The Governor's budget proposes an expansion of punitive welfare work sanctions to "full family" sanctions . This would cut off an entire family's benefits -- including minor children -- for an "infraction" by the parent. Sanctions can result from minor occurrences, like being late to a workfare assignment because your child is sick, or missing a welfare work-related appointment because the appointment notice was mailed to the wrong address.
Twenty-two percent of households receiving welfare in New York City are in the “sanction” process at any given time, and more than 8 out of 10 who pursue a State welfare hearing get the sanction reversed or withdrawn. In the meantime, while the process is pending (which can take multiple months), sanctioned parents and their children suffer by receiving reduced benefits, reduced food stamps, and losing their housing and child care supplements. They risk evictions, utility shut-offs, and other hardships as a result.
Currently, only a portion of the family’s cash assistance and food stamps are reduced due to a parent’s “infraction.” The household loses the parent’s proportional share of these benefits for a specified period of time and until the parent complies with work rules. Under the Governor’s proposal, the children will lose their share of the benefits as well.
It is essential that this proposal be stopped -- passing it will inevitably hurt vulnerable children, cost the State money, and exacerbate the repercussions of wrongfully implemented sanctions. Sign our petition and help us to reach out to NY State Assembly members!