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What Help is Available?

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Social Services Information for Domestic Violence Victims

Information About Social Services

I Need Child Support Assistance
  • DSS Child Support Unit can assist you in establishing paternity and/or receiving Child Support from the absent or non-custodial parent.
  • If you are a victim of domestic violence, the Domestic Violence Liaison (DVL) can assist you with getting a temporary delay (waiver) from complying with certain Child Support requirements so that you can still receive that cash assistance needed for you and your family.
  • You may be eligible for a full or partial waiver from Child Support requirements. Talk to the Domestic Violence Liaison (DVL).
If you are an adult not eligible for Child Support services but are or have been married, you may be able to pursue spousal support.
What is a Waiver?
A waiver is a temporary delay from participating in certain temporary (cash) assistance program requirements at social services. If you are a victim of domestic violence and participating in those requirements puts you and/or your children at further risk of harm or make it more difficult to escape the abuse, the Domestic Violence Liaison (DVL) can grant you a waiver from certain program requirements that apply.
  • The waiver will expire when the case is closed, so don’t miss appointments and provide all documentation.
  • When a waiver is granted, for a specific program requirement you can still receive your TA benefits while not complying with that requirement.
Good Cause and Domestic Violence
  • Good Cause is a specific circumstance or reason why you cannot comply with DSS participation requirements. If you are a victim of domestic violence you may be able to claim good cause for not complying with Child Support requirements.
  • Unlike a DV waiver, there is a burden of proof timeframe. Within that time, you will need to provide proof of the good cause claim. With good cause your local DSS may still pursue Child Support without your cooperation.
  • In some cases, a waiver may be more appropriate, check with the Domestic Violence Liaison (DVL).

Did you know you can claim good cause and have a Child Support Waiver at the same time? Talk with the Domestic Violence Liaison (DVL) in your county.

I’m Homeless, Who Can Help?
  • If you are homeless and a victim of domestic violence, you may be able to receive assistance from the local Department of Social Services in your county.
  • There are various types of homeless shelters available that can accommodate both single individuals and family, depending on county location.
  • The TA worker will be able to assist you with housing needs.
  • Click the New York State DSS Locator panel below to find the DSS office in your county.

Emergency shelter may be available on a temporary basis for victims of domestic violence.

I am a Domestic Violence Victim in New York City
  • Department of Social Services is known as “Centers” in New York City. If you are a victim of domestic violence and in need of assistance, the Domestic Violence Liaison (DVL) can help you at the various center located in each borough.  If you are living in or planning to relocate to the New York City area, find out how to apply for social services.
  • If you are in need of domestic violence services there are agencies that can assist you.
1-800-621-HOPE- New York City Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-813-7444 for Spanish speaking victims of domestic violence
I am a Domestic Violence Victim with a Sanction
  • If you are a victim with a sanction, it is important to know which type of sanction is in place.
  • Durational Sanction- If you are eligible for shelter as a victim of domestic violence and are sanctioned BEFORE entering the DV Shelter and you comply and are eligible, you will be eligible to have your shelter stay paid for.
  • Non-Durational Sanction- If you are eligible for shelter as a victim of domestic violence and are sanctioned after entering a DV shelter your shelter stay will NOT be paid.
New York State Domestic Violence Program Locator

If you are a victim and you are in need of domestic violence services, the local Domestic Violence programs are a vital resource in assisting victims of domestic violence.

If you are currently in New York State or plan to relocate to New York State, visit the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence website for list of licensed and approved domestic violence programs in New York State, listed by counties.

I Have No Money

If you are a victim of domestic violence and have no money, you can go to your local DSS office and they may be able to assist you with applying for and receiving cash assistance and food stamps.

There may also be other services and programs available for you based on what is available in your county.

There are requirements and programs that you will be asked to participant in, if you are a victim of domestic violence, please let the worker know right away. You should be given a screening form when you apply for cash assistance. If you are not given the screening form, you may ask for the form or request to meet with the Domestic Violence Liaison (DVL) at any time.

Don’t forget to bring the appropriate forms with you ahead of time, if possible. Please see “forms” section below.

Need Social Services Help?