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Issue Alert - 04-01-08

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Jan 06, 2004

Issue Summary:

Policy has changed for clients who express a willingness to comply with WorkFirst activities.

Persons Affected:

Clients required to participate in WorkFirst

For More Information:

Center for Civil Justice320 S. Washington, 2nd Floor Saginaw, MI 48607 (989) 755-3120, (800) 724-7441 (989) 755-3558 FaxE-mail:


Family Independence Program (FIP);Refugee Assistance Program - Cash (RAP-Cash)

What's Happening?

If a client has been notified that they are non-compliant, the caseworker is required to make a good faith effort to visit the client's home and explain what rights the individual has. The caseworker must determine whether good cause exists and/or if there is a possible deferral before initiating a sanction. The case should not be closed if the individual is compliant prior to the negative action effective date. The negative action should be deleted and no penalty applied. PEM 233A.

What Should Advocates Do?

Caseworkers are required to make a good faith effort to visit an individual's home if they are found to be non-compliant with employment-related activities. The caseworker must explain the rights of the individual and not impose any sanctions until they have explored what the situation is that led to the non-compliant behavior. If the caseworker does not follow this procedure, or if the case is closed despite a good cause exemption or deferral, clients should request a hearing to challenge the finding of non-compliance.

What Should Clients Do?

If a client has been non-compliant with work requirements, make every effort to become compliant before the negative action deadline in order to avoid a one-month case closure.

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.