senate Bill S7714

Relates to the time period to request conciliation for the public assistance employment program; repealer

download pdf

Sponsor

Bill Status


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

actions

  • 02 / Jun / 2014
    • REFERRED TO SOCIAL SERVICES

Summary

Relates to the time period to request conciliation for the public assistance employment program and employment sanctions for a member of a public assistance household which includes a minor child.

do you support this bill?

Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A9901
Versions:
S7714
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Social Services
Law Section:
Social Services Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§341, 332-b, 335-b & 336, rpld §335-b sub 1 ¶ (c), Soc Serv L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7714

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law, in relation
to the time period to request conciliation for the public assistance
employment program; the time period within which an individual must
produce required medical documentation; the social services districts'
referrals to licensed health care practitioners; the authority to
continue an assigned work activity for a work limited individual
pending re-evaluation; amending references to federal work
participation rates and reporting hours of participation in certain
work activities to be consistent with federal requirements; and to
repeal paragraph (c) of subdivision 1 of section 335-b of such law
relating to the separate participation rate for safety net families
with children

Purpose of Bill: This legislation would amend the Social Services Law
(SSL) to provide a standardized time period in which to request
conciliation from the social services district (SSD) for all public
assistance employment cases; and to make various technical changes
clarifying requirements of the public assistance employment program.

Summary of Provisions:

Section 1 would amend SSL § 341(1)(a) to standardize the timeframe
associated with requesting a conciliation conference to ten calendar
days for all case types.

Section 2 would amend SSL § 332-b(2)(b) to clarify that individuals
who allege that they are unable to participate in work activities due
to either a medical condition or medical limitations have ten calendar
days from the date they are provided notice of the opportunity to
provide medical information to submit medical documentation to the
SSD's practitioner in connection with the practitioner's evaluation of
Whether the individual is able to work or participate in work
activities, unless additional time is granted by the SSD upon good
cause.

Section 3 would amend SSL § 332-b(4) to require that an SSD's referral
of an individual for an independent medical evaluation must be to a
health care practitioner-licensed to practice in New York State.

Section 4 would amend SSL § 332-b(5) to clarify that SSDs may require
work limited participants who are not claiming a change in their
condition to continue to participate in assigned public assistance
work activities which are consistent with the individual's limitations
while a reevaluation of the individual's employability status is
completed in accordance with SSL § 332-b(5).

Section 5 would amend SSL § 335-b(1) to modify the references to
federal participation rates to be consistent with federal
requirements, including the requirement to include recipients of
Safety Net (SN) assistance that include a child when required by the
federal work participation rate calculation.


Section 6 would amend SSL § 335-b(1) to repeal subdivision "c" as
duplicative of the requirements set forth in SSL § 335-b(1), as
modified.

Section 7 would amend SSL § 335-b(1) to reflect the inclusion of SN
assistance households with children in the federal work participation
rate to the extent required by federal law or regulation.

Section 8 would amend SSL § 335-b(2) pertaining to limits on
participation in job search/job readiness as established by federal
law and regulation, rather than including specific federal limits

Section 9 would amend SSL § 336(1)(m) to reflect that participation in
job search/job readiness training assistance may be required by the
SSD beyond a specific limit of six weeks and use more general language
as set forth in federal law and regulation.

Section 10 would amend SSL § 336(8) by changing the reference for
reporting hours of participation in unpaid internships/externships
from On-The-Job Training to work experience pursuant to SSL § 336, or
to other work activity consistent with federal law and regulation.

Section 11 provides a severability clause.

Section 12 provides that this act shall take effect immediately.

Existing Law:

SSL § 341(1)(a) requires that a conciliation notice advise that the
participant has seven calendar days to request conciliation with the
SSD in the case of a SN assistance participant, and ten calendar days
in the case of a Family Assistance (FA) participant.

SSL § 332-b(2) provides that applicants for and recipients of public
assistance who allege that they are unable to participate in work
activities, or that they have limitations, have ten calendar days
from the date the SSD notifies the individual of the requirement to
provide medical documentation to the SSD or to the SSD's practitioner;
if referred for an independent employability evaluation consistent
with 18 NYCRR § 385.2, for consideration when determining the
individual's ability to work or participate in work activities, the
individual has four business days to provide any additional medical
documentation.

SSL § 332-b(4) provides that when an SSD requires an individual to
participate in an independent medical evaluation, the individual shall
be referred to a health care practitioner certified by the Office of
Temporary and Disability Assistance's (OTDA's) Division of Disability
Determinations (DDD).

SSL § 332-b(5) provides that no assignment to work activities may be
made when a determination of an individual's medical status must has
not been made unless the applicant or recipient agrees to a limited
work assignment not inconsistent with the medical condition alleged.

SSL § 335-b(1) requires that each SSD meet or exceed the minimum
participation rate for families receiving assistance funded under the


federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and
provides a separate work participation rate for certain families
receiving assistance funded under the State and local SN assistance
program.

SSL § 336(1)(m) allows SSDs to continue to require individuals to
participate in job search and job readiness assistance after exceeding
the limit for such activities as set forth in federal law.

SSL § 336(8) provides, in relevant part, that hours of participation
in internships, externships, and certain other work placements should
be counted for work participation rate purposes as
"on-the-job-training." Legislative History: This is a new bill.

Statement in Support:

SSL § 341 establishes the timeframes and the procedures governing
conciliation conferences. Specifically, it requires that the SSD
provide individuals receiving FA ten calendar days to request a
conciliation conference from the date the conciliation notice is
issued, while individuals receiving SN assistance are provided seven
calendar days to request a conciliation conference from the date of
the conciliation notice. Additionally, consistent with a waiver
approved by the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA's)
Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), OTDA must provide at least ten
calendar days from the date of the conciliation notice for a SNAP
recipient to comply with the work activity assigned by the SSD to
avoid a SNAP sanction. In order to standardize the timeframe for
requesting a conciliation conference and/or the opportunity to timely
demonstrate compliance in order to avoid a SNAP employment sanction,
the bill provides for a standardized ten calendar days for all case
types.

State law requires that individuals who allege they are unable to
participate in work activities due to either a medical condition or
limitations provide medical documentation within ten calendar days in
connection with an SSD's determination of employability. The statute
includes an additional provision, applicable to those instances where
the individual is referred for an independent evaluation, which
permits the individual to submit medical documentation to the SSD's
practitioner at the time of the evaluation or within four business
days of the examination for such documentation to be considered when
determining the individual's ability to work or participate in work
activities. The bill would clarify and standardize that such
individuals have ten calendar days from the date the SSD notifies the
individual of the requirement to submit medical documentation unless
additional time is granted by the SSD based upon the individual's
particular circumstances.

When an SSD requires an individual to participate in an independent
medical evaluation, the individual must be referred to a health care
practitioner certified by the DDD. However, the DDD does not certify
practitioners. This bill would remove the certification requirement,
and instead require that any health care practitioner evaluating an
individual at the request of an SSD simply be licensed to practice in
New York State.


SSDs are required to inquire as to whether an individual has any
medical condition which would limit the individual's ability to
participate in work activities at application, recertification, or
whenever the SSD has reason to believe that a physical or mental
health impairment may prevent the individual from fully participating
in work activities. The bill clarifies that participation in
activities may continue during these circumstances, which would permit
providing related support services without interruption.

The bill also updates references to the federal participation rates,
limits on the countability of job search/job readiness training
assistance, and the reporting of participation in unpaid
internships/externships, in order to establish consistency with
federal requirements, including the ability to extend the countability
of participation in job search/job readiness activities.

Budget Implications: None.

Effective Date: This bill takes effect immediately.

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

                                  7714

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              June 2, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. AVELLA -- (at request of the Office of Temporary and
  Disability Assistance) -- 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 the time period
  to request conciliation for the public assistance employment  program;
  the  time  period  within  which  an  individual must produce required
  medical documentation; the social  services  districts'  referrals  to
  licensed  health  care  practitioners;  the  authority  to continue an
  assigned work activity for a work limited individual pending re-evalu-
  ation; amending references to federal  work  participation  rates  and
  reporting  hours  of  participation  in  certain work activities to be
  consistent with federal requirements; and to repeal paragraph  (c)  of
  subdivision  1  of  section 335-b of such law relating to the separate
  participation rate for safety net families with children

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

  Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of section 341 of the social
services  law,  as  amended  by section 1 of part D of chapter 61 of the
laws of 2006, is amended to read as follows:
  (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, the social services district shall issue a notice  in  plain
language  indicating that such failure or refusal has taken place and of
the right of such participant to conciliation to resolve the reasons for
such failure or refusal to avoid a pro-rata reduction in public  assist-
ance  benefits  for  a period of time set forth in section three hundred
forty-two of this title. 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.
The  notice shall indicate that the participant has [seven] TEN CALENDAR
days to request conciliation with the district regarding such failure or
refusal [in the case of a safety net participant and  ten  days  in  the
case  of a family assistance participant]. The notice shall also include

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD13924-02-4

S. 7714                             2

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 domes-
tic  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. If the
participant does not contact the district within the specified number of
days, the district shall issue ten days notice of intent to  discontinue
or  reduce  assistance,  pursuant to regulations of the department. Such
notice shall also include a statement of the participant's  right  to  a
fair  hearing  relating  to  such  discontinuance  or reduction. If such
participant contacts the district within [seven] TEN CALENDAR  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.
  S 2. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 2 of section  332-b  of  the  social
services  law, as amended by chapter 214 of the laws of 1998, is amended
to read as follows:
  (b) If, prior to submitting his  or  her  medical  documentation,  the
individual  is  referred to a health care practitioner [certified by the
office of disability determinations of the office of temporary and disa-
bility assistance] LICENSED TO PRACTICE IN NEW YORK STATE or, if  appli-
cable,  to  the  contracted  agency or institution by or with which such
health care practitioner LICENSED TO  PRACTICE  IN  NEW  YORK  STATE  is
employed  or  affiliated for an examination pursuant to subdivision four
of this section, such individual shall make best efforts to  bring  such
documentation  to  the  examination,  and  in no case shall provide such
records to the examining health  care  practitioner  [certified  by  the
office   of   disability  determinations]  or,  if  applicable,  to  the
contracted agency or institution by or with which such health care prac-
titioner is employed or affiliated later than [four business] TEN CALEN-
DAR days [after such examination] FROM THE  DATE  OF  THE  NOTICE  WHICH
INFORMED THE INDIVIDUAL OF THE OPPORTUNITY TO PROVIDE MEDICAL DOCUMENTA-
TION; provided that the individual may demonstrate good cause as defined
in  regulations, for failure to provide such records within the specific
time periods.
  S 3. The opening paragraph of subdivision 4 of section  332-b  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:
  In  instances where the district determines either that the documenta-
tion is insufficient to support an exemption from or limitation on  work
activities  or that further medical evaluation is appropriate, the indi-
vidual shall be referred to a health care practitioner [certified by the
Office  of  Disability  Determinations  of  the  Department  of   Social
Services]  LICENSED  TO PRACTICE AS A PHYSICIAN OR A PSYCHOLOGIST IN NEW
YORK STATE for an examination of such individual's medical condition.
  S 4. Subdivision 5 of section 332-b 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:
  5. When an applicant or recipient has requested, or a social  services
official  has  directed  a  determination  pursuant  to this section, no
assignment to work activities may  be  made  until  completion  of  such
determination,  unless  the  applicant  or recipient agrees to a limited
work assignment not inconsistent with the medical condition  alleged  by
such person EXCEPT THAT A DISTRICT MAY REQUIRE WORK LIMITED PARTICIPANTS
WHO  ARE NOT CLAIMING A CHANGE IN THEIR CONDITION TO CONTINUE TO PARTIC-

S. 7714                             3

IPATE IN ASSIGNED WORK ACTIVITIES CONSISTENT WITH THE INDIVIDUAL'S DOCU-
MENTED MEDICAL LIMITATIONS WHILE A  RE-EVALUATION  OF  THE  INDIVIDUAL'S
EMPLOYABILITY STATUS IS COMPLETED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS SECTION.
  S 5. The opening paragraph and paragraphs (a) and (b) of subdivision 1
of  section 335-b of the social services law, as amended by section 2 of
part J of chapter 58 of the  laws  of  2006,  are  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  Each social services district shall meet or exceed the minimum partic-
ipation  rate  for  recipients  of  assistance  funded under the federal
temporary assistance  for  needy  families  program,  AND  FOR  FAMILIES
RECEIVING  ASSISTANCE  IN  THE  SAFETY  NET  ASSISTANCE  PROGRAM WHO ARE
REQUIRED BY FEDERAL LAW AND REGULATION TO  BE  INCLUDED  IN  SUCH  RATE,
participating  in  work  activities  as  specified below with respect to
families receiving such assistance. Each such district shall  also  meet
or exceed the minimum participation rates for households WITHOUT DEPEND-
ENT  CHILDREN  in which there is an adult OR MINOR HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD who
is receiving safety net assistance. Work activities for which such rates
apply are described in section three hundred thirty-six of this title.
  (a) [Such] CONSISTENT WITH FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS,  SUCH  rate  for  all
families receiving assistance funded under the federal temporary assist-
ance  for  needy families program, AND FOR FAMILIES RECEIVING ASSISTANCE
IN THE SAFETY NET ASSISTANCE PROGRAM WHO ARE REQUIRED BY FEDERAL LAW AND
REGULATION TO BE INCLUDED IN SUCH RATE, shall be [as follows: for feder-
al fiscal year nineteen hundred ninety-seven, twenty-five percent; nine-
teen hundred ninety-eight, thirty percent; nineteen hundred ninety-nine,
thirty-five percent; two thousand,  forty  percent;  two  thousand  one,
forty-five  percent;  two  thousand  two and thereafter,] fifty percent.
Such [rates] RATE shall apply unless the state is  required  to  meet  a
different  rate as imposed by the federal government, in which case such
different rate shall apply in accordance with a methodology approved  by
the commissioner of the office of temporary and disability assistance.
  (b)  [Such]  CONSISTENT  WITH FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS, SUCH rate for two-
parent families receiving assistance funded under the federal  temporary
assistance  for  needy  families program, AS WELL AS FOR SUCH TWO-PARENT
FAMILIES IN WHICH THERE IS AN ADULT OR MINOR HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD AND WHICH
ARE RECEIVING ASSISTANCE FUNDED UNDER THE SAFETY NET ASSISTANCE  PROGRAM
WHO  ARE  REQUIRED  BY FEDERAL LAW AND REGULATION TO BE INCLUDED IN SUCH
RATE, shall be [as follows: for federal fiscal  years  nineteen  hundred
ninety-seven  and  nineteen  hundred ninety-eight, seventy-five percent;
nineteen hundred ninety-nine and thereafter,] ninety percent. Such  rate
shall  apply  unless  the  state is required to meet a different rate as
imposed by the federal government, in which  case  such  different  rate
shall apply in accordance with a methodology approved by the commission-
er of the office of temporary and disability assistance.
  S  6.  Paragraph  (c)  of subdivision 1 of section 335-b of the social
services law is REPEALED and paragraphs (e) and (f) are relettered para-
graphs (d) and (e).
  S 7. Paragraph (d) of subdivision 1 of section  335-b  of  the  social
services  law,  as  amended  by section 2 of part J of chapter 58 of the
laws of 2006, is amended to read as follows:
  [(d)] (C) Calculation of participation rates. The commissioner of  the
office  of  temporary  and  disability assistance shall promulgate regu-
lations which define the participation  rate  calculation.  Such  calcu-
lation for families receiving assistance funded under the federal tempo-
rary  assistance  for needy families program, AND FOR FAMILIES RECEIVING
ASSISTANCE IN THE SAFETY NET ASSISTANCE  PROGRAM  WHO  ARE  REQUIRED  BY

S. 7714                             4

FEDERAL  LAW  AND  REGULATION  TO  BE INCLUDED IN SUCH RATE, pursuant to
[article] TITLE IV-A of the social security act shall be consistent with
that established in federal law.
  S  8.  Subdivision  2  of section 335-b of the social services law, as
amended by chapter 380 of the laws  of  2004,  is  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  2. Engaged in work for a month shall mean participating in work activ-
ities  identified in subdivision one of section three hundred thirty-six
of this title for the required number of hours specified in this section
provided, however, that at least twenty hours of such participation,  or
thirty  hours  for  two-parent  families,  or fifty hours for two-parent
families receiving federally funded child care as set forth in  subpara-
graph  (iii)  of paragraph (d) of subdivision one of this section, shall
be attributable to the activities described in  paragraphs  (a)  through
(h)  and  (l)  of subdivision one of section three hundred thirty-six of
this title, or for households without dependent children at least twenty
hours of participation shall be attributable to the activities set forth
in paragraphs (a) through (h) and (l)  of  subdivision  one  of  section
three  hundred  thirty-six  of  this  title,  and  further provided that
participation in job search and job readiness assistance  as  identified
in  paragraph (f) of subdivision one of section three hundred thirty-six
of this title shall only be determined as engaged in work for [a maximum
period of six weeks, only four of which may be consecutive as  otherwise
limited  by  federal law] THE MAXIMUM PERIODS ESTABLISHED BY FEDERAL LAW
AND REGULATION; and that individuals in all families and in  two  parent
families  may  be engaged in work for a month by reason of participation
in vocational training to the extent allowed by federal  law.  Any  non-
graduate  student  participating  or  approved  by CUNY, SUNY or another
degree granting institution,  or  any  other  state  or  local  district
approved  education,  training  or  vocational  rehabilitation agency to
participate in work-study, or in internships, externships, or other work
placements that are part of the curriculum of that student, shall not be
unreasonably denied the ability to participate in such programs and each
hour of participation shall count toward satisfaction of such  student's
work  activity requirements of this title provided that the district may
consider, among other factors, (a) whether the student  has  voluntarily
terminated his or her employment or voluntarily reduced his or her earn-
ings  to  qualify  for  public assistance pursuant to subdivision ten of
section one hundred thirty-one of this article; (b) whether a comparable
job or on the job training position can reasonably be expected to  exist
in  the  private,  public or not-for-profit sector; (c) that the student
has a cumulative C average or its equivalent, which may be waived by the
district for undue hardship based on (1) the death of a relative of  the
student, (2) the personal injury or illness of the student, or (3) other
extenuating circumstances; and (d) whether the institution cooperates in
monitoring  students attendance and performance and reports to the local
social services department monthly  on  each  student.  Failure  of  the
institution  to  monitor  and  report  monthly  to local social services
districts on attendance and performance of  the  student's  work  study,
internship,  externship  or  other work placement shall be cause for the
department to reasonably deny the student's ability  to  participate  in
such  programs.  Students  shall  be  subject to sanctions equivalent to
those associated with failure to adequately satisfy their other required
work activities. In assigning a non-graduate  student  participating  in
work-study,  internships, externships or other work placements, pursuant
to this section, to  other  work  activities  the  district  shall  make

S. 7714                             5

reasonable  effort  to  assign the student to hours that do not conflict
with the student's academic schedule.
  S  9.  Paragraph  (m)  of  subdivision  1 of section 336 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:
  (m)  job  search  and job readiness assistance once the individual has
exceeded the [six week limit] LIMITS ON SUCH ACTIVITIES set  in  federal
law AND REGULATION;
  S  10.  Subdivision  8  of  section 336 of the social services law, as
added by chapter 534 of the laws of 2000, is amended to read as follows:
  8. The hours of participation in federal work study programs completed
pursuant to section three hundred thirty-five-b of this title  shall  be
included  as  a  work  activity  within  the  definition of unsubsidized
employment, subsidized private sector employment  or  subsidized  public
sector employment pursuant to paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of subdivision
one  of  this  section,  and  the hours of participation in internships,
externships and other work  placements  completed  pursuant  to  section
three  hundred  thirty-five-b  of this title shall be included as a work
activity within the definition of [on-the-job training] WORK  EXPERIENCE
pursuant  to  paragraph  [(e)]  D  of subdivision one of this section OR
OTHER WORK ACTIVITY CONSISTENT WITH FEDERAL LAW AND REGULATION.
  S 11. Severability clause. If any clause, sentence, paragraph,  subdi-
vision,  section  or  part of this act shall be adjudged by any court of
competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment  shall  not  affect,
impair,  or  invalidate  the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in
its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph,  subdivision,  section
or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judg-
ment shall have been rendered. It is hereby declared to be the intent of
the  legislature  that  this  act  would  have been enacted even if such
invalid provisions had not been included herein.
  S 12. 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.