A New York Family Lawyer said the mother applied for public assistance and medical aid from the County Department of Social Services for herself and her unborn child. At the time of the application, she was 20 years old and living separate and apart from her husband and residing in the home of her parents in Bethpage. Without any factual determination concerning the amount of child support actually furnished by her parents, the County Department of Social Services notified her that her application for eligibility for public assistance was being denied. The agency’s position was that she is under twenty-one, her parents are responsible for her, she is residing with her own parents, and they are of sufficient ability to support her. As far as the unborn child, there are no needs to be met for the unborn child.
A New York Custody Lawyer said following a fair hearing proceeding, the hearing officer rendered a decision affirming the denial of assistance by the County Department of Social Services on the grounds that when a pregnant woman applies for public assistance for her unborn child and her needs are being met, the unborn child has no unmet needs.
A Nassau County Family Lawyer said thereafter, the mother commenced the Article 78 proceeding wherein she seeks to annul the determination after the fair hearing challenging the alleged practice and policy of the respondents of denying public assistance to married minors on the grounds that they are the legal responsibility of their parents; denying eligibility of married minors for public assistance by assuming resources of legally non-responsible relatives is available for their support without a finding that such resources are in fact being expended for the minor’s support; and denying eligibility of the unborn child for public assistance on the grounds that the pregnant mother’s needs are being met and the unborn child is precluded from establishing independent needs.