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Policy Matters – Spring 2024

Posted on April 2nd, 2024

Welcome to the latest edition of our newsletter, Policy Matters. In this edition, we will discuss the latest with the state budget, including: funding for the Homeownership Protection Program, Community Health Advocates, Civil Legal Services, Working Families Tax Credits, and more; press event for an increase in cash assistance; updates and information on tax foreclosure bills; and staff recognition. We hope you enjoy! You can also read an archived version of the newsletter here.


Late Budget Advocacy

The Governor released the Executive Budget mid-January, setting her priorities for the budget season. The Senate and Assembly released their proposals on March 11-12, which puts us now into the negotiation stage. We are hoping for a final budget in the near future.

On that note, the Assembly proposal contains language that would increase the public assistance grant amounts for current Basic Needs grant recipients.

While this is far from enough, it would improve the lives of the people living in deep poverty, and Empire Justice strongly supports including it in this year’s final budget.

Empire Justice Advocacy Day in Albany

In addition to the advocacy we do in our many coalitions, Empire Justice Center staff met with legislators on March 19 for an advocacy day on our own. In our meetings, we highlighted our work within different client communities, particularly with our HOPP and CASH programs. CASH is our free tax prep program, that provides year-round financial advice and access to education and other resources. Yversha Roman Director of Strategic Partnerships and CASH, and Jim Dukette, HOPP Anchor Partner Program Director, traveled in from our Rochester offices, to discuss the impact and successes of our programs.

Right to Counsel in Eviction Matters

Empire Justice Center continues to support legislation that would create a statewide Right to Counsel in eviction cases (S.2721 May). Ensuring that the tenants in eviction cases have lawyers helps to ensure that people continue to have access to not just homes but also stability in the community. Funding and elements of the legislation were included in both the Senate and Assembly proposals, showing growing support for advancing this essential right.

Child Support Recoupment

Parents with children in foster care face significant hurdles as they try to reunite with their children. One such hurdle is the financial obligation of child support levied on the parent to recoup the cost of foster care for the children. This financial burden disparately impacts people of color at higher rates and jeopardizes a family’s ability to afford basic necessities such as food and housing, exacerbates financial instability and drives families deeper into poverty. These costs delay and even prevent parents from regaining custody of their children. There is a bill that will change the way child support cases are being handled for children who are in foster care, including pausing the process of dealing with child support in some situations (A.4027 Kim / S.7054 Hoylman-Sigal).

Empire Justice has been concerned about the issue of counties recovering the cost of foster care from the parents of children in foster care since 2001, when we filed an amicus brief in the case of Dutchess County v. Day (2001). We successfully argued that parents of children in foster care were not liable for the entire cost of foster care, but instead could only be charged in accordance with child support guidelines that cap liability for support at a percentage of income. For more information, check out our memo in support.

In the News

Homeowners who have paid off their mortgage but have fallen behind on their tax bill are subject to tax foreclosure. The city, town, or county in which they live and owe taxes to may sell the property to satisfy the outstanding tax debt, but will do so at fair market value, and keep the remaining money from the sale. The Supreme Court recently ruled that when the government takes a home at a property tax foreclosure and keeps the homeowner’s equity after paying the tax arrears, it is violating the United States Constitution. While the decision provides compensation for those losing their homes it doesn’t provide protections for those facing tax foreclosure. Empire Justice supports a bill that does this by (S.8512 Thomas) implementing procedures for providing “just compensation” to homeowners in response to the Supreme Court ruling. The bill also creates a Taxpayer Bill of Rights to provide homeowners at risk of tax lien foreclosures with the same protections that are afforded to borrowers in residential mortgage foreclosure proceedings. Consumer Finance and Housing Managing Attorney and HOPP Anchor Partner Program Manager Lisa Milas was quoted in the Times Union regarding the issue of tax foreclosure, and Times Union also opined in support of the issue.


Staff Attorney, Katie Blum appeared on Rochester radio show, Street Voices, to talk about our school discrimination helpline, hosted by local activist, Lentory Johnson.

CASH Season Is Wrapping Up!

In our work at CASH (Creating, Assets, Savings and Hope), we provide tax preparation support to low-income people, helping to ensure they are claiming all the tax credits which they are entitled. As the month of April begins, we are also coming to the close of tax season. If you live in Monroe County and need help with your taxes, please contact our free tax assistance program – CASH! You can make your appointment online, or call 585-900-1004.

Awards and Celebrations

Women of Excellence 

Congratulations to our Chief Legal Officer, Maggie Robb for her selection as a Rochester Business Journal 2024 Women of Excellence honoree! “This year’s Women of Excellence are change makers who demonstrate professional success, break barriers and mentor other women. They work hard and play hard and create better lives for their teams, their networks and their families,” said Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, managing director of BridgeTower Media/Rochester Business Journal.


Congratulations also to Empire Justice Board member Erin Elmouji on being awarded the Monroe County Bar Association’s Raymond J. Pauley Award and Telesca Center Partner Lori O’Brien on being awarded the Monroe County Bar Association’s Charles F. Crimi Memorial Award.

Thank You For Reading

If you’d like to keep up with our policy work, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, or visit the Policy Central page on our website.

If you need civil legal help, you can email us.


The Empire Justice Policy Team

Amend the Family Court Act to Limit the Liability of Parents to Reimburse Social Services Districts for the Cost of Foster Care

Posted on March 22nd, 2024

Funding for foster care is based on a complicated formula consisting of federal, state, and local dollars. Parents of children in foster care are routinely sued by social services districts in New York’s Family Courts to recover the cost of such care, whether the care be residential or institutional. Dutchess County v. Day, 96 NY 2d 149, 155 (2001). The recovery of foster care costs has also been seen as disruptive to efforts to maintain familial and economic stability, with particularly egregious effects on children of color.

On July 29, 2022, the Administration for Children and Families issued an administrative letter announcing a change in federal policy, encouraging states to limit this practice.

A.4027 (Kim)/S.7054 (Hoylman-Sigal) would amend Family Court Act which would adopt the recommendation in the federal guidance. In particular, the amendment provides that parental liability will not be imposed if it would “adversely affect the health, safety or welfare of the child on whose behalf” the payments are made, adversely affect the length of the child’s placement, or impair the ability of the child to return home.

The Empire Justice Center strongly supports this bill and encourages its passage.


A PDF of the Memo of Support is also available.

Policy Matters – February 2024

Posted on March 1st, 2024

Welcome to the February edition of our newsletter, Policy Matters. In this edition we cover a budget update, bills moving through legislature, and recognition for Empire Justice staff members. You can also read an archived version of the newsletter here.

Budget Update

The 30-day amendments have been executed, with a major win, but still missing some key pieces. Along with our partners, we continue to advocate this session through our testimony and lobbying.


IOLA funding has been restored!

In January’s edition of Policy Matters, we reported that the Executive Budget proposed to sweep $100 million from the Interest on Lawyers Account (IOLA) to the general fund. As you know, IOLA funding was created for the sole purpose of funding civil legal service providers, supporting essential services that help low-income New Yorkers obtain help with civil legal problems affecting their most basic needs, such as food, shelter, jobs and access to health care, and it is also a critical source of infrastructure dollars for the civil legal services community. Empire Justice Center, as part of the New York Legal Services Coalition; partners such as the New York State Bar Association; New York City Bar; and hundreds of private lawyers, including “Big Law”, called on the Governor to rescind the sweep in the 30-day amendments, generating press, including Times Union, law360, and law.com.

We heartily thank Governor Hochul for rescinding the proposed plan to move IOLA funds to the general fund when she issued her 30-day amendments to the budget.


Legislative Budget Advocacy

The months of January and February have been busy for our advocates, submitting testimony for joint legislative budget hearings on several issues regarding the proposed Executive Budget. In January, we submitted testimony for Health, Public Protection, and Human Services budget hearings.

In February, Empire Justice Center submitted testimony in Housing, Higher Education, and Taxes. Our Housing testimony focused on supporting programs and policy to help New Yorkers to secure and retain their housing – including fully funding the Homeowner Protection Program, restoring funding for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, increasing the Shelter Allowance, and support the right to counsel. Our Higher Education testimony urged legislative support for funding to assist New York’s student loan borrowers, the Education Debt Consumer Assistance Program (EDCAP). EDCAP funds Empire Justice to provide assistance to borrowers who may be in danger of defaulting on their student loans and to help navigate the overwhelming and confusing repayment process.

We also submitted testimony to the Joint Legislative Public Hearing on Taxes to advocate for opportunities to lift families out of poverty. We focused on our support for the Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC) as one way New York can do this, by giving families access to quarterly payments to refundable credits and giving the highest credit amount to those who have the highest need.


In addition to testifying and advocacy on critical budget matters, our colleagues engaged in advocacy days at the state Capitol.  

In response to the exclusion of HOPP funding in the Executive budget, our HOPP staff members traveled to Albany to join other Homeownership Protection Program (HOPP) campaign members urge our lawmakers to ensure that a total of $40 million is added back to the budget to be able to continue to provide crucial home saving services. We are proud to share that over 80 advocates from all over the state attended over 100 face-to-face meetings and 70 additional members’ offices were touched.

Jim Dukette, Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP) Program Director and our Empire Justice Center colleagues joined advocates at the capitol lobbying for changes to the proposed 2024-2025 New York State Executive Budget. He was interviewed on The Sanctuary for Independent Media! HOPP is a nonprofit, statewide homeownership preservation program, helping to keep families housed.

In addition to the HOPP advocacy day, we also participated in the New York Legal Services Coalition advocacy day, with a focus on our efforts to stop the sweep of the IOLA funds into the General Fund –which was ultimately successful – and to push for wage parity for civil legal services employees.


On February 14, President and CEO Kristin Brown joined advocates, elected officials, and impacted community members to speak in favor of the importance of the Working Families Tax Credit (S.277 Gounardes/A.4022 Hevesi), as an essential poverty fighting tool. She shared that in our free tax prep program in Rochester, “we are seeing that our clients are getting an approximately 50% reduction in the average amount of federal returns” and that “these changes are directly connected to changes in tax law that include Child Tax Credit, making “it all the more urgent that New York take steps to amend the tax code to help lift families out of poverty.” Empire Justice Center continues to push for New York’s final state budget to include the Working Families Tax Credit, which would increase family household income, eliminate the cap on the number of children eligible to receive the credit, and ensure that those with the lowest income receive the highest credits.


Milestone Decision Helps Keep Transgender Minors Safe 

Empire Justice is thrilled to announce a significant decision regarding transgender name changes! As reported in the Times Union, in the Cody VV case, the New York State Appellate Division, 3rd Department, has issued a decision to address the critical matter of sealing a transgender minors’ name change, after a lower court denied that sealing. It rules that name changes should be sealed unless there is “substantial basis” that warrants keeping the record public. Because transgender people are often targets of discrimination and harassment, sealing these records helps to keep transgender people safe. We are grateful for the opportunity to participate in this case as amici with the following organizations: Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Chosen Family Law Center, and Volunteer Lawyers Project of Central New York; and we commend Joe Williams at Copps, DiPaola, Silverman, PLLC for his representation!


Bills on the Move


City of Rochester Zoning Code Can Advance Equity, Housing Affordability, and Climate Resilience 

In late 2023, Ruhi Maker, Senior Attorney and Barb van Kerkhove, Researcher and Policy Analyst, received a grant to comment on JPMorgan Chase’s community reinvestment performance and the City of Rochester’s draft zoning code. In their analysis they found that while the proposed code was an improvement, more needed to be done. They prepared a memo providing recommendations on ways to promote housing density and diversity, advance equity, address our housing affordability crisis, and respond to climate change. Check it out!


We Teach the Law

Throughout January and February, staff in various practice areas educated advocates and the community members all over the state. Selected trainings include:


Benefits Applications Delays 

While New Yorkers continue to struggle with rising grocery costs and food insecurity, the federally-funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) is essential to help New York families meet their nutritional needs and stay healthy.” In a Newsday article reporting on the issue, Supervising Senior Attorney Jessica Radbord explained that these application delays are “the difference between people going hungry and having food.” Empire Justice Center has been tracking this data to share it with local partners and advocate for improvements. From that work, we found that Suffolk County delays exceeded 50% in September 2023. In this Newsday editorial, Suffolk’s failure is called “an indictment of the county government’s inability to handle one of its most basic and important functions: to care for its most vulnerable residents.


Congratulations Crime Victims Legal Network Team!

Congratulations to the Crime Victims Legal Network Team: Remla Parthasarathy, Laura Dwyer, Jackie Segouin, and Amy Schwartz-Wallace, for their nomination and selection of the National Crime Victim Law Institute’s 2023 Victims’ Rights Partnership Award! This award recognizes the collaborative efforts of individuals and/or organizations that have devoted their time to advancing crime victims’ rights in partnership with others.

Founded in 2015 by Empire Justice Center, Pro Bono Net, the Center for Human Services Research at the University of Albany, and the New York State Office for Victim Services, the Crime Victims Legal Network is a partnership of organizations that connects victims of crime with civil legal information and assistance.


Congratulations Jim Dukette!

A well-deserved congratulations to Jim Dukette for his recent promotion to HOPP Anchor Program Director! Jim was a legal services client in 2012 when he started his journey with Empire Justice Center, first as an intern and then paralegal working with clients at risk of foreclosure. He began a statewide role with the Anchor Partner Program in 2019 and is excited to bring his commitment to economic justice to the Program Director position. Please join us in congratulating Jim!


Thank You for Reading

If you’d like to keep up with our policy work, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, or visit the Policy Central page on our website. Please feel free to forward this to a friend. 

If you need civil legal help, you can email us. 


The Empire Justice Policy Team

Disability Law News- January 2024

Posted on February 1st, 2024

The Disability Law News is a quarterly newsletter published for DAP Advocates. This January 2024 issue will cover Martin O’Malley’s swearing in as new commissioner of Social Security; a significant upgrade to ERE; court approval of a settlement reached in the Campos class action lawsuit; an increase to the maximum yearly contribution towards ABLE accounts; updated SSI benefits and deeming charts; SSA’s draft Scientific Integrity Policy; recent Circuit rulings on treating opinions; an updated Bulletin Board; and an endnote.

Access the January 2024 Disability Law News newsletter.

To subscribe to future Disability Law News issues, please contact Maia Younes at myounes@empirejustice.org. 

We hope you enjoy this new design and find it easy to navigate.

January 2024 – Policy Matters

Posted on February 1st, 2024


Policy Matters – January 2024 Welcome to the January edition of our newsletter, Policy Matters. In this edition we cover what’s in and what’s missing in the Executive Budget, budget testimony on Public Protection and Health, and recognition for Empire Justice staff members. 



Highlights from the Executive Budget 

The Executive Budget has landed, and we are grateful that it includes funding for many crucial programs, including support for the state victim assistance programs through the Office of Victim Services, Disability Advocacy Program, Education Debt Consumer Assistance Program, and Community Health Advocates.   

One striking omission in the Executive Budget is the Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP). This is especially notable, given the governor’s focus on housing. We will be working with legislative champions to ensure that there is full funding of $40 million in the final budget for services to help New York’s struggling homeowners.   

Additionally, Empire Justice is strongly opposed to the proposal in the Executive Budget to sweep $100 million from the Interest on Lawyers Account (IOLA) to the general fund. IOLA funding, created for the sole purpose of funding civil legal service providers, supports essential services that help low-income New Yorkers obtain help with civil legal problems affecting their most basic needs, such as food, shelter, jobs and access to health care, and it is a critical source of infrastructure dollars for the civil legal services community. These funds are accumulated for distribution at the next round of grants to civil legal services providers, which are intended to assist in addressing the dual crises of an estimated $1 billion civil justice gap and the need to move toward pay equity between civil legal service organizations and other government funded attorneys. Civil legal services are more important than ever.  We will be urging the Governor to rescind the sweep in her 30-day amendments and the Legislature to support the modest proposed increase.  

The proposed IOLA sweep was a subject of much conversation at the Public Protection hearing on January 25th. You can read or watch President and CEO Kristin Brown’s testimony, as well as the testimony of Tina Monshipour Foster, Executive Director of JustCause and President of the Board of the New York Legal Services Coalition. Assemblymember Dinowitz asked Judge Zayas about the sweep, calling it a “big mistake.” Assemblymember Monica Wallace also thanked the Judge for his support of returning the money, calling the sweep “penny wise and pound foolish.” 


Call to action: Please join the sign on letter urging Governor Hochul to rescind the proposed transfer of $100 million from the IOLA Fund to the State General Fund. If your organization endorses the letter, please email iolaf@iola.org with the subject line “Support for IOLA” and indicate in the body of the email exactly how you would like your name and/or organization to be listed on the letter. 


Health Policy Update 

In the Health hearing, our Health Team submitted testimony requesting continued funding for their important work in protecting and expanding care for the neediest New Yorkers. Among items covered in the testimony were: continuous coverage for children to age six who are covered by Medicaid or Child Health Plus; coverage for medications; support for those who receive home care services through the Consumer Directed Personal Care Program; expansion of the Essential Plan; and equity in the asset limit in Medicaid. 

In addition to rallying health coverage, we’re also advocating for continued funding for the Community Health Advocates program, a statewide consumer assistance program that helps New Yorkers navigate today’s complex health care system by providing individual assistance, outreach, and education to communities.  

Governor Hochul signed the Fair Medical Debt Reporting Act (S.4907 Rivera/A.6275 Paulin)! Here’s her announcement and our memo of support. Thanks to all the advocates for their work on this important issue! 


Creating Assets, Savings, and Hope 

CASH is open for the tax season! CASH (Creating Assets, Savings, and Hope) uses the tax return moment as an opportunity to connect clients with a wide variety of resources that can improve families’ health and financial well- being. This season clients will take a brief eligibility pre-screening survey prior to making their appointment. After answering a handful of yes or no questions, eligible clients will be directed to our scheduling page to book their timeslot. Clients who are not eligible for our services will be directed to information about other options. Clients can now also download and print their required forms ahead of time. If you know of anyone who would benefit from CASH services, please help us spread the word! 


Critical Childcare Bill Reintroduced   

As readers of Policy Matters know from our advocacy last spring, we have been working in support of legislation to support childcare subsidies for parents who work irregular hours. When a parent or caretaker receives a subsidy for childcare, the grant is typically to correspond to the parent or caregiver’s hours of work with a small amount of time added for transportation. However, when parents work irregular, split shifts or non-traditional hours, or if the parents or caregivers combine work with education and training, approvals are limited – the children’s attendance is split into parts of days, resulting in disruption for the children and transportation difficulties for the parents.  Legislation was passed in 2023, however, it was vetoed due to budgetary reasons at that time.  We are excited to see that a new bill has been introduced (S.8152 Brisport/A.8878 Hevesi), and we look forward to working with other advocates on this.  


In the Media 

From our Benefits Team, Staff Attorney Hailey Kulikowski and Senior Attorney Susan Antos appeared on Hudson Mohawk Magazine Sanctuary Radio to discuss the dire need for an increase in the shelter allowance and basic needs allowance. The shelter allowance has not been updated since 1988 for households without children, and 2003 for those with children. The basic needs allowance was last updated in 2012 and helps low-income families pay for necessities such as transportation, clothing, and personal hygiene products. There is currently a bill in both houses of the legislature that would require shelter allowance to be set to at least 100% of the Fair Market Value rent for the local social service district (A.5543 Rosenthal/S.2982 Kavanagh).   


Know your Rights  

Anyone, regardless of gender, may experience control, threats, abuse, or violence from a current or former intimate partner. Studies indicate that transgender, gender non-conforming, and nonbinary (TGNCNB) people experience this type of abuse at similar or even higher rates, especially TGNC People of Color.  However, many survivors from these communities are not aware of their rights when they need to access residential domestic violence program services.   

Empire Justice Center has released a Know Your Rights Guide entitled Opening Shelter Doors: A Guide to Shelter Access for Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming, and Nonbinary (TGNCNB) People.  This Guide is intended to help TGNCNB New Yorkers better understand what Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) may look like and what program resources are available for help. It also explores what their rights are if they are discriminated against or denied access to these services because of their gender identity or gender expression. The Guide is also available in Spanish


Fair Hearing Resource  

As you may recall from our June 2023 Policy Matters, the Empire Justice Center, the Legal Aid Society, and the New York Legal Assistance Group in partnership with Columbia Law School’s Lawyering in the Digital Age launched Fair Hearing Help NY. A Fair Hearing is a chance for you to tell an Administrative Law Judge why you think a decision about your case made by a local social services agency is wrong. This is a free, virtual legal resource for welfare benefit hearings. Zoe Raglow-DeFranco and Susan Antos represented the Empire Justice Center on this project. We are thrilled to announce that our promotional flyer is now available in 9 languages (English, Spanish, French, Russian, Polish, Italian, Bengali, Traditional Chinese, Korean).  


Congratulations Remla Parthasarathy! 

Congratulations to Remla Parthasarathy, Managing Attorney, Crime Victims & Project Leader, Crime Victims Legal Network, for being recently elected to Office for Victim Services Advisory Council Co-President for 2024. Congratulations Remla for your well-deserved recognition!  

Former Office for Victim Services Director, Elizabeth Cronin, in her parting newsletter, highlights and applauds the important work of the Remla, her team, and the Crime Victims Legal Network.  


Thank You For Reading 

Testimony at upcoming budget hearings will be on the Policy Central page, over social media, and in upcoming editions of Policy Matters. 

If you’d like to keep up with our policy work, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, or visit the Policy Central page on our website.  

If you need civil legal help, you can find contact information for each of our offices here.  

Feel free to forward this to a friend. 



The Empire Justice Policy Team 


Stay up to date with our policy advocacy!

Reflecting on Connect at the Capital Event

Posted on January 9th, 2024

On November 30 and December 1, Empire Justice Center co-hosted the second annual Connect at the Capital. 

This event was designed to connect advocates, practitioners, and policy members to advance the objectives of our HOPP Building Equity Initiative. By equipping advocates with the necessary tools, we empower staff across the state to address systems of discrimination in homeownership, and ensure that HOPP services are effective, equitable, and inclusive for all New Yorkers.

Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to our co-host and partner, Center for New York City Neighborhoods, as well as our supporters and funders, including the Attorney General’s Office. Special thanks to our sponsors, M & T Bank and KeyBank for their invaluable contributions. We extend our gratitude to all our panelists and speakers and to our attendees, who traveled from all over New York State, as well as Florida, Minnesota, and Colorado, to join us.

We look forward to keeping the momentum in this effort to preserve homeownership for New Yorkers—keeping equity at the heart of all we do.

Please enjoy the event photos, video, and flyer.


Thanks for your support!


Kristin Brown, President and CEO


Emily Whalen, Esq., Board Chair



Message from Attorney General, Letita James

Message from Assemblymember, Linda B. Rosenthal

Event Photo Slideshow

Download the event recap flyer! 

Know Your Rights: A Guide to Shelter Access for transgender, gender non-conforming, and nonbinary (TGNCNB) people

Posted on December 22nd, 2023

Anyone, regardless of gender, may experience control, threats, abuse, or violence from a current or former intimate partner. Studies indicate that transgender, gender non-conforming, and nonbinary (TGNCNB) people experience this type of abuse at similar or even higher rates, especially TGNC People of Color. However, many people assume falsely intimate partner violence (IPV) only happens to cisgender women. Sadly, the anti-violence movement of the last 50 years has often ignored or erased the experiences of LGBTQ+ victims which has encouraged this flawed narrative to persist. Empire Justice Center released a Know Your Rights Guide entitled Opening Shelter Doors: A Guide to Shelter Access for transgender, gender non conforming, and nonbinary (TGNCNB) people.  This Guide is intended to help TGNCNB New Yorkers better understand what IPV may look like and what program resources are available for help. It also explores what your rights are if you are discriminated against or denied access to these services because of your gender identity or gender expression.


Download this guide in English

Download this guide in Spanish

Policy Matters – November 2023

Posted on November 30th, 2023

Welcome to the November edition of our newsletter Policy Matters. In this edition we cover: the signing of a deed theft bill into law; the other outstanding bills we’re watching through the end of the year; the HOPP Advocates’ conference – with a big headliner; protections for Medicaid recipients; concerns about the funding to provide services crime victims and more. You can also read an archived version of the newsletter here

Read the full newsletter here: Policy Matters – November 2023


Disability Law News- October 2023

Posted on November 16th, 2023

The Disability Law News is a quarterly newsletter published for DAP Advocates. This October 2023 issue will cover the proposed changes to the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) rules governing in-kind support and maintenance (ISM) and past relevant work (PRW); SSA’s contingency plan in the event of a government shutdown; a new POMS regarding Direct Express that was obtained by a FOIA request by NYLAG; a change to the mailing address for the Appeals Council; the rollout of iSSI; a 3.2 percent COLA increase; a new form for temporary institutionalization; an updated form for waivers; and an endnote.

Access the October 2023 Disability Law News newsletter.

To subscribe to future Disability Law News issues, please contact Maia Younes at myounes@empirejustice.org. 

We hope you enjoy this new design and find it easy to navigate.

Notice of Class Action Settlement for People Denied or Discontinued Public Assistance Because of the Value of their Vehicle

Posted on November 2nd, 2023

The National Center for Law and Economic Justice, Empire Justice Center, and Legal Services of Central New York are pleased to announce Court approval of a settlement that will benefit thousands of low-income New Yorkers who have been or would be denied critically needed cash assistance because of vehicle ownership.


Read the notice to class members in English.

Read the notice to class members in Spanish.


Read the Re-Noticing Stipulation, and read the Standardized Restored Benefits Stipulation.

Read the Press Release Announcement. 


Empire Justice Center Contact: Susan Antos, Managing Attorney, Santos@empirejustice.org 

NCLEJ Contact: Saima Akhtar, Senior Attorney, Akhtar@nclej.org

Legal Services of Central New York Contact: Julie Morse, Staff Attorney, JMorse@Lscny.org