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Safety Net Assistance

What is Safety Net Assistance (SNA)?
Safety Net Assistance (SNA) is designed to provide benefits to eligible individuals and certain families who do not qualify for Family Assistance or other federal public assistance programs. SNA consists of cash and non-cash components and is funded primarily by both state and local sources.

What are the Eligibility Requirements?
Applicants/recipients of Safety Net assistance must meet all applicable eligibility requirements governing public assistance programs. Household income, resources, living arrangements, monthly expenses, employability and alien status are some of the more important factors which are considered in establishing both initial and ongoing eligibility for assistance. The following needy individuals and families may qualify for SNA:

  • single adults
  • childless couples
  • children living apart from any adult relative
  • families of persons abusing drugs or alcohol
  • families of persons refusing drug/alcohol screening, assessment or treatment
  • persons who have exceeded the 60-month time limit on Family Assistance
  • aliens who are eligible for public assistance but who are not entitled to federal reimbursement

Eligible households can generally receive SNA on a cash basis for a maximum of 24 months in a lifetime. If eligibility continues beyond the 2-year limit, SNA may be provided in non-cash form, such as a two-party check or a voucher. In addition, non-cash SNA is also provided to families of persons either abusing drugs or alcohol or refusing drug/alcohol screening, assessment or treatment.

Application for benefits under the SNA program must be filed in person at the DSS Service Center serving the household's municipality.

What is Emergency Safety Net Assistance (E-SNA)?
Emergency Safety Net Assistance (E-SNA) may be available for those persons not eligible for recurring public assistance or Emergency Assistance to Families (EAA). In order to be eligible for E-SNA, there must be an identified emergency need requiring prompt attention, and the individual or family must be without income or resources immediately available to meet the emergency need.

The income standard for E-SNA  is 125% of the Federal Income Official Poverty Line, which is updated annually by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services. This standard does not apply if the emergency is the result of a fire, flood or other like catastrophe, or if the emergency assistance is granted in accordance with Department regulations 352.5 (c), (d), and (e) which apply to the termination or restoration of utility services.

The following guidelines are effective January 1, 2011 until December 31, 2011:

125% of Federal Income Official Poverty Lines by Family Size, 2011

HH Size



























*Add 4,775 annual, $397.92 monthly for each additional household member.

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Contact Information

Paul Brady

797 Broadway
Schenectady, New York  12305-2704
Ph: 518-388-4470
Fax: 518-388-4644


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