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Session Wrap 2017: Employment & Financial Literacy

Just before the 2017 legislative session ended, a bill making two modifications to the public assistance work rules passed both the Senate and the Assembly and will now be sent to the Governor for his signature. This legislation is well intentioned, designed to facilitate women’s entry into non-traditional jobs, and to offer welfare recipients financial literacy education as a work activity, but some of the details may limit the effectiveness and impact of the law. Read More

The Law in Action: Watch the Carver v. State Arguments Live on September 16th!

Next week, on Wednesday September 16th at 2 p.m., Senior Attorney Susan Antos of Empire Justice Center will appear before the highest court in the state- the Court of Appeals- to argue Carver v. the State of New York- an important case dealing with fairness for people who do workfare to be eligible for public assistance. Read More

2015 Policy Wrap Up: Screening Public Assistance Clients for Disabilities: A Promising, but Very Frustrating Development

After years of advocacy, OTDA finally chose a screening tool, the Modified Mini Screen (MMS), to identify public assistance applicants with menatl health conditions and other disabilities. Read More

Empire Justice Infographic: How New York's Asset Tests Keep People Poor

An interactive illustration of data from Empire Justice Center's report "Driven into Poverty: How New York's Asset Tests Keep People Poor." Read More

New Law Makes the Rules regarding Welfare Mortgages Clear and Provides Transparency and Accountability

The 2014-15 New York State budget contains Article VII legislation that amends SSL 106 to clearly state that HEAP, child care and SNAP cannot be charged against welfare mortgages. Read More

Public Assistance and Access to Education: The 2014 Amendments

A detailed background on the welfare work requirements and description of changes that have been made, with occasional commentary. Read More

Sanction Reform Campaign: Making Welfare Work

New York must reform the laws governing “sanctions,” penalties imposed on welfare recipients who are alleged to have failed to comply with welfare work rules. Read More

MEDIA ADVISORY: New Report Calls for Change to New York State Law that Drains the Equity Out of the Homes of Current and Former Public Assistance Recipients

Announcing the release of Empire Justice’s report, “Don’t Lien on Me: How New York’s Public Assistance Mortgages Undermine Homeownership and Financial Stability.” Read More

Empire Justice Center and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice file Motion for Enforcement and Contempt to enforce an Order compelling Nassau County to process benefits applications timely.

The Empire Justice Center and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, attorneys for the plaintiff class, filed a Motion for Enforcement and Contempt on their behalf in federal court on February 15, 2013, seeking to enforce an Order compelling Nassau County to process benefits applications timely. Read More

Access to Disaster Benefits for Immigrants without Status

Updated: There is an exception to the general rule that immigrants must be in a legal status to be eligible for federal public benefits and that is in the case of “short term, non-cash, in kind emergency disaster relief.” Thus emergency shelters for victims displaced by Hurricane Sandy, warming centers, and of course food pantries and soup kitchens are open to all. Read More