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Issue Alert - 12-11-20

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Nov 12, 2012

Program Area:

All programs

Issue Summary:

DHS has updated its 1171 application.

Persons Affected:

All applicants

For More Information:


DHS has updated its 1171 application. These changes, noted below, took effect 11/01/2012. (Please note that DHS made changes to the 1171 application that are not discussed below. The changes discussed below are the changes that are likely to affect policy and/or practice.)

What's Happening?

DHS changed the name of the Refugee Assistance Program (RAP) to Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA). This change is found on page 2, section “timely decisions,” question “DHS rograms.”

DHS has removed the paragraph that references the 60-month time limit. Under the 48-month time limit section, DHS added specific examples of what it considers “nonessential items.” These include: the purchase of lottery tickets, alcohol, and tobacco, gambling, illegal activities, massage parlors, spas, tattoo shops, bail-bond activities, adult entertainment, cruise ships, and other nonessential items. These changes are found on page 7, section “FIP and (formerly) RAP, (now) RCA.”

DHS changed the wording regarding Social Security Numbers. In this section the third bullet now reads, “Persons not applying for FAP are not required to provide a Social Security Number.” The fourth bullet now reads, “FAP clients are excused from providing and obtaining a Social Security Number based on religious grounds.” These changes are found on page 10, section “Things You Must Do,” question “Provide Social Security Numbers (Most Programs).”

DHS has changed the standard for determining FAP group composition from those who “buy, fix, or eat meals together” to those “buy and fix food together.” The current question reads, “Does everyone in the household buy and fix food together?” This change is found on page C, section “Food Assistance Information,” question #1.

“DHS may send information about certain illegal aliens to the Department of Homeland Security.” This change is found on page 17, section “Information About Your Household That Will Be Shared (continued), question “Illegal Aliens.”

What Should Advocates Do?

  • Educate clients and community organizations about these changes.
  • Help client and community organizations understanding the ramifications of these changes.

What Should Clients Do?

Get legal help if you do not understand these changes, or if you have questions about them. You can find your local Legal Aid office by going to, or by calling Michigan Lawyer Referral @ 1-800-968-0738. You may also call DHS’ Customer Service center, @ 1-855-ASK-MICH (275-6424).