Skip to Main Content
Printer Friendly

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

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

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

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 on Proposed Regulation Amendments for Non-compliance with SNAP Work Requirements and Conciliation Processes
The proposed regulations will help bring New York State into compliance with federal SNAP requirements and the settlement agreement reached in Richard C. v. Proud (12-CV-5942, S.D.N.Y.), a federal class action lawsuit co-counseled by Empire Justice Center, National Center for Law and Economic Justice, Legal Aid Society and Cooley LLP. Read More



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




Policy Related News

Empire Justice Center Statement on Chief Judge’s Creation of Permanent Commission on Access to Justice

Today, Empire Justice Center applauded Chief Judge Jonathan Lippmann’s July 22 announcement that the Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Services in New York will become a permanent Commission. Read More

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

More Policy Related News >>


Policy Related Articles

The Law in Action: Watch the Carver v. State Arguments Live on September 16th! :
Next week, on Wednesday September 16th at 2 p.m., Senior Attorney Susan Antos of Empire Justice Center will appear before the highest court in the state- the Court of Appeals- to argue Carver v. the State of New York- an important case dealing with fairness for people who do workfare to be eligible for public assistance. Read More

Fair Hearing of the Month :
Agency Fails to meet Burden of Proof in IPV Hearing when it Fails to Examine Previous Application in which Income was Disclosed Read More

2015 Policy Wrap Up: Credit the Minimum Wage Value of Workfare :
This bill would amend Social Services Law to require local social services districts to credit the value of workfare against public assistance debt. Read More

Policy Related Reports

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