Bill Text: NY A04265 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Establishes access to benefits and services for people with HIV in each local department of social services.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 5-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-06-13 - enacting clause stricken [A04265 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A04265-Introduced.html


                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
                                          4265
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    February 1, 2019
                                       ___________
        Introduced  by  M.  of A. HEVESI, GOTTFRIED, DE LA ROSA, BRONSON -- read
          once and referred to the Committee on Social Services
        AN ACT to amend the social services law,  in  relation  to  establishing
          access  to  benefits  and  services  for people with HIV in each local
          department of social services
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1. The social services law is amended by adding a new section
     2  138 to read as follows:
     3    § 138. Access to HIV services. 1. The office of temporary and disabil-
     4  ity assistance shall direct each local  department  of  social  services
     5  (LDSS)  to  establish  and  maintain  access to benefits and services as
     6  defined in subdivision three of this section to every  person  with  HIV
     7  infection  who  requests  assistance,  and shall ensure the provision of
     8  benefits and services to each eligible person infected with HIV.
     9    2. The commissioner of the office of temporary and disability  assist-
    10  ance shall direct each LDSS to provide to persons with HIV infection who
    11  satisfy the eligibility requirements for Medicaid as set forth in U.S.C.
    12  1396 et seq.:
    13    (a)  intensive  case  management with an average ratio which shall not
    14  exceed one caseworker or supervisor to  twenty-five  family  cases,  and
    15  with  an  overall average ratio for all cases which shall not exceed one
    16  caseworker or supervisor to thirty-four cases; and
    17    (b) transportation and nutrition allowances in an amount not less than
    18  one hundred ninety-three dollars per month.
    19    3. (a) Whenever used in this subdivision, the  following  terms  shall
    20  have the following meanings:
    21    (1)  "Access  to  benefits  and  services" shall mean the provision of
    22  assistance by staff of the LDSS to a person  with  HIV  infection  at  a
    23  single  location  in order to apply for publicly subsidized benefits and
    24  services, to establish any and all elements  of  eligibility  including,
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD01046-01-9

        A. 4265                             2
     1  but  not  limited to, assistance provided at a field office of the LDSS,
     2  at the home of the applicant or recipient,  at  a  hospital  where  such
     3  applicant or recipient is a patient or at another location in assembling
     4  such documentation as may be necessary to establish any and all elements
     5  of eligibility and to maintain such eligibility;
     6    (2)  "Eligible person" shall mean a person who satisfies the eligibil-
     7  ity requirements established pursuant  to  applicable  local,  state  or
     8  federal  statute,  law, rule or regulation for the benefits and services
     9  set forth in paragraph (b) of this subdivision or for any other benefits
    10  and services deemed appropriate by the commissioner;
    11    (3) "Medically appropriate transitional and permanent  housing"  shall
    12  mean  housing  which  is suitable for persons with HIV infection, and if
    13  necessary, accessible to persons with disabilities. Such  housing  shall
    14  include,  but  not be limited to, individual refrigerated food and medi-
    15  cine storage and adequate bathroom facilities which shall, at a minimum,
    16  provide an effective locking mechanism and any other  such  measures  as
    17  are necessary to ensure privacy;
    18    (4) "Person with HIV infection" shall mean a person who has received a
    19  medical determination that he or she is infected with HIV; and
    20    (5) "Commissioner" shall mean the commissioner of the office of tempo-
    21  rary and disability assistance.
    22    (b)  The  office of temporary and disability assistance shall provide,
    23  or the commissioner shall direct LDSSs to provide access to benefits and
    24  services to every  eligible  person  with  HIV  infection  who  requests
    25  assistance,  and  shall ensure the provision of benefits and services to
    26  eligible persons with HIV infection. Any eligible person  shall  receive
    27  only  those  benefits  and  services  for which such person qualifies in
    28  accordance with the applicable eligibility standards established  pursu-
    29  ant  to  local,  state or federal statute, law, rule or regulation. Such
    30  benefits and services shall include, but not be  limited  to:  medically
    31  appropriate  transitional  and permanent housing; Medicaid, as set forth
    32  in 42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq. and other health-related services;  long  term
    33  care services provided by a certified home health agency, long term home
    34  health  care  program  or  AIDS home care program authorized pursuant to
    35  article thirty-six of the public  health  law;  personal  care  services
    36  pursuant  to  this article; homemaker services as defined in subdivision
    37  six of section thirty-six hundred two of the public health law;  supple-
    38  mental  nutrition assistance program benefits in accordance with section
    39  ninety-five of this chapter; transportation and nutrition allowances  as
    40  required  by  subdivision  two  of  this section; preventative services,
    41  including rent subsidies, in accordance with section four hundred nine-a
    42  of this chapter; financial benefits; and intensive  case  management  as
    43  required by subdivision two of this section. The commissioner shall have
    44  the  authority to direct each LDSS to provide access to additional bene-
    45  fits and services and ensure the provision of such  additional  benefits
    46  and  services whenever deemed appropriate. The requirements with respect
    47  to such access to and eligibility for benefits and services shall not be
    48  more restrictive than those requirements mandated by  state  or  federal
    49  statute,  law,  rule  or regulation. Within thirty days of the effective
    50  date of this section, the commissioner shall establish criteria pursuant
    51  to which an applicant shall be entitled to a home or hospital visit  for
    52  the  purpose  of  establishing eligibility and applying for benefits and
    53  services.
    54    (c)(1) Upon written or oral application  or  submission  of  documents
    55  required  to establish eligibility for benefits and services by a person
    56  with HIV infection, such person shall immediately  be  provided  with  a

        A. 4265                             3
     1  receipt  which  shall  include,  but  not  be  limited  to,  the date, a
     2  description of the information received, and a statement as  to  whether
     3  any  application  for  such  benefits and services is complete or incom-
     4  plete, and if incomplete, such receipt shall identify any information or
     5  documents needed in order for the application to be deemed complete.
     6    (2)  Where  no statute, law, rule or regulation provides a time period
     7  within which a benefit or service  shall  be  provided  to  an  eligible
     8  person  who  requests such a benefit or service, such benefit or service
     9  shall  be  provided  no  later  than  twenty  business  days   following
    10  submission  of  all  information  or documentation required to determine
    11  eligibility.
    12    (d) Where a person with HIV infection who  applies  for  benefits  and
    13  services, or access to benefits and services, indicates that one or more
    14  minor  children  reside  with  him  or  her or are in his or her care or
    15  custody, such person shall be given information and program referrals on
    16  child care options and custody planning, including the  availability  of
    17  standby guardianship pursuant to section seventeen hundred twenty-six of
    18  the  surrogate's  court  procedure  act and referral to legal assistance
    19  programs.
    20    (e) Recertification of eligibility, as required by any state or feder-
    21  al law, statute, rule or regulation shall be conducted no more frequent-
    22  ly than mandated by such statute, law, rule or regulation.
    23    (f) Eligibility  for  benefits  and  services  for  persons  with  HIV
    24  infection may not be terminated except where the recipient is determined
    25  to  no  longer  satisfy  eligibility  requirements, is deceased, or upon
    26  certification by the LDSS that the recipient cannot be located to verify
    27  his or her continued eligibility  for  benefits  and  services.  In  the
    28  latter  circumstance,  the  LDSS  shall  conduct a reasonable good faith
    29  search for at least a ninety day period to locate the recipient, includ-
    30  ing sending written notice by certified mail, return receipt  requested,
    31  to  the last known address of such recipient, requiring the recipient to
    32  contact the LDSS within ten days.
    33    (g) Not later than sixty days from the effective date of this section,
    34  the commissioner shall direct each LDSS to prepare a  draft  policy  and
    35  procedures  manual  for  LDSS  staff.  Such policy and procedures manual
    36  shall include, but not be limited to, strict guidelines  on  maintaining
    37  the  confidentiality  of the identity of and information relating to all
    38  applicants and  recipients,  instructional  materials  relating  to  the
    39  medical  and psychological needs of persons with HIV infection, applica-
    40  tion procedures, eligibility standards, mandated time  periods  for  the
    41  provision of each benefit and service available to applicants and recip-
    42  ients  and  advocacy  resources available to persons with HIV infection.
    43  Such lists of advocacy resources shall be updated semi-annually.  Within
    44  thirty  days  following  the preparation of such draft policy and proce-
    45  dures manual and prior to the preparation of a final policy  and  proce-
    46  dures manual, the LDSS shall distribute such draft policy and procedures
    47  manual  to  all social services agencies and organizations that contract
    48  with the LDSS to provide HIV-related services and to all others whom the
    49  LDSS deems appropriate, and hold no fewer than one noticed public  hear-
    50  ing  at  a site accessible to the disabled, at which advocates, services
    51  providers, persons with HIV infection,  and  any  other  member  of  the
    52  public shall be given an opportunity to comment on such draft policy and
    53  procedures manual. Each LDSS shall prepare a final policy and procedures
    54  manual within thirty days after the conclusion of such hearing and shall
    55  thereafter  review  and where appropriate, revise such policy and proce-
    56  dures manual on an annual basis. Each LDSS shall provide for semi-annual

        A. 4265                             4
     1  training, using such policy and  procedures  manual,  for  all  division
     2  staff.
     3    (h) Not later than sixty days from the effective date of this section,
     4  each  LDSS  shall  publish a proposed rule establishing a bill of rights
     5  for persons with HIV infection. Such draft bill of rights shall include,
     6  but not be limited to, an explanation of the benefits and  services  for
     7  which  persons  with  HIV  infection  may be eligible; timetables within
     8  which such benefits and services shall be provided to eligible  persons;
     9  an explanation of an applicant's and recipient's right to examine his or
    10  her file and the procedure for disputing any information contained ther-
    11  ein; an explanation of an applicant's and recipient's right to a home or
    12  hospital  visit  for the purpose of applying for or maintaining benefits
    13  or services; an explanation  of  the  process  for  requesting  an  LDSS
    14  conference or fair hearing in accordance with section twenty-two of this
    15  chapter;  and  a  summary  of the rights and remedies for the redress of
    16  discrimination. Within sixty days  following  the  publication  of  such
    17  proposed  rule,  and prior to the publication of a final rule, each LDSS
    18  shall hold no fewer than one noticed public hearing at a site accessible
    19  to the disabled at which advocates, service providers, persons with  HIV
    20  infection, and any other member of the public shall be given an opportu-
    21  nity  to comment on such draft bill of rights. Each LDSS shall publish a
    22  final rule within thirty days after the conclusion of such  hearing  and
    23  shall  thereafter  review,  and  where  appropriate, revise such bill of
    24  rights on an annual basis. Such bill of rights  shall  be  conspicuously
    25  posted  in  all  LDSS  offices  that are open to the public and shall be
    26  available for distribution to the public in  English,  Spanish  and  any
    27  other languages that the commissioner deems appropriate.
    28    (i)  Not  later  than  ninety  days  from  the  effective date of this
    29  section, the commissioner shall establish  a  policy  or  procedure  for
    30  overseeing  and monitoring the delivery of services required pursuant to
    31  this section to persons with HIV infections which shall include, but not
    32  be limited to, quality assurance measurements.  The  commissioner  shall
    33  submit  such  policies  or  procedures  to  the governor, speaker of the
    34  assembly and the temporary president of the senate in writing within ten
    35  days from the date such policies or procedures are established.
    36    (j) Beginning on September first, two thousand nineteen,  and  on  the
    37  first  day  of  each calendar quarter thereafter, the commissioner shall
    38  submit a written report to the governor, speaker of the assembly, minor-
    39  ity leader of the assembly, the temporary president of the  senate,  and
    40  the  minority  leader of the senate, providing the following information
    41  disaggregated on both a quarterly and annualized basis:  the  number  of
    42  persons  with  HIV infection who requested the benefits and services set
    43  forth in paragraph (b)  of  this  subdivision  and  any  other  benefits
    44  provided  by  LDSS,  disaggregated by LDSS and by the type of benefit or
    45  service requested, and the average length of time  required  to  process
    46  such requests, disaggregated by LDSS, and the type of benefit or service
    47  requested;  the number of persons with HIV infection who requested bene-
    48  fits and serviced and were determined to be ineligible for such benefits
    49  and services, disaggregated by LDSS, by the type of benefit  or  service
    50  requested, and by the reason for such determinations; the number of LDSS
    51  staff,  by  job  title,  whose  duties  include  providing  benefits and
    52  services or access to benefits and services pursuant  to  this  section,
    53  the number of recipients, the number of cases and the number of requests
    54  for  assistance,  disaggregated by LDSS; the average length of time from
    55  the initial request  for  benefits  and  services  to  submission  of  a
    56  complete  application for such benefits and services, the average length

        A. 4265                             5
     1  of time from submission of such complete application to grant or  denial
     2  of  the  benefits and services requested, and the average length of time
     3  from the grant of such benefits and services to the  provision  of  such
     4  benefits  and services, disaggregated by LDSS and by the type of benefit
     5  or service requested; the  average  length  of  time  from  the  initial
     6  request for an exception to policy to approve enhanced rental assistance
     7  to  the approval or disapproval of such exception and the average length
     8  of time from the approval of such exception  to  the  issuance  of  such
     9  enhanced  rental  assistance,  disaggregated  by  LDSS;  the  number  of
    10  requests  for  emergency  housing  assistance,  the  number  of  persons
    11  referred  to emergency housing assistance, the average length of stay in
    12  emergency assistance, and the number of persons  referred  to  permanent
    13  housing; the number of persons requesting supportive housing placements,
    14  the  number of persons referred to such supportive housing and the aver-
    15  age length of time from  request  to  placement;  the  number  of  cases
    16  closed,  disaggregated  by LDSS and by the reasons for such closure, the
    17  number of such closed cases that were re-opened and the  average  length
    18  of time required to re-open such closed cases; the number of administra-
    19  tive  fair  hearings  requested, the number of fair hearing decisions in
    20  favor of applicants and recipients and the average length  of  time  for
    21  compliance  with  such  a  fair  hearing  decision;  and  the  number of
    22  proceedings initiated pursuant to article  seventy-eight  of  the  civil
    23  practice  law  and  rules  challenging  fair  hearing decisions, and the
    24  number of article seventy-eight decisions rendered in  favor  of  appli-
    25  cants  or  recipients.  For  the  purposes  of  this subdivision, "field
    26  office" shall mean any office of the department at  which  persons  with
    27  HIV infection may access benefits and services.
    28    (k) There shall be an advisory board to advise the commissioner on the
    29  provision  of  benefits and services and access to benefits and services
    30  to persons with HIV infection as required by this section. This advisory
    31  board shall consist of eleven members to be appointed for two year terms
    32  as follows: two members shall be appointed by the speaker of the  assem-
    33  bly,  two  member  shall  be appointed by the temporary president of the
    34  senate, one member shall be appointed by  the  minority  leader  of  the
    35  assembly,  one  member  shall be appointed by the minority leader of the
    36  senate and the remaining five members shall be appointed by  the  gover-
    37  nor.  At least one of the appointments made by the speaker of the assem-
    38  bly and the temporary president of the senate, and at least three of the
    39  appointments made by the governor shall be  eligible  for  benefits  and
    40  services  pursuant  to  this  section.  The advisory board shall meet at
    41  least quarterly and members shall serve without compensation. Such advi-
    42  sory board may formulate and recommend to the commissioner a  policy  or
    43  procedure  for  overseeing  and  monitoring  the delivery of services to
    44  persons with HIV infection which may include quality assurance  measure-
    45  ments.  Such  advisory  board  shall  submit  such recommended policy or
    46  procedure to the speaker of the assembly and the temporary president  of
    47  the senate upon submission to the commissioner.
    48    §  2.  Subdivision  14 of section 131-a of the social services law, as
    49  amended by section 1 of part ZZ of chapter 59 of the laws  of  2018,  is
    50  amended to read as follows:
    51    14.  In  determining  the  need  for  aid  provided pursuant to public
    52  assistance programs, each person living  with  medically  diagnosed  HIV
    53  infection  [as defined by the AIDS institute of the department of health
    54  in social services districts with a population over five million who  is
    55  receiving services through such district's administrative unit providing
    56  HIV/AIDS services, public assistance and earned and/or unearned income,]

        A. 4265                             6
     1  shall  not  be  required  to  pay more than thirty percent of his or her
     2  monthly earned and/or unearned income toward the cost of rent that  such
     3  person has a direct obligation to pay; this provision shall not apply to
     4  room and board arrangements.
     5    §  3.  The  commissioner  of  the  office  of temporary and disability
     6  assistance shall amend 18 N.Y.C.R.R.  §  352.3(k)  as  follows:  (a)  to
     7  require  the  office  of  temporary  and  disability assistance or local
     8  departments of social services to provide emergency shelter  allowances,
     9  upon  request,  to  households  composed of an applicant or recipient of
    10  public assistance who has been medically diagnosed  with  HIV  infection
    11  and  any family members residing with such person; (b) to set the amount
    12  of the maximum emergency shelter allowance available at the  amount,  of
    13  the  fair market rent (FMR) set by the United States department of hous-
    14  ing and urban development for the size the eligible  household  and  FMR
    15  area  where  the household is located, with the allowance in no event to
    16  be greater than the actual monthly rent due; and (c) pursuant to  subdi-
    17  vision  14  of  section  131-a of the social services law, as amended in
    18  this act, to calculate the amount of  the  emergency  shelter  allowance
    19  available  to a person with HIV infection who has earned and/or unearned
    20  income up to 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines as a function
    21  of actual total monthly rent due less 30 percent of the  monthly  earned
    22  and/or unearned income of the person with HIV infection.
    23    §  4.  Notwithstanding  section  153 of the social services law or any
    24  other inconsistent provision of law (a) for local departments of  social
    25  services with a population over five million, New York state shall reim-
    26  burse  50  percent  of  safety net assistance expenditures for emergency
    27  shelter, transportation, or nutrition payments which the district deter-
    28  mines are necessary to establish or maintain independent living arrange-
    29  ments among persons with HIV infection and who are  homeless  or  facing
    30  homelessness and for whom no viable and less costly alternative to hous-
    31  ing  is available; provided, however, that funds appropriated herein may
    32  only be used for such purposes if the cost of such  allowances  are  not
    33  eligible  for  reimbursement under medical assistance or other programs;
    34  and (b) for local departments of social services with a population under
    35  five million, New York state shall pay or reimburse 100 percent of safe-
    36  ty net assistance expenditures for emergency shelter, transportation, or
    37  nutrition payments necessary to establish or maintain independent living
    38  arrangements among persons with HIV infection and who  are  homeless  or
    39  facing  homelessness  and for whom no viable and less costly alternative
    40  to housing is available;  provided,  however,  that  funds  appropriated
    41  herein may only be used for such purposes if the cost of such allowances
    42  are  not  eligible  for  reimbursement under medical assistance or other
    43  programs.
    44    § 5. This act shall take effect immediately.
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