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) has completed issuing 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 for the 2019-20 school year. The state is no longer accepting inquiries about eligibility for P-EBT food benefits for the 2019-20 school year. However, if you have already sent your information, you will be notified by OTDA of the outcome of your review.
The Continuing Appropriations Act of 2021 and Other Extensions Act reauthorized the payment of P-EBT food benefits to households with children who would have received free school lunches under the National School Lunch Act. Children who receive free school lunches through the National School Lunch Program are eligible for P-EBT food benefits if their school has been operating with reduced in-person attendance due to COVID-19 during the 2020-21 school year.
Children eligible to receive P-EBT food benefits will receive their benefits for the 2020-21 school year in two payments:
- The first payment will be issued between now and the end of July and include P-EBT food benefits for each month between September 2020 and March 2021 that an eligible child qualified for food benefits.
- The second payment will be issued by the end of September and include P-EBT food benefits for each month between April and June 2021 that an eligible child qualified for food benefits.
Eligible children will receive P-EBT food benefits based on the number of days their school has reported that it was closed, or that in-person attendance was reduced due to COVID-19. There are two different amounts that an eligible child may receive:
- $82 in P-EBT food benefits for a month, if the child’s school reported that their in-person school attendance was reduced by 1 to 12 days during a month
- $132 in P-EBT food benefits for a month, if the child’s school reported that their in-person school attendance was reduced for more than 12 days during a month
Children whose schools reported that their in-person attendance was not reduced during a month due to COVID will not receive a benefit for that month.
If your family:
- Receives SNAP or TA, the benefit for each eligible child will be issued directly to the household’s existing EBT card.
- Received a P-EBT card for 2019-2020 benefits, the 2020-2021 benefits will be issued on the same P-EBT Food Benefit card.
- Doesn't receive SNAP or TA, but does receive Medicaid and received 2019-2020 benefits, the benefit will be issued for the 2020-21 school year on the same NYS Medicaid card.
- 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, you may contact the P-EBT Food Benefits Helpline.
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
Empire Pandemic Response Reimbursement Fund
The Empire Pandemic Response Reimbursement Fund program reimburses out-of-pocket child or dependent care, transportation, lodging and other qualifying expenses that eligible workers incurred while employed in New York State between March 1, 2020 through the date of application submission.
Qualifying applicants include first responders, health care workers and many multi-industry essential workers. Applicants must meet eligibility criteria and submit the required income documentation.
Eligible applicants will be awarded up to $1,000 to reimburse eligible out-of-pocket costs incurred while responding to COVID-19 that have not been reimbursed by another source. Awards will be made on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is exhausted.
The application is available online. You can get information and assistance by phone.
Learn more and apply for the Empire Pandemic Response Reimbursement Fund.
- Agency: New York State Office of Children and Family Services
- Division: Empire Pandemic Response Reimbursement Fund Hotline
- Phone Number: (844) 679-3369
- Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, eligible individuals and families will receive Economic Impact Payments (stimulus payments) based on income. The payment amount you receive depends on your income. Each round of stimulus payments has different income requirements.
To learn more, visit the Stimulus Payments page.
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.
On March 20, 2020, the office of Federal Student Aid began providing the following temporary relief on U.S. Department of Education (ED)-owned federal student loans: suspension of loan payments, stopped collections on defaulted loans, and a 0% interest rate.
On Jan. 20, 2021, the COVID-19 emergency relief measures were extended on ED-owned federal student loans through at least Sept. 30, 2021.
This temporary relief does not apply to private student loans.
You can get the latest updates online, including information on preparing for payments to resume.
Learn more about temporary relief on ED-owned federal student loans.