New York Court Approves Plan to Restore Benefits to Thousands of New York Families of Children with Disabilities in Case Brought by NCLEJ and Colleagues

In September 2007 the state court approved a comprehensive remedial plan developed by the parties in this case. The case, Doe v. Doar, successfully challenged a New York policy that changed the formula for calculating cash assistance for needy families that include children receiving federal SSI benefits because of the child’s disabilities. The new policy caused thousands of these families to suffer a dramatic loss of income which they had been using to meet the higher costs of caring for a child with profound disbilities. The state agency acopted the new policy even though the law had not changed.

As a result of the court victory and the court-approved remedial plan, the state must take various steps, including:

1. Issuing periodic instructions to the local districts requiring them to, among other things, immediately stop pro-rating grants and revise the budgeting of Doe cases prospectively;

2. Training fair hearing officers on implementing the Court decision for any pending appeals;

3. Issuing future and past benefits to current and former Doe cases; and

4. Conducting extensive case monitoring.

The state will not appeal.

NCLEJ worked on this case with a broad team of public interest law offices.

(Doe v. Doar)