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Issue Alert - 03-07-01

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Jul 01, 2003

Issue Summary:

FIA's application for assistance (FIA-1171) and the one-page filing application (FIA-1171F) are now available online for printing at

Persons Affected:

Applicants for FIA programs


All programs

What's Happening?

The FIA-1171 and the FIA-1171F are now available online in both English and Spanish. The forms can be found by going to the FIA website (, choosing "Assistance Programs" from the menu on the left side of the screen, then choosing a program (cash assistance, food assistance, day care, medical care or emergency services). When you choose a program, there is an option to view "Forms and Publications" within that program. Each of these programs include an FIA-1171 and an FIA-1171F in their list of Forms and Publications. (The "Forms and Publications" option is either shown on the main screen within the program, or is listed on the menu on the left side of the screen.)The forms cannot be filled out or submitted online, but they can be printed and then mailed or dropped off at the Family Independence Agency (FIA). (Applications for Food Assistance only can also be faxed to the FIA office.)Individuals who are seeking only Medicaid may apply by mail and do not need to visit the FIA office or have an in-person interview. Individuals who are seeking Food Assistance must be interviewed but if there is a special reason (hardship) why the individual cannot be interviewed in person at the FIA office, the FIA worker must make other arrangements for the interview. For Food Assistance households that have only unearned income and consist entirely of Senior/Disabled/Veteran members, no in-person interview is required.

What Should Advocates Do?

Advocates should help their clients obtain FIA-1171 applications when they need to apply for assistance. Advocates who have access to the Internet and a printer may find it easier to print off a copy of the application than to obtain printed copies from their local FIA office. Advocates should also help their clients fill out the application when possible, or at least explain important or confusing aspects of the application that applicants should be sure to fill out completely and accurately. Advocates may also want to advise clients to complete the FIA-1171F if they are not able to complete the entire FIA-1171 immediately. Many applicants are not aware that they have the option to complete the shorter FIA 1171-F filing document first to get the time limit started.

What Should Clients Do?

Clients may obtain the FIA-1171 or the FIA-1171F online if they have access to the Internet. Clients who wish to use the online form should print out the application form, fill it out and then drop it off or mail it to the Family Independence Agency. If you need assistance filling out the application, contact your local FIA office for help.

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