header graphic
Connect with Onondaga County Like Us On FacebookFollow Us On Twitter See Us On Youtube

Online Payments
Pay for Child Care, HEAP, Medicaid, Snap/Food Stamps, or Temporary Assistance

Community Partner Info

Commissioners Office
John H. Mulroy Civic Center
421 Montgomery St.
Syracuse NY, 13202

Mon-Fri, 8am-4pm


Temporary Assistance (TA)

  Onondaga County Temporary Assistance
John H. Mulroy Civic Center, 2nd floor
421 Montgomery Street
Syracuse, NY 13202

Hours: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM (Monday-Friday)
Phone: (315) 435-2700

Temporary Assistance (TA) is the term used in New York State for public assistance programs also known as welfare programs. Temporary Assistance (TA) offers temporary help for men, women, and children in need while they work towards self-sufficiency. If you are unable to work, can't find a job, or your job doesn't pay enough to meet your basic living needs, TA may be able to help you with basic expenses such as heat,rent,etc

Please note: If you have applied for Temporary Assistance, you will be notified of the outcome by 30 days of the receipt of the application. Before that time, you may reach out to the worker/specialist assigned to your case with questions, thank you.

Who is eligible?
Individuals and families will be subject to income and resource tests. Benefit levels vary depending on household size, available income, and expenses. Please keep in mind that you may NOT be eligible for benefits if you do not meet guidelines set by New York State.


Resource Limit:

The amount of real and personal property, including cash, savings accounts and checking accounts, which a household can own and still qualify for Temporary Assistance, is $2000. However, a household in which any member is age 60 or over, can own up to $3000 in resources. Resources that are exempt include:


  • A home which is the usual residence of the household.


  • Basic maintenance items essential to day-to-day living.


  • One burial plot per household member, and one funeral agreement per household member, up to an equity value of $1,500 per household member.


  • There are special rules for automobiles though generally, most of their value is exempt.

For families with children, federal and state laws have changed. Assistance is now temporary and time-limited. Cash assistance will only be available for up to 60 months in a lifetime. Any month or part of a month, since December 1996, in which cash benefits were received, counts toward your time limit.

If you are on assistance, are employed, and your cash grant is minimal, you may want to request that your case be closed and save a full month of assistance to be used at a later date, when need may be greater. If you need a child care subsidy, this can be guaranteed in this situation.


What to Expect:
Eligibility decisions depend on how quickly application requirements are completed and the programs being applied for. Decisions regarding eligibility can be made immediately for certain emergencies or up to 45 days for safety net assistance.

Some general things you might expect are:


  • If you are a single parent, you may be required to have an interview with the Support Collection Unit.


  • If, however, you or your child has been threatened, abused, or you fear for the life of you or your child, you do not have to cooperate with the Support Collection Unit. However, you must be able to prove your claim.


  • If you tell the worker you have a substance abuse problem, or the worker suspects that you might, you may be asked to see a substance abuse counselor. He/She will be able to help you get the treatment you need.


  • The opportunity to complete a Domestic Violence Screening form. If you tell your caseworker that you are a victim of domestic violence, he/she will give you the opportunity to talk with a domestic violence counselor. You will also be provided with important information about obtaining Domestic Violences Services.



When you are determined eligible:


  • Benefits may be issued as cash or by direct payment to your landlord or utility provider.


  • Your cash benefits will be available at ATM machines in grocery stores.


  • In order to access cash benefits, you will need a benefit card and a PIN number.


  • Benefits over $25.00 are issued semi-monthly.

Non-relative Care Givers Information

How to Use Your Benefit Card to Get Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and/or Cash Benefits

The “Spiegel Law” says that if OCDSS-ES is notified by a municipal authority that it has issued a violation against the landlord that cites the existence of conditions that are dangerous to life, health and safety affecting your apartment or building, the Department of Social Services (“DSS”) has the power to stop the tenant’s designated shelter allowance rent payments to the landlord or owner.


To Provide Feedback About the Disability Accessibility of An Onondaga County Department's Website, Click Here to Access the Department's Contact Page

© 2001-  Onondaga County, New York  All Rights Reserved.   |  Ongov.net  |  Privacy Statement | Directions & Parking | Language or Disability Access Assistance