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  • Writer's pictureMehwish Ali

Cash Assistance Program in NYC

NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA) offers cash assistance when you may be in need of financial help. The types of financial support include but are not limited to emergency benefits, medical assistance, and special grants. Below are some basic information about the cash assistance program and some tips for applying to the program. You may visit to learn more about the application procedures.

How it Works

Your family can get cash if you are in need of financial help. HRA gives people cash assistance in the form of a debit card option. The funds come on a debit card that you can use at any ATM or store where EBT cards are accepted.

  • Proof of the following: identity, where you live, and income is required.

  • U.S. citizens are eligible for Cash Assistance. Non-US citizens are also eligible for cash


For more information on citizenship, status eligibility go to:

For more information on cash assistance go to:

  • Eligible clients receiving temporary cash assistance are required to engage in work or participate in educational or training programs in most cases.

Determine your eligibility

HRA workers look at several things to decide if you are eligible. Some of them include:

  • How much money do you earn

  • How much money do you receive from benefits such as workers’ compensation, veteran’s benefits, union benefits, and pension

  • How many people live in your house

  • Resources like cash or a checking account

Eligible families can 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 Program.

What you need to apply

To apply for cash assistance you will need to provide the following:

  • Your identity as well as other household members: such as a photo ID, driver’s license, passport, naturalization certificate, or hospital records.

  • Where you live: such as a statement from your landlord, current rent receipt, lease, or mortgage records.

  • Your income (if any): such as a current pay stub, business records, current income tax return, or an Unemployment Insurance Benefit statement.

How to apply

Below are some options for you to apply for cash assistance on your own.

  • Apply online

  1. Apply on Access HRA. Please visit You can apply for Cash Assistance, SNAP, and Medicaid Renewal at the same time through the Cash Assistance application.

  2. Use the Access HRA mobile app to track the progress of your application or submit documents.

  3. You will be contacted for a phone interview.

  • Apply by mail

  1. Print the application and complete it. You may download the form by visiting the website and clicking on how to apply. The form can be found under the section Apply by mail.

  2. Mail it to an HRA Benefits Access Center. You may visit this website to find a center near you.

  1. You will be contacted for a phone interview.

  • Apply in person

    • You can take the application packages to drop off at a Benefits Access center near you

    • Benefits Access Centers near you (click on each to find the one nearest to you)

Below are a few options for the type of financial assistance offered within the cash assistance program.

Emergency Assistance

You may be able to get help if you cannot pay your bills because you lost your job, you are getting less pay from your job, or if you had another emergency like an unexpected medical situation. This type of help is called “Emergency Assistance” or a “One Shot Deal.”

Emergency Assistance can help you if:

  • You are experiencing homelessness or will lose your housing if you do not get help.

  • Your gas or electricity has been shut off, or you got a notice saying that it will be shut off.

  • You lost clothes, personal items, or furniture because of theft, a fire, or a natural disaster.

  • You are affected by domestic violence.

  • You have other issues that affect the health and safety of you or your family.

When you do your cash assistance application there is a section where you can apply for Emergency Assistance online using ACCESSHRA.

Special Grant Document Guide

You can ask for a Special Grant to get benefits for emergencies or add members of your household to your case. For example, you can ask for help paying for rent or mortgage that you owe, your utilities in an emergency, and moving expenses.

Please visit to download the form that you will send to ask for help paying for rent, utilities, or mortgage payments. The form includes information about how HRA may be able to help pay for your bills and how to determine your eligibility for receiving special grants. It also tells you whether you will have to pay HRA back and if HRA can provide more than one-time financial help.

Additional ways to get help with the cash assistance program

Repayment Information

  • Unless you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you may be required to pay back some or all the Emergency Assistance in the future.

    • Monthly installment plans are available interest-free depending on the amount needed to be paid back.

  • If you have an open cash assistance case, HRA will reduce your benefits to “recoup” the amount it says you owe them.

  • If you do not have an open cash assistance case, HRA will send you a notice telling you how much you owe and ask that you pay it back.

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