If you have lost your job, you can claim unemployment insurance benefits.
New York State is waiving the 7-day waiting period for unemployment insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to coronavirus closures or quarantines.
To learn more and apply for benefits, visit the Unemployment Insurance page.
Cash and Expenses
Eligible families may receive up to 60 months of federally funded cash assistance under the Temporary Aid to Needy Families Program (TANF).
Single individuals without children and families who have already received cash assistance for 60 months may receive benefits under the New York State Safety Net Program.
Learn how to apply on the Public Assistance or Welfare page.
Emergency Cash Assistance
The "One Shot Deal" emergency assistance program helps people who can't meet an expense due to an unexpected situation or event. You may be eligible for an emergency cash grant. For more information, visit the One Shot Deal page.
If you already receive Cash Assistance, you can apply for a Special Grant using ACCESS HRA.
COVID-19 Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT)
As part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020, the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) will be administering payments of P-EBT food benefits to households with children who would have received free or reduced-price school meals under the National School Lunch Act.
All children receiving free or reduced-price school lunches are eligible to receive P-EBT food benefits for the days their school was closed due to COVID-19. This includes all NYC public school students and many private and Charter school students. The benefit applies regardless of immigration status.
Benefits will first be made available for eligible children living in households that receive SNAP (Food Stamps) or Temporary Assistance (TA). Payments for SNAP or TA will begin in early June 2020. For families that do not receive SNAP or TA, benefits will be issued starting in late June through September 2020.
$420 is the maximum amount of P-EBT benefits that one child could receive for the entire March through June period. There is no application needed to apply for benefits.
If your family:
- Receives SNAP or TA, the benefit for each eligible child will be issued directly to the household’s existing EBT card.
- Doesn't receive SNAP or TA, but does receive Medicaid, the benefit may be issued to your Medicaid Common Benefit Identification Card (CBIC) or to the CBIC of the oldest child in your household who has been certified for free or reduced-price school lunches.
- Doesn't receive SNAP or TA, and if you don't already have an active EBT Card, one will be mailed to you so you may access your child/children’s P-EBT food benefits. A card will be issued and mailed in each school-aged child’s name, not a parent’s or guardian’s name.
Learn more about P-EBT food benefits.
If you have not received a letter from OTDA and have further questions, use the P-EBT Contact Form to contact OTDA.
If you have already received a letter from OTDA notifying you that P-EBT food benefits have been issued to your household and you have questions, you may contact the P-EBT Food Benefits Helpline.
The P-EBT Food Benefits Helpline can only answer questions about the Pandemic EBT benefits. Visit the following pages instead if you need case assistance with:
- Agency: New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
- Division: P-EBT Food Benefit Helpline
- Phone Number: (833) 452-0096
- Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM
Funeral Financial Assistance
Low-income City residents may be eligible for financial assistance to meet funeral expenses for a family member who passed away. Learn more on the Funeral Financial Assistance page.
Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, eligible individuals and families will receive Economic Impact Payments (stimulus payments) based on income.
First Round of Stimulus Payments
Eligibility and Payment Amount
Eligible individuals and families received the first round of stimulus payments of up to $1,200 (for single filers) and $2,400 (for married couples filing jointly) plus an additional $500 for each dependent child under age 17.
To be eligible:
- You must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or resident alien.
- You must have a valid Social Security number (SSN).
- You must have Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) in 2019 that is under $99,000 (single filer) and $198,000 (joint filers).
- You cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return.
Inmates are eligible for the stimulus payment if they meet the eligibility guidelines.
You should have received an automatic payment if you:
- Filed your 2018 and/or 2019 tax return before April 13, 2020 and meet the income criteria.
- Do not file a tax return but receive:
- Veterans Affairs (VA) Compensation and Pension benefits
- Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits (includes retirement and Social Security Disability Income)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits
- Survivors benefits (VA, SSA, RRB)
The deadline to register online to receive a stimulus payment in 2020 was on November 21, 2020.
If you missed this deadline, you may still be eligible to receive a stimulus payment in 2021 if:
- You did not register online or by mail and did not get a payment in 2020, or
- You received a payment, but it wasn’t the full amount of the stimulus payment. The maximum credit is $1,200, or $2,400 if married filing jointly, plus $500 for each qualifying child.
When you file a 2020 Form 1040 or 1040SR, you may be eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit. Save your IRS letter Notice 1444 (Economic Impact Payment) with your 2020 tax records. You’ll need the amount of the payment in the letter when you file in 2021.
Learn more about the first round of stimulus payments.
Second Round of Stimulus Payments
Eligibility and Payment Amount
Eligible individuals and families will automatically receive a second stimulus payment of up to $600 for individuals or $1,200 for married couples, plus up to $600 for each qualifying child, as long as the child was under age 17 on December 31, 2019.
In general, to be eligible, you must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien who is not eligible to be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s income tax return.
You are eligible for the full amount of the stimulus payment if your adjusted gross income for 2019 is:
- $150,000 if married and filing a joint return or if filing as a qualifying widow or widower;
- $112,500 if filing as head of household; or
- $75,000 for eligible individuals using any other filing status
If your income is above those amounts, your stimulus payment will be reduced by 5% of the amount by which your income exceeds the eligible income limit.
If you are eligible, you do not have to take any action to receive this second payment.
The initial direct deposit payments began arriving on Tuesday, December 29 and continued into the following week. If you did not receive it by direct deposit, you should have received a check or debit card. Paper checks began to be mailed on Wednesday, December 30.
If you received the first stimulus payment on a debit card, you will either get a new debit card or a paper check for the second stimulus payment.
If you are eligible for a payment but did not receive one, you may claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on line 30 of your 2020 tax return. NYC Free Tax Prep can help eligible filers claim the credit.
Learn more about the second round of stimulus payments.
Prepaid Debit Card
Some people will receive their stimulus payment by prepaid debit card, instead of paper check. These Economic Impact Payment Cards arrive in a plain envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services. The Visa name will appear on the front of the card; the back of the card has the name of the issuing bank, MetaBank. The card will come with instructions on how to activate and use it.
Those who receive a stimulus payment by prepaid debit card can do the following without any fees:
- Make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted
- Get cash from in-network ATMs
- Transfer funds to their personal bank account
- Check their card balance online, by mobile app, or by phone
Learn more about Economic Impact Payment Cards.
- Agency: United States Department of the Treasury
- Division: Economic Impact Payment Hotline
- Phone Number: (800) 919-9835
- Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 7 AM - 7 PM
All utility companies have temporarily suspended gas, electric, and water shut-offs until further notice. Utility companies cannot shut off your service if your bill is unpaid, even if you received a shut-off notice that states your service will end.
You don't need to apply for Emergency Assistance (a One-Shot-Deal) if you are unable to pay your bill.
Low-income homeowners and renters can get help paying for utility and heating bills through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). Learn more on the Heat and Utility Bill Assistance page.
NYC Financial Empowerment Centers now provide free one-on-one professional, financial counseling over the phone. Counselors can provide financial guidance during COVID-19.
Learn more on the Financial Counseling page.