Dead? In jail? No food assistance for you

Mar 7, 2013

Credit Alviman / MorgueFile

A state lawmaker wants to automatically discontinue food assistance benefits when people die or go to jail. 

Representative Tim Kelly says he's embarrassed about loopholes in Michigan's Bridge Card program.  

A bill approved by the House this week would order the Department of Human Services to conduct a monthly computer match against the Social Security Death Index database and incarceration records.

"Perhaps as many as 500 a month would get kicked out. If you assume that's $100 per card or per individual, and that's on the low end, that's a half million dollars a month," Kelly says.

[We did not correct Mr. Kelly on his bad math. - ed]

DHS staff do check records now, but Kelly says there was no law requiring them to do that.

DHS says the automated system would free staff for other projects.

The bill now goes to the Senate.