Under federal welfare law, New York State receives a block of money from the federal government to design and run its welfare program. New York decides who qualifies for welfare, how much assistance a family can receive, how long a family can receive assistance and the types of programs that will be available to help welfare recipients.
In New York, families can receive cash benefits for up to five years (with the possibility of continued assistance in the form of vouchers after that time – called Safety Net Assistance). New York requires every adult welfare recipient to participate in a work or training activity as a condition of receiving welfare unless an individual is excused. In addition, welfare recipients are required to assist the state in collecting child support from non-custodial parents. The work requirement, the time limits, and the child support enforcement cooperation requirement may pose problems for survivors of domestic violence, but exemptions may be available. This guide explains welfare provisions that can help domestic violence survivors