Emergency Safety Net Assistance (ESNA)




Emergency Safety Net Assistance (ESNA) replaced Emergency Home Relief in 1997 when the New York State Welfare Reform Act eliminated the Home Relief program and replaced it with the Safety Net Assistance program.


ESNA is administered by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) and administered locally in NYC by the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA).


ESNA is financed by New York State and local funds.

Summary of Emergency Safety Net Assistance

Emergency Safety Net Assistance provides a one-time financial assistance grant to eligible single adults and childless couples facing an emergency, typically known as a one shot deal. In addition, households not eligible for Emergency Assistance to Families or Emergency Assistance to Adults, may be eligible for Emergency Safety Net Assistance to meet emergency needs.

The amount of the grant is determined on a case-by-case basis and is based on the type of emergency. To qualify for an ESNA grant, the applying household must be facing an emergency, and must meet citizenship/immigration, residency, and financial requirements, including having a household income that falls below 125% of the federal poverty level for the household size (the 125% standard does not apply in the case of fuel or utility-related emergencies or catastrophes). The household’s resources will be evaluated to determine if there are sufficient resources to meet the emergency.

Households in NYC may apply for an ESNA grant at any local Job Center. An eligibility interview will be conducted and the applicant will need to provide documentation to verify the household’s eligibility.