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Oneida County DSS Utica - Department of Social Services

Website: http://www.ocgov.net/oneida/socialservices

Utica, NY - 13501

Financial Help Provided: Temporary Assistance (formerly public assistance) is cash benefits available to help with basic needs such as shelter, heat, and utilities.

Full Description:

The mission of the Oneida County Department of Social Services is to render services devoted to instilling principles of economic and social self-sufficiency to our constituents.  These services shall be provided in a manner that reflects respect for each individual and concern for enhancing family functioning, acknowledging responsibilities and reducing dependency.  All who are capable of working will be assisted in securing employment.  It further aims to provide a safety net for both our children and senior citizens residing in Oneida County.

My eBenefits

Child Support Enforcement - The Child Support Enforcement program (CSE) establishes and enforces child support orders, monitors collection and disbursement of child support payments, establishes paternity (legal fatherhood) for children born outside marriage, and locates absent parents when necessary.

Day Care Assistance - is divided into three categories:  Temporary Assistance Day Care, Transitional Day Care, and Low Income Day Care.  Eligibility for both Low Income and Transitional Day Care is based on family size and income.

Employment Division - The Employment Division provides recipients and applicants of Temporary Assistance and Food Stamps with the individualized employment services they need to achieve economic stability. The Transitional Opportunities Program (TOP) assists low-income families with children with supports and referrals to retain employment and seek advancement.

Food Stamps - provides assistance to low income individuals and families. Eligibility is based on household size and income.  Benefits are intended to supplement a household's income so they can obtain low cost, nutritious meals.

HEAP - Home Energy Assistance Program assists eligible low income households with heating and heat related utility costs.  Eligibility is based on gross income and household size.

Housing Unit - is unique to Oneida County.  It was established to help the recipients of Temporary Assistance secure safe, affordable housing.

Medical Assistance - consists of the Medicaid Eligibility Unit, Managed Care, the Health Care Unit, Third Party Health Insurance, the Disability Determinations Unit and Medical Services.  These units work collaboratively to assist financially eligible people in accessing needed medical services through the Medicaid program, while assuring that Medicaid is the payer of last resort.

Services Division - The Services Division provides protective services to vulnerable adults and children suspected to be at risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, and preventive services to keep children and families together. It also provides foster care for those children who cannot be maintained in their homes due to parent and / or child issues, and adoption services for children in need of permanence in their lives.

Staff Development - Staff Development coordinates and provides training for all Social Services employees.  Employees are offered training in house through teleconferences, through “Learnlinc” – a state sponsored virtual classroom or with State or staff trainers providing instruction on specific topics.  Off site training and conferences are also coordinated by Staff Development, such training includes the training institutes for Temporary Assistance, Medicaid and Food Stamps, Common Core training for Services caseworkers, and regional meetings offered by the program areas to provide instruction or updates on regulations.  Staff Development has specialized trainers for Services, Medicaid, Temporary Assistance and computer systems.   Local area High School and College students may contact Staff Development for information about the Department of Social Services that pertains to their course of studies and possible internships.

Temporary Assistance - Temporary Assistance (formerly public assistance) is cash benefits available to help with basic needs such as shelter, heat, and utilities.  Social Welfare Examiners work closely with families and individuals to identify barriers to self sufficiency and find the means to remove them.  Referrals may be made to other units such as Child Support, Employment, Daycare, Housing or other agencies.

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Tips For Prompt And Professional Assistance
1. Make an appointment - Always attempt to make an appointment. Oftentimes this will save you hours waiting in lines. When on the phone make sure you ask for the documentation needed in order to receive assistance.

2. Do not be late for your appointment - This tip should speak for itself.

3. Dress appropriately - If you want to be treated with respect, dress as appropriately as possible. We are not saying wear a suit. Just make sure you and your clothes are clean and non offensive. We have found that clients who dress in this manner have a better chance of receiving aid.

4. Bring all pre determined documentation - Bring all of the documents you were advised to bring from your appointment phone call. Without them, you will not receive aid.

Mission Statement
To help the needy find financial aid and assistance. This nation is going through tough times and providing a helping hand can help make the world a better place.