Emergency Housing Benefits For Persons With AIDS

The Department of Social Services now has a special program that pays cash benefits to individuals with AIDS or HIV-related illnesses who are homeless, or threatened with homelessness.

How Do I Apply For An Emergency Shelter Allowance?
Go to your local Department of Social Services and fill out a regular Public Assistance application. Explain to the caseworker that you are seeking an emergency shelter allowance for AIDS individuals.

What Must I Show To Obtain These Emergency Benefits?
To obtain emergency benefits you must provide:

♦     evidence that you are homeless or threatened with homelessness. A notice that you are being taken to court by your landlord for non-payment of rent or a statement from your landlord that there are plans to evict you because you are behind in your rent are suitable evidence;

♦     medical documentation that you have AIDS, or that you have tested positive for HIV and are suffering from an HIV-related illness;

♦     evidence that you are receiving or are eligible and have applied for Supplemental Security Income benefits, and that you qualify for Home Relief;

♦     proof that you have no viable and less costly, alternate housing available. The Department of Social Services will consider whether less costly, alternate housing is:

  • Close to your family, friends, care givers, and medical providers;
  • Appropriate for providing home care, and
  • Suitable to meet your needs for supervision and other support.

 How Much Of An Emergency Shelter Allowance Will I Receive?
The amount you will receive depends upon your individual circumstances. It will be based on the number of people in your household, your income, and amount of rent you pay. The allowance will not exceed your actual rent, or reduce your Food Stamp Allowance.

Will My Application Be Confidential?
According to New York State Department of Social Services regulations, Social Services employees “…shall not reveal information obtained in the course of administering Public Assistance for purposes other than those directly connected with the administration of Public Assistance…” This regulation provides that details regarding your Public Assistance case will be kept confidential. The release of any information about your case must be authorized by you in writing.

What If I Have A Problem Obtaining An Emergency Shelter Allowance?
If you have any problems obtaining an emergency shelter allowance, call Legal Aid immediately.

√    Take the necessary papers with you when you apply for an Emergency Shelter Allowance.

√    Your application will remain confidential.

√    The Allowance will not reduce your Food Stamp Allowance.