Relates to the treatment of the earned income of a child under the age of 18 and income of a dependent 18, 19 or 20 year old household member when determining the eligibility of a household for a child care subsidy.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law, in relation to the treatment of earned income of a child under the age of 18 when determining the eligibility of a household for a child care subsidy
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this bill is to establish uniform budgeting rules across the State when determining a family's eligibility for child care assistance, and the amount of the family share.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section one of the bill amends §410-w of the Social Services Law by adding a new paragraph two requiring the income of a child under the age of eighteen to be disregarded when determining eligibility for a child care subsidy. The income of youth in the household ages 18-20 would be disregarded unless including such income would benefit the family by either lowering the amount of the family share or making such family eligible for child care assistance.
Subdivisions 2,3,4,5 and 6 of section 410-w of the social services law are renumbered.
Section two sets an effective date of immediately.
JUSTIFICATION: This bill addresses the treatment of the earned income of teenagers in households where the parent or caretaker of the teenager applies for a child care subsidy on behalf of a younger child in the household. First, the bill would make the treatment of earnings for children under the age of 18 consistent with public assistance budgeting. Second, the bill would set forth a uniform rule for the treatment of 18, 19 and 20 year olds. Currently, social services districts are free to develop differing budgeting rules for older teens, so they vary from county to county.
When financial eligibility for a child care subsidy is determined, the general rule is to look at the size of the household and the income of those in the household. Currently state regulations only exempt the earned income of a child under the age of 14 when determining eligibility for a child care subsidy. This rule is inconsistent with budgeting for cash public assistance programs, which disregards all of the earned income of a child under the age of 18. This bill would amend the Social Services Law to make child care budgeting consistent with public assistance budgeting.
State regulations currently allow local districts to determine whether to count the income of 18, 19 or 20 year olds when determining a parent's financial eligibility for child care for a younger child in the household. This is in direct contrast to public assistance eligibility, where the income of older teens (18, 19 and 20 year olds) is
disregarded, but they are included in the household size for determining the financial need of the family. This hill proposes that a similar rule be adopted for child care budgeting unless doing so would disadvantage the family.
Currently there is no uniform state policy on how to budget the income of older teens when calculating the eligibility of the family for child care subsidy, and as a result, local policy varies dramatically across the state. Local districts have the option of considering the income of these young adults when determining the financial eligibility of their parents and younger siblings for a child care subsidy.
Therefore, a risk arises that the presence of the adult child in the household could harm the family for the purpose of calculating child care subsidy benefits because any income earned by the adult child would be included as part of the family income, thereby pushing the family into a higher income bracket and making them ineligible. This rule effectively results in a requirement that 18-20 year olds in low income families apply their earnings to the cost of child care for their younger siblings. This policy also penalizes the parent with a higher co-payment when the child fails to make his income available. When the adult child is unconditionally counted as part of the child-care services unit, a family with an adult child who works will pay a larger family share than a family whose adult child does not work. In no other social welfare program do we have budgeting rules which vary based upon the choice of the county, a choice which can be changed simply by amending their consolidated services plan.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: None.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediate.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4116 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 18, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. SAVINO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Children and Families AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to the treatment of earned income of a child under the age of 18 when determining the eligibility of a household for a child care subsidy THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivisions 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of section 410-w of the social services law, are renumbered subdivisions 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 and a new subdivision 2 is added to read as follows: 2. FOR PURPOSES OF DETERMINING FINANCIAL ELIGIBILITY UNDER THIS TITLE, THE EARNED INCOME OF A CHILD UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN SHALL BE DISRE- GARDED WHEN DETERMINING THE ELIGIBILITY OF A HOUSEHOLD FOR A CHILD CARE SUBSIDY. THE INCOME OF AN EIGHTEEN, NINETEEN, OR TWENTY YEAR OLD HOUSE- HOLD MEMBER SHALL NOT BE INCLUDED IN THE CHILD CARE SERVICES UNIT UNLESS DOING SO WOULD BENEFIT THE FAMILY BY EITHER LOWERING THE AMOUNT OF THE FAMILY SHARE OR MAKING AN OTHERWISE INELIGIBLE HOUSEHOLD ELIGIBLE FOR A SUBSIDY. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD09157-01-1