Help for Individuals and Families

The American Rescue Plan, a new law recently signed by President Biden, includes significant new funding to help you get through this difficult time. Below please find some tips for you and your family to get the help you need.

You have probably heard the federal government is mailing checks of up to $1,400 to individuals with annual incomes of $75,000 or less ($150,000 or less for a couple), with lesser amounts available to individuals with incomes up to $150,000. If you have not yet received a check and think you are eligible, please visit irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment to find out when you can expect it to arrive.

The new law extended increased unemployment assistance through Sept. 6, 2021. For more information, please call 888-469-7365 or visit dol.ny.gov/.

The federal law increases federal funding to states to administer the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, which may provide help, including short-term cash benefits and other assistance, to meet your immediate needs. For more information to determine if you are eligible and learn how to get this help, please call 800-342-3009 or visit otda.ny.gov/programs/temporary-assistance/.

The new law increased tax credits for low- and middle-income Americans, including the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Child and Dependent Tax Credit. To find more information about these credits and how you can get them, please visit the White House website (whitehouse.gov/american-rescue-plan/) or sign up through this website, whitehouse.gov/american-rescue-plan/sign-up-for-updates/, for updates on how these tax credits will work.

The new law increases federal grants to states to help you address the unique challenges of caring for your child during the pandemic. For more information on these programs, please call 518-473-7793 or visit ocfs.ny.gov/programs/childcare/

The new law includes more funding for programs that help you get the nutrition you and your family need.

o   The new federal legislation provides additional money to states to help you buy food through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP. To find out if you qualify or for more information, please call 800-342-3009 or contact your local department of social services.

o   The law also provides increased food vouchers for pregnant and post-partum women, infants up to age 1, and children up to age 5 through the Women Infants and Children [WIC] program. For more information, please call 800-522-5006 or visit health.ny.gov/prevention/nutrition/wic/.

The federal law provides new funds that may help you pay your rent. For more information in the New York City area, please call 311 or visit www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/help/rental-assistance.page; for information outside of the New York City area, visit otda.ny.gov/.

If you are homeless, at risk of being homeless, or fleeing domestic violence, the new federal law provides states with more help to find you a place to live. For more information in New York City, please call 311 or visit NYC Housing and Preservation Development website at www1.nyc.gov/site/hpd/index.page; outside New York City, please call 518-473-1090 or find your local Department of Social Services at otda.ny.gov/workingfamilies/dss.asp.

The law also includes more assistance for low-income individuals to pay their heating bills through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and water bills using funds from the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP). To find out if you qualify and how much assistance you may be entitled to, please call 718-595-7000 or visit www1.nyc.gov/site/dep/pay-my-bills/customer-service.page; for outside of NYC, please call 800-342-3009 or visit otda.ny.gov/main/programs/heap/.

The law increases funding for services for older Americans, including nutrition assistance, COVID-19 support, and help for caregivers. To find out more, please call 844-697-6321 or visit aging.ny.gov/.