Direct Certification - Medicaid Demonstration Project

The Michigan Department of Education received approval from the United States Department of Agriculture to participate in the Medicaid Demonstration Project for Direct Certification. The project started in the 2017-18 school year and will continue for 2019-20. This is an exciting opportunity for students, families and schools in Michigan. Under this program, children eligible for free or reduced-price meals under Medicaid will be directly certified.

  • In addition to students who qualify via SNAP (S), TANF (T), and Foster Child Program (F), Medicaid-eligible students will appear on the Direct Certification report as either Medicaid Free (M) or Medicaid Reduced-Price (R).

  • As with SNAP and TANF, eligibility benefits for free and reduced-price meals can be extended to other students who live in a household with a student who is directly certified by Medicaid.

  • Households with students who are directly certified as Medicaid Reduced-Price will be notified by letter that they may qualify for free meals based on household size and income. The Free and Reduced-Price School Meals Application and the Income Eligibility Guidelines will be included with the letter.

  • Eligibility for free meals determined by household application supersedes eligibility for reduced-price meals on the Direct Certification report. Always use the eligibility that will be of the greatest benefit to the student.

  • MDE and CEPI worked with student and food service systems vendors to make this process seamless for districts.

Medicaid case numbers on applications or letters from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services cannot be used to establish eligibility for free or reduced-price meals. Only Direct Certification can be used to determine if a child is eligible under Medicaid.

For more information about the Medicaid Demonstration project, please contact mde-schoolnutrition@michigan.gov or 517-241-5374. For questions about the Direct Certification report, please contact CEPI Customer Support at cepi@michigan.gov or 517-335-0505 x3.