Stimulus Update: New York Will Give Out $64M to Struggling Families and Domestic Violence Survivors
New York residents who are still struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for additional financial help thanks to a new fund set up by the governor’s office.
The Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund was established with more than $64 million in federal funding, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Tuesday. It will be administered through the state’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) and the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV).
The fund will provide one-time payments to help with the cost of diapers for struggling families with young children, cover food expenses for households with both children and older adults, and provide housing and relocation assistance for survivors of domestic violence.
Starting this month, the OTDA will distribute payments to all families enrolled in Public Assistance or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and that have a child under the age of 3. Families will receive $140 per eligible child to assist with the cost of diapers, with the funding expected to help about 150,000 children in 128,500 households statewide.
In April, the OTDA will issue one-time payments of $730 to help cover food costs for households that are enrolled in Public Assistance or SNAP, and that have both an adult 55 or older and a child 17 and younger. The one-time payments will be distributed for each eligible older adult in the household. About 26,300 households are expected to receive this assistance.
Payments will be issued directly to recipients’ Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) accounts. The two distributions will account for about $42.8 million in assistance for struggling New Yorkers.
“The pandemic has laid bare the inequities that exist across our society, leaving vulnerable New Yorkers who were already struggling even further behind,” Hochul said in a news release. “This critical funding will help tens of thousands of families pay for food and diapers, while providing a lifeline to domestic violence survivors in need of relocation and housing support.”
The fund also includes $21.4 million that OPDV will allocate to domestic violence service providers. The money will go to domestic violence survivors with children who are eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. It can be used to pay for short-term expenses associated with relocation — including rent, utilities and repairs.
Domestic violence has been a major problem during the pandemic, caused partly by the combination of financial stress and lockdowns. Calls to the New York State Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline rose an average of 45% during the height of the pandemic, according to the governor’s office.
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