Help Obtaining Benefits

A number of programs provide support to New York City residents who may need assistance. Information about some of these programs is below and can also be obtained by calling 311. In addition, ACCESS NYC is an online screening tool that can help you determine the City, State, and Federal health and human service benefit programs for which you are potentially eligible.

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program

  • The WIC program provides access to healthy food for certain pregnant women, mothers, and young children.
  • To receive more information, including locations where you can apply for WIC benefits, call (800) 522-5006.

Food Stamps

  • Food stamps, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), are cash benefits in the form of coupons and Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards that help low-income families buy food.
  • To apply for food stamps, call 311 or visit NYC HRA SNAP Benefits & Food Program.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

  • SSI is a cash benefit for very low-income elderly (65 and older), blind, or disabled individuals.
  • A person can apply for SSI at any Social Security Administration (SSA) Office or by calling (800) 772-1213.

Cash Assistance

  • Cash Assistance provides monetary assistance to eligible low-income families and individuals.
  • To find a New York City Job Center where you can apply for Cash Assistance and other public benefits, visit NYC HRA Job Centers or call 311.

Housing Assistance

There are a number of affordable housing programs in New York City.

  • Public housing is government-owned housing that is available to certain low-income individuals and families through the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). To obtain more information call 311, visit NYCHA Apply, or go to a NYCHA Walk-In Center located at either 478 East Fordham Road (1 Fordham Plaza), 2nd Floor, Bronx, NY or 787 Atlantic Avenue, 2nd Floor, Brooklyn, NY.
  • Section 8 Housing Vouchers can be used by a family or individual to help pay the cost of renting a private home or apartment. Two government agencies administer Section 8 Programs: New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). Information can be obtained through NYCHA (see above) or through HPD at NYC HPD Section 8.
  • City-subsidized affordable housing programs offer apartments at below market rent to individuals and families that meet certain income qualifications. These programs are administered by HPD. For more information, visit NYC HPD Find and Apply for Affordable Housing.

Emergency Housing

To obtain assistance if you are homeless call 311 or visit a Department of Homeless Services intake center listed below:

  • Families with Children: Prevention Assistance and Temporary Housing (PATH), 151 E. 151st Street, Bronx, NY.
  • Adult Families: Adult Family Intake Center (AFIC), 400-430 E. 30th Street, New York, NY.
  • Single Adult Men: 30th Street Intake Center, 400-430 East 30th Street, New York, NY.
  • Single Adult Women: HELP Women’s Shelter, 116 Williams Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217or Franklin Shelter, 1122 Franklin Avenue, Bronx, NY.


  • Medicaid is a program that helps with medical costs for people with limited income and resources.
  • For additional information, please contact the Medicaid Helpline at (888) 692-6116.

Workers’ Compensation

  • Workers who get sick or hurt because of their job have the right to be compensated. Workers’ Compensation benefits may include: (1) compensation for medical care and treatment of work-related injuries and illnesses; (2) cash benefits if the injury or illness prevents a worker from working; and (3) death benefits for the surviving spouse or dependent children of a worker who was killed on the job.
  • For more information about Workers’ Compensation, contact the Workers’ Compensation Board at (877) 632-4996.

Unemployment Insurance

  • Unemployment Insurance is temporary income for eligible workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own and who are ready, willing, and able to work.
  • To file a claim for unemployment insurance, contact (888) 209-8124. You may also apply online at NYS Department of Labor Unemployment Insurance.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

  • Working families that earn below a certain income level may be able to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is a payment of money to the family. The amount of the refund depends on the family’s income and individuals’ marital and parental status.
  • To learn more about EITC and how you can claim it, call 311 or visit NYC Consumer Affairs Tax Credit Information.

Job Training

  • NYC Workforce1 Career Centers help people find and prepare for a job. The centers provide information about new jobs and refer people to educational and occupational skills training classes.
  • You may contact the Centers by calling 311 or visiting NYC Small Business Services Contact Us.

Financial Empowerment Centers

  • Financial Empowerment Centers provide free services including money management and budgeting, financial planning, credit and debt counseling, and affordable banking services.
  • For more information about financial empowerment assistance, contact the Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment at 311 or NYC Consumer Affairs Financial Empowerment.

 Municipal ID: IDNYC Card

  • In 2014, the City of New York passed a law creating a municipal identification card called “IDNYC” for all residents of New York City. The IDNYC card is a photo identification that can be used for many purposes including accessing programs and services from City government, entering City government buildings (including schools), identifying oneself to NYPD police officers, opening checking accounts at certain financial institutions, and obtaining many other benefits.
  • To obtain an IDNYC card, you must complete an application form and submit it at an IDNYC Enrollment Center. To make an appointment, call 311 or go to IDNYC. All New York City residents age 14 and older can get an IDNYC card.