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, send an email OTDA at otda.sm.eisp.PEBT@otda.ny.gov.
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) 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 will receive 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)
If you filed your 2018 or 2019 taxes and included your banking information for direct deposit, the payment will be deposited in your bank account.
The deadline to submit banking information for direct deposit was Wednesday, May 13th. You can no longer request direct deposit. You will get payment by mail.
Deadline to Receive Stimulus Payment
If you will not receive an automatic payment, you must take action by November 21, 2020 to receive your stimulus payment this year.
You must register online for your payment by November 21, 2020, if you did not:
- file a 2019 federal tax return,
- get an Economic Impact Payment, or
- register for an Economic Impact Payment already
Submit your information using the "Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here" application.
Note: The income tax filing deadline was July 15, 2020. The deadline for filers who requested an extension to file their 2019 tax return was October 15, 2020.
Prepaid Debit Card
Some people will receive their Economic Impact 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 Economic Impact 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
Read "What You Need to Know About Economic Impact Payments."
Learn more about Economic Impact Payment Cards.
Check the status of your stimulus payment.
- 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.