Important EBT Downtime Notice

There will be a period of time on Sunday, September 21, 2014 when your Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card will not work for cash or food purchases, or to withdraw cash. This EBT downtime is expected to last from 12:01 a.m. to noon on Sunday, September 21, 2014. You will need to plan your cash and food purchases, and cash withdrawals accordingly. The downtime is necessary while New York State changes EBT vendors. After the conversion, your current EBT card will continue to work, and there is no need to replace your card. There will be no impact on your ability to access your medical benefits.

If you are in need of food assistance during the EBT downtime period, please visit your nearest food pantry or soup kitchen that is usually open on Sundays. If you are in New York City, you may call the NYC Hunger Hotline number (1-866-888-8777) for information on the location and hours of operation of food assistance sites. For information on food assistance sites outside New York City that will be open on Sunday, please call the OTDA hotline number at 1-800-342-3009.

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(Last updated: September 18, 2014, 12:05 PM)

New Yorkers Receiving SNAP and Temporary Assistance Are Urged to Plan Ahead This Weekend as Benefits Will Be Unavailable for a Short Period

A photo of a hand swiping a payment card through at a store All efforts being made to minimize impact to recipients - The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) has alerted Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients and Temporary Assistance recipients that this Sunday, September 21, 2014, from midnight until no later than noon that day, their benefits will be unavailable while a system change is made.

For the past several months, OTDA has been working closely with local leaders and advocates throughout this process so that as many people as possible in the affected communities are aware of the EBT system downtime. “Thousands of New Yorkers depend on these vital services to help support their families. That is why I have directed OTDA staff to expedite the EBT system change. I urge all recipients of these important benefits to do their shopping and make cash withdrawals now, so they will not be inconvenienced during the short switch over,” said OTDA Commissioner Kristin M. Proud.

This temporary interruption in services is necessary to allow a new contractor to take over operating the EBT system. During this time, SNAP recipients will not be able to make food purchases with their SNAP benefits using the EBT cards, and Temporary Assistance recipients will not be able to use their EBT cards to make purchases or withdraw cash. There will be no impact on Medicaid recipients’ ability to use their cards to access medical benefits. Read more…

Fathers Encouraged to attend Statewide 'Dads Take Your Child to School Day' on September 16

A father smiling as he takes his two children to school Schools, child care programs host fathers each year to promote positive outcomes for children - Two state agencies that serve New York’s families today encouraged fathers and significant male caregivers to participate in Dads Take Your Child to School Day on Tuesday, Sept. 16, an annual event that helps fathers across New York State engage in their children’s education.

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) partners with the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) each year, helping the grassroots movement grow from a few participating schools little over a decade ago to hundreds of schools, Head Start programs, and community partners, plus thousands of fathers and father figures. Educators and child care providers use Dads Take Your Child to School Day to get to know significant male caregivers and encourage their involvement throughout the school year. Read more…

New York Recognizes Nearly One Million Children Who Benefit from Child Support Services

A woman smiling with two children August Declared "Child Support Awareness Month" in New York State - The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) today recognized the nearly one million children who benefit from the State’s child support program. In addition, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued a proclamation declaring August “Child Support Awareness Month” in New York State.

OTDA’s child support program provides custodial parents of all income levels with assistance in obtaining financial support and medical insurance coverage for their children. The program helps by locating noncustodial parents, establishing paternity, establishing support orders, and collecting and distributing child support payments. Read more…