Prepare Documents for Agency Visits 

Having your documents ready will help staff check your eligibility and get your benefits faster. Use this checklist to learn what you need.

While all benefits will require different types of documents, these are the most important documents you should have in hand at all times. Many agencies will require you to submit one of the following:

Proof of Identity 

  • Passport

  • Driver’s license

  • Government-issued photo ID (e.g. NYS ID, IDNYC)

  • Social Security card

  • Birth Certificate

  • US Military ID

  • Permanent Resident Card, Green Card Naturalization Certificate

Proof of Address

  • Cable, phone, or utility bill

  • Signed leases

  • United States Postal Service (USPS) change of address confirmation

  • Mail from a government agency with your name

Proof of Income 

  • W2 from an employer

  • Tax returns

  • Child support

  • Social Security Benefits (SSI, Dependent, Disability, Survivor’s Retirement)

  • Most recent paystub(s)

  • Disability Benefits

  • Unemployment Income (1099-G)

Additional Documents

You may need additional documents for certain benefits. Your documents show whether the program is right for you.


  • Child’s medical history: vaccination records, record of physical exam

  • Medicaid documentation


  • School Notification Letter 

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The Benefits Navigator was designed with temporarily housed parents and frontline staff, in a collaboration between the NYC Administration for Children’s Services, NYC Department of Education, NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, NYC Department of Homeless Services, NYC Department of Youth & Community Development, NYC Human Resources Administration, and the Public Policy Lab, a nonprofit innovation team for government. Support was provided by Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation.

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