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Issue Alert - 04-07-04

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Jul 01, 2004

Issue Summary:

Faxed applications will be treated as incomplete applications rather than "requests" for assistancePAM 110, 115

Persons Affected:

Anyone applying for the above programs who faxed an application

For More Information:

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


Family Independence Program (FIP), Child Day Care (CDC), and State Disability Assistance (SDA), Medicaid, Adult Medical Program, Food Assistance Program (FAP) and TMAP

What's Happening?

FIA has changed its policy to say that faxed applications will be considered incomplete applications rather than requests for assistance. If the faxed application contains the minimum information to file an application i.e. the applicant's name, birthday, address, signature of the applicant/authorized representative, the application will be recorded as incomplete and the date of receipt for application processing purposes is the date the application was faxed. Thus, if an applicant faxes their application to the local office on 7/1/04 and then submits the requested paper application on 7/10/04, the date of receipt will be 7/1/04 for standard of promptness purposes.Applications for all programs must be processed within the programs standard of promptness. The standard of promptness for FIA administered programs are as follows:Expedited food stamps - 7 daysNon-expedited food stamps, Refugee Assistance Program - 30 daysFamily Independence Program, Child Day Care, Medicaid when a disability determination is NOT a factor in eligibility determination, Adult Medical Program, - 45 daysState Disability Assistance, and Medicaid when disability determination is a factor - 60 daysState Emergency Relief - 10 daysApplicants have a right to request a hearing for any application that has not been either approved or denied within the above standard of promptness deadlines.Applicants still must respond to FIA's request for additional information. The original application must be received before benefits are approved. Applicants must submit any requests for additional information from the caseworker within 10 calendars days of the request. If the information is not submitted within 10 days, the application can be denied for incompleteness.

What Should Advocates Do?

Advocates should be aware of the above standard of promptness deadlines which begins on the date FIA receives an application including by fax with the minimum information.

What Should Clients Do?

Clients should be aware of the above standard of promptness dates for the programs which they applied. They should be aware that if they faxed the application to the office with the minimum information that the standard of promptness begins on the date the application was faxed. Clients who have applications pending beyond the standard of promptness should request a hearing and contact their local legal services office. Clients should also respond with the original application and any other requests for verification within stated deadlines to avoid any "client caused" processing delays.

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.