Economic Security Division
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ECONOMIC SECURITY DIVISION
Kathleen Buschynski, Head Social Welfare Examiner
The Economic Security Division is composed of separate interactive units specializing in the diverse needs of
the client population served by the Department. Regulations vary between units, but basic procedures have been
standardized to promote coherence within the division. All programs are based on federal and state eligibility
Economic Security services and programs include:
- TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE TO NEEDY FAMILIES -
- Family Assistance and Safety Net
- Emergency Assistance
- Day Care Assistance
- FOOD STAMPS
- HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE (HEAP)
- Temporary Assistance, formerly known as Public Assistance, encompasses both the Family Assistance
and the Safety Net Programs. Both programs are designed to provide a temporary and time-limited form of cash and/or
non-cash assistance to eligible individuals and/or families who have become unable to support themselves. The category
of eligibility, whether Family Assistance or Safety Net, is determined by a number of factors based on applicable
laws and regulations.
Employment has been emphasized as the best method of moving households from welfare to work. All employable
applicants and recipients of Family Assistance and Safety Net must be working or participate in work activities
which are designed to help them become self-sufficient. The employability of those applicants and recipients of
public assistance is determined by the department in accordance with applicable regulations and guidelines.
There are many supportive services available to public assistance recipients in an effort to remove barriers
to employment and self-sufficiency. Some of these services include transportation to locate or maintain employment;
assistance with child care expenses for those working; the Pathways Program, which is a case management system
designed to assist clients to prepare for and find stable employment; Action for Personal Choice, a program designed
to empower clients to make changes in their lives; as well as the Building Independence for the Long Term program
(BILT), which assists families transitioning to self-sufficiency.
Emergency Assistance is available to eligible applicants and is designed to meet an individual's or
family's immediate need. In many circumstances, this allows the individual or family to continue to function independently
of the public systems.
Day Care Assistance is often necessary to enable families to achieve self-sufficiency. Transitional
Child Care for families leaving Temporary Assistance Programs and Low Income Day Care are available to eligible
- Food Stamps are available to low and fixed income households meeting eligibility requirements and
are used to supplement the grocery budget. Recipients of food stamps must work or participate in work-related activities
to receive food stamps for more than three months in any thirty-six month period.
- Medicaid is available to assist low-income individuals and families access medical and dental care.
There are a variety of different Medicaid programs available with varying eligibility criteria. There are also
programs, such as Family Health Plus, that may be able to assist you with your medical needs even if you do not
qualify for Medicaid.
- Home Energy Assistance (HEAP) is a federally funded program which is designed to supplement the heat
and utility needs of vulnerable and low income households.
To determine if you are eligible for one of the above-mentioned programs, you must schedule an appointment
for a face-to-face interview, by calling (518)295-8334, between the hours of 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM. Interviews are
held at the Schoharie County Department of Social Services, Schoharie County Office Building, 284 Main Street,
Schoharie, New York. You will be required to complete an application along with other paperwork. At your initial
interview you will be seen by a social welfare examiner who will ask you a variety of questions relative to your
identity, relationships, household size, income, resources, shelter costs, medical status, education, and employment
history. Information you provide is documented and used to determine eligibility and calculate the proper benefit
issuance for the household based on standards set by New York State Social Services Law and other applicable rules
Applications for assistance undergo a pre-grant investigation/eligibility verification review prior to a
final eligibility determination being made. The review is conducted by a social service investigator who may conduct
a home visit to verify case information. In addition, adult and head of households applicants and recipients for
services are finger and photo-imaged. Images are stored in a central computer file to ensure that applicants are
not receiving benefits from any other county.
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