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Issue Alert - 02-05-09

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Date:

May 10, 2002

Issue Summary:

FIA requests for 3rd party verification of unearned income

Persons Affected:

Persons who are asked to verify unearned income from IRS database matches with FIA

For More Information:

Center for Civil Justice320 S. Washington, 2nd Floor Saginaw, MI 48607 (989) 755-3120, (800)724-7441 Fax: (989) 755-3558E-mail: info@ccj-mi.org


Background

Family Independence Program (FIP), Medicaid (MA) and Food Assistance Program (FAP)

What's Happening?

FIA has updated its policies for handling IRS unearned income matches. While most of the changes involve handling confidential information within the office, FIA added one provision where a client could be sanctioned for non-compliance or non-cooperation.When FIA receives a match from the IRS database, a notice is also sent to the client of the IRS match and amount. Clients are asked to provide verification of the income to FIA. When the client returns the notice, the caseworker determines if additional third party verification is needed. If so, the caseworker asks the client to sign a release form in order for FIA to request the information from the third party. Advocates should be aware that if the client refuses to verify the information, he or she may be sanctioned for non-cooperation.

Finding Help

Most legal aid and legal services office handle these type of cases, and they do not charge a fee. You can locate the "free" legal services or legal aid office that serves your county on the Michigan Legal Assistance Network website (http://www.mlan.net/locate.html) or look in the yellow pages under "attorneys" or call the toll-free lawyer referral number, (800) 968-0738