Relates to the submission of evidence at fair hearings.
Ayes (61): Adams, Addabbo, Avella, Ball, Bonacic, Boyle, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Dilan, Espaillat, Farley, Felder, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Gianaris, Gipson, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Hoylman, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Lanza, Larkin, Latimer, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Marchione, Martins, Maziarz, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Brien, O'Mara, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Sampson, Sanders, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Tkaczyk, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Excused (2): Diaz, LaValle
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law, in relation to submission of evidence at fair hearings
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section. 1. Amends Social Services Law §22 to permit social services districts to present evidentiary packages in electronic, rather than paper, format at fair hearings conducted pursuant to such section. Neither social services district nor applicants or recipients entitled to appeal would be required to present evidence in electronic format, but they would be permitted to do so. The bill further provides that persons entitled to an appeal to the department could request evidentiary packages in paper format either before or at the hearing, subject to regulations of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance ("OTDA").
Section 2. Effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: The current Fair hearing process requires the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA) to provide three hard copies of single-sided client documents at every fair hearing, with copies assigned to the hearing officer, appellant and agency representative. On average, this requires the printing of 1.7 million pages per month. In addition, these paper packets are manually assembled by staff at HRA Job Centers and then transported to State hearing rooms. This proposal will generate savings by eliminating the wasteful process of preparing, printing and transporting paper evidentiary packets.
The Electronic Evidence Packet System (EEPS) will allow for a secure paperless workflow in which evidentiary documentation, provided by HRA, is electronically transmitted for viewing on three separate monitors in State Hearing rooms for the hearing officer, appellant and agency representative. In essence, a virtual evidentiary packet will be created to replace the current paper packet. However, should an appellant request a paper copy prior to the scheduled date of the fair hearing or at the hearing, one will be provided to the appellant.
This secure paperless process enables staff time to be focused on agency conferences and efforts at resolution prior to the fair hearing, instead of on the preparation and duplication of paper evidentiary packets. In addition, this will obviate the need for costly transportation of paper evidentiary packets from HRA Job Centers to State hearing rooms, and from State hearing rooms to Albany, where paper packets must be scanned and indexed by the NYS Office of Temporary Disability Assistance. With this process improvement automation, more of HRA's critical resources can be freed without risking the appellants' due process or judicial integrity.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-12: S.4828/A.8087 Passed Senate/Referred to Social Services
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: No cost to the state. Possible savings from saved staff time.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Possible savings from saved staff time.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 98 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. GALLIVAN -- 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 submission of evidence at fair hearings THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 22 of the social services law is amended by adding a new subdivision 15 to read as follows: 15. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PERMIT SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICTS TO SUBMIT THEIR EVIDENTIARY PACKAGES FOR ANY FAIR HEARING TO THE DEPARTMENT SOLELY IN AN ELECTRONIC FORMAT AND SHALL PROVIDE THE MEANS TO FACILITATE THE SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICTS' USE OF ANY SUCH EVIDENTIARY PACKAGES FOR THEIR EVIDENTIARY PRESENTATIONS AT THE FAIR HEARING. NOTHING CONTAINED IN THIS SECTION SHALL REQUIRE A SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICT TO SUBMIT ITS EVIDENTIARY PACKAGE IN AN ELECTRONIC FORMAT, NOR SHALL A SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICT, OR ANY OTHER PARTY TO A FAIR HEARING, BE PRECLUDED FROM OFFER- ING INTO EVIDENCE DOCUMENTATION IN PAPER FORMAT, REGARDLESS OF THE MEDI- UM USED TO CREATE, TRANSMIT, AND DISPLAY THE EVIDENTIARY PACKAGE AT THE FAIR HEARING. IN CASES WHERE A PERSON ENTITLED TO AN APPEAL PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION REQUESTS A PAPER COPY OF THE EVIDENTIARY PACKAGE EITHER BEFORE THE HEARING OR AT THE HEARING, THE SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICT SHALL PROVIDE SUCH PAPER COPY EVEN IF SUCH DISTRICT WILL UTILIZE AN ELECTRONIC FORMAT AT THE FAIR HEARING. REQUESTS MADE PRIOR TO THE FAIR HEARING SHALL BE PROCESSED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT. WHEN NOTIFYING A PERSON ENTITLED TO AN APPEAL TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE SCHEDULING OF A FAIR HEARING, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL STATE THAT ANY SUCH PERSON MAY REQUEST ORALLY OR IN WRITING A PAPER COPY OF THE EVIDENTIARY PACKAGE TO BE PRESENTED BY THE SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICT AT THE FAIR HEARING. S 2. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01757-01-3