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Social Services

The Human Resources Administration or Department of Social Services (HRA/DSS) is the department of the government of New York City[1] in charge of the majority of the city’s social services programs. HRA helps New Yorkers in need through a variety of services that promote employment and personal responsibility while providing temporary assistance and work supports. Its regulations are compiled in title 68 of the New York City Rules. The current Commissioner of HRA is Stephen Banks, who was appointed to the position in April, 2014 by Mayor Bill de Blasio. HRA is the largest city social services agency in the United States. It has a budget of $9.7 billion, employs over 14,000 people, and serves over 3 million New Yorkers.

Cash Assistance
HRA’s Family Independence Administration (FIA) provides temporary cash assistance under the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program and the New York State Safety Net program. Eligibility is based on factors such as income and family size. Participation in an employment or training program is required for anyone receiving temporary cash assistance.

Food Stamps
The Family Independence Administration also provides access to food stamps to low-income families and individuals. The food stamp program is known as SNAP, which stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Employment Services
HRA’s Employment Services, a part of the Family Independence Administration, connects HRA clients with employment and training opportunities in the private and public sector. Many employment services programs combine subsidized work and on-the-job training with guided job hunting and workshops on resume writing and interviewing skills.

Public Health Insurance
HRA used to provide healthcare services and information through the Medical Assistance Program. With the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, HRA now mainly caters towards specific Medicaid applicants, such as those over 65 or have disabilities.

Long Term Care Services
The Long Term Care Services Program offers a wide variety of in-home, community based or institutional assistance programs for the elderly and persons with disabilities who need medical care and help with daily tasks.

Home Care Services
The Home Care Services Program (HCSP) provides Medicaid-funded care programs to seniors or disabled individuals that allow them to remain safely in their homes, instead of a nursing home or other institution. Clients must be eligible for Medicaid to receive these services.

HIV/AIDS Services
The HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA) helps New Yorkers living with AIDS or HIV gain access to benefits and support. HASA clients may receive help with medical care, housing assistance, direct links to other HRA services such as food stamps, employment services, and counseling. HASA was first created as a unit serving clients with HIV/AIDS in 1985, then expanded into the Division of Aids Services and Income Support in 1995. In 2000 it became the HIV/AIDS Services Administration.

Domestic Violence and Emergency Intervention
The Office of Domestic Violence (ODV) provides support and temporary shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children. ODV can provide counseling and advocacy on a client’s behalf, and help them obtain other HRA benefits they are eligible for.

Adult Protective Services
Adult Protective Services (APS) provides case management and services for mentally or physically impaired adults who are at risk of harm. APS assists adults suffering from abuse, neglect, financial exploitation or hazardous living conditions and provides them with service plans that help them live safely within their homes and communities.

Child Support Services
The Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) serves parents (both mothers and fathers) and guardians, regardless of income or immigration status. OCSS assists custodial parents in getting a child support order in place, facilitate the receipt and disbursement of child support payments, and refer unemployed noncustodial parents to employment services and other programs. OCSS also refers parents to mediation services to resolve disputes and participates in several outreach programs to promote responsible fatherhood.

Energy Assistance
The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) provides assistance with heating bills and equipment repairs to low-income renters and homeowners.

Health Insurance Access
The Office of Citywide Health Insurance Access (OCHIA) helps connect uninsured New Yorkers with the NY State of Health. OCHIA operates NYC Health Insurance Link, a website which helps individuals and businesses understand insurance options.

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