Frequently Asked Questions

Initial Eligibility

How can I determine if I qualify for benefits?

To check initial eligibility for SNAP, Medicaid, and HEAP, 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 an online screening tool and application program for many programs.  Final eligibility is determined by the Department of Social Services at the time of application.

Temporary Assistance

What if I need immediate help obtaining food, clothing or shelter?

Emergency help is available for individuals and couples who are eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), but whose specific emergency need cannot be met by the SSI Program, as well as families with children that lack the basic necessities of life, such as food, clothing, shelter or heat. Contact the Temporary Assistance Unit at 845-364-3032.

What other assistance can Temporary Assistance workers help me with?

The Employment Unit is responsible for helping Temporary Assistance recipients return to self-sufficiency by finding employment. Consumers undergo a full assessment of their job skills, training and education. Employment Unit staff and consumers work together to develop a personalized self-sufficiency plan, designed to lead you into a job as quickly as possible.

Housing staff will help you with housing problems and locates temporary housing for you if you are homeless. Staff also works with landlords and consumers to prevent evictions. Contact Housing at 845-364-3150.

How do I 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. Call the DSS Eligibility Call Center with questions 845-364-3032.

If a Temporary Assistance worker asks me to send in documentation, can I e-mail the information?

Yes, you can e-mail requested information to Please note that this e-mail address is to be used for information requested by your worker; it is not to be used to apply for Temporary Assistance.


How can I get more food for my family?

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) enables low-income households to receive nutritious food. SNAP benefits are accessed through an Electronic Benefit Card and can be used like money at most supermarkets, small grocery stores and some fruit and vegetable markets.

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

How do I apply for SNAP?

Applicants can apply for SNAP in several ways:  (1) Log onto the MyBenefits website and apply on line. (2) Mail or drop off a completed SNAP Applicationand supporting documents at the Department of Social Services, SNAP Unit, Building L, Pomona, NY 10970. A telephone interview will be conducted by a DSS worker after the application has been received. (3) Contact 845-364-3032 if a personal interview is desired. (4) Applicants can 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

If a SNAP worker asks me to send in documentation, can I e-mail the information?

Yes, you can e-mail requested information to  Please note that this e-mail address is to be used for information requested by your worker; it is not to be used to apply for SNAP. 

Who do I call if I lose my Electronic Benefit Card or it does not work?

Contact your Temporary Assistance or SNAP worker. If you do not know the name of your worker, contact the Temporary Assistance Unit's main telephone number, 845-364-3032.

Medical Assistance

What if I have a medical emergency?

If you have a medical emergency, call 911.

Who do I call if I need medical insurance?

The 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
  • adults and children applying for specialized waiver programs
  • eligible for help paying for Medicare premiums and/or copays 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 and supporting documents to 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.  Applications can also be mailed to the Department of Social Services, Medicaid Unit, in Building L.

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

  • Apply online at
  • 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 website for contact information for in-person assistance provided by Navigators and Certified Application Counselors located throughout the community.

Who do I call if I need transportation to my medical appointment?

  • If you are Medicaid eligible, you may be entitled to transportation to and from providers of health care.
  • If you are enrolled in a Managed Care Medicaid Plan and your plan provides for transportation, please contact your plan's "800" telephone number.
  • If your plan does not provide for transportation, call Medical Answering Services (MAS) at 1-855-360-3542 Monday—Friday from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. to arrange for transportation. You must call at least 72 hours prior to your appointment.

Who do I call if I lose my Electronic Benefit Card or it does not work?

If you are receiving Temporary Assistance, SNAP, or SSI, contact your Temporary Assistance worker or the Temporary Assistance Unit at 845-364-3032. If you are only receiving Medicaid, call the Medicaid Unit at 845-364-3040.

Housing Support

Suppose I cannot afford a place to live?

Housing staff assists Temporary Assistance consumers with housing problems and locates temporary housing for homeless consumers.

If you require financial assistance to move, you must get approval from your Temporary Assistance worker. The Department of Social Services cannot pay rent until your new dwelling has been inspected by the Rockland County Health Department.

What if I receive an eviction notice?

Contact the Front Desk Emergency Unit at 845-364-3032 or your Temporary Assistance worker.

Child Care

How do I get child care for my child(ren) while I work?

The Childcare Subsidy Program provides subsidies to help pay for the cost of child care for low-income working parents. Contact the Childcare Subsidy Unit at 845-364-3797. If you are on Temporary Assistance, contact your worker.


What should I do if I am having difficulty paying my electric or gas bill or my lights or gas have been turned off?

During the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Season (Mid-November to Mid-March):

If you are receiving Temporary Assistance or SNAP, contact the Department of Social Services' HEAP Unit at 845-364-3212. If you are 60 years of age or older and/or disabled, please contact the Rockland County Office for the Aging at 845-364-2101. All others should contact the HEAP Unit at 845-364-3480 or 845-364-3212 for a HEAP application

Outside the HEAP Season:

Please contact the Utility Assistance/HEAP Unit at 845-364-3480 or 845-364-3212

Protective Services for Children and Adults

How do I get help if I see a child or adult who is possibly being abused?

Child Protective Services (CPS) is responsible for investigating and/or assessing safety on all reports of suspected child abuse and/or maltreatment of children under the age of 18. Reports of child abuse or neglect are made by calling the New York State Central Registry at 1-800-342-3720; these confidential calls may be made anonymously.  CPS responds to new reports seven days a week, 24 hours a day.   

New York State allows an alternative response to CPS investigations called Family Assessment Response (FAR). CPS Supervisors are responsible for determining if reports require an investigation or Family Assessment Response. Decisions are based on State law along with consideration of past history of reports and the level of cooperation from families.

When a child's safety cannot be assessed or the FAR track is deemed not appropriate, a CPS investigation of the allegations is conducted. CPS investigative Caseworkers may seek the intervention of the Family Court for Orders of Protection, court-ordered services for families, and/or authorization to place a child in foster care. Criminal action can be concurrent in cases of abuse.

FAR Caseworkers assess for child safety without having to prove or disprove the allegations. Workers engage families to identify their needs and provide supports, services and resources to meet each family's unique circumstances.  This partnership connects families to resources within their community or works to strengthen their informal support systems, while reducing risk to the child.

Protective Services for Adults is a system of services designed to assist adults, over the age of 18, residing in the community, who are mentally/physically impaired and are in need of protection from abuse, neglect (including self-neglect) or exploitation and have no one able to assist them. 

Services are aimed at assisting individuals to remain in the community for as long as possible. These services include counseling, case management, advocacy, financial management, finding alternative living arrangements, crisis intervention and legal actions when indicated.

If you know of an individual in need of Protective Services for Adults, please contact 845-364-3571.

Child Support

How do I get child support to help me raise my children?

Custodial parents should contact the Child Support Unit at 1-888-208-4485 for general information about child support, specific information about your case, or to make an appointment after completing a Child Support Application.

The Child Support Unit obtains support orders for children or takes enforcement actions if the absent parent is not complying with a court order. To obtain support, it is necessary to locate the absent parent and/or establish paternity. These services are mandated for families applying for Temporary Assistance, Medicaid, and Child Care subsidies when one or both parents are absent from the home and for all children coming into Foster Care. Eligibility for these benefits may be affected for failure to cooperate in locating absent parents or establishing paternity.

A fee is charged to the custodial parent who is not receiving benefits from Rockland County.

Family Services

What services are available if I need help raising my children?

Family Services:

Caseworkers are available to provide services to promote stability and avert disruption of your family. Contact 845-364-3050 for an assessment. 

PINS (Persons in Need of Supervision)/Adolescent Services:

This program assists families with children between the ages of 7 and 18 who are truant, acting out, or at risk of involvement in the Juvenile Justice System. Contact the PINS Unit at 845-364-3161

Services to pregnant and teenage parents are available through the Teen Age Services Act (TASA). Contact 845-364-3727 for additional information.

Program Integrity

Who do I call if I suspect someone may be receiving assistance they are not entitled to receive?

If you are aware of someone you feel may be receiving assistance to which they are not entitled, or are aware of a vendor (storekeeper, doctor, etc.) who is taking advantage of any of the Department of Social Services' programs, you can report suspected Fraud by any of the following methods:

Phone: Call Special Investigations at 845-364-3200

Email: E-mail your information to:

Fax: Complete the Report Child Care Fraud Form (this form can be used to report all types of Social Services' fraud) and fax your information to 845-364-3169

Mail: Complete the Report Child Care Fraud Form (this form can be used to report all types of Social Services' fraud) and mail your information to:

Rockland County Department of Social Services
Attention: Special Investigations Unit
P.O. Box 307
50 Sanatorium Road, Building L
Pomona, NY 10970

All information will remain confidential.

What can I do if DSS makes a decision that affects me and I am not satisfied?

If you believe that your case has been improperly denied, discontinued, your grant has been reduced, or if you feel that you are not receiving the proper amount of money, you should initially contact your worker and request an Agency Conference Call with a Supervisor. You can also request a fair hearing.

You can only request a fair hearing or ask to change the date or time of the hearing by calling or writing to the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. To request a fair hearing, contact the State at 1-800-342-3334, fax them at 1-518-473-6735, write them at the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, P.O. Box 1930, Albany, NY 12201, or schedule online.

The State will notify you by mail of the date and time of your fair hearing. You may bring a lawyer, community worker, or a friend with you to the hearing. To request an adjournment of a scheduled fair hearing, contact the State at 1-877-209-1134.

After Hours

What if the Department of Social Services is closed and I have an emergency that can't wait until the morning?

After 5 p.m. and on weekends and holidays, call the Sheriff's Department at 845-638-5400.

General Information When Applying for Assistance

We strive to see clients in a timely manner, but there will be days when you may have to wait longer than 30 minutes to be seen. Please be patient. Parents are asked to monitor their children at all times.

Please be aware that people come to this Agency for a variety of reasons and to see workers who perform different Social Services functions. If people arriving later than you are seen before you, they may be here to see a different type of worker than you need to see.

In keeping with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rockland County Department of Social Services is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to those applicants/recipients who have a disability as defined by the Act. All applicants/recipients for assistance programs are informed about ADA's prohibition against discrimination through LDSS-4148A, available from:

  • Building L, Front Desk
  • Your worker at the time of application or re-certification
  • Information sheet included in all application packets

Reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis. Applicants/recipients can make a request for accommodation through:

  • Telephone, by calling 845-364-3032
  • Writing to: Deputy Commissioner, Department of Social Services, Building L, Administration, P.O. Box 307, Pomona, New York 10970
  • In person, to a worker at the Front Desk in Building L

Applicants/recipients who are offered reasonable accommodation but refuse it, will be notified in writing of the accommodation offered and that the resulting action of their refusal may jeopardize receipt of services, and/or could result in denial, their case being closed, or a sanction being imposed.