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Cash help when you are in need

Cash Assistance | NYC Human Resources Administration

1. How it Works

Your family can get cash if you are in need. The funds come on a debit card that you can use at any ATM or store where EBT cards are accepted.

  • Requires proof of identity, where you live, income, and citizenship status.
  • You must be a US citizen or have satisfactory immigration status to receive Cash Assistance; a worker will help you learn your status when you apply
  • If you are able to work, you will either need to be working, in an education or training program, or participate in a program assigned to you in order to get Cash Assistance
  • You can get money for emergencies, including: eviction, energy and utility bills, natural disasters, and your safety or health
  • Apply in person, or have an interview at home if you are homebound

2. Determine your eligibility

This program looks at several things to decide if you are eligible. Some of them include:

  • how much money you earn
  • how much money you receive from benefits
  • how many people live in your house
  • resources like cash or a checking account
  • your citizenship or immigration status

Take a short survey to see if you might be eligible for this or 30 other programs.

Am I Eligible?

3. What you need to include

It’s important to include the right documents when you apply. Your documents show whether the program is right for you.

This page can help you choose the right documents for your application.

Proof of who you are

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For each person applying, any one document:

One of these:

  • Photo I.D.
  • Driver’s license
  • U.S. passport
  • Naturalization certificate
  • Hospital or doctor’s records
  • Adoption papers

If you don’t have one of the above list, bring two of these:

  • Statement from another person
  • Birth or baptismal certificate
  • Validated Social Security Number (SSN)

Proof of where you live

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For the household, any one document:

One of these:

  • Statement from landlord or primary tenant
  • Current rent receipt or lease
  • Mortgage records

If you don’t have one of the above list, bring two of these:

  • Statement from another person
  • Current mail
  • School records

Proof of your income

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For each source of each income earner, any one document:

Wages & Salary

  • W-2 form
  • Income tax return
  • Letter from employer on company letterhead, signed and dated
  • Paycheck stubs (1 stub of earnings to date, 1 stub if you are paid monthly, 2 stubs if you’re paid a few times a month, or 4 stubs if you are paid every week)


  • Signed and dated income tax return and all schedules

Military pay

  • Leave and Earnings Statement (LES)

Severance Pay

  • Self-declaration from the participant

Unemployment Income

  • Award letter or certificate
  • Current benefit check

Social Security Benefits (SSI, Dependent, Disability, Survivor’s, Retirement)

  • Current award letter or certificate

Veteran’s Benefits

  • Current award letter

Education Grants and Loans

  • Statement from school, statement from bank, or statement from agency administering grant or award letter

Interest, Dividends, Royalties

  • Statement from bank, credit union or financial institution
  • Statement from broker or agent

Proof of your expenses

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For each expense, any one document:

Shelter Expenses

  • Current rent receipt, lease, mortgage book, or records
  • Property and school tax records
  • Landlord statement
  • Sewer and water bills, or garbage or trash collection bills or receipts
  • Homeowner’s insurance records
  • Fuel bills or fuel shut-off notice
  • Non-heating utility bills
  • Telephone bills (or a statement from the household that the expense is incurred)

Medical Expenses 

  • Statement from provider of health insurance premiums
  • Copies of medical bills (paid and unpaid)
  • Medicare prescription drug card

Other Expenses or Dependent Care Cost

  • Court order
  • Statement from day care center or other child care provider
  • Statement from aide or attendant
  • Canceled checks or receipts

Proof of citizenship/immigration status

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For each person applying, any one document:

  • Birth certificate
  • Baptismal certificate or records
  • Hospital records
  • U.S. passport
  • Military service records
  • Naturalization certificate
  • USCIS documentation
  • Evidence of continuous U.S. residence since before 1/1/72

Proof of your marital status

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For each person applying, any one document:

  • Marriage or death certificates
  • Separation agreement
  • Divorce decree

Proof of your relationship

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For each person applying, any one document:

  • Birth certificate (long form)
  • Adoption papers or records
  • Court records
  • Medical records

Proof of someone's absence in your family (Death of Parent(s))

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For each absent family member, any one document:

  • Death certificate
  • Survivor’s benefit records
  • Hospital records
  • VA or military records
  • Divorce papers
  • Proof of remarriage

To verify absent parent information

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For each parent, any one document:

  • Pay stubs
  • Tax returns
  • Social Security or VA records
  • Monetary determination letters
  • I.D. cards (health insurance)
  • Driver’s license or registration

Proof of your resources

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For each resource of each resource holder, any one document:

  • Current bank and credit card records
  • Stock or bond certificate and statement from financial institution for stocks, bonds, certificates and mutual funds
  • Insurance policy and statement from insurance company for life insurance resources
  • Burial agreement and burial plot deed for burial trust or fund
  • Refund of EITC check and statement from tax office for income tax or EITC
  • Deed statement from real estate broker and broker’s estimate of current value (for real estate other than residence)
  • Vehicle registration, title of ownership, and appraisal of current value by dealer, and financing data for motor vehicles
  • For lump sum payment, statement from the source of payment and lump sum check
  • For all other resources, statement from household, statement from nursing home, or household statement of current value and sales slips

Next section:

4. How to Apply

4. How to apply

Here are your options.

Apply online

If you’re already receiving Cash Assistance, you can complete an online recertification application.

Recertify online

Apply by mail

Download an application form, complete and mail it to a Job Center.

Download the form

Apply in person

  1. Visit a Human Resources Administration (HRA) Job Center near you.
  2. If you have a medical or mental health condition that prevents you from applying in person, you can call 212-331-4640 to make arrangements to have a worker do the interview at your home.
  3. When you apply, you will need to provide proof of certain things. A Job Center worker will tell you which of these things you must prove. It will help if you bring proof of your identity, where you live, who lives with you, and your income with you.
  4. You can apply for SNAP, medical help, and the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) when you apply for Cash Assistance.

Find an HRA Job Center

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We can send you a link to this page to help you get back to it when you’re ready.

More ways to get help with this program

Visit the website

Visit the Cash Assistance website to learn more about this program.

Call 311

Ask for Cash Assistance.

Call the HRA Infoline

Call the HRA Infoline at 718-557-1399 for more information.

Visit an HRA Job Center

Find an HRA Job Center near you.

Updated July 20, 2018