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Other Benefits: Publications

Turn up the Heat: It’s Time to Raise New York’s Shelter and Fuel Allowances
Turn up the Heat illustrates how the public assistance shelter and fuel allowances are so far out of step with the actual costs of housing and heating, they are pushing many financially fragile New Yorkers out of homes and into homelessness. Read More

Driven into Poverty: How New York's Asset Tests Keep People Poor
Empire Justice Center’s new report, “Driven into Poverty: How New York’s Asset Tests Keep People Poor” explores the need for policy change that recognizes that it’s counter-intuitive to make people who have scrimped, saved and pinched pennies for the future impoverish themselves to get the temporary help they need to make ends meet. Read More

Don’t Lien on Me: How New York’s Public Assistance Mortgages Undermine Homeownership and Financial Stability
This report provides an comprehensive analysis of New York’s use of Social Services Law §106, which allows Social Services Districts to recover public assistance paid to individuals who own their own homes, by taking a mortgage against the recipient’s property. The report also chronicles the legal background of the practice, the interplay between this policy and the push for foreclosure prevention, the need for detailed record keeping, and makes recommendations to ensure that debt is recovered against these mortgages only in the appropriate situations and for the correct amount. Read More

An Advocates Guide to Welfare Work Rules
As a condition of receiving public assistance in New York, applicants and recipients must comply with work requirements. The system tends to be rigidly administered, and people who are found to have in any way failed to comply are subject to sanctions, in which their benefits are reduced or terminated. But the law does provide an array of rights for those subject to these mandates. It is therefore our hope that the Guide will assist advocates in protecting clients against sanctions and in enforcing those rights. Read More