Skip to main content

Your Rights & Responsibilities

Children under age 6 must receive all immunizations (shots) recommended by MDHHS. Your family's cash assistance will be reduced by $25 per month if this requirement is not met. However, if your religious beliefs do not permit you to have your child immunized, or it is medically inappropriate, or it is medically inappropriate, your cash assistance might not be reduced. Speak with your MDHHS specialist if you have any concerns. NOTE: Not applicable to the Food Assistance Program.

Child Support from an Absent Parent
If you request assistance for a child under age 18, you might be required to help DHS establish paternity (establish a legal parent for the child and/or obtain support from a legal parent who is not living in the home). If you are getting cash assistance, support payments will be kept by the state to pay back a part of the cash assistance you receive.

Reporting Responsibilities
It is your responsibility to report changes that might affect your eligibility or benefit amount within 10 days.* Your specialist will tell you if different reporting rules apply to you.

Report all of the following changes:

Income & Job Status Family & Living Arrangements Assets, Coverage & Payments
Earned Income (wages, self-employment or rental income, etc.).
  • Starting, stopping or changing jobs or rate of pay.
  • Change in work hours of five or more hours per week that is expected to continue for more than one month.

  • Unearned Income (unemployment, child support, Social Security, veterans benefits, etc.).
  • Changes of more than $50 a month for most programs.
  • Starting or stopping a source of unearned income.
  • Persons entering or leaving the home.
  • *Exception: For FIP only, you must report a child leaving your home within five days of the date you know he or she will be absent for 30 days or more.
  • Marital status (you or anyone in your home gets married, separated or divorced).
  • Address.
  • Shelter costs (rent, house payments, telephone, utilities, etc.).
  • Cars.
  • Assets.
  • Amount of child support paid or received.
  • Health or medical premiums or change in coverage.
  • Child care need, cost or provider(s).
  • Redetermination of Eligibility
    After your case is opened, your eligibility will be redetermined from time to time. You will fill out a redetermination form, provide new verification of information and be interviewed (some programs do not require an interview). Each program has its own requirements.

    Repayment of Benefits 
    If you or anyone in your household receives benefits they are not eligible for, all adults in the household are responsible for repaying the extra benefits even if they no longer live in the home. The benefits must be repaid even if MDHHS makes the error. If you continue to receive benefits, MDHHS may keep part or all of your benefits to repay the benefits you received in error.

    Hearings, Rights and Appeals
    If you believe that a decision MDHHS has made about your case is wrong, you have the right to ask for an administrative hearing. You should first discuss the problem with your MDHHS specialist, so he or she can explain the situation. Most hearing requests must be in writing and signed by you. However, you do not have to ask for a Food Assistance Program hearing in writing; it can be done in person or by phone. If you request a hearing about a non-hearable or, non-appealable issue, your request will be denied. Ask your MDHHS specialist for more information about the hearing rules and appeals process.