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A04330 Summary:

BILL NOA04330
 
SAME ASSAME AS S00528
 
SPONSORHevesi
 
COSPNSRBichotte, Simotas
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Amd 131-n, Soc Serv L; amd Part B 153, Chap 436 of 1997
 
Relates to resource exemptions for applicants for public assistance programs; amends the Welfare Reform Act in relation to the effectiveness thereof.
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A04330 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A4330
 
SPONSOR: Hevesi
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law, in relation to resource exemptions for applicants for public assistance programs; and to amend chapter 436 of the laws of 1997, constituting the welfare reform act of 1997, in relation to the effectiveness thereof   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The bill would amend the income and resources exemptions provisions of § 131-n of the Social Services Law (SSL) to ensure that applicants do not have to divest themselves of certain resources to qualify for public assistance.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section one of the bill would amend SSL § 131-n. Section two of the bill would provide for the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: As a critical component of improving the economic well-being of low income families, New York State has had a longstanding policy that households in receipt of public assistance should have certain resources exempt from consideration when determining eligibility for public assistance. This bill would update and expand the resources that an applicant of public assistance may possess without affecting eligibility for assistance. The resources covered by the exemption include savings accounts; the home that is the usual residence of the household; one automobile per driver in the household; one burial plot per household member; bona fide funeral agreements; retirement accounts, including but not limited to Individual Retirement Accounts, 401(k)s, 4o3(b)s, and Keogh plans; and (k) all 529 college savings plan, and other resources. The resource exemptions amended in this bill take into account inflation as well as the understanding that when households are able to exempt certain resources from consideration when applying for public assist- ance, the resources are often an essential component of getting off of public assistance and achieving self-sufficiency.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2017-2018: A.245 2015-2016: A.10312   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Undetermined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that section one of this act shall take effect on the first of April next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.
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A04330 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          4330
 
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    February 4, 2019
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  HEVESI,  BICHOTTE,  SIMOTAS -- read once and
          referred to the Committee on Social Services
 
        AN ACT to amend  the  social  services  law,  in  relation  to  resource
          exemptions for applicants for public assistance programs; and to amend
          chapter  436  of the laws of 1997, constituting the welfare reform act
          of 1997, in relation to the effectiveness thereof
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  Section  131-n  of the social services law, as amended by
     2  section 16 of part B of chapter 436 of the laws of 1997,  subdivision  1
     3  as  amended by section 1 of part X of chapter 54 of the laws of 2016 and
     4  subdivision 3 as amended by chapter 207 of the laws of 2001, is  amended
     5  to read as follows:
     6    § 131-n. Exemption of income and resources.  1.  The resources identi-
     7  fied  in subdivision two of this section shall be exempt and disregarded
     8  at application in calculating the amount of benefits  of  any  applicant
     9  for any public assistance program. At recertification, resources deline-
    10  ated  in subdivision two of this section shall not be taken into consid-
    11  eration when determining eligibility or calculating the amount of  bene-
    12  fits of any recipient for any public assistance program.
    13    2.  The  following resources shall be exempt and disregarded in calcu-
    14  lating the amount of benefits of any [household under] applicant for any
    15  public assistance program: (a) cash and liquid or nonliquid resources up
    16  to [two] three thousand dollars, or [three] four thousand  five  hundred
    17  dollars  in the case of households in which any member is sixty years of
    18  age or older, (b) an amount up to  [four  thousand  six  hundred  fifty]
    19  seven  thousand  fifty dollars in a separate bank account established by
    20  an individual while currently in receipt  of  assistance  for  the  sole
    21  purpose  of  enabling  the individual to purchase a first or replacement
    22  vehicle for the recipient to seek, obtain  or  maintain  employment,  so
    23  long  as the funds are not used for any other purpose, (c) an amount [up

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD01042-01-9

        A. 4330                             2

     1  to one thousand four] equal to the greater of five thousand one  hundred
     2  sixty-five  dollars  or  the  maximum  tuition  assistance program award
     3  available for the current academic  year  in  a  separate  bank  account
     4  established  by  an  individual while currently in receipt of assistance
     5  for the purpose of paying tuition at a two-year or four-year  accredited
     6  post-secondary  educational  institution,  so  long as the funds are not
     7  used for any other purpose, (d) the home which is the usual residence of
     8  the household, (e) one automobile,  up  to  ten  thousand  dollars  fair
     9  market  value,  through  March thirty-first, two thousand seventeen; one
    10  automobile, up to eleven thousand dollars fair market value, from  April
    11  first,  two  thousand seventeen through March thirty-first, two thousand
    12  eighteen; and one automobile, up to twelve thousand dollars fair  market
    13  value,  beginning  April first, two thousand eighteen and thereafter, or
    14  such other higher dollar value as the local social services district may
    15  elect to adopt, (f) one burial plot per household member as  defined  in
    16  department  regulations, (g) bona fide funeral agreements [up to a total
    17  of one thousand five hundred dollars  in  equity  value]  per  household
    18  member,  (h)  funds  in an individual development account established in
    19  accordance with subdivision five of section three hundred fifty-eight of
    20  this chapter and section four hundred three of the social  security  act
    21  [and],  (i)  [for  a  period of six months,] any real property which the
    22  household is making a good faith effort  to  sell,  in  accordance  with
    23  department  regulations  and  tangible  personal  property necessary for
    24  business or for employment purposes in accordance with department  regu-
    25  lations,  (j) retirement accounts, including but not limited to individ-
    26  ual retirement accounts, 401(k)'s, 403(b)'s, and keogh  plans;  and  (k)
    27  all  529  college savings plans.   If federal law or regulations require
    28  the exemption or disregard of additional income and resources in  deter-
    29  mining need for family assistance, or medical assistance not exempted or
    30  disregarded pursuant to any other provision of this chapter, the depart-
    31  ment  may, by regulations subject to the approval of the director of the
    32  budget, require social services officials to exempt  or  disregard  such
    33  income  and  resources. Refunds resulting from earned income tax credits
    34  shall be disregarded in public assistance programs.  Court ordered child
    35  support which is paid or withheld from income shall  not  be  considered
    36  available income.
    37    [2.] 3. If and to the extent permitted by federal law and regulations,
    38  amounts  received  under section 105 of Public Law 100-383 as reparation
    39  payments for internment of Japanese-Americans and payments made to indi-
    40  viduals because of their  status  as  victims  of  Nazi  persecution  as
    41  defined  in P.L. 103-286 shall be exempt from consideration as income or
    42  resources for purposes of determining eligibility for and the amount  of
    43  benefits  under any program provided under the authority of this chapter
    44  and under title XX of the Social Security Act.
    45    4. Ownership of all other personal property not exempt in subdivisions
    46  two and three of this section, shall be evaluated based upon its  equity
    47  value.
    48    [3.] 5. The department is authorized to establish regulations defining
    49  income  and resources, consistent with this section.  [The department is
    50  further authorized to  promulgate  regulations  it  deems  necessary  to
    51  prevent  the  improper establishment and use of accounts for purchase of
    52  first or replacement vehicles.]
    53    § 2. Subdivision (c) of section 153 of part B of chapter  436  of  the
    54  laws of 1997, constituting the welfare reform act of 1997, as amended by
    55  chapter 140 of the laws of 2017, is amended to read as follows:

        A. 4330                             3
 
     1    (c)  Section  sixteen  of  this act shall take effect November 1, 1997
     2  [and expire and be deemed repealed August 22, 2019];
     3    §  3.  This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that
     4  section one of this act shall take effect on the  first  of  April  next
     5  succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.
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