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Empire Justice Center & Legal Services of Central New York Applaud Oneida County Department of Social Services for Successful Completion of Court-Mandated Monitoring

For Immediate Release

May 6, 2014

Empire Justice Center and Legal Services of Central New York are pleased to announce the conclusion of a three year period of supervised monitoring involving the Oneida County Department of Social Services (“OCDSS”), which was ordered as part of a settlement agreement in the case of Howard v. Soldato, a class action filed in December of 2010 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York. The complaint alleged that OCDSS had a pattern and practice of failing to process applications or issue required notices in a timely manner for SNAP (food stamps), emergency assistance, cash assistance and Medicaid leaving struggling families and individuals without desperately needed help. The 2011 settlement agreement, entered as a consent decree by District Court Judge David N. Hurd, required OCDSS to meet the federal and state processing time-frames for public benefits, meet regularly with attorneys for the plaintiffs to review progress and to participate in quarterly monitoring visits at the main OCDSS offices in Utica.

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