Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance

Barriers to Self-Sufficiency (Follow-Up Report)

New York State’s public assistance programs are overseen by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), and are administered by local social services districts (57 counties and New York City). The local districts are expected to refer public assistance recipients to the services they need to overcome their barriers to self-sufficiency (e.g., job training, child day care, and treatment for disabling conditions such as mental illness). In audit report 2003-S-15, we examined the practices used by local districts to identify and alleviate public assistance recipients’ barriers to self-sufficiency. We found that most local districts had a formal process for identifying recipients’ barriers to self-sufficiency, but the process was not always as thorough as it could be, and even when barriers were identified, services might not be provided to alleviate the barriers. We recommended that OTDA work with the local districts to improve the practices used in identifying and alleviating recipients’ barriers to self-sufficiency. When we followed up on our recommendations, we found that some progress had been made in implementing the recommendations, but additional actions were needed.

For a complete copy of Report 2006-F-17 click here.