Legal Info: Lifelines
This Town Hall was recorded in early May 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The legal information contained in the Town Hall was accurate at that time, but it might have changed since then. Additionally, this is legal information only and is not advice tailored to your particular situation. If you need advice which includes the most recent changes to the laws, please call our COVID-19 Legal Response Line at (833) 628-0087.
Changes in Medicaid Eligibility and Processes During the COVID-19 Emergency
The NYS Department of Health (DOH) has issued a new Medicaid policy due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. If you already have Medicaid, the new policy will help you keep your Medicaid coverage during the COVID-19 emergency. If you want to apply for Medicaid, the new policy makes the application process easier.
Temporary Assistance and SNAP Changes During COVID 19
Some policies and procedures have changed at your local Department of Social Services (“DSS”) and with fair hearings. There are changes to work programs and extra time for some things (like recertifications) to help you keep the benefits you need while staying home and staying safe.
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Expedited Food Stamps
This resource provides an explanation on what are expedited food stamps as well as discusses the process of how to access them and what to expect once you have applied for them.
Understanding Your Public Assistance Budget
The factors that determine how much public assistance you may receive.
Applying For Food Stamps
Details about applying for food stamps.
Applying For Public Assistance
Details about applying for public assistance.
Contesting a Public Assistance Employment Sanction
When you receive public assistance, you are required to participate in employment programs. If you fail to comply with a public assistance employment program, you can be sanctioned. Here are ways to deal with a sanction.
A Fair Hearing is a process by which you as an applicant or recipient of social services can challenge certain Department of Social Services determinations, actions or failure to act in a timely fashion.
How To Appeal a Denial of SSI and/or Social Security Disability
What to do if your SSI or SSD application is denied.
Public Assistance For Minors Living Alone
Minors 16 and older who don’t live with their parents (including minors living alone) might be eligible to receive welfare on their own. But there are strict guidelines which you must meet. Minors under 16 will not be granted welfare in their name; they must live with a responsible adult.
Requesting A Fair Hearing
A Fair Hearing is where you can contest a decision made by the Department of Social Services (DSS) that you don’t agree with. The most common reasons to request a Fair Hearing are when DSS sends you a notice that it is reducing or cutting off your cash grant, food stamps or Medicaid, and you disagree with the decision.
Social Security and Representative Payees
A representative payee is a person appointed by the Social Security Administration to manage your benefit payments if you are unable to do so yourself or if SSA believes you are unable to do so yourself. The rep payee should be someone who cares about what is best for you.
Intentional Program Violations and Welfare Fraud
An Intentional Program Violation (IPV) is the Department of Social Services’ way of saying someone lied in order to obtain benefits, which could result in the recipient receiving more public assistance than he or she is eligible to receive.
Public Assistance and Alcoholism/Drug Abuse
Explains some of the rules of the New York State cash public assistance programs as they apply to drug addiction and alcohol abuse. The New York cash assistance programs are Safety Net benefits (SN) and Family Assistance benefits (FA).
Public Assistance and Utility/Heating Emergencies
If you are threatened with a utility shut-off, you may be able to qualify for financial help. Here are some guidelines on how to get emergency assistance.
Representing Yourself at a Social Security Hearing
Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are programs that provide benefits to people who are unable to work because of physical and/or mental impairments. Here is useful information on representing yourself at a SSI/SSD hearing.
Have You Been Denied Social Security Disability or SSI Disability Benefits?
If you have been denied SSD or SSI benefits but still feel that you are too disabled to work you may not need to go through the whole application process again. You have a right to request “Reconsideration”.
Social Security Disability (SSD/SSI)
There are two kinds of disability applications, Social Security Disability Benefits (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). There are also applications that can be filed for children with disabilities or if you are a widower/widow.