Get a NY Connects Benefits Checkup

NY Connects at CIDNY is the trusted place to go for free, unbiased information about services, resources, and supports for New Yorkers of all ages and with any type of disability.

Counselors at NY Connects provide guidance and coordination for participants with disabilities as they go through eligibility and assessment processes for benefits and services. They can also help when you are completing applications and enrolling in public assistance benefits, like Medicaid, Medicare, housing applications, SNAP applications, Social Security benefits, and more.

To be contacted by a NY Connects Benefits Counselor and receive your free benefits check-up, please fill out this short form. A NY Connects Counselor will be in touch by the end of next business day. You can also contact us at 844-862-7930.




NY Connects


ICAN Helps New Yorkers Who Need Long-Term Care

New York State’s Independent Consumer Advocacy Network (ICAN) program helps New Yorkers with disabilities with their health insurance and long-term care problems. Long-term care includes care in a nursing home or in your own home with help from an aide. Personal care aides can help with activities like getting dressed, walking, and going to the bathroom.

The way the long-term care system works can be hard to figure out, which is why ICAN is here to help.

ICAN is a group of advocates and lawyers from different organizations across New York State, including CIDNY. ICAN’s staff at CIDNY are experts in the long-term care system and handle a wide range of cases from all five boroughs of New York City. Our staff provides services ranging from simple advice to representing people at appeals, free of charge.

In 2015, New York State created both the Independent Consumer Advocacy Network (ICAN) and the new Fully Integrated Dual Advantage (FIDA) insurance plans. FIDA was intended to make it easier for people with both Medicaid and Medicare to get health care. 

When people with Medicaid become eligible for Medicare, they usually have to change their Medicaid plan. Then they have to figure out how to use their separate Medicaid and Medicare insurance on their own to get health care. These “dual-eligibles” generally need more care than most people with only Medicaid. The State hoped that setting them up with a single plan that combines their Medicaid and Medicare would make it easier for them to get services. 

Many people were confused by the changes.

Luckily, ICAN was created to help people navigate the new long-term care system at the same time as the new FIDA program. ICAN helps people who need long term care services with any kind of Medicaid managed care: FIDA, FIDA-IDD, MLTC, MMC, PACE, MAP, and HARP. ICAN’s services include answering people’s questions, giving advice, advocating with plans or agencies, and representing people in formal appeals.

If your managed care plan denies coverage for services you need, ICAN can help you fight to keep your services.

Here are some real examples of how CIDNY’s ICAN advocates have helped consumers:

Fran* fell and hurt herself and had to go to the hospital. After she recovered, her family wanted to bring her home, but her insurance plan refused. They said she needed more help than they were providing, but did not want to pay for more. With ICAN’s help, she was able to get the plan to pay for 24-hour help, which let her live at home.

Carolyn* was stuck on the second floor of her family home and couldn’t get out on her own. The insurance company had promised to send people to carry her wheelchair down the stairs whenever she needed to go out, but they never actually did. ICAN helped her get a stairlift so that she could go out whenever she wanted.

CIDNY’s ICAN staff understand how difficult it can be for New Yorkers with disabilities to get the help they need. If you are confused about the long-term care system or a notice you received, you can call ICAN’s toll-free telephone help line at (844) 614-8800. ICAN’s staff will answer your questions and will try to help you solve your problems. See how ICAN has helped other New Yorkers with disabilities on ICAN’s website.

(*Names changed for confidentiality.)

New Program at CIDNY: NY Connects

NY Connects helps people with disabilities and seniors understand their long-term care options.

CIDNY recently hired 23 new staff members to complete our NY Connects team. The NY Connects team includes: a program director, an education and training coordinator, one program support, four borough managers, an outreach coordinator, two outreach workers, and 13 benefits counselors.

Our NY Connects team members speak 12 languages other than English. These include: Spanish, Greek, Arabic, ASL, Vietnamese, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, and Romanian.

The staff identify with several disabilities, including but not limited to: learning disabilities, visual, hearing, and physical disabilities. Their backgrounds include: law, social work, human services, outreach, counseling, education, and emergency management.

CIDNY’s NY Connects Program’s goal is to link disabled New Yorkers with the resources to help meet their long term care needs. Benefits counselors will offer peer-centered counseling and connect disabled New Yorkers in each borough to local services and programs.

Through a comprehensive screening process, NY Connects benefits counselors provide personalized counseling. They help participants make informed decisions. They can assist in accessing available services and support options that meet existing or future long term needs.

CIDNY’s NY Connects partners with several ILCs throughout the city so we can have a physical presence in every borough. We also partner to get the word out about what NY Connects can do to serve the disabled population in our city.

CIDNY’s NY Connects is a trusted service to get free information about the range of supports that can help a person with disabilities (PWD) remain independent. This is available whether they want to live in their home, a nursing home, or other residential setting.

Who We Serve 

NY Connects serves individuals of all ages and income levels who want to learn more about long term services and supports in New York City. We serve:

  • Adults of all ages living with a long term disability
  • Adults with a disability regardless of income source(s)
  • Younger adults living with a long term disability
  • Caregivers of adults and parents of children with a disability
  • Professional service providers who work with someone in need of long term services and supports.

How to Contact Us for Help with Long Term Care Goals

Launching on September 1st 2017, the NY Connects benefits counselors can be reached at  844-862-7930.


Benefits counselors are available to help at our offices in Queens (80-02 Kew Gardens Rd, #400, Queens, NY 11415) and Manhattan (841 Broadway, Suite 301, New York, NY 10003).

We are partnering with other organizations to have convenient locations throughout the city:

In the Bronx at 4419 3rd Ave, Suite 2C, Bronx, NY 10457

In Brooklyn at 27 Smith Street, Suite 200, Brooklyn, NY 11201

In Staten Island at 56 Bay Street, Staten Island, NY 10301