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Issue Alert - 04-07-09

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Date:

Jul 06, 2004

Issue Summary:

Effective July 1, 2004, applications for Child Day Care (CDC), State Disability Assistance (SDA), or Family Independence Program (FIP) that are faxed to FIA will be treated as incomplete applications, triggering the Family Independence Agency’s standard of promptness for issuing a decision on the application and determining when the applicant’s assistance may begin

Persons Affected:

Individuals applying for Child Day Care(CDC), State Disability Assistance (SDA), or Family Independence Program (FIP)

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

Child Day Care, State Disability Assistance, and Family Independence Program

What's Happening?

Beginning July 1, 2004, faxed applications for CDC, SDA, and FIP are treated as incomplete applications. Because the faxed application is treated as an application rather than as a request, the standard of promptness (time deadline) for FIA to approve or deny the application is measured from the date that the faxed application is received by FIA, rather than from the date that the application with the original signature is received. See Program Administrative Manual [“PAM”] 115 pp. 10-11, the front page of the FIA 1171 application form or Issue Alert 03-12-01 for a list of the standards that apply to each program. In addition, the assistance that the individual will be eligible to receive may depend in part on the date they apply. For cash assistance – SDA and FIP – assistance is not paid for the half-month pay period in which the individual applies. Thus, it may be very important for FIA to receive the application on the 15th rather than the 16th, or on the last day of the current month rather than the first day of the next month. For Child Day Care (CDC), assistance may begin up to 30 days prior to the date the application is filed. Because the faxed application is considered incomplete, the individual applying still must submit an application with an original signature (together with any other necessary verifications and information) before FIA will provide them with assistance. Applicants for FIP, SDA, and CDC also must have an in-person interview with an FIA workder before assistance will be approved.

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). -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 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.