Money in Your Pocket: How to Maximize New York Benefits Programs

Alberta Waelchi Sr.
Published Jan 19, 2024

Even in prosperous times, many New York families struggle to afford basic necessities. The good news is that there are numerous benefits programs available to provide cash assistance, food aid, tax relief, and more.

The key is knowing which programs you may be eligible for and taking full advantage of the resources offered. This guide will outline the key benefits available to New York families and strategies to maximize the money received.
 

Apply for Every Program You Qualify For

Don't assume you won't qualify for a program—apply to find out for sure. Programs like SNAP food stamps and LIHEAP heating assistance have broad eligibility criteria based on income and family size. There are also assistance programs like the Americor that can educe your debt amount

You may be surprised and approved for more programs than you expect. Apply for anything you might qualify for through the myBenefits website or local agencies.
 

Take Advantage of Pandemic Benefits

Due to COVID-19, New York has temporarily expanded eligibility and benefits for some programs.

Enroll in Pandemic EBT for additional food aid while schools are closed. See if you qualify for additional HEAP or unemployment benefits under temporary program enhancements. These expanded pandemic benefits won't last forever, so sign up now before they are rolled back.
 

Claim All Eligible Tax Credits

Don't leave money on the table by failing to claim tax credits you qualify for. The EITC and state EITC can provide substantial refunds for working families. If you pay childcare or college costs, see if you meet the criteria for the Child Tax Credit or higher education credits.

You may need to fill out additional IRS forms to claim some credits, but the potential payout is worth it.
 

Prepare for the Application Process

Having all required documentation ready will help speed up your benefits application process.

This includes information like pay stubs, utility bills, Social Security cards, and other financial records. Be prepared to provide details on your income, expenses, family members, and living situation. The more organized you are, the faster your application can be processed.


With some time and effort, New York families can maximize benefits received through the available programs. Follow these strategies to uncover resources you may be missing out on and gain access to as much financial assistance as possible during this challenging time. Money from these programs can provide critical support for covering essential costs.

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