Coronavirus (COVID-19) Alert

The Human Resources Administration (HRA) is trying to eliminate, whenever possible, the need for clients to come in person to HRA offices.

You can use the ACCESS HRA website or the ACCESS HRA Mobile App from anywhere and at any time to submit requests to HRA. You can also submit documents using the Document Upload feature on the ACCESS HRA Mobile App.

New Applicants and Current Recipients for Cash Assistance

You can apply for Cash Assistance and/or apply for Emergency One-Time Assistance, as well as recertify for ongoing Cash Assistance benefits, using the ACCESS HRA website or the ACCESS HRA Mobile App. HRA will call you to complete your telephone eligibility interview. In-person interview appointments at Job Centers are not available at this time.

Get more information about COVID-19 and your HRA benefits.

Current Cash Assistance Recipients Who are Due to Recertify

If you receive a Cash Assistance recertification notice by mail or an ACCESS HRA alert that you need to recertify, you must submit your recertification or your benefits will stop. You can use ACCESS HRA or fax, mail, or a drop box at open centers to submit your recertification.  Make sure to include your correct phone number.  You can check it and update it on the ACCESS HRA website or the ACCESS HRA Mobile App.

Learn about the ways you can submit your recertification and supporting documents.

All Other Current Recipients

Cash Assistance 6-Month Mailer

Starting in July 2021, if you receive a Cash Assistance 6-month mailer, you must submit your signed and completed form by the due date on your notice or your case will close.  Please mail it back to the Human Resources Administration using the postage-paid envelope that was sent with the form.

Other Important Information for Current Recipients 

Your Cash Assistance case will stay open even if you:

  • Missed an HRA appointment, including HRA child support or child care services
  • Missed an HRA work or training assignment (even if you are or were sanctioned)

All scheduled in-person appointments have been cancelled until further notice. HRA will notify you by text, email and/or postal mail for any steps you must take in the future.

If you have child care forms to return, please upload them using the ACCESS HRA Mobile App or submit them at an open HRA Job Center in the borough where you live.

Reporting Changes on a Current Cash Assistance Case

Use ACCESS HRA to submit any of the following changes to your case: 

  • Update your residential address and add new housing expenses and utility expenses for your new address
  • Provide changes to your household income
  • Remove a household member from your case

You do not need to submit a new application to make these changes, but you will need to upload, fax or mail HRA documents that prove why the change(s) are needed.

Learn about the documents you can use and the ways to submit them.

Get more information about COVID-19 and your HRA benefits.

Keep Your Information Up-to-Date

Use the ACCESS HRA website or the ACCESS HRA Mobile App to view your case information and update your contact information. It's very important that HRA has your current contact information.

HRA Locations  

HRA is in the process of reopening locations, but with ACCESS HRA you can skip the trip and apply for SNAP, Cash Assistance, special grants and more online. If your needs cannot be met by ACCESS HRA, visit the HRA Locations page for more information on center openings.

EBT Cards

Applicants who have been approved for benefits will receive an EBT card in the mail. If your EBT card has not yet arrived, you can go to the Brooklyn Over-The-Counter (OTC) site for your permanent card, or an open HRA location for a temporary card that will have all benefits available until your EBT card arrives. Visit the HRA Center Locations website for more information.

Permanent EBT cards can only be sent via the mail or picked up at the Brooklyn OTC site. For more information, visit the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Card page.

Expanded SNAP Eligibility for College Students 

During the COVID-19 emergency, there are new rules for the SNAP program which will allow more college students to get benefits.  

  • If you are a student eligible to participate in a state or federal work-study program, you may now also be eligible for SNAP, even if you aren’t currently employed in work-study. 
  • If your “expected family contribution” (EFC*) is $0, and you meet other SNAP eligibility requirements, you are eligible for SNAP.  
    • *Your EFC is found in your Student Aid Report and it is calculated based on information provided in your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

These new SNAP eligibility rules will last until one month after the public health emergency from COVID-19 is officially lifted. If you are able to get benefits due to these new rules, your benefits will last until your next recertification even if the public health emergency is ended first.

SNAP ABAWD Work Requirements

Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) work requirements are currently suspended and have been since March 2020.  If you receive SNAP benefits as part of your Cash Assistance case, the SNAP portion of your case will not be affected if you do not comply with ABAWD work requirements.

Supplement for SNAP Households

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 provided funding for a supplemental benefit for SNAP households.  The supplemental benefit is issued during the last 2 weeks of each month that it is authorized.  The supplemental benefit has been authorized for August 2021.

From March 2020 through March 2021, the supplemental benefit was only issued to SNAP households that did not receive the maximum benefit for their household’s size.

In April 2021, the US Department of Agriculture changed its policy on the supplemental benefit.  All households with an active or closed SNAP case that receive SNAP benefits in a month when the supplemental benefit is authorized, even those receiving the maximum SNAP allotment, will receive a supplemental benefit of at least $95. This policy only affects SNAP benefits for April 2021 and any future months the supplemental benefit is issued. It is not retroactive and does not affect any months prior to April 2021. 

Households that previously received a supplement of less than $95, or no supplement, will receive a supplement of $95.  For households receiving supplements of more than $95, the supplement will continue to be the difference between the amount of SNAP benefits the household was issued and the maximum benefit amount allowed for the household size. 

Get answers to frequently asked questions about the supplement benefit.

Need something else?

You can find out if you are eligible for Public Assistance, also known as Cash Assistance. You can apply for cash benefits and participate in programs that prepare you for self-sufficiency. 

Eligible families may receive up to 60 months of federally funded Cash Assistance under the Temporary Aid to Needy Families Program (TANF). Single individuals without children and families who have already received Cash Assistance for 60 months may receive benefits under the New York State Safety Net Assistance Program.

Caregivers who are not foster parents but are financially responsible for children in their care may also be eligible for Cash Assistance.

Temporary benefits include:

  • A cash grant that includes a shelter portion
  • Utility assistance grants 
  • Additional money to assist with other expenses

You can learn more about eligibility and the application process from the Human Resources Administration (HRA). You can also find out your case status.

Learn more about Public Assistance (Cash Assistance).

The fastest and easiest way to apply for Cash Assistance is on the ACCESS HRA website or the ACCESS HRA Mobile App. You can also apply by fax, by mail or in person.

You will need to submit documents that prove your eligibility.  You can submit documents using the Document Upload feature of the ACCESS HRA Mobile App.

If you’re already receiving Cash Assistance, you can complete an online recertification application.

Online

Use ACCESS NYC to pre-screen for Cash Assistance and other programs and learn how to apply.

Find out what documents you need to apply.

In Person

You can get the location of the nearest Job Center.

Find a Job Center.

By Phone

  • Agency: Human Resources Administration
  • Phone Number: (718) 557-1399
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 8 AM - 5 PM
  • Staff is available through the automated phone system during business hours. Automated assistance is also available in Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian, and Spanish. Most languages are available through a staff person.

If you are an applicant or recipient of Cash Assistance and you must move, you may be eligible for help with: 

  • Moving expenses
  • Security deposit voucher
  • Broker’s fees
  • Temporary storage for furniture and personal belongings if you are being evicted from permanent housing or must move from temporary housing

All requests for moving and storage expenses can be made online or at an open Job Center. You can also learn about the request process by phone.

Online

Visit the ACCESS HRA website or use the ACCESS HRA Mobile App.

In Person

Find a Job Center.

By Phone

  • Agency: Human Resources Administration
  • Phone Number: (718) 557-1399
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 8 AM - 5 PM
  • Staff is available through the automated phone system during business hours. Automated assistance is also available in Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian, and Spanish. Most languages are available through a staff person.

Public Assistance clients can get case status information, request a budget letter, and request changes to certain information on their case online or by phone.

Examples of changes include:

  • Adding family members
  • Removing family members
  • Changing the amount of household income
  • Changing their residential address

Online

Visit the ACCESS HRA website or use the ACCESS HRA Mobile App.

By Phone

You can call HRA to request a budget letter or to request changes to your case.

  • Agency: Human Resources Administration
  • Phone Number: (718) 557-1399
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 8 AM - 5 PM
  • Staff is available through the automated phone system during business hours. Automated assistance is also available in Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian, and Spanish. Most languages are available through a staff person.

Be aware of a scam using texting to obtain your personal information.  The text might say you were chosen to receive food stamps or SNAP.  

If you are a New York City resident and do not know if a request for information about SNAP is real or not, contact HRA by phone.

Never share personal information with individuals or organizations that you do not know. Personal information includes your social security number, bank information, or SNAP electronic benefits transfer card or PIN number. If you think the text is a scam, do not reply at all.  Just delete the message.

If you gave your personal information using the link in the text, you should file an Identity Theft report.

  • Agency: Human Resources Administration
  • Phone Number: (718) 557-1399
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 8 AM - 5 PM
  • Staff is available through the automated phone system during business hours. Automated assistance is also available in Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian, and Spanish. Most languages are available through a staff person.

If you owe HRA money on a closed Public Assistance case, you can set up a payment plan by phone.

Call 311 for assistance.