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Issue Areas

The issue area of our website contains articles, news items, publications, policy documents and trainings for each of our substantive areas.  The issue area page contains the most recent items in these sections.  To view a particular issue area and more information please use the buttons to the left.  




Updated SNAP Budget Worksheets for New York State
Updated SNAP (food stamps) budget worksheet from Hunger Solutions New York, with previous years’ worksheets from Empire Justice Center. Read More

Amendments to the Welfare Work Rules: Financial Literacy and Non-Traditional Jobs
A new law has been signed by Governor Cuomo that will modify the public assistance work rules aimed at helping women gain greater access to jobs in traditionally male-dominated fields, and encouraging participation in financial literacy and personal finance instruction. To some degree, the structure of the new law may limit its effectiveness, but advocates and welfare recipients should be aware of the possible opportunities the legislation may offer. Read More

Domestic Violence Legislative Update 2017
A compilation of selected domestic violence-specific or related bills which were signed into law or successfully navigated both houses of the legislature this session and are awaiting action. Read More



Bill ensures free access to personal health records
A new law signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo last week aims to streamline the application process for Social Security, veteran’s benefits, disability benefits and more. Read More

New York law eliminates medical record fees for those seeking government benefits
A new law that prohibits healthcare providers in New York from charging a fee to low-income, disabled residents applying for government benefits is being called a “huge win” by legal groups that say previous fee waivers were frequently ignored. Read More

Joint Press Statement: Governor Signs Law Ensuring Access to Health Records for Those in Need
In a huge win for disabled New Yorkers, a bill (A7842/S6078) that will streamline the process for thousands of New Yorkers needing to obtain their own health records has been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Read More



Empire Justice Comments on Strengthening Consumer Protections in the Affordable Care Act
Read our comments to HHS, which were submitted in conjunction with several state and national partners, on how reducing regulatory burdens is a thin disguise for reducing much-needed consumer protections. Read More

Empire Justice Testimony on the New York State Supplement Program
Empire Justice Center testimony on the impact that State takeover has had on the administration of the State Supplement Program and delivery of benefits to eligible recipients. Read More

Empire Jusitce Comments on Protecting the Mortgage Insurance Fund
Empire Justice Center's comments focus on how HUD’s current foreclosure alternatives program for FHA-insured loans avoids unnecessary payment of insurance claims, and thus protects the mortgage insurance fund (Fund) and our communities. Read More



Policy Matters September 2017
Empire Justice Center's latest edition of Policy Matters. Read More

Policy Matters July 2017: Session Wrap
Empire Justice Center's latest edition of Policy Matters. Read More

Disability Law News - July 2017
The Disability Law News is a quarterly newsletter published for DAP Advocates. In this issue, we summarize a policy change by SSA that exempts tax refund collection for old debts. Several new regulations, administrative decisions and court decisions are also discussed. Read More



Ensuring Access to the CDOS Credential for all Students with Disabilities in New York
This new whitepaper provides a deep analysis into two diploma and exit credential options for students leaving High School: the Skills Credential and CDOS Credential. The Skills Credential, in particular, is reserved exclusively for students with disabilities, which can lead to stigmatization and reduced opportunities for such students when they present this credential to colleges or potential employers. This report critiques this situation on both policy and legal grounds, and shows comparisons from other states which offer more meaningful exit and diploma options for students with disabilities. Read More


Seeking Protection from Domestic Violence in New York's Family Court
Information for Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence with Limited English Proficiency. Read More


Pro Se Name & Gender Change Guide for Transgender Residents of Greater Monroe County, New York
Empire Justice Center's pro se guide on name and gender marker changes on identity documents. A step by step guide for transgender residents of the Greater Monroe County Area in New York. Read More



This training will provide case managers with basic information about Social Security's disability benefit program. Read More

The Hip Bone is Connected to the Back Bone: Understanding Musculoskeletal Impairments and "Dem Bones"
A medical practitioner familiar with Social Security Administration's (SSA) listings discusses the musculoskeletal impairments listing. An experienced Social Security attorney will facilitate the presentation so that participants will better understand the type of medical evidence they will be reviewing and should be developing in cases of musculoskeletal impairments. A hypothetical case scenario of a young adult (18-25 years old) with musculoskeletal and mental impairments who has been denied SSI will be used to demonstrate strategies for arguing that a claim meets or equals the listing. Read More