senate Bill S7508

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Prohibits recovery of assistance properly paid as permitted where a recipient or former recipient of such assistance was required to participate in a work experience

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jun 05, 2012 reported and committed to finance
May 30, 2012 referred to social services

Votes

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Jun 5, 2012 - Social Services committee Vote

S7508
4
1
committee
4
Aye
1
Nay
0
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
1
Excused
0
Abstained
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Social Services Committee Vote: Jun 5, 2012

nay (1)
excused (1)

S7508 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A10650
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Social Services Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §336-c, Soc Serv L

S7508 - Bill Texts

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Provides that a social services official may not recover assistance properly paid as permitted where a recipient or former recipient of such assistance was required to participate in a work experience program without first crediting against such recovery the number of hours that such person actually participated in a work experience program multiplied by the higher of the applicable state or federal minimum wage.

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BILL NUMBER:S7508

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the social services law, in relation to work experience

PURPOSE:
The purpose of this bill is to allow a participant in the work
Experience Program (WEP, or workfare) to have his or her time in the
program credited against any public assistance a local social
services district is entitled to recover.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 would amend social services Law (SSL) § 336-c to require
local districts to credit the value of an individual's time in the
Work Experience Program (WEP) against any benefits legally recovered
by the district.

Section 2 would require that the Office of Temporary and Disability
Assistance promulgate any rules and regulations and conduct any
requisite training necessary for the implementation of the act.

Section 3 provides an immediate effective date.

EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER:
This bill would add a new section (5) to SSL §336-c.

JUSTIFICATION:
Persons who receive public assistance in New York State are required
to repay the local social services district for the assistance they
receive. Properly paid public assistance is a debt owed by the
individual who received such assistance and is subject to recovery
under a number of provisions of the social Services Law. The recovery
of such assistance is expressly authorized against windfalls such as
inheritances (SSL 104), lawsuit proceeds (SSL 104-b), lottery
winnings (SSL 131-r) and retroactive SSI awards (SSL 158(3.
Additionally, local districts are entitled to recover properly paid
public assistance by requiring applicants for public assistance who
own their own homes to provide the district with a mortgage equal to
the sum of public assistance paid, as a condition of eligibility for
assistance (SSL 106). When an individual works off his or her grant
by participation in workfare, it is only fair that the value of that
work be credited against any recovery that the local district is
entitled to make. This bill would require local social services
districts to credit the value of workfare by calculating the number
of hours worked times the higher of the state or federal minimum
wage applicable at the time, when determining the amount of properly
paid public assistance that the local social services district is
entitled to recover.

This legislation would codify the holding of the United States
District Court for the Western District of New York in Elwell v.
Weiss, 2007 WI, 2994308, which addressed a challenge to a County's
seizure of a former recipient's retroactive SSI benefits, holding
that the Fair Labor Standards Act requires that workfare participants
receive a credit equal to the minimum wage value of their labor when


a local district calculates the value of a public assistance
recovery. This proposed legislation is consistent with the provisions
of the social services law that recognize workfare as work and
require that workfare workers be provided with worker's compensation,
and that the hours assigned cannot exceed the total of public
assistance and food stamps received divided by the higher of the
state or federal minimum wage.

Prior to 1997, it was the long standing policy of the state to require
local social services district to credit workfare against any
recovery of properly paid public assistance. When welfare was
"reformed" in 1997, chapter 436 of the laws of 1997, section 148,
repealed a provision similar to this proposal. This bill would
restore the prior policy, which recognized the value of such work,

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2007 - A.11216
2010 - S.4544/A.1546

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
Immediately.

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

                                  7508

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              May 30, 2012
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. SQUADRON -- 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 work experience

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

  Section  1.  Section  336-c  of  the social services law is amended by
adding a new subdivision 5 to read as follows:
  5. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISION OF LAW  TO  THE  CONTRARY,  A  SOCIAL
SERVICES  OFFICIAL  MAY  NOT  RECOVER PUBLIC ASSISTANCE PROPERLY PAID AS
PERMITTED UNDER SECTIONS ONE  HUNDRED  FOUR,  ONE  HUNDRED  FOUR-B,  ONE
HUNDRED  SIX,  ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-ONE-R AND SUBDIVISION THREE OF SECTION
ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-EIGHT OF THIS CHAPTER OR ANY OTHER PROVISION  OF  THIS
TITLE,  WHERE  A  RECIPIENT  OR  FORMER RECIPIENT OF SUCH ASSISTANCE WAS
REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE IN A WORK EXPERIENCE PROGRAM UNDER THIS  SECTION
WITHOUT  FIRST  CREDITING AGAINST SUCH RECOVERY THE NUMBER OF HOURS THAT
SUCH PERSON ACTUALLY PARTICIPATED IN A WORK  EXPERIENCE  PROGRAM  MULTI-
PLIED  BY  THE  HIGHER  OF THE APPLICABLE STATE OR FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE.
NOTHING IN THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL ALTER THE RULES  GOVERNING  AND  DEFI-
NITION  OF  WORK  EXPERIENCE PROGRAMS AS ENUMERATED IN SUBDIVISIONS ONE,
TWO, THREE AND FOUR OF THIS SECTION. THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL  APPLY  ONLY
TO  THE  NUMBER OF HOURS OF PARTICIPATION IN THE WORK EXPERIENCE PROGRAM
AND SHALL NOT APPLY TO ANY OTHER ACTIVITY FOR WHICH  A  SOCIAL  SERVICES
DISTRICT HAS REQUIRED A RECIPIENT OR FORMER RECIPIENT TO PARTICIPATE IN,
INCLUDING  BUT  NOT  LIMITED  TO  SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT OR REHABILI-
TATION, JOB SEARCH, AND VOCATIONAL OR REMEDIAL EDUCATION ACTIVITIES.
  S 2. Effective immediately, the office  of  temporary  and  disability
assistance  shall  promulgate  rules  and  regulations,  and conduct any
requisite training necessary for the implementation of this act.
  S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.


 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD16063-01-2

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