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The Michigan Poverty Law Program (MPLP) provides state support services to local legal aid programs and other poverty law advocates. MPLP engages in systemic advocacy to help alleviate barriers faced by low income individuals. Since inception in 1997, MPLP has supported, trained and provided case consultation to advocates on thousands of cases involving low income individuals and families in Michigan. MPLP is a joint project of the Michigan Advocacy Program and the University of Michigan Law School.

Since 2008, the Michigan Advocacy Project through MPLP has expanded significantly and created successful statewide programs to respond to emerging legal needs in Michigan. The statewide programs include: the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, the Michigan Foreclosure Prevention Project, the Michigan Elder Justice Initiative, and the Michigan Legal Help Program.

If you are a client looking for legal assistance or representation please visit, which provides legal information and resources for Michigan residents who are representing themselves in civil legal matters.

Recent Issue Alerts

Aug 05, 2016 Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has a new policy of covering new direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment that cures hepatitis C. Patients and advocates should be aware of the new policy, and refer patients denied DAA treatment to the Center for Civil Justice or another legal services program for assistance.
Jun 03, 2016 The Social Security Administration has provided some guidance on medical evidence and impairments that may result from ingesting toxic lead, for individuals applying for SSI or SSDI benefits based on an allegation of impairment due to lead contaminated water in Flint, MI.
Apr 27, 2016 Different rules determine children’s income eligibility for Medicaid and Marketplace coverage. A unique situation arises when children of unmarried parents who live together are found over income for Medicaid and under-income for Marketplace coverage. The State must use a special Medicaid MAGI exception under 42 C.F.R. 435.603(i) to re-determine the child’s eligibility for Medicaid.
Mar 11, 2016 Social Security income includes retirement, survivor benefits, and disability payments. In most cases it is counted as income for purposes of determining eligibility for health insurance using MAGI budgeting. However, for minor children receiving RSDI on a parent's work record, this income should almost never be counted.
Dec 27, 2015 DHHS specialist must assist those with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) in applying and participating in DHHS programs and services through the use of an interpreter
Apr 17, 2015 Recipients of Family Independence Program (FIP) benefits are required to participate in the work program, PATH, unless they are deferred. If a recipient is determined to be non-compliant with the work program, sanctions are imposed. The entire case is closed for the term of the sanction. The current sanction pattern is case closure for three months the first time, six months the second time and lifetime for the third. DHS policy was to review all of the sanctions prior to permanently closing the case. That policy has been eliminated as of May 1, 2015.
Mar 25, 2015 In order to request a hearing with the Department of Human Services (DHS) or the Department of Community Health (DCH), the request must be submitted within 90 days of the Notice of Case Action. A clarification of how the 90 days are counted has been added to BAM 600 at page 6.
Mar 13, 2015 On October 29, 2014, a federal court preliminary enjoined the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Michigan Department of Community Health (DCH) from terminating the Plan First! Medicaid benefits of tens of thousands of low-income women without first conducting ex parte case reviews to determine if these women are eligible for comprehensive Medicaid. The federal court also ordered DHS and DCH to provide these women with written notice of their eligibility for comprehensive Medicaid following these ex parte reviews.
May 13, 2014

Beginning May 1, 2014, DHS will not automatically use the standard heat and utility allowance when determining eligibility and payment amounts for FAP applicants and recipients; but FAP groups that were receiving the standard allowance on or before February 7, 2014 will be protected from the change for at least 5 months.

Feb 25, 2014 DHS has revised their policy for the administrative hearing process for appealing adverse DHS decisions
Feb 04, 2014 Individuals who transfer countable assets for less than fair market value while applying for or receiving FAP, or within 90 days prior to application, will be ineligible for FAP for 1 to 12 months, depending on the amount of the “divestment”
Feb 04, 2014 Individuals and families must now apply for Medicaid and MIChild on a separate application from other programs, which will also serve as an application for health insurance subsidies for people who are over the income limits for Medicaid and MIChild