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Memorandum of Support

UPDATED Empire Justice Memo of Support: Disregard a Teen’s Earnings When Determining Child Care Eligibility

A.1077 (Jaffee)/S.2516-A (Savino)

This bill, as amended, would add a new subdivision to Social Services Law 410-w which would require that the earned income of a child under the age of 18 be disregarded when determining the eligibility of a household for a child care subsidy. 

New York State has just created a tax incentive for businesses to hire teenagers, [1] making it particularly inappropriate to penalize low income families when their teens work.  Counting teen income creates a disincentive to teen employment, and puts working parents in the awkward position of having to discourage their teen from working if counting the teen’s income would result in the loss of the child care subsidy for a younger sibling, or an increased copayment.

When determining financial eligibility for cash public assistance or food stamps, the income of dependent children under the age of 19 is disregarded so long as they are attending school. [2] In contrast, currently, when determining eligibility for a child care subsidy, only the income of a child under the age of 14 is disregarded.  Thus, in determining eligibility for a child care subsidy, the income of children between the ages of 14 and 17 is counted and local districts are provided the option of whether to count the income of 18, 19 or 20 year olds when determining a parent’s financial eligibility.  This bill, before it was amended, would have disregarded income of children in the household up to age 20.  As amended, it will provide that income of children under the age of 18 be disregarded.

Empire Justice Center strongly supports the passage of this bill.

End Notes:
 [2] N.Y. Social Services Law §§ 131-a(8)(a)(i); SNAP Source Book, sec.13, p.276, available at:

This memo was prepared by:

Susan C. Antos

Empire Justice Center
119 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY  12210 

(518) 462-6831
(518) 935-2852