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Issue Alert - 02-07-01

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Date:

Jul 16, 2002

Issue Summary:

$75 per Child Clothing Allowance will be issued to all children eligible to receive FIP for August 2002

Persons Affected:

All Children eligible to receive FIP for August 2002

For More Information:

Michigan Poverty Law Program 611 Church Street, Suite 4A Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3000(734) 998-6100(734) 998-9125 Fax


Background

Family Independence Program (FIP)

What's Happening?

Each Michigan family with an active Family Independence program (FIP) cash assistance case for August 2002 will receive a children’s clothing allowance of $75 per eligible child.Which children are not eligible for the allowance?Children who are not eligible for FIP because they receive Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) will not receive the clothing allowance. In addition, a family that has no children but receives FIP based on a woman’s pregnancy will not receive any clothing allowance. FIA has not indicated whether children over age 19, or age 18 – 19 and not attending high school, will be eligible for the allowance; last year they were not eligible. When will the $75 payments be issued?For families with a FIP case that is on the FIA computer system on July 31, 2002 as eligible for FIP in August 2002, the allowance will be deposited to the family’s EBT (electronic benefits transfer) account on the same date as their FIP grant for the first half of August, except families with a case number ending in zero will receive their clothing allowance on August 8 instead of August 7. either August 16 or August 18, depending on the family’s case number. Families with a case number ending in 0 – 4 will receive the allowance on August 16. Families with case numbers ending with 5 – 9 will receive the allowance on August 18. Families that have their FIP case opened after July 1, 2002 will receive a supplement when their case is opened. Will the family be notified?Yes, a notice will be issued by FIA. The notice will tell the family about the allowance and the possibility that stores in their area may give discounts to families who are using the allowance to purchase children’s clothes. The notice includes a section that can be completed by stores to show how much of the allowance the client has spent at that store.Will the allowance affect the family’s eligibility for Food Stamps or Medicaid?No. FIA will not count the allowance as income for any program. However, if the family does not spend the money in the month it is received, it may be counted as an asset and could, in combination with other assets, put the family over the asset limit for some programs.What should advocates and families do?Advocates and families should check with the Volunteer coordinator at your local FIA office to find out is any local stores are offering discounts to families that use their allowance to purchase children’s clothing. Advocates should share this information with families they serve who may be receiving the clothing allowance.Families should comparison shop to be sure that the prices offered by stores that give “discounts” are not higher than prices in other stores, before spending their clothing allowance.

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