Department of Social Services - Temporary & Emergency Services


Temporary Assistance

There are two main programs under Temporary Assistance. These are:

Family Assistance
Safety Net Assistance.

Family Assistance is a financial assistance program that provides cash assistance to needy families that include a minor child living with a parent/parents or a caretaker relative. (Family Assistance is also referred to as TANF - Temporary Assistance to Needy Families)

Safety Net Assistance (SNA) provides assistance to individuals and families who do not qualify for the Family Assistance program.
Temporary Assistance Fact Sheet pdf
Temporary Assistance Employment Services Fact Sheet pdf

Emergency Assistance

An emergency is an urgent need or situation that must be taken care of right away. There are three emergency assistance programs available to provide assistance for crisis situations:
   路    Emergency Assistance to Needy Families (EAF)
   路    Emergency Assistance to Adults (EAA)
   路    Emergency Safety Net Assistance (ESNA)
These programs are designed to meet one-time non-recurrent emergency situations. They are for families or individuals experiencing an emergency need. Such needs may include but are not limited to homelessness, fuel needs and utility shut offs.

Applicants for all assistance programs are subject to income and resource limit guidelines. Benefits vary depending on household size, available income and household expenses.

How Do You Apply?

Complete and submit an application either in person or by mail.
Most interviews are scheduled once the application is received.

You can walk-in to the Department of Social Services to be screened for emergencies and to schedule an appointment for an interview.

If you have an emergency you may be able to have an appointment the same day you are screened.

For further information call (518) 736-5600.

What to Expect When You Apply for Temporary Assistance?

You must complete a face to face interview with a Social Welfare Examiner to find out if you are eligible for emergency or ongoing Temporary Assistance for you and your family.

During your eligibility interview, a Social Welfare Examiner will go over your application with you to make sure it is complete and you will be asked to provide supporting documentation such as: (this is a partial list of possible required documentation)

   路   Birth certificates, Social Security Cards, Marriage Certificates
   路   Proof of residence and shelter expenses
   路   Fuel and utility expenses
   路   Proof of wages received (last 4 weeks usually)
   路   Proof of any other type of household income
   路   Proof of all resources such as: bank accounts, cars, stocks, bonds, etc.

What if I am disabled?

If you state you are disabled, you may be asked to sign a consent form to have your doctor complete a medical statement and/or you may be scheduled for an independent medical evaluation to determine your employment limitations.

What if my child's other parent is absent?

If you have a child whose parent(s) is absent, you may be referred to the Child Support Unit to seek support and/or establish paternity.

Is there help for alcohol and drug abuse?

All adult applicants and recipients of public assistance are screened to identify possible alcohol/drug abuse problems.

If you have a problem with alcohol or substance abuse or are suspected of having these issues you may be scheduled for an assessment of your treatment needs.

Can you help with Domestic Violence?

You will be asked to voluntarily complete a Domestic Violence screening form and information will be provided on available Domestic Violence services.

Those who voluntarily disclose the presence of domestic violence will be given the opportunity to meet with a Domestic Violence Liaison.

Will you help me to find a job?

If you are determined to be able to work and do not meet any exemption criteria, you will likely be required to participate in employment activities in order to receive benefits.

Applicants are referred to the department鈥檚 Employment Unit. In order to receive Temporary Assistance, adult individuals must engage in employment and/or assigned work related activities. The Employment Unit helps employable individuals prepare for and seek employment.

Individuals who are exempt from working or have limitations due to physical and/or psychological impairment are expected to participate in work-related activities as determined by a treating physician and/or psychiatrist.

These activities are intended to move individuals toward self-sufficiency.

Will I have to be Photographed?

Photographs and fingerprints will be taken.

This is required for Temporary Assistance by New York State regulations.

When will I know if I am eligible?

When most households file an application for Temporary Assistance, eligibility for SNAP and Medicaid is also determined and you will also be informed of your eligibility for these programs.

You have the right to a determination within 30 days of the filing date of your application.

If you are determined eligible under the Safety Net Program, there is a 45-day waiting period before the start of initial benefits.

Where Can I find more information?

Fulton County residents can find additional information by logging onto


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