; Adam Bello, County Executive

DHS COVID-19 Information Page


Our goal is to make sure we meet the basic needs of our families during this uncertain time.
Additional information can be found beneath this FAQ.


Should I pay my rent? 

  • Yes, your rent is still due. It has not been cancelled. If you cannot pay your rent or mortgage right now, you will not be evicted during the moratorium. But all your rent is still due, and eviction may start after the moratorium ends, if you have not caught up on your rent. For information on rental arrears assistance available, please call 211.

Can I get more help with food?

  • Yes. You can still apply for SNAP, or for WIC benefits. Both programs are open NOW and can help provide healthy food for your family. Apply online.
  • Yes. If you have school-age children who receive free or reduced price lunch, NYS is issuing Pandemic-EBT. Click here for more information.  You can also visit  or call 1-800-342-3009.

What about my RG&E bill?

  • If you are a Monroe County resident and facing an emergency situation such as a shut-off, denial of service, or are out of heating fuel, please come to our walk-in office at 111 Westfall Road during Normal Business Hours to be screened for Emergency Assistance.    If you are currently receiving Temporary Assistance, please contact your worker directly at (585)753-2750. 

    For those who have general questions, please call our information and appointment line at (585) 753-6477 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

How about cash assistance?

  • Yes. You can get temporary cash assistance, too. Call 585-753-6960 to have an application mailed to you. 

Can I get health insurance?

  • Yes. If you don’t have insurance or lost your job, Medicaid and the CHIP program for kids are both open NOW. Apply online.

Can I get help paying for childcare?

  • Yes. You can apply NOW for help paying for daycare. Apply online.

I need help with mental health or substance abuse. Where do I go?

  • For an emergency, call Lifeline at 585-275-5151. Find providers to talk to online. 

I need help applying for benefits.

  • Many local organizations can still help you. You can find one by dialing 2-1-1.

I need a cell phone.

I need help staying sober.

  • This is a very stressful time. If you have a smartphone, you can download the free Connections app that is proven to help people in recovery. 


Here are more details about the programs and services that may be available to you:

  1. Public Assistance
  2. Emergency Assistance
  3. Temporary Housing
  4. HEAP and HERR
  5. Food
  6. Childcare

For additional information, call 2-1-1.


In an effort to reduce walk-in traffic into local Social Service District offices and ease access to public benefit programs during the current state of emergency, face-to-face interviews for Public Assistance are suspended through July 31st, 2021.  

We have moved to phone interviews for Public Assistance eligibility determinations. This includes applications for Emergency Assistance and Temporary Housing Assistance. 

New applications will be scheduled for a phone interview. Applicants can drop off, mail or fax 585-753-5315 new Temporary Assistance (2921) applications to the Agency. The application should clearly mark what programs the applicant is applying for and include a valid phone number. Applications received without phone numbers will continue to be scheduled for face-to-face interviews. After the phone interview, applicants will be mailed a document requirement form with instructions to submit required documents to the agency by a designated due date. 


Applicants for Emergency Assistance will be interviewed by phone as well. Emergency Assistance applicants can drop off, mail (to 691 St. Paul St) or  fax to 585-753-5315 new Emergency Assistance (2921) applications to the Agency. The application should clearly mark that the applicant is seeking emergency assistance and include a valid phone number. We will call individuals to conduct the emergency assistance interview on the same day of the application submission and make a determination on the same day. If unable to connect with the applicant on the 1st day, we will make a second attempt on the next business day.  If additional paperwork is needed to make a decision, the applicant will be verbally advised as well as mailed a document requirement form with instructions to submit required documents to the agency by a designated due date. 


For applicants applying for Temporary Housing (THA) they will need to submit an application and we will be determining eligibility for THA via phone. THA applicants can drop off, mail or fax 585-753-5315 or by fax at 753-6078 new Emergency Assistance (2921) applications to the Agency. The application should clearly mark that the applicant is seeking temporary housing placement and include a valid phone number for us to call to facilitate a THA placement. Clients facing emergency situations may reach out to us via phone prior to a TA application being submitted and we will make a TH placement until the next business day when the shelter case manager can assist them with completing and submitting the completed application.  

Face to face recertification interviews for Temporary Assistance are also being suspended for 60 days eff March 13th, 2020. Recipients already scheduled for in person recertification interviews the week of March 16th can contact us at 753-6229 or by email :  if they would like to move to a phone interview. Any new recertifications scheduled after March 16th will be scheduled for a phone interview. Recipients will need to return the recertification guide to the agency BEFORE the scheduled phone interview can be conducted. 


Face-to-face interviews for Home Energy Assistance (HEAP) and Home Energy Repair and Replacement (HERR) assistance have also been suspended. Individuals applying for these programs should provide their application and will be contacted for a phone interview. Applications can be mailed, faxed to 585-753-6102 or dropped off to 111 Westfall Road.


We will also be suspending other non-essential appointments, including Applicant Job Search, face to face Employment Assessments, face to face Disability Assessment interviews and Work Experience Program orientations until further notice. Recipients participating in assigned activities are encouraged to continue to participate if the site remains open and available, however, absences related to illness, isolation or quarantine will be considered excused and will not result in negative action. Recipients in substance use treatment as a condition of eligibility for public assistance should look to their treatment provider for guidance regarding the protocols for attendance/absences during this emergency period.

The NYS Office of Administrative Hearings has also made temporary changes to allow for phone and video conferencing for Fair Hearings. Effective with requests initiated after 3/12/20, individuals will be giventhe option for alternative hearings. Clients who already have in-person hearings scheduled will be permitted to adjourn the request or have the scheduled hearing redirected to telephone, video, or other means on the already scheduled date and time.



What are supplemental EA SNAP benefits?

The Families First Act (FFA) is a federal law that was passed to respond to the effects of the public health emergency caused by COVID-19. The law authorized the issuance of emergency supplemental benefits to households receiving SNAP. Based on the law, the federal government directed the states to issue supplemental SNAP benefits, up to the maximum allowable SNAP benefit for a household’s size. New York is issuing the supplemental benefits for the month of July 2021. Only households whose SNAP benefit for the month was less than the maximum benefit amount for their household’s size will get a supplemental EA SNAP benefit. If your household already recieved the maximum benefit amount, no additional supplement will be issued. Click here for more information : FAQ Regarding Supplement SNAP Benefits


What are Covid-19 Emergency Allotments to SNAP households?

Saince of March 2020, EA supplemental SNAP benefits have issued  to SNAP households that did not receive the maximum benefit for the household’s size.

Beginning in April 2021, all households, including those already receiving the maximum benefit for the household’s size, and households that formerly would have received a monthly supplement of less than $95, will receive a supplement of at least $95. For households receiving supplements greater than $95, this change will not affect the supplement they receive. For households receiving supplements greater than $95, the supplement will continue to be the difference between the amount of SNAP benefits the household received for the month and the current maximum benefit amount for the household’s size.

Clike here for more information: FAQ for the Emergency Allotments to SNAP Households


Where do I go if I have questions about P-EBT School Lunch food benefits? Federal Legislation provides households with children who would otherwise receive free or reduced-price meals if not for their schools being closed, Pandemic emergency benefits (P-EBT). If you have questions regarding P-EBT, you may call the NYS P-EBT Food Benefits Helpline: 1-833-452-0096 or visit:  


School Districts Outside of Monroe County

Families outside of the City of Rochester who are eligible for free or reduced meals should also check with their local school district to find out more information on food distribution in your district.

City of Rochester R-Centers

The City of Rochester and Foodlink are providing pre-packaged breakfast, lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday, at the following city R-Centers and schools between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.:

  • Adams Street R-Center, 85 Adams St.
  • Avenue D R-Center, 200 Avenue D
  • Carter Street R-Center, 500 Carter St.
  • Tyshaun Cauldwell R-Center, 524 Campbell
  • Frederick Douglass R-Center, 990 South Ave.
  • Flint Street R-Center, 271 Flint St.
  • David Gantt R-Center, 700 North St.
  • Trenton and Pamela Jackson R-Center (Clinton-Baden), 465 N. Clinton Ave.
  • Thomas Ryan R-Center, 530 Webster Ave.
  • East Upper & Lower School, 1801 E. Main St.
  • Dr. Freddy Thomas Campus, 625 Scio St.
  • The former Jefferson High School, 1 Edgerton Pk.
  • James Monroe High School, 164 Alexander St.
  • John Williams School No. 5, 555 Plymouth Ave.
  • Wilson Foundation Academy, 200 Genesee St.


Temporary Waiver of Parent Fees

Effective April 6, 2020, weekly parent fees for current subsidy recipients are waived. Families will not be required to pay their weekly share of care directly to their provider. Payments issued to providers for care provided will not have the weekly parent share deducted from the subsidy payment issued. EFFECTIVE JULY 31st, WAIVERS EXPIRE AND PARENT FEES ARE DUE STARTING THE FIRST WEEK OF AUGUST.

Current childcare subsidy recipients with school age children are eligible to have their care authorizations updated to include full time care during the day while school is out if their provider can accommodate them. Families in need of such, can contact us by email at :

For families not currently in receipt of subsidy, childcare eligibility certificates can be provided to allow for use of subsidy to pay for childcare by eligible providers during school closures. Families must provide the childcare application (6025) as well as proof of employment for consideration. Applications can be emailed to or faxed to 585-753-6308. 

Temporary Absence Payment Policy for Providers

MCDHS will make subsidy payments to the following eligible providers during the recovery period on behalf of a child who is temporarily absent from child care due to extenuating circumstances due to the effects of COVID-19.

The maximum total number of paid absences will be 22 for July 1st through June 31st.  Payment of absences will apply to the following program types: Day Care Center, Group Family Day Care, Family Day Care, Legally-Exempt Group and School Age Child Care. NOTE: No absence payments can be made for program closures.  EFFECTIVE JULY 31st, WAIVERS EXPIRE AND ABSENCES WILL BE PAID ACCORDING TO OUR CURRENT DAY CARE PLAN (3 PER MONTH OR 18 IN A 6 MONTH BASE PERIOD) STARTING IN AUGUST.

Governor Cuomo Announces $30 Million in Child Care Scholarships for Essential Workers and Supplies for Child Care Providers

New York State Will Apply Federal CARES Funding to Provide Child Care and Keep Essential Staff on the Job

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State will provide child care scholarships to all essential workers starting Monday, April 20. Essential workers include first responders such as health care providers, pharmaceutical staff, law enforcement, firefighters, food delivery workers, grocery store employees and others who are needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Child care costs will be covered with $30 million in federal CARES Act funding to essential staff whose income is less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level – or $78,600 for a family of four – and will be paid up to market rate for each region statewide.

Scholarships are available through the Child Care Council.

View Application For Scholarship

Child Support

Applications for Child Support can be mailed or emailed to the Child Support Unit at 33 N. Fitzhugh St. 14614. Parents needing assistance with child support issues are encouraged to call the Child Support hotline at 888-208-4485 or by email at : 

Walk-ins will be seen on a scheduled basis only. Please call 585-753-1453 to schedule an appointment.

  print this page    email this page    back to top

Accessibility and Standards · Disclaimer and Privacy Policy · Non-Discrimination Policy

Official Site of Monroe County, New York. Copyright © 2019 Monroe County. All Rights Reserved.
Comments or suggestions? Please Contact Us