NCLEJ and Colleagues Achieve Settlement Ending Lengthy Delays in Processing of Food Stamp Applications in New York City

NCLEJ, the New York Legal Assistance Group, and the Urban Justice Center have achieved a settlement in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York case challenging New York City’s unlawful practice of delaying food stamp applications filed at non-cash assistance centers. Under the terms of the settlement in Williston v. Eggleston, which was approved by the Court in April 2008, New York City must abide by federal and state deadlines for processing food stamp applications and providing food stamps to eligible households, including those most in need who qualify for expedited food stamp processing. Addtionally, New York State must supervise the City’s implementation of federal timeliness requirements. Finally, individuals experiencing food stamp application delays may utilize an out-of-court relief mechanism to resolve their application delays.

The Court will retain jurisdiction over the case for four years, with a process for extending jurisdiction if defendants fail to comply with the terms of the settlement. During the course of the settlement, compliance will be measured through regular reports to plaintiffs’ counsel demonstrating the timeliness of food stamp application processing.

The case was brought under the Food Stamp Act and its implementing regulations.

For further information contact the following at NCLEJ: Lynn Lu, lu(at), or Marc Cohan, cohan(at) Co-counsel are Randal Jeffrey, Elissa Devins, Elena Goldstein, and Miriam Werner of the New York Legal Assistance Group in New York, New York; and Leslie Annexstein of the Urban Justice Center in New York, New York.

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