Welcome to Welfare Rights Initiative!

Dear students,

Welcome to Welfare Rights Initiative-SPRING 2019!

Welfare Rights Initiative (WRI) is a student advocacy and leadership training organization located at Hunter College. WRI is proud to lead the effort to expand access to education for all students. We are excited that our work has resulted in good first steps laws and policies that allow four-year college class and homework time to count toward required work activity for public assistance. It is important that you understand how to make the best use of these law and policy changes to continue your college studies.

So what does this mean for students right now?

  • Work-study (which can be obtained through the FAFSA application process and via HRA), 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.


You can connect with WRI in several ways

  • Call WRI’sphone line, 212-650-3592, to obtain information on how to stay in school while receiving public assistance.  If you are a student, please call WRI’s phone line to make an appointment as soon as you receive your FIA letter. 
  • Come to WRI’s Open House for our Snack “n” Chat to connect to resources, January 30th (1:30pm-3pm).
  • Attend a WRI Know Your Rights Training workshop on Wednesdays, February 27th, March 27th, and April 17th. Hunter North, 3rdFloor, Room 302, 1:30pm-3:00pm.
  • Come to our Walk-In Hours for information on your rights, Wednesdays, 1:30pm-3:00 pm in Hunter North, Room 302 or call 212-650-3592 to make an appointment.
  • Learn more about WRI’s 2-semester WGS/SOC (credit-bearing) Community Leadership Program. Contact Dillonna Lewis, illewis@hunter.cuny.edu or call 212-650-3569 for more information.

WRI collaborated with key administrators from the office of Commissioner Steven Banks (NYC Human Resources Administration) to create the attached, ACCESS TO EDUCATION FACT SHEETFIA-1064c. We are eager to help you make practical applications of this resource to facilitate your ongoing college access and continued matriculation.  Please see us in Hunter North, Room 302; call our phone line 212-650-3592; and/or visit our website or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Dillonna C. Lewis                        Maureen Lane                             Roxanna Henry

WRI Co-Executive Director         WRI Co-Executive Director          WRI Legal Advocacy Organizer

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