Governor Hochul Signs Legislative Package to Protect the Rights of Public Benefit Recipients and Strengthen Access to Social Services

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Governor Kathy Hochul announced today that she has signed a legislative package of two bills that will protect the rights of New Yorkers who receive public benefits and strengthen access to social services. These two bills will increase transparency on the rights of those seeking aid and improve access to food aid.

“As New Yorkers continue to recover from the economic hardships of the pandemic, it is critical that we ensure public assistance programs properly serve our most vulnerable communities,” Governor Hochul said. “These bills will educate people across the state about their rights when receiving social services and ensure families won’t have a hard time putting food on the table. I’m proud to take action important to protecting and empowering New Yorkers who receive public assistance because no one deserves to experience food insecurity or child care, homelessness or other life-threatening stress.”

“It’s critical that struggling New Yorkers have equitable access to the social services and public benefits they need,” he added. said Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado. “This new package of legislation signed into law by the Governor today will improve transparency and protect the rights of those who need to seek these services because of the difficulties they encounter.”

Legislation (S.3178A/A.5817A) will require the posting of entitlements for people requesting assistance. This will inform beneficiaries of their basic rights which are established by law, such as the right to a fair trial, the right to seek emergency assistance, the right to seek all benefits and services, the right to seek child care services, the right to free language services, the right to screening and special services in cases of domestic violence, and the right to adequate written notice.

Senator James Sanders Jr. said: “New Yorkers in need of basic assistance should know their rights and benefits. This legislation will help people get the support they need for their families and for themselves. Part of the role of a compassionate government is to provide assistance for basic needs that are not being met.”

Assemblywoman Pamela J. Hunter said: “When accessing public benefits, you must state clearly and concisely what you are entitled to. Recipients may not know they are entitled to hearings, emergency assistance and other services It is necessary to physically post these entitlements at social services offices, as those using these benefits may not have adequate internet access. I commend Governor Hochul for signing this legislation into law and look forward to his Implementation.

Legislation (S.8972A/A.9749B) requires Supplemental Nutrition Assistance programs to provide two electronic benefit transfer credit or debit cards for each household with more than one parent or guardian residing in the household. This will make it easier for recipients to use their benefits to feed their families.

State Senator Julia Salazar said: “I am proud to sponsor such sensible and necessary legislation as Bill S8972A with my fellow Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein. With all the pressures families face, legislation is needed to meet the real needs of our marginalized and underserved communities. This is one of those needs. We ensure that all Guardians who make up our homes have access to their approved benefits at all times, and should not treat their card as a stick of relay race. SNAP is a federal program that helps more than 40 million Americans each year, including 1.8 million New Yorkers. This is a pragmatic decision and I thank all lawmakers who support this bill. And thank you to Governor Hochul for signing this bill into law as we close the gaps in our system.”

Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein said: “It’s hard enough when families on SNAP have to live under constant pressure to feed their children. Now they won’t have to deal with the inconvenience of sharing a card between two heads of household. This legislation of common sense is a simple, effective and practical solution to a frustrating and insane problem Thank you Governor Hochul for recognizing the importance of this issue and signing this bill into law.

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