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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


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 & household-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

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

SNAP, a program of the US Department of Agriculture, is provided to insure that the nutritional needs of income eligible persons are met.

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.

School Intervention Program

Child Preventive Services and the SIP Program provide supportive assessment and referral services to Prevent the placement of a child into foster care ,Return a child currently in foster care to his/her parents sooner than would otherwise be possible and to Prevent the re-placement of a child into foster care

Child Protective Services

Each county in New York State has a Child Protective Services (CPS) Unit, which investigates reports of suspected child abuse and neglect received from the New York State Child Abuse and Maltreatment Register (Hotline) located in Albany.

Child Support Services

The Child Support program provides custodial parents with assistance in obtaining financial support and medical insurance coverage for their children by locating parents, establishing paternity, establishing support orders and collecting and distributing support payments.

Foster Care

Foster Care is provided to children under the age of 18 who are in need of an alternate living arrangement.

Home Energy Assistance Program

In an effort to help income eligible individuals cope with higher fuel bills of winter, NYS participates in the Federal funded "Home Energy Assistance Program", commonly known as HEAP.

Indigent Burials

The Commissioner of Social Services is responsible for the burial of any Herkimer County resident that meets the criteria outlined in the Indigent Burial Policy adopted by the Herkimer County Legislature on September 11, 2019.

Managed Care

Herkimer County currently has a mandated Medicaid Managed Care program through three Medicaid Managed Care health plans.


Medical Assistance is help for people who cannot pay for all of their medical care.

Person in Need of Supervision (PINS) Diversion Program

The Family Support PINS Diversion Program began in February 2003 and is the point of entry for PINS Diversion services in Herkimer County. Services provided include a formal assessment, in home counseling, case management, family support, respite and mentoring for at-risk youth.

Adoption Services

Services range from assessing a child to securing an adoptive home, to assisting parent(s) under appropriate circumstances to surrender a child, to the recruitment and evaluation of prospective adoptive parents.

Adult Protective Services

Adult Protective Services is a service provided to individuals who are 18 years of age or older, Unable to protect his/her own interests due to lack of awareness or incompetence, Incapacitated due to a physical or mental impairment , In danger of being harmed or threatened with harm , Have an unmet need such as failure to receive adequate food, shelter, or clothing, Have no one willing or able to assist responsibility

Alternatives in Long Term Care Program

The Alternatives in Long Term Care Program provides a central access point to long term home care services for all Herkimer County residents with chronic long-term home care needs.

Child Care Assistance (Day Care)

Day care assistance is an income eligible program available to assist working parents. The Day Care Unit keeps a current listing of registered day care homes in Herkimer County, which is available to the general public.

Analyzing People, Brainstorming, Business Analyzing People Brainstorming Business

Employment Assistance

The goal of the Employment Unit is to help applicants and recipients of Temporary Assistance and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to achieve self-sufficiency.

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