Programs and Services

Learn about the specific programs available below. Also see the Answers to Assistance FAQs (frequently asked questions) on the REFERENCES/LINKS page.

PLEASE NOTE: Many required documents can be submitted via the NYDocSubmit app.    Learn moreadult   child

Children and Adult Services

  • Adoption
    Provides services to help find appropriate adoptive homes for children who are legally freed for adoption and are in the guardianship of the Commissioner of Social Services. Learn More


    All children need and deserve permanent, stable, loving families. Chenango County Department of Social Services is committed to ensuring that every child will know the love and caring of a permanent family.

    Some children become available for adoption through the Department of Social Services when parents determine they are unable to care for their child/children and voluntarily surrender their child/children for adoption. Others become available when their parents are unable to make the necessary changes in their lives to keep their children safe. In those situations, Chenango County Family Court may terminate the parental rights of the child’s parents, freeing the child for adoption.

    When foster children become available for adoption, they are often adopted by their foster parent(s). Whenever possible, it is generally in a child's best interest for their first placement to be their last placement. Therefore, the department attempts to identify families to provide foster care who are also willing to consider adoption.

    Foster and/or Adoptive Parents are required to participate in MAPP (Model Approaches to Partnership in Parenting), a ten week program. The training is provided by staff of the department. For further information as to how to become a foster parent, please call 607.337.1564 or 607.337.1547.

    For more information on Adoption:

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  • Adult/Long Term Care Services
    Responsible for Adult Protective and Preventive Services and determining eligibility for Long Term Care Services administered through Social Services, including, Personal Care Program and Medicaid coverage for Nursing Home Placement. Learn More

    Adult/Long Term Care Services

    The Chenango County Department of Social Services offers several programs that are designed to assist individuals of all ages with their activities of daily living and to provide nursing, therapies and other health related services depending on the individual's medical needs. Some programs/ services that are offered by this department are:

    • Personal Care Program
    • Assisted Living Program
    • Private Duty Nursing program
    • Personal Emergency Response System (lifeline/PERS)
    • Care at Home Waiver Program

    To qualify for these home care services you must be in receipt of Medicaid or eligible for the Medicaid spousal impoverishment provision and have a medical need for the service certified by your physician

    Other services include:

    • Family Type Home for Adults
    • Guardianships
    • Financial Management

    Chenango County Area Agency on Aging (AAoA), Chenango County Department of Social Services (DSS, and Chenango County Public Health Nursing (PHN) are collaborating to address access to information on homecare options available to Chenango County residents. The new NY Connects program will be addressing easy access to homecare option information, along with an assessment and referral process.
    For additional information on NY Connects Program
         Telephone Inquiries: 607.337.1659 or 877.337.1659
         Visit the website:

    Other Important Links:

    Medicare Savings Programs
    Medicaid and the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Benefit
    Long Term Care Services
    NYS Office for the Aging
    NYS Partnership for Long-Term Care
    NYS Home Health and Hospice Profile
    NYS Hospitals, Nursing Homes & Other Health Care Facilities

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  • Adult Protective Services
    Investigates allegations of abuse, neglect and/or exploitation of adults. Provides Preventive Services for Adults, along with a program of financial management for recipients of SSI (Supplemental Security Income) who are in need of this service. Learn More

    Adult Protective Services

    Adult Protective Services responds to referrals on individuals who meet the criteria of being 18 years of age or older AND of having a physical or mental impairment AND of having no one willing or able to assist them. The vulnerable adult is at risk of harm and/or has an unmet essential need. Examples include such things as abuse, which may be physical, emotional, financial or sexual in nature or neglect, which may be perpetrated by a caretaker or the adult. In response to the referral a home visit is made and an assessment completed. The individual may be referred to community resources to assist needs being met. The goal is to maximize safety using the least restrictive interventions. If the issues are not resolved within 60 days, a case is opened and case management services continue.

    Services may include the investigation and assessment of the individual's needs, casework counseling arranging alternative living conditions, Preventive Services, Social Services, Medical Services, providing homemaker services, guardianship services, representative payee or protective payee, providing advocacy, and assistance in arranging for legal services.

    Cases are generally referred to the Department of Social Services by:

    • black eyed susansOffice for the Aging
    • Social Security
    • Public Health
    • Health Providers
    • Friends and Neighbors
    • Relatives
    • Community at Large

    Chenango County Social Services contact: 607.337.1500.

    For more information on Adult Protective Services

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  • Child Care Assistance
    Provides financial assistance to eligible clients in obtaining child care services for children between the ages of 6 weeks and 13 years in a licensed day care center, school aged child care programs, group family day care homes, registered family day care homes and informal child care programs. Learn More

    Child Care Assistance

    The Child Care Assistance Program for Chenango County residents assists low and moderate income families who are working, job seeking or attending employment training with the cost of child care. You do not have to be receiving any other DSS assistance or aid to qualify for child care assistance. 

    Eligibility Requirements

    Your County Department of Social Services determines eligibility for Child Care Assistance. If you do not reside in Chenango County, you must contact the County Department of Social Services where you live for information and application forms for the Child Care Assistance program in your district of residence.

    Assistance is based primarily on the income of working families, child's age and individual needs. The hours that parents are involved in work or approved training or education are also a factor. Depending upon their income and family size, families may be responsible for cost sharing referred to as "parent fee" or "family share fee". 

    Families in receipt of Safety Net (SN) or Family Assistance (FA) benefits are guaranteed child care assistance to enable parents to work or participate in approved training or work site assignments. If your SN or FA case closes due to employment and there is a need for child care services, child care assistance is guaranteed for 12 months if working families earn 300% or less of the State Income Standard. Parents contribute a family share fee based on a sliding income scale.

    Child Care Assistance may also be available for children services cases when Child Care is mandated as part of the individual service plan for Preventive/Protective Services.

    The Eligibility Questionnaire allows parents and caretakers to answer a few questions to see if they are eligible for child care assistance. There are three sections to the tool; child eligibility, activity eligibility, and financial eligibility. Most of the questions are yes or no questions and the entire questionnaire takes 10 minutes or less to complete. When they are finished, families are referred to LDSS to apply or get more information.
    You can access the eligibility questionnaire directly by going to:

    How Do You Apply?

    To apply for Child Care Assistance in Chenango County, you must complete, sign, and submit an application to this Agency. Application forms may be requested by phone, in person or you can print out an application form using the link below. Complete all information and mail-in to this Agency along with required documentation outlined in the "How to Complete the Application for Child Care" document linked below.

    Application for Child Care Assistance (PDF)

    How to Complete the Application for Child Care Assistance (WORD)

    The application process includes having certain information verified and 
    documented, such as:

    • Identity
    • Household Composition
    • Age of child
    • Relationship of caretaker to child
    • Absence of parent/caretaker
    • Resident status of child
    • Income
    • Reason for child care
    • Special needs, if applicable
    • Child Support Order Status

    Once we receive your completed application you will be contacted and provided with a list of any additional documentation needs. 

    How the Program Works

    Eligibility Social Welfare Examiners determine who qualifies for Child Care Assistance in Chenango County. The parent or legal guardian chooses the Child Care Provider. All Providers must be either approved or licensed before payment can be made.

    Once an eligibility decision is made, you will be notified by mail regarding your eligibility for Child Care Assistance and any family share fees you are responsible for paying directly to your provider.


    Further Information on Finding Child Care
    Information for Parents
    Toll Free Number and Information About Child Care Complaints
    Information for Child Care Providers
    Health Insurance for Children, Families and Small Businesses

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  • Child Preventive Services
    child care NEW VIDEO LINK: Child Welfare workers during COVID-19 pandemic (1:19).
    Child Preventative Services provides services to families to prevent the need for foster care placement and to help assure the safety of children in the family. Learn More 

    Child Preventive Services

    Preventive Services are supportive and rehabilitative services provided to children and their families for the purpose of averting a disruption of a family which will or could result in the placement of a child in foster care or of enabling a child who has been placed in foster care to return to his or her family at an earlier time than would other wise be possible, or of reducing the likelihood that a child who has been discharged from foster care will return to foster care.  Families are assessed for strengths and needs and a service plan is developed with the family.  Services provided may include day care, homemaker, parent training, parent aide, clinical services, transportation, emergency services, preventive housing services and crisis respite care and services in cases involving AIDS. Outreach activities and intensive, home-based family preservation services may be available. In Chenango County Preventive Services are provided within both the Foster Care and Child Protective Units.

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  • Child Protective Services
    NEW VIDEO LINK: Child Welfare workers during COVID-19 pandemic (1:19).
    Child Protective Services investigates all child protective reports received by the State Central Child Abuse and Maltreatment Registry in Albany that have been deemed to have at least one person residing in Chenango County. Learn More

    Child Protective Services

    24 HR HOTLINE: 1.800.342.3720
    OUTSIDE OF NYS: 1.518.474.8740

    Child Protective Services ( CPS) is responsible to receive and investigate reports of child abuse and neglect, and to provide, arrange for, and monitor services for children and their families. On-call CPS workers perform this function whenever the Agency is closed. The investigation of a report is a fact-finding process that includes interviewing, observing, and information gathering. Its purpose is to protect the child, determine the validity of the allegations, evaluate any condition of abuse or maltreatment that was not reported, and determine the services necessary to ensure the protection of the child and reduce the degree of future risk to the child. The investigation includes an evaluation of all children in the home, whether or not they are actually named in the report.

    Within 24 hours of receiving a report of suspected child abuse or maltreatment, an investigation must be initiated and an assessment of the safety of the child done. The law allows CPS 60 days from the time of the receipt of the report to complete a full investigation of the allegations contained within the report, as well as an evaluation of the care being provided to the children. If some credible evidence of abuse or maltreatment exists, the report is indicated and the family is offered appropriate services. If no credible evidence of abuse or maltreatment is found, the report is unfounded and sealed. The caseworker may initiate Family Court action, where necessary, in order to compel the family to accept services or to seek a disposition which separates the children from the offending parent(s).

    For more information:

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  • Child Support Services
    Provides services for the establishment, enforcement and collection of financial support and medical insurance coverage for the support of children by their parents. Services may include: location of absent parents, paternity establishment, court ordered support establishment, and collection and enforcement activities. Learn More

    Child Support Services

    Telephone Inquiries: 888.208.4485

    TTY: 866.875.9975

    Video Relay Service (VRS): VRS information is available at

    (All email inquiries must include the following information:  your name, address, telephone number, and account number.)


    Chenango County Child Support Enforcement Unit provides the following services:

    • Location and Financial Investigations
    • Paternity Establishment
    • Child and Medical Support Establishment
    • Child Support Collection
    • Child Support Enforcement (Both Administrative and Court Based)
    • Child Support Order Modifications and Cost of Living Adjustments

    Additional Links

    For more detailed information on child support information and services, access the New York State Child Support Services website:

    Information for Custodial Parents:

    Information for Non-Custodial Parents:

    New York State Unified Court System:

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services - Office of Child Support Enforcement:

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  • Foster Care
    Responsible for placement and oversight of children placed in Foster Care who are under the custody of the Commissioner of Social Services (either through voluntary surrender or court order). Learn More

    Foster Care

    Foster Care Services encompasses all activities and functions provided relative to the care of a child away from his home 24 hours per day in a certified foster family boarding home or a certified group home, Agency boarding home, child care institution, health care facility or any combination thereof. To be in Foster Care, a child's care and custody or guardianship and custody has been transferred to the Commissioner of the Department pursuant to Article 3 (Juvenile Delinquent), Article 7 (Person in Need of Supervision) or Article 10 (Abuse and Neglect) of the Family Court Act. Occasionally, a child comes into care on a voluntary basis.

    The goal of Foster Care is to achieve permanency for a child. By law our first goal is to reunite children with their families by addressing the reasons the children entered care. A services plan is devised and through diligence of effort a caseworker assists the family in its completion. However, if the family does not complete the services plan or is unable to benefit from services so the children can safely return home, a petition to terminate parental rights is filed in Family Court and permanency is achieved by placing the children in an adoptive home. Consequently, home finding and adoption services are an integral component of Foster Care work. In order to be a foster child a person must be under the age of 18, or be between the ages of 18 and 21 years and entered foster care before his or her 18th birthday and has consented to remain in foster care past his or her 18th birthday and be a student attending a school, college or university, or be regularly attending a course of vocational or technical training designed to fit him or her for gainful employment, or lack the skills or ability to live independently. Many of our foster parents adopt children they have cared for who become freed for adoption. 

    Foster/Adoptive Parent Recruitment is done also by staff in the Foster Care unit. Foster parents play an integral part in the provision of services to children. Their willingness to open their homes to children in care assures a safe, temporary, and loving home environment while allowing the children to maintain connections to their families and communities.

    Foster Parents are required to participate in MAPP (Model Approach to Partnership in Parenting), a ten week program. The training is provided by staff of the department. For further information as to how to become a foster parent, please call 607.337.1564 or 607.337.1547.

    For more information on foster care:

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  • Non-Parent Caregivers
    Non-parent caregivers, who are caring for children without a parent living in their home, may be eligible for Temporary Assistance. Learn More

    Non-Parent Caregivers (Grandparents, Other Relatives, Friends) Caring for Children

    Non-parent caregivers, who are caring for children without a parent living in their home, may be eligible for Temporary Assistance. Temporary Assistance for children not living with a parent is often referred to as "non-parent caregiver" or "child-only" grants, and includes Medical Assistance (MA). If the non-parent caregiver wants assistance only for the children, the non-parent caregiver's income is not used to determine eligibility and there are no Temporary Assistance work requirements for the non-parent caregiver. Non-parent caregivers may apply for temporary assistance at their local social services office.

    In addition to financial assistance, non-parent caregivers (also called kinship caregivers) often have a need for information and assistance related to food stamps, the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), custody, guardianship, foster care, adoption, schooling, school enrollment, and other forms of assistance such as child care, social security, respite, case management and service programs.

    For information about services and assistance programs please visit the following websites and resources:

    • - "Know Your Resources: Non-Parent Caregiver Benefits" booklet
    • - The NYS Kinship Navigator's website offers legal fact sheets, state and local kinship resources, and other information. In addition, the Navigator operates a toll free phone line at 1-877-454- 6463. Kinship Specialists are available from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. A message may be left during non-business hours and calls will be returned when business hours resume.
    • - The NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA).
    • - MyBenefits is an online tool to help you learn about eligibility for financial assistance and other benefit programs. A simple, 10-minute prescreening from any computer with Internet access at any time, determines whether you are likely to qualify for Food Stamps, HEAP, the Earned Income Tax Credit, child dependent care credits, school lunch and other programs.
    • - The NYS Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) provides contact information and links to the Kinship Caregiver Programs funded through OCFS, as well as a variety of resources for families and staff, including the Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (KinGAP), a subsidy program available to kinship caregivers who are foster parents.

    Your local Social Services District (SSD) and local area Office for the Aging (OFA) are also resources for information on kinship care.

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  • PINS (Persons in Need of Supervision) / Juvenile Services
    Provides services to prevent placement of youth (under age 16) who have shown patterns of unmanageable behavior through truancy, runaway or criminal activity. Learn More

    PINS (Persons in Need of Supervision) / Juvenile Services

    The PINS/Juvenile Services Unit was designed to address the need for early and effective intervention of alleged PINS youth in order to prevent out-of-home placements, court involvement and to reduce the high costs associated with detention. Local governments and courts are now required to exhaust preventive measures prior to filing PINS petitions. Chenango County has been designated as the lead agency in this endeavor.

    The Juvenile Services team is comprised of representatives from Probation, Mental Health, Consolidated Children's Services Initiative (CCSI), Liberty Resources and the Department of Social Services. All agencies are involved in developing a plan to assist the child and family resolve any issue leading to a PINS petition and possible placement. For further information, please call 607.337.1500.

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Income/Financial Assistance

  • Employment Services
    Provides services to assist individuals in transitioning from dependence on Temporary Assistance to financial self-sufficiency through full time employment. Learn More

    Employment Services


    The Employment Unit assists Temporary Assistance applicants and recipients to access and utilize available services and supports necessary to become self-sufficient.

    Eligible activities/services include:
    Employability development planning 
    Employment readiness training 
    Supervised job search 
    Community work experience 
    Work/Career counseling 
    Education/vocation/rehabilitation referrals 
    Job placement/post employment services

    Eligibility Criteria:
    Applicant/recipient of: Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) 
    Safety Net Assistance (SN) 
    Food Stamps (FS)

    Referral Process:
    Internal referrals from the Temporary Assistance/Food Stamp Units

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  • Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
    HEAP is a federally funded program for income-eligible households. HEAP provides financial assistance for heating costs and heating equipment repair or replacement. The local Department of Social Services has primary responsibility for administration over the HEAP program each year. Learn More

    Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)

    HEAP is a federally funded program that assists low-income New Yorkers with the cost of heating their homes. HEAP also offers an emergency benefit for households in a heat or heat related energy emergency. Visit the NY State HEAP site to learn more about the HEAP program.

    Regular HEAP benefits assist households that pay a high proportion of household income for energy.  PLEASE NOTE no applications will be given out prior to the opening date.


    • E-file at This is the quickest and easiest way to file an application. Anyone can E-file an application. You may also print a paper application from this site once the program opens.
    • Paper application: those individuals still wishing to submit a paper application may do so, please refer to the following to determine where you should submit your application:
      • Chenango Area Agency on Aging (607) 337-1770: for applicants aged 60 and over that are not receiving TA or SNAP
      • Chenango Department of Social Services (607) 337-1500: for applicants that are currently receiving Temporary Assistance or SNAP benefits, or are applicants under age 60 and neither they nor anyone in the household are receiving any assistance benefits.
      • NOTE: if someone in the household receives SNAP and/or Temporary Assistance, the HEAP benefit may be issued automatically. If so, a notice will be sent to the recipient explaining the amount of the benefit.

    The Emergency Benefit Component of HEAP assists qualifying low-income New Yorkers who are facing a heat or heat related energy emergency and do not have resources above the established limits.

    Please note that the Emergency Benefit is in addition to the regular benefit and:

    • Eligible households must have the heating and/or bill in the applicant's name.
    • Resources that are exempt for regular HEAP are considered in the determination for eligibility for Emergency HEAP.
    • A household cannot receive an emergency benefit unless a regular HEAP benefit has already been issued to them.

    If you have one of the emergency situations listed below, contact the department of social services office. If the Department of Social Services is closed and you have an urgent energy emergency, please call the Chenango County Sheriff's Office at (607)337-2000, and request to have the on-call caseworker contact you.

    • A power or natural gas shutoff
    • Scheduled to be shut-off
    • Less than ¼ tank of oil, kerosene or propane.
    • Less than a 10 day supply of wood and coal.
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  • Investigations Unit
    Responsible for investigating reports of fraud activity. Referrals are received from DSS Staff, law enforcement agencies and concerned citizens. Fraud activity is also identified utilizing State computer matches conducted in cooperation with federal, state or local agencies such as, Social Security Administration, Internal Revenue Service, financial institutions, Department of Correctional Services, Motor Vehicles, NYS Taxation and Finance, etc. Contact the NYS Medicaid Fraud Hotline (1.877.87.FRAUD) or visit NYS Welfare Fraud Reporting site to report fraud.
  • Medicaid
    Health Insurance program that helps many people who can't afford medical care pay for some or all of their medical bills.  Medicaid is funded by Federal, State and Local dollars and is administered on the state level by the NYS Department of Health. Learn More


    Go to NYS Health Plan Marketplace to see which public health insurance programs you and your family may be eligible for OR click on the myBenefits logo below to check out your eligibility for other benefits and services.


    The New York State Medicaid Program provides health insurance coverage which is funded by federal, state, and local dollars and is administered on the state level by the New York State Department of Health. There are multiple programs and services offered through NYS Medicaid and differ amongst eligibility groups such as pregnant women, infants under the age of one, children under age 19 and the aged, blind and disabled. For more detailed information on Health Insurance Programs available in New York State, visit the NYS Department of Health website at

    How Do You Apply?
    If you are 65 years of age or older, on Medicare or in a Nursing Home, you can apply by contacting or visiting our office:

    Chenango County Department of Social Services
    Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm

    A face to face interview is no longer required to file an application for Medicaid. You can write, phone or visit our agency to request an application form, which when completed can be mailed, faxed or dropped off to our office.

    Otherwise, a "Fill and Print" ACCESS NY Health Care application form can be accessed through the NYS Department of Health website. Instructions on how to complete and documents you need to provide are outlined on that site also.

    Note: Medicaid Applications for Nursing Home Coverage do not require a face to face interview, but can be arranged upon request. If you would prefer to schedule an appointment to discuss Medicaid coverage for Nursing Home Care, please call 607.337.1500.

    Applications for Child Health Plus, Medicaid (except for Nursing Home coverage), WIC and PCAP can also be filed through an enrollment facilitator. To locate program information and application forms, please visit the following websites:

    Other Important Links:

    Important Numbers

    • NYS Medicaid Helpline: 1.800.541.2831
    • NYS Medicaid Newborn Helpline: 1.877.463.7680
    • Child Health Plus (children's insurance program): 1.800.698.4543
    • Healthy Baby/ PCAP (information for pregnant women): 1.800.522.5006
    • Healthy NY (low cost insurance for individuals and small businesses): 1.866.432.5849
    • EPIC (drug coverage for seniors): 1.800.332.3742
    • Medicaid Co.Payment Hotline: 1.800.541.2831
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  • SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
    applesSNAP (a/k/a: Food Stamps) is a federal nutrition assistance program designed to supplement a household's food budget. The amount of SNAP benefits received is based upon factors such as household size, income, assets, shelter costs, etc. Eligible households access benefits through an electronic benefit transfer system (EBT) by using a benefit card and PIN at participating food retailers. Learn More

    SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)

    SNAP (a/k/a: Food Stamps) is a Federal nutrition assistance program designed to supplement a household's food budget. The amount of SNAP benefits received is based upon factors such as household size, income, assets, shelter costs, etc. Eligible households access benefits through an electronic benefit transfer system (EBT) by using a benefit card and PIN at participating food retailers.


    How Do You Apply?
    You can now apply for SNAP benefits online, by mail, fax, or in person at your local Department of Social Services or Food Stamp office (NYC only).

    • Apply Online - You may apply for SNAP using the internet if you live in New York State by going to:
    • Apply by mail, fax or in person - You may apply by filing an application by mail, fax, or in person at your local Department of Social Services or Food Stamp office (NYC only). You may pick up an application, request an application to be mailed to you , or print an application by going to: The current SNAP application form is available to print in English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Haitian-Creole, Korean, and Russian. To find out the location of your nearest local Department of Social Services or Food Stamp office (NYC only) go to:
    • If you are applying for other assistance programs (Temporary Assistance, Medicaid) at the same time that you are applying for SNAP benefits, use the common application form, LDSS-2921. You may pick up an application, request and application to be mailed to you, or print an application by going to: The current common application form is available to print in English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Haitian-Creole, Korean, and Russian.

    In many locations throughout New York State, community organizations and nutrition outreach providers can help you get and complete an application for the SNAP Program.

    To locate Community Based Organizations in your district go to:

    To locate a Nutrition Outreach Education Program (NOEP) provider in your district go to:

    For information on the Nutrition Outreach Education Program (NOEP) including the School Breakfast Program - click here.

    The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), is a program administered by the New York State Education Department (NYSED).   Summer should be a stress-free time full of food, friends and fun. Free summer meals can help. During the summer months, children 18 and under can receive free, nutritious meals at Summer Food Service Program meal sites. Many sites also offer fun activities, so kids and teens can stay active and spend time with friends while enjoying healthy meals. Meals and snacks are also available to persons with disabilities, over age 18, who participate in school programs for people who are mentally or physically disabled. To locate a site in your community or for further information, please call the National Hunger Hotline at: 1-866-3-HUNGRY, text “food” or “comida” to 877-877, or go to:


    Additional Links

    EBT (24hr) Toll Free Helpline: 1.888.328.6399

    USDA Food and Nutrition Service  SNAP Program Information

    Eat Smart NY! - Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chenango County

    Food Bank of Central New York

    Hunger Solutions New York - Nutrition Outreach and Education Programs

    myBenefits - NYS OTDA Internet Prescreening Tool

    In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.  Chenango County DSS adheres to federal non-discrimination requirements;  for more information and instructions on how to file a complaint follow the link below:

    Non-Descrimination Statement

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  • Temporary Assistance
    Provides temporary financial assistance to eligible families and individuals. Administered on the state level by the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. Learn More

    Temporary Assistance



    Temporary Assistance is a financial assistance program funded through Federal, State, and Local dollars and is administered on the State level by New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA). There are two main programs under Temporary Assistance - Family Assistance (also referred to as TANF - Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) and Safety Net Assistance. 

    For additional information on Temporary Assistance, please visit the NYS OTDA website:

    How Do You Apply?
    Call or walk-in to this Agency to be screened and to schedule an appointment for an interview. Majority of applications are done on an appointment basis. If you have an emergency you may be able to schedule an appointment the same day you are screened.

    Appointments can be arranged:
    To schedule an appointmentcall: (607) 337-1500.

    Call DSS: Monday - Friday (8:30am - 5:00pm).

    If you require reasonable accommodations due to a disability, hearing/speech impairment or are in need of a language interpreter, please call the same numbers listed above or inquire at the reception desk at Social Services.

    An application form for Temporary Assistance can be found on the NYS OTDA website at: You can print the form, complete and bring into this Agency to be screened, file an application for Temporary Assistance and to schedule an appointment for a required interview. 

    What to Expect When You Apply for Temporary Assistance?

    You must complete a face to face interview with an examiner to find out if you are eligible for ongoing Temporary Assistance for you and your family. When you arrive at this agency you will be asked to complete a short intake form which helps us identify the reason for your visit and the correct program person you need to see. You may be prescreened, have a short interview, to determine if you have any emergencies that need to be addressed, such as:

    • You are homeless
    • You have little or no food
    • Your landlord has told you that you must move or has given you eviction papers
    • You do not have fuel or heating in the cold weather period
    • Your utilities are shut-off or are about to be shut-off, or you have a 72-hour disconnect notice
    • You or someone in your family has been beaten, abused or threatened with violence by a husband, wife, partner or other member of the household

    The pre-screener will determine your eligibility under emergency assistance and you will be given an application to complete. You have the right to turn in an application the same day you get it and have an interview within 7 working days.

    During your eligibility interview, an examiner will go over your application with you to make sure it is complete and you will be asked to provide supporting documentation such as: (this is a partial list of possible required documentation)

    • Birth certificates, Social Security cards, marriage certificates
    • Proof of residence and shelter expenses
    • Fuel and utility expenses
    • Proof of wages received (last 4 weeks usually)
    • Proof of any other type of household income
    • Proof of all resources such as: bank accounts, cars, stocks, bonds, etc.

    If you state you are disabled, you may be asked to sign a consent form to have your doctor complete a medical statement and/or you may be scheduled for an independent medical evaluation to determine your employment limitations.

    For further information on "What is an Emergency?" please visit the NYS OTDA website at:

    If you have a child whose parent(s) is absent, you may be referred to the Child Support Unit to seek support and/or establish paternity. You have the right to claim good cause for not cooperating with the Child Support Unit, if you have been physically or mentally threatened, abused or fear for the life of you or your child. You must be able to substantiate your claim.

    If you have a problem with alcohol or substance abuse or are suspected of having these issues you may be scheduled to see a Certified Alcohol & Substance Abuse counselor (CASAC) for an assessment of your treatment needs.

    You will be asked to voluntarily complete a Domestic Violence screening form and information will be provided on available Domestic Violence services. Those who voluntarily disclose the presence of domestic violence will be given the opportunity to meet with a Domestic Violence Liaison.

    You will have your picture and fingerprint images taken. This is required under NYS law in order to eliminate duplicate benefits being paid.

    If you are determined to be able to work and do not meet any exemption criteria, you may be required to participate in employment activities in order to receive benefits.

    When most households file an application for Temporary Assistance, eligibility for Food Stamps and Medicaid is also determined and you will also be informed of your eligibility for these programs. You have the right to a determination within 30 days of the filing date of your application.

    If you are determined eligible under the Safety Net Program, there is a 45 day waiting period before the start of initial benefits. 

    There are time limits placed on the length of time an individual or family can receive benefits. For more information, please the NYS OTDA website for more information.

    How Are Benefits Issued?

    For those determined eligible for Temporary Assistance, authorized benefits are accessed through an Electronic Benefit Transfer System (EBT) using an authorized Benefit Card and Personal Identification Number (PIN). For more information on EBT, please visit the NYS OTDA website:

    Additional Resources

    OTDA Programs:

    OTDA Publications:

    OTDA Common Forms and Applications:

    Electronic Benefit Transfer Info:

    myBenefits - NYS OTDA Internet Prescreening Tool:

    EBT Benefit Card (24hr) Toll Free Helpline: 1.888.328.6399

    NYS Helpline for HEAP, Food Stamps and Temporary Assistance: 1.800.342.3009

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Chenango County Department of Social Services      Commissioner: Daniel Auwarter
5 Court Street (main offices) and 14 West Park Place (admin offices), Norwich, NY 13815
Hours: 8:30AM ‑ 5:00PM (Monday ‑ Friday) Phone: 607.337.1500

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