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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 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 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

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 Comments on the Request for Information on SNAP High Performance Bonuses
Here in New York, there are ongoing, rampant due process violations in the fraud investigations/disqualification process. Many counties are extremely aggressive in pursuing fraud, yet it appears that the fraud and/or SNAP staff do not seem to understand SNAP eligibility rules. Read More

 

Testimony

Empire Justice Testimony at the Joint Legislative Budget Hearing: Human Services
Empire Justice testimony at the Human Services Joint Budget Hearing on February 4, 2014. Read More

 

 


 

Policy Related News

Empire Justice Center & Legal Services of Central New York Applaud Oneida County Department of Social Services for Successful Completion of Court-Mandated Monitoring

Empire Justice Center and Legal Services of Central New York are pleased to announce the conclusion of a three year period of supervised monitoring involving the Oneida County Department of Social Services (“OCDSS”), which was ordered as part of a settlement agreement in the case of Howard v. Soldato, a class action filed in December of 2010 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York. Read More

Empire Justice Center Applauds the Governor and State Legislature for Several Budget Outcomes Helping Low Income New Yorkers

Upon the release of the final 2014-2015 state budget, Empire Justice Center is pleased to see several of its legislative priorities contained within the budget, as it provides additional funding and resources for low income New Yorkers. Read More

More Policy Related News >>


 

Policy Related Articles

Public Assistance and Access to Education: The 2014 Amendments :
A detailed background on the welfare work requirements and description of changes that have been made, with occasional commentary. Read More

Welfare Sanctions and Fair Hearings: A Profile in Injustice and Waste :
Sanctions clog up the State’s Fair Hearing apparatus with staggering numbers of hearings, a shocking percentage of which are withdrawn when the local district realizes that their position is indefensible. Read More

Sanction Reform Campaign: Making Welfare Work :
New York must reform the laws governing “sanctions,” penalties imposed on welfare recipients who are alleged to have failed to comply with welfare work rules. Read More

Policy Related Reports

Don’t Lien on Me: How New York’s Public Assistance Mortgages Undermine Homeownership and Financial Stability  This report provides an comprehensive analysis of New York’s use of Social Services Law §106, which allows Social Services Districts to recover public assistance paid to individuals who own their own homes, by taking a mortgage against the recipient’s property. The report also chronicles the legal background of the practice, the interplay between this policy and the push for foreclosure prevention, the need for detailed record keeping, and makes recommendations to ensure that debt is recovered against these mortgages only in the appropriate situations and for the correct amount.  Read More