Skip to main content

Social Services

The Department, staffed by dedicated employees carry out a myriad of services highlighted on this site.  Over time you will see information added to the site and new initiatives will be previewed on these pages. We invite you to browse through the Schenectady County Department of Social Services webpage and learn more about the programs and services administered by DSS.

“The mission of the Schenectady County Department of Social Services is to promote the health and safety of our community by empowering individuals and families to achieve self-sufficiency and maintain independence.”


New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

Schenectady County is partnering with Bethesda House of Schenectady, Inc. and Schenectady Community Action Program, Inc. (SCAP) to provide in-person application assistance for renters and landlords applying for ERAP funding through the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA). OTDA’s electronic application portal will open at 9am on Tuesday, June 1.

New York State recently announced that up to $2.7 billion in emergency rental assistance is available through ERAP to assist households behind on their rent that have experienced financial hardship, that are at risk of homelessness or housing instability and that earn at or below 80 percent of area median income (AMI).

Online Application Portal will be available on beginning at 9am on Tuesday, June 1, 2021.


Income Qualifications for Rental Assistance in Schenectady County:

Income Qualifications for Schenectady County


1 Person

2 People

3 People

4 People

5 People

6 People

50% AMI







80% AMI















7 People

8 People

9 People

10 People

11 People

12 People

50% AMI







80% AMI







Application Assistance

Applicants who need assistance can receive in-person help from SCAP and staff at the Bethesda House starting on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. All sites are walk-in, no appointment needed. Applicants who arrive after capacity is full will receive an appointment to come back later the same day or the following day.*


Albany Street Site

913 Albany St.

Monday – Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm, open until 6:30pm on Wednesdays

(518) 374-9181

Ellis Site

600 McClellan St. (take a right down the hallway to the right of the reception desk)

Monday – Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm, open until 6:30pm on Wednesdays

(518) 347-5361

Mont Pleasant Branch Library Site (in the entryway)

1036 Crane St.

Tuesdays 1-4:30pm

(518) 419-9026

Hon. Karen B. Johnson (Central) Branch Library Site (in the entryway)

99 Clinton St.

Thursdays 1-4:30pm

(518) 419-9026

Bethesda House

834 State Street

Monday – Friday 8:15am to 6pm

Saturdays 9am to 2pm

(518) 374-7873

*Hours and locations are subject to change. Visit for the most up-to-date information.

Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York

Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm

Assistance available by phone

(833) 628-0087


Applicants should bring all required documentation to the assistance sites listed above.

Renter applicants will need to provide:

Personal identification for all household members; Social Security number of any household members who have been issued one: Proof of rental amount; Proof of residency and occupancy; Proof of Income to document income eligibility:
  • Documents demonstrating monthly income; OR
  • Documents demonstrating annual income for 2020.


The Landlord’s Checklist provides more detailed information.

The Renter’s Checklist provides more detailed information.

Landlords and property owners will need to provide:

Completed W-9 tax form; Executed lease with tenant applicant; Documentation of rent due from tenant; Banking information to receive direct deposit payment.
  • Copy of gas or electric utility bill, if applying for help paying for utility arrears at the same rental unit.
Additional Information

For more information, visit or call (844) 691-7368.