Welfare Rights Initiative (WRI) is a student activist and leadership training program located at Hunter College


Welcome to Welfare Rights Initiative


WRI is proud to lead the effort to expand access to education for all students. We are excited that our work resulted in new state legislation and New York City policy that allows four-year college class and homework time to count toward required work activity for public assistance. It is important that students know their rights concerning this new change.

So what does this mean for students right now?

  • Work-study, internship, and externship hours always count toward the HRA-required work activity hours.
  • Class, lab, homework, and supervised tutoring hours may count toward required hours for up to 12 months.
  • HRA must accommodate a student’s academic schedule in the assignment of any additional work activities.

For more resources and information on welfare and education rights, maintaining benefits, and work activity requirements, visit WRI’s office at Thomas Hunter 207 or see our website at www.wri-ny.org.

You can connect with WRI in several ways: 

1.)   Call WRI’s phone line, 212-650-3592, to obtain information on how to advocate for a student’s right to stay in school while receiving public assistance.  If you are a student, please call WRI to make an appointment as soon as you receive your FIA letter.  

2.)    Attend a WRI Know Your Rights Training workshop. WRI’s next KYR’s training will take place on Wednesdays, September 21st, October 26th, and November 16th 2016.  September 21st and November 16th KYR take place at WRI Thomas Hunter 207.  October 26th KYR takes place at Hunter East, 14th Floor, Room 1413.

3.)   Come to our Walk-In Hours for information on your rights on Wednesdays, 1:30pm-3:00pm in Thomas Hunter 207.

4.)   Register for WRI’s 2-semester WGS/SOC (credit-bearing) Community Leadership Program, contact Dillonna C. Lewis, illewis@hunter.cuny.edu, for more information. Seats are now available for the Fall 2017 semester.

Our goal is to connect you to existing laws and policies that can help you stay in school.

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