Standard of Need by County

Empire Justice August 01, 2022

Does Temporary Assistance Meet Households’ Level of Need?


Quick Links:

  • To calculate a basic public assistance budget, Click here.
  • To find your county’s Shelter Supplement Plan(s) and Rental Supplement Program Plan, see the  Shelter Supplements and Rental Supplements by County chart below


There are two types of Temporary Assistance: Family Assistance (FA) and Safety Net Assistance (SNA). FA is for families with children, subject to certain eligibility restrictions, including a 60-month time limit. SNA is for single individuals, childless couples, and households with children that have reached the five-year time limit. Applicants must meet eligibility requirements, including income and resource limits. For those found eligible, monthly Temporary Assistance benefits are less than 50% of the federal poverty limit in all New York counties. This page provides additional details about Temporary Assistance grants and rent supplement programs available in some local social services districts.

The monthly Temporary Assistance grant in New York State has two main parts: non-shelter and shelter.



The non-shelter portion of the public assistance grant consists of a “basic grant,” and is the same regardless of county of residence. It is based on household size:

Household Size
Each Additional Person
Monthly non-shelter grant



The shelter portion of the public assistance grant, called the “shelter allowance,” is set by regulation and varies by county of residence as well as household size and composition. There are two shelter allowance schedules: one for households with children and one for households without children. The shelter allowances are dramatically lower than the actual cost of decent housing in all counties across New York State. For example, here are the shelter allowances for households with children in Albany County and Cortland County:

Household Size 1 2 3 4 5 6
Albany County Shelter Allowance 214 219 309 348 386 404
Cortland County Shelter Allowance 199 234 281 317 352 384


The shelter allowances for every county are available in our Standard of Need Chart

Households also receive a “home energy allowance” and “supplemental home energy allowance” for all energy costs, other than heating. These allowances are the same regardless of county of residence and set by regulation. Combined, these energy allowances are as follows:

Household Size 1 2 3 4 5 6 Each Add’l Person
Monthly non-heating energy allowance 25.10 39.50 53 68.70 84.70 97.20 +12.50


If the household pays for heat, there’s a separate heating allowance, also set by regulation, that varies based on the heating source.

Want to learn more about the shelter and energy allowances? Click here to read Empire Justice Center’s report Turn Up the Heat: It’s Time to Raise New York’s Shelter and Fuel Allowances.


Standard of Need

Together, the shelter and non-shelter allowances are called the “standard of need.”

Click here for the current standard of need charts for all 58 social services districts. The last time the standard of need was increased was October 1, 2012.

Note: These standard of need charts indicate that Temporary Assistance grants are significantly lower than the federal poverty level. For instance, in Suffolk County, the total grant for a family of 3 with children with no other income is only $836 – 44% of the federal poverty level. Click here for a comparison of the standard of need for a family of three to the poverty level for each social services district.


Shelter Supplement Plans

Families with children and individuals who receive Temporary Assistance (FA or SNA) and who are experiencing homelessness or are at imminent risk of homelessness may be eligible for an additional grant, called a shelter supplement, to help them with their housing costs. Shelter Supplement Plans are authorized pursuant to 03-ADM-07 and 09-ADM-10.

Not all counties offer shelter supplements, and the number of available supplements in many counties is much more limited than the need. Counties set their own eligibility criteria, and those eligibility criteria vary widely. For instance, in Westchester County, families are ineligible for a shelter supplement to retain housing until they have been residents of Westchester for at least 12 months. In all counties, even with a supplement, households’ total amount of assistance is still lower than normal fair market rents. Click on the county names in the chart below to access the plans in effect as of January 1, 2022.


Rental Supplement Program Plans

Beginning in 2022, families with children and individuals, regardless of immigration status, who are experiencing homelessness or an imminent loss of housing may be eligible for assistance in the form of a rental supplement. Rental Supplement Program Plans are authorized pursuant to 21-LCM-24.

Eligibility is typically not limited to households receiving Temporary Assistance, but receipt of Temporary Assistance is not disqualifying. Not all counties offer rental supplements, and the eligibility criteria of each county’s plan differ.


Shelter Supplements and Rental Supplements by County

The chart below contains all counties in New York State outside of New York City, which has its own programs to help residents with housing costs.

Click on the county names in the charts below to access the approved plans as of February 26, 2024.

The amount of shelter supplements distributed in 2022 for every county are available in our Shelter Supplements 2022 Chart

The amount of rental supplements currently distributed for every county are available in our Rental Supplements Chart

County Shelter Supplement Plan for Families w/ Children Shelter Supplement Plan for Singles & Childless Couples Rental Supplement Program Plan
Albany Albany RSP
Allegany Allegany RSP
Broome Broome RSP
Cattaraugus Cattaraugus RSP
Cayuga Declined to Participate
Chautauqua Chautauqua RSP
Chemung Chemung RSP
Chenango Chenango RSP
Clinton Clinton SSP Clinton RSP
Columbia Columbia SSP Columbia SSP Columbia RSP
Cortland Cortland RSP
Delaware Delaware RSP
Dutchess Dutchess SSP Dutchess SSP Dutchess RSP
Erie Erie RSP
Essex Essex SSP Declined to Participate
Franklin Franklin RSP
Fulton Fulton RSP
Genesee Genesee RSP
Greene Greene SSP Greene RSP
Hamilton Declined to Participate
Herkimer Herkimer RSP
Jefferson Jefferson SSP Jefferson RSP
Lewis Lewis – SSP Lewis RSP
Livingtson Livingston RSP
Madison Madison SSP Madison RSP
Monroe Monroe SSP Monroe SSP Monroe RSP
Montgomery Montgomery RSP
Nassau Nassau SSP Nassau SSP Nassau RSP
Niagara Niagara RSP
Oneida Oneida RSP
Onondaga Onondaga SSP Onondoga RSP
Ontario Ontario SSP Ontario RSP
Orange Orange SSP Orange SSP Orange RSP
Orleans Declined to Participate
Oswego Oswego RSP
Otsego Otsego SSP Otsego RSP
Putnam Putnam RSP
Rensselaer Rensselaer RSP
Rockland Rockland SSP Rockland RSP
Saratoga Saratoga RSP
Schenectady Schenectady SSP Schenectady RSP
Schoharie Schoharie SSP Schoharie RSP
Schuyler Schulyer RSP
Seneca Seneca RSP
St. Lawrence St. Lawrence RSP
Steuben Steuben RSP
Suffolk Suffolk SSP Suffolk SSP Suffolk RSP
Sullivan Sullivan SSP Sullivan RSP
Tioga Tioga RSP
Tompkins Tompkins RSP
Ulster Ulster SSP Ulster RSP
Warren Warren RSP
Washington Washington SSP Washington SSP Washington RSP
Wayne Declined to Participate
Westchester Westchester SSP Westchester SSP Westchester RSP
Wyoming Wyoming RSP
Yates Yates SSP Yates RSP


Homeless Services Plans and Reports by County 

For more information on the programs and services local districts offer to households at risk or experiencing homelessness, please see the chart below containing the available homeless services plans and reports for all social services districts. Click on the plans and reports in the charts below to access each district’s most recent homeless service plan and report. 


County Homeless Service Plan 2020-2022 Homeless Services Report
Albany Albany County Homeless Services Plan Albany Homeless Services Report
Allegany Allegany County Homeless Services Plan Allegany Homeless Services Report
Broome Broome County Homeless Services Plan Broome Homeless Services Report
Cattaraugus Cattaragus County Homeless Services Plan Cattaraugus Homeless Services Report
Cayuga Cayuga County Homeless Services Plan Cayuga Homeless Services Report
Chautauqua  Chautauqua County Homeless Services Plan Chautauqua Homeless Services Report
Chemung  Chemung County Homeless Services Plan Chemung Homeless Services Report
Chenango  Chenango County Homeless Services Plan
Clinton Clinton County Homeless Services Plan Clinton Homeless Services Report
Columbia Columbia County Homeless Services Plan Columbia Homeless Services Report
Cortland Cortland County Homeless Services Plan Cortland Homeless Services Report
Delaware Delaware County Homeless Services Plan Delaware Homeless Services Report
Dutchess Dutchess County Homeless Services Plan Dutchess Homeless Services Report
Erie Erie County Homeless Services Plan Erie Homeless Services Report
Essex Essex County Homeless Services Plan Essex Homeless Services Report
Franklin Franklin County Homeless Services Plan Franklin Homeless Services Report
Fulton Fulton County Homeless Services Plan Fulton Homeless Services Report
Genesee Genesee County Homeless Services Plan Genesee Homeless Services Report
Greene Greene County Homeless Services Plan
Hamilton Hamilton County Homeless Services Plan
Herkimer Herkimer County Homeless Services Plan Herkimer Homeless Services Report
Jefferson Jefferson County Homeless Services Plan Jefferson Homeless Services Report
Lewis Lewis County Homeless Services Plan Lewis Homeless Services Report
Livingston Livingston County Homeless Services Plan Livingston Homeless Services Report
Madison Madison County Homeless Services Plan Madison Homeless Services Report
Monroe Monroe County Homeless Services Plan Monroe Homeless Services Report
Montgomery Montgomery County Homeless Services Plan Montgomery Homeless Services Report
Nassau Nassau County Homeless Services Plan Nassau Homeless Services Report
New York City NYC County Homeless Services Plan NYC Homeless Services Report
Niagara Niagara County Homeless Services Plan Niagara Homeless Services Report
Oneida Oneida County Homeless Services Plan Oneida Homeless Services Report
Onondoga Onondoga County Homeless Services Plan Onondoga Homeless Services Report
Ontario Ontario County Homeless Services Plan Ontario Homeless Services Report
Orange Orange County Homeless Services Plan Orange Homeless Services Report
Orleans Orleans County Homeless Services Plan Orleans Homeless Services Report
Oswego Oswego County Homeless Services Plan Oswego Homeless Services Report
Otsego Otsego County Homeless Services Plan Otsego Homeless Services Report
Putnam Putnam County Homeless Services Plan Putnam Homeless Services Report
Rensselaer Rensselaer County Homeless Services Plan Rensselaer Homeless Services Report
Rockland Rockland County Homeless Services Plan Rockland Homeless Services Report
Saratoga Saratoga County Homeless Services Plan Saratoga Homeless Services Report
Schenectady Schenectady County Homeless Services Plan Schenectady Homeless Services Report
Schoharie Schoharie County Homeless Services Plan Schoharie Homeless Services Report
Schuyler Schulyer County Homeless Services Plan Schulyer Homeless Services Report
Seneca Seneca County Homeless Services Plan Seneca Homeless Services Report
St. Lawrence  St Lawrence County Homeless Services Plan St. Lawrence Homeless Services Report
Steuben Steuben County Homeless Services Plan Steuben Homeless Services Report
Suffolk Suffolk County Homeless Services Plan Suffolk Homeless Services Report
Sullivan Sullivan County Homeless Services Plan Sullivan Homeless Services Report
 Tioga Tioga Homeless Services Plan Tioga Homeless Services Report
Tompkins Tompkins County Homeless Services Plan Tompkins Homeless Services Report
Ulster Ulster County Homeless Services Plan Ulster Homeless Services Report
Warren Warren County Homeless Services Plan Warren Homeless Services Report
Washington Washington County Homeless Services Plan Washington Homeless Services Report
Wayne Wayne County Homeless Services Plan
Westchester Westchester County Homeless Services Plan Westchester Homeless Services Report
Wyoming Wyoming County Homeless Services Plan Wyoming Homeless Services Report
Yates Yates County Homeless Services Plan