Temporary Assistance

The Department of Social Services offers temporary help for needy men, women and children. If you are unable to work, can't find a job or your job does not pay enough to meet your basic living expenses you may be able to get help. Erie County has a Work First policy that focuses on the temporary nature of cash assistance and an individual's responsibility to achieve self-sufficiency.

Emergency Temporary Assistance offers help for an urgent need or situation that has to be taken care of right away. Some examples of an emergency are:

  • You are homeless.
  • You have received an eviction notice.
  • You do not have fuel for heating during the cold weather period.
  • Your utilities are shut off or are about to be shut off.
  • You or someone in your family has been beaten, abused or threatened with harm by a husband, wife, partner, ex-partner or other member of the household.
  • Applications for Emergency Services should be filed on the first floor of 478 Main Street, Buffalo.  To contact the Emergency Services Unit by phone, call (716) 858-6265.

* Starting March 22, 2018 TA and SNAP services will be extended until 5:45 p.m. one day per week, Thursdays, as part of a DSS-piloted initiative. These services will be provided on the Rath Building- first floor Erie County Work Center area and will include the following: General information about DSS services; obtaining benefit cards; dropping off or picking up paperwork (landlord forms, pantry referrals, et al); reporting changes in case circumstances to the agency (household composition, employment, address); filing applications for TA and SNAP benefits; and screening for expedited SNAP benefits, and if eligible, on-the-spot SNAP interviews.