Emergency assistance is available for rent arrears, utility arrears or any other type of emergency need. Eligibility requirements for Emergency Assistance grants remain the same. However, the application process and program requirements have been modified under COVID-19. Changes include the ability to apply for emergency assistance grants online via ACCESS HRA and the replacement of in-person interviews with telephone interviews.
If you are a Benefits Plus subscriber, for additional information on the emergency assistance programs, refer to
- Cash Benefits, Emergency Assistance to Families (EAF),
- Cash Benefits, Emergency Assistance to Adults (EAA), and
- Cash Benefits, Emergency Safety Net Assistance (ESNA).
For Benefits Plus subscription information visit: https://bplc.cssny.org/home/subscription_options.
While some households may be protected from evictions, all tenants are still responsible for rent and rent arrears. To learn more about eviction protections for tenants, please refer to COVID-19 Resources, Housing Programs & Services, Eviction Moratorium.
Changes in Eligibility Criteria
Emergency Assistance to Adults and Emergency Assistance to Families have not changed their eligibility criteria. However, the Emergency Safety Net Assistance has waived the income requirement for emergencies due to COVID-19, all other guidelines remain the same.
Changes in the Application Procedures
The application for emergency assistance remains the same; it is the LDSS-2921 and can be found at http://otda.ny.gov/programs/applications. For those in receipt of Cash Assistance the application is different, Form W-137A https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/hra/downloads/pdf/sgdg/housing_arrears/w_146e.pdf.
Typically, individuals applying for an emergency assistance grant would apply at an HRA Job Center. However, not all HRA Job Centers are open, go to https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/locations/job-locations-and-service-centers.page for available locations. Applicants/recipients should not visit a Job Center unless absolutely necessary.
For those applying for Emergency Assistance Grants in NYC, applicants are strongly encouraged to use ACCESS HRA, http://www.nyc.gov/ACCESSHRA. Required documentation can be submitted (uploaded) electronically via the HRA Mobile app found on Apple Store or Google Play.
ACCESS HRA is an online portal where Emergency Assistance Grant applications may be completed and submitted. During this pandemic, NYC applicants are strongly encouraged to use ACCESS HRA to apply for these benefits. For help with creating an account and user guides, click here.
Click here to sign up for a training on applying for emergency assistance (one shot deals.)
All in-person interviews for emergency assistance are waived and replaced with a telephone interview. A Job Center worker will call the applicant to complete the interview.
Center for Independence of the Disabled
Can assist with the application/recertification process and needed documentation.
How COVID-19 Cash Aid Impacts Emergency Assistance Grants
CORONAVIRUS ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENTS
The CARES Act economic impact payments (up to $1,200 per individual, $500 per qualifying child) are not countable for emergency assistance.
PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION
The $600 per week in Pandemic Unemployment Compensation will count as unearned income when determining eligibility for emergency assistance. (https://otda.ny.gov/policy/gis/2020/20DC035.pdf).
For more information on the expanded unemployment benefits refer to COVID-19 Resources, Expansion of Unemployment Insurance.