Governor Kathy Hochul announced the distribution of $44.4 million in federal pandemic funding to help struggling New Yorkers with children to cover back-to-school and early life nutritional expenses. Administered by the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund will provide New Yorkers on Public Assistance with one-time payments of $214 for each child ages 3 to 17 and $150 for each child younger than 3 in their household.
“Hardworking New York families are still feeling the economic toll of the pandemic,” Governor Hochul said. “As New Yorkers prepare to send their children back to school this fall, these one-time payments will help struggling families across the state pay for education supplies and other household expenses that may otherwise pose a burden on their household budget. This is yet another step we are taking to help lower costs of living for hardworking families hit hardest by the pandemic.”
Starting Aug. 12, Office of Temporary Disability Assistance (OTDA) will issue one-time payments of $214 to Public Assistance recipients who have a child between the age of 3 and 17. In total, the agency will distribute approximately $39.3 million, which will provide benefits for roughly 184,000 children.
Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Daniel W. Tietz said, “For families already struggling to make ends meet, the cost of education supplies and other school-related purchases can create significant financial stress for families sending their children back to school in the fall. These one-time payments will help cover these expenses for Public Assistance households at a time when so many of them are still coping with the negative economic effects of the pandemic.”
The Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund has already helped hundreds of thousands of low-income New Yorkers with their essential needs. In February, OTDA tapped roughly $19 million from the fund to provide households enrolled in Public Assistance or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program with $140 for each child age 3 or under to defray the cost of diapers.
In April, the fund provided $730 in food benefits to more than 28,000 multi-generational households. These one-time payments helped about 31,500 adults over the age of 55, providing about $21.3 million to families throughout the state.
In May, families on Public Assistance with a child 17 or younger in their household received a payment of $250 from the fund to help pay for housing expenses, bills, and other critical needs. Roughly 110,000 households received payments totaling more than $27 million, which assisted more than 216,000 children.
OTDA also worked with the state Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence to provide financial assistance through the fund to support low-income survivors of domestic violence. As a result of this effort, the agency was able to provide $12.5 million to help domestic violence survivors and their families.
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