Herkimer County

Temporary Assistance

Table Of Contents:

Temporary Assistance

Temporary Assistance is temporary help for needy adults and children. If an applicant is unable to work, can't find a job or his/her job does not pay enough, Temporary Assistance may be able to pay for some household expenses.

There are two major Temporary Assistance Programs:

1. Family Assistance (FA) provides cash assistance to eligible needy families that include a minor child living with a parent (including families where both parents are in the household) or a caretaker relative. It is operated under federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) guidelines. Under FA, eligible adults are limited to receiving benefits for a total of 60 months in their lifetime, including months of TANF-funded assistance granted in other states. Once this limit is reached, that adult and all members of his/her FA household are ineligible to receive any more FA benefits.

2. Safety Net Assistance (SNA) is available for individuals who are not eligible for other assistance programs.

Safety Net Assistance is for:

  • Single Adults
  • Childless Couples
  • Children living apart from any adult relative
  • Families of person refusing drug/alcohol screening, assessment of treatment
  • Person who have exceeded the 60-month limit on assistance
  • Aliens who are eligible for public assistance, but who are not eligible for federal reimbursement


Generally, individuals can receive Safety Net Assistance in cash for a maximum of two years in a lifetime. After that, if you are eligible of Safety Net Assistance, it will be provided in no-cash form, such as a two-party check or a voucher. In addition, non-cash SNA is provided for:

  • Families of persons abusing drugs or alcohol
  • Families of persons refusing drug/alcohol screening assessment or treatment

Eligibility Criteria:

Herkimer County residents who meet income and resource guidelines in accordance with Regulation Code Book 18 NY CRR and Social Services law.

Client Fees: None

Temporary Assistance

Q. What kind of expenses will Temporary Assistance help pay?
A. Food & Clothing costs, Rent or Mortgage costs, Heat, Gas/Electricity, Water and other Utilities, Other special needs such as: housing & househol-related items, catastrophic loss and pregnancy.

Q. How are emergencies handled?
A. If the department is told that someone has an emergency, an interview will be conducted that day and a decision will be given in writing to the applicant that same day.

An emergency is defined as an urgent need or a situation that has to be taken care of right away. Some examples of emergencies are:

  • Homeless
  • Little or no food
  • The landlord has told the applicant he/she must move or has given eviction papers
  • No fuel for heating in the cold weather period
  • Utilities are shut-off or a 72 hours disconnect notice has been given
  • The applicant or a family member has been beaten, abused or threatened with violence by a husband, wife, partner or other member of the household
  • Little or no income, few or no resources
  • Income and resources are less than the total of rent or mortgage plus heat, utilities and phone
  • Migrant or seasonal farm worker