Last month, more than 11,000 families were kicked off Michigan’s Family Independence Program, a cash assistance welfare program.
Lester Graham with Michigan Watch is working with the online magazine Bridge in a year-long collaboration, following families who’ve lost the state assistance.
The legislature has been blamed for the loss of benefits to those 11,000 families, but its vote to restrict families to 48 months of benefits in a lifetime only immediately affected about 100 families.
It was an administrative decision by the Department of Human Services which resulted in kicking all those other families off of cash assistance.
The new law allows no more than 48 months of benefits in a lifetime and it started counting months in 2007. On its own, the agency, started counting months in 1996 and decided anyone who’d received help for more than 60 months since then would be cut off.
That’s how those 11,000 families suddenly lost cash assistance.