Legislation that puts in place a more strict 48-month lifetime limit on cash assistance benefits was signed into law on Tuesday by Gov. Rick Snyder.
Tighter enforcement of the four-year limit begins on Oct. 1 and nearly 14,000 households will lose their $500-a-month benefit. You can see a breakdown of the number of families affected in your community by county through the Michigan League for Human Services or by zip code.
Exempt from the limit are those who have a disability and are unable to work, those caring for a disabled spouse or child, those who are 65 and older who receive little or no Social Security benefits. Victims of domestic violence that required the assistance of law enforcement may also be temporarily exempted.
Recipients who lose cash benefits will remain eligible for food assistance, Medicaid health care, child care and emergency services.
The Department of Human Resources (DHS) notified families likely to be affected through a letter sent in early August and is currently completing phone calls to connect with these families in addition to the written notification.
DHS will also be hosting resource fairs in local county offices for affected recipients later this month and scheduling appointments with families who may qualify for other types of assistance and alternative community resources.
The new law will reduce the number of children and adults receiving cash assistance by nearly a fifth, from more than 221,000 to around 180,000. And, the change gives Michigan the Midwest’s toughest welfare time limit, according to a survey by The Detroit News.