Temporary Assistance

Temporary Assistance

Temporary Assistance (TA) a broad term used in New York State to describe a range of public assistance (welfare) programs. TA may provide benefits and support for those who do not have sufficient income to pay for basic needs.

DSS staff works with individuals and families to achieve self-sufficiency and independence. This may include assistance with identification and removal of barriers to employment and provision of resources to support employment readiness. For additional information, please see http://otda.ny.gov/programs/temporary-assistance/.

To be eligible for Temporary Assistance benefits, individuals and families will be subject to income and resource tests. Benefit levels vary depending on household size, available income and resources and expenses. Please keep in mind that you may NOT be eligible for benefits if you do not meet guidelines set by New York State.


  • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF or Family Assistance)
    This program may provide benefits for families with dependent children or for pregnant women. Under the current regulations, cash benefits are limited to 60 months in a recipient’s lifetime. After five years a Family Assistance recipient may continue to receive benefits under certain circumstances.
  • Safety Net Families (SNF)
    This program may provide assistance for families who remain eligible after exceeding their 60 month TANF limit, or for certain cases in which the adult custodian of minor dependent children is unable to work due to certain circumstances.
  • Safety Net Individuals (SN)
    This program may provide assistance for basic living expenses for single adults and childless couples.

The regulations do not allow DSS to provide Temporary Assistance for:

  • those illegally residing in the USA or who cannot document that they are legally residing in the USA
  • certain legal aliens who are not eligible for public assistance under NYS regulations
  • persons sanctioned from receiving benefits
  • persons who fail to comply with eligibility requirements

Please note that in addition to the regular TA programs described above, one time Emergency TA may be available in certain immediate need situations such as prevention of evictions, moving expenses, need for furniture and utility shutoffs.

Some examples of an emergency:

  • homelessness
  • lack of food
  • receipt of legal eviction papers
  • actual or imminent utility shut-off (72 hour disconnect notice or no fuel for winter heat)
  • actual or threatened domestic violence

Some general things an applicant/recipient might expect:

  • Single parents will be required to have an interview with the Child Support Collection Unit in an effort to assure financial support from absent parents.
  • If alcohol or other substance abuse problems are disclosed or suspected, the applicant/recipient may be asked to see a substance abuse counselor.
  • Photographs and fingerprints will be taken. This is required for Temporary Assistance by New York State regulations.
  • Applicants must meet employment requirements set forth under the regulations.
  • Verification of household composition, income, resources and expenses must be provided.

A face to face interview is a condition of TA eligibility.

Applications can be made in person at:

Albany County Department of Social Services
162 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12210-2304
Hours: 8:30am - 4:30pm (Monday-Friday)
Phone: (518) 447-7732

Those wishing to complete an application before coming to our office may download one at  www.mybenefits.ny.gov.

Albany County ExecutiveDaniel P. McCoy