Temporary Assistance Services
This area of the Agency is responsible for the administration of income maintenance including:
- Public Assistance
- Food Stamps
- Emergency Assistance
- Employment Services
- Child Support and Enforcement Services
Initial and on-going eligibility determinations are a primary function of Temporary Assistance services. Eligibility determinations involve means tested income guidelines, fraud investigations, and require cooperation with employment activities.
The services provided in this area involve case management services for families and individuals with supportive needs including:
- Child and Adult Protective Services
- Coordinated Children's Services Initiative (CCSI)
- Preventive Services
- Foster Care
- Adoption Services
- Long Term Care Services
The goal of all services is to assist individuals and families in achieving and maintaining a safe, permanently established independent life.
SNAP provides low-income households with a supplement to their income to purchase food.
You can apply online at https://mybenefits.ny.gov.
The Food Bank of CNY offers SNAP prescreening and nutrition education: www.foodbankcny.org
You can also apply at our office at 60 Central Avenue between the hours of 8:30am and 4:30pm, Monday through Friday.
Please click this link for the available food pantries in Cortland County: (see attached)
For further information about SNAP benefits, you may call the toll-free OTDA Hotline at 1-800-342-3009 and press “1” for SNAP.
The Cortland County Department of Social Services is pleased to inform Cortland County residents that a free mobile device application, called NYDocSubmit, is available for individuals to use to submit necessary documents at any time. NyDocSubmit is a mobile app that provides individuals who have applied for, or are receiving Temporary Assistance, SNAP, Medicaid, or HEAP, the ability to simply and quickly submit required documentation. The mobile app is available for download on Google Play or the Apple App Store and can be used to take photos of documents and upload them to Cortland County DSS. Cortland DSS would also like to remind individuals that the www.mybenefits.ny.gov website offers screening tools for Temporary Assistance and e-filing options for SNAP and HEAP.
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Cortland County DSS
You can apply for SNAP Food Stamps along with Temporary Cash Assistance at Cortland County DSS.
The food stamp program is now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program. SNAP issues monthly benefits to your EBT Card that can be used to purchase food at authorized retail food stores. SNAP benefits help low income persons, senior citizens, the disabled and others feed their families.
EBT is the US government\s electronic based system in the US for payment of monies to those approved for food and cash benefit payments.
Check EBT Card Balance
States have their methods to log in and check your ETB balance online. We provide that information on our state pages.
Apply for EBT Card
Most states allow online applications for EBT Cards through the application for Food Stamps (SNAP Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) or cash benefits through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). We provided this local office contact for those who want to apply for their EBT in person at this office. After applying for your benefits you will most likely need to come in for an interview at this or another local social service office.
Even though revenue for the Department of Social Services for 2019 is projected to come in higher than it did in 2018, the department still projects a $1.6 million shortfall — for the same reasons it had one in 2018.
“The 2019 budget was built based on our years of experience and budget logic that was used prior to 2018,” Kristen Monroe, the commissioner of social services, said in an email Thursday evening. “The surprises all caught up with us at the end of 2018 when it was too late to do anything to amend the 2019 budget numbers.”
The gap was accounted for in the 2020 budget, Monroe said, so it doesn’t change the amount of money the county expects to have on hand — about $11 million, before the Legislature votes to use $1.8 million to cover a gap in the budget instead of raising taxes. The county’s goal is to keep 10% of its budget, or $14 million. However, the expected gap because of less money from the state to an increase in social services spending, which contributed to a $1.9 million increase in the county’s share of the department budget.
“The taxpayer is feeling the brunt of the state pushing more mandates onto the county,” said Kevin Whitney (R-Cortlandville), the chairman of the legislature.
But the county knew this was coming and accounted for it in the 2020 budget.
The $1.6 million shortfall has already been figured into the fund balance for 2020, Monroe said, reading an email she got from Rob Corpora, the county director of information technology.
Monroe expects similarly low revenue in 2020.
“The difficult challenge going into 2020 is that we have to count on revenues being low, but our expenditures are also going up,’ she said.
The reason for the gap is the same as 2018 — the state is inconsistent with reconciliations, revenue has decreased for various reasons and costs have risen.
The department must spend money, then wait for state reimbursement.
“They settle them at best a couple months later and some of the funding streams they don’t settle for a year or more later,” she said. In fact, the county, like other counties, is waiting for the state to release child welfare revenue from 2016.
“We’ve been waiting all year for them to release that money,” she said. “We anticipate that to be somewhere between $150,000 and $200,000 in revenue that will come to us.”
The county is also waiting on Medicaid reconciliation for the fiscal year 2016-17, even as Monroe is expecting to see the reconciliation from 2017-18 That’s another couple hundred thousand dollars.
“I have no idea when those will be delivered,” she said. “I can’t understand or explain why the money is not being released by the department of budget. That could make 2019 look significantly better.”
While department income for 2019 is projected to be up — to $14.2 million from $14 million in 2018 — that’s still below than the $15.5 million average of 2015 to 2017. Part of that stems from a drop in state grants for foster care to $993,000 in 2019 from $1.2 million in 2018, even as the cost of providing the care has increased to $1.9 million from $1.7 million.
Monroe had said in March the cost per child was up to $100,000 — it’s now more like $200,000.
“… our foster care costs are increasing due to children needing more intensive costly services in residential centers,” she said.
The other increase was seen in Safety Net — a state cash assistance program.
“Costs are running over our 2019 budget by more than $200,000,” Monroe said, even though the case load remains fairly flat. “This is primarily due to higher costs per case as more people are at congregate care rehabilitation centers and/or homeless, which costs far more per month.”
The state reimburses the county only 21%.
“We really are at the mercy of the state,” Monroe said.
It’s crazy how the process works, said Legislator Ron VanDee (D-Cortland), chairman of the Health and Human Service Committee, which oversees the department.
“We’ve got the money coming and we don’t get it. It’s not right; it’s wrong,” he said. “You can’t control the state and you can’t control the federal government. You can write resolutions in support of telling them you don’t like it but you don’t get any place.”
Monroe and VanDee both said they are hoping the gap decreases.
“It is still a moving target,” Monroe said. “Right now we only have data through September.”
60 Central Avenue
Cortland, NY - 13045
Cortland County DSS Details
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as SNAP, is a federally funded program that assists low-income households purchase nutritious food at authorized grocery stores and other retailers. Individuals must apply for this program and provide all the required documentation. If approved, recipients receive an electronic benefit card (EBT), which is similar to a debit card. The SNAP benefit is provided monthly directly into the EBT card. Amount of SNAP benefit is based on household size, income and other factors.
- Social security numbers
- Proof of residence
- Proof of alien status
- Proof of earned Income and unearned Income
- Proof of child care expenses if applicable
- Proof of medical expenses if applicable
- Additional documentation pertinent to program guidelines might be requested
- Breads and cereals
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meats, fish and poultry
- Dairy products
- Seeds and plants which produce food for the household to eat
Ineligible Purchases (SNAP benefits cannot be used for):
- Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco
- Any nonfood items, such as: pet foods, soaps, paper products, household supplies, vitamins and medicines
- Food that will be eaten in the store
- Prepared or hot foods
For additional information regarding SNAP benefits, call the toll-free OTDA Hotline at 1-800-342-3009 and press "1" for SNAP.
- Monday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
- Tuesday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
- Wednesday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
- Thursday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
- Friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
- Saturday closed
- Sunday closed
Need More InformationWe always need more information on our offices so we can keep up to date on changes. If you know of any details that we missed, a new website, hours have changed, etc, please add a comment (below the map on this page), with information. We will then display this for all visitors on this page.
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