[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Mansfield 1-24-1991 by Ord. No. 1991-2. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CHIEF EXECUTIVE
- The Mayor of the Township of Mansfield.
- The Commissioner of the Department of Human Services.
- The Department of Human Services.
- EMPLOYABLE PERSON
- Any person applying for or receiving public assistance under the General Public Assistance Law (N.J.S.A. 44:8-107 et seq.) who is not unable to perform work due to physical or mental disability as such terms shall be defined in regulations established by the Commissioner.
- PUBLIC ASSISTANCE
- Assistance rendered to needy persons not otherwise provided for under the laws of this state, where such persons are willing to work but are unable to secure employment due either to physical or mental disability or inability to find employment, and includes what is commonly called "relief" or "emergency relief."
- STATE AID
- State aid for public assistance or relief as prescribed and provided for in the General Public Assistance Law.
- UNEMPLOYABLE PERSON
- Any person applying for or receiving public assistance who is not an employable person as defined by the Commissioner.
- Calendar year.
It is the public policy of the State of New Jersey and this municipality that every needy person shall, while in this municipality, be entitled to receive such public assistance as may be appropriate with reference to need of a category of persons and whether or not such persons are employable, and the furnishing of such public assistance is primarily the duty of this municipality and of civic and charitable organizations, but that all needy persons not otherwise provided for under the laws of the state shall hereafter receive public assistance pursuant to the provisions of the General Public Assistance Law.
It is also the public policy of this state and municipality that there are two distinct categories of persons who may be eligible for financial assistance in accordance with general law: those who are employable and those who are unemployable, as those terms are defined herein, and the Commissioner may set differing levels of assistance for these categories.
The municipality shall provide local public assistance to all persons eligible therefor, who are residing herein or otherwise when so provided by law, and said public assistance shall be administered by a local assistance board according to general law and pursuant to this chapter and such rules and regulations as may be promulgated by the Commissioner.
Employable persons receiving public assistance shall be required, except when good cause exists, to perform such public work as shall be assigned to them by the Division of Employment Services in the Department of Labor or by the Director of Welfare of this municipality, in accordance with and as more particularly provided for in N.J.S.A. 44:8-114, which is hereby incorporated by reference and made a part of this chapter.
Persons performing work assigned pursuant to this section shall work only the number of hours equal to the amount of their grant divided by an hourly wage rate commensurate with beginning regular employees similarly employed, and performance of such work shall result in payment to the person of his/her public assistance grant.
Any person who without good cause fails or refuses to report for or to perform work to which he/she has been assigned by the Director of Welfare or the Division of Employment Services shall thereupon become ineligible for public assistance for a period of 90 days, which shall commence at the end of the current benefit period and at the end of which the person shall again become eligible for public assistance, provided that he/she reports for and performs work to which he/she has been assigned or shows his/her willingness to do so. Good cause for failure or refusal to report for or to perform work shall include, but shall not be limited to, working conditions which are a substantial risk to health and safety, physical inability to engage in a particular type of work or lack of a reasonable means of transportation. Willingness to report for or to perform work shall be demonstrated by maintaining a current registration with the Division of Employment Services; by reporting to a Division office upon request and providing all required information; by reporting for employment interviews as scheduled by the Division; by accepting employment or better employment when offered, whether or not the offer is made through or referred by the Division; by accepting training for employment as offered when the person is unemployed; and by continuing in employment training, unless the person has good cause to fail or refuse to report for or to perform the work to which the person has been assigned.
If a recipient is injured while performing work assigned by the Division of Employment Services or the Township's Director of Welfare pursuant to this chapter and the enabling statute, liability for such injury shall be assumed by the state, pursuant to the Workmen's Compensation Act (N.J.S.A. 34:15-1 et seq.). No state agency, municipality or any governmental or nonprofit agency or institution which has contracted with the Division or this municipality pursuant to this chapter or the enabling statute or its employees shall be liable in a civil suit for damages for any injuries sustained by a recipient while performing work required by this chapter and the enabling statute.
There is hereby established a Local Assistance Board composed of five persons, at least one of whom shall be a woman, appointed by the chief executive of this municipality upon the approval of the governing body.
The members of this Board shall serve without compensation but shall be allowed their necessary and actual expenses.
The term of one member of the Board shall be for one year and such member only may be appointed from among the membership of the governing body of this municipality.
The terms of the other members of the Board shall be for four years each, one term expiring in each year.
The term of each member of the Board shall begin on the first day of January and each member shall continue in office until his/her successor shall be appointed and shall qualify.
Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired terms only.
The Board shall organize and select a Chairman and a Secretary and shall appoint a Director of Welfare who shall be the first executive and administrative officer of the Board. The Director shall hold office for a term of five years from the date of his/her appointment and shall be paid such salary as may be fixed by the Board subject to approval by the governing body. Nothing herein shall be construed to make the overseer of the poor of this municipality ineligible for appointment also as Director of Welfare by the Board.
In case of vacancy in the office of Director of Welfare, one temporary or acting Director may be appointed to serve for not more than 90 days.
Other employees, including assistants, clerks, investigators and nurses, in such number as may be necessary to properly administer public assistance, shall be appointed in the same manner as other employees of this municipality.
No employee of the Welfare Department of this municipality whose compensation is paid from funds received or appropriated for public assistance or the administration thereof in any manner shall hold any office in any political party.
The Director of Welfare of this municipality shall:
Supervise by periodic investigation every person receiving public assistance, such investigation to be made by visitation at least once a month.
Reconsider from month to month the amount and nature of public assistance given and alter, amend or suspend the same when the circumstance so requires.
Devise ways and means for bringing persons unable to maintain themselves to self-support or to the support of any other person or agency able and willing so to do.
Keep full and complete records of such investigation, supervision, assistance and rehabilitation and of all certifications of persons for employment or benefits and cancellations thereof in such manner and form as required by the Commissioner.
Bring about appropriate action for commitment to any state or county institution when the interests of the needy persons would be so served.
Each applicant for public assistance in this municipality shall be required to make an affidavit to the correctness of his/her statements in his/her application for relief.
Immediate public assistance shall be rendered promptly to any needy person by the Director of Welfare of the municipality where the person is found at the time of application. Needy persons residing in public or private facilities providing residential therapeutic medical services shall be deemed the responsibility of the municipality of their customary place of abode prior to placement in such facility.
Whenever a person shall apply for public assistance for self or dependents, the Director of Welfare shall inquire into the facts, conditions and circumstances of the case, including customary place of abode, family connections, living conditions, resources, income and causes direct and indirect of the person's need, and such other matters as the Commissioner may require, making a written record thereof in such manner as may be prescribed by the Commissioner. Upon ascertainment of the foregoing facts, conditions and circumstances, the Director of Welfare shall render assistance to an eligible applicant or the applicant's dependents, and the cost of public assistance shall be borne by this municipality.
The Director of Welfare, by written order, shall render such aid and material assistance as he/she may in his/her discretion, after reasonable inquiry, deem necessary to the end that such person may not suffer unnecessarily from cold, hunger or sickness or be deprived of shelter pending further consideration of the case.
The Director of Welfare, upon completion of investigation, shall determine whether or not continued assistance is necessary and shall make such order as in his/her judgment is warranted, having due regard to the circumstances disclosed by the investigation.
Continued assistance under the General Public Assistance Law may be provided in such a manner as to meet any or all of the several needs of, or as may be necessary to protect the well-being of, the person or persons to whom assistance is to be granted such as the provision of food, milk, shelter, fuel, clothing or medical care and it may be provided by cash assistance or any other method authorized by the Local Assistance Board, approved by the governing body, and complying with the regulations of the Commissioner.
The extent of individual grants shall be determined in accordance with the standards and budgets authorized by the Commissioner.
The fact that an applicant for public assistance or any of his/her dependents shall be receiving or be entitled to receive income from other sources or compensation for part-time or casual services shall not make such person ineligible to receive public assistance if such income or compensation is insufficient to support him/her and his/her dependents properly, but the amount of such income or compensation shall be taken into consideration in determining the amount of his/her public assistance by deducting from the amount of public assistance which might otherwise be paid the amount of such income or compensation; except that any money received because of a settlement agreement or judgment in a lawsuit brought against a manufacturer or distributor of Agent Orange for damages resulting from exposure to Agent Orange shall not reduce the amount of public assistance received by the applicant and shall not be subject to a lien or be available for repayment to the state or this municipality for public assistance received by the applicant.
The Director of Welfare may in his/her discretion summarily revoke any order for continued assistance whenever it shall appear that the person is no longer needy within the meaning of the General Public Assistance Law or will be otherwise adequately provided for.
Pursuant to general law, the municipality shall apply annually to the Commissioner for a determination of the amount of state aid which this municipality should receive in such year in the percentage authorized by the General Public Assistance Law.
The provisions of the General Public Assistance Law (N.J.S.A. 44:8-107 et seq.) and of the General Assistance Manual (N.J.A.C. 10:85-1.1, et seq.) are hereby adopted by reference and incorporated in this chapter as though set forth verbatim herein, together with any amendments and supplements.