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Issue Alert - Employment and Training Changes

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Jul 11, 2006

Program Area:

Family Independence Program (FIP)

Issue Summary:

Elimination of orientation requirements as a condition of Family Independence Program (FIP) eligibility.

Persons Affected:

FIP recipients who are required to participate in WorkFirst/Job Education and Training (WF/JET). PEM 229, 230A, 232, 233A, 233C.

For More Information:

Center for Civil Justice 320 S. Washington, 2nd Floor Saginaw, MI 48607 (989) 755-3120, (800)724-7441 Fax: (989) 755-3558 E-mail:

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


All Family Independence Program (FIP) and Refugee Assistance Program (RAP) clients, unless deferred or engaged in activities other than employment which meet participation requirements, must be referred to Work First and participate in employment-related activities. All mandatory participants must engage in employment or participate in other MWA-approved work activities up to 40 hours per week on average. Prior policy stated that applicants must attend both a joint and individual orientation in order to be eligible for benefits.

What's Happening?

Both joint and individual orientation have been eliminated as a condition of FIP eligibility. The Family Independence Specialist (FIS) staff are required to provide an explanation of the Work and Self-Suffiency Rules to applicants for cash assistance. Cases will no longer be closed or denied for not attending orientation.

Finding Help

Most legal aid and legal services offices handle these types of cases, and they do not charge a fee.

You can locate various sources of legal and related services, including the free legal aid office that serves your county, at

You can also look in the yellow pages under "attorneys" or call the toll-free lawyer referral number, (800) 968-0738.