Home Temporary Assistance
Temporary Assistance Print E-mail




Temporary Assistance is a financial assistance program funded through Federal, State, and Local dollars and is administered on the State level by New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance ( OTDA). There are two main programs under Temporary Assistance - Family Assistance (also referred to as TANF - Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) and Safety Net Assistance.

For additional information on Temporary Assistance, please visit the NYS OTDA website:  http://www.otda.state.ny.us/main/ta/

How Do You Apply?
Call or Walk-in to this Agency to be screened and to schedule an appointment for an interview. Majority of applications are done on an appointment basis. If you have an emergency you may be able to schedule an appointment the same day you are screened.

Appointments can be arranged:
To schedule an appointment call: (607) 337-1524 or 337-1535 or 337-1476.

Call DSS: Monday - Friday (8:30am - 5:00pm).

If you require reasonable accommodations due to a disability, hearing/speech impairment or are in need of a language interpreter, please call the same numbers listed above or inquire at the reception desk at Social Services.

You may also email your request by using the agency contact form.

An application form for Temporary Assistance can be found on the NYS OTDA website at: http://www.otda.state.ny.us/main/apps/ You can print the form, complete and bring into this Agency to be screened, file an application for Temporary Assistance and to schedule an appointment for a required interview.

What To Expect When You Apply for Temporary Assistance?
You must complete a face to face interview with an Examiner to find out if you are eligible for ongoing Temporary Assistance for you and your family. When you arrive at this Agency you will be asked to complete a short Intake form which helps us identify the reason for your visit and the correct program person you need to see. You may be prescreened, have a short interview, to determine if you have any emergencies that need to be addressed, such as:

  • You are Homeless
  • You have little or no food
  • Your landlord has told you that you must move or has given you eviction papers
  • You do not have fuel or heating in the cold weather period
  • Your utilities are shut-off or are about to be shut-off, or you have a 72-hour disconnect notice
  • You or someone in your family has been beaten, abused or threatened with violence by a husband, wife, partner or other member of the household

The pre-screener will determine your eligibility under emergency assistance and you will be given an application to complete. You have the right to turn in an application the same day you get it and have an interview within 7 working days.

During your eligibility interview, an Examiner will go over your application with you to make sure it is complete and you will be asked to provide supporting documentation such as: (this is a partial list of possible required documentation)

  • Birth certificates, Social Security Cards, Marriage Certificates
  • Proof of residence and shelter expenses
  • Fuel and utility expenses
  • Proof of wages received (last 4 weeks usually)
  • Proof of any other type of household income
  • Proof of all resources such as: bank accounts, cars, stocks, bonds, etc.

If you state you are disabled, you may be asked to sign a consent form to have your doctor complete a medical statement and/or you may be scheduled for an independent medical evaluation to determine your employment limitations.

For further information on "What is an Emergency?" please visit the NYS OTDA website at:  http://www.otda.state.ny.us/main/ta/default.asp#emerg

If you have a child whose parent(s) is absent, you may be referred to the Child Support Unit to seek support and/or establish paternity. You have the right to claim good cause for not cooperating with the Child Support Unit, if you have been physically or mentally threatened, abused or fear for the life of you or your child. You must be able to substantiate your claim.

If you have a problem with alcohol or substance abuse or are suspected of having these issues you may be scheduled to see a Certified Alcohol & Substance Abuse counselor ( CASAC) for an assessment of your treatment needs.

You will be asked to voluntarily complete a Domestic Violence screening form and information will be provided on available Domestic Violence services. Those who voluntarily disclose the presence of domestic violence will be given the opportunity to meet with a Domestic Violence Liaison.

You will have your picture and fingerprint images taken. This is required under NYS Law in order to eliminate duplicate benefits being paid.

If you are determined to be able to work and do not meet any exemption criteria, you may be required to participate in employment activities in order to receive benefits.

When most households file an application for Temporary Assistance, eligibility for Food Stamps and Medicaid is also determined and you will also be informed of your eligibility for these programs. You have the right to a determination within 30 days of the filing date of your application.

If you are determined eligible under the Safety Net Program, there is a 45 day waiting period before the start of initial benefits.

There are time limits placed on the length of time an individual or family can receive benefits. For more information, please the NYS OTDA website for more information.

How Are Benefits Issued?
For those determined eligible for Temporary Assistance, authorized benefits are accessed through an Electronic Benefit Transfer System ( EBT) using an authorized Benefit Card and Personal Identification Number (PIN). For more information on EBT, please visit the NYS OTDA website:

Additional Resources:
OTDA Programs

OTDA Publications

OTDA Common Forms and Applications

Electronic Benefit Transfer Info

myBenefits - NYS OTDA Internet Prescreening Tool

EBT Benefit Card (24hr) Toll Free Helpline: 1.888.328.6399

NYS Helpline for HEAP, Food Stamps and Temporary Assistance: 1.800.342.3009

Chenango County

Department of Social Services
County Office Building
5 Court Street
Norwich, NY 13815

Hours: 8:30AM - 5:00PM (Monday - Friday)
Phone: 607.337.1500
Toll Free: 877.337.1501
Fax: 607.337.1525