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Issue Alert - 11-04-02

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Apr 18, 2011

Program Area:

Food Assistance (FAP)

Issue Summary:

Benefits under the Michigan Combined Application Project (MICAP) will increase beginning May 1, 2011

Persons Affected:

Adult SSI recipients who are receiving or applying for FAP through the MiCAP project.

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


MICAP (Michigan’s Combined Application Project) uses a simplified application form and eligibility rules to provide Food Assistance Program (FAP) benefits to some SSI recipients. The basic requirements to qualify for MICAP are listed in BEM 615, as follows:
• Age 18 or older.
• Receives the maximum SSI amount but does not receive any other income.
• Meets the Social Security Administrations (SSA) definition of inde¬pendent living .
• Resides in Michigan.
• Purchases and prepares food separately.
• Is not currently active in the Food Assistance Program.
If an individual’s total shelter expenses (including the $588 Standard utility allowance) are below $600, the FAP benefit is $84 per month. If the shelter* total expenses are equal to or exceed $600, the benefit amount is $129 per month.
Note that individuals age 18-22 can receive FAP as an individual under this policy even if they live with their parents, as long as they buy and prepare their food separately.  However, individuals who live with their spouse or minor child will not qualify for MICAP.

What's Happening?

Beginning May 1, 2011 if a MICAP-eligible person’s total shelter expenses, including the $588 standard utility allowance, are below $1,000, their FAP benefit will be $186 per month. If their total shelter expenses are equal to or exceed $1,000, their benefit amount will be $200 per month.

What Should Advocates Do?

1. Educate clients about the MICAP program and encourage them to apply if eligible. 2. Screen all clients who are SSI recipient to be sure they are receiving FAP. Encourage clients who would be MICAP eligible to apply for MICAP if they would receive more benefits than they currently receive through the regular FAP application process.

What Should Clients Do?

1. Apply for MICAP if you think you may be eligible. 2. Call 1-877-416-4227 for more information.

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.