Part 370 - SAFETY NET ASSISTANCE

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Complete
Effective Date: 
Wednesday, April 22, 1998
Statutory Authority: 
Social Services Law, Sections 17, 20, 34, 74-h, 104-a, 131, 131-a(1), 134-a, 139-a, 153, 158, 158-a(1), 211; L. 1953, ch. 562

Section 370.1 - Application.

Section 370.1 Application. (a) Relationship to other regulations of the office. In addition to this Part, regulations of the office generally governing the programs of public assistance and care including application, determination of initial and continuing eligibility, standards of assistance, budgeting, provision of services, notification of decision, authorization and payment of grants, handling of inquiries, complaints, appeals and requests for fair hearings and investigations of fraud apply to safety net assistance.

(b) State-prescribed forms. Any application for safety net assistance or redetermination must be made on the State-prescribed form in accordance with Parts 350 and 351 of this Subchapter.

 

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Section 370.2 - Determination of initial eligibility.

370.2 Determination of initial eligibility. Safety net assistance includes assistance granted to veterans under existing laws, and assistance to persons not residing in their own homes when such persons reside in other living situations for which a safety net assistance grant may be provided as specified in Part 352 of this Subchapter. Safety net assistance does not include medical assistance, foster care of children, or care classifiable under the law as public institutional care.

(a) Investigation. When practicable, responsibility must be placed upon the applicant for safety net assistance to provide verified information concerning his or her previous maintenance, loss of income and the extent and duration of current need. Both the method and content of investigation must be aimed at assisting the applicant to return to self-support and fully utilize resources related thereto.

(b) Financial requirements. The initial determination must include consideration of each of the following eligibility factors:

(1) Previous maintenance and reason for application. For each member of the household applying for assistance, the following must be determined: the source and amount of previous income or maintenance; the reason and date of its discontinuance; presumptive eligibility for benefits relating to loss of income; and employability and availability for employment.

(2) Presumptive duration of need. On the basis of all available facts, an evaluation must be made of the following: the probable duration of need based upon consideration of the applicant's employability and the availability of employment in the current labor market; his or her presumptive eligibility for work-related benefits; and the availability of vocational training, rehabilitation services, and the availability or potential availability of other resources that will make his or her need for financial assistance short-term.

(3) Ability of relatives to support. (i) For both short-term and long-term cases, the social services official must determine the existence and whereabouts of the legally responsible relatives of persons for whom application is made and of the ability of such relatives to support. When legally responsible relatives are able to provide support to the applicant and are not doing so, the social services official must implement procedures to enforce support.

(ii) In considering the ability of a legally responsible relative to support, the offer of a home must be carefully explored and evaluated. The evaluation must include a determination of the reason for the separation which had occurred, and if children, minors or other persons are members of the applicant's family unit, the advisability of a change in their living arrangements.

(iii) Such an offer of a home does not preclude consideration of eligibility for safety net assistance. If the social services official determines that the legally responsible relative is otherwise able but unwilling to contribute to the support of the applicant, the social services official must initiate appropriate action to enforce support.

(iv) Social services officials may evaluate the willingness of socially responsible persons to assist in whole or in part in the support of applicants. Where socially responsible persons assisted in the past, the situation must be reviewed to determine current availability of such support.

(v) In considering the ability of socially responsible persons to support, the offer of a home by a person must be included in the exploration and evaluation of resources. In considering the offer of a home, there must be a careful evaluation of the suitability of such resource in the individual situation, including the physical and mental health of the applicant, his or her current living arrangements, and his or her personal wishes and those of his family.

(4) Not eligible for or receiving assistance as Family Assistance

(FA). For each member of the household included in the safety net assistance application it must be determined that he or she is not eligible to receive FA.

(5) Potential eligibility for SSI. (i) Each applicant for safety net assistance or his or her authorized representative must sign a repayment of interim assistance authorization.

(ii) Subject to the conditions set forth in the interim assistance sections of this Part, each applicant for safety net assistance home relief who, based on a medical statement documenting or indicating existence of a physical or mental impairment, reasonably appears to qualify for SSI benefits, or who during the safety net assistance application process demonstrates behavior or symptoms suggesting potential SSI eligibility, or who has reached or will before the end of the following calendar month reach his or her 65th birthday or who otherwise appears to be eligible for SSI benefits must also be required to apply for SSI benefits, cooperate with the SSI eligibility determination process, and appeal any denial of his or her initial SSI application and exhaust the available administrative remedies.

(iii) Any medical statement used in establishing potential SSI eligibility along with any other medical documentation available must be attached by the social services district to the SSI Referral and Certification of Contact Form when the applicant is referred to the Social Security Administration (SSA) to file for SSI benefits.

(iv) Each social services district must establish procedures for:

(a) promptly identifying and assessing those Safety Net Assistance and FA applicants and recipients who are potentially eligible for SSI;

(b) providing medical and related information to persons referred to the SSA and assisting the client in obtaining such information if there has been no prior diagnosis or treatment;

(c) establishing an SSI tracking system to determine whether Safety Net Assistance and FA applicants or recipients who are potentially eligible for SSI have completed the Federal disability benefit application and appeals processes;

(d) providing assistance to Safety Net Assistance and FA applicants and recipients in pursuing SSI benefits and, when necessary, assisting such applicants and recipients in appealing the denial of such benefits; and

(e) referring Safety Net Assistance and FA applicants and recipients to not-for-profit agencies and not-for-profit legal services corporations receiving grants under section 35 of the Social Services Law, if any.

(6) Transfer of property.

(i) A person is not eligible for safety net assistance who has made a voluntary assignment or transfer of real or personal property for the purpose of qualifying for such aid. A transfer of such property made within one year prior to the date of application is presumed to have been made for the purpose of qualifying for such assistance.

(ii) If the agency determines that the transfer was not made to qualify for safety net assistance, then such transfer or assignment will not constitute a basis for denial.

(7) No person receiving public institutional care may receive safety net assistance.

(c) Nonfinancial requirements. The following requirements must be evaluated to establish initial eligibility:

(1) Age. (i) The applicant must furnish the date of birth for each person applying for assistance. Documentation of age is required only where such verification is necessary to classify a person as eligible or presumptively eligible for a Federal category, to determine employability, or to establish the right of a minor between the ages 16 and 18 years to receive safety net assistance in his or her own name as an emancipated minor.

(ii) An emancipated minor, as defined in Part 349 of this Subchapter, may be considered eligible for safety net assistance in his or her own right, provided he or she is not living with a guardian or relative qualified to receive a grant of FA.

(2) Relationship of applicant to claimed dependents. The applicant must furnish information regarding the relationship of all members of the household to each other, including those who are applying for assistance and those who are not. Documentation of relationship is required whenever the claimed validity of a relationship is in doubt in order to explore the possibility of securing necessary services and care, and to establish the responsibility of legally responsible relatives for the support of the safety net assistance applicants.

(3) Social security number. (i) Any applicant for or recipient of safety net assistance or any other individual whose needs are considered in determining the amount of assistance regardless of age must furnish or apply for a social security number as a condition of eligibility.

(ii) The social services official must assist the applicant or recipient in verifying or obtaining a social security number.

(iii) Failure to cooperate will result in denial of assistance to the noncooperating individual or individuals and the needs of that individual or individuals will not be considered in determining eligibility or degree of need for the remaining eligible family members.

(4) Residence within the State. Safety net assistance must be granted to eligible persons in accordance with sections 311.1 and 352.29 of this Title.

(5) Living arrangement. Safety net assistance must be granted to an eligible needy person in his or her abode or habitation whenever possible. Safety net assistance may also be provided to an eligible individual in the home of a relative or friend. In addition, safety net assistance allowances may be granted to persons not living in their own homes when the living arrangement is one specified in Part 352 of this Subchapter.

(6) The following persons, who are not eligible for FA, if not in sanction status for a program authorized by this Title, are eligible for safety net assistance if all other eligibility requirements are met:

(i) Families who have received FA and other assistance funded under Public Law 104-193 (the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996) for periods of time equal to the maximum durational limits in section 369.4(d) of this Title.

(ii) Adult(s) without a dependent child living with them.

(iii) Families in which the head of household or an adult household member is determined to be unable to work by reason of his or her need for treatment for alcohol or substance abuse in accordance with section 351.2(i) of this Title.

(iv) Individuals under the age of 18 who are childless and have no adult relative with whom to live.

(v) Members of a household in which the head of household or an adult household member refuses to comply with screening or formal assessment for alcohol or substance abuse in accordance with section 351.2(i) of this Title.

(vi) Members of a household in which the head of household or an adult household member fails to comply with an alcohol or substance abuse rehabilitation program in accordance with section 351.2(i) of this Title.

(vii) Qualified aliens legally residing in the United States who are not eligible for FA solely based on the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (section 404(i) of Public Law 104-193) or aliens permanently residing under color of law, but not qualified.

(viii) Aliens paroled into the United States pursuant to Section 212(d) (5) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act for a period of less than one year.

(7) Welfare of child or minor. Where children or minors are included in the application, the home situation must be considered to determine whether the welfare of the child or minor will be safeguarded.

(8) Alcoholism and drug abuse rehabilitative services. (i) As a condition of eligibility, applicants for and recipients of safety net assistance must comply with appropriate drug and/or substance abuse screening and assessment procedures in accordance with section 351.2(i) of this Title.

(ii) As a condition of eligibility, applicants for and recipients of safety net assistance must participate in and comply with appropriate drug and/or substance abuse rehabilitation programs in accordance with section 351.2(i) of this Title.

(9) Compliance with child support enforcement program (IV-D) eligibility requirements. Each person who is applying for or receiving safety net assistance and each person on whose behalf an application is made therefore must, as a condition of both initial and continuing eligibility for assistance, comply with requirements contained in section 369.2(b) of this Title.

(10) A person who is eligible for benefits under the refugee cash assistance program as defined in Part 373 of this Title is not eligible for safety net assistance.

(11) Repayment of overpayments. As a condition of eligibility for safety net assistance, each applicant for safety net assistance must:

(i) sign an agreement, on a form prescribed by the office, which provides that, if it is determined that money is owed to the social services district because of overpayments of safety net assistance to the applicant while a recipient of safety net assistance, the applicant agrees to repay any such money that remains due after the applicant ceases to receive safety net assistance; and

(ii) sign an assignment of the individual's future earnings, on a form prescribed by the office, to secure the repayment of any money that is determined, after providing the opportunity for a fair hearing, to be owed to the social services district because of overpayments of safety net assistance to the applicant while a recipient of safety net assistance. The prescribed form must include the following notice: "THIS AGREEMENT AUTHORIZES THE SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICT TO RECOVER ANY OVERPAYMENT OF YOUR PUBLIC ASSISTANCE BENEFITS BY COLLECTING THE AMOUNT OF THE OVERPAYMENT DIRECTLY FROM YOUR FUTURE WAGES. IF YOU FAIL TO MAKE THE PAYMENTS REQUIRED BY A REPAYMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN YOU AND THE SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICT, THE SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICT WILL FILE THIS AGREEMENT WITH YOUR EMPLOYER AND RECOVER THE OVERPAYMENT DIRECTLY FROM YOUR WAGES." In addition, the assignment of future earnings and the enforcement thereof must comply with all requirements of article three-A of the Personal Property Law. The social services district may file the assignment of future earnings with the employer of the assignor only if the assignor fails to make payments of money owed to the social services district in accordance with the repayment agreement.

(12) A person who is eligible for benefits under the Fish-Wilson program as defined in Part 375 of this Title is not eligible for safety net assistance.

 

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Section 370.3 - Emergency and short-term cases.

370.3 Emergency and short-term cases.

(a) General. Social services districts must authorize safety net assistance to provide for the effective and prompt relief of identified needs which cannot be provided for under Emergency Assistance to Needy Families with Children (EAF) or Family Assistance (FA), including presumptive eligibility for FA. Emergency and short-term assistance is limited to the items, conditions and amounts specified in Part 352 of this Subchapter. The district must provide necessary supervision to such cases in order to modify or terminate grants as quickly as circumstances require. An emergency or a short-term case is a case in which need is presumed to continue for a period of less than three months; provided, however, that cases in which frequent reapplications for assistance are made are not considered emergency or short-term.

(b) Eligibility for emergency safety net assistance. Social services districts must authorize emergency safety net assistance only under the following conditions:

(1) there is an identified emergency need. An emergency is a serious occurrence or situation needing prompt action;

(2) the individual or household is without income or resources immediately available to meet the emergency need and the individual's or household's gross income at the time of application does not exceed 125 percent of the current Federal income official poverty line, as defined and annually revised by the Federal Office of Management and Budget. For purposes of determining eligibility for assistance pursuant to this section, these annually revised poverty lines are effective April 1st through March 31st of each fiscal year. If the emergency is the result of a fire, flood or other like catastrophe or if the emergency assistance is granted in accordance with sections 352.5(c) - (e) of this Title, the individual's or household's gross income at the time of application can exceed 125 percent of the Federal income official poverty line;

(3) the emergency need cannot be met under the Emergency Assistance to Needy Families with Children, the Home Energy Assistance Program, FA or Safety Net Assistance programs;

(4) the applicant is not disqualified from receiving recurring assistance or subject to a durational sanction, or the emergency did not arise because the applicant had previously been disqualified or sanctioned for failure to comply with the non-financial requirements of this title; and

(5) in an application for an allowance to pay shelter arrears where the applicant reasonably demonstrates an ability to pay shelter expenses, including any amounts in excess of the appropriate local agency maximum monthly shelter allowance in the future. In determining an applicant's ability to pay shelter expenses, a social services district must consider the applicant's ability to make payments under any repayment agreements entered into in accordance with this paragraph. However, when in the judgment of the local social services official, the individual or household has sufficient income or resources to secure and maintain alternate permanent housing, shelter arrears need not be paid to maintain a specific housing accommodation. To receive assistance to pay shelter arrears, the applicant must sign an agreement to repay the assistance in a period not to exceed 12 months from receipt of such assistance. The repayment agreement must set forth a schedule of payments that will assure repayment within the 12-month period, and must specify the frequency of the payments, the due date of the first payment, the address to where payments must be made and the consequences of failing to repay the assistance as agreed. Subsequent assistance to pay arrears may not be granted unless there are no past-due amounts owed under any such repayment agreement. The social services district, in addition to any rights it has pursuant to the social services law, may enforce the repayment agreement in any manner available to a creditor.

(c) Emergency safety net assistance must not be used to meet needs during a period of ineligibility for public assistance due to the receipt of a lump sum.

(d) Determination. When emergency need is met prior to the completion of investigation, the evidence on which the presumption of eligibility and need is based must be documented in the case record.

(e) Authorization. Where the need for safety net assistance is shortterm or where emergency needs are met prior to the completion of an investigation, assistance must be authorized on a one-time basis or for the period during which the need is expected to continue. In cases where the need is deemed to be emergency or short-term, the grant may be limited to those items for which there is immediate need. When emergency or short-term safety net assistance is granted, the district may accept a deed for real property and/or a mortgage pursuant to section 106 of the Social Services Law as security for the value of assistance granted. The months in which any individual receives recurring emergency safety net assistance, must count against the two-year (twenty-four month) cumulative total of safety net cash assistance in accordance with section 370.4(b)(1) of this Title. Recurring emergency safety net assistance is assistance authorized for a time period to meet the continuing needs of the applicant rather than assistance authorized on a one-time basis.

(f) Mass emergency assistance. When emergency needs occur on a mass basis, such as the need for mass feeding or clothing distribution and other essential items, these needs must be considered as emergency and short-term and provided for in accordance with subdivision (a) of this section. Names of persons requesting such assistance must be recorded on form DSS-880, Register of Application and Authorization for Emergency Assistance. This form constitutes their application. The DSS-880, when signed by the local social services official, serves as the authorization of such assistance.

(g) Town social service officer. When application is made to a town social service officer, he or she may make an emergency grant of safety net assistance and immediately forward the application to the county department of social services for investigation. Such investigation must be completed as promptly as possible, at least within 30 days.

 

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Section 370.4 - Determination and payment of the grant.

370.4 Determination and payment of the grant. (a) General. Determination of initial and continuing eligibility and the amount of the grant must be based upon the State-established standards of assistance. Needs must be determined, resources explored and utilized, and the budgetary method applied, as required by Part 352 of this Subchapter. The form and frequency of the grant must be appropriate to individual case circumstances.

(b) Payment of grants. (1) Cash assistance. Except as provided in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, safety net assistance must be granted in cash except when the granting of cash may be deemed inappropriate by the social services district because of an inability to manage funds, or because less expensive or more easily controlled alternative methods of payment are available, or when vendor payments are made to landlords on behalf of individuals residing in public housing, or for similar other reasons as established by Part 381 of this Chapter. However, where an individual has so requested, safety net assistance may be granted in whole or in part by restricted payment. Safety net cash assistance is limited as follows:

(i) Cash assistance cannot be provided to:

(a) families in which the head of household or an adult household member is determined to be unable to work by reason of his or her need for treatment for alcohol or substance abuse in accordance with section 351.2(i) of this Title;

(b) members of a household in which the head of household or an adult household member refused to comply with screening or formal assessment for alcohol or substance abuse in accordance with section 351.2(i) of this Title;

(c) members of a household in which the head of household or an adult household member fails to comply with an alcohol or substance abuse rehabilitation program in accordance with section 351.2(i) of this Title;

(d) families which are ineligible for FA because an adult in the family has exceeded the maximum durational limit in accordance with section 369.4(d) of this Title, unless the adult is exempt from employment requirements or is HIV positive and not determined to be unable to work by reason of his or her need for treatment for alcohol or substance abuse in accordance with section 351.2(i) of this Title; and

(e) persons who have received safety net cash assistance for a twoyear (twenty-four month) cumulative total in a lifetime, including the receipt of recurring emergency safety net cash assistance, unless an adult head of household is exempt from work requirements or is HIV positive and not determined to be unable to work by reason of his or her need for treatment for alcohol or substance abuse in accordance with section 351.2(i) of this Title.

Persons eligible for safety net assistance who cannot receive cash assistance pursuant to this subparagraph, must be provided with safety net non-cash assistance.

(ii) Safety net cash assistance must be limited to a two-year (twentyfour month) cumulative total for eligible persons not exempt from employment requirements or not HIV positive and not determined to be unable to work by reason of his or her need for treatment for alcohol or substance abuse in accordance with section 351.2(i) of this Title. The month in which a safety net cash assistance benefit is issued, by any method of payment, counts against the two-year (twenty-four month) limit. This limitation applies to individuals in receipt of safety net assistance or Home Relief on or after August 4, 1997. An individual or head of household who is exempt from employment requirements or HIV positive and not determined to be unable to work by reason of his or her need for treatment for alcohol or substance abuse in accordance with section 351.2(i) of this Title, continues to be eligible for cash assistance indefinitely.

(iii) The months in which any individual receives recurring emergency safety net assistance must count against the two-year (twenty-four month) cumulative total of safety net cash assistance.

(iv) The cumulative total of months in which an individual received safety net cash assistance benefits is applied against the cumulative 60 month limit on the receipt of FA in accordance with section 369.4(d) of this Title.

(2) Non-cash assistance. Safety net assistance paid as non-cash assistance must be paid in the following manner and in the following order:

(i) Shelter assistance. A district must make a payment for shelter by direct payment, two-party check or other form of restricted payment up to the maximum amount established by Part 352 of this Title. The district may make a payment for a recipient's shelter in excess of such maximum, at the request of the recipient, limited by a sufficient budget deficit amount. Payments for shelter are subject to the provisions of Social Services Law, section 143-b. A district must make payment for shelter by two-party check upon the request of the recipient, provided that the recipient has not demonstrated persistent failure to make shelter payments as defined in section 381.3 of this Title. The district must provide the recipient promptly with proof of payment, upon request of the recipient.

(ii) Utility assistance. A district must make a direct payment, payment by two-party check or other form of restricted payment on behalf of recipients of safety net assistance who pay separately for utilities. Payment for utilities must include payment for fuel for heating on behalf of recipients who are eligible for a fuel for heating allowance pursuant to section 352.5 of this Title. Payments for fuel for heating may not exceed the fuel for heating allowance except that a district may make a payment in excess of such amount at the request of the recipient. The district must provide the recipient promptly with proof of payment, upon request of the recipient.

(iii) Personal needs allowance. A district must provide each household with a personal needs allowance, limited by a sufficient budget deficit amount, equal to 20 percent of the sum of the statewide standard of need, statewide home energy allowance and the statewide supplemental home energy allowance, for the appropriate household size, in accordance with sections 352.2 and 352.29 of this Title.

(iv) Other assistance. Any remaining budget deficit amount must be provided on a non-cash basis, provided that an electronic benefit transfer system is operating in the district in which the recipient resides. Districts which do not have an electronic benefit transfer system operating, must provide any remaining deficit amount as a cash benefit to the recipient.

(3) Persons not residing in their own homes. Persons residing in certain residential settings set forth in this paragraph have living arrangements different from those of persons residing in their own apartments or homes. Persons living in those living arrangements have a higher standard of need than the maximum public assistance standards of need for persons who maintain their own homes. Payments for persons in such residential settings do not fit in the ordinary payment methods for safety net non-cash assistance. For persons receiving non-cash safety net assistance in accordance with paragraph (2) of this subdivision who are residing in room and board, approved residential programs for victims of domestic violence operated in accordance with Parts 452, 453, 454 or 455 of this Title, maternity homes, family care, residential care, drug abuse control facilities, or family shelters operated in accordance with Part 900 of this Title the standards of assistance and the amounts of the personal needs allowances are set forth in section 352.8 and Parts 408 and 900 of this Title. Payments to such facilities or providers of room and board for persons who receive non-cash safety net assistance and personal needs allowances paid to such persons shall be in the amounts set forth in section 352.8 and Parts 408 and 900 of this Title.

 

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Section 370.5 - Determination of continuing eligibility.

370.5 Determination of continuing eligibility. Continuing eligibility for safety net assistance must be determined in accordance with the regulations of the office governing the programs of public assistance, including this Part and Parts 352, 369 and 385 of this Title and applicable regulations of the Department of Labor. This determination must include reconsideration of all factors of initial eligibility which are subject to change, including financial need, employment and availability for employment. It must include, where indicated, consideration of presumptive eligibility for FA and classification and transfer to that category. Each recipient of safety net assistance or his or her authorized representative must sign a repayment of interim assistance authorization. If a recipient, based on a medical statement documenting or indicating existence of a physical or mental impairment, reasonably appears to qualify for SSI benefits, or during the recertification process demonstrates behavior or symptoms suggesting potential SSI eligibility, or has reached or will before the end of the following calendar month become 65 years of age, or otherwise appears to be eligible for SSI, his or her continuing eligibility for safety net assistance is subject to his or her efforts to obtain SSI benefits and compliance with the conditions set forth in the interim assistance provisions of section 353.1 of this Title. Any determination that pursuit of SSI benefits is necessary must be included in the district's SSI tracking procedures. Review of the following factors, where applicable, must also be made:

(a) Residence--absence from the district of administration. Absence from the district of administration must be evaluated in accordance with Parts 310, 311, 349 and 351 of this Title and sections 62, 117 and 118 of the Social Services Law.

(b) Living arrangements. The safety net assistance recipient's place of residence must be reconsidered in determining continuing eligibility in accordance with provisions of this Title applicable to determining initial eligibility. Whenever possible, dependent persons should be given assistance in their own residence or efforts made to return them to their own residence when it has been determined that another form of care is not appropriate or no longer required.

(c) Continuance or change in short-term status. If assistance is needed beyond the short-term period as defined in the emergency and shortterm cases section of this Part, policies governing the meeting of needs and the utilization of resources for long-term assistance must be applied in accordance with Part 352 of this Subchapter.

 

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Section 370.6 - Appeals by social services officials.

370.6 Appeals by social services officials. (a) A social services official responsible in an individual case for either the authorization of assistance or the investigation of the application for assistance and the making of a recommendation relative to such application has the right to appeal to the office from a decision made in such case by another social services official.

(b) The appellant social services official must file with the office an appeal in writing setting forth the basis for his or her determination or decision, the action or determination sought to be reviewed, and a statement in justification of his or her determination or decision. Three copies of such appeal must be delivered in person or by certified mail to the office.

(c) The office must hold a hearing in accordance with the requirements of section 22 of the Social Services Law.

(d) The notice of appeal may be filed at the time the decision to grant assistance is reached and may be prior to or simultaneous with the issuance of the grant. The filing of an appeal does not represent a request for approval to grant assistance.

(e) Where a town social services officer fails or refuses to issue a grant for safety net assistance which has been recommended by a county social services official, the county social services official must apply to the office for a review of the town's action and issue assistance to the safety net assistance applicant pending the office's review and decision.

 

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Section 370.7 - Safety net assistance supplementation.

370.7 Safety net assistance supplementation. Safety net assistance must not be denied or discontinued solely on the basis that the applicant/recipient is in receipt of SSI.

 

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Section 370.8 - Shelter residents.

370.8 Shelter residents. Social services districts must:

(a) supply public shelter residents with information regarding their eligibility to apply for safety net assistance; and

(b) strongly encourage public shelter residents to apply for safety net assistance.

 

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Section 370.9 - Referral to local child support enforcement unit of applicants for or recipients of safety net assistance

Section 370.9 Referral to local child support enforcement unit of applicants for or recipients of safety net assistance.

When the household of an applicant for or recipient of safety net assistance includes a person under the age of 21 years whose parent or stepparent is absent or whose paternity is not legally established, the local income maintenance unit must refer the applicant or recipient to the local child support enforcement unit, pursuant to Section 369.7 of this Part.

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Effective Date: 
Wednesday, February 10, 1999

Section 370.10 - Temporary Shelter Supplements (TSS)

370.10 Temporary Shelter Supplements (TSS).

(a) Scope. This section governs the provision of supplements known as Temporary Shelter Supplements (TSS). Such supplements may be provided to recipients of Safety Net Assistance (SNA) who would otherwise be eligible for Family Assistance (FA) but for the time limits on receipt of such assistance and who meet the conditions set forth below. Such supplements are provided pursuant to an authorization and appropriation in the State budget. This section shall be effective only for so long as a specific appropriation in the State budget is made therefore.

(b) Application of other regulations. TSS is provided only to recipients of non-federally participating SNA program. TSS recipients are subject to all the regulations of this Title governing SNA unless otherwise specified in this section.

(c) District responsibilities. All social services districts authorized to provide a TSS benefit must:

(1) Upon this office's eligibility determination for a TSS benefit or the local districts determination of eligibility for such a benefit, if directed by this office to make such determination, provide such benefits to eligible individuals.

(2) Ensure that all SNA recipients in receipt of a TSS benefit comply with all training requirements and case management services.

(3) Periodically report to this office on the recipients of TSS at such times and in such manner as this office may direct.

(d) Eligibility requirements for applicants who are not receiving a supplemental shelter allowance when they apply for TSS.

(1) Applicants for TSS who were not receiving a supplemental shelter allowance must apply for TSS on a form prescribed by this office.

(2) To be eligible for TSS, there must be a court proceeding concerning the nonpayment of rent, maintenance or mortgage where the applicant resides. The application shall include documentation demonstrating that the case is on file with a court including the caption, index number and an official court stamp or signature.

(3) The applicant must reside in a social services district in which a lawsuit challenging the adequacy of the shelter allowance maxima in the FA program was commenced prior to December 1, 2001 and preliminary relief has been ordered.

(4) Receipt of TSS must enable the applicant to remain in his or her housing. The district may pay up to $3,000 or six times the monthly rental obligation in full satisfaction of tenant liability for rent arrears, whichever is higher, in accordance with paragraph (4) of subdivision (f) of this section. This office may require the applicant to move to a similar priced apartment in lieu of paying arrears.

(e) Eligibility requirements for all applicants for TSS, including persons receiving a supplemental shelter allowance when they apply for TSS.

(1) All individuals requesting a TSS benefit must be eligible for SNA, have exhausted their FA eligibility as a result of the 60 month time limitation and be eligible for FA except for the application of the time limits.

(2) The TSS benefit must not exceed the amounts established in subdivision (f) of this section.

(3) The public assistance recipient must be the tenant of record and have a lease for the housing or obtain an agreement in writing to stay for at least one year if the tenancy is not covered by rent regulation.

(4) In addition, the following case circumstances must be met in order to receive a TSS benefit:

(i) No one in the public assistance case can be sanctioned.

(ii) The public assistance household must contain a child under the age of 18 or under the age of 19 and a full-time student.

(iii) The household cannot have willfully lost section 8 assistance provided by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, without good cause, within the past two years.

(iv) The household must apply for section 8 assistance, if permitted to do so, and take the benefit, if offered.

(v) The household must verify household composition and rent must be paid by non public assistance (NPA) household members as described below.

(vi) Any changes that affect TSS eligibility must be reported to this office, if acting on behalf of the local district, and the district within 10 days of the change. Failure to report any change may result in permanent discontinuance of TSS benefits.

(5) NPA household members, including persons not eligible for public assistance due to their immigration status and recipients of supplemental security income (SSI) or foster care, must agree to contribute either their prorata share of the rent or 30 percent of their gross income to the rent, whichever is less. In addition:

(i) The NPA’s income must be verified.

(ii) If the NPA claims to have no income, the person must apply for public assistance before the additional allowance can be authorized.

(iii) Persons reported as not eligible for public assistance due to their immigration status, who are without income will not be expected to contribute toward their rent or be included in the shelter number.

(f) Needs and allowances.

(1) TSS allowance. The amount of the TSS benefit will be established by this office. The maximum benefit an SNA household may receive is equal to the amount which was or would have been previously authorized for that household size by a court ordered supplement under FA. SNA households that were not in receipt of a court ordered supplement prior to their receiving SNA assistance, may receive an allowance equal to the difference between the shelter allowance determined in accordance with section 352.3 of this Title and the actual rental obligation; provided however, that the TSS allowance must not exceed an amount equal to the shelter allowance maximum or an amount, when combined with the allowable shelter allowance, is equal to the following rent table, whichever is greater:

By family size

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8+
$450 $550 $650 $700 $725 $750 $775 $800

 

(2) TSS benefit increase limitations. Once TSS benefits have been authorized for a household, the TSS benefit amount may increase for that household up to the maximum established in paragraph (1) of this subdivision, provided that the increase is documented in the recipient’s lease or rental agreement.

(3) TSS rental amounts. The temporary assistance household’s rental obligation may exceed the amount authorized under paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subdivision by up to one hundred dollars. The household is responsible for this excess amount and must agree to have this amount restricted from their regular public assistance benefit authorized under section 352.2 of this Title.

(4) Arrears payments. Rent arrears may be authorized as part of the TSS request. Arrears payments for rent cannot exceed the higher of $3,000 or six times the monthly rental obligation. Under extenuating circumstances (e.g. need to keep current housing for medical reasons), and subject to approval by this office, an arrears amount can be authorized for a higher amount not to exceed 10 times the monthly rental obligation. Once arrears payments, including arrears caused by rent increases, are made for the household under this section, no future rental arrears payments will be made for any month in which a TSS benefit was authorized for the household or for any month in which the case was sanctioned.

(g) Budgeting. The following general provisions apply:

(1) A recipient is no longer eligible for a TSS benefit once he or she has lost eligibility for public assistance.

(2) The undue hardship reduction procedures found in section 352.31(d)(2) of this Title do not apply in relationship to TSS benefits.
(3) As a condition for receiving a TSS benefit, recipients must agree to have their entire rent paid directly to the landlord.

(4) TSS is not part of the standard of need for determining eligibility for public assistance. Eligibility shall be determined without regard to TSS.

(h) Notice and procedural rights. To the extent not inconsistent with this section, desk reviews of case discrepancies will forgo the procedures in Part 358 of this Title.

Doc Status: 
Complete
Effective Date: 
Wednesday, June 5, 2002