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TANF

Here you will find information and updates about welfare policy on the federal level.

ARTICLES

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

Home Stability Support: An Investment to End Homelessness in New York State
The discussion of the Home Stability Support program and campaign must begin with New York State’s intersecting crises: the dire shortage of affordable housing around the state, and especially in New York City, and the soaring rates of individual and family homelessness. Read More

TANF at 20: Blog Series
Since 1973, some incarnation of Empire Justice Center has been fighting for low income and disenfranchised New Yorkers' rights. We've seen many changes and weathered many storms, including the so-called "welfare reform" of 1996. The advent of the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 brought us the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant, for better or for worse. Twenty plus years later, New York families are still living in poverty. We present to you our perspectives on TANF at 20. Read More


TANF: Articles



IN THE NEWS

Empire Justice Press Release: New Yorkers Driven into Poverty by Shortsighted Policy
Today, Empire Justice Center released “Driven into Poverty: How New York’s Asset Tests Keep People Poor,” a report documenting the problems with various “asset tests” imposed by New York State on public assistance applicants. Read More

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




POLICY ADVOCACY

Empire Justice Testimony on the Impact of Poverty on Children & Families
Empire Justice testimony before the NYS Senate Committees on Social Services and Children & Families. We talk about the despicable state of the shelter and fuel for heating allowances and the need for increased funding for child care. Read More

Empire Justice Budget Memo: Ensure the Adequacy of Public Assistance Housing Aid
In New York, the Temporary Assistance Program (TA), a crucial component of the safety net for our State’s poorest families, does not enable a family to meet even their most rudimentary needs. The grant barely brings a typical household to even half of the Federal Poverty Level. Read More




PUBLICATIONS

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

 




TRAINING AND EVENTS

Representing Clients with Disabilities in the Welfare Context: How to Use the Law to Help Clients with Disabilities Access Public Benefits
This session first offers tips for recognizing and working with clients with disabilities. Then, it will also provide an overview of the legal framework for disability advocacy in the welfare context. Finally, it examines selected welfare issues and how they impact clients with disabilities. This will include, for example, reasonable accommodations, the application process, the work requirements and the rules relating to drug and alcohol use. This session examines both administrative advocacy and litigation. Read More

Collateral Consequences of Attorney Fee Awards, Cash Settlements or Damages
This session identifies the potential impact of damage awards, cash settlements and attorney fee awards on tax liability, means tested benefits, and vulnerability to creditors. It provides an example of an award in a Fair Labor Standards Act case involving a public assistance recipient who has participated in workfare, and covers the use of Supplemental Needs Trusts to protect cash settlements and awards Read More