Monday, March 27, 2023
HomenewsNyc Residents Sue Adams Administration: "Hunger and Severe Suffering"

Nyc Residents Sue Adams Administration: “Hunger and Severe Suffering”

Thousands of low-income New Yorkers have been denied financial aid and food stamp benefits by Mayor Adams’ administration, placing them in “hunger and tremendous anguish” for weeks or even months at a period claims a complaint filed late Friday.

Applications for financial assistance and food benefits must be processed by the city’s Human Resources Administration within 30 days, under federal and state law.

Approximately 28,000 such aid applications, some of which date back as far as September, were past due as of late last month. Applications for food benefits and financial assistance must be processed by the city’s Human Resources Administration in a 30-day window.

Maria Forest, a 71-year-old retired carer who pays a monthly rent of $605 for a Brooklyn apartment, is one of the plaintiffs. Katie Kelleher, an attorney with Legal Aid, claims that some of her clients have been forced to miss meals, live off of potatoes for days, or skip rent payments in order to purchase food.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is where the food benefits are distributed, and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Safety Net Assistance programs are where the financial benefits are provided.

The Manhattan Federal Court case, however, alleges that as of late last month, some 28,000 such aid applications were past due, some dating back as far as September.

This means that approximately half of all claims before HRA aren’t being processed on time, allegedly in violation of the law.

Along with Gary Jenkins, the commissioner of social services, and Lisa Fitzpatrick, the director of human resources, the lawsuit names the entire administration of Adams as defendants.

Four New Yorkers with pending welfare claims filed the lawsuit, which is requesting class-action status to represent all the city’s pending applicants. Forest criticizes the organization for “not just not assisting people, but even injuring people.”

Nyc Residents Sue Adams Administration Hunger and Severe Suffering

I have spent all of my funds, have no money in my bank account, and have no method to cover my basic needs. An official from the Law Department stated that the Adams administration “would consider the litigation.”

The city will keep helping New Yorkers in need, the spokesman said. As Adams works to reduce HRA’s employees, the lawsuit is filed. She claimed that on some days, she called the agency’s welfare hotline 20 times without ever speaking with a helpful person.

Due to her weak English proficiency, Forest, who spoke to The News in Polish through a translator, is diabetic and currently undergoing surgery for a spine problem that severely restricts her movement.

I’ve always thought of America as a law-abiding country, where rules and laws are respected,” said Forest, who immigrated to the U.S. over 20 years ago. “But because I’m not receiving SNAP, she said she has had to stop buying an over-the-counter painkiller for her spinal condition in order to afford food, worsening her discomfort.

Decreased vacancies, according to some, prevent agencies from performing their duties. At City Hall on January 12, Adams remarked, “Don’t trust them.”

Adams’ planned cuts, in response, would worsen the processing backlogs for the cash assistance and food stamp programs, said HRA director Jennifer Kelleher. The lawsuit claims that HRA canceled certain people’s benefits without notifying them, including Forest.


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