Bill Text: NY A02455 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Relates to conciliation and non-compliance with public assistance employment.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 13-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-06-05 - substituted by s3840a [A02455 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A02455-Introduced.html


                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
                                          2455
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 22, 2019
                                       ___________
        Introduced  by  M. of A. HUNTER, COOK, HEVESI, GOTTFRIED, HYNDMAN, BLAKE
          -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. SIMON -- read once and  referred  to
          the Committee on Social Services
        AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to conciliation and
          non-compliance  with  public  assistance  employment;  and  to  repeal
          certain provisions of such law relating thereto
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Section 341 of the social services law is REPEALED.
     2    § 2. Section 341-a of the social services law, as added by chapter 562
     3  of the laws of 2015, is amended to read as follows:
     4    §  [341-a] 341.   Re-engagement; conciliation; refusal to participate.
     5  1. [The provisions of this section shall apply to persons who are  resi-
     6  dents of a city having a population of one million or more people.
     7    2.] (a) Consistent with federal law and regulations and this title, if
     8  a  participant  has failed or refused to comply with the requirements of
     9  this title and the district has determined that he or she is not  exempt
    10  from  such  requirements  and  has verified that appropriate child care,
    11  transportation, and accommodations for disability were in place  at  the
    12  time  of  such  failure  or  refusal, the social services district shall
    13  issue a re-engagement notice in  plain  language  indicating  that  such
    14  failure  or refusal has taken place and of the right of such participant
    15  to avoid a pro-rata reduction in public assistance benefits through  the
    16  re-engagement  process.  "Re-engagement  process" shall mean the process
    17  through which a participant may avoid a  pro-rata  reduction  in  public
    18  assistance  benefits by agreeing to comply with the requirements of this
    19  title consistent with any medical condition which may limit the individ-
    20  ual's ability to  participate  in  work  activities,  by  notifying  the
    21  district  that he or she has become exempt from the requirements of this
    22  title, or by resolving the reasons for such  failure  or  refusal  at  a
    23  conciliation  conference. The notice shall indicate that the participant
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD04867-01-9

        A. 2455                             2
     1  has ten days to request re-engagement  with  the  district.  The  notice
     2  shall  indicate the specific instance or instances of willful refusal or
     3  failure to comply without good cause with the requirements of this title
     4  and  the  necessary  actions  that  must  be  taken  to avoid a pro-rata
     5  reduction in public assistance benefits and the  district  has  verified
     6  that appropriate child care, transportation and accommodations for disa-
     7  bility were in place at the time of such failure or refusal.
     8    (1)  If  a participant chooses to avoid a pro-rata reduction in public
     9  assistance benefits through a conciliation conference, it  will  be  the
    10  responsibility  of  the  participant to give reasons for such failure or
    11  refusal. The re-engagement notice shall also include an  explanation  in
    12  plain  language  of  what would constitute good cause for non-compliance
    13  and examples of  acceptable  forms  of  evidence  that  may  warrant  an
    14  exemption from work activities, including evidence of domestic violence,
    15  and  physical  or  mental health limitations that may be provided at the
    16  conciliation conference to demonstrate such good cause  for  failure  to
    17  comply with the requirements of this title. Unless as part of the re-en-
    18  gagement  process  the  participant  does  not  agree to comply, has not
    19  become exempt or the district determines as a result of the conciliation
    20  conference that such failure or refusal was  willful  and  without  good
    21  cause, no further action shall be taken.
    22    (2)  If  the participant does not contact the district within ten days
    23  of the re-engagement notice, the district shall make a finding of wheth-
    24  er the alleged failure or refusal to comply was willful and without good
    25  cause and shall consider any evidence in the possession of the  district
    26  indicating that the participant has good cause and if the participant is
    27  otherwise participating in work activities, there shall be no finding of
    28  willfulness  without good cause based on a single appointment or infrac-
    29  tion.
    30    (b) If the district determines that such failure or refusal was  will-
    31  ful  and  without good cause, and that the individual is not exempt from
    32  the requirements of this title, the district shall notify  such  partic-
    33  ipant  in  writing,  in plain language and in a manner distinct from any
    34  previous notice, by issuing ten days notice of its intent to discontinue
    35  or reduce assistance. Such notice shall include  the  reasons  for  such
    36  determination,  the specific instance or instances of willful refusal or
    37  failure to comply without good  cause  with  the  requirements  of  this
    38  title,  shall  verify  that  appropriate  child care, transportation and
    39  accommodations for disability were in place at the time of such  failure
    40  or  refusal,  and  specify  the  necessary actions that must be taken to
    41  avoid a pro-rata reduction  in  public  assistance  benefits,  including
    42  agreeing  to  comply with the requirements of this title consistent with
    43  any medical condition  which  may  limit  the  individual's  ability  to
    44  participate  in work activities or notifying the district that he or she
    45  has become exempt from the requirements of this title and the right to a
    46  fair hearing relating to such discontinuance or reduction.
    47    [3.] 2. (a) The department shall establish  in  regulation  a  concil-
    48  iation  procedure  for the resolution of disputes related to an individ-
    49  ual's participation in programs pursuant to this title.
    50    (b) The district shall contract with an independent  entity,  approved
    51  by the department, or shall use designated trained staff at the supervi-
    52  sory  level who have no direct responsibility for the participant's case
    53  to mediate disputes in the conciliation conference.
    54    (c) If a participant's dispute cannot be resolved through such concil-
    55  iation procedure, an opportunity for a fair hearing shall  be  provided.

        A. 2455                             3
     1  No  sanction  relating  to the subject dispute may be imposed during the
     2  re-engagement process.
     3    [4.]  3.  When  any participant required to participate in work activ-
     4  ities fails to comply with the provisions  of  this  title,  the  social
     5  services  district  shall take such actions as prescribed by appropriate
     6  federal law and regulation and this title.
     7    [5.] 4. Consistent with federal law and this title, a social  services
     8  district shall provide to those participants whose failure to comply has
     9  continued  for thirty days or longer a written reminder of the option to
    10  end a sanction by terminating the failure  to  comply  as  specified  in
    11  subdivision [two] one of this section. Such notice shall advise that the
    12  participant may immediately terminate the sanction by either agreeing to
    13  comply  with  the requirements of this title consistent with any medical
    14  condition which may limit the individual's  ability  to  participate  in
    15  work  activities  or  notifying  the  district that he or she has become
    16  exempt from the requirements of this title.
    17    [6.] 5. Consistent with federal law and regulation and this title,  no
    18  notice  shall  be  issued  as specified in subdivision [two] one of this
    19  section unless it has been determined that the individual is not  exempt
    20  from  the requirements of this title and has determined that appropriate
    21  child care, transportation and accommodations  for  disability  were  in
    22  place at the time of such failure or refusal to comply with the require-
    23  ments  of  this  title  and  no  action  shall be taken pursuant to this
    24  section for failure to participate in the program or refusal  to  accept
    25  employment if:
    26    (a)  child  care  for  a child under age thirteen (or day care for any
    27  incapacitated individual living in the same home as a  dependent  child)
    28  is  necessary for an individual to participate or continue participation
    29  in activities pursuant to this title or accept employment and such  care
    30  is  not available and the social services district fails to provide such
    31  care;
    32    (b) (1) the employment would result in the family of  the  participant
    33  experiencing a net loss of cash income; provided, however, a participant
    34  may  not  claim  good  cause under this paragraph if the social services
    35  district assures that the family will not experience a net loss of  cash
    36  income by making a supplemental payment;
    37    (2)  net loss of cash income results if the family's gross income less
    38  necessary work-related expenses is less than  the  cash  assistance  the
    39  participant  was  receiving at the time the offer of employment is made;
    40  or
    41    (c) the participant meets other grounds for good cause  set  forth  by
    42  the  department  in  its  implementation plan for this title which, at a
    43  minimum, must describe what circumstances beyond the household's control
    44  will constitute "good cause".
    45    § 3. Section 342 of the social services law is REPEALED.
    46    § 4. Section 342-a of the social services law  is  renumbered  section
    47  342.
    48    §  5. This act shall take effect on the first of April next succeeding
    49  the date on which it shall have become a law.
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