Households enrolled in public assistance with a child 17 or younger will receive one-time payments of $250
√ Pandemic emergency assistance fund to supplement more than 112,000 households across state
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the distribution of $28 million in federal pandemic funding this month to help struggling New Yorkers with children to cover expenses incurred during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Administered through the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund will provide families on public assistance with a child 17 or younger in their household with $250 to help pay for housing expenses, bills and other critical needs.
This assistance follows Hochul's announcement listing resources for families struggling to obtain baby formula amid recent shortages.
"The economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impacted low-income families across our state – especially those with children," Hochul said. "This one-time payment will provide tens of thousands of families with a critical lifeline to help pay past-due bills or other household expenses that accrued as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic."
Starting May 14, OTDA will issue one-time payments to eligible households receiving public assistance. Roughly 112,000 households will receive the payments, which will assist more than 216,000 children. OTDA will issue the payments directly to the household's Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) account. Eligible households will receive written notification from OTDA.
The Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund was created as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 with the intention to assist needy families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Per federal guidelines, the funding must be used for issuing nonrecurring benefits to impacted households with children to deal with a specific short-term situation or need.
Public assistance provides monthly grants to help low-income individuals and families meet basic needs, such as housing. This program helps roughly 490,000 New Yorkers who may be temporarily unemployed or unable to work, as well as very low-wage workers.
OTDA Commissioner Daniel W. Tietz said, "Whether through the loss of employment or an inability to afford housing expenses – often both – public assistance recipients were among the households most severely affected by the economic toll of the pandemic. The hardship imposed by the public health emergency endures for so many of these families, which is why this assistance is so critical to help them make ends meet."
The Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund continues to help hundreds of thousands of low-income New Yorkers with their essential needs. Earlier this year, OTDA tapped roughly $18.2 million from the fund to provide 130,000 households enrolled in public assistance or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program with a child under the age of 3 years old with $140 per child to defray the cost of diapers.
Last month, the fund provided $730 in food benefits to more than 28,000 multigenerational households. These one-time payments helped about 31,400 adults over the age of 55 throughout the state.