Overview of COVID-19 Impact

Cash Benefits: Changes Under COVID-19

T + T

Cash Assistance

SUMMARY

Eligibility requirements for Cash Assistance remain the same. However, the application process and certain program requirements have been modified under COVID-19. Changes include how to apply for Cash Assistance, replacement of in-person interviews with telephone interviews, and a temporary suspension of work rules.

The NYC Human Resource Administration (HRA) has published many of these changes at https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/important-information-about-covid-19-and-your-hra-benefits.page. Also see COVID-19 Community Updates at https://www.nyc.gov/site/hra/partners/community-updates.page.

If you are a Benefits Plus Online subscriber, for additional information on Cash Assistance, refer to Cash Benefits, Cash Assistance. For subscription information visit: https://bplc.cssny.org/home/subscription_optionsoptions.

APPLICATION AVENUES

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, http://www.nyc.gov/ACCESSHRA. 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.

Note

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: https://booknow.appointment-plus.com/9z3xxln8/?&service_id=39119.

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 February 28, 2023, to provide the option to apply via phone.

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): https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/locations/job-locations-and-service-centers.page.

Outside of NYC please contact your local department of social services https://otda.ny.gov/workingfamilies/dss.asp.

ELIGIBILITY INTERVIEWS

An eligibility interview is required for all applicants. These interviews can take place in-person or over the phone.
Screenings for drug/alcohol needs and domestic violence are also part of the interview.

RECERTIFICATIONS

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

Recertifications can be completed online via ACCESS HRA.

HOW COVID-19 CASH AID IMPACTS CASH ASSISTANCE

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

Emergency Assistance Grants (One-Shot Deals)

Note

Applicants for a One Shot Deal/Emergency Grant for rent arrears are no longer required to apply for ERAP to be eligible for a one shot deal.

However, if a household applied for ERAP before 11/14/2021, they must wait for a determination before HRA can provide assistance for the arrears.

For information on ERAP, refer to COVID-19 Resources, Overview of COVID-19 Impact,
Housing Programs: Changes Under COVID-19
.

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.

If you are a Benefits Plus Online 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 Online subscription information visit: https://bplc.cssny.org/home/subscription_options.

Note

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, Overview of COVID-19 Impact, Housing Programs: Changes Under COVID-19.

CHANGES IN THE APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The application process is the same path as those applying for Cash Assistance, see above.

HOW COVID-19 CASH AID IMPACTS EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE GRANTS

Click here for a chart on the impact of various COVID-19 programs.

Social Security Retirement, Disability and SSI Benefits

SUMMARY

Eligibility requirements for Social Security Retirement, Disability, Survivor and SSI benefits remain the same.

For additional updates, visit: https://www.ssa.gov/coronavirus/ for updates.

If you are a Benefits Plus Online subscriber, for additional information on Social Security programs, refer to :

  • Cash Benefits, Social Security Retirement & Survivors Insurance,
  • Cash Benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance, or
  • Cash Benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

For Benefits Plus Online subscription information visit: https://bplc.cssny.org/home/subscription_options.

SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICES

Social Security offices reopened to the public on April 7, 2022. SSA recommends that everyone that wants to solve an issue at their offices, to make an appointment in advance to avoid the long lines and wait.

Individuals should check SSA’s online field office locator for specific information about how to directly contact a local office. To locate the nearest local Social Security office, go to https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp.

In addition, individuals can call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). SSA is experiencing longer than normal wait times and asks the public to remain patient. SSA has changed their hours for the national number from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time to 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. local time.

MY SOCIAL SECURITY – ONLINE PORTAL

Applicants and current recipients are encouraged to use mySocial Security, an online platform where users can access Social Security online services. Account holders have the ability to apply for retirement, disability, and Medicare benefits, check the status of an application, check their Social Security statement, change address, verify reported earnings, estimate future benefits, request a replacement Social Security Card, and more.

To create a mySocial Security account, go to https://www.ssa.gov/signin. There is also a user guide available at https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10540.pdf.

For more information go to https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/what.html#h0

APPLY ONLINE

When possible, individuals are encouraged to apply for retirement, disability, and Medicare benefits online.

Applicants who are unable to use the online services should call the local Social Security office. Visit: https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp for phone numbers, or call the National Number, 800-772-1213.

HOW COVID-19 CASH AID IMPACTS SOCIAL SECURITY AND SSI BENEFITS

Click here for a chart on the impact of various COVID-19 programs.

Expired Programs

PANDEMIC EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE FUND (PEAF)

NYS was allotted funding, through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, to provide a one-time payment for the cost of diapers, the purchase of additional food, and the costs associated with relocation to victims of domestic violence through the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund (PEAF).

PEAF was available to families and individuals with an active Cash Assistance (CA, also known as Public Assistance) or SNAP case. All benefits from this program have been distributed.

For more information go to https://otda.ny.gov/policy/directives/2022/LCM/22-LCM-01.pdf.

NYS EXCLUDED WORKERS FUND

The 2021-2022 New York State budget created the Excluded Workers Fund (EWF), a $2.1 billion program designed to provide direct cash payments to workers who have suffered income loss due to the COVID-19 public health emergency but are ineligible for traditional Unemployment Insurance or other federal financial benefits due to their immigration status or other factors.

EWF allowed eligible workers to receive a payment of either $15,600 or $3,200 depending on the criteria the applicant is able to satisfy.

The New York State Department of Labor (DOL) administered the program.

NYS is no longer accepting applications for the EWF. However, existing applicants (prior to October 8th) can access their account and view their status or respond to requests.

Resources

COVID-19: ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENT

The third round of the Economic Impact Payments (EIP) was approved under the American Rescue Plan of 2021 which was passed and signed into law on March 11, 2021.

For more information on payments go to https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment-frequently-asked-questions#bank.

Summary of the Three Rounds of Payments

First Round Second Round Third Round
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by and signed into law on March 27, 2020.

Under the Act payments were up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child under 17 years old.
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act of 2021 was passed and signed into law on December 27, 2020

Under the Act, a second round of payment were made available. Payments were up to $600 per eligible family member, $1,200 for married filing joint returns and $600 per dependent child under 17.
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) of 2021 was passed and signed into law on March 11, 2021.

Under the Plan, a third round of payments were made available. Payments were up to $1,400 for individuals or $2,800 for married couples, plus an additional $1,400 for each dependent.

Unlike the prior rounds of EIP, families received a payment for all their dependents claimed on a tax return, not just their qualifying children under 17.

How the Economic Impact Payments (EIP) Impact Public Benefit Programs

Click here for a chart on the impact of various COVID-19 programs.