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

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

Chris Rediehs, Commissioner



Temporary Assistance

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 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid and Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).

Applications are accepted Monday - Friday during normal business hours. Applicants who have an emergency are interviewed the same day they apply.  This enables applicants to access needed services sooner, and with less travel. Income and resource guidelines for Temporary Assistance and Food Stamps are different.

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:
Kimberly Dafoe, Principal Social Welfare Examiner
St. Lawrence County Department of Social Services
(315) 229-3136

Please note: all applicants for TA with minor child(ren) must file child support referrals whenever there is a parent(s) that does not live in the household.


 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. 


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, who is not part of the household applying for TA, written authorization from the head of household is required.


NYDocSubmit is a mobile application that allows certain applicants and recipients in participating social services districts to take pictures of their documents and submit them to their local district office using their Apple iOS or Android device. There is no need for the individual to take time off from work, stand in line or travel to the district office to drop off documents.

Note: NYDocSubmit is not monitored for emergencies and is not to be used to submit an application or to submit a periodic report.


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, lease, mortgage records, statement from another person, current mail or school records.

  • 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.
  • You must provide, written by someone not living in your home, an occupancy statement listing everyone living in your home even if they are not applying for assistance.  


  • Last four (4) weeks or 2 bi-weekly 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.


  • 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 


  • 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.

  • 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? 

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.

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

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 by requesting a temporary waiver. A temporary waiver of program requirements can be given by a Domestic Violence Liaison (DVL) if it is deteremined that these requirements would increase the potential for continued abuse of you and/or your children.

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