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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 21
Welfare management system
Social Services (SOS) CHAPTER 55, ARTICLE 2
§ 21. Welfare management system. 1. The department shall design and
implement a welfare management system which shall be capable of
receiving, maintaining and processing information relating to persons
who have applied for or been determined eligible for benefits under any
program for which the department has supervisory responsibilities under
this chapter, for the purpose of providing individual and aggregate data
to such districts to assist them in making eligibility determinations
and basic management decisions, to the department to assist it in
supervising the local administration of such programs, and to the
governor and the legislature as may be necessary to assist in making
major administrative and policy decisions affecting such programs. Such
system shall be designed so as to assist local districts and the state
in achieving the following goals:

a. reducing mismanagement in the administration of such program,
detecting fraudulent practices, and helping identify policies or
conditions that will reduce or deter fraud;

b. promoting efficiency in local district determinations of
eligibility for public assistance and care and other programs supervised
by the department, to expedite such determinations and to reduce
unauthorized or excessive payments;

c. achieving compliance with federal laws and regulations and
maximizing utilization of federal funds;

d. improving data collection and retention techniques and developing
uniform reporting forms and procedures;

e. initiating implementation of such a system for districts other than
the district comprising the city of New York, in a manner compatible
with expansion of such system to the district comprising the city of New
York;

f. being developed and implemented in each social services district,
to the extent possible consistent with statewide uniformity, in a manner
compatible with maximum utilization of existing data processing systems
and capabilities of such district and with minimum local participation
by such district in administrative expenditures directly attributable to
the design and implementation of such system; and

g. achieving such other goals consistent with this chapter and other
laws as are desirable for improving the administration of such programs.

2. The department shall promulgate regulations, specifying the types
of information to be collected and transmitted by each social services
district to the department, the methods for collection and transmittal
of such information, and the procedures for utilization by social
services districts of the data maintained by the welfare management
system. Any such regulations shall be published for comment at least
thirty days in advance of their promulgation and shall be filed with the
secretary of state at least sixty days in advance of the effective date
of any such requirement.

3. Information relating to persons applying for or receiving benefits
under programs pursuant to this chapter shall be considered confidential
and shall not be disclosed to persons or agencies other than those
considered entitled to such information in accordance with section one
hundred thirty-six of this chapter, when such disclosure is necessary
for the proper administration of such programs.

4. The commissioner of labor and his or her designees shall be
entitled to access to the welfare management system and the information
contained therein for the purpose of administration of the programs for
public assistance recipients set forth in title nine-B of article five
of this chapter. Use of the information relating to persons applying
for or receiving benefits under such programs by the department of labor
will be in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

5. The commissioner of health and his or her designees shall be
entitled to access to the welfare management system and the information
contained therein for the purpose of administration of the program of
medical assistance for needy persons set forth in title eleven of
article five of this chapter. Use of the information relating to
persons applying for or receiving benefits under such program by the
department of health will be in accordance with the provisions of
section one hundred thirty-six of this chapter.

6. By no later than forty-five days following the end of each calendar
quarter after the second quarter of calendar year nineteen hundred
seventy-six, the department shall, until full implementation has been
achieved in all social services districts, report to the governor and
the legislature regarding the current status of the welfare management
system, summarizing the progress achieved during the previous quarter
and the anticipated major achievements of the succeeding two calendar
quarters. The report shall include the current and anticipated overall
expenditure and staffing levels for functions relating to the system,
and shall specify each district affected or anticipated to be affected
during the succeeding two calendar quarters and summarize the manner in
which each such district is, or is anticipated to be, affected.

7. (a) The full cost of expenditures by the state for the design,
development and implementation of the welfare management system shall be
borne by the state, utilizing any federal funds made available for such
purposes. Social services districts shall not be responsible for
participating in state expenditures for any of the following:
acquisition, installation, maintenance and operation of a state
computer; acquisition, installation and maintenance of the
telecommunications network and equipment; development and provision of
state mandated forms; modification of existing data processing
operations determined by the department to be necessary to assure
systems compatibility; and development and provision of training
materials and equipment, and costs of staff for training provided by the
state.

(b) Expenditures by a social services district for data entry
operators determined necessary by the department during the period of
conversion to full operation of the welfare management system for such
district shall be subject to reimbursement by the state in accordance
with section one hundred fifty-three of this chapter to the extent of
one hundred percentum of such expenditures after first deducting
therefrom any federal funds properly received or to be received on
account of such expenditures.

(c) Expenditures by a social services district other than those set
forth in this section shall be subject to state reimbursement as
administrative costs in accordance with section one hundred fifty-three
of this chapter to the extent of fifty percentum thereof, after first
deducting therefrom any federal funds properly received or to be
received on account of such expenditures.

(d) The department is hereby authorized to enter into written
agreements, subject to the approval of the director of the budget, with
not more than three social services districts by which such districts
agree to undertake additional administrative functions relating to
design, development and testing of the welfare management system,
subject to one hundred percent state reimbursement for administrative
costs attributable to such functions, after first deducting therefrom
any federal funds properly received or to be received on account of such
expenditures.

8. The department may enter into the case file of each applicant for
or recipient of benefits under the programs of food stamps, aid to
dependent children, home relief, veteran assistance, emergency
assistance to adults, or medical assistance for whom a case file has
been established on the welfare management system information it
receives from the appropriate governmental agency concerning a client
who has applied for or has been determined to be eligible for workers'
compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, and benefits
being paid pursuant to titles two and sixteen of the federal social
security act (including supplemental state payments). The department may
rebudget any case for which it makes an entry where the information
received indicates that rebudgeting is appropriate. The department
shall immediately notify the appropriate social services district that
an applicant or recipient's case has been rebudgeted or of any other
direct entry of information into a case file. A social services
district shall not be held responsible for any costs incurred as a
result of data erroneously entered by the department into the welfare
management system.