Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that $12 million in federal funding is being used to provide a one-time Family Economic Support payment to low-income families with children. Administered by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund will provide households with children aged 17 and under that receive Public Assistance, with approximately $100.
“Due to our success in providing assistance from the federal Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund to some of our most vulnerable residents, New York has qualified for additional funding that went unused by other states,” Governor Hochul said. “This federal funding further helps households that suffered from the economic toll caused by the pandemic and gives these families a quick infusion of cash to assist with their expenses.”
The payments will be issued beginning October 17 and eligible families will be notified by mail that they will be receiving a payment. About 120,000 families with children are eligible.
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 was required to be used for issuing non-recurring benefits to impacted households with children to deal with a specific short-term situation or need.
New York initially received $128 million in federal funds through the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund. States that spent their full initial allocation, like New York, could elect to receive additional funding from states that had unspent funds. NYS received an additional $12 million.
Public Assistance provides monthly grants to help low-income individuals and families meet basic needs, such as housing. This program helps more than 590,000 New Yorkers who may be temporarily unemployed or unable to work, as well as very low-wage workers, and children.
New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Acting Commissioner Barbara C. Guinn said, “These modest, one-time payments will help families receiving Public Assistance provide for their children during times when all households are facing increased costs associated with basic household needs. These payments will help these very low-income households better provide for their children and I am grateful to Governor Hochul for authorizing the issuance of these payments to support families throughout the state.”
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, “These one-time payments will help ensure that low-income families can have some financial relief in covering their household expenses. I am proud to support Governor Hochul’s efforts to support struggling families with children and share her commitment to ensuring all New York families facing economic hardships have access to basic household needs.”
Representative Brian Higgins said, “From childcare to school clothes, families face regular extra expenses that put a strain on household budgets. During the pandemic, we saw how advance payments of the Child Tax Credit worked to lift children out of poverty. Parents will tell you that every little bit extra helps. This allocation of federal pandemic funding by Governor Hochul represents an investment in New York’s children.”
Representative Adriano Espaillat said, “The cost of living continues to increase, and I commend Governor Hochul on this latest initiative allocating $12 million in assistance to help over 120,000 New York households with children struggling financially to make ends meet. Families should not have to face this financial burden alone, and this one-time payment will help alleviate the load they face on a daily basis. Today’s announcement reaffirms our support of the vulnerable families.”
State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud said, “I thank Governor Hochul and OTDA for securing an additional $12 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to further support New York families and children in great need. These one-time Family Economic Support payments to some 120,000 households facing economic insecurity will help cover the rising costs of basic necessities”.
Assemblymember Maritza Davila said, “Governor Kathy Hochul’s announcement of $12 million in federal funding to provide a one-time Family Economic Support payment to low-income families is a testament to our unwavering commitment to uplifting the most vulnerable among us. This investment not only bolsters economic resilience but symbolizes the enduring strength of our communities. By supporting those who rely on Public Assistance, we can make sure we leave no one behind in the journey to recovery.”
The Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund has already helped hundreds of thousands of low-income New Yorkers with their essential needs. In February 2022, $19 million from the fund was provided to households enrolled in Public Assistance or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program with $140 for each child aged 3 or under to defray the cost of diapers.
In April 2022, the fund provided $730 in food benefits to more than 28,000 multi-generational households. These one-time payments helped about 31,500 adults over the age of 55, providing more than $23 million to families throughout the state.
In May 2022, families on Public Assistance with a child 17 or younger in their household received a payment of $250 from the fund to help pay for housing expenses, bills, and other critical needs. Roughly 110,000 households received payments totaling nearly $28 million, which assisted more than 216,000 children.
In August 2022, more than $44 million was distributed to help families with children receiving Public Assistance to 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 made to households with children ages 3 and under, benefitting about 34,000 toddlers.
In September 2022, nearly $3 million in payments were made to more than 2,700 older adults living in multigenerational households that receive Public Assistance.
OTDA also worked with the state Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence to provide financial assistance through the fund to support low-income survivors of domestic violence. As a result of this effort, the agency was able to provide $12.7 million to help domestic violence survivors and their families.
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