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Issue Alert - Food Assistance Program (FAP)

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Date:

Oct 01, 2006

Issue Summary:

Beginning October 1st, food assistance standards and deductions have increased, as have food assistance income limits and allotment amounts.

Persons Affected:

Food assistance recipients and applicants.

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: info@ccj-mi.org

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


Background

The formula for calculating eligibility for food assistance includes a “standard deduction” for living expenses and shelter deductions for housing and utilities.  The income limits are used as a guideline for determining eligibility.  Michigan is required to periodically review these deductions/limits and make adjustments.

What's Happening?

The standard deductions, shelter deductions, and income limits have increased for FAP recipients and applicants beginning October 1st.  The deductions are now as follows: (* denotes a change from previous year).

Standard Deduction 

Group Size/Deduction Amount

1-3 = $125

4 = $130*

5 = $153*

6 or more = $177*

Shelter Deductions

Shelter Maximum = $417* (non-senior and non-disabled households only)

Heat and Utility = $587*

Non-Heat Electric = $85*

Water and/or Sewer = $49*

Telephone = $31

Cooking Fuel = $45

Trash/Garbage Removal = $16*

Dependent Care Deduction

Under age 2 = $200

Age 2 or over = $175

Also, the monthly FAP allotment has increased by a few dollars depending upon the household size and the household’s FAP income.

DHS automatically updates eligibility information electronically.  FAP recipients should notice an increase in their October allotment amount.

What Should Advocates Do?

Advocates should ensure that their FAP clients receive the increased amounts for October. If clients do not receive the increase, they should contact their caseworkers or the Food and Nutrition Helpline at (800) 481-4989.

What Should Clients Do?

Clients who have not received an increase should contact their caseworker or the Food and Nutrition 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 various sources of legal and related services, including the free legal aid office that serves your county, at MichiganLegalAid.org.

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