Increase public assistance benefits needs allowance cash assistance | 2023 NYS Legislative Agenda

While the need for food and cash assistance has only grown since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the amount of the personal and special needs allowances for New Yorkers in shelters that provide meals and the Cash Assistance (non-rent) grant levels have remained static and not kept pace with rising costs and inflation. At least since 1997, the State has set the “needs” allowance for New Yorkers in shelters that provide meals annually at $45 per month for a single individual and $63 per month per household member for families with children.  In other words, a mother and child living in a meal-providing shelter today must survive on a cash grant of only $126 per month.  In addition, those receiving Cash Assistance who reside in apartments or shelters where they can cook for themselves, also receive far too little cash assistance to meet their basic needs. The cash assistance (non-rent) grant for this population was last changed in 2012 and remains at $291.50 for a parent and child. Nor do the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits these households receive make up for the shortfall in cash because SNAP is limited to the purchase of food.  We support desperately needed increases in these public assistance benefits for this vulnerable population.

– New for 2023 –