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Issue Alert - 04-11-01

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Date:

Nov 18, 2004

Issue Summary:

Beginning October 1st, Food stamp standard and shelter deductions have increased as have food stamp amounts

Persons Affected:

food stamp recipients

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

Food stamps or the Food Assistance Program (FAP)

What's Happening?

The standard deductions and shelter deductions have increased for FAP recipients beginning October 1st. The shelter deduction cap for non senior or disabled recipients has been increased as well. The deductions are now as follows:Standard DeductionHousehold size Deduction1-4 = $1285 = $1476 or more = $169Shelter DeductionsHeat and Utility = $428Non-electric heat = $75Water and/or sewer = $44Telephone = $31Cooking fuel = $38Trash/Garbage removal = $14The new shelter maximum deduction for households without a disabled or senior is now $388.Also, the monthly FAP allotment has increased by a few dollars depending on the household size and the household's FAP income.FIA updated the client's FAP eligibility automatically on their computer. Clients should have noticed an increased food stamp amount on their October bridge card.

What Should Advocates Do?

Advocates should make sure that their FAP clients received the increased FAP amounts for October. If clients did not receive the increase, they should contact their caseworkers or the food stamp helpline at (800) 481-4989.Advocates who assist clients by estimating their FAP eligibility should update their tables with the new amounts.

What Should Clients Do?

Clients who did not receive the increase should contact their caseworkers or the food stamp helpline at (800) 481-4989.

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.