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Public Benefits

The Public Benefits Policy Advocacy section contains Legislative Memos, Letters, Comments and Testimony. You will also find news items, articles and reports that relate to our policy work in public benefits.



Legislative Memos

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

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 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

More Legislative Memos >>



Policy Letters

Letter from Advocates to Nassau and Suffolk DSS re: D-SNAP
On November 27th, advocates from Long Island and around the state wrote to DSS Commissioners in Nassau and Suffolk Counties asking them to request D-SNAP from the federal government to assist Long Island residents impacted by Superstorm Sandy. Read More



Empire Justice Comments on Updated SNAP Eligibility
Empire Justice Center is grateful for the addition of Perkins educational programs to the allowable SNAP employment and training offerings. Read More



Empire Justice Testimony at the 2017 Human Services Budget Hearing
Our extensive testimony at this year's joint legislative budget hearing on human services. Read More




Policy Related News

Empire Justice Statement on Governor Cuomo's Executive Budget Proposal

After the release of the Executive Budget Tuesday night, Empire Justice Center expressed appreciation that funding is included in Governor Cuomo’s budget proposal for several key programs that assist New Yorkers living at or near the federal poverty level. Read More

We Stand with ALL New Yorkers (Nosotros estamos unidos con todos los Neoyorquinos)

The outcome of this election has shaken us all to the core. (El resultado de las elecciones nos ha sacudido a todos.) Read More

More Policy Related News >>


Policy Related Articles

2016 New York State Budget Wrap :
All of the funding outcomes for Empire Justice Center's funding priorities for the 2016 New York State budget season. Read More

2016 NYS Budget Wrap: Changes in Asset Tests :
Changes to the auto resource rule in the 2016 New York State budget. Read More

2016 NYS Budget Wrap: Weighing Medical Evidence :
Outcomes for the treating physician rule in the 2016 New York State budget season. Read More

Policy Related Reports

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