of Limitations, HRA is sending a payment request letter. Enforcement actions on judgments remains stayed until July 16, 2022.

Authorized Representative Forms for SNAP Applications

As a reminder, SNAP applications can be submitted by community organizations on behalf of clients by serving as an authorized representative for the client. Clients may authorize a representative to submit applications and communicate with HRA on their behalf.

To become an authorized representative, service providers will need to obtain a signed copy of the SNAP Authorized Representative Request Form and complete the application on the individual's behalf on ACCESS HRA by doing the following:

  1. Once you have the signed and completed authorization in hand, create an account for the individual at gov/accesshra by selecting a username (this could be a username or email address), password and answering one security question. If the individual does not have an e-mail address, please select the User Name option.
  2. During the course of completing the SNAP application, you will be asked to indicate if an Authorized Representative has been appointed to represent the individual. Indicate "Yes" and enter the information requested.
  3. At the end of the application, you will need to initial the application as the authorized representative, using your own initials.
  4. After submitting the SNAP application, immediately download the HRA Mobile Application at nyc.gov/accesshramobile. Using the same credentials that you used to login to the website, upload the completed and signed Authorized Representative Request Form referenced above, connecting it to the pending case. The form must be complete, signed and dated by both parties. If this step is not completed appropriately, the application will not be able to be processed. If you are unable to immediately link to the case, please note that application registration only occurs on business days and there is occasionally a delay in the Application Registration process, so the application may have not been registered yet. Please try again later.

It is recommended, but not required, that all applicants/providers use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Authorized Representative Request Form (LDSS-4942) when designating an authorized representative. However, if the Authorized Representative form cannot be completed and submitted, the applicant/provider may write a letter with the relevant information from the form to designate an authorized representative.

SNAP and Cash Assistance Telephone Waiver

OTDA has extended a waiver permitting New Yorkers to submit SNAP and Cash Assistance applications and recertifications by telephone with HRA staff. In order to submit an application by telephone, applicants should reach out to Infoline to be referred for assistance.

This waiver is extended through June 30, 2022, or the end of the month after which the public health emergency declaration ends, whichever is earlier. The public health emergency is currently set to end on July 16, 2022.

Requesting a Replacement of Temporary CBIC or EBT Card

Benefit cards are sent directly to clients by mail via the State's vendor. There is no need to come into a service center to request a card or receive a replacement CBIC card. If an emergency card is needed for a new applicant who is eligible for expedited SNAP or an immediate needs grant, applicants can visit any open HRA center to request a Vault Card (temporary benefit card). Note that State photo cards cannot be issued in-person or through the mail for clients who never had their photo taken as part of the prior Automated Finger Imaging System (AFIS) process which has been eliminated by the State, a change for which we advocated.

Clients can request a replacement card from the State by calling EBT Customer Service at 888-328-6399 for account information or to request that a replacement Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card for SNAP or Cash Assistance be mailed. For anyone having difficulty accessing a replacement card by phone, cards can also be requested by setting up an online EBT account. Clients can use this account to request a replacement card, check card balance, review transaction history, change a PIN, and more.

If an EBT card is lost or stolen, it must be reported to NYS EBT Customer Service right away at 888-328-6399 to disable the old card.

Replacement cards requested online or by telephone will be mailed to the address on record in 7 to 10 business days.

For the purposes of proof of identity for receipt of benefits, HRA does not require a photo ID. New York State and New York City operate a public benefits eligibility process whereby if individuals can provide a Social Security Number and the correct name and date of birth, no additional identification documentation is required. In some cases, HRA can also accept an attestation from someone who knows the individual applying for benefits.

SNAP Eligibility – Assets

Under federal broad-based categorical eligibility, most SNAP households are not subject to a resource or asset test. The only income-eligible households that are subject to SNAP resource limits are households that contain individuals who are disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits due to an intentional program violation (IPV) or sanction, and households that contain an individual who is aged or has a disability and have gross income in excess of 200% of the federal poverty level. For these households, assets/resources for SNAP recipients must fall below the following limits:

  • $2,250 for households without a member over the age of 60 or a household member with a disability
  • $3,500 for households with a member over the age of 60 or a household member with a disability.

For the purposes of SNAP eligibility, funds that could be made available for the purchase of food are considered assets, such as money in a bank account. Equity in a home is not considered money that is available for the purchase of food and is thus not counted in the asset calculation for SNAP eligibility.

Emergency Assistance for Families (EAF) Eligibility

In response to questions received on our weekly community call, below we have outlined eligibility criteria for Emergency Assistance for Families (EAF). EAF is a federally-funded program dedicated to meeting the emergency needs of families with children. Applicants who need emergency assistance with rent arrears or utility arrears may be eligible for an EAF/One-Shot Deal payment to prevent eviction or foreclosure, or utility disconnect. HRA will evaluate households for EAF eligibility at the time of application for emergency assistance or a rental subsidy program.

  • The applicant household must contain either
    • An individual with a medically verified pregnancy;
    • or a child under the age of 18;
    • or an individual age 18 and attending full-time secondary school or the equivalent level of vocational or technical training
  • The child must be currently living with an adult related by blood, marriage, or adoption
  • The child, parents, or other eligible relatives must be without immediately accessible resources necessary for meeting their needs, and those needs cannot be met by an advance allowance
  • The child must be requiring emergency assistance to provide living arrangements for them in a home
  • The emergency could not have been foreseen by the applicant and was not under their control

Financial Eligibility for EAF

  • Gross available income of the applicant on the date of application must be at or below 200% of the poverty level for that household size
    • These standards DO NOT apply to households receiving child protective, child preventative, or any other child welfare services paid for under EAF (such households must, however, include one member in receipt of CA or SSI and/or SSP at the time of EAF determination)
  • The applicant must be without the resources to meet the emergency need (income, money on hand, bank accounts, etc.)

Individuals can file an application for emergency assistance/One-Shot Deal and/or get more information using ACCESS HRA.

Repayment and EAF

If a household is found eligible for EAF, they may still be required to repay a portion of the EAF grant. If rent arrears exceed the monthly shelter allowance for public assistance, then the excess portion of the grant is subject to repayment. Utility arrears paid with EAF may be recoverable if the household's gross monthly income on the date of repayment is more than the monthly standard of need for public assistance.

Emergency assistance grants /One-Shot Deals are also available for single adults and childless couples.

Childcare for Cash Assistance Recipients

Recipients of Cash Assistance who are participating in an approved education or training program outside of the home, or are employed, may be eligible for childcare assistance. These needs are assessed at application and recertification. Clients who become employed or engaged outside of the home in between recertifications should take the following steps to apply for child care:

  • Select a child care provider using this Child Care Provider Search tool, which filters contracted and non-contracted providers based on client needs;
  • Complete the appropriate provider enrollment form(s).
  • Upload the form(s) via the ACCESS HRA mobile document upload.

We have updated ACCESS HRA to guide applicants through the process and we also have information on our website.

Below are links to relevant information:

Automated Child Care Eligibility and Enrollment System (ACEE): Child care programs for HRA clients
Child Care Provider Search: Easy to use search tool to locate NYC contracted & non-contracted Child Care Providers & short list/filter based on client needs
Child Care Provider Enrollment Supplement

Temporary Expansion of SNAP Eligibility for College Students

With the extension of the public health emergency through July 16, 2022, the amended SNAP federal eligibility qualifications for student now runs through August 16, 2022, or 30 days after the COVID–19 federal public health emergency is lifted.

Students granted eligibility under these amended federal qualifications will maintain student eligibility until the next recertification regardless of whether the emergency declaration is lifted at any time during the certification period.

As a reminder, the Federal Emergency Relief Act temporarily expands the SNAP student eligibility rules by amending the allowable exemptions to the rule in two additional ways:

  • A student is eligible if they are eligible to participate in state or federal work-study, regardless of whether the student is actively employed or participating in work-study; and
  • Any student that has an "expected family contribution" of $0 may participate in SNAP if otherwise eligible.

The expansion of SNAP eligibility for students applies to both undergraduate and graduate students.

This is a temporary further expansion of the student eligibility criteria for all students regardless of the program or school they are enrolled in. However, as we reported previously, student eligibility was also extended for CUNY students participating in career or technical programs. CUNY students are receiving their Student Verification of Enrollment forms directly through their student account. CUNY is reviewing current enrollment status for all students. Those students who satisfy all of the SNAP requirements for a career and technical education exception will receive the Verification form in their student account. The Student Verification of Enrollment form must be submitted as supporting documentation with a SNAP application.

More details about SNAP student eligibility are available on the OTDA SNAP website.

SNAP Eligibility for Children Receiving Social Security Income (SSI)

In response to a question received on our weekly community call, we want to clarify how SNAP eligibility would be determined for a child in receipt of SSI. A child receiving SSI would not be eligible for their own SNAP case, but would be considered a mandatory household member with their parent/guardian. Both the SSI income and the income of their parents/guardians would be included in the budgeting and eligibility determination for their household.

Cash Assistance Benefits Eligibility and Substance Use Disorders

We are still screening CA applicants for substance use issues, and, if needed, connecting them to remote telephonic substance use assessment and/or treatment. However, we have waived the requirements that would normally apply to clients in substance use treatment programs, and we are not taking negative case actions for noncompliance.

Clients may also receive Case Management services to support substance use treatment compliance, as well as other services such as medical and/or mental health services. HRA Customized Assistance Services (CAS), which oversees this program, is conducting proactive outreach to HRA clients receiving substance use treatment. CAS offers support with treatment, and with COVID-19 and other wellness related issues and provides referrals when appropriate.

Clients who complete qualifying substance use treatment programs and who owe child support arrears to NYC DSS may qualify for the Office of Child Support Services Parent Success Program, which can reduce their DSS child support debt. Clients can ask their substance use treatment provider about the Parent Success Program.

Food Assistance Programs

WIC Infant Formula Updates

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service has granted waivers of certain WIC regulations to WIC agencies across the country so that they can take immediate action to ensure that WIC participants can exchange their recalled baby formula and use WIC benefits to purchase products that have not been recalled. WIC-Eligible Families can contact their local WIC office to identify or obtain additional sources of infant formula nearby.

Baby Formula Shortage Social Media Toolkit

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is working to ensure infant formula is safe and available to families across the country that need it, and has created a multilingual social media toolkit features graphics, info and links to additional resources. Messages and graphics are available in EnglishSpanishVietnamese, and Haitian Creole.

View the toolkit here.

Half-Off Farm Box Program for SNAP Recipients

New Yorkers who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can get a pre-assembled box of locally grown farm-fresh fruits and vegetables for half off the price of a full box. Prices vary by site. Each box contains six to 10 items and must be pre-ordered one week in advance.

Find participating sites on the DOH website

Grow NYC Fresh Food Boxes

Half-priced Fresh Food Boxes are now available for customers shopping with SNAP. SNAP recipients can receive the same great bag of produce for just $7 when paying with an EBT card at every GrowNYC Fresh Food Box site. GrowNYC Fresh Food Box sites are part of a network of food access retail sites operated by GrowNYC, along with Greenmarkets and Farmstands. Through Fresh Food Box, customers pay one week in advance for a pre-assembled box of healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables grown primarily by regional farmers and sourced through GrowNYC Wholesale. The program allows customers to take advantage of the cost benefit of buying in a group and enjoy the flexibility of a weekly commitment while supporting farmers.

For more information visit GrowNYC.

"Find Food Support" Website

Find Food Support is a website using a Google Maps tool to help individuals locate sources of free food in their communities. Google partnered with No Kid Hungry, FoodFinder, and the United States Department of Agriculture to identify more than 90,000 food support sites including food banks, food pantries, and school lunch pick-up locations across all 50 states.

Extension of Temporary Increase in WIC Cash Value Benefit (CVB)

The temporary increase of the WIC Cash Value Benefit (CVB) for the purchase of vegetables and fruits authorized under the American Rescue Plan has been extended through September 2022. This temporary increase was previously set to expire on March 31, 2022.Learn more.

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)

Children who receive free school lunches through the National School Lunch Program are eligible for P-EBT food benefits if their school operated with reduced in-person attendance due to COVID-19 during the 2020-21 school year. This includes children who attend Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) schools and any private, prekindergarten, parochial and charter schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program. Those with questions concerning their child/children's participation in the National School Lunch Program should contact the school or school district.

The State OTDA will automatically issue P-EBT food benefits to eligible children, no application is available or necessary.

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) Food Benefits Updates

New York State continues to distribute Pandemic EBT food benefits to all households with eligible children who receive free school lunch under the National School Lunch Act.

Nearly all eligible children throughout the state, who had their in-person attendance reduced during the 2020-21 school year due will receive P-EBT food benefits.  Each eligible student will receive $375 in food benefits. Individuals can check their family's P-EBT food benefit transaction history by visiting www.connectebt.com or by calling 1-888-328-6399.

Recipient households should receive a text message alert when their food benefits are distributed. Families can check www.connectebt.com to see if the summer benefit was deposited. For all families with active SNAP or CA cases, benefits should be distributed in June.

Learn more here.

Qualifying households do not apply for the P-EBT program, the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) administers the program and automatically issues benefits on an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card.

For assistance with general questions or to request a replacement Medicaid CBIC that was issued for P-EBT food benefits:

Submit a P-EBT Information form at https://otda.ny.gov/PEBT-Info

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) Inquiries

As a reminder, all P-EBT related inquiries should be directed to the State's P-EBT Food Benefits Helpline at 833-452-0096 or to the P-EBT Information Form at otda.ny.gov/PEBT-Info to submit questions in writing. OTDA's SNAP COVID-19 webpage also provides a wealth of information about P-EBT and links to further and more detailed information about P-EBT.

NYC Food Pantry Locator

If you are interested in the location of a food pantry, please visit the pantry locator. We recommend calling to ensure the particular location is open. We've provided all of our emergency food providers with information about grab and go meals and how to implement social distancing at food pantries.

Plentiful Food Pantry App

Plentiful Pantry App is an app that lets New Yorkers find food pantries and make reservations ahead of time. There is a map of pantries all over NYC with over 300 locations. With Plentiful, pantries can easily keep track of clients, and clients can manage pantry visits directly from their phone. Pantries use Plentiful to manage reservations and communicate with clients. Clients get reservation reminders on their phone. Plentiful was created by The New York City Food Assistance Collaborative, a coalition of public and private organizations working to alleviate hunger in New York City. Collaborative members include the NYC Mayor's Office of Food Policy, City Harvest, United Way of New York City, the New York City Human Resources Administration - EFAP, and the New York State Department of Health Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program.

New York City Common Pantry (NYCP) Mobile Pantry

FreshDirect and its charitable partner, NY Common Pantry (NYCP), announced the launch of a new mobile pantry that will distribute food to people across New York City. The NYCP Mobile Pantry will also host social services staff, who will arrange enrollment in New York Common Pantry's program for distributing free food to eligible people, provide emergency food assistance and help people apply for programs like SNAP. Additional information on this new program will be provided as it becomes available.

Farmers Market Health Bucks and Pharmacy to Farm Prescriptions

Many NYC farmers markets remain open as an essential service and all accept Health Bucks coupons and most accept SNAP. Health Bucks are $2 coupons that can be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at all NYC farmers markets. SNAP recipients are eligible to receive Health Bucks. In the past, for every $5 spent at farmers markets using SNAP on an EBT card, individuals could receive $2 in Health Bucks. Due to a recent federal grant, farmers market customers will receive $2 in Health Bucks for every $2 spent in SNAP benefits, up to $10 in Health Bucks per day. Learn more about the program, which is run by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

CityHarvest offers free food every other week across NYC. Find locations and more information.

City Harvest Mobile Markets

City Harvest Mobile Markets provide free fresh produce throughout the five boroughs. Beginning April 3, Mobile Markets will be open from 9:30 to 11:30 am. Each site may have its own eligibility criteria to receive free food. See a list of Mobile Markets by borough.

Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP) Updates

We have updated the eligibility criteria for our Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP) providers to allow additional organizations to meet eligibility requirements. Applicant organizations are now required to have operated a pantry for four months rather than six. Download the application and eligibility criteria to operate a food pantry. Learn more about operating a food pantry.

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP) provides supplemental nutrition to food insecure New Yorkers. EFAP currently funds over 570 emergency food programs (food pantries, community kitchens and mobile pantries) throughout NYC, providing shelf-stable and frozen food, and administrative funding for non-food related expenses.

Food Resource Guides

The Hunter College Center for Food Policy has created food resource guides for 59 New York City neighborhoods. Each resource guide includes information related to food access within the community, such as the location and hours of food pantries, meals for students and seniors, delivery services for people with disabilities, and resources for immigrants.

Financial Resources & Updates

Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund (PEAF)

The State OTDA has announced the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund (PEAF), an allocation allotted to New York State (NYS) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021(ARPA) to provide payments to help needy families purchase diapers and to help certain households containing an adult 55 years of age or older purchase additional food. These payments are intended to provide additional financial resources to improve economic security and well-being.

PEAF Updates May 2022

The Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund (PEAF) allocation allotted to New York State (NYS) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021(ARPA) issued an additional payment to families in May 2022.

OTDA issued a one-time non-assistance cash payment on May 14, 2022, to Temporary Assistance (TA) households with a child(ren) aged 17 years or under. This payment is intended to defray costs incurred by these households due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

TA households meeting all of the following eligibility criteria will receive a payment of $250 per household:

  • The open TA case contains a child who was active on the case during the month of April 2022;
  • The child is aged 17 years or under at any time during the month of April 2022; and,
  • The TA case remains open on the date of payment issuance.

OTDA issued these payments directly to the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cash account of the TA case.

State OTDA issued diaper supplement payments on February 12th of $140 per eligible child to households in receipt of SNAP and Cash Assistance meeting the following eligibility criteria:

  • The child is under age three at any time during the month of January of 2022;
  • The child is active on either an open TA or SNAP case during the month of January 2022; and,
  • The TA or SNAP case remains open on the date of issuance.

OTDA also issued a one-time non-assistance payment during April of 2022 to support food assistance for households with children aged 17 and under that contain at least one older adult, and who are in receipt of Cash Assistance and/or SNAP. Recipients of the payment may use it to purchase food.

CA and SNAP households meeting the following eligibility criteria received a payment of $730 per eligible older individual:

  • The older adult is age 55 or older during the month of March of 2022;
  • The older adult is active on either an open TA or open SNAP case which also includes at least one child aged 17 or under at any time during the month of March of 2022: and,
  • The TA or SNAP case remains open on the date of issuance.

OTDA issued these payments directly to the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cash account of the CA or SNAP case. Households eligible for these one-time non-assistance payments received a letter from NYS OTDA informing them of the total amount of the payment and Administrative Review rights.

PEAF payments:

  • Have no effect on the household's eligibility or benefit amounts for TA, SNAP, or HEAP;
  • Not be part of regular recurring TA or SNAP grant;
  • Be excluded from the TA standard of need;
  • Be excluded as income to the TA and SNAP household;
  • Be excluded from TA and SNAP resource limits;
  • Be excluded from the State sixty-month time limit for TA;
  • Not be offset by child support collections;
  • Not offset TA or SNAP overpayments;
  • Not be subject to overpayment determinations/calculations;
  • Not be included in Interim Assistance Reimbursement (IAR).

NYC SafeStart Account

The Department of Consumer and Worker Protection in partnership with various banks and credit unions across the City offers a savings account program with:

  • NO overdraft fees
  • NO monthly fees, provided minimum balances are met
  • LOW minimum balance requirements ($25 or less)
  • ATM card (No debit card)

This service may be helpful to those who are receiving tax credits and stimulus funds. Learn more and see a list of participating banks and credit unions.

NYC Free Tax prep and Tax Credit Resources

NYC Free Tax Prep providers can help individuals and families claim important tax credits including the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. For the 2022 tax season, families with income of $72,000 or less and single filers with income of $50,000 or less in 2021 can use NYC Free Tax Prep to file for free. Please visit the NYC Tax Prep website for more information.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a tax benefit for working people and families. The amount received depends on an individual's income and the number of qualifying children claimed on the tax return. Those who do not have children may still be eligible. As of 2022, filers can use their 2019 or 2020 tax year to maximize EITC benefits. Learn more about Additional tax credits.

For more information and to learn about virtual, drop-off, and in-person tax assistance options, visit nyc.gov/taxprep or call 311 and ask for tax preparation assistance.

Child Tax Credit (CTC)

The CTC helps families get money back to for eligible child care costs. The amount received depends on the number of qualifying children claimed on the tax return and their ages. Those who do not have earned income are still eligible. The deadline to sign up for the Advance Child Tax Credit payment was November 15, 2021. However, the credit can still be claimed —worth up to $3,600 per child—in 2022 by filing taxes. Additional tax credit information can be found on the DCA website.

For more information and to learn about virtual, drop-off, and in-person tax assistance options, visit nyc.gov/taxprep or call 311 and ask for tax preparation assistance.

NYS NCP (Noncustodial Parent) Earned Income Tax Credit

This tax credit is for noncustodial parents with a NYS Child Support order who have paid their child support obligation in full. The amount of the credit received is up to $1,358 and depends on an individual's income on the tax return. Filers are no longer required to provide their child's social security number in order to receive a refund and can go back two years and file for the credit that was missed. The refund will be applied towards a noncustodial parent's child support debt, if they have one. Learn more about the credit.

Reminder about Temporary Vault Cards

As a reminder, CBIC cards are issued by the State OTDA. While a client is waiting for a replacement CBIC card, a temporary Vault Card can be issued at a Job Center. Current SNAP or CA clients who need a replacement CBIC card can go to the Center that is most convenient to them to request a temporary Vault card while they wait for their CBIC card from the State in the mail.

Child Tax Credit (CTC) Information and Resources

Child Tax Credit Resources

Learn more about the Child Tax Credit with this IRS Toolkit for Partners.

The NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) just launched brand new tax prep sites and developed a number of materials to provide information and support in navigating the CTC. Resources include:

  • A recording of their Child Tax Credit training that can be accessed at this link using the password 2021ChildTaxCredit.
  • An Advance Child Tax Credit resource page, which currently hosts a poster and flyer about the CTC available in 12 languages.
  • Organizations can book information sessions for clients by contacting dcacommunity@dca.nyc.gov.

The three most impactful things organizations can do to help clients access the Child Tax Credit are:

  • Help clients make appointments for tax filing (this can be done at gov/taxprep).
    • Filing taxes helps clients access both the CTC and many other resources available via tax filing. This is the best way to help clients access the most in terms of direct cash payments, and other government-funded or provided resources.
    • There are options for in-person or virtual tax prep appointments, drop-off, and online self-prep with help. If in-person or drop-off service is needed, or for services in languages other than English, or for assistance applying for an ITIN, please help clients and call for an appointment.
    • Clients need ID, SSN/ITIN, and W2/income statements to file taxes. A full checklist of required documents is available at gov/taxprep.
  • Direct clients to the NYC Free Tax Prep website at gov/taxprep.
    • NYC's Tax Prep website points clients to several resources, including in-person and virtual tax filing services, and the Child Tax Credit non-filer portal.
  • Share the CTC portal with clients: https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/#/fd/childtaxcredit.
    • Clients who are not tax filers can sign up for the Child Tax Credit directly. Sharing this website provides them with the quickest way to access the Child Tax Credit themselves.

Child Tax Credit – Advance Payment Impact on Eligibility

For ongoing Cash Assistance and SNAP, the advanced monthly child tax credit payments are exempt as income in the month received and are excluded as a resource for 12 months from the date of receipt.

For Emergency Assistance to Families (EAF), Emergency Safety Net Assistance (ESNA), and Emergency Assistance to Adults (EAA), available income tax refunds and credits which are determined exempt resources must be used to alleviate any emergency before the use of emergency assistance.

For HEAP, the advanced monthly child tax credit payments are excluded when determining eligibility for Regular HEAP, Emergency, Heating Equipment Repair and Replacement (HERR), Heating Equipment Clean and Tune (C&T), and Cooling Assistance benefits. Any remaining balance from monthly child tax credit payments are not considered a liquid resource for the Emergency and HERR benefit components.

Child Tax Credit Funds Garnishment

Overdue taxes or other Federal or State Debts

The IRS has stated that Advance CTC payments that families receive between July and December will not be used as offsets for federal taxes owed in previous years.

However, the remaining 50% of the CTC that families will receive when they file their 2021 tax return (in 2022) can be used as an offset for federal taxes owed in previous years.

Child Support

The IRS has stated that CTC funds are not subject to garnishment for child support.

Private Debts

The IRS has stated that CTC funds are not federally protected from garnishment for private debts. However, New York passed a law in May 2021 (S.5923-A/A.6617-A) that prevents private garnishment of all pandemic-related stimulus or tax credit funds. New Yorkers are protected under this law and their CTC funds cannot be garnished for private debts.

Emergency Utility Intervention Program (EUIP)

As a reminder, recipients of social service benefits are eligible for the National Grid and Con Edison utility rate reduction program. In November, HRA completed its final low-income rate match for the 2020 program year for the utility rate reduction for customers receiving social services benefits. HRA clients with utility accounts were automatically enrolled and were provided an opportunity to opt-out of the program if they wished to do so.

Enrollment is ongoing and HRA clients who were not automatically enrolled can participate by contacting their utility company to enroll. Clients can contact Con Edison at 800-75-CONED (800-752-6633) to enroll by phone, or by email at lowincomerate@coned.com. Con Edison will provide further instructions regarding enrollment requirements.

For questions, clients should contact the Emergency Utility Intervention program at 212-331-4120 or by email at EUIP@hra.nyc.gov.

Financial Counseling

NYC Financial Empowerment Center counselors are available to support New Yorkers over the phone with free financial counseling. It is free and confidential. Book an appointment online.

Health Insurance

Equitable Relief – Medicare Enrollment/Disenrollment

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is providing equitable relief to individuals who could not submit premium - Part A or Part B enrollment or disenrollment requests timely due to challenges contacting the Social Security Administration by phone. This relief applies to the 2022 General Enrollment Period, Initial Enrollment Period, and Special Enrollment Period.

Individuals who were unable to enroll or disenroll in Medicare because they could not reach the Social Security Administration (SSA) by phone after January 1, 2022 will be granted additional time, through December 30, 2022. For more information, call 800-772-1213 or use the SSA Office Locator to find the number for a local office.

Medicare Information, Counseling, and Assistance

The NYC Department for the Aging (DFTA) Health Insurance Information, Counseling, and Assistance Program (HIICAP) is a completely free resources to educate Medicare beneficiaries about:

  • Medicare Part A and Part B plans
  • Medicare Part D prescription drug plans and the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program
  • Medicare Advantage (Part C)
  • Medigap insurance to supplement Original Medicare
  • How Medicare works with retiree coverage
  • Medicare Savings Programs and Low-Income Subsidy to help pay costs

To connect with a HIICAP counselor, call Aging Connect at 212-244-6469 (212-AGING-NYC) or call 311 and ask for HIICAP.

Medicaid Surplus Cases

In accordance with State DOH requirements, Medicaid surplus consumers must continue to meet their surplus requirement during the COVID-19 health emergency. Surplus consumers can continue to submit medical bills to cover their surplus by mail or fax.

HRA Medicaid Surplus Unit
785 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Fax: 917-639-0645

Payment may also be submitted to the HRA Division of Accounts Receivable and Billing (DARB) at 150 Greenwich Street, 34th Floor, NY NY 10007. Those who submit payment to DARB must then call the Surplus Hotline at 929-221-0835 to report that a payment has been made and provide case information.

Medicaid consumers who cannot submit payment or bills because of health issues related to COVID-19 can call the Surplus Hotline at 929-221-0835 to attest that they have the money or the bills to satisfy their surplus but are unable to submit them.

For Medicaid consumers who have lost income, they should have their case re-budgeted, which may lower or eliminate their surplus in some instances. Proof of a change in income should be faxed to 917-639-0645.

Medicaid Income Limits

The State has released the new 2022 income and resource limits for Non-MAGI clients. These new income limits went into effect as of January 1, 2022.

Medicaid Easements and Application Updates

HRA's Medicaid clients who have questions about their case or their Medicaid card or who wish to report case changes, such as change of address, can call the HRA Medicaid Helpline at 888-692-6116.

Medicaid easements have been extended through October 2022. This includes the automatic extension for cases with an authorization that ends in January through August 2022 even if the client doesn't submit their renewal. Medicaid clients scheduled to renew a case that had or has an authorization end date in March 2020 through August 2022 automatically had or will have their Medicaid coverage extended for 12 months, even if the renewal is not returned. The NYS Department of Health is not sending notices to these Medicaid clients to let them know that their Medicaid coverage has been extended. Any case that is closed during the COVID-19 emergency for failure to renew or failure to provide documentation will be re-opened and coverage restored to ensure no gap in coverage.

Excess income cases will be extended for six months, but will still be expected to meet their surplus to obtain coverage. (Note: Clients with active COVID or in the quarantine may request coverage until they can make a surplus payment.)

How to submit applications:

  • Approved Client Representatives can fax Medicaid applications and Medicare Savings applications on behalf of consumers to 917-639-0731
  • Medicaid applications and Medicare Savings Program (MSP) Applications from individuals age 65 and older or who have a disability can be dropped off in marked drop boxes at Medical Assistance Program "MAP" (formerly known as Medical Insurance and Community Services Administration or MICSA) locations and may also be faxed to 917-639-0732.

New York State Private Health Insurance Application Deadline for 2022 Extended

The open enrollment period for New York State private health insurance coverage for 2022 is extended through the end of the Public Health Emergency (PHE) which is currently extended through July 16, 2022. Visit nystateofhealth.ny.gov for more information.

GetCoveredNYC helps New Yorkers in the five boroughs enroll in health insurance, including low- or no-cost options, under the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare). Complete the form at nyc.gov/GetCoveredNYC to receive free enrollment assistance in your language. You can also call 311 or text CoveredNYC (SeguroNYC en Español) to 877877 to be connected to a GetCoveredNYC Specialist.

Eviction Protections & Housing Resources

Mayor's Public Engagement Unit's Tenant Helpline

The Public Engagement Unit's Tenant Helpline serves as a one-stop shop to inform New York City tenants about their rights and connect them to housing-related resources, including free legal services. Because tenants who call the helpline are frequently experiencing a range of connected hardships, the Helpline also offers assistance with additional City programs like SNAP, Cash Assistance, Homebase, and One-Shot Deals, etc and helps with applying for State programs like rent relief and unemployment insurance. If you are at risk of eviction or experience a housing-related issue, please call 311 and ask for the Tenant Helpline.

Digital Toolkit for Housing Resources

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has launched a new digital toolkit for media, intermediaries, and other stakeholders interested in providing information to renters and mortgage borrowers who continue to struggle as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The toolkit provides the most up-to-date information and resources.

To help spread the word about protections and relief options, the comprehensive digital media toolkit includes sample communications such as:

  • Housing and rental relief emails
  • Social media posts for renters and homeowners
  • Videos in both English and Spanish
  • Printed handouts in both English and Spanish

View the complete digital housing toolkit.

Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) Information and Materials

The NYS Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) to help New Yorkers pay overdue water and wastewater bills is accepting applications as of December 1, 2021. Applications are available on the OTDA website and can be submitted online or by mail. Learn more, including information on how to apply online and/or download a paper application.

Benefits are based on the amount of unpaid water and wastewater bills owed by applicants and could go as high as $2,500 for each service. LIHWAP benefits are based on the actual amount of drinking water and/or wastewater arrears, up to a maximum of $2,500 per drinking water or wastewater provider, or $5,000 if drinking water and wastewater services are combined, per household. Benefits are paid directly to the household's drinking water and/or wastewater vendor(s).

Eligibility and benefits are based on household income, household size, whether a household includes a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or qualified immigrant , and the amount owed to drinking water and/or wastewater provider(s).

Applicants will be required to provide the following documentation with their application:

  • Proof of identity for the primary applicant.
  • A valid Social Security Number for the primary applicant.
  • Proof of residence.
  • A drinking water, wastewater, or combined drinking water and wastewater bill listing your permanent and primary residence.
  • Documentation of income for the primary applicant.

Download an overview of LIHWAP

Download an application document checklist

For more information on household protections from water service shut-offs, view information on the COVID-19 Moratorium on Utility and Municipal Shutoffs.

Promotional Materials

The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) helps low-income households pay the cost of water and sewer services. The program can assist households who have past due bills (arrears) for water and/or sewer services.

New outreach materials are available to promote the Low-Income Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP), providing information on the types of assistance available and how to apply for the benefits. A brochure, flyer, palm card, and poster have been developed to provide information about the Low-Income Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP, which is administered by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA).

Documents are available at the following links:

More information about the LIHWAP program is available here.

HASA Rental Assistance

In order to align rental assistance levels for HASA clients with the recent changes for our CityFEHPS program, we will be providing rental assistance grants to HASA clients in private-market apartments up to the NYCHA Section 8 payment standard. Over 55% of HASA (HIV/AIDS Services Administration) clients reside in independent, private-market apartments. These maximum rent levels can be found on the DSS website on the CityFHEPS page

Rental Assistance Finder

The federal government continues to enact an all-of-government effort to ensure renters and landlords are able to take advantage of the relief available to them on a local level.

As part of that effort, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has developed a new tool, the Rental Assistance Finder (www.consumerfinance.gov/renthelp) that allows renters and landlords to find rental assistance programs in their area.

NYS Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) Updates

In response to an order issued to the State Office of Temporary and Disability Services (OTDA) to re-open the ERAP portal as a result of a preliminary injunction order issued by Judge Lynn R. Kotler, the portal was re-opened on January 11, 2022.

Tenant households that apply for ERAP will continue to receive ERAP tenant protections until an eligibility determination is made on the ERAP application. For additional information on these protections, please see the "Tenant Protections" section of the ERAP FAQ. This guidance states that once a tenant applies for ERAP they cannot be evicted for a lease expiration or for non-payment of rent during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The application number which will be provided to all applicants can be used in court if a landlord begins an eviction case in court for an expired lease, a holdover case or for non-payment of rent that would be eligible for coverage under ERAP.

As a reminder, applicants for One Shot Deal/Emergency Grants for rent arrears are no longer required to apply for ERAP to be eligible for a grant from HRA. This does not change with the re-opening of the ERAP portal. However, individuals who applied before the ERAP portal initially closed on 11/14/2021, and are still pending a State determination, must have that determination rendered before HRA is able to provide assistance for rent arrears.

As a reminder, those who are at risk of eviction may be eligible for free legal assistance through HRA's Office of Civil Justice.

In an effort to make sure that all potential applicants are kept up to date on developments we:

  • Have instructed ERAP CBOs to counsel or assist individuals with navigating the OTDA portal so that they can complete the form to receive a notification when it reopens.
  • Will ask ERAP CBOs to use existing case management systems to generate notification communications, should the portal reopen, for everyone who presents for ERAP assistance at this time.

As a reminder, ERAP is not administered by DSS/HRA. The OTDA call center can assist anyone who has questions about ERAP. The call center operates Monday through Saturday from 8 am – 7 pm. The primary number for the call center is 844-NY1-RENT (844-691-7368). Individuals with a hearing impairment can call 833-843-8829 (TTY phone number).

ERAP Utility Arrears

OTDA will soon begin administering payment to individuals who applied for utility arrears through ERAP. Additionally, OTDA is no longer requiring individuals to wait for a determination on their ERAP arrears applications before applying for HEAP. New Yorkers seeking assistance with utility payments can apply for HEAP using the LDSS-3421 application form. Download the form, or you may call 212-331-3126 to request an application. Completed applications may be dropped off at any HRA Job Center or mailed to:

NYC DSS/HRA/HEAP
P.O. Box 1401
Church Street Station
New York, NY 10008

Individuals may also apply at any of the six designated HRA Job Centers or four community assistance sites (see HEAP Eligibility section below for locations).

Appealing an ERAP Determination

An OTDA ERAP determination is an approval or denial of an ERAP application. A "provisional approval" and a "180-day notice" are notices that an applicant might receive, but they are not ERAP determinations. Once an individual receives an ERAP determination, they have thirty (30) days from the date on their ERAP determination notification to request an appeal.

If a tenant or landlord/owner disagrees with all or part of their ERAP application determination, they can file an appeal by phone or online.

After filing their appeal, the applicant will get a written Confirmation Notice from OTDA via email or regular mail, confirming that their appeal was received and that if they choose to provide additional documentation to support their appeal, they must do so within ten days. Instructions on how to add documentation to an appeal are available on the OTDA website.

Applications undergoing an appeal are considered pending until a further determination is made.

For additional support submitting an appeal, applicants can contact OTDA by phone at 844-NY1RENT (844-691-7368) or TTY 833-843-8829, or contact a community-based organization that is providing ERAP support to NYC tenants and landlords. The list of community-based organizations is available on the OTDA website.

Learn more about ERAP and appealing an ERAP determination.

One Shot Deal – Clarification of ERAP Application Requirement

Applicants for One Shot Deal/Emergency Grants for rent arrears are no longer required to apply for ERAP to be eligible for a grant from HRA. This does not change with the re-opening of the ERAP portal. However, individuals who applied before the ERAP portal initially closed on 11/14/2021, and are still pending a State determination, must have that determination rendered before HRA is able to provide assistance for rent arrears.

Pet Owner Eviction Project

Animal Haven's Pet Owner Eviction Project, in partnership with the Mayor's Office of Animal Welfare and NYC Emergency Management's Animal Planning Task Force, is seeking to connect vulnerable tenants at risk of losing their pets while facing a potential eviction with free and low-cost resources. For more information and assistance, individuals can call the COVID-19 Pet Hotline: 877-204-8821

Eviction Moratorium Updates and Resources

The NYS eviction moratorium which had previously been extended until January 15, 2022, has now expired. Tenants who have submitted the Hardship Declaration should respond to any court notices they receive indicating that their case is scheduled for a Housing Court hearing. The Hardship Declaration is no longer used to prevent evictions.

New York City has launched a campaign to inform tenants about their rights and connect them to critical resources. The City wants every New Yorker to know these three things:

  1. Lockouts (also known as unlawful evictions or self-help evictions) are illegal. All tenants (including those in private residential programs) have the right to stay in their homes unless they choose to leave or are evicted through a court process.
  2. Under New York City's Right-to-Counsel (RTC) law, legal services are free, available in every ZIP code, and available regardless of immigration status. DSS/HRA's Office of Civil Justice (OCJ) ensures tenants facing eviction in Housing Court or NYCHA administrative proceedings have access to free legal representation or advice, provided by nonprofit legal services organizations from across the five boroughs.
  3. We urge all New Yorkers in need of rent relief to apply for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) through the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) web portal (which reopened on Jan 11th at 10 pm), as a pending application will provide temporary protection from eviction.

In partnership with the Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants (MOPT), New York Police Department (NYPD), Department of Housing and Preservation Development (HPD), and HRA's Office of Civil Justice (and legal providers), PEU has also developed the resources to help get the word out about illegal lockouts and right to counsel, and to encourage tenants who are in need of assistance to contact the PEU Tenant Helpline for help.

Free legal advice and other assistance continues to be available to all New York City residential renters through HRA's Office of Civil Justice, which can be reached by calling 311 and asking for the Tenant Helpline.

Fair Hearings

Extension of Remote Fair Hearings

OTDA will continue to conduct Fair Hearings - to the greatest extent possible - utilizing telephone, video, and other means of communication through March 12, 2023, under the second one-year extension of a demonstration project originally set to expire in March 2021.

HRA clients or applicants may request a Fair Hearing in any of the following ways:

  • Call the statewide toll-free number at 800-342-3334
  • Request an emergency Fair Hearing in NYC by calling 800-205-0110
  • Using the Fair Hearing Online Request Form

Client notices with Fair Hearing information provide a unique phone number that clients can use to request a pre-hearing HRA conference by phone. Once a pre-hearing conference to resolve a hearing issue is requested, clients will be contacted by HRA at or around the date and time requested by the client.

As Fair Hearing determinations are made, the agency is complying with the determinations. When a Fair Hearing finds in favor of the client, benefits will be re-instated, including any rental subsidies.

Incoming Fair Hearing Telephone Calls

Clients or applicants who are expecting a telephone call for their Fair Hearing should be reminded to ensure that their phone settings will allow calls to get through even if they are from unknown numbers. Fair Hearing calls may come from an unfamiliar or unknown number, so anyone expecting a Fair Hearing call should answer any incoming call to make sure they do not miss their Fair Hearing.

Fair Hearings Demonstration Project Extension

Since March 2020, the OTDA Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) has been involved in a demonstration project to conduct fair hearings - to the greatest extent possible - utilizing telephone, video, and other means of communication. These alternatives to conducting hearings in-person have improved timeliness and reduced unnecessary travel for all the hearing participants, while protecting the parties respective due process rights. The demonstration project, which was originally set to expire in March 2021, and then extended to March 2022, has been extended for one year, and is now expected to expire on March 12, 2023. Questions about this demonstration project should be directed to OAH Deputy Commissioner Roy A. Esnard at Roy.Esnard@otda.ny.gov and 718-923-4334 or Director Samuel Spitzberg at Samuel.Spitzberg@otda.ny.gov and 518-486-9570.

Project Parachute, FASTEN, and Homebase: Eviction Protection and Rent Relief

Project Parachute is a coalition of property owners, nonprofits, and City agencies committed to helping vulnerable and underserved New York residents stay in their homes as the COVID-19 crisis continues. T hrough its program FASTEN (Funds and Services for Tenants Experiencing Need), Project Parachute offers eviction prevention services and financial resources, including rent relief.

FASTEN services are being delivered by HRA's eviction prevention Homebase providers – BronxWorks, CAMBA, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, Catholic Charities Community Services, HELP USA, RiseBoro Community Partnership (RiseBoro), and Services for the UnderServed (S:US). Read Project Parachute's Frequently Asked Questions (Spanish).

Individuals and families served by FASTEN must:

  • Have income that is not more than 50% of the area median income (AMI);
  • Be experiencing housing instability, such as inability to pay rent fully; and
  • Have experienced negative COVID-related financial impacts, such as loss of income or an increase in expenses.

Anyone who meets these requirements can receive assistance regardless of immigration status or employment status (e.g. temporary, intermittent, part-time, day labor, and contract workers) through non-profit Homebase providers.

Tenants can be referred by landlords, referral partners, and agencies or they can reach out directly to their Homebase provider by calling 311 or visiting the Homebase Locator webpage.

New York City Rent Subsidies for Landlords

Connecting DHS clients to permanent housing is a key priority for the agency, and we have maintained a strong focus on rehousing throughout the pandemic. We want to encourage landlords who may not have worked with the City in the past to rent units to families and individuals leaving the DHS shelter system. The majority of DHS clients exit with a rental subsidy such as CityFHEPS – in addition to rent, these subsidies come with a variety of other benefits to landlords and brokers, including an upfront landlord incentive payment and brokers' fees. In this challenging economic climate, the City rent subsidies provide a tangible financial upside to landlords. Renting to DHS clients is a win for both those households who can exit shelter and the owners who receive upfront incentives and ongoing subsidized rent. Download the rent subsidy flyer. We encourage you to share this information with landlords and brokers in your community to help us both connect households to permanent housing and support local property owners.

Enterprise Data Warehouse Report for Housing Advocates

As of July 10, 2020, we have a streamlined process for obtaining client and case information to assist in Housing Court cases. The Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) will produce a consolidated report providing all relevant client and case information to assist advocates in Housing Court cases. This report replaces the numerous screens and printouts from the State Welfare Management System (WMS) that the HRA Landlord Ombudsman Service Unit (LOSU) was collecting and providing upon request. Housing Advocates can submit requests to LOSU using the newly created Housing Court Report Request Form (HPA-106).

The State Family Homelessness Eviction Prevention Supplement (FHEPS) for Cash Assistance Recipients

The State FHEPS program is a rent supplement for families with children who receive Cash Assistance and have been evicted or are facing eviction, who lost their housing due to a domestic violence situation, or who have lost their housing because of health or safety issues. Formerly known as the Family Eviction Prevention Supplement (FEPS), the program has been expanded to include survivors of domestic violence and their children. The administration of this State program has transitioned from the State to the City. Potentially eligible families must have an active Cash Assistance case and will be screened for this benefit once an Emergency Grant and/or ongoing Cash Assistance application has been received. There is no dedicated State FHEPS application. Clients can only be considered for the program by applying for Cash/Emergency Assistance. Cash/Emergency Assistance applications are available on ACCESS HRA or at open Job Centers. State FHEPS information and documentation for providers, landlords and brokers can be accessed in multiple languages on our FHEPS page.

Updates on FHEPS

Increase in State FHEPS Rent Levels to Align with the HUD FMR and CityFHEPS: In December 2021, Governor Hochul signed legislation to align the State FHEPS rent levels with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's Fair Market rent levels similar to what the City has just done for CityFHEPS.

OTDA and HRA have an approved plan to raise the FHEPS rent levels to 108% of the FMR, aligning to the change the City made last year for CityFHEPS payments. The new plan is effective as of February 16th. Listed below are the new FHEPS Payment Standards. For more information and updated forms, visit our FHEPS page.

Number of Bedrooms All Utilities Included Without Cooking Gas & Electric With Cooking Gas Only With Electric Only No Utilities Included
0 $1,900 $1,802 $1,825 $1,877 $1,738
1 $1,945 $1,835 $1,861 $1,919 $1,760
2 $2,217 $2,078 $2,107 $2,188 $1,986
3 $2,805 $2,636 $2,669 $2,772 $2,529
4 $3,006 $2,809 $2,845 $2,970 $2,686
5 $3,457 $3,230 $3,270 $3,417 $3,092
6 $3,908 $3,681 $3,721 $3,868 $3,543
7 $4,359 $4,132 $4,172 $4,319 $3,994
8 $4,810 $4,583 $4,623 $4,770 $4,445
  • Pursuant to State waiver, an eviction proceeding is not required for FHEPS eligibility.
  • The State Hardship Declaration along with a rent demand or other written threat of eviction can be used in lieu of an eviction proceeding for FHEPS eligibility.
  • The signature waiver used for Cash Assistance can also be used for the FHEPS application.
  • The extenuating circumstances requirement, to permit arrears in excess of $9,000, is fulfilled by the Hardship Declaration.
  • A Policy Bulletin has been shared with staff providing guidance on these updated rules.

Hardship declaration forms are available to download in 20 languages on the New York Courts EEFPA webpage.

Right-to-Counsel/Universal Access Legal Services Progress Report

New York City's Right to Counsel law is implemented citywide, regardless of zip code. All tenants appearing in eviction proceedings in New York City Housing Court and in NYCHA termination proceedings have access to free legal services provided by nonprofit legal services organizations supported by HRA's Office of Civil Justice (OCJ). For more information, New Yorkers can visit OCJ's website at www.nyc.gov/rtc or call 311 and ask for the City's Tenant Helpline.

HRA's Office of Civil Justice has released the 2021 Right-to-Counsel/Universal Access to Legal Services Progress Report. Download the report.

Tenant and Property Owner Resources

The Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants (MOPT) and the Mayor's Public Engagement Unit's (PEU) Tenant Support Unit (TSU) have created an online tool to help renters in New York City navigate public and private resources that can stabilize their housing situation. A tenant seeking help will be taken through a series of questions and directed to the most useful resources based on their responses, including information about free legal services for tenants through HRA's Office of Civil Justice (OCJ). MOPT and PEU have included resources from multiple City agencies, Legal Services Providers, and Community-Based Organizations.

Legal Services Providers or Community-Based Organizations are encouraged to recommend additional resources using the online feedback form.

This page is updated regularly as new information is made available. Please visit the Tenant Protection site.

Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants – Resource Guides

The Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants has created resource guides for tenants and residential property owners to help those struggling as a result of financial hardship caused by the pandemic.

Download a Resource Guide for Residential Owners, The guide summarizes programs through which owners can access rental arrears, foreclosure protections, loans, and individualized assistance.

The Tenant Flyer provides useful information for tenants who may be struggling to pay rent or facing eviction. Download the flyer from the MOPT website.

CityFHEPS

Tenants who were rejected at renewal for their CityFHEPS for being over income and are still in the same unit but having issues with paying their rent can now resubmit their renewal application at the higher income threshold of 80% AMI.

The best way to return a completed and signed CityFHEPS Renewal Request form is to email it along with images of all supporting documents to RAPrenewals@hra.nyc.gov. Applicants can also mail the completed and signed form along with copies of all supporting documents to the Rental Assistance Program Unit, 109 E 16th Street, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10003.

About CityFHEPS

CityFHEPS is one of the programs that provides ongoing rental assistance. This is a benefit that is made available to clients who are in shelter or for some individuals facing eviction. Learn more about CityFHEPS eligibility for community tenants. Learn more about eligibility for households residing in shelter.

CityFHEPS information is available in additional languages.

In the community, Homebase and HRA's Adult Protective Services (APS) program can help eligible clients facing eviction obtain rental assistance. CityFHEPS letters are generated by the Homebase or APS program and given to the client by the client's case manager at the time they are created. Homebase locations are currently closed but are providing their services by phone. Clients can find the phone number for the Homebase location that serves their zip code on our website, and access information about Homebase in numerous languages.

In DHS shelter, most CityFHEPS shopping letters are generated automatically through a data match and issued to the client's shelter through the DHS CARES system. After a letter is generated, it is placed in the shelter Provider's folder in the S drive and in the CARES system. Providers are instructed to check these folders on a regular basis. Additionally, a shelter case manager can request a letter if they don't see a letter for their client in their folder. Usually, letters are generated within 24 hours after the request.

For existing CityFHEPS clients in shelter, we continue to operate the program with some modifications to our usual process:

  • For clients whose eligibility is based on employment, they will still be eligible to rent housing with City FHEPS even if they have reduced or lost work during the pandemic.
  • We will automatically reissue City FHEPS shopping letters as they expire. There is no need to reapply.
  • For apartment inspections, we have created a virtual viewing and walk-through process. Clients are also able to view apartments virtually.
  • HRA is still processing and issuing rental assistance checks.

For clients in the community in need of CityFHEPS assistance to maintain their current housing, HRA is temporarily waiving the requirement of a court action through January 15, 2022 or until the State eviction moratorium is lifted, whichever is later. In line with the waiver granted for FHEPS by the State, a written rent demand or written threat of eviction, combined with the hardship declaration, may be used in lieu of the court action when determining CityFHEPS eligibility.

CityFHEPS Processing Delays

In response to a question on our weekly call about delays in CityFHEPS being processed at shelters, DHS is able to provide training to any shelter sites if submissions are found to be incomplete or inaccurate, which can result in processing delays.

CityFHEPS Renewals

The best way clients can return their completed and signed CityFHEPS Renewal Request form is to email it along with images of all supporting documents to RAPrenewals@hra.nyc.gov. Clients can also mail the completed and signed form, along with copies of all supporting documents, to Rental Assistance Program Unit, 109 E 16th Street, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10003. The Rental Assistance Unit remains closed to the public at this time.

Household Income Limits for CityFHEPS Renewals

In accordance with DSS's recently published final rule, total household income limits for CityFHEPS renewals will now be based on Area Median Income (AMI) instead of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Previously, the maximum gross income for households was up to 250% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

Effective immediately, a household may have gross income up to 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) to qualify for a CityFHEPS renewal. View the 2021 New York City AMI Chart on the HPD website.

CityFHEPS New Payment Standards

New payment standards for approved CityFHEPS clients went into effect on September 1, 2021. Please see charts below.

Maximum Rent Amounts

Number of Bedrooms All Utilities Included Without Cooking Gas & Electric With Cooking Gas Only With Electric Only No Utilities Included
0 $1,900 $1,802 $1,825 $1,877 $1,738
1 $1,945 $1,835 $1,861 $1,919 $1,760
2 $2,217 $2,078 $2,107 $2,188 $1,986
3 $2,805 $2,636 $2,669 $2,772 $2,529
4 $3,006 $2,809 $2,845 $2,970 $2,686
5 $3,457 $3,230 $3,270 $3,417 $3,092
6 $3,908 $3,681 $3,721 $3,868 $3,543
7 $4,359 $4,132 $4,172 $4,319 $3,994
8 $4,810 $4,583 $4,623 $4,770 $4,445

DSS Utility Allowance Schedules (effective 9/1/2021)

Heating 0 Bedrooms 1 Bedroom 2 Bedrooms 3 Bedrooms 4 Bedrooms 5+ Bedrooms
Gas Heat $48 $55 $60 $65 $69 $74
Electric Heat $33 $38 $51 $64 $77 $89
Oil Heat $82 $96 $110 $124 $137 $151

Cooking 0 Bedrooms 1 Bedroom 2 Bedrooms 3 Bedrooms 4 Bedrooms 5+ Bedrooms
Cooking Gas $22 $25 $28 $31 $35 $38
Cooking Electric $9 $11 $16 $21 $26 $31


Hot Water 0 Bedrooms 1 Bedroom 2 Bedrooms 3 Bedrooms 4 Bedrooms 5+ Bedrooms
Gas Hot Water $14 $17 $23 $29 $34 $40
Electric Hot Water $23 $28 $36 $43 $51 $59
Oil Hot Water $25 $29 $42 $55 $68 $81

Other Electric 0 Bedrooms 1 Bedroom 2 Bedrooms 3 Bedrooms 4 Bedrooms 5+ Bedrooms
Other Electric $64 $72 $93 $115 $136 $157

CityFHEPS Employment Requirement

  • Families who currently have a CityFHEPS shopping letter due to employment status will be able to use their letters to find an apartment, regardless of loss of employment or reduction in hours.
  • Families who were working and would otherwise have become eligible for CityFHEPS, but for the economic disruption caused by COVID-19, can also receive a shopping letter by submitting their unemployment information to HRA and the Department of Homeless Services (DHS).

HRA will automatically reissue new CityFHEPS shopping letters to people in shelter who were previously eligible as their current letters expire.

Rent Freeze and Homeowner Tax Exemption Events for People with Disabilities/65+

New Yorkers with a disability or over the age of 65 may be eligible for the NYC Rent Freeze Program, which includes the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) Program and the Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) Program to help participants stay in affordable housing by freezing their rent.

To be eligible, individuals must:

  • Be 62 years old OR at least 18 years old and disabled
  • Be the primary tenant named on the lease/rent order or have been granted succession rights in a rent-controlled, rent-stabilized, or a rent-regulated hotel apartment;
  • Have a combined household income for all members of the household that is $50,000 or less; and
  • Spend more than one-third of your monthly household income on rent.

Visit this link to learn more and apply.

Interested individuals can speak to a PEU Specialist directly by calling the rent freeze and homeowner tax exemption hotline at (929) 252-7242.

NYCHA Rent Reduction

A household may qualify for a NYCHA rent reduction based on a rent hardship. NYCHA has simplified its Rent Hardship Policy to make it easier to reduce rent in NYCHA during the COVID-19 crisis.

NYCHA accepts applications through an Interim Recertification if an individual's hours at work have been cut or for loss of a job.

  • Households can now submit Interim Recertifications for Income Changes via a new simplified Self-Service Portal interface.
  • There is no waiting period to apply.
  • Until further notice, NYCHA residents may self-certify their income loss. This means that supporting documents such as pay stubs, a letter from the employer, and/or verification of unemployment benefits, which are usually required to submit the Interim Recertification, are not required at this time.
  • Households now have the ability to contact the Customer Contact Center (CCC) to make these requests over the phone. NYCHA CCC staff is equipped to answer questions related to the Rent Hardship policies put in place in response to the COVID-19 state of emergency. Households can call 718-707-7771 and select option 5.

Tenant Protection Information resources for tenants impacted by COVID-19 can be found at the Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants' webpage Information and Resources for NYC Tenants Impacted by COVID-19

Homeless Services

Subway Safety Plan Video

Since Mayor Adams implemented his Subway Safety Plan in February, the City has connected more than 1,300 people with shelter and with the services they deserve. In collaboration with the NYPD, DOHMH, MTA, and community-based providers, DSS is providing outreach services at the end-of-line stations every night and throughout the subway system every day. Learn more about these efforts in this video.

Child Care Options for Families Experiencing Homelessness

Families living in shelter or temporary housing may be eligible for childcare assistance, including vouchers and contracted care through DOE or ACS. This includes families who may be sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason ("double-up" situations).

Families living in shelter or temporary housing may apply for a child care voucher with ACS by:

  • filling out the Child Care Assistance Application Package;
  • submitting a Housing Questionnaire; and
  • submitting all other required documentation.

More information on child care vouchers can be found at this website nyc.gov/childcarevouchers.

Shelter Social Work staff are available to assist in the application process. Each shelter has an assigned childcare liaison tasked with ensuring that families are connected to childcare. There are also DOE staff who do enrollment workshops in shelter with families.

The Early Care & Education Programs for families experiencing homelessness flyer is available in English and various translated languages

Storage Allowance/Grant for Cash Assistance Recipients

An allowance for storage of furniture and personal belongings is available under client circumstances involving temporary shelter, eviction or relocation as long as eligibility for Cash Assistance or Emergency Assistance is met. Applicants and clients can apply for storage assistance through ACCESS HRA. Applicants for a storage allowance are no longer required to provide three (3) estimates before payments can be made, but the request must meet certain storage size and cost requirements. Information below outlines these allowable costs and sizes:

Household size Size 2020 Max Rate
1+ 5X5X4 – 100 cubic feet $52.02
1+ 5X5X8 – 200 cubic feet $117.38
1+ 5X10X8 – 400 cubic feet $154.04
2+, 3+ 5X15X8 – 600 cubic feet $203.62
4+, 5+ 10X10X8 – 800 cubic feet $245.32
6+ 10X15X8 – 1200 cubic feet $432.06

If a client has a lot of belongings they want to keep:

  • The outreach teams will assist clients through the HRA storage process - and DHS works closely w HRA to expedite and/or address any issues
  • The outreach teams try to work through all barriers to coming inside with a client, so if belongings are an issue, the teams will engage the client and work with them to consolidate or reorganize as necessary, as well as continue to work on identifying storage. Additional information can also be found in the Special Grant Document Guide.

Reasonable Accommodation Process for DHS Clients

DHS applicants and clients may request a reasonable accommodation at any point in time and do not need to use specific language (e.g., reasonable accommodation) in order to ask for help that they need because of a disability or medically-related condition. Applicants and clients may ask for help because of a disability from staff at any intake, assessment, or shelter location. They may complete the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form (DHS-13) and if they need assistance with completing the request form, staff can help. Please note that applicants and clients do not have to fill out the request form to request an accommodation; staff can fill out the request form on behalf of the client. Once a request is made, the request will be reviewed. If documentation is needed for a condition/need that is not obvious or apparent, supporting documentation will be needed from the client so that the request can be reviewed. Applicants and clients can use this process for any reasonable accommodation requests, including single room requests. Download the DHS Reasonable Accommodation Flyer.

Homeless Drop-In Centers

Drop-In Centers (DICs) are low-barrier programs specifically targeted toward unsheltered individuals who may be resistant to accepting other services, including traditional shelters. DICs are equipped with on-site services and staff who work closely with unsheltered New Yorkers to build trust, stabilize lives, and encourage further transition off the streets and into transitional and permanent housing. These facilities can often be the first step towards helping unsheltered New Yorkers back on the path to stability.

Drop-In Centers provide baseline services with the goal of meeting immediate needs for unsheltered New Yorkers, such as showers and meals. DICs also have on-site case management services and staff, providing an immediate option for individuals who want to transition off the streets.

New Yorkers who are experiencing unsheltered homelessness and residing on the streets and/or subways can visit Drop-In Centers to receive specialized services including:

  • Hot meals
  • Clothing, showers and laundry facilities
  • Counseling, case management services, and connections to medical care and mental health care as appropriate
  • Help finding a job or applying for benefits

There are DICs in each borough and all centers are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays.

Bronx

The Living Room
800 Barretto Street (at Lafayette Avenue)
By Subway: 6 train to Hunts Point Avenue
For more information, please contact: Noel Concepcion at 718-893-3606 or nconcepcion@bronxworks.org

The Haven
2640 Third Ave (between East 141 Street and East 142 Street)
By Subway: 6 train to 3 Ave/138th St Station

Brooklyn

Gathering Place
2402 Atlantic Avenue (between Sackman Street and Jardine Place)
By Subway: A train to Broadway Junction
Phone: 718-287-2600

Manhattan

Mainchance
120 East 32nd Street (between Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue)
By Subway: 6 train to 33rd Street
By Subway: 6 train to 33rd Street
Phone: 212-833-0680 Ext. 108
Email: admin@gcnssc.org

Olivieri Center for Homeless
257 West 30th Street (between 7th Avenue and 8th Avenue)
By Subway: A, C, E, 1, 2, or 3 train to 34th Street-Penn Station
Phone: 212-947-3211

Queens

Breaking Ground
100-32 Atlantic Avenue (at 102 Street)
By Subway: J/Z to 104th Street Station

Staten Island

Project Hospitality
150 Richmond Terrace (between Wall Street and Schuyler Street)
718-720-0079, ext. 10

Other DSS Services

HEAP Applications and Cooling Assistance Component

HEAP payments are expunged from client’s EBT cards after 90 days, if not accessed. The benefits may be reissued if the request is made by September 30th of the program year for which the benefits were issued. Clients are advised to call the conference line at 212-331-3126 to make this request.

HEAP Third Emergency Benefit Available

The 2021-2022 Regular HEAP benefit closed on April 29, 2022.

A third Emergency HEAP benefit will be available from May 2, 2022, through August 31, 2022, or until funds allocated to this component are exhausted, whichever occurs first. The eligibility criteria and the benefit amounts for the third Emergency benefit will be the same as the first and second Emergency benefit. Applicants must have exhausted, or have unavailable to them, the first or second Emergency benefit to be eligible for the third Emergency benefit. First, second, and third Emergency benefits cannot be issued concurrently.

HEAP Cooling Assistance Component

The HEAP Cooling Assistance Component opened up on May 2, 2022. Applicants can now apply for NYS HEAP Cooling using ACCESS HRA.

As a reminder, an applicant household member does NOT need to have a medical condition that is exacerbated by extreme heat to be eligible for HEAP Cooling Assistance.

Learn more about HEAP at otda.ny.gov/programs/heap. Homebound individuals can request HEAP information or a home visit at 212-331-3126.

Applying for HEAP

In response to questions received on our bi-weekly call, we are happy to announce that HEAP applications can now be submitted via fax using the fax number 212-387-1639.

As a reminder, to apply for HEAP, please contact 212-331-3126 or visit the ACCESS HRA website for instructions. HEAP applications are available for download. Please note, the HEAP application can be downloaded from ACCESS HRA, but cannot be submitted through ACCESS HRA at this time.

All HEAP applications need to be completed, signed by the applicant or their authorized representative and faxed to 212-387-1639, returned by mail, or dropped off at an HRA Job Center.

The completed application can be mailed back to HRA at:

NYC DSS/HRA/HEAP
PO Box 1401
Church Street Station
New York, NY 10008

Applicants can check on the status of a HEAP application by calling the State OTDA Helpline at 800-342-3009.

HEAP payments get expunged from a client’s EBT cards after 90 days, if not accessed. The benefits may be reissued if the request is made by September 30th of the program year for which the benefits were issued. Clients are advised to call the conference line at 212-331-3126 to make this request.

HEAP Application Assistance

While there is no need to come into an HRA Center to apply for HEAP, HRA has representatives providing HEAP application assistance to potential clients in six designated HRA Job Centers and in four community sites. These representatives provide assistance with completing applications and will forward applications to the HEAP central office for processing. Individuals applying for benefits can also drop off applications and documents at these locations.

The designated HRA sites are listed below (open Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm, with the exception of City holidays):

  • Waverly Job Center
    12 W. 14th Street
    4th floor
    New York, NY 10011
  • Coney Island Job Center
    3050 West 21st Street
    Brooklyn, NY 11214
  • Rider Job Center
    300 Canal Place
    Bronx, NY 10451
  • Crotona Job Center
    1910 Monterey Avenue
    5th floor
    Bronx, NY 10457
  • Queens Job Center
    32-20 Northern Boulevard
    (enter on Honeywell Street)
    2nd floor
    Long Island City, NY 11101
  • Richmond Job Center
    201 Bay Street
    2nd floor
    Staten Island, NY 10301

HRA representatives are also located in the following community locations (please note, hours of operation have been updated below):

  • Boro Park Jewish Community Council (Tuesday - Thursday 9 am – 5 pm)
    1310 46th Street
    Brooklyn, NY 11219
  • Margert Community Council (Mondays 9 am – 5 pm)
    325 Beach 37th
    Far Rockaway, NY 11691
  • Assemblyman Ron Kim's Office (Wednesdays and Thursdays 9 am – 5 pm)
    136-20 38th Avenue, Suite 10A
    Queens, NY 11354
  • State Senator Leroy Comrie's Office (Tuesdays and Thursdays 9 am – 5 pm)
    113-14 Farmer's Boulevard
    Queens, NY 11412

Voluntary Engagement – HRA Employment Services

As a reminder, HRA's Career Services and Customized Assistance Services (CAS) programs are offering voluntary employment services as of June 28, 2021. Clients may begin to receive letters and phone calls inviting them to participate in remote YouthPathways, CareerCompass and CareerAdvance services or WeCARE Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS). These are voluntary services. No negative actions will be taken against clients who cannot or choose not to participate.

As a reminder, HRA's Career Services and Customized Assistance Services (CAS) programs are offering voluntary employment services as of June 28, 2021. Clients may begin to receive letters and phone calls inviting them to participate in remote YouthPathways, CareerCompass, and CareerAdvance services or WeCARE Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS). These are voluntary services. No negative actions will be taken against clients who cannot or choose not to participate.

NYS Excluded Workers Fund Update – Impact of Funds on Benefit Eligibility

As we reported previously, the application process for the NYS Excluded Workers Fund closed as of October 8, 2021. Applicants who already submitted a complete application may still access their account to view the status or respond to requests for information. Accounts can be accessed on the EWF website. Funds for the program are limited and are being distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications are processed in the order they were received. There is no guarantee of available funding for any claims that were submitted after September 24, 2021. Additional information can be found on the EWF Frequently Asked Questions page.

We have received an update from the State regarding the impact of funds received under the Excluded Workers Fund (EWF) on Cash Assistance and HEAP benefits. For both benefits, the State has determined that the EWF monies received are considered a one-time lump sum payment and are therefore counted as a resource if they are received in the month of application for HEAP or CA. If the funds are received prior to application, the funds remaining at the time of application will be considered a resource, in accordance with regular income and resource rules.

As we reported previously, for SNAP benefits, one-time lump sum payments are excluded from consideration as income for in the month of receipt of lump sum and as a resource for 12 months following receipt of benefit. Any remaining balance from these payments could affect a household's eligibility after 12 months if a household subject to a resource test were to have a remaining balance from the payments and the remaining balance caused the household to exceed the resource limit for the benefit for which they were applying.

Assistance with Utility Arrears

In response to questions received on our weekly call, below are resources available to provide financial assistance with utility arrears. These are in addition to the resources we've previously reported (One Shot Deal - OSD, HEAP, Emergency Rental Assistance Program – ERAP).

  • Weatherization Assistance Program – Households with incomes at or below 60% of state median income are eligible to apply for a program to reduce their heating/cooling costs through energy efficiency measures (average savings in excess of 20%).
  • Project SHARE Heating Fund – If you meet the HEAP income requirements and have exhausted all other assistance programs, you could be eligible for this program designed to help low-income NYSEG customers.
  • Low Income Household Water Assistance Program – LIHWAP grants are available to states that received LIHEAP grants. This program provides assistance to low-income households with water and wastewater bills.
  • ConEdison EnergyShare – ConEd customers with an active disconnect notice may qualify for up to $200 toward their energy bill
  • Heartshare Human Services of New York provides a free diagnostic tool to help New Yorkers determine which energy assistance programs they are eligible for and provides directions on how to apply. Access the free tool.

HRA Office of Domestic Violence - COVID 19 Updates

The Safe Horizon Domestic Violence Hotline continues to operate 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. HRA's No Violence Again (NoVA) social workers are serving clients remotely who are referred by the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) when they apply for shelter or are clients who experience domestic violence (DV) in DHS shelter. The social workers assist DV survivors in accessing DV residential programs; provide crisis intervention and counseling; and provide referrals to non-residential DV programs. In addition, we are continuing to make referrals remotely to HRA's Domestic Violence Liaisons (DVLs) who provide DV assessments and crisis intervention so that DV survivors can safely apply for Cash Assistance and secure child support and work requirement waivers.

Office of Child Support Services Updates

The Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) updated the content on their website, www.nyc.gov/hra/ocss to include links to specific topics relevant to custodial and non-custodial parents (payments, debt reduction, employment programs), a frequently asked questions section, and other resources. Access their updated website here.

Referral Appointments

Referral appointments for Cash Assistance cases have resumed and negative case actions may be taken if the client doesn’t return the form and/or comply with their interview. OCSS staff will make two attempts to reach the client by telephone to conduct the interview.  

OCSS no longer restores Cash Assistance grants and Medicaid cases for clients who have a Child Support sanction.  Clients must comply with the child support program or they will be sanctioned.

NYC Family Courts

NYC Family Courts are now holding hearings through virtual methods. If a client is interested in receiving in-person services at the NYC Family Courts, they should contact the Family Court in the borough in which they reside. For more information, go to http://www.nycourts.gov/. Family Court is accepting all types of child support petitions, stipulated agreements, and motion requests through EDDS (the court’s electronic document delivery system on its website), by U.S. mail addressed to the appropriate county Family Court, or by telephoning 212-343-1122 (LIFT), 646-877-6050 or 332-215-5389 (OCSS), or 646-386-5299 (Family Court) for assistance. 

OCFS Child Care Payments Updated Policy

COVID Waivers

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services waivers in effect since March 16, 2020, to pay for absences and program closures due to COVID-19 ended as of March 31, 2022. Programs and providers will remain eligible for the same number of paid absences and program closures in place prior to March 2020. In accordance with state regulations, informal providers are also eligible to receive up to 24 paid absences for each child per annum.

Attendance Submission for Payment Policy

Effective July 1, 2022, child care attendance, including corrections to attendance, must be submitted by a child care provider or program within 6 months after the month of service to receive payment by ACS for subsidized children enrolled with the child care provider or program. If attendance is not submitted within those 6 months, the child care provider or program may forfeit payment for those services.

Learn more about child care payment policies here.

DSS Office of Ombudsman Contact Information

The DSS Office of the Ombudsman moved from the 20th Floor of 33 Beaver Street to the 8th Floor of 109 East 16th Street, where DSS provides client-facing services. Currently the Office of the Ombudsman at its new location remains closed due to the national health emergency. Ombudsman staff are working remotely.
Clients can reach the DSS Office of the Ombudsman as follows:

  • Send an email to Ombudsman@dss.nyc.gov.
  • Call the Shelter Hotline at 718-291-4141 or dial 311 to report shelter complaints or request repairs. These numbers are answered 24 hours, 7 days a week.
  • Call the Office of the Ombudsman at 800-994-6494, Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, to speak with a staff member.

While constituents always have the option of contacting DSS' Office of the Ombudsman directly, they may also submit a Constituent Grievance Form in writing to their shelter director or shelter case worker, as a way of presenting grievances concerning their receipt of DHS-funded services. The Office of the Ombudsman Brochure and the Constituent Grievance Form are available in numerous languages online.

IDNYC Updates

IDNYC is a free municipal ID card for all New Yorkers that not only provides government photo identification, but can serve as a library card, provides free memberships to more than 30 cultural institutions, qualifies an individual for discounts at health and wellness centers, and a multitude of other benefits. New Yorkers can also use the card to access City services, and apply for jobs when submitted with proof of work authorization. Certain financial institutions will accept IDNYC as identification to open a bank account.

IDNYC Renewals

IDNYC has made renewals easy and fast with the NEW and Improved Online Portal. For those who have no changes to make, renewing online takes 5 minutes or less. Even a renewal with a change of address can be done online, saving a trip to an enrollment center.

For those that need to make a change that requires an appointment, we have 15 convenient locations around the city open to the public. These locations require an appointment. New Yorkers can visit https://a069-idnyconlineportal.nyc.gov/IOPWeb/#/  or call 311 and say “IDNYC” to learn about the amazing benefits of the card, and for more information on how to enroll or renew.

Learn more about IDNYC here.

For additional information, access a shareable flyer about IDNYC renewal here.

Enhancements to IDNYC Online Portal

We have made the following enhancements to the Online IDNYC Portal to improve the user experience by providing clients with the ability to renew IDNYC cards and update some of their information online without having to visit an enrollment center. This new functionality allows users to:

  • Check their application status online
  • Create and manage in-center appointments
  • Submit applications online for renewal and/or update applications
  • Upload documents for online applications.

Health Resources

NYC Care Health Care Access Program

NYC Care is a health care access program that guarantees low-cost and no-cost services to New Yorkers who do not qualify for or cannot afford health insurance. All NYC Care services are provided through NYC Health + Hospitals.

NYC Care is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive initiative to guarantee health care for New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay.

Eligibility

  • You must live in the five boroughs of New York City
  • Must not qualify for any health insurance plan available in New York State
  • Not be able to afford health insurance based on government guidelines

To enroll: 646-NYC-CARE

More details are available at https://www.nyccare.nyc/about/ in multiple languages.

Federal COVID-19 Resource Website

The Biden administration has introduced covid.gov, a federal website meant to help Americans who are infected with the virus find the treatment they need quickly and at no cost. On the website, people can find locations to get tests and anti-viral pills, find the locations of vaccination sites and places to acquire high-quality masks; fill out a form to order eight free at-home coronavirus tests per household; view their community's risk level according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and get general information on Covid symptoms, treatment, testing and travel.

The website is available in English, Spanish and Chinese. The administration is also making all of these tools available over the phone through the national vaccine hotline at 800-232-0233 (TTY 888-720-7489), which supports over 150 languages.

COVID-19 Medication

Test-to-Treat” Pharmacy Program

A new federal Test to Treat program gives people a fast and easy way to get lifesaving treatment for COVID-19. In this program, people can get tested at Test to Treat sites. If they test positive and treatments are appropriate for them, they can get a prescription from a healthcare provider and have the prescription filled all in one location. People can also bring test results obtained from a home testing kit to Test to Treat sites and get evaluated by a healthcare provider for treatment.

People can use the COVID-19 Test to Treat Locator to find Test to Treat sites near them. A call center is also available at 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489) to get help in English, Spanish, and more than 150 other languages – 8:00 am to midnight ET, 7 days a week. The Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) is also available to specifically help people with disabilities access services. To get help, call 1-888-677-1199, Monday-Friday from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm ET or email DIAL@usaginganddisability.org.

Learn more about the program and download fact sheets in numerous languages here.

Home Delivered COVID Antiviral Medication

The City is providing free home delivery – as long as there is a prescription – of oral antiviral pills Paxlovid (made by Pfizer), and Molnupiravir (by Merck), via Alto Pharmacy, a medication provider which has partnered with the City. Since supplies of the new drugs are extremely limited, deliveries will be prioritized to those who test positive and are considered to be at higher risk for COVID.

Those who have tested positive and are otherwise qualified can visit Virtual ExpressCare for a phone or video visit, or call 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319) and press 9.

Resources for Providers: The Academy for Community Behavioral Health

The Academy for Community Behavioral Health – a partnership between the Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity, the Mayor's Office of Community Mental Health, and the CUNY School of Professional Studies – provides training, coaching, and technical assistance to community-based organizations and City and State agencies to build capacity and integrate proactive and culturally responsive behavioral health support into social services.

Free courses are open to staff at NYC community-based organizations and City and State agencies who fund or deliver services in NYC, with priority given to staff who serve the 33 TRIE neighborhoods identified by the New York City Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity (TRIE) as most impacted by COVID-19 or experiencing a high rate of health or other socioeconomic disparities.

Learn more or view and sign-up for upcoming courses.

Mental Health Resources

Mental Health For All

MentalHealthforAll.nyc.gov is a new comprehensive hub with helplines and services that offer a range of free, direct support to meet the needs of all New Yorkers, including young people, communities of color, and people with serious mental illness. Everyone has been affected in some way by this past year, and our mission is to ensure that every person has the support they need.

Visit MentaHealthforAll.nyc.gov to find mental health resources and substance misuse support.

You can contact NYC Well, a confidential 24/7 helpline, staffed by trained counselors, providing counseling and referrals to care in over 200 languages.

Call 888-NYC-WELL (888-692-9355)

Text "WELL" to 65173

Chat at NYC.gov/nycwell

Learn more about free mental health services accessible from home at Thrive NYC

Vaccination Records and Testing Apps

New Yorkers can meet vaccine and/or testing requirements with:

  • CDC Vaccination Card. A digital photo or photocopy of this card is also acceptable.
  • NYC Vaccination Record or other official immunization record, including from a health care provider. A digital photo or photocopy of this card is also acceptable. If you are unable to get this record, call 311.
  • NYC COVID Safe App. Android. iOS. This app can be used to upload a photo of a vaccine card and/or a recent COVID test. The vaccine card will stay on the app unless removed, but test results will disappear from the app after seven days.
  • CLEAR Health Pass. Android. iOS. Individuals can use the digital vaccine card option in the CLEAR app if they are age 18 or older and are fully vaccinated.
  • NYS Excelsior Pass (or Excelsior Pass Plus). Allows an individual to find and store proof of vaccination right on their phone with a QR code, or to print out their QR code instead. New York residents who were vaccinated out of State can learn more about their options at the Excelsior Pass Frequently Asked Questions. The app, called NYS Excelsior Pass Wallet, is available for download on iPhone and Android phones.

Vaccine Records

Individuals who are fully vaccinated but have lost their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or need verification of their vaccine status can request a copy of their COVID-19 vaccination record. Individuals cannot get a replacement COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card at this time, but can get an official record noting they have been vaccinated. Learn more and submit a request

Individuals can access all vaccine records, not just COVID 19 vaccines. Please visit the My Vaccine Record website.

Assistance for New Yorkers Who Test Positive for COVID

NYC Health & Hospitals Test & Trace Corps is providing special services for New Yorkers who test positive and their close contacts:

COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation Guidance Tool

The NYC Test & Trace Corps has expanded its COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation Guidance Tool to offer personalized guidance to New Yorkers who were exposed to or test positive for COVID-19. The COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation Guidance Tool will provide a mechanism for New Yorkers to navigate complex COVID-19 guidance based on their history of infection, date of exposure or positive test, symptoms and vaccination status. After answering a few short questions, users will receive quarantine or isolation guidance specific to their circumstances. In addition, they will be directed to appropriate resources on the Test & Trace Corps COVID-19 Resources page to connect them to whatever support they may need, including testing, a free hotel room or meal delivery to safely separate from others, medical treatment and assistance taking leave from work to quarantine or isolate. Learn more about the tool and access the tool.

AfterCare Program for Long COVID

The NYC Test & Trace Corps AfterCare program has launched a hotline for New Yorkers seeking information and resources to recover from Long COVID. New Yorkers who are suffering from or suspect they may have Long COVID can now call AfterCare Navigators directly. AfterCare Navigators are health outreach specialists with experience supporting people during their COVID infection and will assess patients for their specific health and social needs and connect them to Long COVID resources. AfterCare Navigators connect patients to holistic resources – including physical and mental health referrals, community support, and financial assistance – to address the various physical symptoms, as well as the social and economic impacts, that New Yorkers with Long COVID may experience.

New Yorkers can call 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319), select their preferred language, and press 4 to speak directly to an AfterCare navigator. Learn more on the AfterCare website and through AfterCare's Long COVID recovery guide.

Mask Mandates and Key to NYC Updates

Mask Updates

Children under the age of 5 will no longer be required to wear masks in schools and daycare settings starting Monday, June 13.

Nevertheless, New Yorkers of all ages are encouraged to electively wear masks indoors. Masks will continue to be available for children or school workers.

Mask Mandates and Key to NYC Updates

NYC's school mask mandate and the Key to NYC vaccination requirement for patronizing restaurants, bars, gyms, theaters, and other cultural institutions expired on March 7. The school mask mandate has also been lifted. Some public indoor businesses have chosen to keep their mask and vaccine requirements in place through at least the end of the month Masks will still be required on public transit, in health care settings, correctional facilities, and shelters. All other COVID-19 mandates will remain in effect. Under the rules, employees will still be required to be vaccinated unless they have received a reasonable accommodation from their employer.

Additionally, Mayor Adams released a new color-coded system that tracks COVID-19 alerts and keeps New York City residents apprised of the risks they face in New York City. This new system will better help New Yorkers understand the current level of COVID-19 risk and how they can best protect themselves and others based on the current risk. The system consists of four alert levels that outline precautions and recommended actions for individuals and government based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Community Burden Indicator.

Learn more about these changes and the new COVID-19 risk system

Private Sector Vaccine Requirement

The mayor has also announced a first-in-the-nation vaccine mandate for private-sector workers. The mandate, which will take effect on December 27th, will apply to roughly 184,000 businesses.

NYC Municipal Employees Vaccine Requirement

The City has issued an order to require vaccinations of all municipal workers (beyond the school employees and health care workers previously mandated). This will apply to approximately 160,000 City employees.

This mandate also extends to and covers employees of organizations with human services contracts, and replaces the COVID-Safe requirement (i.e. "vax or test"). Such employees no longer have the option to test weekly in lieu of vaccination.

No later than 5 pm on October 29th, City of NY employees and those of human service organizations with City contracts must submit proof to their employer that:

  1. they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19; or
  2. they have received a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, even if two weeks have not passed since they received the vaccine; or
  3. they have received the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

For more information, please see the Order of the Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene to Require COVID-19 Vaccination for City Employees and Certain City Contractors.

Mandate for Childcare & Early Intervention Programs

New York City has broadened its vaccine mandate to include all childcare and early intervention programs citywide. This expansion will impact a total of 102,000 employees, including 90,000 childcare program employees and 12,000 early intervention program employees. The deadline for employees in these positions to receive the first dose of their vaccination is December 20.

This mandate applies to the following types of child-care programs:

  • Child-care programs regulated under the NYC Health Code including group child-care centers and school-based programs.
  • Child-care programs authorized by the New York State (NYS) Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) including family daycare, group family daycare, school-age child-care, enrolled legally exempt group child-care programs.

The following staff are covered by the mandate:

  • All employees of the child-care program
  • Graduate, undergraduate or high school students placed by their educational institution at a child-care program as part of an academic program
  • Specialists providing support services, therapy, special education or other services at a child-care program
  • People employed by a contractor of a child-care program, including independent contractors, who work in-person at a location providing child-care services

Download a detailed overview/fact sheet of these requirements.
Additional information can be found on the DoH website.

Vaccine Mandates for Municipal Employees and Contractors

In response to questions received on our weekly call, a link to Frequently Asked Questions regarding the vaccine mandate for municipal employees and contractors can be deownloaded. All municipal employees are required to be vaccinated and to wear masks both in the workplace and when interacting with the public. Those employees who have been granted an exception to the vaccine mandate are required to undergo weekly COVID testing.

For the purposes of this vaccine mandate, a contracted employee and City contractor are, respectively, an individual or entity whose salary or funding is paid, in whole or part, by a human services contract with a New York City agency to perform work within New York City.

The linked FAQ above provides the following information about school bus drivers, which was one of the specific questions received on our weekly call. Although they are not covered by orders issued by the City, on September 2, 2021, the State Commissioner of Health issued a Determination on COVID Testing that requires all unvaccinated school bus drivers to be tested at least once a week.

Vaccination sites can be found at nyc.gov/vaccinefinder or by calling 877-VAX4-NYC. New Yorkers can also text their ZIP code to 438829 to receive information on vaccination sites near them, including what age groups can be served at each site.

There are now temporary sites in over 1,000 schools for children 5-11 years old. School sites can be found on the DOE website. Beginning on November 30, school vaccination sites at both public and charter schools will begin providing second doses of the vaccine for students who are eligible.

For more information about vaccines and the vaccines for children, families can go to nyc.gov/covidvaccine and download the Youth Sites Frequently Asked Questions, or call 212-COVID19 with questions about the vaccine.

COVID Vaccine Info and Resources

For all up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 Vaccines in NYC, please visit the NYC Health Vaccines webpage.

Booster Shots Updates

CDC has expanded eligibility of COVID-19 vaccine booster doses to everyone 5 years of age and older, recommending that children ages 5 through 11 years should receive a booster shot 5 months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series.

The Food and Drug Administration authorized second booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus vaccines for everyone 50 and older. People meeting that criteria can get the additional shot at least four months after their first booster. The agency also authorized a second booster for people 12 and older with certain immune deficiencies. Learn more on the FDA wesite.

These second booster doses are available at City-run vaccination sites as of March 31, 2022.

Employee Leave for Vaccines

New York law grants public and private employees time off to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Under the new law, employees are granted up to four hours of excused leave per injection.

Municipal employees for the City of NY are also granted up to four hours of excused leave to take their child to receive a vaccination.

Free Transportation to Vaccine Appointments for Seniors

Individuals who are able to book a vaccination appointment and are 65 or older, cannot use public or private transportation, and do not have anyone to take them to their vaccination appointment can access free of charge transportation options provided by the City of New York:

  • Individuals who use Access-a-Ride, Medicaid-provided, or Medicare-provided transportation can schedule rides as they normally would.
  • Individuals who do not use Access-a-Ride, Medicaid-provided or Medicare-provided transportation, and are 65+, homebound or have a disability and require ambulette transportation can schedule a free ride to their vaccination site through Hunter (Ambulette): 718-991-2211.
  • Individuals 65 or older who do not qualify for any of the above services can schedule a free cab ride through Curbed at 646-349-0289.

When scheduling transportation through these options, individuals should state that they are 65 or older, are going to be vaccinated in NYC, and that they understand that there is a contract with the City of New York for free transportation.

Appointments

The City is now offering in-home Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations to any City resident who requests one. Even if individuals who received their first dose through a different program can receive the second, third, or booster dose in-home. Request an in-home vaccine by going to nyc.gov/homevaccine or calling 877-VAX-4NYC.

Vaccination sites can be found at nyc.gov/vaccinefinder or by calling 877-VAX4-NYC. New Yorkers can also text their ZIP code to 438829 to receive information on vaccination sites near them, including what age groups can be served at each site.

Walk-up vaccines are available at most City-operated vaccination sites. To find the nearest walk-up site, or to schedule an appointment at a City-operated site, visit vaccinefinder.nyc.gov. NYC Mobile Vaccine Buses continue to provide vaccines in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens. The full schedule of mobile vaccine locations can be found at on.nyc.gov/walkupvax. Walk-ups are welcome and you can also book in advance through the Vax4NYC website.

NYC Health Post-COVID Clinics

Post-COVID care clinics bring together multidisciplinary teams (including pulmonology, cardiology, rehabilitation, neurology and mental health) to provide a comprehensive treatment approach to those suffering the long-term effects of COVID-19. Learn more about post-COVID clinics.

COVID-19 Testing

For all up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 testing in NYC, please visit the NYC Test and Trace homepage.

At-Home Testing

Third round of home tests

The Biden administration is opening CovidTests.gov for a third round of orders of at-home COVID tests. US households are now able to order "an additional eight free at-home tests at COVIDTests.gov—bringing the total number of free tests available to each household since the start of the program to 16.

Individuals who need help placing an order for at-home tests can call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489).

At-home COVID Testing for Immunocompromised Individuals

Free, at-home testing for COVID-19 is now available to all immunocompromised New Yorkers and those ages 65 and older. To schedule an in-home appointment, call 929-298-9400 between 9:00 AM and 7:00 p.m. (7 days a week). Learn more on the coronavirus website.

COVID-19 Tests for Medicare Part B Enrollees

The Biden-Harris Administration announced that Americans with Medicare Part B, including those enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, now have access to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved, authorized, or cleared over-the-counter COVID-19 tests at no cost. People with Medicare can get up to eight tests per calendar month from participating pharmacies and health care providers for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Learn more on the CMS website.

At-home COVID Tests Covered by Insurance

Beginning January 15, 2022, over-the-counter COVID-19 diagnostic test authorized, cleared, or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be covered by an individual's private health insurance or group health plan coverage. Insurance companies and health plans are required to cover 8 free over-the-counter at-home tests per covered individual per month. That means a family of four, all on the same plan, would be able to get up to 32 of these tests covered by their health plan per month. Tests can be obtained at pharmacies that accept the insurance of the individual(s).

PCR tests and rapid tests ordered or administered by a health provider will continue to be fully covered by insurance with no limit.

At this time, Americans on Medicare won't be able to get tests reimbursed through the federal insurance plan, but Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program plans are required to cover the cost of at-home tests fully. Those who are not on a covered insurance plan can receive free tests through the forthcoming federal website or from some local community centers and pharmacies.

Testing Sites

Free testing continues to be available at City-run sites throughout the five boroughs. The NYC Health and Hospitals COVID-19 Testing Sites page includes detailed information about all City-run mobile, brick-and-mortar, and micro testing sites across the five boroughs, including location, schedule, and types of testing offered. Locations of testing sites can also be accessed by texting "COVID TEST" to 855-48. These are no-cost testing sites open to all New Yorkers.

COVID-19 testing at most City-run sites is walk-in only. All New Yorkers are tested on a first-come, first-served basis. Some sites allow pre-registration, which will streamline check-in upon arrival.

To search for all nearby testing sites, including those not affiliated with the City, please visit the coronavirus website. NYC Test & Trace recommends calling these testing sites before visiting. Please note that some sites that are not City-run may charge for testing.

The Test-and-Trace Corps offers the COVID 19 Wait Times Dashboard, which displays estimated wait times for NYC Health + Hospitals COVID-19 testing locations. This wait time information is updated by site staff every two hours.

School Testing

Regular COVID-19 testing provides school communities and public health experts with valuable information. Every school will randomly test, on a weekly basis, students who have submitted consent for testing. Testing will be conducted at a threshold of ten percent per school. Families must provide consent in order for their child to participate in the in-school testing program, by either filling out the form in their NYC Schools Account or downloading the form online, filling it out and returning it to their child's school.

Schools are now distributing free, take-home COVID-19 rapid test kits to any student or any staff who exhibit COVID-like symptoms or have been in a classroom where a positive case has been identified. Beginning January 10, at-home test distribution includes 3-K and Pre-K students. Learn more on the Schools website.

COVID-19 Test Scams

There have been reports of scams that claim to provide at-home COVID-19 test kits in exchange for personal or medical information. Individuals should not give out Medicare Numbers for COVID-19 test kits.

As a reminder, each household in the U.S. can access four free COVID-19 at-home tests shipped directly to their home at no cost. Visit COVIDtests.gov to order tests or learn more about testing.

Call 800-MEDICARE to report suspected fraud.

ACCESS HRA & Provider Resources

Virtual ACCESS HRA Trainings

DSS is offering online ACCESS HRA training sessions. These are open to all CBOs and elected officials' offices. Please see the training descriptions below and register for an upcoming session.

  • The ACCESS HRA Overview provides a general overview of the three main components of ACCESS HRA: the client-facing website, the mobile application, and the provider portal case management tool.
  • The Provider Portal Webinar provides an in-depth overview of the ACCESS HRA Provider Portal. After completion, participants will be familiar with the features of the Provider Portal case management tool.
  • The ACCESS HRA Benefit Application Webinar walks through a simulated benefit application step-by-step. After completing this training, participants will be familiar with the ACCESS HRA application process for SNAP, Cash Assistance, and Emergency Assistance (One-Shot Deal) and with how to use the ACCESS HRA Mobile App to submit documents.

To request a dedicated training for your organization, please email DSSOutreach@dss.nyc.gov.

ACCESS HRA Child Support Mobile App

On January 29th, HRA's Office of Child Support Services launched a new ACCESS HRA Child Support App. Clients will be able to use the same login information for the ACCESS HRA client portal, ACCESS HRA Mobile app, and the new Child Support Mobile app.

  • With the new ACCESS HRA Child Support Mobile App, clients will now be able to complete and submit the following forms (documents can be uploaded using the app):
    • LDSS-5143 - Application for Child Support Services
    • LDSS-5145 - Referral for Child Support Services
    • LDSS-4882 - Application/Referral for Child Support Services
  • Clients can download this new mobile app in their Google Play or App Store by searching for "ACCESS HRA", "Child Support", or "OCSS". Learn more at nyc.gov/childsupportmobile.

ACCESS HRA System Updates

ACCESS HRA System Updates - Join Mailing List

Updates related specifically to ACCESS HRA, such as new releases, outages and scheduled maintenance, are shared periodically with our partners via e-mail. If you would like to receive these communications, please sign-up for our ACCESS HRA mailing list.

ACCESS HRA Multi-Factor Authentication Design Update

On February 21st, at the request of the City's Cyber Command, ACCESS HRA implemented a voluntary multi-factor authentication option. The multi-factor authentication option is available for clients to use to provide additional security for their ACCESS HRA accounts. If clients opt-in to this process by verifying a recovery email address, a code sent to that email address would be needed for any future linking to that identity from another ACCESS HRA account.

Overview

  • This new feature will allow AHRA users to set a Recovery Email Address voluntarily. An email address will not be a requirement to use ACCESS HRA.
  • Process Flow:
    • A user creates an ACCESS HRA account with either a username or an email address and connects to:
      • their SNAP or CA case using CIN or SSN and DOB or;
      • their Fair Fares case using CIN or SSN or Fair Fares ID and DOB
    • Users that enter a Recovery Email Address will be sent a verification code to that email address. When the code is entered into ACCESS HRA the recovery email address will be considered verified. The verified recovery email address will be connected to that user's ACCESS HRA account and CIN or SSN, Fair Fares ID and DOB. Users can choose "I'll do it this later" and continue without verifying the recovery email address.
    • If, at a later time, a different ACCESS HRA account logs in and tries to connect to the same CIN or SSN or Fair Fares ID and DOB, the user will be sent a verification code to the recovery email address (if one was provided) to confirm this action. If the user is unable to access the email, they can continue with "I did not get a code" and use "Cancel" to proceed without verifying the recovery email address.
    • For the linked users that do not have a verified recovery email address on file, the "Contact information" pop-up is displayed. Users can either use 'Update Now' to enter their recovery email address or do it 'Later'.

General Updates

The following ACCESS HRA updates went live on January 29, 2022:

  • In the ACCESS HRA client portal:
    • New security features were introduced to gather a recovery email address for client accounts. An email address is NOT required for use of ACCESS HRA. The additional security feature offered by using an email address for authentication is optional. Applications can be submitted through AHRA without an email address.
    • Updates within ACCESS HRA will direct clients to the New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

On January 29th, HRA's Office of Child Support Services launched a new ACCESS HRA Child Support App. Clients will be able to use the same login information for the ACCESS HRA client portal, ACCESS HRA Mobile app, and the new Child Support Mobile app.

  • With the new ACCESS HRA Child Support Mobile App, clients will now be able to complete and submit the following forms (documents can be uploaded using the app):
    • LDSS-5143 - Application for Child Support Services
    • LDSS-5145 - Referral for Child Support Services
    • LDSS-4882 - Application/Referral for Child Support Services
  • Clients can download this new mobile app in their Google Play or App Store by searching for "ACCESS HRA", "Child Support", or "OCSS". Learn more at nyc.gov/childsupportmobile.

Updates to the ACCESS HRA client portal include:

  • New security features were introduced to gather a recovery email address for client accounts (optional feature).
  • Updates within ACCESS HRA will direct clients to the New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

Visit the ACCESS HRA client portal

ACCESS HRA User Resources

In response to questions received on our last call, answers to frequently asked questions about the use of ACCESS HRA can be found on the ACCESS HRA FAQ page. Tutorials providing assistance with use of ACCESS HRA can be found on the ACCESS HRA Resources page. Download the ACCESS HRA User Guide.

PASSPort Procurement Portal

City contracting opportunities are now available through the City's digital procurement portal, PASSPort. Should your organization be interested in submitting a proposal, please be aware that the City requires all organizations to have a PASSPort account in order to submit responses to opportunities released in PASSPort. Create a PASSPort account. For simple step-by-step instructions on creating a PASSPort account, please refer to the one-page Account Creation Guide. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact help@mocs.nyc.gov.

“PASSPort Public” Portal for NYC Procurement

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Mayor’s Office of Contract Services (MOCS) Director Lisa M. Flores announced the beta launch of PASSPort Public, a data transparency portal that will give unprecedented insight into the city’s main procurement system. The city’s Procurement and Sourcing Solutions Portal (PASSPort) is the City of New York’s end-to-end digital procurement platform that manages every stage of the procurement process, from vendor enrollment to the solicitation of goods and services to contract registration.

PASSPort Public beta makes that current information available to city vendors, not-for-profits, and the public. For new and small businesses who face barriers to accessing the procurement process, in particular, the minority- and women-owned business enterprise (M/WBE) community, PASSPort Public beta represents a new window into city contracting.

Learn more about PASSPort Public here.

Ordering HRA Informational and Outreach Materials Online

DSS has launched a new online ordering system for community partners to order DSS materials for distribution to clients and the public (such as our informational flyers, brochures, the HRA guide to benefits, etc.). The new system, DSS Design and Print Ordering System, replaces the Central Intake Workflow system (CIWS) that had been in use. The new system is more user friendly and simplifies the ordering process with a catalog of materials for outreach from which to order. As was the case with CIWS, each CBO requires a requestor who will register through the online application located. Shipments will be delivered directly to the organization placing the order.

Instructions to register

  1. Go to the DSS Design and Print Ordering System.
  2. Once you are in the DSS Design and Print Ordering System, in the upper right-hand corner click on "log-in"
  3. Follow the instructions to register as a new user. When the registration is complete, you can begin ordering.

If you have any questions regarding the launch of the DSS Design and Print Ordering System, please contact Robert Stockwell, stockwellr@dss.nyc.gov. For questions about registering or other system issues, contact DPOSCustomerService@dss.nyc.gov.

ACCESS HRA and Document Upload

Clients applying for benefits should be opening a new account through ACCESS HRA and uploading documents through the ACCESS HRA mobile app. Watch a tutorial on how to submit documents using the ACCESS HRA mobile app.

We are aware of problems that users reported previously due to unprecedented demand and traffic on the system. We have implemented improvements to the system in order to handle the increased volume and we are continuing to monitor performance.

The ACCESS HRA document upload is the most effective way to submit documentations to HRA. As an alternative, clients can submit documents using SNAP and Job Center RightFax, but this should only be used if clients are unable to use ACCESS HRA as it takes longer to associate these documents with a case. The fax number for submitting documents to SNAP is 917-639-2544 and is listed on the HRA SNAP Benefits webpage. If faxing documents to a Job Center, find the contact information for your local center on the HRA Job Center Locations webpage.

Remember: When submitting by fax, the process of indexing the documents to the client's case number will take more time than a submission through ACCESS HRA.

Online ACCESS HRA Training

DSS is offering online ACCESS HRA training webinars. These are open to CBOs and elected officials' offices. Please see the training descriptions below and sign up online.

ACCESS HRA Overview Webinar

This webinar provides a general overview of the three main components of ACCESS HRA: the client-facing website, the mobile application, and the provider portal case management tool.

Provider Portal Webinar

This webinar provides an in-depth overview of the ACCESS HRA Provider Portal. After completion, participants will be familiar with the features of the Provider Portal case management tool.

ACCESS HRA Benefit Application Webinar

This webinar will simulate a mock benefit application. After completion, participants will be familiar with the ACCESS HRA benefit application process for SNAP, Cash Assistance and One-Shot Deal and using the ACCESS HRA Mobile App to submit documents.

ACCESS HRA Provider Portal

To enroll in the ACCESS HRA Provider Portal, email DSSoutreach@dss.nyc.gov to receive the onboarding package and information on how to become a Provider Portal Partner.

If your organization is already a member of the Provider Portal, but does not have an account, email DSSoutreach@dss.nyc.gov to receive your Organization ID and instructions on how to create an account.

Authorized Representative Forms for Clients

As a reminder, SNAP applications can be submitted by community organizations on behalf of clients by serving as an authorized representative for the client. Clients may authorize a representative to submit applications and communicate with HRA on their behalf.

To become an authorized representative, service providers will need to obtain a signed copy of the SNAP Authorized Representative Request Form and complete the application on the individual's behalf on ACCESS HRA by doing the following:

  1. Once you have the signed and completed authorization in hand, create an account for the individual at nyc.gov/accesshra by selecting a username (this could be a username or email address), password and answering one security question. If the individual does not have an e-mail address, please select the User Name option.
  2. During the course of completing the SNAP application, you will be asked to indicate if an Authorized Representative has been appointed to represent the individual. Indicate "Yes" and enter the information requested.
  3. At the end of the application, you will need to initial the application as the authorized representative, using your own initials.
  4. After submitting the SNAP application, immediately download the HRA Mobile Application. Using the same credentials that you used to login to the website, upload the completed and signed Authorized Representative Request Form referenced above, connecting it to the pending case. The form must be complete, signed and dated by both parties. If this step is not completed appropriately, the application will not be able to be processed. If you are unable to immediately link to the case, please note that application registration only occurs on business days and there is occasionally a delay in the Application Registration process, so the application may have not been registered yet. Please try again later.

It is recommended, but not required, that all applicants/providers use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Authorized Representative Request Form (LDSS-4942) when designating an authorized representative. However, if the Authorized Representative form cannot be completed and submitted, the applicant/provider may write a letter with the relevant information from the form to designate an authorized representative.

Electronic Authorization to Release Case Information

In response to requests from our community partners, we have created a fillable PDF of our third-party authorization form that can be signed digitally / electronically by clients using Adobe or other third-party software. Download the Electronic Authorization to Release Case Informatio form. Completed third-party authorization forms can be emailed to constituentaffairs@hra.nyc.gov or faxed to 212-331-4685.

Other Information/Resources

Department of Sanitation Employment Exam

The New York City Department of Sanitation is looking for Sanitation Workers! The filing period for the next Sanitation Worker exam will be open from June 8th until June 28th. Go to nyc.gov/dsny on June 8th to register for the exam.  

NYS Department of Labor (DOL) Events

NYS DOL Virtual Workshops
Each month, the NYS DOL offers dozens of virtual workshops for job seekers on everything from resume writing and networking to salary negotiation and the Civil Service system. The courses are free and provide valuable job search information and satisfy work search requirements. Visit the Career Center Event Calendar page to view workshops in June and to register for workshops.

Free Summer Meals Starts June 28

Breakfast and lunch will continue beyond the instructional school year, beginning on June 28th. The NYC Summer Meals Program is available throughout New York City to anyone ages 18 years old and under. Designated public schools, community pool centers, parks, and food trucks will be open for service. No registration, documentation, or ID is necessary to receive a free breakfast or lunch meal. Additional information will be provided in the coming weeks. Learn more about Summer Meals here.

Service Dates

  • Tuesday, June 28, 2022 – Friday, September 2, 2022
  • There is no service Monday, July 4, 2022

Service Times at Designated Public Schools

  • Breakfast: 8 AM–9:15 AM
  • Lunch 11 AM–1:15 PM

How To Find Locations

  • Find A Location Search (available mid-June)
  • Website: schools.nyc.gov/summermeals
  • Text: NYC Food to 304-304 (standard text messaging rates may apply)
  • Call: 311

SAHMSA Behavioral Health Recovery Innovation Challenge

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), announced its first-ever behavioral health Recovery Innovation Challenge. The goal of this challenge is to identify innovations developed by peer-run or community-based organizations, and entities that may partner with them—such as local or state governments, health systems, hospitals, or health plans—that advance recovery.

As part of this challenge, participants are encouraged to share details about the practices they are using to advance recovery and demonstrate how these practices have: 1) expanded upon SAMHSA’s definition of recovery, or 2) helped them overcome challenges in incorporating recovery into their behavioral health services or systems.

The deadline for submission is July 15, 2022. The purse prize is up to $400,000. The competition will offer up to 10 awards, depending on the judges’ overall scores. All submission materials must be submitted through the SAMHSA Recovery Innovation Challenge page on the challenge.gov website.

For more information, view SAMHSA’s Recovery Innovation Challenge webpage.

NYCHA Residents CUNY Scholarships

NYCHA’s Office of Resident Economic Empowerment & Sustainability announced that applications for college scholarships are now open. One-time $1,000 grants are awarded to eligible NYCHA residents who are pursuing undergraduate degrees at a City University of New York (CUNY) college.

All applications must be submitted online by July 14, 2022.

To apply, please use the NYCHA self-service portal and select NYCHA-CUNY Scholarship on the left-hand navigation pane. If an applicant does not already have access, they must create a username and password.

For a full list of scholarships and eligibility criteria, please visit here. Any questions or requests for additional information should be sent to scholarships@nycha.nyc.gov. Check out the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Safe in the City Grant Funding

The Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) offers year-round internship opportunities for young people identified as at risk and offers a "Safe in the City" grant to community-based organizations to encourage residents, leaders and organizations to promote peace in neighborhoods across the city. Learn more on the PeaceNYC website or apply online.

City Service Corps Applications

The City Service Corps, an AmeriCorps program operating through the Mayor's NYC Service office, is recruiting individuals to serve full-time from September 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023 at City agency host sites addressing community-related issues including disaster response, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, veterans & military families. Applications are open now at this link.

NYC Save for College Program Updates and Resources

Starting this school year, and every year going forward, kindergarten students enrolled in a New York City public school — including participating charter schools — automatically receive a scholarship account invested in a NY 529 Direct Plan, with an initial $100 from NYC Kids RISE, unless their families choose not to participate.

Families of NYC kindergarteners participating in the Save for College Program can go to nyckidsrise.org/activate to activate and view their kindergarteners' new NYC Scholarship Accounts and start earning more money for their educational futures.

The Save for College Program is a scholarship and savings platform that provides families, schools and communities with a way to work together to invest in and save for children's futures. The public-private-community partnership is designed to make college and career training more accessible and achievable for public school students, regardless of their income or immigration status.

Please use the NYC Kids RISE social media toolkit to learn more and spread the word!

CUNY College Now

For the 2022 summer semester, CUNY College Now will be offering a mix of online, hybrid, and in-person courses open to NYC public high school students entering grades 11 or 12 in September 2022. Participation is free. For more information, visit the CUNY website

NYC Speaks Survey Results and Community Conversations

NYC Speaks Releases Survey Results

62,000 New Yorkers responded to the "NYC Speaks" Survey on topics including public safety, housing, transit, mental health, broadband, workforce policy, child-care and climate change

Findings and community engagement events will culminate in Action Plan to inform the Adams administration, city policy.

Full results of the survey are available on the NYC Speaks Dashboard at nycspeaks.org/data where data points can be viewed by income, race, gender and more.

Community Conversations

Expanding on the work of "NYC Speaks" the City is holding conversations with communities across the five boroughs on various topics of concern to New Yorkers. Please sign up to discuss issues from the survey and other critical local issues. Register on the NYC Speaks website.

OMNY for Senior Citizen Reduced-Fare

OMNY, the MTA's new contactless fare payment system, will start to roll out for Senior Citizen Reduced-Fare customers (65+) this summer, either as a smartphone app, a contactless tap-and-go credit card, or a custom OMNY card that resembles a MetroCard. Sign up for reduced fare OMNY.

Lime Scooters Pilot in Bronx

DOT plans to expand its e-scooter pilot in the eastern Bronx this June, which will double the program's footprint and bring new micromobility options to more residents. Limited free access to a scooter is available for low income New Yorkers living in certain Bronx zip codes. Lime Access also provides access to Lime scooters for people without smartphones or credit cards. To qualify, an individual must demonstrate participation in an eligible local, state or federal public benefits program. Individuals interested in the Lime Access program can apply for the program online, and learn more about the program on the DOT website.

Museums for All Program for SNAP Recipients

Free admission at the Frick is now being offered to families and individuals receiving food assistance, identified by showing a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card; and each individual/families can bring up to three guests. This is being offered as part of the Museums for All initiative, where individuals with a New York SNAP EBT card are eligible for free or discounted admission to over 600 museums nationwide. Participating museums provide reduced admission, ranging from free to $3.00. One EBT card can be used to gain entry into any of these destinations for up to 4 individuals to take advantage of the free or reduced fee. Learn more about the Museums for All program

Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) for Broadband Internet

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) gives a discount on a household's monthly broadband internet service. If eligible, participating broadband providers will apply this discount to the household's broadband plan.

The City has created ACP flyers in 30 languages to download and use at events, programs, and more: ACP Flyers

In addition, DOE has information about the ACP tailored for schools.

If eligible for the ACP, the household can receive:

  • Up to a $30/month discount on internet service
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (recipient will need to pay a copay between $10 and $50)
  • Only one monthly service discount and one device discount is allowed per household

A household may be eligible if someone in the household falls under just one of these criteria :

  • If a household income is 200% or less than the federal poverty guideline (ex: at or less than $35,775 for a household of 4)
  • If an individual or their child or dependent participate in certain government assistance programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, WIC, or other programs
  • If an individual or their child or dependent already receives a Lifeline benefit
  • If a child in the household attend an NYC public school that participates in the free or reduced lunch program (all NYC public schools do!)
  • Note: An individual do not need to be a U.S. citizen to be eligible. If they do not have a Social Security Number (SSN), they can provide other documents.
  • Note: Additionally, customers are not required to submit to a credit check.

Learn more about if you qualify

How to Enroll

  1. Go to acpbenefit.org to submit an application or print out a mail-in application.
  2. Contact the preferred participating provider to select an eligible plan and have the discount applied to the household bill.

Some providers may have an alternative application to complete. Eligible households must both apply for the program and contact a participating provider to select a service plan.

Learn more about applying.

Ready Up NYC Webinar Series

"Ready Up NYC" is a monthly webinar series focused on providing preparedness tips to all New Yorkers. Upcoming Ready Up NYC webinars are as follows. Register for the seminar

  • June 23 - FDNY CPR Training

New Yorkers can also request a virtual Ready New York presentation for their organization, workplace, or house of worship.

Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs (OOPPs) and Trainings

To expand access to naloxone in NYC, organizations can register to become Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs (OOPPs). After registering with the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH), OOPPs can order overdose rescue kits at no cost from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) to give out to clients, patients, staff and community members.

To register and operate as an OOPP, organizations must:

  • Identify a Clinical Director and a Program Director:
    • A Clinical Director is a health care professional who can prescribe medication. The clinical director signs naloxone order forms and issues standing orders to allow designated staff at your organization to dispense naloxone under their medical license. They do not have to be employed by your organization. If you need help finding a clinical director, email naloxone@health.nyc.gov.
    • A Program Director is a staff member who is passionate about overdose education and can coordinate naloxone dispensing, manage inventory, and submit reports to the NYC Health Department and NYS DOH. Program Director responsibilities can be shared among organization staff.
  • Have key staff trained by the NYC Health Department to dispense naloxone.
  • Order supplies from the NYC Health Department (at no cost).
  • Assemble and give out overdose rescue kits.
  • Provide overdose response instruction with every overdose rescue kit dispensed. This instruction can be provided in five-minute conversations or in longer, more formal group settings.
  • Submit monthly reports to the NYC Health Department and quarterly reports to NYS DOH.

If your organization has questions about becoming an OOPP, email naloxone@health.nyc.gov. You can complete an OOPP application at nyoverdose.org.

The Office for Faith-Based and Community Partnerships (OFCP) Survey

The Office for Faith-Based and Community Partnerships (OFCP) works to build bridges among City government, diverse religious communities and nonprofit organizations to better serve all New Yorkers. OFCP will reflect the diversity of religion, race, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation of the New Yorkers it will serve. This survey was created as a tool to better understand and respond to the needs of faith-based leaders across the City. Access the survey.

Protections for Domestic Workers Under the New York City Human Rights Law

As of March 12, 2022, the New York City Human Rights Law's employment protections will apply to all domestic workers, including nannies, home care workers, housecleaners, and any other worker who is employed in a home providing childcare, eldercare, companionship, or housekeeping services in New York City. This ruling extends the coverage of the NYC Human Rights Law to full and part-time domestic workers, regardless of employer size - eliminating the typical 4-employee minimum for employer liability. More information and fact sheets in multiple languages are available on the CCHR website.

NYC Parks Department Lifeguard Positions Open

The Parks Department is hiring lifeguards to work five to six days each week during the summer. First-year lifeguards earn a minimum of $16 an hour, for a weekly salary of about $800. Parks' beaches open on Memorial Day weekend, and pools open in late June; both close the Sunday after Labor Day. To qualify, applicants must pass the Lifeguard Qualifying Test, be at least 16 years of age by the start of employment, have at least 20/30 vision in one eye and 20/40 in the other - without corrective lenses, and be able to swim 50 yards in 35 seconds or less, with proper form.

Family Development Credential (FDC) Program

The Spring 2022 Online Scholarship Applications are now available for both the Family Development Credential (FDC) Program for frontline staff; and the Family Development Credential Program for Leaders for supervisors, managers, and directors in social service organizations. These intensive professional development training opportunities emphasize empowerment and family support to deliver human services, education, and healthcare to individuals, youth, and families. Learn more about the Family Development Credential Program.

Reduced Fare Metrocards for Seniors and People with Disabilities – Online Application

Seniors and people with disabilities can now apply for a Reduced-Fare MetroCard online. Learn more about Reduced-Fare MetroCards.

As a reminder, this program is separate from the Fair Fares program.

NYC Paid Safe and Sick Leave

As a reminder, under New York City's Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law), covered employees have the right to use safe and sick leave for the care and treatment of themselves or a family member, to seek legal and social services assistance, and more.

The amended paid sick leave law also provides private-sector employees who are covered by the NYC Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law with an extra four hours of paid leave per child under the age of 18, per COVID-19 vaccine injection. The time can be used to take their child to get vaccinated or to care for their child if they experience any side effects from the vaccine. The leave is retroactive to November 2, the day when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved vaccines for children 5-11 years old.

Employers and employees can visit nyc.gov/workers or call 311 for more information about the NYC Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law, including the required Notice of Employee of Rights, which is available in 26 languages, one-page overviews for employers and employees, and the complaint form.

Small Business Recovery Grant Opportunities

Small Business Recovery Grant Program

On May 25, the Governor announced financial assistance for small businesses experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The small business recovery grant program will provide funding to small and micro businesses and small for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations to help them recover from the economic impact of the pandemic, with priority being given to socially and economically disadvantaged business owners, including minority- and women-owned business enterprises, service-disabled veteran-owned businesses and veteran-owned businesses, and businesses located in economically distressed communities. Grants will be for a minimum award of $5,000 and a maximum award of $50,000 and will be calculated based on a New York State business' annual gross receipts for 2019.

Please refer to nysmallbusinessrecovery.com which highlights the various resources available to support small businesses seeking pandemic relief. The website will be continuously updated as more details and funding information as it becomes available.

Small Business Services Survey

The NYC Dept of Small Business Services is surveying business owners to help them better understand the impact violations have on small businesses. See the Small Business Regulatory Survey. To share additional feedback email the NYC SBS Regulatory Reform at regreform@sbs.nyc.gov.

Accessibility Guides

The Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities has developed guidance to assist organizations in improving communication with the 11% of New Yorkers who identify as having a disability. The Accessible Documents Guide and Accessible Social Media Guide provide assistance to organizations to ensure communication is clear to those with disabilities.

Lifeline Telephone Discount

Lifeline is a federal program that offers a monthly discount on telephone service to qualified low-income customers. Consumers qualify for Lifeline by participating in certain federal or state assistance programs or by having income at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines. The Lifeline discount can be applied to either home telephone service (landline or cable) or wireless service and is available for only one line per household. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in conjunction with two national utilities associations, is working to share information about this program with low-income New Yorkers who may be eligible for this program for the first time. Get more information about Lifeline that is specific to New York.

Service providers and consumer advocates can learn more about the program at usac.org/lifeline.

Consumers can learn more about the program at LifelineSupport.org.

Family Justice Centers

NYC Family Justice Centers are available by phone to offer guidance on immediate safety planning, shelter assistance, legal consultations, counseling sessions, case management sessions, community resources, and more. Find borough-specific phone numbers and more information on the OCDV website.

Persons with hearing impairments can use TTY 866-604-5350 to speak with a counselor.

Student Loan Payment Pause Extended through August 31, 2022

The U.S. Department of Education extended the student loan payment pause through August 31, 2022.

The pause includes the following relief measures for eligible loans:

  • a suspension of loan payments
  • a 0% interest rate
  • stopped collections on defaulted loans

Borrowers are advised not to accept unexpected offers of financial aid or help (such as "pandemic grant" or "Biden loan forgiveness"). Learn how to avoid scams.

Resources for People with Disabilities

The Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities has created a resource website with information on Food/Supply Delivery, Social Security/Medicaid Benefits, Home Healthcare Services and more.

Health and Human Services Disability Information and Access Line

U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind national hotline to connect people with disabilities to information and services to improve access to COVID-19 vaccines. The newly established Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) is now available to help people with disabilities find vaccination locations in their communities, assist callers with making vaccination appointments, and connect callers to local services – such as accessible transportation – to overcome barriers to vaccination. The hotline can also provide information and resources to answer questions and address concerns about the vaccines and can connect callers to information and services that promote independent living and address fundamental needs, such as food, housing, and transportation. Learn more at acl.gov/dial or call 888-677-1199 from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM ET.

CBO Referrals from 311

In an effort to connect clients with organizations that can provide assistance with access to benefits and other support services, we are asking for any organizations interested in accepting referrals from 311 to contact us. If your organization is currently providing in-person or phone assistance to clients applying for HRA benefits, including providing assistance with ACCESS HRA and/or Fair Fares, and you are interested in accepting referrals from 311, please reach out to dssoutreach@dss.nyc.gov for more information or to share your information with 311.

HRA Office of Burial Services and FEMA Funeral Reimbursement

The NYC Dept of Health has created a fact sheet to navigate the process of applying for and receiving funeral assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Act (FEMA) and the NYC Human Resource Administration COVID-19 Burial Assistance. Download the flyer from the DOH website (available in additional languages).

HRA Office of Burial Services Information

The HRA Office of Burial Services (OBS), formerly the Burial Claims Unit, is now open for in-person services and to receive phone calls Monday – Friday from 9 AM – 5 PM. The office had previously only been open on Wednesdays due to COVID-19.

In-person: 33-28 Northern Blvd, 3rd Floor, Long Island City, NY 11101

By phone: 929-252-7731

Clients can find OBS information (including the Application for Burial Allowance [M-860w] fillable form, brochure, and frequently asked questions) online by:

  1. visiting www.nyc.gov/hra
  2. clicking on I Need Help
  3. selecting Burial Assistance and scrolling through the information on that page.

As a reminder, DSS/HRA issued an emergency rule regarding burial assistance:

  • 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. Clients can submit the application and supporting documents to the agency by email at BurialServices@hra.nyc.gov or by fax at 917-639-0476.

To be eligible for burial assistance from the HRA Office of Burial Services (OBS), State OTDA has directed that clients who meet the eligibility requirements for FEMA funeral assistance must explore and apply for the FEMA reimbursement. If a client hasn't received a decision from FEMA, they can submit an application for burial assistance from HRA and HRA will wait for FEMA's decision before processing the HRA burial assistance application. Learn more about the HRA Office of Burial Services (OBS) burial assistance

Additionally, if an applicant for or recipient of Temporary Assistance benefits receives FEMA funeral reimbursement and the funds remain available to them, these monies must be considered as a resource in initial or ongoing eligibility determination.

Information on burial assistance can be found on the HRA burial assistance web page. Download a brochure including a list of funeral homes that have agreed to work within the payment amounts for burial assistance.

FEMA Funeral Reimbursement Program

Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA is providing financial assistance to individuals with COVID-related funeral expenses.

Applicants must meet the following conditions to qualify to receive FEMA funded COVID-19 Funeral Assistance:

  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or "qualified alien" as defined by federal law. There is no requirement for the decedent to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or "qualified alien".
  • FEMA must be able to verify the applicant's identity.
  • Funeral expenses must be incurred by the applicant after January 20, 2020.
  • A medical examiner, coroner, or other certifier indicated that COVID-19 played a role in the decedent's death on the death certificate.
  • Applicants may also submit a statement or letter from the death certificate's certifying official, medical examiner or coroner that attributes the death to COVID-19 for fatalities that occurred between January 20, 2020, through May 16, 2020.
  • The death occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
  • No other applicant received Funeral Assistance funds for the same decedent.

To apply, individuals are directed to call the dedicated FEMA toll-free phone number at 844-684-6333 (TTY 800-462-7585) to complete a COVID-19 Funeral Assistance application with help from FEMA's representatives. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 9 am to 9 pm. Multilingual services are available. There is not an online application.

For more information, including a listing of what documentation an individual will need to have ready prior to calling, please visit the FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Frequently Asked Questions.