(WNY News Now) – New York State has allocated $12 million in federal funding to provide one-time financial support to low-income families with children across New York State. Administered by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, this initiative, known as the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund, will disburse approximately $100 to households with children aged 17 and under that currently receive Public Assistance.
Albany – In her announcement, Governor Hochul emphasized the success of New York in utilizing federal funds provided by the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund to assist some of the state’s most vulnerable residents. The additional $12 million in funding, which New York qualifies for, is a direct response to the economic challenges that these families have faced due to the ongoing pandemic. This funding is intended to provide quick financial relief, helping them address their immediate needs.
Payments are set to begin distribution on October 17, with eligible families being notified via mail of their forthcoming assistance. Approximately 120,000 families with children meet the criteria for this support.
The Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund, created under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, was specifically designed to aid families adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to federal guidelines, the funding is earmarked for issuing non-recurring benefits to households with children to address short-term situations or needs.
Initially, New York received $128 million in federal funds through this program. States that exhausted their initial allocation, like New York, had the option to obtain additional funding from states that did not fully utilize their allocation, leading to an additional $12 million being made available for New York.
Public Assistance is a program that provides monthly grants to help low-income individuals and families meet their basic needs, including housing. It assists more than 590,000 New Yorkers who may be temporarily unemployed, unable to work, very low-wage workers, or households with children.
The Acting Commissioner of the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Barbara C. Guinn, expressed her appreciation for these one-time payments. She emphasized that this assistance would help very low-income households better provide for their children during a period when all households face rising costs associated with basic needs.
The Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund has already had a significant impact, providing vital support to low-income New Yorkers. In February 2022, households enrolled in Public Assistance or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program received $140 for each child aged 3 or under to help cover the cost of diapers.
In April 2022, the fund distributed $730 in food benefits to over 28,000 multi-generational households. These one-time payments helped more than 31,500 adults over the age of 55, providing over $23 million to families throughout the state.
In May 2022, families receiving Public Assistance with a child 17 or younger in their household received a payment of $250 from the fund to assist with housing expenses, bills, and other essential needs. Approximately 110,000 households received payments totaling nearly $28 million, benefiting more than 216,000 children.
In August 2022, over $44 million was distributed to help families with children on Public Assistance cover back-to-school and early-life nutritional expenses. Payments totaling $39 million were made to the households of 184,000 school-aged children. Additionally, $5 million in payments were provided to households with children aged 3 and under, benefiting about 34,000 toddlers.
In September 2022, nearly $3 million in payments were made to more than 2,700 older adults living in multi-generational households that receive Public Assistance.
The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance also partnered with the state Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence to offer financial assistance to low-income survivors of domestic violence. This collaboration led to the allocation of $12.7 million to support domestic violence survivors and their families.