BILL NO A07489
SAME AS No Same as
Rpld S303-a, add S131-y, Soc Serv L
Relates to state assistance for food and vet expenses for guide dogs, hearing
dogs and service dogs of individuals qualifying for social services; requires
regulations set an amount of no less than $50 a month; clarifies that service
dogs do not have to be certified to qualify for such benefits.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A7489
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law, in relation
to assistance for guide dogs, hearing dogs and service dogs and to
repeal section 303-a of such law relating thereto
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this legislation is
to include food and veterinary expenditures in the list of expenses used
to calculate a disabled person's social service benefits.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section one repeals section 303-a of the social services law and adds a
new section 131-y.
Section two sets forth the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: Certain expenses are incurred for necessities, such as
for housing and heat. These expenses are then used in calculations to
reduce the total income an individual has when applying or reapplying
for social service benefits.
Many disabled individuals require the assistance of a guide, hearing or
other form of service dog, to perform basic tasks associated with daily
life, making the service dog a necessity. Like any other companion
animal, service dogs need sustenance and regular veterinary care, which
can be very costly. It is only logical that the cost of regular care for
the animal should be considered what it is, a necessity, and calculated
as an unavoidable expense when attempting to receive or keep assistance
such as Medicaid, Medicare or supplemental nutrition assistance bene-
This legislation will codify the existing policy of the Office of Tempo-
rary and Disability Assistance when it reviews qualified expenses during
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Undetermined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the one hundred and
eightieth day after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2015-2016 Regular Sessions
May 13, 2015
Introduced by M. of A. ROSENTHAL -- read once and referred to the
Committee on Social Services
AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to assistance for
guide dogs, hearing dogs and service dogs and to repeal section 303-a
of such law relating thereto
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Section 303-a of the social services law is REPEALED and a
2 new section 131-y is added to read as follows:
3 § 131-y. Assistance for guide dogs, hearing dogs and service dogs. 1.
4 It shall be the duty of the social services official to provide assist-
5 ance, in accordance with regulations of the department, to a person with
6 a disability using a guide dog, hearing dog or service dog who has been
7 determined to be eligible for or is receiving, including but not limited
8 to, federal supplemental security income benefits, supplemental nutri-
9 tion assistance program benefits, medical assistance for needy persons
10 and/or additional state payments under this chapter, for the purchase of
11 food and the cost of veterinarian expenses for such dog.
12 2. Such regulations of the department shall fix an amount of not less
13 than fifty dollars a month, and the method and frequency of distribution
14 and procedures for the determination and periodical redetermination of
15 eligibility for such assistance.
16 3. Such assistance shall not be granted to any person for whom earned
17 income has been exempted for such purpose pursuant to federal law or
19 4. The full amount properly expended by social services districts
20 under this section, including costs of administration, shall be reim-
21 bursed by the state.
22 5. For purposes of this section, "service dog" shall mean any dog,
23 regardless of certification, under the control of the person using or
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 7489 2
1 training it and that has been or is being individually trained to do
2 work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.
3 § 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
4 it shall have become a law.