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Issue Alert - 04-06-03

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Date:

Jun 30, 2004

Issue Summary:

Individual FIA county offices may be closing for a day or two over the summer for "furlough days"

Persons Affected:

All persons receiving benefits

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

All programs

What's Happening?

FIA has received a number of requests from staff to take their furlough days over the coming summer months. The requests have been so numerous that the Central Office has given local county offices the option to close for a day if the entire staff agrees. If the county office decides to close, they must notify the zone office, post notices in the local offices, and notify local agencies and county offices. Because the closures do not occur during a state holiday, all applications received during the closure period MUST BE DATE STAMPED AS RECEIVED ON THE DATE OF THE OFFICE CLOSURE.

What Should Advocates Do?

Advocates should contact their local FIA offices to see if they are planning any office closures. If so, make sure that clients are aware that applications submitted on the date of closure (either in person or by mail) must be date stamped received on that date.

What Should Clients Do?

Clients should be aware that FIA may close for a non-holiday furlough day especially around state holidays. Contact FIA to see if they are planning to close the office for furlough days. Clients should also be aware that any application submitted during the furlough day (either in person or by mail) must be date stamped as received on the date the office was closed.

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 (http://MI.LawHelp.org) or look in the yellow pages under "attorneys" or call the toll-free lawyer referral number, (800) 968-0738.