Department of Social Services
6 Judson Street
Canton, New York 13617

Phone: (315) 379-2111
Fax: (315) 379-2278

Chris Rediehs, Commissioner



Temporary Assistance

Contact Person:
Karen Durham, Head Social Welfare Examiner
St. Lawrence County Department of Social Services
(315) 379-2155

Brief Description of Services:

The Temporary Assistance Unit provides financial assistance to families to meet basic needs such as food, shelter and fuel. Those families that qualify for Temporary Assistance may also receive food stamps, medicaid and HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program).

One unit now authorizes Temporary Assistance and Food Stamp benefits. Effective July 1, 2003 separate undercare and intake units were combined in an effort to increase efficiency. Scheduled appointments for applicants were eliminated, unless requested by the applicant.

Walk-in application are taken Mon - Fri, 9am - 1pm. Applicants who have an emergency are also Mon - Fri. This change has enabled applicants to access needed services sooner, and with less travel. Income and resource guidelines for Temporary Assistance and Food Stamps are different and change on a regular basis.

NYS OTDA (Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance) Websites:
Temporary Assistance Home Page
Common Forms and Applications
Common Application (LDSS-2921)
How to Complete The Common Application (LDSS-1301)
Recertification Form (LDSS-3174)
How to Complete The Recertification Form (LDSS-1313)
What You Should Know About Your Rights and Responsibilities:  (LDSS-4148A)
What You Should Know About Social Services Programs:  (LDSS-4148B)
What You Should Know If You Have An Emergency:  (LDSS-4148C)

How Do I Apply for Temporary Assistance?

People can determine their likely eligibility for Temporary Assistance, Food Stamps, HEAP, and Other Programs by visiting NYS MyBenefits Website at: OR click on the picture (below).

Any questions about eligibility or procedure can be directed to:
Kelly Friot, Principal Social Welfare Examiner
St. Lawrence County Department of Social Services
(315) 229-3136

 NOTICE:  Automated Finger Imaging Project

This notice is to tell you about the automated finger imaging system requirement for all adults and heads of household that are receiving or applying for Family Assistance (FA), Safety Net Assistance (SNA), Emergency Safety Net Assistance (ESNA).

The automated finger imaging process uses a computer system that electronically takes a fingerprint quickly and easily. The system uses a photo image process, no ink, or cards are used. The system will also take a digitized photo at the same time.

Finger images will be stored and matched against those of other applicants for or recipients of FA, SNA, FS, FAP, EAF, ESNA.

Each client will have his/her finger images taken and stored on the automated finger image system as a requirement for receiving public benefits.

This means:

  • If you are applying for any of these programs, you must be finger imaged before an eligibility determination can be made.
  • If you are receiving benefits from any of these programs, you will be finger imaged at your next recertification or face-to-face agency contact.
  • If you refuse to participate in this mandatory program, your household public benefits may be denied or terminated. Your Medical Assistance will be also be denied or terminated if you are a single adult or childless couple.


NOTICE:  Documentation Required for Eligibility Determination

In order to complete your eligibility determination, bring the following documentation with you for your interview:

NOTE: If application is made by an adult other than the head of the household or the spouse, written authorization from the head of household is required.

PROOF OF WHO YOU ARE: (For each applying household member)

  • Photo I.D.
  • Driver's License
  • Sheriff or College I.D
  • Passport
  • Benefit Card
  • Immigration and Naturalization Service Documentation
  • Birth or Baptismal or Adoption Certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • All Marriage Certificates / Divorce Decrees


  • Landlord statement (*Enclosed in packet of information with application) or rent receipt and occupancy statement; any subsidized housing verification.

  • If you own your home or are purchasing on a land contract, you must also provide us with a copy of your mortgage, deed, or land contract along with a copy of your current land and school taxes, and homeowners insurance.
  • Whether you rent or own, you must also bring the following current bills: Sewer, Water, Phone, Fuel and Electric.
  • If you pay no rent, or are purchasing through mortgage/deed or land contract, you must also provide us with an occupancy statement. This must be written by someone not living in your home, listing all people living in the home - even if they are not applying. 


  • Last four (4) weeks pay stubs 
  • Tax records
  • Business records
  • Statement from roomers, boarder, or lodgers of amount paid to you for lodging. 

IF APPLICABLE, a statement from your previous employer regarding your last day worked, the amount of your last check, and the reasons that you are no longer employed.

IF APPLICABLE, a signed and dated statement from the babysitter for the last four (4) weeks.


  • Unemployment letter or stub for the last four (4) weeks
  • Social Security or SSI Award Letter
  • Court ordered support or alimony agreement
  • Veteran's Benefits Award Letter
  • Workmen's Compensation/NYS Disability
  • Tuition, Fees, Books
  • Financial Aid Statement
  • All Loans, Grants, Scholarships, and Awards
  • Semester College Bill 


  • Car Registration and/or Title
  • Life Insurance Policies
  • Bank Statements (including checking, savings, and credit union accounts)
  • Verification of Trust Fund, IRA account, 401-K or Retirement Funds, pending lawsuits
  • Verification of stocks and/or bonds and their value
  • Deeds to any Real Property 


  • Any Paid or Unpaid Medical Bills (receipts, printouts, etc...)

NOTICE:  Handout for All Applicants for Temporary Assistance

This information is available to all applicants for Temporary Assistance. It is intended to help you determine if you are a victim of Domestic Violence and to consider ways to make yourself and your family safe and self-supporting.

Are you in danger of your partner or ex-partner doing any of the following?

  • Physically hurting you by, for example, pushing, grabbing, slapping, hitting, choking, or kicking?
  • Forcing you to have sex when you don't want to or do sexual things you don't want to do?
  • Threatening to hurt you, your children or someone close to you?
  • Constantly putting you down or telling you that you are worthless?
  • Stalking, checking up on you, or following you?
  • Making you afraid? 

What kinds of services are available?

SERVICES:  You can call a 24 hour Domestic Violence Hotline for Information about Emergency Shelter, Support Groups, Counseling and your Legal Rights.

In New York City call: 1-800-62 I-HOPE (1-800-621-4673).
All others call: 1-800-942-6906
Spanish speaking callers call: 1-800-942-6908.

Locally, you can call:

  • Reachout: (315) 265-2422
  • Renewal House: (315) 379-9845
  • Domestic Abuse Response Team: (315) 379-2230.

Temporary Assistance

You must meet certain requirements to be eligible for Temporary Assistance. If you think that you are a victim of domestic violence and that meeting one or more of the requirements may place you or your children at greater risk of harm or make it more difficult to escape from abuse, you may request a temporary delay of those requirements.

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