Categories
College Government Opinion

Email I’m sending to the financial aid office of every college in New York City about my 2020 HRA public assistance case recertification.

Greetings,

I’m a student at CUNY. I’m trying to find out the rules regarding student loans and public assistance. I’ve already gone through all the proper channels and I still don’t know.

This year my HRA public assistance case recertification was moved from November 2020 to December 2020. My student loans are going to land into my Chase Bank account a few weeks before my HRA public assistance case recertification. The amount is about $5000.

I was told by staff at CUNY and HRA Waverly Job Center that I can receive student loans and public assistance at the same time. No one at CUNY or HRA is certain if having thousands of dollars in my bank account or a large student loan deposit at the same time as my HRA public assistance recertification is going to affect my case.

If anyone has the answer please let me know.

Thank you and have a great day.

Ever upward,

Mark Pine

I love CUNY.

Some of the schools responded and said to contact my financial aid office. This is the email I responded to them with:

Greetings,

I’m confident CUNY has a lot of people who are on public assistance and financial aid. I asked them if receiving a $5000 cash deposit from student loans a few days or weeks before my HRA public assistance case recertification will affect my recertification and they said they weren’t sure. 

That is why I’m contacting every college in New York City to try and find a staff member who might have experience with this specific situation. I mentioned in my initial email that I already went through all the proper channels and I still don’t have an answer. 

I’d rather spend the time now to figure out the situation than wait and have an issue in the middle of the winter when I need to be focusing on my studies. My current GPA is a 4.0 after 27 credits and I’m doing everything in my power to maintain it. 

My school said they haven’t had a student with this specific issue so they can’t provide a definitive answer. They are as helpful and friendly as can be, they just don’t know. If it wasn’t for the awesome support at CUNY I wouldn’t have a 4.0 GPA. 

I guess no one on HRA public assistance has taken a direct loan of $5,000. 

If there is anyone else at the school who has experience with student loans and HRA public assistance please forward this email to them. My thought process is there has to be someone at one of the NYC colleges who has the answer. 

Thank you and have a great day.

Ever upward,

Mark Pine

I love CUNY.

Categories
Government Opinion

Email to the public assistance help desk at the CUNY school I attend.

Greetings,

First and foremost, I treat everyone at The New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA), CUNY, etc., with the utmost respect at all times. That is more important than anything. I understand that everyone is doing their best under the circumstances. I appreciate the consideration I receive from all parties involved. 

I just read the email you sent. I’m in quite a predicament. I have no idea why but for some reason my HRA public assistance recertification date was moved from November 2020 to December 2020. Normally I receive my student loans after my HRA recertification and it doesn’t affect my public assistance case. Now that my HRA recertification has been moved my student loan money is going to land in my account at the same time as my HRA case recertification. 

I’m homeless and I wouldn’t go back to a homeless shelter under any circumstances. I had a horrible experience at two shelters. For the past 5 years, I usually sleep in a chair on the subway platform when it’s cold. Now the subways are closed during my sleeping hours. Additionally, the school is closed. All my go-to places to stay warm are locked up for the winter. 

I need the student loan money to rent access to a coworking space so I have somewhere to go this winter when it’s freezing cold outside. The ATM’s will be filled with my homeless sisters and brothers, so I can’t stay there. Plus the police and bank security are constantly patrolling and clearing everyone out.

I’m going to require my usual $500 per month or so cash assistance and SNAP for food. If I have an issue in the middle of December or January with my public assistance, the coldest months of the year, that is going to be tough. I’m spending hundreds of hours now trying to figure this out so I can avoid a disaster later. Plus there are so many people on public assistance, who knows how long it will take for a glitch in the HRA system to update. 

My HRA public assistance case was already dropped once years ago and I was never given a reason. I do everything HRA asks immediately and I treat everyone with the utmost respect at all times. For the life of me, I have no idea why my case was dropped. 

The HRA approved job program I used to attend would tease us that they were going to drop our cases but that was after my case was dropped and it hasn’t been dropped since. The HRA approved job program would say FTC (fail to comply) over and over for fun. That place was torture. That is why I love the opportunity to go to school and do something productive instead of sitting around the job center from 9 AM to 4 PM 5 days per week doing absolutely nothing for 90% of the time with the staff threatening FTC. There were no computers to use, no WiFi, etc. 

Maybe everything will go smoothly with my recertification but I have a suspicion that $5000 cash from student loans might affect my case if it lands in my account on the same date of my HRA public assistance case recertification. I contacted every single HRA public contact and they refuse to provide an answer. I visited the HRA office on West 14th Street and they were not sure. Thinking about it now, I’m going to go back and try to speak with them again in person. I emailed the financial aid office at school and they are not sure if the money will affect my case. 

I have started contacting financial aid offices at additional New York City colleges, outside of CUNY, trying to find anyone who might have the answer or a contact at HRA. I’m going to contact the public advocate, Manhattan Borough President, Queens Borough President, and anyone else I can think of. 

If you have any additional contacts for me to reach out to regarding this matter please let me know. 

Thank you and have a great day.

Ever upward,

Mark Pine

I love CUNY.

Categories
New York City Opinion

Email to The New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA) about my public assistance case recertificaion.

Greetings,

First and foremost I treat everyone at HRA with the utmost respect at all times. Regardless of how anyone at HRA treats me, I treat them the way I want to be treated. They usually treat me nicely. 

I am a full-time college student at The City University of New York. Every six months I receive student loans in the amount of about $5000 cash in my Chase Bank account. I was told by the CUNY EDGE and CUNY financial aid office that the money would not affect my public assistance case. 

I have a 4.0 GPA after 27 credits. I don’t drink, smoke, or party. I don’t have a criminal record. My attendance record at school is 100%. 

I grew up on Long Island and people I know pay New York law enforcement to torture me. That’s why I have been homeless for the past 5 years. I choose not to live in a homeless shelter. I don’t want to complain about it right now. The reason I mention the abuse I’m a victim to is because New York law enforcement sabotages me at various government agencies. I’m concerned this might be one of those times. I hope I’m wrong.

Something recently changed with my HRA account. I’m not sure if it’s going to affect my public assistance case or not. I want to figure it out as soon as possible instead of at the last minute. The date of my recertification was recently moved from November 2020 to December 2020. 

If I’m correct, when my recertification was in November 2020 I could have recertified on either September 15, 2020, or October 1, 2020. I haven’t earned any money since last year. My college attendance record, amount of credits, and GPA are satisfactory in regard to HRA’s school requirements. Normally, such as last year, everything would have been business as usual regarding my HRA public assistance recertification. It would have been smooth sailing. I hope it still is.

The money from my student loans would not have shown up on my Chase Bank statement that I would submit to HRA for my recertification as proof of no income. The student loan money would show up on the following Chase Bank statement. I’m not taking any private loans, I’m only taking Federal and New York State student loans. I wouldn’t have been doing anything wrong because I was told by everyone involved that I’m allowed to take student loans while on public assistance. 

I’m trying to figure out the following information regarding my HRA case:

  1. Am I allowed to take out Federal and New York State student loans while on public assistance, cash assistance, and SNAP without it affecting my benefits? 
  2. Is it going to affect my benefits or recertification that I’m going to have a deposit of about $5000 from student loans showing on my Chase Bank statement the same month as my recertification? 
  3. Is it going to affect my public assistance case that I have a few thousand dollars cash in my bank account from student loans during my HRA recertification?
  4. Is there anything else I should know that I’m not asking? 
  5. The least important at this point unless I’m going to lose out big time is why was my recertification date moved? 

Please advise. 

Thank you and have a great day. 

Ever upward, 

Mark Pine