Provides that upon application for public assistance or care, the local social services district shall notify the applicant both verbally and in writing of the availability of monetary grants for emergency needs assistance and shall, at such time, determine whether such person is in immediate need, and if in immediate need, provide such monetary grant adequate to meet the emergency need pending completion of the investigation; and to inform applicant of reason for any denial and right to an expedited hearing thereon.
Ayes (4): Squadron, Duane, Krueger, McDonald
Ayes W/R (1): Marcellino
Ayes (18): Kruger, Krueger, Stachowski, Oppenheimer, Montgomery, Duane, Parker, Stavisky, Dilan, Stewart-Cousins, Thompson, Breslin, Diaz, Espada, Klein, Perkins, Valesky, Padavan
Ayes W/R (5): Volker, LaValle, Saland, Hannon, Leibell
Nays (9): DeFrancisco, Johnson O, Seward, Farley, Larkin, Nozzolio, Maziarz, Marcellino, Robach
BILL NUMBER : S1083
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the social services law, in relation to temporary preinvestigation grants
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL : This bill would ensure that public assistance applicants receive adequate monetary emergency needs assistance or care.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS : Public assistance applicants are entitled to emergency needs assistance or care when a local social services official determines that an emergency situation exists that warrants immediate action. Preinvestigation grants are issued to meet an immediate need for a specific essential item where financial eligibility for public assistance has not been fully established, for example, when an applicant is facing immediate eviction, has no food or no fuel for heating. Social Services Law, Section 133 would be amended to require a local social services official to inform public assistance applicants both verbally and in writing of the availability of grants for emergency needs assistance or care including pre-investigation grants and to make a determination at the same time as to whether the applicant has an immediate need. Applicants would also be notified of their right to an expedited hearing when emergency needs assistance is denied. An applicant who has been denied emergency needs assistance or care would be required to be advised in writing of the reasons for denial.
EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER : This bill would amend Section 133, Social Services Law.
JUSTIFICATION : The growing threat of homelessness throughout New York State demands a closer look at prevention efforts at the state and local level. This bill addresses the efforts of local social services districts to inform public assistance applicants of the availability of emergency needs assistance grants in emergency situations that warrant immediate action to prevent homelessness, hunger and other threats to the health and safety of the individual. The sufficiency of these efforts was challenged in a recent Kings County Supreme Court case, Davis v. Perales. The court ruled that local social services officials failed to adequately notify applicants of their right to emergency needs assistance under current Department of Social Services Administrative procedures. This bill would help to ensure that public assistance applicants receive the benefits they are entitled to by law.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : 2007-2008: S.1493 Referred to Social Services, Children & Families 2007-2008: A.2346 Advanced to Third Reading 2005-2006: A.958 Advanced to Third Reading 2003-2004: A.439 Referred to Social Services 2001-2002 A.77 Referred to Social Services 1999-2000: A.1129 Referred to Social Services, Reported and Died in Rules Committee
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS : Although in the short term, this bill would increase public assistance expenditures in those local social services districts where notification has been inadequate, the resulting decrease in homelessness will ultimately reduce expenditures.
EFFECTIVE DATE : Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1083 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 26, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sens. DILAN, ADAMS, DIAZ, DUANE, HASSELL-THOMPSON, KRUEG- ER, MONTGOMERY, ONORATO, SAMPSON, SAVINO, SCHNEIDERMAN, THOMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Social Services AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to temporary prein- vestigation grants THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 133 of the social services law is amended to read as follows: S 133. Temporary preinvestigation
[grant]EMERGENCY NEEDS ASSISTANCE OR CARE. UPON APPLICATION FOR PUBLIC ASSISTANCE OR CARE UNDER THIS CHAPTER, THE LOCAL SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICT SHALL NOTIFY THE APPLICANT BOTH VERBALLY AND IN WRITING OF THE AVAILABILITY OF A MONETARY GRANT ADEQUATE TO MEET EMERGENCY NEEDS ASSISTANCE OR CARE AND SHALL, AT SUCH TIME, DETERMINE WHETHER SUCH PERSON IS IN IMMEDIATE NEED. If it shall appear that a person is in immediate need, [temporary assistance or care]EMERGENCY NEEDS ASSISTANCE OR CARE shall be granted pending completion of an investigation. THE NOTIFICATION REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION SHALL INCLUDE A STATEMENT THAT SUCH PERSON HAS A RIGHT TO AN EXPEDITED HEARING WHEN EMERGENCY NEEDS ASSISTANCE OR CARE IS DENIED. A PUBLIC ASSISTANCE APPLICANT WHO HAS BEEN DENIED EMERGENCY NEEDS ASSIST- ANCE OR CARE MUST BE ADVISED OF THE REASON FOR SUCH DENIAL AND PROVIDED WITH A WRITTEN DETERMINATION WHICH SETS FORTH THE BASIS FOR SUCH DENIAL. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02200-01-9