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

  • To check initial eligibility for SNAP, Medicaid, HEAP, and Childcare Subsidies, as well as several other programs and tax credits, please log on to New York State's MyBenefit's website.
  • In addition to information about various programs, this site contains application information and an eligibility screening feature.
  • Final eligibility is determined by the Department of Social Services at the time of application.

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

Employment

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)

Serves as the first line of defense against hunger.  Applicants can apply online or contact 845-364-3100 if a personal interview is desired.

Applicants can also visit one of the following agencies that have community computers and staff who will assist with SNAP applications:

  • HACSO, 24 West Street, Spring Valley, 845-352-5897
  • Nyack Center, 58 Depew Avenue, Nyack, 845-358-2600
  • People to People, 121 W. Nyack Road, Nanuet, 845-623-4900
  • WestCOP at Rockland Community Action Program, 17 W. Broad Street, Haverstraw, 845-553-9118

For general information on SNAP, visit the US Department of Agriculture website.

Visit New York State Office of Temporary & Disability Assistance to view their Nondiscrimination Statement and to find out how to file a SNAP discrimination complaint. 

SNAP benefits are issued through an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Card. Please see instructions on how to use your card to get SNAP.

If you find you need additional food throughout the month to feed your family, there are many local Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens; click here for a complete listing. It is recommended that you contact the pantries/kitchens to confirm days and hours of operation. 

Eat Smart NY provides workshops on numerous food-related topics, including: nutrition/food safety education, assistance with family financial management, help with dietary planning and food shopping for low income individuals and families. Contact Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rockland County at (845) 429-7085 or log on to their website, www.rocklandcce.org, for additional details. 

See our listing of Farmer's Markets for locations in Rockland. Most markets accepts FMNP (coupons for income-eligible seniors and WIC recipients) and some accept SNAP.

To view Discrimination Statement or to file a discrimination complaint, please

Summer Food Service Program:

The NYS Education Department offers low-income children 18 years of age and younger, as well as disabled young adults over age 18 enrolled in school programs for persons with disabilities, to receive free, nutritious meals during the summer months when schools are not in session. Call 1-800-522-5006 or visit www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks for a location near you.

Housing

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.   

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.  In 2014/2015, the HEAP season runs from November 16, 2015 - March 15, 2016; Emergency HEAP (where a Termination Notice has been received) runs from January 4, 2016 through March 15, 2016.

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.  You can also apply for HEAP via the MyBenefits website. 

Written applications are also available online.  Follow the prompts for downloading. 

If you received a HEAP benefit in the 2014/2015 season, you can apply for regular HEAP by mail on or after November 16, 2015; no interview  is required.  Applications must be received by March 15, 2016.  Applications for previous HEAP households that include a vulnerable member (children under 6 years of age, as well as persons 60 and over, SSI, SSD) were mailed out in September.

Regular HEAP/Applications must be received between Nov 16, 2015  - Mar 15, 2016.

How to Apply:

  • Apply online via www.MyBenefits.ny.gov.
  • The following organizations can mail you an application and will accept completed applications and supporting documents in person/by mail:
  • Rockland County Department of Social Services, HEAP Unit, Pomona (364-3480 or 364-3485)
  • Rockland County Office for the Aging, Pomona (364-2101)
  • Community Improvement Council, Spring Valley (354-4100)
  • Community Outreach Center, Monsey (356-9600)
  • Rockland Community Development Council, Monsey (352-1400)

If you did not receive a HEAP benefit in the 2014/2015 season, please call the HEAP Unit at 845-364-3480 or 845-364-3212 to schedule a personal interview.

Emergency HEAP/Termination Notices must be faxed between Jan 4 - Mar 15, 2016.

Regardless of whether you are a new or existing HEAP recipient, 30 days after your regular benefit is guaranteed, an emergency benefit may be guaranteed if you receive a Termination Notice.  When you receive your Termination Notice, fax it to 845-364-3130.  Everyone must write a contact phone number on the Notice.  Temporary Assistance and SNAP recipients should also include their Temporary Assistance or SNAP Case Number.  You will be contacted for a phone interview.

Please note:  It takes between 8-10 weeks for your benefit to be reflected on your utility bill.

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 845-364-3480. 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.

Medical Assistance

The local Rockland County Department of Social Services' Medicaid Unit processes Medicaid applications for residents who are:

  • Medicare recipients.
  • 65 years old or older who are not caretakers for children under 21 years of age.
  • Looking for assistance with the cost of Home Care, Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Home Care.
  • Disabled adults and children eligible for the Excess Income Program.
  • Disabled adults and children applying for specialized waiver programs.
  • Eligible for help paying for Medicare premiums and/or co-pays through the Medicare Savings Program.

All other persons looking for medical insurance must apply for health insurance (including public health insurance programs like Medicaid and Child Health Plus) through the New York State of Health.

How do I apply for Medicaid?

Those meeting the criteria listed above for local processing may drop off a completed application, supplement A and supporting documents at the Rockland County Department of Social Services, Building L, 50 Sanatorium Road, Pomona, New York 10970 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or apply in person at Building L any Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday morning between 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.  Individuals may also mail in their application, supplemental A and supporting documents to the Department of Social Services at the above address, attention Medicaid Unit. 

Applicants who are applying through the New York State of Health have 3 options:

  • Apply online at newyorkstateofhealth.ny.gov.
  • Call the New York State of Health at 1-855-355-5777, Monday – Friday between 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  Customer Service Representatives can take over-the-phone applications.
  • Check the newyorkstateofhealth.ny.gov website for contact information for in-person assistance provided by Navigators and Certified Application Counselors located throughout the community.

What do I do if I have to apply for expedited Personal Care Services/Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Services? 

Please see our Informational Notice and Attestation Form  for more details.

Temporary Assistance

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.  Cash benefits are issued through an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Card.  Please click here for instructions on how to access cash from your Card.  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 Monday, 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. 

Temporary Assistance applicants/recipients who have an immediate need for Personal Care Services/Consumer Directed Personal Care Services should see information in the Medicaid section above.

See also: Employment