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Issue Alert - 04-07-08

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Date:

Jul 06, 2004

Issue Summary:

Effective July 1, 2004, individuals can apply for Medicaid, Adult Medical Program (AMP), or Food Assistance Program (FAP – formerly food stamps) by fax.

Persons Affected:

Individuals applying for benefits or assistance from the Family Independence Agency (FIA)

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

Medicaid, Adult Medical Program (AMP), Food Assistance Program (FAP, formerly known as food stamps)

What's Happening?

Beginning July 1, 2004, individuals can apply for Medicaid, Adult Medical Program (AMP), and Food Assistance Program (FAP – formerly called Food Stamps) by fax. Individuals do not have to submit an original version of the application in order to be approved for these benefit programs. FIA Program Administrative Manual 105 pp. 1-2 (available online at http://www.mfia.state.mi.us/olmweb/ex/pam/105.pdf). As with all applications, the individual will have to provide necessary information and verifications to FIA. FAP applicants may have to attend an interview at the FIA office, unless they have circumstances that prevent them from doing so (See PAM 155 p. 13 http://www.mfia.state.mi.us/olmweb/ex/pam/115.pdf). No in-person interview is required for Medicaid or AMP or for FAP households that consist entirely of senior and/or disabled members. Interviews can be waived for FAP if there are good reasons why the head of household cannot get to the FIA office during regular office hours (work, school, transportation problems, etc). Note that at the time this alert is being written, there is a an enrollment freeze for AMP. Any AMP application filed on or after July 1, 2004 will be denied until the enrollment freeze is lifted. At this time, the freeze is for an indefinite period. See Issue Alert 04-06-02. Individuals who wish to apply for Child Day Care (CDC) or cash assistance (Family Independence Program –FIP or State Disability Assistance - SDA) along with Medicaid, AMP, or FAP should check the boxes indicating that they are applying for those programs when they submit their application by fax. They will also need to mail or bring the original, signed application to FIA. Individuals applying for FIP, SDA, or CDC can establish an application date and trigger the standard of promptness for getting a decision on their application by faxing their application to FIA. However, FIA will not approve FIP, SDA, or CDC unless they have the application with the person’s original signature on file. See Issue Alert 07-04-09 for more information about applications for child day care and cash assistance.

What Should Advocates Do?

Help individuals apply for FIA-administered benefits. -Make application forms available for your clients. Ask your local FIA office for copies of application forms, or print them from the internet (http://www.mfia.state.mi.us/olmweb/ex/rff/1171.pdf). - Find out the fax number for faxing applications to your local FIA office. -Fax clients’ signed applications to FIA and provide them with a fax-generated receipt/verification that the document was faxed. -Help clients file their original application for Child Day Care or cash assistance by providing them with help getting to the FIA office (directions, transportation assistance, etc.) or by providing them with an envelope addressed to FIA and with postage.-Help clients keep records of their application by providing them with a copy of the application to keep for their records.

What Should Clients Do?

Get your application to FIA as quickly as possible. - If you fax your application, keep a receipt showing that the fax was sent.- Bring or mail the application with your original signature to FIA, if you are applying for cash assistance or child day care.- Do not ignore notices from FIA. Call if you need to reschedule any appointments that are set.- If you are applying for FAP (food assistance, formerly known as food stamps) and cannot get to FIA for an interview, tell FIA why you cannot attend. - If FIA sends you a verification checklist, give them as many of the items as you can. If you need help getting verifications, tell your FIA worker.

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.