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Issue Alert - 04-03-06

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Apr 01, 2004

Issue Summary:

FIA no longer counts educational stipends as income when calculating eligibility for public assistance.

Persons Affected:

Public Benefit recipients who receive educational stipends

For More Information:

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


All programs PEM 500

What's Happening?

Some students may receive stipends (usually either a lump sum or monthly payment directly to the student) as part of their assistanceships or other departmental award. FIA has clarified its policy to say that these stipends are also educational income and do not count as income for program benefit purposes. Program Policy Bulletin 2004-005 (eff 4/1/04)

What Should Advocates Do?

Advocates who work with students who are also benefits recipients should make them aware of the changes in policy. This information should also be shared with educational institutions and organizations working with low-income parents who are students.

What Should Clients Do?

Clients in this situation should notify their caseworker to revise their eligibility for programs as a result of this clarification. For questions or problems regarding eligibility with fap, Clients can call the food stamp hotline at (800) 481-4989 or legal services.

Finding Help

Most legal aid and legal services offices handle these types 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 web site ( or look in the yellow pages under "attorneys" or call the toll-free lawyer referral number, (800) 968-0738.