The Department of Social Services offers a wide range of programs and services to families and individuals to assist them in meeting their basic needs for food, clothing, shelter and medical care. Services are also provided to individuals to assist them in preparing for, obtaining and maintaining employment. These include:
Eligibility Screening - My Benefits
Child Care Subsidy
The Child Care Subsidy Unit is committed to
- Establishing and renewing eligible families receiving Temporary Assistance so they can participate in employment and employment activities
- Working parents who have succeeded in leaving welfare
- Working families with incomes below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level
- Teenage parents in order to help them finish high school
- Families who need help to prevent a child's out-of-home placement
Temporary Assistance applicants and recipients must participate in work activities assigned by the Employment Unit. These work-related activities are intended to lead applicants and recipients to employment opportunities that will return them to self-sufficiency.
A partial list of work activities includes, but is not limited to:
- Employment - both subsidized and unsubsidized
- Job search and job readiness training
- Work experience
- On-the-job training
- Community service
- Vocational education
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Serve as the first line of defense against hunger. Applicants can apply online or contact 845-364-3100 if a personal interview is desired. For general information on the SNAP, visit the US Department of Agriculture website.
If you find you need additional food through out the month to feed your family, there are many local Food Pantires and Soup Kitchens. For an up-to-date list, please click here. It is recommended that you contact the pantries/kitchens to confirm days and hours of operation.
Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
HEAP is a federally-funded program that issues heating benefits to supplement a household's annual energy cost. HEAP also offers an emergency benefit for households who receive a Termination Notice from their utility provider. The benefit is paid directly to the utility. The HEAP season runs yearly within the November-March timeframe.
If you qualify, HEAP will help pay for: electricity, propane, natural gas, wood, oil, kerosene, coal, or any other heating fuel. An initial eligibility screening can be done by visiting the MyBenefits website at www.MyBenefits.ny.gov.
Applications are available online
. Follow the prompts for downloading. You may also obtain a HEAP application and mail/drop off the completed application to the Department of Social Services, 50 Sanatorium Road, Bldg L or one of the community organizations listed below:
- Rockland County Office for the Aging, 50 Sanatorium Rd, Building B, Pomona, NY 10970 (845-364-2108)
- Community Improvement Council, Spring Valley (845-354-5973)
- Community Outreach Center, Monsey (845-356-9600)
- Rockland Community Development Council, Monsey (845-352-1400)
To request an appointment, call the Department of Social Services at 845-364-3480, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or call the listed outreach offices.
If a resident uses the two HEAP benefits (regular and emergency) and still needs assistance paying their bill or needs assistance outside the HEAP season, they can contact the DSS Emergency Unit at 845-364-3100. Persons receiving assistance for a utility payment from the Emergency program may be required to pay the assistance back to DSS.
Information on how you can save energy and reduce your energy costs is available through unwasteNY.
Housing staff offers comprehensive services to those families and individuals potentially facing homelessness. The goal is to address and ultimately eliminate the crisis or urgent circumstances surrounding the homeless individual or family. When an emergency housing placement is diverted, these cases are retained until issues such as domestic violence, substance abuse, lack of employment, mental health, and childcare are addressed. Casework counseling and referral to needed services are provided on an ongoing basis.
Housing is notified of all eviction notices, utility disconnects and residential Health Department violations. Staff meets with individuals and family members in an attempt to help them retain safe and affordable housing. In many instances, home visits are conducted to insure that frail, elderly and minor children's health and safety needs are met. Emphasis is placed on maintaining family stability and in protecting the health and safety of all individuals at risk.
Housing staff also communicates with attorneys and landlords to prevent impending evictions. Staff negotiates payments of rent arrears, seeks out rent subsidies, explores housing alternatives, and secures permanent housing for the homeless.
Establishes financial eligibility for a number of health-related State and Federal programs that fall under the umbrella of Medical Assistance. DSS staff interview, gather documentation and determine the initial eligibility to open or deny a Medical Assistance case to individuals in a household.
Medicaid: Healthcare coverage for people who have income below a certain level determined by New York State. Persons who are certified disabled or over the age of 65 have a resource test (countable assets) as part of their assessment.
Children's Medicaid: Provides healthcare coverage for children under the age of 21. There are two expanded income levels for chidlren under the age of 1 and for those ages 1 through 18.
Care at Home (Model Waiver Program for Children): There are a number of specialized programs for disabled chidlren that waive their parent's income and resources in an effort to enable these children to receive services at home rather than in an institution and, thereby, help familes remain intact.
Family Health Plus: Healthcare coverage for individuals between the ages of 19 and 64 who are not Medicaid eligible, but whose income is below a certain level.
Family Health Plus Premium Assistance Program: Individuals or families who are income eligible for Family Health Plus and eligible for employer sponsored health insurance may have their premiums paid if the insurance is considered comprehensive and cost effective.
Family Planning Benefit Program: Provides family planning services to persons with income up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level who are not eligible for Medicaid/Family Health Plus.
Medicaire Savings Program (MSP): There are three Medicaire Savings Programs, each having a different income level standard, all assisting in the payment of the Medicaire Part B Premium. Eligible persons with low income and little or no assets will also have their deductible and co-payments paid for by the Medicaid Program.
Medicaid Buy-In for Working People with Disabilities (MBI-WPD): Allows people with disabilities to continue or begin working and earn up to 250% of the Federal Poverty Level while receiving Medical Assistance.
Presumptive Eligibility for Pregnant Women: Medicaid cases are opened expeditiously for pregnant women who are presumed eligible based on the attested income at the Department of Health's Prenatal Clinic. The cases are opened for a limited period under the Presumptive Eligibility for Pregnant Women Program until a final eligibility determination is completed. There is an income test expanded to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level for pregnant women.
Presumptive Eligibility for Children: This program allows qualified entities (selected federally qualified health care centers) to be contracted with New York State to screen families with no health insurance and provide immediate health care.
Chronic Care: Serves customers who are in a nursing home or have other long-term care needs. They establish and monitor continued eligibility for several programs that include:
- Home and Community-Based Waiver: A program for special needs individuals diagnosed before the age of 18, providing health and related services to enable them to be cared for at home.
- Traumatic Brain Injury: Offers comprehensive services for persons with traumatic brain injuries that occurred after their 18th birthday that enable them to remain in the community.
- Managed Long-Term Care Plans: Rockland now has five Partially Capitated Managed Long-Term Care Plans for elderly or disabled individuals wishing to receive long-term care at home.
- Long-Term Home Health Care Program: Working closely with Nyack and Good Samaritan Hospitals and the long-term home health care providers, patients who would otherwise need nursing home placement can receive care at home.
- Nursing Home Transition and Diversion Waiver Program: A new program that offers a wide range of special services that help people to choose to live in the community, maintain themselves at home or allow them to return home rather than live in a medical facility.
- Managed Long-Term Care Plans for elderly or disabled individuals manage their long-term care needs by providing long-term care services to individuals wishing to remain at home. A Care Manager coordinates all aspects of medical, long-term care, and daily living needs. To be enrolled in a Managed Long-Term Care Plan, you must have community Medicaid/Medicaire and be in need of skilled nursing home care but are able to live safely at home.
To apply for Medical Assistance, bring or mail a completed application and supporting documents to the Department of Social Services. If preferred, Medicaid and Family Health Plus applicants can apply in person on any Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday from 8:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. at Building L in Pomona.
Chronic Care interviews are also conducted on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but by appointment only. Please call 845-364-3988 for scheduling.
To apply for a Managed Long-Term Care Plan, contact one of the following five plans in Rockland County:
Elant Choice, 845-569-0500
Fidelis Care at Home, 1-800-688-7422, ext. 26114
Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY), 1-855-282-4642
Temporary Assistance provides temporary help to needy men, women and children that are unable to work or are working in a job that pays less than the poverty level. Depending on individual case circumstances, cash benefits are issued under the Federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or the New York State Safety Net Assistance guidelines. The Temporary Assistance Unit also determines eligibility for Medicaid and Food Stamps for Temporary Assistance applicants and recipients.
To apply for Temporary Assistance, stop by the Front Desk of Building L any Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday morning from 8 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. A completed Temporary Assistance Application and list of supporting documents are required for your interview. A pre-screening service is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. An electronic email address, RocklandDTA@dfa.state.ny.us, can be used to send follow up documentation that you have been asked to provide by your caseworker when applying for benefits or to ask questions you might have regarding the process. This e-mail cannot be used to apply for Temporary Assistance.
See also: Employment