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Emergency Services - Eligibility

Newly located Emergency Services Application IntakeAssistance Programs and Income Guidelines

  • Emergency Assistance may be authorized under a variety of programs, generally depending on who is the head of household, who resides with them, what led to the emergency need, and what type of income is received.  
  • If the head of household (or their legal spouse who resides with them) receives SSI or NYS SSP, they may receive assistance through Emergency Assistance to Adults (EAA).
  • Individuals or families in receipt of Temporary Assistance may receive assistance through Family Assistance (FA) or Safety Net Assistance (SNA).
  • Pregnant females or households with 1 or more children, related by blood, marriage or adoption to their adult caretaker(s), may receive assistance under Emergency Assistance to Families (EAF).
    • Eligibility for EAF also requires that: (1) the payment won’t duplicate a Temporary Assistance grant you’ve already received, (2) your emergency was not caused by an employable child or adult in your household refusing employment or work activities without good cause, and (3) your emergency was the result of a sudden occurrence or situation, unforeseen and beyond your control.
    • In addition, your family’s available gross income must be under 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, updated yearly, and available at  

May 2023 Update -- 

Those applying for Emergency Services benefits are directed to visit the first floor of the Rath Building (158 Pearl St. entrance, Erie County Work Center) and submit the required documentation in the newly located Emergency Services Application Intake unit here. For more information, Click Here

Emergency Assistance to Families (EAF)

  200% Gross Available Income Limits, Effective 4/1/24-3/31/25
Household or Family Size Yearly Monthly
1 $30,120 $2,510
2 $40,880 $3,407
3 $51,640 $4,303
4 $62,400 $5,200
5 $73,160 $6,097
6 $83,920 $6,993
7 $94,680 $7,890










  • Single individuals, married couples without children, and families determined ineligible for EAF may receive assistance through Emergency Safety Net Assistance (ESNA).
    • Your household’s gross income must be under 125% of the Federal Poverty Level, updated yearly, and available at
    • Unlike EAF income limits, which only pertain to you and your family, ESNA income limits take into consideration everyone who lives with you, regardless of relationship, when determining household size. 

Emergency Safety Net Assistance (ESNA)

  125% Gross Income Limits, Effective 4/1/24-3/31/25
Household or Family Size Yearly Monthly
1 $18,825 $1,569
2 $25,550 $2,129
3 $32,275 $2,690
4 $39,000 $3,250
5 $45,725 $3,810
6 $52,450 $4,371
7 $59,175 $4,931











  • You may be required to repay the assistance you receive, including payments made to prevent eviction, foreclosure, utility or water shutoffs, as well as payments made for Security Agreement claims. 
  • Heads of household (and their legal spouses who reside with them) must sign paperwork, including repayment agreements and Confessions of Judgment at the time of their approval.
  • Interest-free loans must be repaid in full within 12 months for shelter arrears and 24 months for utility arrears. 
    • Payment is broken down into monthly installments for your convenience, and is made by check or money order to: Erie County Department of Social Services, P.O. Box 120, Buffalo, NY 14201-0120.   Make sure to include your name, Social Security Number, and case number with your payment.    You may make your payment through the mail or in person at the Cashier’s Cage, located at the Rath Building, 95 Franklin St, 4th floor.  
    • If your household receives Family Assistance or Safety Net Assistance, repayment may be processed as a recoupment, where a percentage of your TA cash grant is taken each month to repay the agency.  That amount is usually 10%, but may be as low as 5% of the monthly grant, if your worker grants financial hardship.    If your TA case closes, you may instead be billed directly for repayment of your assistance.
    • Failure to repay your assistance within the time period, or to keep your payments up-to-date, may result in denial of additional assistance.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Eligible residents are reminded that these Federal Poverty Guidelines do not go into effect for SNAP on April 1, 2024. The Federal Poverty level for SNAP eligibility determinations is adjusted each October. The income guidelines remain in effect for SNAP through September 30, 2024.