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The MySavings Family Income Savings Plan (ISP) Program helps homeless families build savings and use it to leave shelter and achieve self-sufficiency.

Your family may be required to participate if you live in a homeless shelter and an adult member of the family is employed.

If the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) determines that you are required to participate in the program, shelter staff will give you an enrollment notice that will show your estimated required savings amount. After you are enrolled, you must make monthly deposits into a savings account maintained for you by the Department of Social Services (DSS). The savings will be released to you after you exit shelter.

If you have any questions about eligibility or program requirements, speak with your case manager. They will work with you to budget, save, and prepare for your monthly deposits. They can also connect you financial counseling if you’re interested.

A month after you enroll in ISP and every month after that, you will get a MySavings Statement.

It will show:

  • How much you are required to save
  • Your previous savings balance
  • Total savings in your ISP account

Your monthly savings amount depends on your income and other factors.

  • Families who have employment income and a Cash Assistance case must save the amount stated on the ISP notice sent to you.
  • Families who do not have a Cash Assistance case will be required to save 30% of the total gross monthly household employment income (income before taxes and deductions)

The savings amount will be calculated based on the number of days you were in shelter in the previous month.

Because your savings amount is based on the income you have reported, it’s very important to tell your case manager about any changes to employment, income, and provide documentation.

Incorrect Statements

If you think there was an error, the amount is wrong, or the deposit you made isn’t showing on your statement, you should review it with your case manager. They will provide you with a Statement Inquiry form and help you understand and complete it.

You will receive a notice from the State with the amount you should contribute to the ISR program. If you disagree with the amount, you can request a Fair Hearing by calling the phone number listed on the notice.

Each month, you must mail a check or money order to the Department of Social Services (DSS) with your monthly balance using the pre-addressed, pre-paid envelope given to you by your case manager. Cash is not accepted.

DSS will deposit the money for you in a Bank of America account. You can’t deposit funds directly with the bank or give your deposit to your case manager or shelter.

If you already have a savings account and wish to use that instead of the DSS account, ask your case manager for information on how to use it to participate in the program.

Missed Deposits

If you miss a savings deposit or can’t save the full amount, the next month’s savings amount will increase by the amount you missed and will remain as outstanding until you catch up.

If you’re having difficulty saving the required amount each month because of significant ongoing expenses, you can request an adjustment. You can also request a one-time good cause adjustment due to unexpected incurred costs to reduce the total amount due.

The State has an Income Savings Requirement (ISR) for families who live in a shelter and who have income from a job.  When your family is ready to move out of the shelter, your shelter caseworker will help you get the money that was contributed to that account.

If you were living in a Department of Homeless Services (DHS) shelter and you left without notifying your caseworker, you can request an ISR Disbursement Form to apply to receive the money you contributed to your ISR account. 

When you receive the ISR Disbursement Form, you should complete it and return it to DHS. When your account balance is confirmed, the Human Resources Administration (HRA) will send you a check.  You should allow 4 weeks to receive a check for the money in your Income Savings Requirement account.

Call 311 for assistance.

You can request an income adjustment to your required savings because of significant, ongoing expenses, such as student loan payments, child support, or medical bills.

You can also request a one-time adjustment of your account balance due to a one-time unexpected cost.

Your case manager can provide you the adjustment request form. You’ll need to explain why you need an adjustment and provide supporting documents.

After DHS confirms that you have a balance in your Income Savings Requirement account and that you are no longer in a shelter, DHS will mail a ISR Disbursement Form to you to receive the balance in your account.

You should mail the completed form back to DHS at:

DHS Prevention
33 Beaver Street, 20th Floor
New York, NY 10004

You will receive your savings 30 to 45 days after leaving the shelter. The check will be mailed to the address that you indicated as your remittance address when you enrolled. You can update your remittance address at any time by speaking with your case manager.

You can’t withdraw funds directly from the bank.

If the Department of Homeless Services doesn’t have an address on file for you and you leave shelter for more than 30 days, they will hold your check and you will have to arrange to pick it up. Contact your case manager or the Central Income Savings Plan Unit (CISP) at CISP@dhs.nyc.gov.

Early Release

Your savings are usually released only after you leave shelter for more than 30 days. If you need your savings earlier to help you move out or meet another expense, you can request an early savings release.

Your case manager will provide you with a form. You must provide supporting documents and explain why you need your money before exiting shelter.