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NYC Families Receive $13.1 Million in Public Assistance Class Action Settlement

Last month 30,000 New Yorkers received one-time payments totaling $13.1 million, according to a report by

The payments were pursuant to a class action settlement for residents who received public assistance in New York City and whose benefits were wrongfully reduced or stopped by the City between July 8, 2007 and December 22, 2015, due to alleged violations of employment requirements. These punitive sanctions were imposed without adequate notice to members of the plaintiff class of their ability to avoid the sanction by showing that there was good cause for the violation or that the violation was not willful.

“Legal Aid represented scores of clients who could have avoided sanctions had they been adequately informed that their inability to comply with employment requirements would be excused if, for example, they were ill, they could not obtain child care, they had a meeting at their child’s school or for any number of other legitimate reasons,” said Les Helfman, one of The Legal Aid Society attorneys for the class. “This settlement provides compensation for the neediest of these clients.”

Learn more about how The Legal Aid Society can provide assistance getting, keeping and using government benefits.