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Issue Alert - 02-10-02

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Oct 02, 2002

Issue Summary:

Standard deduction has been restructured

Persons Affected:

All FAP recipients and applicants


Food Assistance Program (FAP - formerly Food Stamps)

What's Happening?

Effective October 2002, the standard deduction will now adjust for household size. The Farm Bill requires that the standard deduction equal 8.31% of the federal poverty level for each household size, but not below $134 for any household size ($131 under Michigan’s waiver). This new structure for the standard deduction will reflect the costs that households incur more accurately by corresponding to household size and by responding to inflation when the federal poverty levels are adjusted each year. When this provision takes effect, the following standard deductions will result:Household Size, Standard Deduction1, $1312, $1313, $1314, $1315, $1436+, $165

What Should Advocates Do?

Advocates should begin using these new standard deductions when estimate FAP budgets for their clients.

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 ( or look in the yellow pages under "attorneys" or call the toll-free lawyer referral number, (800) 968-0738