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Helping Hands for People in Need

Check your eligibility for a wide range of economic supports at The resources below are available to help you make ends meet. If you have additional questions about the information below, you may call the MYS toll free hotline number: 1·800-342·3009.

Nutrition Assistance – to help feed your family and stretch your food budget. Visit

  • Education · Food Stamp recipients are eligible for free nutrition education to help you make sound nutritional choices.
  • School Breakfast and lunch – free meals are available to school children.
  • Women, Infants and Children (WIC) – healthy food for low-income pregnant, post partum or breastfeeding women, as well as infants and children up to age 5, call 1-800-522-5006.

Tax Credits – to supplement your wages and help provide for your children. Visit

  • The Federal and State Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) – Low-income taxpayers may qualify for both a Federal and State EITC. New York City residents may qualify for an additional City credit.
  • Federal Child Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credits – Low-income taxpayers with dependent children under age 17 may qualify for this federal tax benefit. The Empire State Child Tax Credit is a refundable credit for full-year New York residents with children ages 4-16. Call 1-800-829-1040.
  • The Federal Child and Dependent Care Credit is a tax benefit offered by the federal government. The New York State Child and Dependent Care Credit helps even more low-income families because, unlike the federal credit, it is refundable. New York City residents may qualify for an additional refundable City credit Call 1-800-225-5829.
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is a program that provides free income tax preparation services for taxpayers who earn under $49,000 per year. VITA sites are located in every county in the State and a list of their locations may be found on the myBenefits website.

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) – Visit

HEAP assists eligible households in meeting their home energy needs including assistance with furnace repair and/or replacement and home weatherization. To apply, contact your local department of social services or your county office for the aging.

Health Insurance Programs – to help families that cannot afford medical care. Visit

  • Medicaid is available for low-income individuals and families who meet income limits, requirements, and, if applicable, citizenship or immigration status. Call 1-800-541-2831 or in NYC call 1-718-557-1399 or 1-877-472-8411.
  • Child Health Plus (CHP) for children under 19 years old whose family income is too high to qualify for Medicaid. Call 1-800-698-4543.
  • Family Health Plus (FHP) for uninsured, low income adults ages 19 through 64, with or without children, who are not eligible for Medicaid and have no other health insurance. Call 1-877 -934-7587.
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