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How to Apply for Services

How do I find out if I’m eligible for benefits?

Visit www.myBenefits.ny.gov to find out about a number of work support programs that you may be eligible for by quickly entering some basic information about you and your family.

How do I apply for SSI/Social Security Disability?

The NYS OTDA Division of Disability Determinations (DDD) makes medical determinations on disability claims filed with the Social Security Administration’s Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income Disability programs.

To apply for Disability please contact your local Social Security Office: SSA Office Locator or phone 1-800-772-1213

You can also apply for disability benefits online using SSA Online Services.

How do I ask for a Fair Hearing?

You may apply electronically on the Fair Hearings website.

Telephone numbers for requesting a Fair Hearing are:
General Fair Hearings Information and to request a Fair Hearing: 1-800-342-3334 (Fax: 518-473-6735)
For New York City emergency Fair Hearings ONLY: 1-800-205-0110
For hearings regarding the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP): 1-800-342-3334
For the Hearing Impaired: New York Relay Service at 711. Please request that the operator call the Office of Administrative Hearings at 1 (877) 502-6155. Service at this number can only be provided to callers using TDD equipment.

Clients may also walk in and request a hearing at the following locations:

You can write to:
New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
Office of Administrative Hearings
P.O. Box 1930
Albany, NY 12201

Or for Fair Hearing requests concerning clinical managed care you can write to:
New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
Office of Administrative Hearings
P.O. Box 22023
Albany, NY 12201

How do I apply for Child Support Services?

Any custodial or noncustodial parent may apply for child support services by contacting their county child support office and completing the Application for Child Support Services.

Temporary assistance, safety net, and Title IV-E foster care applicants or recipients are provided child support services automatically and do not have to apply. Medicaid applicants who are applying for themselves and their children are also automatically provided services to establish paternity and obtain medical support. Medicaid applicants can also receive services to establish and/or enforce child support upon request.

There is no application fee, however the custodial parent may be charged a $25.00 service fee once a year. The fee applies only to parents who have never received TANF benefits and who have a case with more than $500 in support collected during the federal fiscal year (October 1—September 30 of the next year). The fee will continue to apply in each federal fiscal year. For more information, visit the service fee questions and answers page.

How do I apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)?

You can now apply for SNAP online, by mail, fax, or in person at your local Department of Social Services or SNAP office.

Apply Online - You may apply for SNAP using the internet if you live in New York State by going to myBenefits.ny.gov. After your application is filed, the local Department of Social Services or SNAP office will review your information, conduct an interview, and determine your household's eligibility for SNAP.

Apply by mail, fax or in person - You may apply by filing an application by mail, fax, or in person at your local Department of Social Services or SNAP office. The current SNAP Application and How to Complete the SNAP Application forms are available to print in English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Haitian-Creole, Korean and Russian. To find out the location of your nearest SNAP office, contact your local Department of Social Services.

In many locations throughout New York State, community organizations and nutrition outreach providers can help you get and complete an application for SNAP/Food Stamps. After your application is filed, the local Department of Social Services or SNAP office will review the application, conduct an interview, and determine your household's eligibility for SNAP. Please see the following lists for organizations that can assist you:

SCAM Alert

Scammers offer phony SNAP application assistance

Authorized Representatives

If you are experiencing a hardship, or are disabled, you may find it helpful to have someone to apply for you. If you would like to authorize someone, print the person's name, address and phone number on the signature page (page 5) of your Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) application or please fill out and sign the Food Stamp Program Authorized Representative Request Form and give the completed form to your worker or SNAP office.

Telephone Interviews

In many places in New York State, when you apply for SNAP someone from the county will contact you to conduct a phone interview to determine your household's eligibility for SNAP benefits. If you are working or have circumstances that make it hard for you to get to your local social services office for an interview after you have submitted your application, it may be possible to have the application interview done by telephone. If all the adults in your household are age 60 or older, or are disabled and have no earned income, you automatically qualify to have your application and recertification interviews done by phone, if you request it. Some other hardships that might make you eligible for a phone interview include cost or difficulty of traveling to and from the social services office, health problems (even temporary ones), difficulty getting time off from work or difficulty getting child care or dependent care. If you apply, contact your Local Department of Social Services Office to request a phone interview.

If you qualify for SNAP, you must receive them no later than 30 days from the date the local district received your application.

In certain instances, some people get SNAP benefits right away, or within a few days of applying. Even if the SNAP office cannot do a complete eligibility interview for you on the same day you file your application; you will be screened to see if you qualify for what is called "expedited" consideration. If your household has little or no money and needs help right away, you may qualify for "expedited" SNAP benefits. If you do, you must receive your initial SNAP benefit within five days. You will still have to complete the eligibility process, and supply all the required documentation at a later date.

For more information about how and where to apply, call 1-800-342-3009 press "1" for SNAP, or in New York City call 1-877-472-8411 or 311. For more information visit NYC Human Resources Administration.

How do I apply for Temporary Assistance?

To find out if you are eligible to receive Temporary Assistance, including help with an emergency, you need to file an application with your county Department of Social Services or, if you live in one of the five boroughs of New York City, with your local Job Center.

You can find the location of your local Department of Social Services online, or by calling the toll-free New York State Temporary Assistance Hotline at 1-800-342-3009.

You must fill out the application form and file it at your local department of Social Services. You should identify any emergency needs you may have at this time. If you have an emergency, you will be interviewed and told in writing about the decision on your emergency the same day you apply.

For Temporary Assistance, your interview should be within seven working days of your filing an application. You should be told within 30 days of the date you filed your application if your application for Family Assistance is approved or denied; be told within 45 days of the date you filed your application for Safety Net Assistance if your application is approved or denied.

You DO NOT have to be eligible for ongoing Temporary Assistance to receive Emergency Assistance.

How do I apply for the Home Energy Assistance Program?

Low-income New Yorkers may apply for a Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) regular benefit, when HEAP is open, by mail, in person at your local social services office, or on mybenefits.ny.gov.

If you did not receive HEAP in 2013-2014 or you have moved to a different county since last year’s application, you will need to be interviewed and provide documentation of identity, residence, income, and vendor relationship. A valid Social Security Number is also required for all household members.

Apply Online

When the HEAP application acceptance period is open, you may apply for HEAP online if your household resides outside of New York City by going to myBenefits.ny.gov. This application is for a regular HEAP benefit only. HEAP business rules allow 30 days to make a determination on this application. If your utilities are scheduled to be shut off, if you have less than a quarter (1/4) tank of fuel, less than a 10 day supply of fuel, have no heating fuel or if you own your home and your primary heating equipment is inoperable or unsafe and is in need of repair or replacement, you must call your Local Department of Social Services Office for further assistance.

Printable Application

When the HEAP application acceptance period is open, the HEAP application is available to download and print. Follow these instructions to download and print and submit an application:

Before submitting your application to a local county HEAP certifier, we recommend you read the following document:

Questions regarding the HEAP program should be directed to your HEAP Local District Contact or the NYS HEAP Hotline at 1-800-342-3009.

This page contains links to PDF documents. Download Acrobat Reader to view these documents.