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NY to stop fingerprinting all who seek public assistance

December 22, 2019 GMT

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York is set to stop requiring fingerprints from individuals applying for public assistance.

The Albany Times-Union reports that the state will stop using fingerprinting technology for applicants to Family and Safety Net Assistance starting Jan. 15.

Since 2012, the state has stopped using fingerprints for programs such as Medicaid and the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program.

Justin Mason, a spokesman for the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, said the move makes it easier for vulnerable residents to access help during difficult times and emergencies. Critics say fingerprinting deters people from applying for state aid.

The state’s move comes as the Trump Administration is mandating that certain childless adults who receive food assistance work at least 20 hours a week.