|SAME AS||SAME AS S00528|
|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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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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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 [ upEXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01042-01-9A. 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 total17 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 is50 further authorized to promulgate regulations it deems necessary to51 prevent the improper establishment and use of accounts for purchase of52 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.