Public Benefits

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This was a live recorded presentation presented in collaboration with Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc., Action for a Better Community, Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative, CASH at Empire Justice Center, and The Legal Aid Society of Rochester, New York on CASH and the Child Tax Credit.
Para ver este artículo en español por favor visite aquí. (To view this article in Spanish, visit here.)
The Fair Hearing Process When Can I Request a Fair Hearing? If the Department of Social Services (DSS) does something you do not agree with, you have the right to request a fair hearing. Requesting a fair hearing allows you to challenge the determination and explain why you disagree to an administrative law judge or hearing officer.
If you have an emergency and cannot afford to solve the problem, your local Department of Social Services (DSS) may be able to help. You DO NOT need to be eligible for public assistance to get emergency assistance.
Do I have to participate in Public Assistance work activities or a Work Experience Program (WEP)?  When you apply for or receive Public Assistance, unless the Department of Social Services (DSS) says that you are exempt (not able to work), you must participate in work activities as assigned. Work activities will sometimes include educational activities. Who is exempt from participating in Public Assistance work activities? The following is a list of ways that people can be exempt from Public Assistance work activities:
What is a lien? A lien is a claim against property that FKmay be used to repay a debt.  If you sell property that has a lien against it, the lien must be repaid before you get any money from the sale. Can the Department of Social Services (DSS) force me to put lien on my home before I can get public assistance?
Note: The genders used below are for simplicity in most of the article. For example, if you are a father caring for a child under 21 and you apply for Public Assistance, you may also have to go through the requirements below. The difference will be that DSS will want information on the mother of the child.   What happens if I already receive child support?
Para ver este artículo en español por favor visite aquí. (To view this article in Spanish, visit here.)  
What can I do if I get a fair hearing decision that I disagree with?
If your local Department of Social Services (DSS) believes that you may have a problem with drug and or alcohol abuse, they can refer you for an evaluation. Depending on the county you live in, either someone from DSS may do your evaluation or DSS may send you to a substance abuse treatment provider office for an evaluation.  If you refuse to go, your application for benefits will be denied. If you are already receiving benefits and you refuse to go, your benefits can be stopped.