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Your Legal Rights as an Applicant for Public Benefits

August 17, 2011

Cash Assistance

THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES MUST:

  • Let you file any application in person at any time the DSS is open.
  • Give you a same-day interview if in an emergency (homeless, no food, no heat). Otherwise, you should be given an interview within 7 days.
  • Give you WRITTEN notice about the decision on your application.                  

A WRITTEN DECISION ON YOUR APPLICATION MUST BE GIVEN TO YOU:

  • The same day for Emergency Assistance.
  • Within 30 days for Family Assistance.
  • Within 45 days for Safety Net Assistance.


Food Stamps

THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES (DSS) MUST:

  • Let you file an application in person at any time the DSS is open, or by mail, on-line or by fax.
  • Upon application, evaluate your financial eligibility for “expedited” food stamp processing and interview you the same day if you qualify.


A WRITTEN DECISION ON YOUR APPLICATION MUST BE GIVEN TO YOU:

  • Within 5 days and benefits provided if you qualify for expedited processing  because you have little or no income or liquid assets (cash) or your housing costs (rent and utilities) are higher than your income for the month.
  • Within 30 days and benefits provided if you are found eligible.


Medicaid


THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES MUST:

  • Give you an application when you ask for it.
  • Let you file any application in person or at any time the DSS is open, or by mail.


A WRITTEN DECISION ON YOUR APPLICATION MUST BE GIVEN TO YOU:

  • Within 30 days, for children or pregnant women.
  • Within 45 days for everyone else, unless you are waiting for a Medicaid disability determination.


YOU MAY REQUEST A FAIR HEARING:

  • If DSS fails to act on your application within the required time period.
  • At www.otda.state.ny.us/oah or by calling  1-800-342-3334

 





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