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PEREZ v. LAVINE

September 16, 1976;

Maria PEREZ et al., Individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
Abe LAVINE, as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Social Services, and James R. Dumpson, as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Social Services, Defendants


Tenney, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: TENNEY

ORDER

TENNEY, District Judge.

 Defendants having been directed in an opinion handed down by this Court dated March 29, 1976 to submit a proposed order outlining plans for revision of their procedures in conformity with such decision, and the Court having considered the submission of both parties with respect to such direction, it is hereby

 ORDERED (1) that, subject to paragraph (2) hereof, any person wishing to apply for public assistance within the City of New York shall be provided an application form on the date of such person's first or second visit to an Income Maintenance Center for the purpose of applying for assistance; and it is further

 ORDERED (2) that

 (a) application forms be provided at alternative locations throughout the community to all interested organizations which request a supply of the forms. A comprehensive list of organizations which have requested and been provided application forms is attached hereto as Appendix A;

 (b) the availability of application forms from such organizations be adequately publicized by defendant [J. Henry Smith], as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Social Services, so that persons wishing to apply for aid are, to the maximum extent feasible, made aware of the availability of application forms from such organizations;

 (c) notwithstanding the alternative provided by this paragraph, any individual wishing to obtain an application form and application kit (described in NYC Procedure No. 75-13, Oct. 6, 1975, p. 9, and subsequent revisions thereto which must include like materials) from an Income Maintenance Center must be permitted to do so, and must be provided such form and kit on request; and it is further

 ORDERED (3) that at the time such person is provided an application form he or she shall simultaneously be provided the application kit which shall include a comprehensive, intelligible set of instructions, written in large, easily read print in English and/or in Spanish as applicable, designed to ensure that an applicant can complete the application form without requiring the assistance of Income Maintenance Center personnel. A draft copy of these instructions is attached hereto as Appendix B; and it is further

 ORDERED (4) that signs be posted prominently in all Income Maintenance Centers in the City of New York notifying applicants that they are entitled to an application form and informing them to request an application from the receptionist if they want one. The sign, which will be in both English and Spanish and in letters of at least one inch in height, will read as follows:

 
" NOTICE TO APPLICANTS
 
IF YOU WANT TO APPLY FOR PUBLIC ASSISTANCE, YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO GET AN APPLICATION FORM AND WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS THAT EXPLAIN HOW TO FILL OUT THE APPLICATION. YOU ALSO HAVE THE RIGHT TO FILE THE APPLICATION FORM AND GET A WRITTEN DECISION TELLING YOU WHETHER OR NOT YOU ARE ELIGIBLE. YOU CAN FILE AN APPLICATION AND GET A WRITTEN DECISION EVEN IF THE RECEPTIONIST TELLS YOU THAT YOU DO NOT SEEM ELIGIBLE."

 It is further

 ORDERED (5) that

 (a) after an applicant receives an application, an appointment shall be scheduled for the applicant to return for an initial application interview within five working days;

 (b) all application staff will be notified that they cannot schedule initial application appointments beyond five working days without express approval from the Center Director;

 (c) the Center Director, upon being notified by his application supervisor that the initial application interview cannot be scheduled within five working days, will provide for the transfer of staff from other sections to meet the five-working-day requirement or call the Deputy Administrator for Income Maintenance Programs, or his designee, who will take immediate steps to ensure that such appointments are scheduled within five working days;

 (d) if an appointment cannot be scheduled within five working days, the applicant's completed application shall nevertheless be accepted for filing at the time submitted by the applicant;

 (e) if the applicant returns to the Center on the date of his or her scheduled application interview, the application interview shall be held on that day and the completed application form shall be accepted as filed on or before that day; and it is further

 ORDERED (6) that all application section personnel and administrative staff within the Income Maintenance Centers be notified that applicants have a right to obtain an application form even if they are in the wrong Center or the pre-screening interview indicates that they are presumptively not eligible. Training sessions will be held to ensure that Center staff, including receptionists, "A" receptionists, application interviewers, application supervisors, and all administrative staff are aware of this requirement; and it is further

 ORDERED (7) that defendant [Philip Toia], as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Social Services, take such steps as may be necessary to assist defendant [J. Henry Smith], as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Social Services, to comply with this Order and to ensure periodic review by the State Department of Social Services so that appropriate corrective action may be taken by such State agency in the event that noncompliance is ascertained.

 APPENDIX A

 Community Offices BROOKLYN

 Brighton Beach Coordinating Committee for Russian Immigrants,

 293 Neptune Avenue,

 Brooklyn, N. Y. 11235

 Jewish Family Services,

 4917 12th Avenue,

 Brooklyn, N. Y. 11219

 Sunset Park Family Health Center,

 514 49th Street,

 Brooklyn, N. Y. 11220

 Jewish Family Services,

 186 Montague Street,

 Brooklyn, N. Y. 11201

 John the Baptist Community Center,

 807 Willoughby Avenue,

 Brooklyn, N. Y. 11206

 Bedford Stuyvesant Alcoholism Treatment Clinic,

 1121 Bedford Avenue,

 Brooklyn, N. Y. 11216

 Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corp.,

 172 Tompkins Avenue,

 Brooklyn, N. Y. 11206

 Bedford Stuyvesant Youth in Action,

 882 DeKalb Avenue,

 Brooklyn, N. Y. 11221

 Lyndon B. Johnson Health Center,

 507 DeKalb Avenue,

 Brooklyn, N. Y. 11205

 Bedford Stuyvesant Youth in Action,

 930 Bedford Avenue,

 Brooklyn, N. Y. 11205

 Bedford Stuyvesant Youth in Action,

 496 Franklin Avenue,

 Brooklyn, N. Y. 11238

 Club Heraldo Hispano,

 727 Fulton Street,

 Brooklyn, N. Y. 11217

 Fort Greene Community Corp.,

 205 Ashland Place,

 Brooklyn, N. Y. 11205

 Coney Island Hospital,

 Social Service Department,

 2601 Ocean Parkway,

 Brooklyn, N. Y. 11235

 Our Lady of Mercy Church,

 680 Stone Avenue,

 Brooklyn, N. Y. 11212

 Salvation Army,

 280 Riverdale Avenue,

 Brooklyn, N. Y. 11212

 Kings County Hospital,

 Alcoholism Treatment Clinic,

 600 Albany Avenue,

 Brooklyn, N. Y. 11203

 Kings County Hospital,

 Social Service Department,

 451 Clarkson Avenue,

 Brooklyn, N. Y. 11203

 Catholic Charities,

 Human Service Center,

 730 Classon Avenue,

 Brooklyn, N. Y. 11238

 Catholic Charities,

 Human Service Center,

 1101 Carroll Street,

 Brooklyn, N. Y. 11225

 Catholic Charities,

 Williamsburg Human Service Center,

 142 Montrose Avenue,

 Brooklyn, N. Y. 11206

  Northside Community Development Council,

  575 Driggs Avenue,

  Brooklyn, N. Y. 11211

  Williamsburg Community Corp.,

  815 Broadway,

  Brooklyn, N. Y. 11206

  School Settlement Association,

  120 Jackson Street,

  Brooklyn, N. Y. 11211

  St. Nicholas Neighborhood Preservation and Housing Rehabilitation Corp.,

  260 Powers Street,

  Brooklyn, N. Y. 11211

  Education Action Centers,

  577 Lorimer Street,

  Brooklyn, N. Y. 11211

  Opportunity Development Association,

  41 Heyward Street,

  Brooklyn, N. Y. 11211

  United Jewish Organizations,

  545 Bedford Avenue,

  Brooklyn, N. Y. 11211

  Italian American Civil Rights League,

  390 Graham Avenue,

  Brooklyn, N. Y. 11211

  Williamsburg Legal Services,

  260 Broadway,

  Brooklyn, N. Y. 11206

  Lutheran Community Service Center,

  366 Union Avenue,

  Brooklyn, N. Y. 11211

  Williamsburg Prenatal Clinic,

  151 Maujer Street,

  Brooklyn, N. Y. 11206

  Welfare Recipients Action Group of Red Hook,

  396 Van Brunt Street,

  Brooklyn, N. Y. 11231

  La Casa Neighborhood Service Center,

  152 Columbia Street,

  Brooklyn, N. Y. 11231

  Chama Brooklyn Child Development Center,

  1835 Sterling Place,

  Brooklyn, N. Y. 11233

  Catholic Migration ...


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