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Issue Alert - 08-10-05

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Date:

Oct 07, 2008

Program Area:

Family Independence Program (FIP)

Issue Summary:

FIP recipients who request deferrals from the JET program because of a disability are no longer required to apply for SSI to receive their benefits.

Persons Affected:

FIP recipients who request a deferral from JET because of a disability expected to last more than 90 days

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

FIP recipients are expected to participate in the Jobs, Education, and Training (JET) program as a condition of receiving their grant unless they are deferred from the program.  Recipients can be deferred for a number of reasons including short-term (expected to last 90 days or less) and long-term disability (expected to last more than 90 days). 

DHS policy requires applicants for cash assistance including FIP and State Disability Assistance to pursue other benefit programs for which the recipient may qualify i.e. a parent who just lost a job may qualify for unemployment insurance. 

In the past FIP recipients who were seeking a deferral from JET for a long-term disability were required to apply for Social Security Disability (SSI). 

What's Happening?

DHS has revised its policy to say that FIP recipients who request a deferral from JET because of a long-term disability will no longer AUTOMATICALLY be required to apply for SSI as a condition of maintaining FIP eligibility.  Some FIP recipients who are approved for a long-term disability deferral from JET by the State‚Äôs Medical Review Team may still be required to apply for SSI as a condition of maintaining FIP eligibility.

What Should Advocates Do?

Advocates should inform clients of the change in policy.  Advocates should tell clients who are denied or terminated from FIP because they did not apply for SSI to seek legal assistance immediately.

What Should Clients Do?

Clients should be aware of the change in policy.  Clients who are denied or terminated from FIP because they did not apply for SSI should seek legal assistance immediately.

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.