Michigan Expands Food Assistance To Low
LANSING, Mich. Michigan will expand eligibility for food assistance benefits on Thursday so that college students struggling financially during the pandemic can get help buying food, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday.
College students should not have to choose between furthering their education and putting food on the table especially during a pandemic, Whitmer said. I am pleased that we are able to work with the Biden Administration to help college students in Michigan who are working hard to pursue their dreams.
Under a temporary change approved by the federal government, college students may be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program if their families are estimated to be unable to contribute to their college costs or if their college considers them eligible for a federal or state work study program regardless of whether theyre enrolled in such a program.
More than 200,000 more Michigan college students could become eligible under the new rules.
Students are considered to have no family contribution to their college expenses if they have an estimated family contribution of $0 on their federal student aid determination through FAFSA.
Before the change, college students wouldnt be eligible unless they were working 20 hours per week or met certain exemptions.
Benefits could be as much as $234 per month for college students who buy and prepare their food alone.
Field Offices Closed To The Public
On March 18, 2020, MDHHS closed its field offices to the public, except for appointments that were already scheduled. You do not need to visit your local office to get benefits during the COVID-19 emergency. During this time, MDHHS employees will even conduct interviews over the phone as needed. You can still use the MI Bridges portal to apply for benefits, submit paperwork, review your benefits, and report changes.
If you arent able to use MI Bridges, try calling your local MDHHS office if you dont already have a caseworker. MDHHS offices will likely experience higher than normal call wait times during this emergency.
Pursue Federal Reimbursement For Campus
If Michigan establishes funding for campus-based FAP outreach, it can then receive 50 percent federal reimbursement of outreach expenditures under the Food Stamp Act of 2008. This 50 percent reimbursement is available for activities that inform low-income households about the availability, eligibility requirements, application procedures, and benefits of the program.43 MDHHS can include campus outreach in its state SNAP Outreach Plan and make postsecondary institutions or community organizations subcontractors whose expenses are reimbursed.
If Michigan establishes funding for campus-based FAP outreach, it can then receive 50 percent federal reimbursement of outreach expenditures under the Food Stamp Act of 2008.
This federal reimbursement is a little-known yet valuable untapped resource. In California, more than forty campuses SNAP outreach activities are coordinated by the Center for Healthy Communities at Chico State University, a contractor whose expenses are eligible for this reimbursement. This appears to be the first such use of federal reimbursement to promote SNAP awareness on college campuses,44 but Michigan can start when it submits its next SNAP Outreach Plan to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For instance, if the legislature determines it can budget $3 million per year in state resources for campus-based outreach, then it should instead invest $6 million per year and apply for federal reimbursement. All it must do is file the right paperwork .
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Michigan Cuts Food Stamps For 30000 College Students Saving $75 Million Per Year
Michigan has removed about 30,000 college students from its food assistance program since it began enforcing federal guidelines this spring.
That’s about twice as many as officials expected and the removals should to bring about $75 million a year in savings, Michigan Department of Human Services Director Maura Corrigan told The Detroit News for a story published Monday.
“We want to encourage people to be self-sufficient, not to be dependent on the government,” she said.
The removals are part of an effort to change the culture of the state’s welfare department and slash tens of millions of dollars of waste, fraud and abuse, Corrigan said.
The state announced earlier this year that beginning in April students must show “true need” to reap benefits from the program. Michigan previously had created its own rules that made nearly all students eligible for aid, commonly known as food stamps, officials said.
Monthly food assistance in Michigan is based on income, how many people are in their household and other criteria. Funds are made available on a Michigan Bridge Card, which like a debit card is swiped through electronic reader when buying groceries.
Kayla Neff, a 19-year-old Spanish and computer science student at Central Michigan University who qualified for food assistance in September, said she and her father share about $150 a month in grocery money from the program. Her eligibility, however, is now under review.
Automate Outreach And Information
As this report has detailed, 104,000 Michigan students who are not participating in FAP would likely receive benefits if they applied, even before taking into account new exemptions enacted over the past year. Helping such a large number of students overcome informational barriers is a significant undertaking.
Automated information and outreach can complement in-person assistance by enabling students to screen themselves for likely eligibility. For example, a college can add to its online student portal a questionnaire that asks how many hours per week the student works, what program they are in,51 whether they have a disability that precludes them from work, and other questions that would enable the form to identify a qualifying exemption. If the students response indicates an exemption, then the form can provide to the student the list of next steps for applying for FAP and the best point of contact on or near campus. Even better, a campus staff member can then reach out to the student directly to offer assistance and send reminders about their potential FAP eligibility.
The use of such SNAP interest forms by colleges is not widespread, but there are promising examples. For instance, Fresno State University in California has implemented a pre-screening tool on its student portal for two years, finding that it greatly increased the number of SNAP applications submitted by students.52
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Federal And State Policies Governing Fap Eligibility
Since the late 1970s, Congress has embedded in the SNAP program special rules for college students eligibility, originally out of concern that affluent college students receiving financial assistance from their families would be misidentified as low-income under the programs measures of monthly income.9 Under this set of rulescalled the SNAP student eligibility rule for shortall college students enrolled at least half-time are ineligible for SNAP benefits unless they can demonstrate an exemption.10 Qualifying exemptions include working for pay for twenty hours per week, receiving work-study benefits, and meeting certain student-parent qualifications, among several others. Once a student has proven that they have an exemption, they still must meet program standards for gross income, assets, citizenship, and other prerequisites.
This complex system offers various pathways to eligibility, which is a double-edged sword for students and the states postsecondary leaders. Many students are eligible for FAP benefits, but they may not know that they are eligible.18 Compounding this issue, students typically do not know how much they would receive from FAP before they apply, and they may not know how to apply.19 Factors such as social stigma can also pose barriers when FAP usage is not normalized among a colleges students.
Participation in SNAP among eligible college students nationwide is estimated to be as low as one out of every five, and Michigan is no exception.
Can Someone Else Apply For Fap For Me
Yes. Anyone who applies for or receives FAP can designate an authorized representative. If the authorized representative is part of your FAP household, they can be any age. If the authorized representative is not part of your FAP household, that person must be 18 years old or older. The authorized representative can fill out the application for the household, attend the interview, and give MDHHS the information it needs. It is very important that an authorized representative be someone honest and reliable, who has full knowledge of your households income and expense information.
You can designate a person as your authorized representative in your application for FAP. If you are already receiving FAP, you can use Form 247. After that person is designated, you can tell MDHHS in writing at any time that you dont want that person to be your authorized representative anymore.
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Provide State Funding For Public Benefits Coordinators At Campuses
As the state develops a strategy to connect low-income students with FAP, it should consider expanding this strategy to other public benefits. Fortunately for Michigan students, MDHHS has developed one of the nations more modern public benefit application systems, MI Bridges. Applicants apply to FAP online, and if the user elects to do so, MI Bridges combines their application for FAP with the states applications to Medicaid, WIC, cash assistance, child care, and emergency relief.
In a similar spirit, Governor Whitmers fiscal year 2022 budget proposal includes a $6 million provision for wraparound services for Michigan Reconnect and Futures for Frontliners recipients.45 Benefit managers under this funding could then help students apply for MI Bridges benefits such as FAP, as well as provide other resources such as federal aid application assistance, financial counseling, and tax preparation. Evidence suggests that this single stop model for student financial assistance can have positive effects on student persistence, student performance, and credit accumulation.46 The legislature should enact this smart investment and consider expanding the resource to more students, including those at public universities.
Integrate Fap Outreach And/or Enrollment Into The Matriculation Process For Students In Programs That Convey An Exemption
Although MDHHS has broadly approved CTE programs such that they convey an exemption to participating students, MDHHS will not know in real time which students are participating in CTE programs before they apply for FAP. It is incumbent on institutions to perform targeted outreach to these students to inform them of their potential FAP eligibility. Providing students with an email or letter when they enroll in a qualifying CTE course is one way to communicate the exemption to students. In addition, research has found that providing food pantry clients with a SNAP application and submitting it on their behalf can lead to greater participation.50 In the context of the MI Bridges online application, this could mean a college hosts a FAP enrollment workshop within the first two weeks of the semester and encourages CTE students to attend.
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Michigan Cuts Food Stamps For 30000 College Students
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Michigan Department of Human Services Director Maura Corrigan said:
Posted 10 August 2011 – 09:23 AM
Michigan Department of Human Services Director Maura Corrigan said:
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Posted 10 August 2011 – 10:25 AM
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Posted 11 August 2011 – 01:08 PM
Michigan Food Assistance Expanded To Low
Michigan will expand food assistance eligibility to financially struggling college students starting Thursday, April 1.
College students should not have to choose between furthering their education and putting food on the table especially during a pandemic, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. I am pleased that we are able to work with the Biden administration to help college students in Michigan who are working hard to pursue their dreams.
College students may be eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits if their families cant contribute to their college costs or if their college or university considers them eligible for a federal or state work study program, regardless if they are enrolled in such a program.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said this could make more than 200,000 Michigan college students eligible. Before the expansion, college students would only be eligible if they were working 20 hours a week or met certain exemptions.
Students are considered to have no family contribution to their college expenses if the Free Application for Federal Student Aid estimates they have $0 in family contributions on their federal student aid. MDHHS said students must also attend college at least half-time and meet income and other requirements for food assistance.
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Can Someone Else Use My Fap To Do My Grocery Shopping
Yes. If you have an authorized representative, you can request an extra Bridge Card for them. Never give your own Bridge Card or PIN to another person to use.
A separate Bridge Card will not be created for your authorized representative unless you ask for one. The authorized representatives Bridge Card will have both your name and their name on it. The card will also have the letters ARFS on it. This shows it is the authorized representatives card. The card, along with a separate PIN, will be mailed to you, not the authorized representative.
Who Else Qualifies For Food Stamps
While the SNAP program is federally funded, each individual state determines eligibility.
Generally, those with gross incomes up to 130% of the federal poverty line qualify.
This means that about $12,880 for a single-person household is the starting point, increasing from there based on family size.
For example, $26,500 is the poverty threshold for a four-person household.
The US Department of Health website lists more poverty guidelines.
Some states have additional requirements in place, including having a certain amount of money in your bank account.
In Michigan, for example, you must have a bank balance under $2,001 between your savings and checking combined.
But if you’re someone aged 60 or over or are a person with a disability, your bank balance can be $3,251.
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Michigan Eliminates Food Stamps For 30k College Students
Michigan officials recently eliminated some 30,000 college students from the state’s food stamp program in an effort to reduce spending. But anti-poverty advocates say theyre worried the most vulnerable, low-income students will be hit the hardest by the changes.
A consequence of it is that very needy college students who are living at home with parents who are low income are also ineligible for food benefits, simply because they are college students, said Judi Lincoln, a policy analyst with the Center for Civil Justice, an advocacy organization for low-income persons in Michigan.
During the planning phase of the changes, Michigan officials estimated that between 10,000 and 18,000 students would be deemed ineligible. Lincoln worries that some of the extra students, who bring the total figure to 30,000, may experience undue hardship.
There is also concern that because the change is taking effect during most colleges summer breaks, some students will be confused as to whether they still qualify for assistance. Lincoln said that following the announcement, the Center for Civil Justice has seen an increased call volume from former food stamp recipients.
Federal regulations generally prevent students from receiving food stamps, but Michigan created an exception in 2000 which made individuals enrolled in training programsincluding colleges and universitieseligible for the program.