NORWICH – Anytime the state loses a lawsuit, local government officials need to worry. Chenango County Social Services Commissioner Bette Osborne finds herself in that situation following a recent ruling in Monroe County.
The court judge in the case directed local social services departments to return financial assistance that was illegally withheld when former Governor George Pataki implemented a policy change in 2004. The policy decreased the amount of supplementary security income that was provided to low income disabled families.
The New York Office of Temporary Assistance estimates that 27,000 households in the state saw their assistance drop adversely at approximately $4,000 per case. In Chenango County, between 130 to 150 cases will have to be reviewed, and possibly refunded retroactive to 2004.