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  Western New York Law Center    

Analysis Of The NYS Welfare Reform Act Of 1997

The 1997 New York State Welfare Bill (S. 5788/A.8678)
by  Susan C. Antos - Greater Upstate Law Project - 8/28/97


Local Flexibility Pilot Program
New Residency Requirement
Teen Parents
Double Dippers
Fleeing Felons
Minor Child - Absence
Teen Parents
Income and Eligibility Rules
Local District Cooperative Projects
Resource Exemptions
Child Assistance Program (CAP)
CAP Financing
Local District Penalties
Drug and Alcohol Screening
Finger Imaging for Medicaid Applicants and Recipients
Confidentiality Erosion
Sharing Fiscal Sanctions
Performance Awards
County Financial Incentives
Family Assistance For Those Awaiting SSI
Domestic Violence
Time Limits
Emergency Assistance
Individual Development Accounts
Fraud Sanctions
Safety Net
Block Grant For Child Care

Child Support Cooperation - Food Stamps
Medical Assistance Eligibility (MA)

Restructuring of DSS and DFY
Domestic Violence Exemption
Emergency Regulations
Electronic Benefit Transfer System
Public Assistance Employment Programs

Food Assistance Program
Data Collection

All sections are effective 8/20/97, the date the Governor signed the bill, unless otherwise indicated.

§ 1 This Act shall be known and may be cited as...The Welform Reform Act of 1997 (This is not a typo)

§ 2 Amends the Social Services Law (SSL) 2(18) to include family assistance (FA), safety net assistance (SNA) and veteran assistance within the definition of "public assistance and care." Medical assistance, institutional care for adults, and child care granted at public expense are already in the definition.

§ 3 Adds a new SSL 2(19) to define "public assistance" as family assistance, safety net assistance and veteran assistance.

§ 4 Local Flexibility Incentive Pilot Program [Adds a new SSL 36-b]

Under this provision, local social services districts may apply for funding "to demonstrate innovations and efficiencies to aid public assistance recipients in attaining self-sufficiency. No district may receive more than 25% of available funding for its project which must be approved by NYSDSS in consultation with NYSDOL. State regulations which would "impede the successful completion of a project," may be waived so long as the project:

-is consistent with state and federal statutes

-will not impair the general health or welfare of the people receiving services

Any social services district that achieves its cost savings goal shall receive full reimbursement for the costs of such project.

Ongoing evaluation and assessment will be required.

§ 5 Adds a new SSL 39(8) to allow the department(1) to contract with Indian tribes or intertribal consortiums to provide welfare related services.

§ 6 New Residency Requirement

Repeals SSL 131-a(3)(d), the provision struck down as unconstitutional by the Fourth Department in Brown v. Wing. _____ A.D. 2d ____ (1997), affirming Brown v. Wing, 170 Misc. 2d 554; 649 N.Y.S. 2d 988 (Monroe Co., 1996). Undaunted by the holdings in Aumick [161 Misc. 2d 271 (1994)] and Brown, the legislature tries again to create a residency requirement to those new to New York by dusting off an old definition of residency which is contained in SSL 117, a section of the law which has been virtually ignored since its enactment in 1949. It defines resident as someone who has resided in the state continuously for one year, and The new law adds a new section SSL 117(3) which provides that no assistance shall be provided to any person who is not a resident "as defined in this article," except that during the first 12 months in the state, a person who is otherwise eligible, shall receive benefits which do not exceed the higher of 50% of the amount otherwise payable or the standard of need applicable to the person under the laws of the state in which he or she resided immediately prior to arrival in New York. A schedule of comparative grants will be promulgated biennially setting forth that state's maximum standards of payment applicable in other states.

No alien will be provided benefits for their first year in the state unless they were domiciled in New York on August 20, 1997. Persons entitled to federally funded refugee cash assistance are exempt from the residency rule entirely.

§7 Aliens [new section SSL 122] (Effective 8/22/96 except MA provisions effective 8/20/97 and FS provisions effective 8/31/97 or later date consistent with federal law.)

1. The following aliens are eligible for federal food stamps, additional state payments for aged blind and disabled (ASPABD),family assistance, safety net assistance (SNA), and services funded under Title XX:

A. Aliens naturalized as citizens; 

B. Permanent residents who have worked for 40 quarters exclusive of any quarter after 12/31/96 in which such person received any federal means tested assistance;

C. An alien lawfully residing in New York who is on active duty in the armed forces or who has received an honorable discharge or the spouse or unmarried dependent child of any such alien;

D. Refugees and asylees during the first years after entry and persons for whom deportation was withheld within the previous 5 years or such other period provided under federal law (federal law has extended it to 7 years for SSI and medicaid).

2. Subject to the residency rule described in §6, the following aliens are eligible for FA, medical assistance (MA), SNA, Title XX services and ASPABD (to the extent the alien is eligible for SSI), but are not eligible for food stamps:

-qualified aliens(2) who entered the U.S. prior to 8/22/96; and

-qualified aliens who entered the U.S. after 8/22/96 and who have been in the U.S. for at least 5 years.

3. Qualified aliens who enter after 8/22/96 and who have been here less than 5 years and aliens who are otherwise permanently residing in the U.S. under color of law (PRUCOLS) may only receive safety net assistance and emergency medical assistance except that an alien who is PRUCOL and residing in a residential health care facility who was receiving MA as of 8/20/97 shall remain eligible for MA.

4. Any alien is eligible for adult protective and child protective services.

5 Each social services district must report the name and address of any alien unlawfully in the United States to NYSDSS.

6. Income and resources of a sponsor are deemed available to an alien for FA and MA.

7. Social services districts must request reimbursement from sponsors for FA, SNA, ASPABD, MA, emergency assistance to adults (EAA) and if the sponsor does not, within 45 days, indicate a willingness to commence payments, the social services district may commence an action against the sponsor.

Prenatal care as directed in Lewis v. Grinker, 965 F.2d 1206 (Second Cir. 1992), remains unaffected.

This section is retroactively effective to 8/22/89 except that provisions regarding medical assistance eligibility are effective upon signing and food stamp provisions are effective 8/31/97 or such later date consistent with federal law.

§8 & 9 Intentionally omitted

§10 Teen parents [Amends SSL 131(6)]

Provides that unmarried minors (under age 18) who are pregnant and who reside with and provide care for a dependent child may not receive FA unless residing with a parent, guardian, adult relative or in an adult supervised supportive living arrangement. Where possible such benefits will be paid to the adult on behalf of the minor. This provision shall not apply if:

-the minor has no living parent, legal guardian or appropriate adult relative whose whereabouts are known;

-no such adult allows the minor to live in his home

-the minor has been subjected to serious physical or actual harm, sexual abuse or exploitation in the residence of the parent or guardian or substantial evidence exists of imminent or serious harm if the minor were to live in the same residence;

-it is in the minor's best interest to waive this requirement.

If not required to live at home, the minor must reside in an adult supervised supportive living arrangement such as a second chance home or a maternity home.

§11 Repeals SSL 131(5), which provided that no assistance should be provided to employable applicants and recipients of home relief and permitted employables to receive their PA at job service sites. Replaces this section with a statement that no applicant or recipient shall receive assistance if he or she fails to comply with the requirements of this chapter or refuses to accept employment in which he or she is able to engage.

Double Dippers [Adds SSL 131(12)]

No PA or FS shall be granted to an individual for 10 years after conviction for fraudulently representing his or her residence in order to receive PA, MA, FS or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) from two or more states.

Fleeing Felons [Adds SSL 131(14)]

No PA shall be given to any individual who is fleeing to avoid prosecution from a crime which is a felony or who is violating a condition of probation or parole as evidenced by either an outstanding warrant alleging such violation or by a judicial determination.

Repeals former 131(12) which dealt with a pilot project to provide direct delivery of PA checks to banks in NYC.

Minor Child - absence [SSL 131(15)]

No PA shall be provided for any minor child expected to be absent from the home for 45 days or more without good cause as defined in regulation. Good cause shall include absence in foster care if the goal is return home; attendance at school or hospitalization is return is expected within a reasonable time and is in the best interest of the child.

Teen Parents [SSL 131(18)]

Any parent under the age of 18 with a child 12 weeks of age or older must have either completed a high school education or its equivalent or must participate in educational activities, unless it has been determined that the minor lacks the requisite capacity to successfully complete a course of study.

Income and Eligibility Rules

§12 Repeals SSL 131-a(3-a)(3-b)(6) and 11; amends SSL 131-a(1), (3), 5(f), (7), (8), (9), 10(a), 12(a)

-Maintains current grant structure

-Repeals the child care disregard (effective 11/1/97)

-Maintains the $90 earned income disregard

-Provides a 42% disregard of earned income for households in receipt of family assistance [and permits adjustment based on changes in the poverty guidelines. The current intent of NYSDSS is that the disregard should be a percentage that zeros outs at poverty for a household of three in NYC]. No assistance shall be given to any household with gross income in excess of the poverty level (effective 11/1/97).

-Maintains the $50 child support disregard

-Maintains 6 months earned income exemption for students

-Maintains JTPA earning exemption

-Maintains EITC exemption

-Maintains 185% gross income rule

-Maintains lump sum rule

§13 Makes technical amendments(3) in SSL 131-f which permits the disregard of retroactive social security benefit increases.

Local District Cooperative Projects [New SSL §131-i ]

§14 Permits local social services districts to function cooperatively to jointly provide services, but may not relocate offices which would diminish access to services or increase un-reimbursed travel.

§15 Repeals SSL 131-k(1),(3) & (4) (the prior alien provisions). The provision which requires that aliens ineligible for assistance be referred to INS, is retained.

§16 Resource Exemptions [Amends SSL §131-n; Effective for a five year period November 1, 1997 - August 22, 2002.]

-Designed to match food stamp exemptions.

-$2000 - general resource exemption;

-$3000 if household member over the age of 60;

-fair market value of an automobile up to $4650 (the current rule is $1500 equity value);

-funds in an individual development account;

-tangible personal property necessary for business or employment purposes.

§17 SSL 131-t

-Requires "periodic" as opposed "quarterly" reporting.

§18 Learnfare [Amends 131-y(1), (2)]

Existing program is continued; target goals revised. Six sites by 9/97; 15 sites by 9/98, all social services districts by 9/99.

§19 Child Assistance Program (CAP) [Repeals SSL 111-l and creates a new


Allows any district to operate a CAP program: maintains parameters of current program except that after 3/97/98 MA will only be extended beyond current eligibility standards to the extent federal financial participation is a available. NYSDSS says that Health Department will seek a §1115 wavier to maintain expanded CAP MA eligibility. Allows families unable to obtain a support order to participate in CAP if

-the other parent is deceased;

-the custodial parent has made diligent efforts to obtain a support order, but has been unable to obtain an order for reasons outside her control

-the custodial parent has good cause for non-cooperation

-the child resides with both parents and paternity has been established.

§19-a CAP financing

Amends & SSL 153(16) to provide administrative reimbursement for CAP programs in excess of "federal reimbursement received" as follows:

For fiscal year beginning

  • 4/1/97 - 100%
  • 4/1/98 - 90%
  • 4/1/99 - 80%
  • 4/1/00 - 70%
  • 4/1/01 - 60%

All years thereafter - 50%

§20 Local District Penalties [SSL 153(17)]

Penalties for local social services districts that fail to meet participation rates for non-exempt safety net households: state reimbursement will be cut ˝ of 1% of such shortfall up to 5%.


§22 Technical amendments to SSL 132(2)(a).

§23 Drug and Alcohol Screening [Adds SSL 132(4)] (Effective 11/1/97)

Periodic screening for alcohol and substance abuse shall be required of adult applicants or heads of households. Screening does not mean testing and shall be done with a tool developed by the office of alcoholism and substance abuse services (OASAS).

If screening indicates a reason to believe applicant or recipient is abusing drugs, the local department of social services ( LDSS) shall refer for a formal assessment to be performed by a credentialed professional, which may include drug testing. Those unable to work by reason of their need for treatment must be referred for treatment. [Note: this means those able to work despite drug abuse will not be referred for treatment. Query: Can they voluntarily enroll without being required to participate in work activities?]. Diligent efforts must be made to refer to a program that allows the family to remain intact.

A person who fails to participate in the screening or assessment is ineligible for assistance. The remainder of the household can receive safety net assistance and MA.

A person referred to treatment and the household in which he/she resides shall receive SNA and MA, even if such treatment is not presently available.

Refusal to participate in such program without good cause, or loss of SSI or OASDI for similar non-compliance will result in disqualification for PA and MA:

-45 days or compliance (whichever is longer) - first failure;

-120 days - second failure;

-180 days - third and subsequent failures.

Other household members are eligible for SNA. Good cause shall be defined in regulation.

Persons who return to required residential treatment prior to the end of their disqualification period are eligible for SNA.

§23-a Finger Imaging for Medicaid Applicants and Recipients

Extends finger imaging to recipients of public assistance and care, including medicaid recipients who are subject to photo ID requirements.

According to Department of Health documents, medicaid recipients who are not subject to the photo-ID requirements and thus who would not be subject to finger imaging include:

-all cash SSI recipients

-children under 21 living with a responsible relative (including foster parents and guardian)

-home board persons

-PCAP applicants

-all persons in residential health care, residences operated by OMH or OMRDD or in institutional foster care

It is a county option to include 18-21 year olds who do not live with a responsible relative from the photo- ID process.

§23-b Intentionally omitted

Confidentiality Erosion

§24 Amends SSL 136(2) to permit social services officials to report suspected instances of physical or mental injury, sexual abuse or exploitation, sexual contact with a minor or negligent or maltreatment or a child and permits communications with INS regarding the immigration status of any individual.

§25 Amends SSL 135(5) to require DSS officials to disclose the names of fleeing felons and those violating probation or parole.

§26 Amends SSL 142, which states that no person receiving SSI and/or additional state payments or FA shall receive any other form of assistance. Deletes the provision that a parent or other relative who receives ADC on behalf of a child but receives no allowance herself, is not ineligible for aid or assistance under any other title of this chapter.

§27 Amends SSL 153(i)(e) to delete reference to state and local charges.

§28 Sharing Federal Fiscal Sanctions [Adds a new SSL 153(2)]

If the federal government imposes fiscal sanctions on the state because of non-compliance with federal law, the commissioner shall make a determination of district fault and reduce federal reimbursement in an amount equal to the portion attributable to the district. If the commissioner is unable to identify which districts caused the federal sanction, then all districts shall be proportionally reduced.

§29 Repeals SSL 153(13), (14) - which provided 50% reimbursement for JOBS expenditures and 87 ˝ % reimbursement for Transitional Child Care.

§30 Performance Awards [SSL 153-j] (expires 10/1/02)

NYSDSS, at the option of any LDSS will set goals pertaining to

-job placement

-reduction of out of wedlock pregnancies

-placement from shelters to permanent housing

-establishment of paternity

-increases in administrative efficiency

Districts meeting these goals are eligible for awards.

County Financial Incentives [SSL 153-k)] (Expires 10/1/02)

NYSDSS shall establish financial incentives for districts that are most successful at moving recipients off public assistance to unsubsidized employment. The ten highest ranked districts will receive a pro-rata share of funds accumulated. The lowest 20 districts must pay 3% of their state and federal reimbursement for employment and work related activities into this incentive fund, unless NYSDSS waives this provision because of conditions in the local economy.

§31 Technical amendments to SSL §344, which deals with local district responsibility to provide family assistance.

§32 Technical amendments to SSL §348, which deals with family assistance applications.

§33 Repeals SSL 349 (B)(1-a), which authorized ADC-U. Effective 12/2/96.

§34 Changes ADC to FA in SSL §349 and deletes deprivation factor requirement. (Effective 12/2/96).

Family Assistance for those Awaiting SSI [SSL 349(B)(2)]

§35 SSL 349(B)(2) - Allows NYSDSS to provide FA without federal funding to those awaiting SSI determinations; authorizes retroactive classification, presumably to maximize federal dollars.

§36 Domestic Violence Provisions [SSL 349-a]

After consultation with the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) and statewide domestic violence advocacy groups, the department shall establish regulations, which will

-require local social services districts [LSSD] to notify all applicants and recipients (at re-certification) of procedures for protection from domestic violence (DV) and the availability of services

-the notice will inform the individual that

-the LSSD will make periodic inquiry regarding the existence of DV

-response to these inquires is voluntary and confidential

-information regarding abuse and neglect of children will be reported to child protective

-the inquiry will be performed utilizing a universal screening form developed by the department after consultation with OPDV and statewide domestic violence advocacy groups

-an individual who self identifies shall be offered the opportunity for such screening

-an individual indicating the presence of DV as a result of such screening shall promptly be referred to a domestic violence liaison who meets training requirements by the department after consultation with OPDV and statewide DV advocacy groups

-the liaison shall assess the credibility of the assertion of DV. The assessment must include, at a minimum, a sworn statement by the individual alleging such abuse.

-upon a determination that the individual's allegation is credible

-the individual shall be informed of services available on a voluntary basis

-the liaison shall conduct a second assessment to determine to what extent DV is a barrier to compliance with PA requirements or employment

-assess the need for waivers of program requirements which may include, but are not limited to


-child support cooperation

-employment and training. Exemptions from the 60 month limit on receipt of TANF benefits is only available when there is an independently verified physical impairment resulting from DV, anticipated to last 3 months or longer, or if the individual is unable to work because they have to care for a child disabled as a result of DV.

-pursuant to §142 of this act, victims of DV may be exempted from SSL 349(2) on the basis of hardship. (This is confusing - SSL 349 uses paragraphs (A) and (B) before numerical subparagraphs, so it is not clear to what section this is referring.)

-waivers granted shall be provided pursuant to a determination of good cause where compliance would make it more difficult for the individual or her children to escape from domestic violence or subject them to further risk of DV

-Such waivers shall be for an initial period of no less than 4 months provided that all waivers are subject to ongoing review and may be extended, modified or terminated by the DV liaison.

§37 Repeals SSL 350(6), (7) which dealt with ADC funding for children in foster homes and child welfare services.

Time Limits [Amends SSL 350(2)]

Limits receipt of benefits funded by the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grant to 60 months to "any family which includes an adult who has received ...any form of assistance funded in whole or in part under TANF."

Not included in the 60 month calculations

-any period in which the individual was a minor child who was not the head of a household or married to the head of the household.

Subject to federal limitations, families will be exempted from the application of this section based on hardship when

-the adult family member is unable to work because of an independently verified physical or mental impairment including those resulting from domestic violence, or

-when the adult member is in receipt of SSI, or additional state payments (Note: this language would be unnecessary if the state intended to keep SSI invisible since the minor children in the household are already described as exempt from the time limit. For the moment, 18 NYCRR 352.2(b) remains intact.)

-periods in which an adult receives SNA shall be included in the cumulative period regardless of whether such assistance was funded by TANF

-TANF assistance "may be increased, decreased or revoked at any time."

-TANF may be continued for a period of not more than one month after a child becomes ineligible, except in the case of a child reaching the age of 18

§38 Emergency Assistance (EA) [Amends SSL 350-j(2),(3)]

-deletes the 30 days within 12 month limitation

-expands from 6 to 12 months the time within which the child must have lived with the family

EA can not duplicate assistance provided or assistance that would have been provided but for a sanction

Persons for whom preventative services are being provided or who are living in foster care, public, congregate or group facilities, such as residences for victims of domestic violence, may pursuant to regulations and within amounts specifically appropriated, receive assistance in amounts exceeding those set forth in 131-a.

§39 Amends SSL §358 - primarily technical amendments

-Authorizes the department of tax and finance to accept and receive TANF dollars and permit that department to transfer funds to the child care development block grant as the legislature provides

Individual Development Accounts [New SSL 358(5)]

Permits individuals to accumulate funds in individual development accounts established pursuant to §403 of the social security act as trust accounts funded with periodic contributions of earned income or of amounts matched by or through a non-profit.

§40 Repeals SSL 29-a, the provision which authorizes the state to apply for federal waivers.

§41 Fraud Sanctions [Repeals SSL 145-c and creates a new SSL 145-c]

Those who have been found by a court or pursuant an administrative hearing to have:

-made a false or misleading statement or misrepresented, concealed or withheld facts or,

-committed an act intended to mislead, misrepresent, conceal or withhold facts or propound a falsity

for the purpose of establishing or maintaining eligibility, increasing benefits or preventing a decrease, shall not have his or her needs taken into account for the following periods of time:

First offense - 6 months

Second offense or wrongful receipt of $1000 - $3900 - 12 months

Third offense wrongful receipt of amount in excess of $3900 - 18 months

Any subsequent offense or wrongful receipt of benefits in the amount of $3900 - 5 years. [Note: Yes, this is confusing - is a person who wrongfully receives more than $3900 disqualified for 18 months or 5 years?]

§42 Amends SSL 131(10) - Technical corrections to the voluntary quit rule. Maintains 90 day penalty for applicants. [Note: §148 says sanctions for recipients who voluntarily quit or reduce employment are those set forth in SSL 342 - the progressive sanctions.]

Safety Net (effective 12/1/98)

§43 Amends SSL 157(1) - Renames home relief as safety net assistance - primarily technical changes; deletes the authority to pay for tuition, fees and other costs of training under §SSL 159-a which was repealed effective 10/1/90, when JOBS was enacted.

§44 Note: This section is effective 12/1/98. Defines those eligible for Safety Net Assistance (SNA) as a person who

-resides with a family ineligible for a TANF assistance because they have exceeded the 60 month time limit

-does not reside with a dependent child (ie single adult)

-lives with an adult or minor head of household who has been found under SSL 132 to be abusing illegal substances or engaging in the habitual and excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages

-is under 18, not living with his or her child, and has no adult relatives with whom to reside

-resides in a family in which a person refused to comply with drug or alcohol screening

-resides in a family which includes a person who refuses to participate in an appropriate drug or alcohol rehabilitation program

-is a qualified alien ineligible for TANF because of PRA §403 or is an alien who is permanently residing under color of law, but is not a qualified alien

No person residing with a minor child is eligible for safety net assistance unless they have reached the 60 month time limit. This mean spirited provision appears to eliminate the rule that permitted adults to maximize benefits by keeping their children with income (support, survivor's benefits) off assistance and receiving assistance for the adult only.

§45 Repeals SSL 158-a - Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Rehabilitation Services

§46 Repeals SSL 158-b - Mandatory job search activities for certain employable recipients of home relief

§46-a Amends SSL 159

Safety net assistance shall be provided in cash unless deemed inappropriate by the LSSD because of an inability to manage funds or because less expensive and more easily controlled alternative methods of payment are available or if the individual has requested it (This is not a change. It is the current HR language).

Non-cash safety net assistance shall be paid as follows:

Shelter: direct payment, two party check or other form of restricted payment up to shelter grant, except may be in excess of that amount at the request of the recipient.

Utility: direct payment, two party check or other form of restricted payment for fuel for heating, not in excess of allowances unless requested by the recipient.

Personal needs allowance: 20% of the sum of the monthly standard of payment.

All other assistance shall be provided on a non-cash basis, provided that an appropriate electronic benefit transfer (EBT) system is operating in the district where the recipient resides.

Safety net recipients who are single adults or minors not living with child or adult relative may only get cash safety net assistance for 2 years after 8/20/97, unless the LSSD has not implemented a non-cash program, or they are adults exempt form employment requirements.

Persons who have reached the time limit, who reside with someone found to have been abusing alcohol or drugs, who have refused to submit to drug or alcohol screening, or who are being sanctioned for failure to attend drug or alcohol rehabilitation may only receive non-cash assistance.

Qualified aliens who entered the country after 8/22/96 and PRUCOL aliens may receive cash assistance for two years.

The two year time limit includes any time that a person received reduced benefits under SSL 117 (residency rule) or federally funded refugee assistance.

Adults eligible to receive comprehensive health care services through a special needs plan (SNP) defined in 364-j(1)(n) shall receive cash assistance even if SNP is not operating in their district or if eligible but for operation of 364-j(3)(d).

The non-cash assistance provisions will in general begin on 12/1/99, except that they will not apply to TANF recipients who have used up their time limit until 12/1/00, and up to 5 social services districts may pilot such a system for single adults, aliens and childless minors who do not live with relatives effective 12/1/98.

§47 Amends SSL 165 - technical amendments to the HR pass plan (but see §77, which repeals this section).

§48 Amends SSL 398 to add a new §16 which requires giving preference to placement of a foster child with an adult relative.

§49 Adds SSL 398-e to make aliens, including non-qualified aliens, eligible for protective services. (Deemed to be in effect on and after 8/22/96).

§50 Amends the Business Corporation Law by adding a new §405-a to required approval of NYSDSS for any certificate of incorporation that includes the authority to care for children through the establishment of an institution for destitute, delinquent, abandoned, neglected or dependent children.

§51 Amends SSL 410, to add (4) which says §410 does not apply to child care provided under the Block Grant for Child Care.

§52 Block Grant for Child Care [SSL 410-u through 410-z]

Establishes a state block grant for child care comprised of both title IV-A and CCDBG and "any additional federal funds that the state chooses to transfer from the federal family assistance to needy families block grant" to CCDBG plus any state funds.

The block grant is divided into two parts:

Part I - retained by the state to provide child care on a statewide basis to special groups, increase availability and quality of child care programs including but not limited to start-up, CCR&R, training, regulation and monitoring of child care programs, development of computerized data systems and consumer education.

CCR&R's must meet additional performance standards including:

-increasing the number of child care placements for persons at or below 200% of poverty;

-increasing technical assistance to all "modalities" of legal child care.

Funds may be withheld from CCR&R's which do not meet these standards and restored upon meeting them.

Part II - For child care for families receiving FA and other low income families. Allocation plan developed by the department & approved by the division of the budget based in part on historical costs & need for child care.

Block grant reimbursement

-75% for FA families

-100% all other eligible families

Unclaimed block grant funds will carry over to the following year

Claims (other than Title XX) from 10/1/96 to 9/30/97 shall be counted against a district's first block grant allocation.

Eligible Families [SSL 410-w]

Families receiving FA when child care is necessary

To enable a parent or caretaker to engage in work, work activities or community service;

To enable a teen parent to attend high school or equivalent training;

Because parent or caretaker is physically or mentally incapacitated;

Because family duties away from home necessitate parent or caretaker relative's absence.

Transitional Child Care

Families with incomes up to 200% of the state income standard (SIS)(4) who are attempting through work activities to transfer off FA so long as PA has been terminated

As a result of increased hours or income from employment, or

Increased income from child support payments, or

Because the family voluntarily ended assistance.

3. Families with incomes up to 200% of SIS at risk of becoming dependent on FA.

4. Other families with incomes up to 200% of the SIS which the LSSD designates in its consolidated service plan as eligible in accordance with criteria established by the department.

Child Care Guarantee

Child care is guaranteed to families in receipt of FA with children under the age of 13 when such care is necessary for them to work or participate in work activities.

TCC is guaranteed for 12 months.

Social services districts may spend no more than 5% of their block grant allocation for administrative activities.

Local social services districts may establish priorities for eligible families and must set forth their priorities in their consolidated service plan.

Health and Safety Standards

Child care assistance funded under the block grant must meet all applicable standards set forth in SSL §390 or the administrative code of the City of New York.

The department must establish in regulation minimum health and safety requirements that must be met by providers who are not required to be licensed or registered, and providers who are FA recipients fulfilling their community work experience requirements. A local social services district may impose additional minimum health and safety requirements if they submit:

-justification to the department of the need to impose such standards;

-a plan to monitor compliance.

Cost of Care

Amount to be paid for child care is the actual cost of care but no more than the applicable market related payment rate established by the department in regulation. The rates must be sufficient to ensure equal access for eligible children to comparable child care assistance provided to children whose parents are not eligible to receive assistance. The rates must take into account:

-variations of the cost of providing care in different settings and different age groups

-additional cost of providing child care for children with special needs

Note: The Child Care Development Block Grant Plan which was filed with the Department of Health and Human Services indicates that the State intends to maintain current market rates through 9/30/99.

Methods of payment

-The local district may provide child care:


-through purchase of service contracts

-through cash, vouchers or reimbursement.

-Must include at least one method by which care arranged by the parent can be paid

Sliding Fee Scale

Assistance shall be provided on a sliding fee scale based upon ability to pay to be developed in regulation.

Maintenance of Effort

Each social services district must maintain spending equal to or greater than the amount spent in FFY 1995 under Title IV-A, CCDBG and the state low income child care program.

If the state fails to meet the level of state and local child care funding necessary to maintain federal matching funds for child care assistance, the state shall withhold funds from those social services districts based upon a formula to be established by the department.

§53 Child Support Cooperation - Food Stamps [SSL §95(a)]

A parent or person exercising parental control who refuses to cooperate in establishing paternity or obtaining support is not eligible to participate in the food stamp program unless there is good cause for such refusal.

-A putative or identified non-custodial parent is not eligible to participate in the food stamp program if such individual refuses to cooperate in establishing paternity or providing support.

A person who is four months in arrears in child support or combined spousal and child support is ineligible for food stamps.

Medical Assistance Eligibility [§54-61] (effective 11/1/97)

§54 Amends SSL 366(1) to permit medical assistance (MA) eligibility for those eligible for SNA; persons sanctioned under SSL 342 will remain eligible for MA.

§55 Amends SSL 366(1)(a)(5) MA eligibility

-redefines categorical eligibility to include those who are "certified blind" or "certified disabled". (This should cover aliens who lose SSI eligibility) and those who would be eligible for ADC as it existed on 7/16/96.

§56 MA Eligibility [SSL 366(1)(a)(7)]

-extends MA eligibility to a person between the ages of 21 and 65 who is the parent of a child under the age of 21, who lives with such child and who is financially eligible. This provides eligibility where there is no deprivation factor.

§57 Extends MA eligibility to the following individuals:

1) Member of a family with dependent child under 18 (or 19 and a student) who is deprived of parental support and care; income can not exceed TANF eligibility standards as they existed 11/1/97.

Resources can not exceed $1,000.

Additional resource disregard of the difference between the TANF resource limit and $1,000.

TANF methodology may not be more restrictive than ADC methodology as it existed 7/16/96.

2) Member of family with a child under the age of 21 who meets the financial eligibility requirements above but

No child meets the dependent child definition,

or pregnant woman is ineligible because no dependent child resides with her

Child under age 21 who is not living with a caretaker relative who is otherwise eligible under SSL 366(1)(a)(8).

§57-a Amends SSL 366(1). A person shall not lose MA eligibility as a result of a sanction imposed under §SSL 342.

§57-b Amends SSL 366(2)(a)(5). Defines "cash assistance program" to be ADC as it existed 7/16/96 or SSI.

§58 MA Eligibility Adjusted to CPI [SSL 366(2)(a)(7)]

Medicaid eligibility is 133 1/3% of the ADC level on 7/16/96 and will be increased annually by the same percentage as the % increase in the federal consumer price index.

§59 Transitional Medical Assistance [(SSL 366(4)(a)(i)]

Transitional Medical Assistance (TMA) is continued for six months for those who are eligible under 366 (a)(i)(8) and (9) [The additional six months for families whose incomes are under 185% of poverty was not repealed].

§60 TMA notice provisions - technical amendments to SSL 366 (4)(b)(i).

§61 Amends 366(4)(3) TMA eligibility for four months retained for to those who lose MA eligibility because of increase child or spousal support collection.

§62 SSL 49 (2) - technical amendments to provision that defines family as a household of two or more at least one of whom is under 21 or a pregnant woman.

§63 Technical amendments to SSL 62(5)(a).

§64 Technical amendments to SSL 65(6).

§65 Technical amendments to SSL 67(l).

§66 Technical amendments to SSL 69.

§67 Technical amendments to SSL 92(l)(a).

§68 Technical amendments to SSL 111-g.

§69 Technical amendments to SSL 111-g.

§70 Technical amendments to SSL 111-h(3).

§71 Technical amendments to SSL 131-p.

§72 Technical amendments to SSL 131-u(a)(ii),(iii).

§73 Technical amendments to SSL 131-x.

§74 Technical amendments to SSL 139-a.

§75 Technical amendments to SSL 152-a.

§76 SSL 153-c repealed - special provisions for reimbursement of home relief expenditures.

§77 SSL 165 repealed - Home relief PASS program, which permits recipients to retain earnings to assist in removal from relief rolls, but see §47, which only amends this section.

§78 Technical amendments to SSL §168(4).

§79 Technical amendments to SSL §171.

§80 Technical amendments to SSL §172.

§81 Technical amendments to SSL §174-b.

§82 Technical amendments to SSL §178.

§83 Technical amendments to SSL §211(5).

§84 Technical amendments to SSL §350-a(1)(3).

§85 Technical amendments to SSL §352(2), (1).

§86 Technical amendments to SSL §352-a(1).

§87 Technical amendments to SSL 353(a).

§88 SSL 354 is repealed - This provision permitted anyone with knowledge that ADC was being improperly granted or administer to file a verified complaint in writing with the department and gave the department the power to revoke allowances and issue orders to public welfare officials.

§89 Technical amendments to SSL 355(l).

§90 Technical amendments to SSL 356(1), (2).

§91 Technical amendments to SSL 357.

§92 Technical amendments to SSL 360(1), (3).

§93 SSL 362 is repealed. It specifically applied Title 10 (ADC) of the SSL to the Commissioner of Public Welfare in Westchester County.

§94 & §95 Managed care extension for six months. SSL 364-j(ll), (17); SSL 366(4)(k).

Effective 11/1/97, new enrollees in managed care will retain eligibility for six months, even if they have otherwise lost their medical assistance eligibility.

§96 SSL 365-a(8) repealed (effective 11/1/97). This section required MA eligibility for those eligible for home relief.

§97 Amendments to SSL 366(4) expanded MA provisions (effective 11/1/97) - references eligibility for ADC as it existed on 7/16/96.

§98 Amendments to SSL 367-a(7)(d), substituting eligibility under SSL 366(1), (1) or (9) for HR eligibility and deleting the reference to home relief (Effective 11/1/97).

§99 Technical amendments to the following sections of the SSL 369-d (2)(a), (d) and (4)(a). (Effective 11/1/97).

§100 Technical amendments to SSL 397(4).

§101 Technical amendments to SSL 407(1).

§102 Technical amendments to SSL 410-a.

§103 Technical amendments to SSL 461-j(1).

§104 Technical amendments County Law 233-a(3).

§105 Technical amendments DRL 236B(7)(b).

§106 Technical amendments DRL 236B(9)(c).

§107 Technical amendments Insurance Law 3230(b)(2).

§108 Technical amendments Insurance Law 7807(a).

§109 Technical amendments Judiciary Law 506.

§110 Technical amendments FCA 423.

§111 Technical amendments FCA 571.

§112 Technical amendments Local Finance Law §2.00(14).

§113 Technical amendments Local Finance Law §90.0(a)(1).

§114 Technical amendments to Local Finance Law 108.00.

§115 Technical amendments to Mental Hygiene Law 31.29(a).

§116 Technical amendments to Military Law §235-a.

§117 Technical amendments to Public Authorities Law §2432(5).

§118 Technical amendments to Public Health Law §2596(3).

§119 Technical amendments to Tax Law §697(e)(3). This section is deemed repealed when § 120 takes effect.

§120 Technical amendments to Tax Law §697(e)(3).

§121 NY opts out of §115(a) of the PROWRA, which provides that those convicted of felonies involving the possession, use or distribution of a controlled substance may not be eligible for assistance under any state program funded with TANF dollars or food stamps, unless the state affirmatively opts out.

Restructuring of State Department of Social Services and the Division for Youth

§122 The Department of Social Services (DSS) is renamed the Department of Family Assistance (DFA) containing two autonomous offices within it:

1. The office of children and family services (OFCS)

The office of temporary and disability assistance (OTaDA)

All powers and duties regarding employment programs are transferred to the Department of Labor (DOL).

§123 All powers and duties of the Division for Youth (DFY) are transferred to OCFS.

§124 Establishes a children and family services advisory board consisting of the Commissioner of OFCS and 24 members - 12 to be appointed by the Governor; four each by the temporary president of the Senate and the Speaker of the Assembly; two each by the minority leaders of the senate and the assembly. One half of the members shall not be providers of services. All rules and regulations, other than emergency regulations must be submitted to the advisory board for review.

§125 Establishes an executive commission, to be appointed by the governor, which shall develop a legislative proposal to transfer the duties of the former DSS and DFY to OCFS and OTaDA by 12/1/97 or such later date as agreed to by the governor, the temporary president of the senate and the speaker of the assembly.

§126 Requires the commissioners of OCFS and OTaDA to enter into a memorandum of understanding with respect to transfer of functions, the allocation of responsibilities, and administrative hearing functions.

§127 Amends Executive Law 169 (1)(a)(b) to include the commissioners of OCFS and OTaDA.

§128 Provides for transfer of employees between agencies and describes effect on collective bargaining units.

§129 Provides for transfer of records.

§130 Provides continuity of authority.

§131 Provides for completion of unfinished business.

§132 Provides that rules and regulations will continue in force and effect.

§133 Provides that references in contracts and documents shall be deemed to refer to the appropriate new office.

§134 Existing rights and remedies preserved.

§135 Actions or proceedings pending when the restructuring takes effect shall be prosecuted or defended in the name of the appropriate successor commissioner.

§136 Transfer of appropriations to successor offices.

§137 Transfer of assets and liabilities to successor offices.

§138 & 139 Not withstanding SAPA, §§122-140 may be implemented through emergency regulations.

§139-a The Commissioner of OCFS must report to the Speaker of Assembly, the Temporary President of the Senate on 12/1/97, 4/1/98 and 4/1/99 on the status of implementation of OCFS.

§140 Amends §442(1) of the Executive Law to include OCFS and OTaDA in the council on children and families.

§141 Reference to home relief in any law or regulation shall refer to Safety Net Assistance.

Domestic Violence Exemption

§142 Permits victims of domestic violence to be exempted from SSL 349(2) on the basis of hardship upon the enactment of a chapter of law expressly referring to such a chapter. This is confusing - SSL 349 uses paragraphs (A) and (B) before numerical sub-paragraphs, so it is not clear to what section this is referring.

Emergency Regulations

§143 Authorizes the promulgation of emergency regulations to implement this act.

§144 Amends SSL 21 to permit the Commissioner of Social Services to have access to the Welfare Management System (WMS) for the purposes of maintaining the employment programs and permits the Commissioner of Health to have access to WMS to administer MA.

Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) System

§144-a Adds a new §21-a to the Social Services Law which requires that

EBT be implemented statewide.

EBT have sufficient access points to assure adequate distribution

department must publish a list identifying the number and location of access points within each district

department must seek and accept public comment on the adequacy of recipient access

department must work with contractors to establish access points at community centers, educational and job skills training sites and local housing authorities.

Appropriate training and materials be developed including procedures for reporting and replacing lost or stolen EBT cards.

§144-b Adds SSL 131(19) to provide that when a recipient claims that an EBT card has been lost, stolen or destroyed it must be replaced within 48 hours exclusive of weekends and holidays.

§145 Intentionally omitted.

§146 Amends Labor Law §21 to authorize the Commissioner to supervise social services districts in the administration of work programs.

§147 Amends Labor Law §537(6) with respect to access to information.

§147-a Repeals SSL §164 which governs work relief programs including non-displacement provisions, calculation of work hours based on the size of the grant and 8 hr/day 40 hr/week limits.

Public Assistance Employment Programs

§148 Renames Title 9-B, the JOB OPPORTUNITIES AND BASIC SKILLS TRAINING PROGRAM, PUBLIC ASSISTANCE EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMS. It keeps §§330 - 342 intact, making both technical corrections and some major substantive changes.

SSL §330

Definition of "target group" is deleted.

"Commissioner" means Commissioner of Labor; "department" means the State Department of Labor.

Recipients of public assistance or medical assistance who are required to participate in community service or work experience activities are considered public employees for the purpose of §27-a of the labor law and shall be provided appropriate workers' compensation or equivalent protection for on the job injuries and tort claims protection on the same basis but not necessarily the same benefit level as to other persons.

SSL §331

Deletes non-supplantation language regarding day care and adds a sentence which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion or handicap in the selection of participants, assignment and treatment.

Exemptions [SSL §332]

Adds to the listed exemptions a person who is deemed disabled under §332-b. Section 332-b is a new section, discussed below, which defines the new "disability program."

Deletes the following exemptions:

Resident where a program is not available

Caregiver of child under 6 working 20 hours per week

Person employed 30 hours per week

Caregivers of children under 3 are no longer exempt: a caregiver of a child under one year gets an exemption for a maximum period of 3 months except as otherwise extended up to 12 months by the social services official.

Note: This section is effective immediately. A good argument can be made that parents/caretakers with children over 3 months but under 12 months, should get 3 month exemption beginning with the effective date of the act.

Pregnant women are only exempt for the 30 day period prior to the medically verified date of delivery.

Transportation - inaccessible transportation no longer creates an exemption. Instead "where lack of transportation is a direct barrier to participation ...The local district shall make a reasonable effort to assign the individual to an appropriate work activity at a site in closest possible proximity to such individual's residence."

Recipients may still volunteer to participate and must still be informed that they can do so!!

Retains the language that a participant can not be required to accept a job if it results in a net loss of income.

Supportive Services [SSL 332-a]

Makes explicit that child care for children up to age 13 shall be guaranteed as a supportive services if necessary to participate in a work activity

Note: Two year college is defined in SSL 336 and 336-a as a work activity. Thus, even though it will not count as "engaged in work", districts should be required to provide child care for those in two year programs.

Deletes requirement that child care be guarantee prior to entering activities, between activities and during breaks in activities.

Retains transportation, work related expenses, case management and medical assistance as supportive services.

Disability Program - New: [SSL 332-b] (effective 11/1/97).

A person eligible to receive comprehensive health services under SSL 364-j shall be considered disabled and unable to engage in work activities or shall be considered work limited.

SSL 364-j(m) says that mental health special needs plan shall have the same meaning as Public Health Law (PHL) §4403-d

SSL 364-j(n) says that comprehensive HIV special needs plan shall have the same meaning as PHL 4403-c

DSS must inquire upon application, recertification and whenever they have reason to believe that a disability may exist, whether an individual has any medical condition which would limit his or her ability to participate in work activities.

Notice must be provided giving the individual 10 calendar days to obtain documentation of the disability. The documentation must:

-contain a specific diagnosis and

-particularize work related limitations.

The district may in its sole discretion accept such evidence and modify work assignments.

If district determines that documentation is insufficient, the individual asserting this disability shall be referred to the Office of Disability Determinations (ODD). The health care practitioner must

-consider all records provided

-make a specific diagnosis

-determine if the individual is

disabled and unable to engage in work activities in which case the person is exempt;

work limited - able to engage in activities with stated limitations;

neither disabled or work limited.

If person is referred to ODD, prior to submitting medical documentation, he or she must bring his or her medical records to ODD no later than 4 business days after said examination unless he or she can demonstrate good cause for failure to provide such records.

Where an applicant or recipient has requested, or an LDSS has directed a determination under this section no assignment may be made to a work activity until completion of such determination unless the applicant or recipient agrees.

Applicant will be notified of right to fair hearing when they receive the disability determination. If a timely fair hearing is requested, no assignment to work activities may be made unless the applicant or recipient agrees to a limited work assignment

However, the statute nullifies this entire provision by stating that "... if the district determines, based on clear medical evidence that there is no basis for the individual's claim and that the individual intentionally misrepresented his or her medical condition, the district can send the applicant or recipient a notice of potential sanction, and the recipient can be subject to sanction.

Local plans are still required [SSL 333].

Plans no longer must describe the availability of child care by type, or set forth an estimate of care needed or describe a plan to meet the need for child care. They need not describe how participants will be assisted in locating child care.

Orientation [SSL 334]

This section remains intact with only technical changes

Assessments and employability plans [SSL 335] (effective 11/1/97).

All recipients age 18 or over in a household with dependent children [and 16 &17 year olds who are not attending school], must be assessed within 90 days of the date on which they are determined eligible for public assistance.

Applicants and recipients may be assigned to work activities prior to completion of such assessment.

Employability plans "to the extent possible" must reflect the preferences of the participant.

Applicants who fail to participate in assessments will be ineligible for public assistance. Recipients who fail to participate will be subject to sanctions under SSL §342.

The requirement that two choices of regulated care be offered when assistance in securing child care is sought, has been deleted, but has been replaced in SSL 342 with the provision that if the parent can demonstrate an inability to find needed care, district must provide a chance of two providers, only one of whom must be regulated.

Assessments and employability plans for certain recipients in households without children. [SSL 335-a] (effective 11/1/97).

Recipients in households without children must be assessed within one year. Sanctions for failure to participate are the same as in §335.

Both §335 and §335-a permit assignment to an education program where the assessment indicates that the applicant has not obtained a basic literacy level.

Mandatory Work Assignments [SSL 335-b]

Requires each social services district to meet or exceed TANF participation rates for all families as follows:

FFY 1997 - 25%

1998 - 30%

1999 - 35%

2000 - 40%

` 2001 - 45%

2002 - 50%

For two parent families and households without exempt adult receiving safety net assistance the rate is

FFY 1997 & 1998 - 75%

1999 - 90%

The Commissioner shall promulgate regulations which define participation rate.

Minimum work hours necessary to be included in the participation rate:

for all families

FFY 1997 - 1998 - 20 hrs/week

1999 - 25 hrs/week

2000 - 30 hrs/week

two parent families - 35 hrs/week

two parent families receiving federally funded child care assistance are only considered participating if

-There is a child under 6 in the household and are parent is working an average of 20 hours per week and the other is also working at least 20 hours per week

Engaged in Work - This is the phrase used to define those participating in work activities.

The activities which constitute such engagement are defined in SSL 336- (a - i); (a - e) for households without children.

Job search is limited to 6 weeks, only 4 of which may be consecutive.

A recipient with a child under 6 is engaged in work if the work hours average 20 hrs/week.

All parents and caretakers must be engaged in work as soon as practicable but not later that than 24 months from receipt of initial assistance.

Work limited individuals may only be assigned to work activities if such assignment:

-is consistent with the individual's treatment plan or if no treatment plan exists, is consistent with the individuals' mental and physical limitations.

-will assist the transition to self sufficiency

If complying with a treatment plan, such individuals are deemed to be engaged in work.

Work Activities - [SSL §336]

unsubsidized employment

subsidized private sector employment

subsidized public sector employment

work experience in the public sector or non-profit sector

on the job training

job search and job readiness assistance

community service

-The hours required under this section shall not exceed a number which equals the value of assistance paid (including food stamps) divided by the higher of the federal or state minimum wage.

No assignment shall be more than 40 hours per week. No community service assignment shall be made if the activity conflicts with a bona fide religious belief.

vocational education training

job skills training

education directly related to employment, in the case of a recipient who has not received a diploma or a GED

satisfactory attendance at secondary school or GED

provision of child care to a person who is participating in community service

job search and job readiness

educational activities as defined in SSL 336-a

Note: For families with children activities (a)-(i) count as being engaged in work. For households without children, only activities (a)-(e) count.

No person may be required to provide child care services as a work activity unless the participant expressly requests this in writing

No person may be required to participate in assigned activities for more than 40 hours per week

Social services districts may enter into agreements with public and private employment agencies to assist recipients to find jobs

Local districts may require other activities if

-they meet the goal of this statute

-are consistent with the requirements of the labor law

-are enumerated in the districts local plan

Family Courts may assign the non-custodial parents on public assistance to the WEP program and report failure to comply

Educational Activities [SSL §336-a]

Maintains most of the existing educational activities, including two year college. Deletes provision which says a person can not be assigned a work activity which interferes with school attendance, (but see section below, SUNY/CUNY students).

Person pursuing educational activity may not be reassigned until an assessment has been conducted and an employability plan has been developed.

Repeals on the job training for recipients of home relief [SSL 336-b].

Work Experience Programs [SSL 336-c].

Community work experience is renamed Work Experience.

-can not be required to work a number of hours which equals the amount of assistance payable divided by the higher of the state or federal minimum wage.

-repeals requirement that subtracts child support collected from the forgoing calculation.

-requires workers' compensation and tort claims protection on the same basis but not necessarily the same benefit level as other persons;

-must serve a useful public purpose;

-assignment may not displace any currently employed worker or fill the job of someone who has been laid off or infringe promotional opportunities or result in the loss of a bargaining unit provision and may not be at the work site of a strike or lock out.

-Deletes the section that states that no lien may be asserted against payments of public assistance if said payments were included in the calculation of hours of participation under WEP.

Monthly Reports

Public employers must publish monthly reports which summerize the employer's work experience program, including:

-the agencies or departments where participants are assigned;

-work locations, job duties and assignments;

-hours and period worked.

Reports must be provided to certified collective bargaining representative and may not be re-disclosed.

SUNY/CUNY Students

SUNY/CUNY and other students in approved non-profit education, training or vocational rehabilitation programs who have a cumulative C average must be assigned to an on campus work site if available. If not available, assignment must be within reasonable proximity to the campus. The C average requirement may be waived based on undue hardship based on the death of a relative of a student, personal illness or injury of a student or other extenuating circumstances.

Job Search [amends SSL 336-d]

-upon request, must prove "active and continuing effort to achieve self-sufficiency," including active and continuing search for employment.

-affirmative duty to accept any offer of lawful employment;

-failure of LSSD to assign recipients to activities shall not relieve them of requirements, failure to comply with which shall result in sanction.

Subsidized Public Sector Employment Programs [Amends SSL 336-e]

LSDSS may establish a subsidized public sector employment program including a grant diversion program.

Assignment must be appropriate and reasonable.

-Recipient must be deemed an employee and receive the same benefits as similarly situated existing employees.

-Recipient must be given the opportunity to work sufficient hours to earn a net wage of at least the amount that the person would have received as a public assistance recipient, including the amount for dependents. Net wage includes a deduction for federal state and local taxes and union dues.

Requires similar non-displacement provisions to SSL 336-c

Subsidized Private Sector and Not for Profit Employment Programs [SSL 336-f]

Repeals work supplementation

-permits districts to establish subsidized private sector and not for profit employment programs

-may include grant diversion

-must be considered an employee for purposes of collective bargaining agreement and labor laws

-contains non-displacement provisions

Employer must certify that they have not, within the past 7 years, been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor including work place safety and health or labor standards. Must certify all violations issued by DOL within the last 5 years. A pattern of violations may render the employer ineligible.

On the Job Training for ADC [Repeals SSL 336-g]

Employment Alternatives Partnership Program [Repeals SSL 336-h]


Amends SSL §339 to require sufficient and timely reports to meet federal reporting requirements. Deletes requirement for yearly JOBS reports.

Technical Assistance [SSL 340] - makes technical amendments to this section.


Retains conciliation in SSL 341 with only technical amendments

Sanctions [SSL 342]

A parent of caretaker relative shall have good cause for not complying with work rules and shall not be subject to sanction if he or she

-has a child under age 13

-can demonstrate lack of available child care.

The social services district shall provide a parent or caretaker who demonstrates an inability to obtain needed child care with a choice of two providers, at least one of whom shall be regulated.

If sanctioned applicant or recipient is the parent or caretaker of a dependent child, sanctions shall reduce the grant on a pro-rata basis

-1st instance of non-compliance - until compliance

-2nd instance of non-compliance - 3 months or compliance

-3rd instance of non-compliance - the longer of 6 months or compliance

If the sanctioned individual is a member of a household without dependent children, assistance shall be reduced pro-rata:

-1st instance of non-compliance - longer of 90 days or compliance

-2nd instance of non-compliance - longer of 150 days or compliance

-3rd & subsequent instance - longer of 180 or compliance

A recipient who voluntarily quits or reduces hours of employment will be sanctioned in accordance with the requirements of this section. [§42 provides that applicants still get 90 day sanction].

§148-a Amends §596(3) of the Labor Law

Permits overissuances of FS to be recouped from FS benefits at a rate of 10% or $10 unless the recipient authorizes a greater amount in writing.

§148-b Food Assistance Program [SSL 95(10)]

Permits social services districts to operate a food assistance program for aliens who lost eligibility under the PRWORA if they were living in the United States on 8/22/96, and are under 18 or elderly or disabled.

Social Services districts must pay for 50% of the non-federal share of operating FAP.

§149 Data Collection

Requires collection of a fairly long list of data including

-number of PA applicants by program

-reason for denials

-number of applicants who have resided in the state less than 12 months

-work activities, exemptions, education and training, sanctions, hearings outcomes, case closings, transitional benefits, domestic violence screening.

The first report is due no later than 12/2/98 and annually thereafter

By 2/15/98, the Commissioners of OTaDA, Labor and Health must develop a plan to provide the legislature with access to WMS.

§150 Amends the Civil Practice Law and Rules §212 regarding recovering under an affidavit of support on behalf of an alien.


§151 Adds a new §20-c to prohibit the department to enter into any contracts with private entities except as specifically set forth in the appropriation for system support and information services program in OtaDA.

Permits local social services districts to contract for the performance of functions, duties or obligations so long as

-collective bargaining organization (CBO) get 60 days notice;

-CBO is permitted the opportunity to competitively bid;

-local district has considered whether contract will result in actual cost savings.

1. "The Department" used to be the New York State Department of Social Services. It is in the process of being named the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OtaDA). See § §122-140.

2. Qualified aliens are defined in §431(b) of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA).

3. Technical amendments refer to changes such as changing "home relief" to "safety net assistance," or "aid to dependent children" to "family assistance punctuation," or "public welfare" to "social services."

4. The state income standard (SIS) is the federal poverty level as it is adjusted annually by the state. It exactly corresponds to poverty for a family of four. It is smaller than federal poverty for smaller size families and larger for larger families.

Susan C. Antos

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