senate Bill S4830

Amended

Clarifies conciliation procedures in cases when the recipient of public assistance programs refuses to comply with employment program requirements in a city having a population of one million or more persons

download pdf

Sponsor

Co-Sponsors

Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
view actions

actions

  • 25 / Apr / 2013
    • REFERRED TO SOCIAL SERVICES
  • 31 / May / 2013
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO SOCIAL SERVICES
  • 29 / May / 2014
    • REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE
  • 16 / Jun / 2014
    • AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO FINANCE
  • 16 / Jun / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 4830A
  • 19 / Jun / 2014
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 19 / Jun / 2014
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1615
  • 19 / Jun / 2014
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 19 / Jun / 2014
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 19 / Jun / 2014
    • REFERRED TO WAYS AND MEANS

Summary

Clarifies conciliation procedures in cases when the recipient of public assistance programs refuses to comply with employment program requirements in a city having a population of one million or more persons.

do you support this bill?

Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A2669B
Versions:
S4830
S4830A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Social Services Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§341 & 342, Soc Serv L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S6910, A3423A, A504
2009-2010: A11409, A11409, A1474
2007-2008: A547

Votes

3
2
3
Aye
2
Nay
1
aye with reservations
0
absent
0
excused
0
abstained
show Social Services committee vote details
nay (2)
aye wr (1)

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4830

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law, in relation
to clarifying notice requirements conciliation procedures and
sanctions in cases when the recipient of public assistance programs
refuses to comply with employment program requirements

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The bill enables local districts to
promote re-engagement of welfare recipients in welfare work activities
to-either avoid or end sanctions. This bill shifts the focus of the
local district to re-engaging clients as soon as Possible in work
activities and facilitates the transition from welfare to work.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

§ 1 - Amends Section 341 of the Social Services Law to:

* require agency to determine if there is an exemption, lack of child
care or transportation or an accommodation for disability before
issuing a re-engagement notice. Such re-engagement notice shall
guarantee the right of a participant to participate in a re-engagement
process and avoid a pro-rata reduction in public assistance benefits.
Such process shall mean the process through which the participant
agrees to comply with any requirements, give reasons for default or
demonstrates exemption at a conciliation conference. Such notice shall
provide the participant with ten days to request reengagement and
indicate the district has verified the availability of child care,
transportation and accommodations for disability at the time of
default. It is further provided that if a participant does not agree
to comply, is not exempt or the district determines that the default
was willful and without good cause ten days notice of intent shall be
issued to discontinue or reduce benefits. Such notice shall include
the verifications listed above, actions necessary to avoid
discontinuance or reduction, including agreeing to comply, and the
right to a fair hearing.

* prohibit sanction during the re-engagement process and establish
that if person is otherwise participating in work activities, then
there should be no sanction based on single infraction.

* retain conciliation, but only as the most formal tool that a client
could use to avoid a sanction.

* establish a written reminder of ability to comply after 30 days of
non-compliance.

* institute the right to cure by client either agreeing to comply or
notifying the district of their exemption.

§ 2 - Amends Section 342 of the Social Services Law to eliminate
durational sanctions.

§ 3 - provides for an immediate effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: Currently, individuals receiving public assistance
from local social services districts may have their public assistance
payments reduced or stopped due to noncompliance with various rules


promulgated by the social services districts. These social services
districts currently implement these sanctions for certain specific
durations. These sanctions are punitive to the most at-risk and
vulnerable members of our society. When implemented; they remove the
client's ability to afford food, housing and various other public
assistance guaranteed by the State constitution. When these payments
are revoked, it leads to hunger in families an- often leads to the
commencement of eviction proceedings, which then increases the
client's reliance on the social services safety net due to their need
for emergency food and shelter.

Under the current process, even where the client misses just one
appointment, the local social services district is required to expend
time and resources focused on sanctioning the client rather than
re-engaging the client in work activities as soon as possible. Not
only would this bill enable the local social services districts to
focus time and resources on the key goal of engagement, it would
assist clients in keeping on track with their work activities

This bill allows for a more streamlined conciliation process by
focusing on re-engaging the client.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2010 Session - Similar to A.11409 which
was reported from Social Services to Codes
2012 Session - S.6910 - referred to Social Services, no further
action.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Savings to the State.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  4830

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             April 25, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  SAVINO -- 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  clarifying
  notice  requirements  conciliation  procedures  and sanctions in cases
  when the recipient of public assistance  programs  refuses  to  comply
  with employment program requirements

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Section 341 of the  social  services  law,  as  amended  by
section  148 of part B of chapter 436 of the laws of 1997, subdivision 1
as amended by section 1 of part D of chapter 61 of the laws of 2006,  is
amended to read as follows:
  S  341. [Conciliation] RE-ENGAGEMENT; CONCILIATION; refusal to partic-
ipate. 1. (a) Consistent with  federal  law  and  regulations  and  this
title,  IF  A  PARTICIPANT  HAS  FAILED  OR  REFUSED  TO COMPLY WITH THE
REQUIREMENTS OF THIS TITLE AND THE DISTRICT HAS DETERMINED  THAT  HE  OR
SHE IS NOT EXEMPT FROM SUCH REQUIREMENTS AND HAS VERIFIED THAT APPROPRI-
ATE  CHILD  CARE, TRANSPORTATION, AND ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DISABILITY WERE
IN PLACE AT THE TIME OF SUCH FAILURE OR REFUSAL, [if a  participant  has
failed  or  refused  to comply with the requirements of this title,] the
social services district shall issue a  RE-ENGAGEMENT  notice  in  plain
language  indicating that such failure or refusal has taken place and of
the right of such participant to [conciliation to resolve] AVOID A  PRO-
RATA  REDUCTION  IN PUBLIC ASSISTANCE BENEFITS THROUGH THE RE-ENGAGEMENT
PROCESS. "RE-ENGAGEMENT PROCESS" SHALL MEAN THE PROCESS THROUGH WHICH  A
PARTICIPANT MAY AVOID A PRO-RATA REDUCTION IN PUBLIC ASSISTANCE BENEFITS
BY  AGREEING  TO  COMPLY  WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS TITLE CONSISTENT
WITH ANY MEDICAL CONDITION WHICH MAY LIMIT THE INDIVIDUAL'S  ABILITY  TO
PARTICIPATE IN WORK ACTIVITIES, BY NOTIFYING THE DISTRICT THAT HE OR SHE
HAS  BECOME  EXEMPT FROM THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS TITLE, OR BY RESOLVING
the reasons for such failure or refusal [to avoid a  pro-rata  reduction

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00785-01-3

S. 4830                             2

in  public assistance benefits for a period of time set forth in section
three hundred forty-two of this title]  AT  A  CONCILIATION  CONFERENCE.
THE  NOTICE  SHALL INDICATE THAT THE PARTICIPANT HAS TEN DAYS TO REQUEST
RE-ENGAGEMENT  WITH THE DISTRICT. The notice shall indicate the specific
instance or instances of willful refusal or failure  to  comply  without
good cause with the requirements of this title and the necessary actions
that  must  be  taken to avoid a pro-rata reduction in public assistance
benefits AND THE DISTRICT HAS  VERIFIED  THAT  APPROPRIATE  CHILD  CARE,
TRANSPORTATION  AND  ACCOMMODATIONS  FOR DISABILITY WERE IN PLACE AT THE
TIME OF SUCH FAILURE OR REFUSAL. [The notice  shall  indicate  that  the
participant  has  seven  days  to request conciliation with the district
regarding such failure or refusal in the case of a  safety  net  partic-
ipant and ten days in the case of a family assistance participant.]
  (1)  IF  A PARTICIPANT CHOOSES TO AVOID A PRO-RATA REDUCTION IN PUBLIC
ASSISTANCE BENEFITS THROUGH A CONCILIATION CONFERENCE, IT  WILL  BE  THE
RESPONSIBILITY  OF  THE  PARTICIPANT TO GIVE REASONS FOR SUCH FAILURE OR
REFUSAL. The RE-ENGAGEMENT notice shall also include an  explanation  in
plain  language  of  what would constitute good cause for non-compliance
and examples of  acceptable  forms  of  evidence  that  may  warrant  an
exemption from work activities, including evidence of domestic violence,
and  physical  or  mental health limitations that may be provided at the
conciliation conference to demonstrate such good cause  for  failure  to
comply  with  the  requirements  of  this title.   UNLESS AS PART OF THE
RE-ENGAGEMENT PROCESS THE PARTICIPANT DOES NOT AGREE TO COMPLY, HAS  NOT
BECOME EXEMPT OR THE DISTRICT DETERMINES AS A RESULT OF THE CONCILIATION
CONFERENCE  THAT  SUCH  FAILURE  OR REFUSAL WAS WILLFUL AND WITHOUT GOOD
CAUSE, NO FURTHER ACTION SHALL BE TAKEN.
  (2) If the participant does not contact the district within [the spec-
ified number of] TEN days OF  THE  RE-ENGAGEMENT  NOTICE,  the  district
shall  [issue ten days notice of intent to discontinue or reduce assist-
ance, pursuant to regulations of the department. Such notice shall  also
include  a statement of the participant's right to a fair hearing relat-
ing to such discontinuance or reduction. If  such  participant  contacts
the  district  within seven days in the case of a safety net participant
or within ten days in the case of a family  assistance  participant,  it
will  be  the responsibility of the participant to give reasons for such
failure or refusal] MAKE A FINDING OF WHETHER  THE  ALLEGED  FAILURE  OR
REFUSAL  TO COMPLY WAS WILLFUL AND WITHOUT GOOD CAUSE AND SHALL CONSIDER
ANY EVIDENCE IN THE POSSESSION  OF  THE  DISTRICT  INDICATING  THAT  THE
PARTICIPANT  HAS  GOOD CAUSE AND IF THE PARTICIPANT IS OTHERWISE PARTIC-
IPATING IN WORK ACTIVITIES, THERE SHALL BE  NO  FINDING  OF  WILLFULNESS
WITHOUT GOOD CAUSE BASED ON A SINGLE APPOINTMENT OR INFRACTION.
  (b)  [Unless  the district determines as a result of such conciliation
process that such failure or refusal was willful and  was  without  good
cause,  no  further  action  shall be taken.] If the district determines
that such failure or refusal was willful and  without  good  cause,  AND
THAT  THE  INDIVIDUAL IS NOT EXEMPT FROM THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS TITLE,
the district shall notify such participant in writing, in plain language
and in a manner distinct from any previous notice, by issuing  ten  days
notice  of  its  intent to discontinue or reduce assistance. Such notice
shall include the reasons for such determination, the specific  instance
or  instances of willful refusal or failure to comply without good cause
with the requirements of this title, SHALL VERIFY THAT APPROPRIATE CHILD
CARE, TRANSPORTATION AND ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DISABILITY WERE IN PLACE  AT
THE  TIME  OF SUCH FAILURE OR REFUSAL, AND SPECIFY the necessary actions
that must be taken to avoid a pro-rata reduction  in  public  assistance

S. 4830                             3

benefits,  INCLUDING  AGREEING  TO  COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS
TITLE CONSISTENT WITH ANY MEDICAL CONDITION WHICH MAY LIMIT THE INDIVID-
UAL'S ABILITY  TO  PARTICIPATE  IN  WORK  ACTIVITIES  OR  NOTIFYING  THE
DISTRICT  THAT HE OR SHE HAS BECOME EXEMPT FROM THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS
TITLE and the right to a fair hearing relating to such discontinuance or
reduction. [Unless extended by mutual agreement of the  participant  and
the  district, conciliation shall terminate and a determination shall be
made within fourteen days of the date a request for conciliation is made
in the case of a safety net participant or within  thirty  days  of  the
conciliation notice in the case of a family assistance participant.]
  2.  (a)  The  department  shall establish in regulation a conciliation
procedure for the resolution of  disputes  related  to  an  individual's
participation in programs pursuant to this title.
  (b)  The  district shall contract with an independent entity, approved
by the department, or shall use designated trained staff at the supervi-
sory level who have no direct responsibility for the participant's  case
to mediate disputes in the conciliation conference. [If no such supervi-
sory  staff  or independent entity is available, the district may desig-
nate another trained individual, who has no  direct  responsibility  for
the  participant's  case to mediate disputes in the conciliation confer-
ence.]
  (c) If a participant's dispute cannot be resolved through such concil-
iation procedure, an opportunity for a fair hearing shall  be  provided.
No  sanction  relating  to the subject dispute may be imposed during the
[conciliation] RE-ENGAGEMENT process.
  3. When any [family assistance] participant required to participate in
work activities fails to comply with the provisions of this  title,  the
social services district shall take such actions as prescribed by appro-
priate federal law and regulation and this title.
  4.  [When  any  safety net participant required to participate in work
activities fails to comply with the provisions of this title, the social
services district shall deny assistance to such participant  in  accord-
ance with section three hundred forty-two of this title.
  5.  (a) To the extent that] CONSISTENT WITH federal law [requires] AND
THIS TITLE, a social services district shall provide  to  those  [family
assistance]  participants  whose  failure  to  comply  has continued for
[three months] THIRTY DAYS or longer a written reminder of the option to
end a sanction [after the expiration of the applicable minimum  sanction
period] by terminating the failure to comply as specified in subdivision
[three]  ONE  of this section. Such notice shall advise that the partic-
ipant may immediately  terminate  the  [first  or  second]  sanction  by
[participating  in  the  program  or  accepting  employment and that any
subsequent sanction after six months have elapsed may be  terminated  by
participating in the program or accepting employment.
  (b)  A  social  services  district  shall  provide to those safety net
participants whose failure to comply has continued for the length of the
sanction period or longer a written reminder of  the  option  to  end  a
sanction  after the expiration of the applicable minimum sanction period
by terminating the failure to comply as specified in subdivision four of
this section.] EITHER AGREEING TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS  OF  THIS
TITLE CONSISTENT WITH ANY MEDICAL CONDITION WHICH MAY LIMIT THE INDIVID-
UAL'S  ABILITY  TO  PARTICIPATE  IN  WORK  ACTIVITIES  OR  NOTIFYING THE
DISTRICT THAT HE OR SHE HAS BECOME EXEMPT FROM THE REQUIREMENTS OF  THIS
TITLE.
  [6.]  5. Consistent with federal law and regulation AND THIS TITLE, no
NOTICE SHALL BE ISSUED AS SPECIFIED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF  THIS  SECTION

S. 4830                             4

UNLESS IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED THAT THE INDIVIDUAL IS NOT EXEMPT FROM THE
REQUIREMENTS  OF  THIS  TITLE  AND HAS DETERMINED THAT APPROPRIATE CHILD
CARE, TRANSPORTATION AND ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DISABILITY WERE IN PLACE  AT
THE  TIME  OF SUCH FAILURE OR REFUSAL TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF
THIS TITLE AND NO action shall be taken pursuant  to  this  section  for
failure  to  participate  in the program or refusal to accept employment
if:
  (a) child care for a child under age thirteen (or  day  care  for  any
incapacitated  individual  living in the same home as a dependent child)
is necessary for an individual to participate or continue  participation
in  activities pursuant to this title or accept employment and such care
is not available and the social services district fails to provide  such
care;
  (b)  (1)  the employment would result in the family of the participant
experiencing a net loss of cash income; provided, however, a participant
may not claim good cause under this paragraph  if  the  social  services
district  assures that the family will not experience a net loss of cash
income by making a supplemental payment;
  (2) net loss of cash income results if the family's gross income  less
necessary  work-related  expenses  is  less than the cash assistance the
participant was receiving at the time the offer of employment  is  made;
or
  (c)  the  participant  meets other grounds for good cause set forth by
the department in its implementation plan for this  title  which,  at  a
minimum, must describe what circumstances beyond the household's control
will constitute "good cause".
  S  2.  Section 342 of the social services law, as added by section 148
of part B of chapter 436 of the laws of 1997,  is  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  S  342.  Noncompliance  with  the  requirements of this title.   1. In
accordance with the provisions of this  section  an  individual  who  is
required  to  participate  in  work  activities  shall  be ineligible to
receive public assistance if he or she fails  to  comply,  without  good
cause,  with  the requirements of this title AND THE DISTRICT HAS DETER-
MINED THAT HE OR SHE IS NOT EXEMPT FROM SUCH REQUIREMENTS AND HAS  VERI-
FIED THAT APPROPRIATE CHILD CARE, TRANSPORTATION, AND ACCOMMODATIONS FOR
DISABILITY  WERE  IN  PLACE AT THE TIME OF SUCH FAILURE OR REFUSAL. Such
ineligibility shall be for the amount and [periods] PERIOD specified  in
this  section. Good cause for failing to comply with the requirements of
this title shall be defined in department regulations, provided,  howev-
er,  that  the  parent  or  caretaker relative of a child under thirteen
years of age shall not be subject to  the  ineligibility  provisions  of
this  section  if the individual can demonstrate, in accordance with the
regulations of the office of children and family services  [department],
that  lack of available child care prevents such individual from comply-
ing with the work requirements of this title. The  parent  or  caretaker
relative shall be responsible for locating the child care needed to meet
the  work  requirements;  provided,  however,  that  the relevant social
services district shall provide  a  parent  or  caretaker  relative  who
demonstrates  an  inability to obtain needed child care with a choice of
two providers, at least one of which will be a regulated provider.
  2. In the case of an applicant for or recipient of  public  assistance
WHOM  THE DISTRICT HAS DETERMINED IS NOT EXEMPT FROM THE REQUIREMENTS OF
THIS TITLE AND who is a parent or caretaker of a  dependent  child,  the
public assistance benefits otherwise available to the household of which
such individual is a member shall be reduced pro-rata[:

S. 4830                             5

  (a)  for  the  first  instance of failure to comply without good cause
with the requirement of this article] until the individual is willing to
comply WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS TITLE CONSISTENT WITH  ANY  MEDICAL
CONDITION  WHICH  MAY  LIMIT  THE INDIVIDUAL'S ABILITY TO PARTICIPATE IN
WORK ACTIVITIES[;
  (b)  for  the  second instance of failure to comply without good cause
with the requirements of this article, for a period of three months  and
thereafter until the individual is willing to comply;
  (c)  for  the  third and all subsequent instances of failure to comply
without good cause with the requirements of this article, for  a  period
of six months and thereafter until the individual is willing to comply].
  3. In the case of an individual who is a member of a household without
dependent  children  WHOM THE DISTRICT HAS DETERMINED IS NOT EXEMPT FROM
THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS TITLE AND WHO IS applying for or in receipt  of
safety  net  assistance, the public assistance benefits otherwise avail-
able to the household of which such individual  is  a  member  shall  be
reduced pro-rata[:
  (a)  for  the  first  such  failure  or refusal], until the failure or
refusal TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS  TITLE  CONSISTENT  WITH
ANY  MEDICAL  CONDITION  WHICH  MAY  LIMIT  THE  INDIVIDUAL'S ABILITY TO
PARTICIPATE IN WORK ACTIVITIES ceases [or ninety days, which ever period
of time is longer;
  (b) for the second such failure or refusal, until the  failure  ceases
or for one hundred fifty days, whichever period of time is longer; and
  (c)  for the third and all subsequent such failures or refusals, until
the failure ceases or one hundred eighty days, whichever period of  time
is longer].
  4.  A  recipient of public assistance WHOM THE DISTRICT HAS DETERMINED
IS NOT EXEMPT FROM THE REQUIREMENTS OF  THIS  TITLE  AND  who  quits  or
reduces his hours of employment without good cause OR DUE TO ANY MEDICAL
CONDITION  WHICH  MAY  LIMIT  THE INDIVIDUAL'S ABILITY TO PARTICIPATE IN
WORK ACTIVITIES shall be considered to have failed to  comply  with  the
requirements  of  this article and shall be subject to the provisions of
this section.
  5. A person described in paragraph (b) of subdivision seven of section
one hundred fifty-nine of this chapter may not be sanctioned if  his  or
her  failure  to  comply  with requirements of this title are related to
his or her health status.
  S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.