New York State Offers These 6 Programs For Low-Income Residents
As many people and families are struggling to make ends meet thanks to inflation, New York State offers several programs for low-income households. Every time I walk into a store I get sticker shock. It seems like prices have almost doubled in just this year alone. It's crazy because wages aren't increasing at the same rate.
Minimum Wage Workers In New York State Will Get Raise This Month
This month, many workers in New York State will get a raise. Ever since December 31, 2016, New York's minimum wage has been increasing incrementally every year. Unlike some other states, New York is trying to ensure that workers have a more livable wage. Many states still have the federal minimum wage, which is ridiculously low, especially now that inflation is kicking everyone's butt. It's unbelievable that 21 states still have the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming expect working people to survive off just over $7 per hour.
The minimum wage in New York will increase each year on New Year's Eve until it reaches $15 per hour. New York City and Long Island/Westchester workers already reached $15 per hour in 2019 and 2021, respectively. Around the rest of the state, the minimum wage will increase again at the end of this month on December 31, 2022. The hourly wage will increase by $1, from $13.20 to $14.20.
Even With The Minimum Wage Increasing, People Are Still Struggling
Here are some of the programs that New York State offers to people who aren't able to work or make less than a livable wage.
1. Heating Assistance
New Yorkers who need help paying their heating bills this winter can get money from the state now. Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the state's heating assistance program is currently accepting applications. The Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as HEAP, opened for the 2022-2023 winter season on Tuesday, November 1, 2022. Low- and middle-income residents and seniors can apply to receive up to $976 in aid. The assistance payments are distributed by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. New Yorkers who need help can receive one regular benefit per season. If a household is at risk of losing its heat due to a utility shut-off, it could also be eligible for an emergency benefit. Emergency benefits applications will be accepted starting January 3, 2023. New York residents outside of the City can apply here.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides funds for New Yorkers to buy healthy food. SNAP can provide up to $939 for a family of four to buy bread, dairy products, meats, and produce. In order to apply, recipients must be low-income. A family of four must have an annual gross income of $36,084 or less to qualify. You can check eligibility requirements here.
3. Child Care Cost Assistance
New York State has expanded childcare funding for working and low-income families. The state is distributing $2 billion to help increase the number of families that receive financial support for childcare costs. In August 2022 the eligibility of a family increased from 200 percent to 300 percent, to $83,250 for a family of four. You can get more info about childcare funding from your local Office of Children and Family Services.
4. Discounted Internet Services
Low-income New Yorkers can get discounted internet services through the Affordable Connectivity Program. The program offers residents discounts on internet and broadband services.
- Up to a $30/month discount on your internet service
- Up to a $75/month discount if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands
- A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)
- A low cost service plan that may be fully covered through the ACP*
You can see if you're eligible here.
5. Temporary Assistance
Temporary assistance is also known as public assistance. It can help adults who are not employed, unable to work, or who just don't make enough money. There are several types of temporary assistance that are available, including Family Assistance, Safety Net Assistance, and Emergency Assistance. You can find more information about each here.
The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program offers assistance to pregnant women, breastfeeding women, postpartum women, and caregivers of infants and children up to age five. Get info on WIC here.