Skip to Main Content
Printer Friendly

Public Benefits - Legislative Memos

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Require Local Districts to Credit the Minimum Wage Value of Workfare when Recovering Properly Paid Public Assistance
When an individual works off their grant by participation in workfare, it's only fair that the value of that work be credited against any recovery that the local district is entitled to make. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Require Districts to Maintain Child Care Waiting Lists
This bill would require local social services districts to maintain waiting lists of all families who are eligible for child care assistance, and to provide an annual report to the Office of Children and Family Services. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Provide a Fair and Realistic Automobile Resource Rule
This bill will raise the resource level for automobiles to a uniform $9,300 and thereby permit low income families to own reliable cars under all circumstances. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Exempt Retirement Accounts as a Resource for Public Assistance Recipients
This bill would exempt Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and Roth IRAs from consideration as a resource when determining eligibility for public assistance. Read More

Empire Justice Budget Memo: Improving Access to SNAP
How can New York obtain broader anti-hunger relief without tapping out limited state and county dollars? It's simple. New York can take advantage of options available to it to further streamline and expand access to SNAP, which is 100% federally funded. 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

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Provide Consistency and Efficiency in Determining Spousal Maintenance in Divorce
In the interest of fair, predictable and consistent matrimonial reform maintenance awards for economically vulnerable spouses in New York, Empire Justice Center supports A.9606/S.7266. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Require Local Districts to Credit the Minimum Wage Value of Workfare when Recovering Properly Paid Public Assistance
When an individual works off his or her grant by participation in workfare, it is only fair that the value of that work be credited against any recovery that the local district is entitled to make. Read More

Empire Justice Memo on EBT Restriction: Support the Governor’s Article VII Proposal with Added Client Protections
Governor Cuomo’s 2014-15 Executive Budget proposal includes legislation that would impose new limitations on the use of the cash assistance Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. This is intended to comply with recently enacted federal requirements. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Ensure that Welfare Recipients are Not Punished for Being Disabled
Far too often, public assistance clients are sanctioned for non-compliance with work-related activities, yet the non-compliance is due to a unknown disability, child care problem or transportation difficulties. Empire Justice Center supports A.2669/S.4830, which will protect against unwarranted sanctions due to a disability. Read More

Why New York Should Adopt Seamless Transfer of SNAP Cases When Families Move from One County to Another
Low income families lose their SNAP benefits unnecessarily when they report a move to another county within New York State, causing hardship and delay for families and additional administrative burden for counties. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Protect the Homes of Welfare Recipients
New York is one of only two states in the nation that takes deeds and mortgages against the homes of welfare recipients to recover the public assistance paid to these homeowners. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Public Assistance Mortgages Annual Accounting Will Provide Transparency
UPDATE: Assembly introduces a companion bill for S.5498. Currently, local social services districts do not provide the homeowner with an accounting of the amount of public assistance paid nor the amount of the accrued debt or credits made against the home. Read More

Memorandum of Support: Amend Social Services Law § 106 to Protect the Homes of Welfare Recipients
New York is one of only two states in the nation that takes deeds and mortgages against the homes of welfare recipients to recover the public assistance paid to these homeowners. This bill would exempt persons who own and reside in one, two or three family homes from this archaic provision. If the goal of New York’s public assistance policy is to restore individuals to self-sufficiency, then it is time to pass this bill! Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Support Access to Education and Training for the Poorest New Yorkers
This bill provides that four year college can be counted as part of a public assistance recipient’s work activity, and that where a recipient makes a reasonable and appropriate request to be assigned to a particular activity, that request should, where feasible, be granted. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Provide a Person’s Treating Doctor with the Appropriate Role in Determining Whether They are Employable
This bill would require that, subject to certain criteria, the treating practitioner’s opinion would be “generally controlling” in the determination of employability. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Improve Access to Education and Training to Improve Employability for New Yorkers Receiving Public Assistance
This bill provides that four year college can be counted as part of a public assistance recipient’s work activity, including time spent studying and preparing for class, as long as the student maintains a cumulative C or equivalent average. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Fully Disclose that Public Assistance is a Debt
This bill takes an important first step towards clear notification to recipients of public assistance that the cash assistance they receive is a debt owed to New York State. While we support this legislation, we believe the bill should go further to advise public assistance recipients of their related rights, and to require that local districts acknowledge these rights as well. Read More

Provide Protecton and Fairness for People with Disabilities: Screening and Accomodation for Public Benefits Clients
Empire Justice Center proposes that local social services districts across New York State offer individuals the opportunity to be screened for disabilities, to ensure that needed accommodations and access to benefits are granted. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Ensure All Parties to a Fair Hearing Have Access to All Evidence
Our memo of support for an amendment of the Social Services Law that will ensure all parties to a Fair Hearing have access to all evidence. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Provide a Fair & Realistic Auto Resource Rule & Remove the Sunset Provision
We strongly support A.7236 AND S.410, which would replace the current two-tiered automobile resource exclusion with a uniform $9300 exemption, and extend a number of other resource provisions that were enacted as part of welfare reform. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Eliminate finger imaging from the Food Stamp Program
Over the years there has been no evidence on a national or statewide level that finger-imaging is a cost effective method of avoiding duplicate participation. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Repeal The 185% Earned Income Cap
When New York State passed its welfare reform initiative in 1997, working families on public assistance were promised that they could earn their way to the poverty level with the state’s enhanced earnings disregards. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Allow Families to Earn Their Way to the Poverty Level
Repealing Social Services Law 131-a(10) will help assure the success of families leaving welfare, allowing them to earn their way to poverty. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Implement all available federal waivers to maximize food stamp participation
This bill would amend section 95(1) of the Social Services Law by adding a new provision to ensure that the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance applies for, and implements across the entire state, all available waivers under federal food stamp rules. Read More