Apply For New York TANF

This page provides the New York TANF eligibility requirements. Applicants must meet both state and federal guidelines for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Individuals who apply for TANF must meet the monetary and non-monetary state guidelines, complete work-related activities, provide paternity information about the children in the household and report as required by the state.

New York residents who qualify for welfare are required to furnish information such as citizenship, income, resources, and age. Only household members who are eligible can receive New York welfare benefits. Read on for more information about applying for TANF. If you have additional questions or issues about this program, then contact TANF New York.

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.


What Proof Will I Need to Provide to My Worker?

When you are applying for, or getting, help for yourself or for someone else, you will be asked to provide proof of certain things, such as those listed below. Your worker will tell you which of these things you must provide. If you bring proof with you when you first come in to apply for assistance, you may be able to get help sooner.

If you drop documentation off at your local department of social services, you should ask for a receipt to prove what documentation you left. The receipt should have your name, the specific documentation that you dropped off, the time, date, county name and the name of the social services worker who provided the receipt.

If you cannot get the proof you need, ask your worker to help you. If the local department of social services already has proof of the things that do not change, such as your social security number, you do not need to provide them again.


What Proof Will I Need to Provide to My Worker


What You May Be Asked Examples of How to Prove It
Who You Are Photo ID, driver’s license, U.S. passport
Age of Each Applying Household Member Birth or baptismal certificate, hospital records, driver’s license
Where You Live Current rent receipt, mortgage records, statement from landlord
Household Composition/Size Statement from non-relative landlord , school records
Shelter Expenses Current rent receipt, current lease, mortgage records, property and school bills, telephone bills, tax records, sewer and water bills, fuel bills, utility bills
Social Security Numbers Social Security Card, official correspondence from SSA
Absent Parent Information Pay stubs, tax returns, Social security or VA records, monetary determination letters
Citizen or Current Alien Status Birth certificate, U. S. passport, military service records, naturalization certificate, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services documentation
Whether you are Drug/Alcohol Dependent Alcohol/drug screening and assessment which may include a drug test
Earned Income Current pay stubs, statement from employer, tax records, business records, statement from roomer or boarder of amount paid for lodging
Child Support or Alimony Statement from Court, statement from person paying support
Social Security Benefits Current benefit check or current award letter
Veteran’s Benefits Current benefit check, current award letter, official correspondence from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Unemployment Insurance Benefits Official correspondence from New York State Department of Labor
Interest and Dividends Statement from bank, credit union or broker
Educational Grants and Loans Statement from school or bank, current award letter
Worker’s Compensation Current award letter or check stub
Bank Accounts Bank records or credit union records
Checking Accounts Bank statements
Burial Trust or Fund Bank statement or copy of burial agreement
Burial Plot or Agreement Statement from cemetery or funeral director, copy of burial plot deed
Life Insurance Insurance policy
Real Estate Other Than Where You Live Deed, appraisal/estimate of current value by real estate broker
Motor Vehicle Registration, title of ownership, financing information
Stocks and Bonds Stock certificates, bonds
School Attendance of Those Attending School School records, statement from school
Health Insurance Insurance policy, insurance card, statement from provider of coverage, Medicare card
Unpaid Rent or Utilities Copy of each bill, statement from landlord or utility company
Paid or Unpaid Medical Bills Copy of each bill and proof of payment if a paid bill
Noncustodial Parent Death certificate, survivor’s benefits, divorce papers, veteran’s assistance or military records
Disabled/Incapacitated/Pregnant Statement from medical professional, proof of Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits
Other Expenses/Dependent Care Expenses Cancelled checks or receipts, statement from child care provider, court order, statement from aide or attendant

The documents listed above are the most commonly used. This list is not complete because there are other documents you can use.

Note: For most sources of income, Temporary Assistance workers must calculate your ongoing benefits using "gross" levels of earned income and unearned income, rather than what you may actually take home after mandatory or voluntary deductions or adjustments.

Sometimes your worker will ask you to explore the use of "community resources," which may include your parents, other family members, friends, religious organizations, social organizations where you live, etc., that may meet your need or needs in lieu of, or in addition to, Temporary Assistance. If it is determined that these resources are available to you, you must explore and make use of all them to help meet your needs, including emergency needs, as a condition of eligibility for Temporary Assistance, or provide your worker with good cause for not doing so.


Is there a limit on how long I can get TANF-Funded Temporary Assistance?

There is a 60-month limit on the receipt of Family Assistance benefits funded under the federal TANF program (the former Aid to Families with Dependent Children (ADC) program), some Safety Net Assistance (SNA) or the Child Assistance Program (CAP). Additionally, a payment for regular maintenance needs under the Emergency Assistance to Families with Children (EAF) for the month of December 1996, or any month thereafter, are included in the 60-month count. Participants in CAP are also restricted to the 60-month lifetime limit.

Additionally, cash Temporary Assistance in New York State is limited to a cumulative period of 60 months for any adult. No cash assistance (FA or SNA) benefit is granted to a family that contains an adult who has received a combined total of 60-month benefits under FA or cash SNA.


New York Employment Search

Part of the requirement, while on the TANF program, is finding a job to help sustain your financial needs. New York provides an online job site for you to search for employment. You can view the job site by clicking here.


Apply Online For New York TANF

If you have questions about applying for TANF benefits, or you want to see if you can apply for TANF New York online, then visit the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families website here.