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Work Rules and Penalties

If you are receiving food, or cash assistance, you must follow work rules. Your family must complete the Family Automated Screening Tool (FAST) and develop a Family Self-Sufficiency Plan (FSSP). This plan will list the work activities that you must do up to 40 hours per week to receive assistance. You will design this plan with your DHS specialist and the Michigan Works! Agency.

Cash Assistance

Work Rules Penalties

Adults who receive cash assistance must: 

  • Complete the FAST screening tool.
  • Help make and comply with an FSSP
  • Not quit, refuse work or reduce work  hours.
  • Not get fired from a job due to        misconduct or missing work.
  • Participate in employment or self-sufficiency related activities.



 If you break work rules without good cause, DHS may:

  • Deny your application (you may reapply).
  • Stop cash assistance for your whole family for three months for the first time; six months for the second time, and for your lifetime for the third or any subsequent times.
  • Count all penalty months toward your 48-month state lifetime limit.

If you receive cash and food assistance, we will:

  • Stop or reduce your food benefits for at least one month for the first time or six months for each subsequent time if you are not excused from food work rules.
  • Count your cash grant amount as income for your food budget for the length of time of the sanction. For a lifetime sanction, the cash grant amount will be budgeted until the case reaches the 48-month state time limit.