(a) Establishment of conciliation procedure.
(1) Each social services district must establish a conciliation procedure through which recipients of RCA must be afforded an opportunity for conciliation to dispute a determination that the recipient has failed or refused to participate in appropriate employment services, to carry out a job search, to accept an appropriate offer of employment or any action taken by a social services district in accordance with the provisions of this subpart.
(2) The conciliation procedure must provide for at least one contact between the recipient, appropriate social services staff and the mediator. The process may last no longer than 30 days unless mutually agreed to by the social services district and the recipient.
(3) The social services district must enter into an agreement with an independent entity or must employ trained social services district staff who have no direct responsibility for the recipient's case to act as mediators for such disputes.
(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (3) of this subdivision, the social services district may designate other staff who are not specifically trained to mediate disputes if no independent entity or trained staff are available. Such staff must have no direct responsibility for the recipient's case and such designation must be submitted to the local commissioner in writing.
(b) Conciliation procedure.
(1) A social services district must issue a notice to each recipient of RCA who refuses or fails to comply with the requirements of this subpart. Such notice must be issued as soon as possible, but no later than 10 days following the date of failure or refusal to participate. The notice must advise the recipient of his or her refusal or failure to comply and that he or she has seven days to request conciliation with the social services district regarding any dispute related to such refusal or failure to comply.
(2) If the recipient requests conciliation, it will be the recipient's responsibility to provide reasons for such refusal or failure to comply.
(3) If the district and the recipient cannot, with the assistance of the mediator, resolve the issues related to the recipient's refusal or failure to comply, a written document summarizing the conciliation and notifying the recipient that he or she has the right to a fair hearing pursuant to Part 358 of this Title must be given or sent to the recipient by the district within 10 days of the termination of conciliation. The social services district must incorporate such document into the recipient's case record and, in the event of a fair hearing, present it as required in accordance with section 358-4.3 of this Title. If the district determined that the refusal or failure to comply was willful and without good cause, then the social services district must sanction the recipient pursuant to section 373-1.8 (f) of this subpart.
(4) If the dispute is resolved to the satisfaction of the recipient and the district through the conciliation process, a written document memorializing such resolution must be sent to the social services district and the recipient within 10 days of such resolution. Such resolution is binding on the social services district and the recipient.
(5) If the recipient does not respond to the seven day conciliation letter issued by the social services district pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subdivision, or if the social services district determines that the recipient's refusal or failure to comply was willful and without good cause, then the social services district must issue an adequate notice to deny RCA or a timely and adequate notice of intent to discontinue or reduce RCA pursuant to section 373-1.8(f) of this subpart.
(6) No sanction related to the recipient's refusal or failure to comply may be imposed during the conciliation period.
Return DSS Regs Table of Contents | Search DSS Regs