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Downey and Timberlake Bill to Improve Access to Social Services Clears Assembly Panel

Moving to increase awareness for and enrollment in public assistance and social service programs, a measure (A-4876) sponsored by Assemblywomen Joann Downey (D-Monmouth) and Britnee Timberlake (D-Essex, Passiac) to require county welfare agencies to conduct a full eligibility screening of all administered public assistance and social service programs for people who apply for at least one service provided by the agency was approved Thursday by the Assembly Human Services Committee.

The bill sponsors released the following statements:

Assemblywoman Joann Downey: “We have a wide array of social services available in New Jersey, and it’s very possible one person could be eligible for multiple programs simultaneously. This bill is about making sure residents in need are able to take full advantage of assistance opportunities available to them. A little extra help could make all the difference in someone’s life.”

Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake: “It’s always a challenge to raise public awareness of programs like Work First New Jersey, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid. It’s even harder to get that information to our most vulnerable populations. Under this bill, it will be far easier for social service agencies to connect residents to the help they need.”