(This Policy Bulletin Replaces PB #09-94-OPE)
The purpose of this Policy Bulletin is to inform staff in the Job Centers of the following changes:
• When a One-Shot Deal applicant presents pay stubs to document the amount and frequency of his/her income, the JOS/Worker must ask about the duration of the applicant's employment and determine whether other resources (such as a bank account, pension, 401K, or IRA) are available as a first step in addressing the immediate need.
• A revision has been made to Section F of the Shelter Arrears Repayment Agreement Worksheet form (W-147F).
• Two new notices, the Information About Repaying the Department of Social Services For Utility Arrears form (W-147NN) and the Information About Repaying the Department of Social Services For Rental Arrears form (W-147PP), were created to inform applicants of the repayment process for shelter and utility arrears repayments.
• The Emergency Assistance to Needy Families (EAF) Agreement to Repay Excess Shelter Arrears form (W-147KK) has been revised to provide greater clarity to the applicant of how the excess shelter amount was determined.
• Before issuing a second grant for utility assistance, the JOS/Worker must send a fax request to the Claims and Collections Unit at (212) 274-6659 for verification of the status of an existing repayment agreement
• Effective August 11, 2009, the repayment period has been extended from twelve (12) months to twenty-four (24) months for one-shot Emergency Assistance requests for help with utility arrears.
• The Utility Arrears Repayment Agreement form (W-147X) has been revised to reflect the new twenty-four month repayment period.
• A Letter of Extension for Utility Arrears Repayment Term (Attachment A) was created by the Investigation, Revenue and Enforcement Administration (IREA) to be mailed to all households that signed a utility arrears repayment agreement on or after August 11, 2009, and prior to the implementation date of the revised Form W-147X.
• During the cold weather period between November 1 of each year through April 15 of the following year, the enforcement of Utility Arrears Repayment Agreements must be suspended for households defaulting on an existing utility repayment agreement. Although it is not required, participants may choose to continue making payments during this period.
• If an applicant signs a Utility Arrears Repayment Agreement and then becomes eligible for Cash Assistance (CA) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), any unpaid balance on his/her arrears payment must be suspended until the applicant is no longer receiving CA or SSI.
• Applicants facing non-utility (other than electric or natural gas) heating emergencies are not required to sign repayment agreements.
• Applicants applying for ongoing CA with an emergency need must sign the applicable repayment agreement form.
• The IREA Repayment Transmittal Form (W-113B) has been created. Form W-113B must be completed and faxed to IREA by the Job Center designee along with any repayment agreements that are forwarded for review.
• If an applicant is required to return to the Job Center to sign a completed Form W-147H, Form W-147KK, or Form W-147X, the JOS/Worker must notify the applicant of his/her appointment via the Notice to Report to Center Form (M-3g).
• An attachment, Utility Repayment Agreements: Questions and Answers (Attachment B), has been included to address common questions and answers pertaining to the utility arrears repayment agreement process.