Amid the recent pandemic, federal and state-funded aid programs are more important than ever. New York State, along with Governor Andrew Cuomo, provides a wide variety of benefit programs to residents.
I was interested to find out how much the state of New York spends on an annual basis for aid programs and who is eligible, so I performed thorough research and came to a few conclusions. Let’s take a look.
- Different Cash Assistance Programs in New York State
- How Does Family Assistance Work?
- What Is the Safety Net Assistance Program?
- What if Your Expenses Exceed the Cash Assistance Sum?
- An Overview of Public Benefits Programs
- What about Temporary Assistance?
- What about New York Unemployment Insurance?
- The New York State Health Insurance Program
- What Are the State Operating Funds for the Health Benefits Programs?
- How Much Does New York State Spend on Local Government Assistance?
Different Cash Assistance Programs in New York State
The state of New York offers extensive assistance programs, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Cash Assistance, Home Energy Assistance Program, and NYS Disability Insurance.
The Family Assistance Program that is set to provide monthly cash benefits for families with children. The idea is to help young or financially endangered parents pay for their living expenses.
This cash assistance program aims to help with costs of shelter, food, and common utilities. Much like with any benefits program, there is a set of criteria that the applicant has to meet.
The main one is that you are a permanent resident of New York. The second requirement is that, as a parent or relative, you are living with a minor child who is below 19 years of age.
Who Is Excluded?
One of the most important requirements is that you have not received cash assistance from the FA program within the last five years.
This requirement ensures that all eligible families fit the budget of this assistance program.
How Does Family Assistance Work?
Similar to Safety Net Assistance, which is a program for those who don’t meet the Family Assistance criteria, the FA program provides its approved applicants with financial help two times a month.
As mentioned above, it is meant to help New York residents with a minor child cover their living expenses.
After you have used the Family Assistance program for five years straight (60 months), you can’t use it any longer.
This is why the state provides its residents with Safety Net Assistance, which has a similar structure.
The Standard of Need
The sum of financial aid is determined by considering the so-called standard of need.
This includes the basic allowance (food and other), home energy allowance, shelter allowance, and costs of other needs (pregnancy, etc.).
Keep in mind that if the FA doesn’t cover your expenses, you can apply for the Family Eviction Prevention Supplement to provide for your living costs.
What Is the Safety Net Assistance Program?
As mentioned above, if you don’t meet the eligibility criteria for the FA program, then the Safety Net Assistance is the way to go.
Its structure resembles the Family Assistance program and comes in the form of electronic benefit transfers to a designated card.
Common applicants for SNA include single adults who don’t have a minor child.
The second group is couples without children, while the third and probably most important group is children who are living away from parents and relatives.
Substitute to the Family Assistance Program
Along with single adults and couples that don’t have a minor child, this is also a cash assistance program for those who have used the FA program for the past 60 months.
Additionally, non-citizens don’t meet the Family Assistance criteria.
What if Your Expenses Exceed the Cash Assistance Sum?
Both the FA and SNA programs are structured to help residents and certain non-citizens cover their living expenses.
Additionally, there is a set of programs that can help citizens of New York move out of shelters through the Living in Communities Rental Assistance Program.
It provides those living in a shelter with Still, there are cases in which your costs may exceed the sum that you are getting from the state.
In this case, you may want to apply for the Family Eviction Prevention Supplement. financial assistance to rent an apartment or a shared room.
This is a program that anyone who has an unexpected expense may apply for.
Apart from the PIG, there are several other grants available.
This includes those that cover storage fees, shelter arrears, restaurant allowance, burial expenses, camp fees, as well as replacement of furniture and clothing.
An Overview of Public Benefit Programs
Apart from the two cash assistance programs that are financed by the Fed and New York State, there are also electronic benefit transfers that help citizens pay for food at retail locations.
You can apply for this program along with the FA or SNA programs.
Similar to that is a Home Energy Assistance Program, which comes in the form of a direct payment or an electronic transfer benefit to cover electricity costs.
It is also suitable for those who want to upgrade their heating or air conditioning but have a limited budget.
The NYS Disability Insurance Program
For workers who suffer from a non-professional illness or were injured outside of their job position, there is the NYS Disability Insurance Program.
If you apply for it, you can still be eligible for Medicaid and Child Health Plus.
Additionally, anyone who is ill or disabled can apply for this accommodation.
What about Temporary Assistance?
Cash assistance programs, including the FA and other TANF-funded assistance programs, are temporary.
Image Source: The New York Community Trust
As I mentioned above, there is a limit to the all-cash assistance program, as it can only be used for 60 months in total.
To apply for one of the TANF-funded cash assistance programs, you need to have a child that is younger than 18 years old, be head of your household, be at least 18 years old, or be pregnant.
Filing an Application
The application process is quite simple and asks that you go to the Department of Social Services or a Job Center.
Because we are living in the times of the pandemic, New York State also offers the ability to apply via telephone at 1-800-342-3009.
What about New York Unemployment Insurance?
Among the different assistance programs, New York State also provides support for those who lost their job without it being their fault.
While some assistance programs come in the form of providing accommodation, NYUI offers financial help.
To be eligible for this program, the first requirement is that you are a resident of New York State and that you are unemployed.
It is also important that you have had a job in New York in the past 12 months and earned at least minimum wage.
How to Apply
The New York Unemployed Insurance Program is ideal for people who lost their job due to the pandemic.
To find out more about this program, you are best off visiting the official website of the Department of Labor.
Furthermore, if you are a resident outside of New York State, then you should call 1-877-358-5306 to receive the application instructions.
The New York State Health Insurance Program
In terms of the benefit programs that include health insurance, New York State offers a series of different options.
The first one is the NYSHIP, which is directed towards state and federal employees covering health insurance expenses for New Yorkers.
The second one is Medicaid Managed Care, which is structured to help residents who don’t have the funds to pay for high-quality medical care.
It has been effective for more than two decades, with 30% of the New York State budget being used to finance this project.
Child Health Plus
Child Health Plus is another assistance program that helps parents with minor children.
It is set to cover the expenses of healthcare for youngsters, including well-child care, immunization plans, diagnosis, and illness treatments.
What Are the State Operating Funds for Health Benefits Programs?
While the budget varies from year to year, the New York State trend is that more than 30% goes towards medical assistance.
The Department of Medical Assistance is predicted to have a budget of above $20 billion for the year 2022.
Another $17 million is designated for the Medicaid Inspector General and 600 million for the Medicaid Administration.
The functional total that is determined for health benefit programs and public care is set at $25 billion for the upcoming year.
Temporary and Disability Assistance
This is a huge sum in comparison to the functional total for social welfare, including Child and Family Services, which is set at only $3 billion.
Among the few products that I have reviewed in this article are the TNFA and Disability Benefit Programs.
New York State designates $1.5 billion for these, and an additional $1.2 billion for welfare assistance.
How Much Does New York State Spend on Local Government Assistance?
The sum that New York State spends for local government assistance is set at $660 million.
This includes $630 million for aid and incentives for municipalities.
Additionally, around $15 million is spent for miscellaneous financial assistance, and just around $200,000 goes towards small government assistance.
County Wide Shared Services Initiative
One of the best programs to help New York residents who live in smaller counties is the CWSSI, which New York State funds with around $600 million.
As a New York State resident, you are eligible for a wide variety of assistance programs, some of which come in the form of electronic benefit transfers and others in the form of direct payments.
Amid the pandemic stimulus payments, the application process is quite simple and can be done via telephone as long as you meet all of the eligibility criteria.