We are experiencing everyday changes here in DSS. We will continue to do our best to keep you updated. If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call at (585)268-9316 or (585)268-9622.
Based on Federal Legislation signed into law on March 18, 2020, no person that has Medicaid coverage will lose their coverage during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you get a notice telling you that your Medicaid is discontinued after March 18, 2020, your coverage will be reinstated so there is no gap in coverage. Coverage will continue during this emergency.
Attached to this media release is a notice to all recipients of SNAP and Temporary Assistance with Medicaid Services an update for recertification dates. If your recertification was already processed and your case was determined ineligible, you need to reapply for benefits.
We continue to restrict in-person assistance in our offices. We encourage the public to submit applications by mail to the Department of Social Services, 7 Court Street, Belmont, NY 14813. Applications can be mailed to you by calling our office during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday – Friday. Please be sure to include in your information a good working phone number so we can contact you while processing your application. The “drop boxes” continue to be available that are placed at the entrances to the County Office Building for document drop-off and application pick up. Applications can be downloaded and made electronically for SNAP and HEAP at mybenefits.ny.gov. Medicaid applications can be made by calling 1-855-355-5777 and can be made online at nystateofhealth.ny.gov.
NOTICE TO ALL RECIPIENTS OF
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and/or Temporary Assistance Cash Benefits (TA) with Medicaid (MA)
IMPORTANT! PLEASE READ!
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) is automatically extending certain TA/MA/SNAP and SNAP only recertifications scheduled to expire in March, April, and May for a period of three (3) months (see below). The COVID-19 pandemic prevented some households from submitting recertification forms in a timely manner.
For the certification periods ending 3/31/20, 4/30/20, and 5/31/20, a three (3) month extension of SNAP or TA/MA/SNAP benefits has been approved for cases through-out the State.
March Recertifications: Only cases whose certification periods were scheduled to end in March 2020 and were NOT processed for recertification have been extended. If your recertification was processed and the district determined your case to be no longer eligible for SNAP or TA/MA/SNAP benefits due to excess income, failure to provide required documentation or another reason, your household was not eligible for an extension. Those cases eligible for the extension will automatically be authorized for three (3) additional months of SNAP or TA/MA/SNAP benefits, allowing time for a recertification determination to be made.
If your case was scheduled to recertify by March 31, 2020, and did not get processed, your case must now be recertified by June 30, 2020. Your benefits WILL END if you do not recertify.
If your case was scheduled to recertify by April 30, 2020, and did not get processed, your case must now be recertified by July 31, 2020. Your benefits WILL END if you do not recertify.
If your case was scheduled to recertify by May 31, 2020, and did not get processed, your case must now be recertified by August 31, 2020. Your benefits WILL END if you do not recertify.
As we know, Allegany County, through the combined actions of the Chairman Curtis W. Crandall and the County Administrator Carissa M. Knapp has declared a State of Emergency in response to COVID-19 effective at 10 p.m. Saturday, March 14. At this time, the primary purpose of the state of emergency is to support the Public Health Director in her decision making regarding the health and safety of our citizens.
The Department of Social Services will continue to provide services as follows:
- Temporary Assistance, SNAP, – All Public Assistance eligibility, recertification, and emergency interviews can be done by phone. Domestic Violence and Drug/Alcohol Screenings will be done by phone. These interviews can be conducted without face-to-face contact through April 11, 2020 and recertification interviews can be conducted by phone through May 15, 2020. All applications and required documents can be mailed, e-mailed, faxed, scanned, or dropped off. SNAP benefits can be applied for on-line at gov.
- Temporary Housing Assistance (Homeless) and Non-PA Emergency Assistance applications and documentation can be mailed, e-mailed, faxed, scanned, or dropped off.
- Employment Activities – All work activities for Temporary Assistance and SNAP applicants and recipients will be suspended until May 15, 2020. Employment assessments and employment plans for applicants and recipients may be completed via telephone contact.
- HEAP – All requirements for face-to face interviews for any HEAP component is temporarily suspended. Applications and any supporting documents can be mailed, e-mailed, faxed, scanned, or dropped off.
- MA Spenddown/Over-grant Claims and any other DSS payments – In person payments, may be sealed in an envelope with your name and reason for payment and placed in the designated “drop box.” Make the payment as close as possible to the correct amount. Any amounts overpaid will be credited to the following month.
- Fair Hearings – Please contact the office of Administrative Hearing at 1-800-342-3334 for rescheduling.
- Child Support Court appearances will be adjourned and adjourn dates will be sent out by mail to respondents.
- Child Support will receive documents through mail, e-mail, faxed, scanned or dropped off.
- Child Support payments can be made via mail or dropped off.
- Child Support Customer Service can be reached at 1-888-208-4485 or email the local office at CSEWEBALLEGANY@dfa.state.ny.us.
- Children’s Services and Adult Services – Services will continue based on needs and emergencies. Call (585)268-9316 for assistance. After hours number is (585)268-9189.
In an effort to have little to no face to face contact, DSS has placed drop boxes at each entrance of the County Building which can be utilized for any applications, supporting documentation, correspondence, payments, etc. Please include any change of address. These boxes are locked and will be checked daily. Anyone making a payment will receive a receipt in the mail. The Department of Social Services is requesting that people only come into the office if it is an emergency, most business can be completed via phone, or mail. If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Department of Social Services at (585)268-9316 or (585)268-9622.
“Strengthen workers by building quality relationships, fostering open two-way communication, and providing the training, tools and resources to create empowered and effective professionals.”
7 Court Street
Belmont, NY 14813
Our Services division assists those who may be homeless, in need of food or clothing, or have various other types of emergency needs. We provide some emergency services directly, making referrals to other providers as required to meet the needs of the individual or family.
Vulnerable adults, both the elderly and those with disabilities, are sometimes abused or neglected by their caregivers or others. The Department of Social Services employs specially trained caseworkers to investigate and respond to reports of physical, emotional, or financial abuse and various types of neglect. Workers in this area are particularly sensitive to an adults’ right to make his own decisions, even when we do not agree with them. Except in rare instances, services are voluntary.
Reports of potential adult abuse are accepted at
Adult abuse can sometimes be prevented through the provision of services. Casework services are available for this purpose. Caseworkers generally make personal contacts with the potentially abused adult, family members, and other care providers. Referrals are frequently made for other needed services.
Financial Management Services
Some adults are not able to manage their personal finances. This may result in unnecessary eviction, utility shut off, hunger, or other problems. We provide direct financial management for these adults, paying their bills directly. Most are referred by the Social Security Administration, although self referrals and other referrals will be considered.
Drug and Alcohol Screening
Drug and alcohol screening and assessment are predominantly designed for recipients of financial or medical assistance from our Department. A Certified Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor meets individually with referred adults to determine if an alcohol or substance problem will interfere with employment. If so, referrals are made to local agencies specializing in the treatment of these diseases. Participation in such treatment is required for continued receipt of benefits.
We make referrals to the local food pantry network for people with emergency food needs or those who do not qualify for food stamps. Comprised predominantly of churches, food pantries have limited storage space and generally provide canned and dry goods.
Emergency Food Pantries
Information and Referral
2-1-1 HELPLINE provides comprehensive information and referral services for Allegany County, connecting callers to available services, programs and volunteer opportunities throughout the region. Dial 2-1-1 (or 800.346.2211)
Caseworkers are available to assist anyone with unmet needs and are knowledgeable about services available in and around Allegany County. We are skilled at directing people to appropriate resources to assist with such issues as domestic violence, mental health, developmental disabilities, and landlord-tenant disputes, to name just a few.
Health-Related In Home Care
Personal Care Services
Adults with chronic illnesses or disabilities may require personal assistance in order to safely remain in their homes. Personal care services may provide help with such things as grocery shopping, meal preparation, cleaning, and bathing. Complete individual assessments are required prior to beginning services and periodically thereafter. Services are generally limited to several hours per week. People must have Medicaid to qualify for this service. Two types of services are possible: (1) traditional care, with a licensed agency sending in specially trained staff, and (2) consumer directed care, with the person needing services recruiting, hiring, training, and supervising the aides themselves.
Private Duty Nursing
Disabled adults or children may require the services of a private duty nurse in their homes in order to remain at home, or to assist family in the care of the disabled individual. Caseworkers assist those with Medicaid or certain Medicaid-waiver programs to acquire and authorize these services. Complete assessments are required prior to the onset of services and periodically thereafter.
Alternatives to Nursing Home Care
Many older or disabled adults prefer to remain in their homes instead of considering nursing home placement. In addition to providing more familiar surroundings and greater degrees of personal decision making, home-based care is usually substantially more cost effective than nursing home care. Through cooperation with the Allegany County Department of Health, we may provide access to skilled nurses who make regular home visits. The nurses provide a wide range of services in the home, including injections, dressing changes, and medication monitoring. Other services may also be available, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, respite, nutritionist services, and lifeline. Eligibility is based on insurance availability and need. Complete assessments are required prior to the onset of services and periodically thereafter.
Medicaid recipients often do not have access to a car to get to and from medical appointments. In these situations we can help you obtain medical services by arranging for transportation.
Medical transportation may be provided on fixed route buses, specially arranged buses, taxicabs, or from an ambulance company. Regardless of the type of vehicle, all medical transportation except for emergencies must be arranged in advance. This begins with a phone call to our medical transportation unit, proceeds to a confirmation phone call the day before the scheduled trip, and concludes when you return from the doctor’s office with documentation of the appointment. Medicaid recipients must follow our guidelines to access transportation services.
Some reimbursement is possible for recipients who drive themselves to appointments. Again, contact our medical transportation unit for more information.
Child Protective & Preventive Services
Reports of potential child abuse or neglect may be made by calling 800.342.3720.
Unfortunately, many American children are abused or neglected each year. The Department of Social Services maintains a team of highly skilled Child Protective Services (CPS) investigators who make personal visits to reportedly abusive or neglectful homes. Investigators interview parents, children, neighbors, school teachers, and others who have information. CPS works closely with the police in investigations of potential criminal actions.
Child Abuse Prevention Services
When our CPS unit finds actual or potential child abuse or neglect, the Department strives to prevent future problems by providing services to the family. Such services generally include home visits and parenting information and assistance, with specialized instruction or assistance in other areas provided as needed. Services are provided by trained caseworkers from the Department of Social Services and partner agencies.
For more information on child abuse, click on this link to the New York State Office of Child & Family Services.
Child Support Unit
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 SNAP, 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:
www.nysnavigator.org – 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.
http://otda.ny.gov/programs/ – The NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA).
www.mybenefits.ny.gov – 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 SNAP, HEAP, the Earned Income Tax Credit, child dependent care credits, school lunch and other programs.
http://www.ocfs.state.ny.us/kinship/default.asp – 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.