Lisa Wright, Head Social Welfare Examiner
The Income Maintenance Division is composed of separate interactive units specializing in the diverse needs of the client population served by the Department. Regulations vary between units, but basic procedures have been standardized to promote coherence within the division. All programs are based on federal and state eligibility requirements.
Income Maintenance services and programs include:
- TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE TO NEEDY FAMILIES –
- Family Assistance and Safety Net
- Emergency Assistance
- Day Care Assistance
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE (HEAP)
- Temporary Assistance, formerly known as Public Assistance, encompasses both the Family Assistance and the Safety Net Programs. Both programs are designed to provide a temporary and time-limited form of cash and/or non-cash assistance to eligible individuals and/or families who have become unable to support themselves. The category of eligibility, whether Family Assistance or Safety Net, is determined by a number of factors based on applicable laws and regulations.
- Employment has been emphasized as the best method of moving households from welfare to work. All employable applicants and recipients of Family Assistance and Safety Net must be working or participate in work activities which are designed to help them become self-sufficient. The employability of those applicants and recipients of public assistance is determined by the department in accordance with applicable regulations and guidelines.There are many supportive services available to public assistance recipients in an effort to remove barriers to employment and self-sufficiency. Some of these services include transportation to locate or maintain employment; assistance with child care expenses for those working.
- Emergency Assistance is available to eligible applicants and is designed to meet an individual’s or family’s immediate need. In many circumstances, this allows the individual or family to continue to function independently of the public systems.
- Day Care Assistance is often necessary to enable families to achieve self-sufficiency. Transitional Child Care for families leaving Temporary Assistance Programs and Low Income Day Care are available to eligible households.
- SNAP Benefits are available to low and fixed income households meeting eligibility requirements and are used to supplement the grocery budget.
- Medicaid is available to assist low-income individuals and families access medical and dental care. There are a variety of different Medicaid programs available with varying eligibility criteria. For anyone in need of applying for the Medicare savings program to assist with Medicare Part B premiums, please call Office for the Aging at (518) 295-2001.
- Home Energy Assistance (HEAP)
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federally funded energy assistance program.
What are the guidelines for eligibility?
Eligibility for the program is based on income and your household situation.
Eligibility Requirements can be found at: https://otda.ny.gov/programs/heap/
HOW DO I APPLY FOR HEAP BENEFITS? Regular HEAP applications are taken at the Department of Social Services, the Schoharie County Community Action Program and the Schoharie County Office for the Aging.
If you are in receipt of SNAP and/or TA you may receive your HEAP benefit through this case, please contact your worker at (518)295-8334
Applicants for Regular HEAP benefits are not required to apply in person. You may apply online or call the HEAP Department to request an application be mailed.
FOR REGULAR HEAP BENEFITS YOU MAY APPLY ONLINE AT:
YOU MAY APPLY IN PERSON AT:
• If you age 60 or older or are disabled you may apply at the Schoharie County Office for the Aging located at: 113 Park Pl # 3, Schoharie, NY 12157, Phone (518)295-2001
• If you are not aged or disabled you may apply at SCCAP (Schoharie County Community Action Program) located at: 795 E Main St #5, Cobleskill, NY 12043, Phone (518)234-2568
• You may apply in person at The Schoharie County Department of Social Services located at: 284 Main St, Schoharie, NY 12157 Phone (518)295-8334
IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW OR WHERE TO APPLY PLEASE CALL THE HEAP DEPARTMENT AT: (518)295-8334
HOW DO I APPLY FOR EMERGENCY HEAP BENEFITS? Emergency HEAP applications are taken only by the Department of Social Services in Schoharie. Please call the HEAP department at (518)295-8334 if you are in need of emergency HEAP.
IF you have a HEAP related emergency during the hours of 9am-5pm please call:
• The Department of Social Services at: (518)295-8334.
• IF you have a HEAP related emergency after normal business hours please call: The Sheriff’s Department at: (518)295-8114 -The DSS on-call worker will be reached to address your emergency.
To determine if you are eligible for one of the above-mentioned programs, you must schedule an appointment for a face-to-face interview, by calling (518)295-8334, between the hours of 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM. Interviews are held at the Schoharie County Department of Social Services, Schoharie County Office Building, 284 Main Street, Schoharie, New York. You will be required to complete an application along with other paperwork. At your initial interview you will be seen by a social welfare examiner who will ask you a variety of questions relative to your identity, relationships, household size, income, resources, shelter costs, medical status, education, and employment history. Information you provide is documented and used to determine eligibility and calculate the proper benefit issuance for the household based on standards set by New York State Social Services Law and other applicable rules and regulations.
Applications for assistance undergo a pre-grant investigation/eligibility verification review prior to a final eligibility determination being made. The review is conducted by a social service investigator who may conduct a home visit to verify case information. In addition, adult and head of households applicants and recipients for services are finger and photo-imaged. Images are stored in a central computer file to ensure that applicants are not receiving benefits from any other county.
LINKS TO HELPFUL WEBSITES: