Public Assistance clients must participate in work, education, or training programs to get benefits.

The Human Resources Administration (HRA) refers clients to approved provider programs based on your individual situation. Programs are designed to connect you to a career that will lead to success and financial security.

If you are a public assistance client, you can get help with:

  • Job Placement
  • Work Study or Internship Programs
  • Community Service
  • Literacy and English as a Second Language programs
  • Skill-based Training Programs

If you were unable to participate during the COVID-19 pandemic, your case remained opened. In Fall 2023, HRA will resume mandatory in-person appointments, with limited exceptions, for clients who are required to take part in an employment service program. HRA or a program provider will contact you with more information.

Employment services providers will work closely with you to find opportunities that match your needs, skills, and career goals. You can get help with:

  • Exploring career options
  • Education and free training programs
  • Internships
  • Community Service opportunities
  • Connecting to childcare services

Employment services are provided through the following programs:

  • CareerCompass
  • CareerAdvance
  • YouthPathways
  • Business Link


Visit HRA's Career Services page.

Learn more about Business Link.

Register to receive job opening alerts through TXT-2-Work or by email.

By Phone

  • Agency: Human Resources Administration
  • Phone Number: (718) 557-1399
  • Business Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 8 AM - 5 PM; Wednesday 8 AM - 7 PM
  • Automated Assistance is available in English and Spanish 24 hours, 7 days a week. Staff is available through the automated phone system during business hours, except on City Holidays. Most languages are available through a staff person.

Public Assistance clients who are able to work are scheduled for an employment services appointment. Clients will get their appointment information in one of two ways:

  • a notice in the mail, or
  • a referral from their Benefits Access Center (formerly known as Job Center)

Clients are required to keep their appointments and fulfill program requirements for at least 30 hours each week. If you do not, your Cash Assistance benefits or SNAP (Food Stamps) benefits may be lowered or stopped.

If you cannot make an upcoming appointment, call the telephone number on your appointment notice before the appointment date. Your employment service provider can reschedule, if possible.

All Public Assistance applicants and participants must participate in employment activities unless they are exempted. 

Clients who claim a physical, or mental health barrier to employment are referred to the WeCARE (Wellness, Comprehensive Assessment, Rehabilitation, and Employment) program for assessment. WeCARE providers offer services to help clients reach self-sufficiency.

A Career Services provider can help you explore and connect to many free training and education opportunities.

Educational opportunities include:

  • High School Equivalency Programs
  • Certificate Programs
  • Two- and Four-Year College
  • Training Programs

HRA works closely with the City University of New York (CUNY) to provide opportunities to HRA clients.

CUNY Educate Develop Graduate Empower (EDGE) is a joint program designed to help HRA clients enrolled at CUNY schools with academic counseling, support, and employment services so they can succeed in their studies and graduate in a timely manner.

If you are signing up for training or education programs on your own, be sure to check the program details. Pay close attention to program costs, especially if the program is asking you to take out a loan, and graduation rates.

HRA cannot pay for tuition or fees for the programs you sign up for on your own.

HRA can help you fulfill your requirements, so you can continue to receive benefits. You can get help with transportation and child care expenses.

If you sign up on your own, be sure to let HRA or your provider know, and an HRA staff member will contact you.

Learn more about HRA's Career Training/Education programs.

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