Albany, NY (November 23, 2009) -- The State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) today announced that Nassau County residents can now apply directly for food stamps online through the State’s website, myBenefits.ny.gov.
The latest advancement of the myBenefits site enables individuals to apply directly for food stamps from any computer with Internet access, at any time convenient for them. Nassau is one of 11 counties that offer this capability, with more counties expected to join in the coming months.
“We are continuing to do all we can to help struggling New Yorkers get through these difficult times and achieve economic security,” said Governor David A. Paterson. “We recognize that many of those hard hit by the downturn have never sought help before, and we want to make it as easy as possible for those who are eligible to obtain benefits. Nassau County residents can now apply for food stamps through the myBenefits site without having to take time off from work, or from looking for work. They won’t have to visit the local department of social services to apply.”
“We have taken numerous steps over the past two years to make it easier for those eligible to access food stamp benefits, and the myBenefits site has been a key part of those efforts,” said Kristin Proud, Deputy Secretary for Human Services, Technology and Operations, who is currently overseeing OTDA. “As a result of these efforts, New York State has been well-positioned to respond to the needs of families affected by the economic downturn and the corresponding increase in demand for nutrition assistance benefits.”
“So many Nassau County residents have been hit by this economic crisis, and many of them do not know where to turn. The myBenefits website makes it easy to apply for assistance,” said Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi.
“Applying online means that no one has to take a day off work, make childcare arrangements, or wait on long lines. I am pleased that Nassau County residents will have access to this important tool, and we will continue to do everything we can to help our residents during these difficult times,” said Nassau County Department of Social Services Commissioner John Imhof.
“The Health & Welfare Council of Long Island is extremely excited to partner with OTDA and the Nassau County Department of Social Services to roll out myBenefits to Nassau County residents,” said Gwen O'Shea, President/CEO of the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island. “Foods stamps are a vital component in addressing the issue of hunger in Nassau County. Our hope is to make sure every resident receives the benefits they are eligible for.”
The myBenefits site, launched in May 2008, allows New Yorkers to complete a simple online prescreening to determine whether they are likely to qualify for multiple benefits – including food stamps, home energy assistance, Earned Income Tax Credits, child and dependent care credits, Medicaid, Family Health Plus, Child Health Plus and school lunch programs, among others. Plans call for including additional program screenings through myBenefits over time, with the ultimate goal of allowing individuals and families to apply for an array of programs by answering one set of simple questions online.
Residents of 27 counties – including Nassau and Suffolk – can already submit a food stamp application through the website with the assistance of designated community organizations.Governor Paterson and OTDA have made the economic security of New Yorkers a priority. Those facing the loss of unemployment benefits, collecting unemployment, or just having a hard time getting by financially, should visit myBenefits.ny.gov to see what assistance may be available to them.