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Issue Alert - Incomplete Applications

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Jul 17, 2009

Program Area:

All - PAM 105, 115

Issue Summary:

Incomplete applications without the minimum amount of information will be returned to the applicant.

Persons Affected:

All applicants for all programs

For More Information:

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

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

What's Happening?

On the same day a person goes to the Department of Human Services (DHS) office, he/she has the right to file an application and get help to provide the minimum information for filing. This will preserve the date of application as the date from which benefits will be calculated.

An application, whether faxed, mailed or obtained from the internet will be registered with the receipt date, if it contains at least the following information:
• Name of the applicant.
• Birth date of the applicant (not required for food assistance).
• Address of the applicant (unless homeless).
• Signature of the applicant/authorized representative.
An application/filing form with the minimum information listed above must be entered on Bridges using the receipt date as the application date even if it does not contain enough information
needed to determine eligibility. If an application/filing form does not contain the minimum information listed above, it will be sent back to the client along with a DHS-330, Notice of
Missing Information, informing the client of the missing information.

An incomplete application contains the minimum information required for registering an application. See BAM 105. However, it does not contain enough information to determine eligibility, i.e., all required questions are not answered for the program(s) for which the client is applying.
When an incomplete application is filed, the DHS worker should retain the application and give
or send the client the DHS-3503, Verification Checklist. The worker should also inform the client of the:
• Request for contact to complete missing information.
• Due date for missing information, and
• Interview date, if applicable.
If an interview is necessary, it should be conducted on the day of the filing,if possible. If not, it should be scheduled for no later than 10 calendar days from the application date.

For Food Assistance (FAP) Only applications, the in-person interview can be waived and replaced with a telephone interview or home visit if one of the following conditions is met:
• The eligible group consists entirely of Senior/Disabled/Veteran members with no earned income.
• Household hardship situation. Hardship conditions include but are not limited to: illness, transportation difficulties or work hours which prevent an in-office interview.

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.