Households Enrolled in Public Assistance with a Child 17 or Younger will Receive One-Time Payments of $250  

Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund to Supplement More Than 112,000 Households Across New York State  

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the distribution of $28 million in federal pandemic funding this month to help struggling New Yorkers with children to cover expenses incurred during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Administered through the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund will provide families on Public Assistance with a child 17 or younger in their household with $250 to help pay for housing expenses, bills, and other critical needs. This assistance follows Governor Hochul’s announcement listing resources for families struggling to obtain formula amid recent shortages.   

“The economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impacted low-income families across our state – especially those with children,” Governor Hochul said. “This one-time payment will provide tens of thousands of families with a critical lifeline to help pay past-due bills or other household expenses that accrued as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”   

Starting May 14, OTDA will issue one-time payments to eligible households receiving Public Assistance. Roughly 112,000 households will receive the payments, which will assist more than 216,000 children. OTDA will issue the payments directly to the household’s Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) account. Eligible households will receive written notification from OTDA.  

The Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund was created as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 with the intention to assist needy families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Per federal guidelines, the funding must be used for issuing non-recurring benefits to impacted households with children to deal with a specific short-term situation or need.  

Public Assistance provides monthly grants to help low-income individuals and families meet basic needs, such as housing. This program helps roughly 490,000 New Yorkers who may be temporarily unemployed or unable to work, as well as very low-wage workers. 

Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Daniel W. Tietz said, “Whether through the loss of employment or an inability to afford housing expenses -often both -Public Assistance recipients were among the households most severely affected by the economic toll of the pandemic. The hardship imposed by the public health emergency endures for so many of these families, which is why this assistance is so critical to help them make ends meet.”  

Senator Chuck Schumer said, “Help is on the way for working families across New York State. When I wrote the American Rescue Plan, I made sure to include robust investment for the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund to help struggling families with children to make ends meet, keep food on the table, cover bills, and pay for other critical expenses. Now I am proud to say $28 million will be going directly to help more than 112,000 households still recovering from the impacts of the pandemic.” 

Representative Adriano Espaillat said, “As New York state continues to recover from the pandemic, it remains critical that our efforts to provide economic relief is inclusive and expands to the most vulnerable among us. Many families were already on the brink of economic peril prior to the pandemic, and the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund, which was created through the American Rescue Plan Act that I helped secure in Congress, was established to provide emergency cash payment to eligible low-income households to ensure these families are not left behind.”  

The Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund continues to help hundreds of thousands of low-income New Yorkers with their essential needs. Earlier this year, OTDA tapped roughly $18.2 million from the fund to provide 130,000 households enrolled in Public Assistance or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program with a child under the age of three-years-old with $140 per child to defray the cost of diapers.  

Last month, the fund provided $730 in food benefits to more than 28,000 multi-generational households. These one-time payments helped about 31,400 adults over the age of 55 throughout the state.