Human Services - Financial Assistance

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Financial Assistance Division

 Randy Scott, Director

The Financial Assistance Division is responsible for the delivery of Temporary Assistance, Medicaid, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), Child Support Enforcement and Day Care subsidies, and for ensuring that only persons eligible for public assistance services are provided such aid. This division also includes employment, domestic violence and managed health care services.

Financial Assistance services are provided in the form of cash, rent, utilities, transportation, food/nutrition, housing, health insurance, day care subsidies, job search support, and job skills training to those who meet eligibility requirements.

The government assistance programs of Temporary Assistance, Medicaid and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) are complex and governed individually by their own set of laws, rules and regulations. The answer to most program-related questions often begin with the words, 'it depends.'

In collaboration with community case managers from several local human services agencies, we have developed and published DHS 101. This booklet of information serves as a basic guide to navigating the complex systems of social services. We try to publish updates at least once per year, but the laws often change frequently. If you see information that is out-dated, please let us know.


Important information regarding Health Care Worker Bonus Payments

NYS announced Health Care and Mental Hygiene Worker Bonuses will be issued to  certain frontline health care and mental hygiene workers of up to $3,000 to encourage the recruitment and retention of these workers during a time of staff shortages and turnover in the health care field. Based on the public assistance program, this section describes how these bonus payments will be treated:

Temporary Assistance (TA)

Health Care Worker Bonus payments received by eligible individuals are excluded as income when determining eligibility for initial and ongoing TA. In addition, the bonus payment(s) will also be excluded as a resource for ongoing TA and excluded as an available resource to meet an emergency need when determining eligibility for emergency assistance.

The Health Care Worker Bonus payment(s) is also excluded as a lump sum for the month of receipt of the bonus payment(s) and the following two months.

For example, if a household receives the bonus payment(s) in April 2023, it will not count as income or a resource for April and must exempt it as a countable resource for May and June. In July, if the household has remaining funds from the bonus payment(s), the remaining funds will count as a resource.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

For SNAP, any Health Care Worker Bonus paid to individuals are excluded from consideration as income. For any household subject to a resource test, these payments are considered countable resources in the month received and in subsequent months as long as they remain readily available to the household. 

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)

Health Care Worker Bonus payments are excluded as countable income and liquid resources for HEAP eligibility determinations. These payments must not be counted in the HEAP budget for Regular, Emergency, Heating Equipment Repair and Replacement (HERR), Heating Equipment Clean and Tune (C&T), and Cooling Assistance benefits. 


Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)

The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federally funded program that assists low income households in meeting the high costs of home heating.

 HEAP is closed for the season.

NYS OTDA HEAP information can be found here.

For general questions on emergency utility assistance, 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.

Special Assistance for Home Owners: If you are a home owner and your furnace is in need of repair, we may be able to assist you with the cost of the repair. For more information, please call (585) 753-6477 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

After Hours Emergency Contacts For No Heat and/or No Utilities:

For Power Outages, call your Utility Provider
RG&E 1-800-743-1701
National Grid 1-800-465-1212

Monroe County Department of Human Services After Hours Line: (585) 442-1742 or  2-1-1 for New York Finger Lakes Region  

Cooling Assistance Benefit

The 2023 Cooling Assistance Program opened on May 1, 2023.   You can apply for cooling assistance to buy and have a authorized vendor install an air conditioner or a fan for your home.  Cooling Benefits will be provided on a first come, first served basis to eligible applicants through Thursday, August 31, 2023, or until funding allocated to this component is exhausted.  

For information call (585)753-6477 or you may go to MCDHS at 111 Westfall Road for an application.     


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP - formerly Food Stamps)

SNAP is a state-administered federal nutrition assistance program. Federal Law governs the criteria for eligibility and levels of benefits. Each state is responsible for determining and documenting eligibility, issuing benefits, and maintaining records.

To apply for SNAP:

Apply Online at NYS myBenefits

Download an application and mail to/drop off at  691 St. Paul St. Rochester, NY 14605

If everyone applying is over 60 years old and/or disabled, you can use this new simplified application and mail to/drop off at  691 St Paul St. Rochester, NY 14605

Call 585-753-6960 to have an application mailed to you.

Pick up an application at 691 St. Paul St. Rochester, NY 14605

When the application is submitted, you will be screened for expedited benefits and, if eligible, the benefit will be available within seven calendar days after the day the application was filed. You will be contacted by phone for the screening interview, if applicable, and mailed an appointment for a SNAP telephone interview. You will not need to be seen in person.


Federal statute and regulations implemented with the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) limit an ABAWDS eligibility for SNAP benefits to three months in a 36 month period unless they meet certain special work requirements or are excused.  In New York State, this current 3-year period began January 1, 2019.  For each month that you receive a full month of SNAP benefits and do not meet your ABAWD work requirement, without a good reason, you will use up a countable month.  Unless you are satisfying your ABAWD work requirement, you will be ineligible to receive SNAP benefits after your third countable month.

Local Employment and Training Services are available via JobZone at NYS Department of Labor

Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)

Visit SFSP Website (

The SFSP was created to reduce the likelihood of nutritional risk for low income children during the months when schools are closed for summer recess. By providing free meals at participating summer meal sites such as schools, parks, pools, recreation centers, camps, housing authorities and other neighborhood locations, children can receive the nutritious meals they need. Through SFSP, schools, governments and nonprofit organizations receive Federal and State funds to continue a child's physical and social development with the number of meals and dates varying by site.

Because summer meal sites are selected based on community demographics and pervasiveness of need, any child 18 years of age or younger who comes to an approved open site may receive meals without the need for an eligibility determination to be conducted. Most Summer Meal Program sites are ‘open sites’, which means they are open to the community and do not require that children sign up in advance or even ‘check-in’ at the site. Children and teens must simply show up at the site to get their meal.  At camps, children eligible for free and reduced-price meals may receive SFSP meals. Young adults over age 18 who are enrolled in school programs for persons with disabilities may also participate.

New York Summer Meals Information


Q. How do I apply for Medicaid?

To apply for Medicaid, applicants under age 65 and not disabled please click on the link below for information regarding the new Health Plan Marketplace and Medicaid Application process.

Health Benefit Exchange

New York State Department of Health - Contracted Navigators

  • Coordinated Care Services, Inc. (585) 613-7673
  • Community Services Society of New York (585) 613-7662

You can also visit the New York State of Health website, or call (855) 355-5777 for assistance applying over the phone.

For applicants over 65 years old or disabled, please contact 753-6960 for an application and Supplement A. Applications and Supplement A can also be obtained from the New York State Department of Health.

Chronic Care Medicaid

Chronic Care Medicaid is a health care coverage for those who reside in a nursing home type setting. The intent of the program is to assist those aging and disabled residents who cannot afford to pay for their own medical care. Eligibility for the program is determined through a means test that reviews the income and resources of the individual and/or spouse applying for coverage. A five year review of all financial transactions is required.

Chronic Care Medicaid applications are availablein the Monroe County Department of Human Services waiting rooms located at 111 Westfall Road or 691 St. Paul Street. To request an application by phone, please call (585) 753-6960.

Q. Where do I call for information about Medicaid managed care programs?

For information about Medicaid managed care programs, please call New York Medicaid CHOICE at (585) 753-6702 or 1 (800) 505-5678.

Q. How do I order Medicaid transportation to a medical appointment?

If you are enrolled in managed care, contact your managed care provider for assistance.

If you are a Monroe County Medicaid recipient, you may call 585 288-4680 (Medical Answering Service) to request transportation to medical appointments.

Q. How do I report Medicaid Provider or Consumer Fraud?

To report provider or consumer fraud, you may call 1-877-87FRAUD (1-877-873-7283).

Q. Where do I get information the Prenatal Care Assistance Program?

For more information about the Prenatal Care Assistance Program visit the NYS Department of Health website

Q. Where do I call for information about  Medicaid Managed Long Term Care programs?

For information about Managed Long Term Care programs, please call New York Medicaid Choice at 1-888-401-6582.

Q. Where do I get information about the New York State Partnership for Long Term Care?

For information about the New York State Partnership for Long Term Care visit their website.

Learn more at NYS Partnership for Long Term Care.

Q. Where do I call for an application for Child Health Plus?

For more information about Child Health Plus please visit the NYS Department of Health website

You may also request information on how to apply for Child Health Plus by calling 1 (800) 698-4543

Q. Where do I call for information about home care services?

For information about Medicaid home care services programs, please call 585 753-6445.

For information on the Consumer Direct Personal Assistance Program, or the Personal Care Aid Program, please call 585 753-6445.

Learn more about Medicaid at the New York State Department of Health.

Home Care Services

A variety of home care services are available to Medicaid recipients, allowing them to remain at home, thus preventing more costly nursing home placements. Home care services include home health aide or personal care service, personal emergency response system, and housekeeping. The Home Care Services Unit is responsible for the broad oversight of home care services for the following programs:

  • Assisted Living Program
  • Care at Home
  • Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program
  • Personal Emergency Response System
  • Title XX housekeeping & chore services
  • Personal Care Assistance Program

For more information on home care services, contact the Home Care Services Unit at 585 753-6445.

For information on the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, or the Personal Care Assistance Program, please call 585 753-6445.

Temporary Assistance

Q. How Do I Apply for Temporary Assistance?

You can apply on or drop off, mail or walk into our 691 St. Paul Street with your completed application to be screened for shelter, utility or food emergencies.

Applications are also available on the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance website, both DHS offices and at many area community service agencies. Clients may also call the appointment line at 585 753-6960 to have an application mailed to them.

NYS Temporary Assistance Applications & Forms

The Financial Assistance Division receives over 40,000 applications yearly. Applicants are required to look for work throughout the application process as well as pursue any other potential benefits such as Social Security, child support and unemployment benefits.

If you are applying for Temporary Assistance as a non-parent caretaker of a child/children outside of the foster care system, see attached form for information relating to financial assistance programs and how to apply for them as well as information on OTDA or SSD funded resources, including those that provide supportive services.

District workers who make contact with relative and nonrelative Kinship caregivers and prospective suitable persons at any time, other than initial notification of a child's removal, are now required to provide the brochure titled Know Your Resources: Nonparent Caregiver Benefits (Pub. 5194).  This includes, but is not limited to, contact that occurs when an NPC is applying for assistance programs.

Important: To apply for Medicaid/SNAP or child care assistance program benefits only call:

Medicaid/SNAP: 585 753-6960

Child Care: 585 753-6960

Q. What is Meant by “Work First”?

“Work First” is the phrase used to convey the primary goals for applicants and recipients ... To consider work their first priority. “Work First” is based on the idea that finding a job and earning a paycheck is the best way for families to become self-sufficient.

The responsibility of this office and our partners in the community is to support work and help families overcome barriers. For job search assistance visit RochesterWorks! (585 258-3500) at 255 N. Goodman Street.

Q. When I Work, Can I Still Get Temporary Assistance?

Yes! Partial benefits are available to families depending upon how much is earned. There are over 2,000 Temporary Assistance families who work and receive partial cash benefits and SNAP. DSS will also pay for child care.

Q. What Benefits Are Available When Temporary Assistance Ends?

If you have children, you may still be eligible for Medicaid and Transitional Child Care. All child support collected will now go directly to you. Many families who leave Temporary Assistance will still be eligible for SNAP.

Q. What is the Earned Income Tax Credit?

The Earned Income Credit is a special tax benefit for people who work full or part-time. Even if you don’t owe income tax, you can get the credit. But, you must file a federal tax return. New York State also has an Earned Income Tax Credit.

Housing Information

Common Forms and Applications 

Most common forms, applications and informational booklets can be found online at the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance website. They are offered in several languages. Applicants can read information right online or print the information/application they desire and print it out.

Important Documents:

Common Forms:

Supplemental Burial Assistance Grant

If you are concerned about being able to afford the cost of burial expenses for a loved one who has passed away, you may be eligible for assistance under the Temporary Assistance program.

The funeral home you are working with can help facilitate scheduling an appointment with our Burial Assistance coordinator, you may contact her directly at:

Monroe County Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
244 S. Plymouth Ave.
Rochester, NY 14608
(585) 232-3386

Because funeral assistance is a component of the Temporary Assistance program, an interview will be required.  Please be prepared to discuss the decedent’s (and any legally-responsible relative’s) financial situation, including income and assets.  Common income and assets include, but are not limited to, any earned or unearned income due to the decedent’s estate, life insurance proceeds, social security or veteran’s death benefits, and bank accounts.

For applicants determined to be eligible for Temporary Assistance, Monroe County will provide a grant up to a maximum of $2,500 for decedents aged six years or older, or up to $1250 for  ages five years or younger. (NOTE: increase applies to burials only, not cremation)

Please note that to be considered eligible for burial assistance, the total funeral cost cannot exceed $7,000.  If the funeral you are arranging will cost more than $7,000, Monroe County will not consider this an indigent burial and we will be unable to provide any assistance.


If you are hard of hearing and you need assistance you may e-mail [email protected]

TTY and Relay Services:

New York State Relay: Dial 711
TTY Phone Numbers: (800) 421-1220 OR (800) 662-1220

  • Then call: (585) 753-6000, option #1 for your worker's phone number OR option #8 for Customer Service

DHS Limited English Proficiency Policy & Procedure

Most common forms, applications and informational booklets can be found online at the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance's website. These applications are offered in several languages and you can read them online or print them out.