New York State Food Stamps & Welfare Benefits

The New York welfare program -- administered by the Department of Social Services -- provides assistance for low-income individuals and families, offering a variety of assistance programs on many different levels for individuals of all ages. Several healthcare, tax and assistance opportunities are offered through the state for eligible Medicare applicants.

Food Stamps

The New York Food Stamp Program is governed by the state, but eligibility for the program is measured using federal standards. The program, according to the New York Human Resources Administration, provides food assistance to low-income New Yorkers -- elderly, disabled and working families --- to alleviate the pressure of buying groceries. Prospective recipients of food stamps can apply in person at food centers in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens or Staten Island, or online at

Temporary Assistance

The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance provides monetary support for individuals and families who cannot find work, are unable to work or have too many expenses and don't make enough money. Two programs fall under the Temporary Assistance category: Family Assistance and Safety Net Assistance. Family Assistance allows eligible adults with children to receive up to 60 months of financial help. Safety Net Assistance is for families who have surpassed the 60-month help period, disabled individuals and households with no children.


Medicaid is a program for New Yorkers who can't afford their own medical care, covering pregnancies and births, inpatient and outpatient care, pediatrics, mental health and nursing home and hospice care, among many other things. Families can qualify for New York Medicaid if they fall under the federal poverty level, which, in 2009, was $1,838 per month for a family of four. Individuals can qualify for New York Medicaid if they make the same as or less than the designated poverty level, which is $903 per month. Application for New York Medicaid can be done by mailing an Access NY Health Care application to a local social services office.

Healthy NY

Healthy NY offers medical coverage for eligible small businesses, sole proprietors and individuals, allowing small businesses to give their employees and families extensive coverage. This program often covers doctor services, maternity care, inpatient and outpatient care, lab and X-ray services, preventative health care and emergency care, according to the Healthy NY website. A variety of insurance groups offer Healthy NY coverage, including Brooklyn Health Works, New York Bridge Plan, Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus, NYC Health Insurance Link and Healthcore.

Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC)

The Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage program is an in-state program that helps senior citizens pay for prescriptions. According to the program website, participants in the program save about 90 percent on the cost of their prescriptions, and most of them have Medicare Part D. The program is not only used to lower drug costs, it is used to lower the monthly premium that comes with Medicare Part D. The program comes with a quarterly fee for enrollees, and the amount of that premium depends upon income level.