Cash Benefits

Cash Assistance: Changes under COVID-19

T + T


Eligibility requirements for Cash Assistance remains the same. During the height of the pandemic there were many federal and state waivers to provide greater flexibility in the application process. However, many of these waivers have expired. We have included the areas where waivers remain in place below.

The NYC Human Resource Administration (HRA) has published many of these changes at Also see COVID-19 Community Updates at

If you are a Benefits Plus Online subscriber, for additional information on Cash Assistance, refer to Cash Benefits, Cash Assistance. For subscription information visit:

Cash Assistance Application Procedures

These rules also applies to those applying for an emergency assistance grant.


There are many options in New York to apply for Cash Assistance.

Apply using a Paper Application

A paper application can be downloaded here. In NYC, request an application by mail by calling 311.

NYC residents can fax or drop off a paper application at the local Benefits Access Center in NYC.

Outside of NYC, find the local Department of Social Services online here, or call 1-800-342-3009 for location information.

Apply Online

Applicants in NYC are strongly encouraged to use NYC ACCESS HRA, ACCESS HRA is an online portal where Cash Assistance and Emergency Assistance applications may be completed and submitted. For help with creating an account and user guides, click here.

Required documentation can be submitted (uploaded) electronically via the HRA Mobile app found on Apple Store or Google Play.


HRA is offering training webinars on ACCESS HRA. These trainings are open to everyone. For a general overview of ACCESS HRA and the provider portal case management tool, visit:

Applicants outside NYC can apply for Cash Assistance online via myBenefits. Required documentation can be submitted (uploaded) electronically via NYDocSubmit mobile, found on Apple Store or Google Play.

Apply By Phone

There is a NYS waiver in place through November 30, 2022, to provide the option to apply via phone without requiring a signature on an application.

In NYC applicants can call the NYC HRA Infoline 718-557-1399 to request an appointment to apply by phone.

Apply In-Person

In-Person at a NYC local Benefits Access Center (BAC):

Outside of NYC please contact your local department of social services


Home Bound clients and individuals with disabilities who cannot or do not want to use NYC ACCESS HRA can request a Home Visit, which is available by calling Constituent Services: 212-331-4640, 311, or emailing

Staff conducting these home visits will adhere to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s guidelines and protocols for such visits.


An eligibility interview is required for all applicants. Applicants have the option of completing the interview in-person or over the phone. Screenings for drug/alcohol and domestic violence are also part of the interview.

Changes in Cash Assistance Recertification Procedures


There are no additional extensions for CA recertification. All households must recertify, or their case will be closed.

In NYC, recertifications can be completed online via ACCESS HRA.

Lost EBT Cards

Lost cards should be reported immediately to prevent fraudulent use. If an applicant/recipient has lost their EBT card, call the NYS OTDA at 888-328-6399 to cancel the card and request a replacement by mail.

Replacement by mail will take 5-7 days for households to receive their card. Cards can also be requested by setting up can online EBT account at
Clients can use this account to request a replacement card, check card balance, review transaction history, change a PIN, and more.

If there is an emergency and recipients must obtain a replacement card on the same day, they have the option to visit an Over the Counter (OTC) site. OTC site is open from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm. To pick up a replacement card the individual must have a valid photo ID and visit the Brooklyn OTC site at 227 Schermerhorn Street – Ground Floor.

How COVID-19 Cash Aid Impacts Cash Assistance

Click here to link to the impact of various COVID-19 programs and its impact.