Bill Text: NJ A5361 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Prohibits Catastrophic Illness in Children's Relief Fund Commission from determining eligibility to fund based on immigration status of child's parent or legal guardian.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 3-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-05-16 - Introduced, Referred to Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee [A5361 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-A5361-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY, No. 5361

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MAY 16, 2019

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  HERB CONAWAY, JR.

District 7 (Burlington)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Prohibits Catastrophic Illness in Children's Relief Fund Commission from determining eligibility to fund based on immigration status of child's parent or legal guardian.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning the Catastrophic Illness in Children's Relief Fund and amending P.L.1987, c.370.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 2 of P.L.1987, c.370 (C.26:2-149) is amended to read as follow:

     2.    As used in this act:

     a.     "Catastrophic illness" means any illness or condition the medical expenses of which are not covered by any other State or federal program or any insurance contract and exceed 10% of the first $100,000 of annual income of a family plus 15% of the excess income over $100,000.

     b.    "Child" means a person 21 years of age and under.

     c.     "Commission" means the Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund Commission.

     d.    "Family" means a child and the child's parent, parents, or legal guardian, as the case may be, who is legally responsible for the child's medical expenses.

     e.     "Fund" means the Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund.

     f.     "Income" means all income, from whatever source derived, actually received by a family.

     g.    Resident" means a person legally domiciled within the State for a period of three months immediately preceding the date of application for inclusion in the program.  Mere seasonal or temporary residence within the State, of whatever duration, does not constitute domicile. Absence from this State for a period of 12 months or more is prima facie evidence of abandonment of domicile. The burden of establishing legal domicile within the State is upon the parent or legal guardian of a child.  "Resident" also means a parent or legal guardian domiciled within the State for a period of three months immediately preceding the date the parent's or legal guardian's child applies for inclusion in the program, regardless of the parent's or legal guardian's immigration status

(cf: P.L.2003, c.260, s.1)

 

     2.    Section 8 of P.L.1987, c.370 (C.26:2-155) is amended to read as follows:

     8.    a.  A child who is a resident of this State is eligible, through [his] the child's parent or legal guardian, regardless of the parent's or legal guardian's immigrant status, to apply to the program established pursuant to subsection a. of section 7 of P.L.1987, c.370 (C.26:2-154).

     b.    In the event a family has more than one child with a catastrophic illness, as defined pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1987, c.370 (C.26:2-149), the commission shall waive the family responsibility, as established by regulation, for the other child if the family has met the family responsibility for the first child in a State fiscal year.

(cf: P.L.2010, c.84)

 

     3.    Section 9 of P.L.1987, c.370 (C. 26:2-156) is amended to read as follows:

     9.    Whenever a child has a catastrophic illness and is eligible for the program, the child, through [his] the child's parent or legal guardian, regardless of the parent's or legal guardian's immigration status, shall receive financial assistance from monies in the fund subject to the rules and regulations established by the commission and the availability of monies in the fund.  The financial assistance shall include, but is not limited to, payments or reimbursements for the cost of medical treatment, hospital care, drugs, nursing care and physician services.

(cf: P.L. 2003, c.260, s.3)

 

     4.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     As a result of a recent clarification in the federal "Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996," the Catastrophic Illness in Children's Relief Fund Commission no longer provides financial assistance to children with catastrophic illnesses whose parents or legal guardians are not legally domiciled in the State of New Jersey. 

     This bill, therefore, amends P.L.1987, c.370 (C.26:2-148 et seq.) to prohibit the commission from determining a child's eligibility to receive financial assistance from the fund based on the immigration status of the child's parent or legal guardian

     Specifically, the bill amends section 2 of P.L.1987, c.370 (C.26:2-149) to expand the definition of "resident" to include a parent or legal guardian domiciled within the State for a period of three months immediately preceding the date the parent's or legal guardian's child applies to the commission for financial assistance, regardless of the parent's or legal guardian's immigration status.

     Currently, the law defines "resident" as a person legally domiciled within the State for a period of three months immediately preceding the date of application to the commission for financial assistance, and places the burden of establishing legal domicile within the State on the child's parent or legal guardian.  In order to establish legal domicile for purposes of receiving financial assistance from the fund, the child and the child's parent or legal guardian must present proof that they are a legal permanent resident of New Jersey including, but not limited to, presenting the child's birth certificate or the certificate of citizenship or naturalization for the parent or guardian.

     The bill also clarifies that a child who is a resident of the State or who has a catastrophic illness would be eligible, through the child's parent or legal guardian, regardless of the parent's or legal guardian's immigrant status, to apply to, or receive financial assistance from, the fund.  Current law does not specify whether the immigration status of a parent or legal guardian can be used as a factor to determine whether a child, through the child's parent or legal guardian, is eligible to apply to the fund for financial assistance or can be denied financial assistance from the fund.

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