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Welcome to the Department of Social Services

Rath County Office Building
95 Franklin Street
Buffalo, NY 14202
(716) 858-8000
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Al Dirschberger, Commissioner of Social Services

Erie County DSS Vision Statement

We envision a community where children, adults and families are healthy and safe and enjoy a quality life. As a responsive and efficient organization, we seek to continually engage the community in defining the role of Social Services.

Erie County DSS Mission Statement

To engage people in need and provide a broad range of efficient and effective assistance and services with community partners to facilitate a better future for the people of Erie County.

Most Frequently Requested Telephone Numbers

Report Welfare Fraud

Guide to Applying for Benefits

Where do I apply for Temporary Assistance, SNAP, Medicaid?



Erie County Work Center        
158 Pearl Street
Buffalo, New York 14202

Hours of Operation:

8:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M. [Monday – Friday]


Legal Advocacy for the Disabled

The Legal Advocacy for the Disabled [LAD] Unit of the Erie County Department of Social Services is dedicated solely to assisting low-income persons with the Social Security Administration’s Disability application process.

Legal Advocacy For the Disabled
95 Franklin Street - 11th Floor
Buffalo, New York 14202

Hours of Operation: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. [Monday - Friday]
[716] 858-1702

Services for Children, Families & Adults


                               478 Main Street                               
Hens & Kelly Building
Buffalo, New York 14202

Hours of Operation: 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Welcome to myBenefits!

The fast and easy way to find out about many health and human services programs and how to apply for them - anytime and anywhere. myBenefits is a quick and easy way for people in New York State to find answers to questions about New York State’s programs and services, including Food Stamps and Earned Income Tax Credits. Click the mybenefits link under the Hot Topics section on this website for further information.

New York State Discount Prescription Program

 This program has been developed by your County Executives and the County Legislatures to help lower the prescription drug cost for County residents. There is absolutely no charge to you or the County to belong to this program. This card was designed to be used if you do not have insurance or if something is not covered by your current insurance program. This card cannot be used in conjunction with another insurance program in order to discount your co-pays or deductible. Click the ProAct link under the Hot Topics section on this website for further information.

NY Connects

What is NY Connects?

NY Connects is a trusted place where you can get the information and assistance you need to make informed decisions about long term care. NY Connects is for anyone who needs long term care information and services:

• A child or an adult with a disability
• An older adult
• Family members
• Friends or neighbors
• Helping professionals

Click the NY Connects link under the Resources & Reports section on this website for further information.

Affordable Housing

 Are you looking for affordable housing? Click here for further information.

Tax Credits

For information on the following tax credit programs:

  • Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs)
  • New York State Noncustodial Parent Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Child and Dependent Care Tax Credits
  • New York State College Tuition Credit and College Tuition Itemized Deduction
  • Federal Education Tax Credits
  • Solar Energy System Equipment Credit
  • Real Property Tax Credit for Homeowners and Renters 

Click here for further information.

Paying for College

Learn about the financial aid that can help you finance your education.

Click here for further information.

Financial Education

Click here for further information.

To assist you with credit usage and counseling, debt collection and mediation and how to open a bank account.


Head Start and Early Head Start Program

Head Start and Early Head Start are comprehensive child development programs. Head Start serves children ages 3 to 5 and their families. Early Head Start serves pregnant women and their families and children birth to age 3 and their families.

 Click here for further information or to find a Head Start or early Head Start program near you.


Consumer Information

Many consumers turn to the New York State Department of State Division of Consumer Protection as their first line of defense and initial point of contact with New York State government to resolve a marketplace problem or to receive guidance and information. The Division protects New Yorkers through direct assistance and mediation of their marketplace complaints. The Division provides information and guidance to New Yorkers regarding numerous issues, including credit cards, Do Not Call, identity theft, home improvement, utility services and, more.

Click here for further information. 

Lifeline Discount Telephone Service Program

Lifeline Discount Telephone Service is a program designed to make basic telephone service more affordable for income-eligible consumers. Consumers qualify for Lifeline by participating in one of a number of federal assistance programs OR by having income at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines. The Federal Communications Commissions had previously updated its rules-governing program eligibility and non-duplication of support to improve program efficiency.

For Lifeline program information, click on the NYS Public Service Commission's Consumer Website or call (518) 474-1788 or (518) 408-1061.


Department Highlights

Public Notice re: Child and Family Services Plan

The Erie County Department of Social Services is proposing to amend its Child and Family Services Plan, 2015 Annual Plan Update.

Regular and Emergency HEAP Components Extended

The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) advised that the HEAP program closing date in Erie County will be extended. The new program closing date for both Regular and Emergency components is Friday, March 27, 2015.

March is National Social Work Month

National Social Work Month will be commemorated in March, with the National Association of Social Workers celebrating the organization's 60th Anniversary in 2015.



2015 Summer Primetime RFP Released

The 2015 Summer Primetime Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued Friday, February 13, 2015. Proposals for RFP #1504VF (to provide the 2015 Primetime Grant Application in conjunction with the Erie County Youth Bureau) are due by 5 p.m. on March 16, 2015.


Domestic Violence Unit Moves to 2nd Floor of Rath Building

As of January 13, 2015 the Domestic Violence Unit of Erie County will be located on the second floor of the Rath Building, Room 220, 95 Franklin Street, Buffalo.


HEAP Regular Benefits Remain Open

The Regular Benefit Component of the Erie County Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is remaining open beyond the anticipated closing date of December 31, until further notice is given.

Hot Topics
  • MyBenefits - To find out about human services programs and how to apply for them. Click here for myBenefits.
  • National Runaway SwitchBoard - Help keep runaway, homeless and at-risk youth safe and off the streets. Click here.
  • ProAct - A program developed to help lower your prescription drug cost. Click here for ProAct.
  • To translate a Web Page or text into another language, click here
  • For information on Domestic Violence Services as well as information on a community effort to create a permanent tribute to honor DV victims and celebrate DV survivors, go to the Domestic Violence link within the "Services for Children, Families and Adults" section of this website.