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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: 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. 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

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

 

Comments 

Empire Justice Center Comments on SNAP Income Conversion Factors
Current income conversion standards permit states to select the most efficient methodology to help simplify procedures for state eligibility workers and limit barriers to participation for families in need. A shift in this will increase state agency costs, and county workload in our county administered benefits system. Read More

 

Testimony

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 Press Release: New York State Delivers a Tight Budget with Several Notable Wins for Low Income New Yorkers

Upon the finalization of the 2017-2018 state budget, Empire Justice Center was excited to announce that several of its legislative priorities were included, including a new $1 million investment that will allow the organization to dramatically increase the amount of assistance it can provide to immigrants in need of legal representation, as well as two notable policy changes. At the same time, other important programs and proposals sustained losses that will be acutely felt by hard working New Yorkers in the coming year, causing much concern Read More

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

More Policy Related News >>


 

Policy Related Articles

Empire Justice Center 2017 State Legislative Priorities :
As New Yorkers, we unite around the concepts of liberty, equality and opportunity. In 2017, Empire Justice Center’s top priorities will be focused on identifying and fostering ways to strengthen New York’s laws, our communities, and each other, to protect justice for ALL New Yorkers. Read More

Empire Justice Center 2017 State Administrative Priorities :
As New Yorkers, we unite around the concepts of liberty, equality and opportunity. In 2017, Empire Justice Center’s top priorities will be focused on identifying and fostering ways to strengthen New York’s laws, our communities, and each other, to protect justice for ALL New Yorkers. 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

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