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What Happens After Your Case is Open?

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs, or disability.

To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call toll free (866) 632-9992 (Voice).  Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).   USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer

Reporting Responsibilities
Once you begin receiving assistance you will need to report any changes in your status and work with your DHS specialist when necessary. It is your responsibility to report changes in your situation that might affect your eligibility or your benefit amount within 10 days of the change. Check out the Rights & Responsibilities page for more details.

Budgeting Income 
Most income you receive must be considered in determining if you are eligible for Family Independence Program (FIP) benefits and other types of assistance. It is important that you report correct income information to your Department of Human Services (DHS) specialist. If your case is opened, your DHS specialist will estimate your future income based on the information you provide.

Receiving Your Cash Assistance Benefits 
Ongoing semi-monthly cash assistance benefits and supplemental benefits issued on active cash assistance cases are electronically deposited into your Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) account. You will receive a debit card, known as the Michigan Bridge Card, and a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to access your benefits.

Benefits are issued twice each month on a schedule based on the last digit of your case number. A copy of the schedule will be sent to you.

Home Calls 
If you receive FIP benefits, you will occasionally receive visits from your DHS specialist. The purpose of these home calls is to review your family situation to determine how much progress you are making toward becoming self-supporting.

Food Assistance Program (FAP) 
Food Assistance Program (FAP) benefits are a nutritional program provided to add to your income. They are not intended to cover your entire month's food needs. The benefit is based on your family size and net income (income after allowable deductions, such as 20% earned income deduction, shelter deduction etc.). Many low-income individuals and families who meet income and basic eligibility rules may receive FAP benefits.

Medicaid 
Medicaid helps individuals and families pay for health care. You might also get help paying for medical bills that you have acquired up to three months before you applied for Medicaid. To receive help with past medical expenses, you must apply separately for past medical bill coverage.

Who May Receive Medicaid 
Family Independence Program (FIP) recipients and their families

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients and their families (automatic eligibility)

Anyone who is financially needy and is:

  • Under age 21.
  • Pregnant.
  • Age 65 or older.
  • Blind or disabled.
  • A parent or close relative living with a child.

If you are not eligible for Medicaid you may be eligible for other medical programs.  Please ask your specialist. 

Child Development and Care 
The DHS can cover a portion of your child care costs to help you keep a job, attend school, training or attend a treatment program for a social/health condition. You must apply for the Child Development and Care (CDC) program and turn in the required verifications. As your earnings increase, the amount you are required to pay for child care will increase.

Low income working families might receive help with child care costs even if they do not receive any other type of assistance. Ask your specialist to help get your day care assistance started as soon as you locate a provider. You must use a licensed/registered child care provider, or an in-home day care aide or relative care provider who is enrolled by DHS. You specialist can refer you to the local 4C Community Coordinated Child Care agency representative to help you locate a day care provider.

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