On Demand

New York Public Benefits

1h 40m

Created on March 09, 2017




This program provides an overview of the current basic public benefits available in New York State, including Public Assistance (cash and shelter allowance), SNAP (food stamps) and Medical Assistance (Medicaid). Chris Portelli, Senior Attorney at the New York Legal Assistance Group, explores eligibility, time limits, work requirements, immigrant access, common problems, fair hearings, and more. New York State offers one of the highest paying and most comprehensive public benefits packages in the US, yet it still falls short of providing subsistence level care for low-income, homeless, and disabled New Yorkers.

Often regarded a political hot potato, the word "welfare" itself is often dropped in favor of "economic justice" or other euphemisms for welfare benefits. Navigating the welfare landscape in New York or any state is often challenging for those seeking assistance. In recent years, advocates have fought for and won many concessions in the fight to increase access to public benefits and preserve recipients' due process rights in New York State. This course offers a bird's eye view of the public benefits landscape, and explores the many ways advocates can help public benefits recipients and applicants with common recurring problems.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Gain a comprehensive overview of basic public benefits available in New York State

  2. Understand some of the intricacies of available benefits, including work requirements, time limits, and criteria for eligibility

  3. Examine common challenges attorneys face navigating the public benefits landscape

  4. Explore some of the ways in which economic justice advocates can help public benefits applicants and recipients avoid those common obstacles

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