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Issue Alert - 04-10-06

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Oct 21, 2004

Issue Summary:

Shelter or heat utility expenses should not be prorated even if the expense is shared by other household members.

Persons Affected:

Individuals incurring and/or paying shelter or heat utilities.

For More Information:

Center for Civil Justice320 S. Washington, 2nd Floor Saginaw, MI 48607 (989) 755-3120, (800)724-7441 Fax: (989) 755-3558E-mail:


Food Assistance Program<BR>PEM 554

What's Happening?

For some shared expenses, the amount is prorated if it can be determined what the Food Assistance group is responsible for. Child support, medical and dependent care expenses are prorated among the members of the FAP group. <BR>The following expenses are NOT prorated: the shelter or mandatory heat and utility standard, mandatoryindividual standard or actual utility expenses. These are never prorated, even if the expense is shared with someone outside of the FAP group. Shelter expenses are counted whenbilled and do not have to be paid to be allowed.

What Should Advocates Do?

Determine whether or not a client is being correctly budgeted for their Food Assistance grant.

What Should Clients Do?

If you feel that your Food Assistance budget is not correct, contact one of the agencies listed below.

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.