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Issue Alert - 11-10-05

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Date:

Oct 14, 2011

Program Area:

Family Independence Program (FIP)

Issue Summary:

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has eliminated the $50 child support “participation paymepayment” or “pass-through” to families receiving Family Independence Program (FIP) cash assistance.

Persons Affected:

Families on FIP that include children for whom child support is paid.

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


Background

For decades, Michigan has provided up to $50 per month as a child support “passthrough” or “participation payment” to families who receive cash assistance, if current child support is collected by the state for children in the family.  The payment to the family equaled the amount of current child support collected, up to a maximum of $50.  This payment was intended to encourage payment of child support by absent parents by increasing the income available to families for whom support payments are made.  Parents who see their child support payments directly benefit their children are more likely comply with support orders.

What's Happening?

On October 1, 2011, DHS issued Program Policy Bulletin 2011-017, and revised its policies to eliminate the $50 child support participation payment.  This change was required by the DHS Appropriations Act passed by the legislature for FY 2012, which began October 1, 2011.

What Should Advocates Do?

1.    Educate clients and community organizations about the new policy.

What Should Clients Do?

1.       Let your state legislators know if the loss of child support causes hardship for you and your family, or results in the absent parent paying less child support.

2.       To find contact information for your State Representative, go to http://www.house.mi.gov/mhrpublic/

3.       To find contact information for your State Senator, go to http://www.senate.michigan.gov/fysenator/fysenator.htm

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.