How To Apply For Michigan Food Stamps
View the information below if you are interested in applying for food stamps in Michigan. It is important that you have all the documentation and information needed so the application process is not delayed. If you still have questions or issues about applying for food stamps, known as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), then you can call the Michigan SNAP hotline at 855-275-6424. The department that handles this program is called the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Temporary food assistance for eligible low-income families and individuals is available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Use MI Bridges to apply for assistance, check your eligibility status and manage your account online.
Applying for Michigan food stamp benefits
The Department of Health and Human Services can help you and your family with temporary assistance when times are tough. Use MI Bridges to apply for assistance online, check your eligibility status and manage your account online. If the application is filed online after the close of business, such as weekends, holidays, after 5pm on business days, the date of application is the following business day.
If you prefer to apply in person then you can download a Michigan food stamp application by clicking here, or you can grab a copy at a MDHHS office in your area. You can submit your application in person, mail or fax it. The address and phone number of the office in your area is found in a phone book under the state government section, or online at www.michigan.gov/dhs-countyoffices.
When your application is received, MDHHS will schedule a telephone interview. The application should be processed within 7 days if you meet faster service rules or 30 days from the date your signed application is received in the MDHHS office serving the area where you live. You may be asked to provide various types of documents such as proof of:
- Housing and utility expenses
MDHHS will send you a list of other documents if needed.
Expedited food stamp benefits
If you have little or no money and or little to no assets and or high shelter expenses, you might qualify to have your Michigan Food Assistance Program application processed more quickly. Ask the receptionist for an application filing form or apply online. Complete it, sign and date it, and turn it in today. A specialist will look at the information you have provided and will be able to tell you whether you qualify for faster service or if you must wait the normal processing time.
If you have the right to faster service, you will still have to complete the entire application form and talk with a specialist to see if you qualify for food assistance benefits. You will also need to provide the Department with the required documents to verify your statement as soon as possible.
When applying for Michigan food stamps
When applying for benefits, you will need to have an interview. Your case is assigned to a Department of Human Services (DHS) specialist who will meet with you if required and process your application. At this time the specialist usually explains:
- What verification's will be needed
- Confidentiality and your right to privacy
- Family Automated Screening Tool (FAST) and the Family Self-Sufficiency Plan (FSSP)
- Jobs, Education and Training (JET)
- If you have income, how the income is budgeted
- How often you will receive your benefits, including food assistance benefits if you are eligible
- About Medicaid
- About Child Development and Care to help pay for child care costs
During your meeting with a DHS specialist, you will be asked to provide proof for most of the information you put on your application. Except for permanent papers like birth certificates, etc., most documents used for proof must be less than 30 days old. They might also need to contact your landlord, child care provider or employer, etc., to verify your situation. Your signature on the application gives them permission to contact individuals, businesses, etc., to verify information.
They will tell you if a document/proof is needed, provide time (generally 10 days) to get the proof, and if necessary, help you to obtain the required proof. Sometimes it may be difficult or impossible for you to provide a certain document/proof. Bring these problems to the attention of your specialist so other options can be explored. Choose the documents you have from the lists below and submit them with your application. These include, but are not limited to the items listed below.
- Social Security numbers for everyone in the household who is applying
- Income (current or date it stopped)
- Application or receipt of unemployment compensation benefits (UCB)
- Assets (bank account statements, 401(k) and other investment account balances, investment accounts, trust funds, etc.)
- Shelter expenses (rent receipt, mortgage payment, property tax bill, home owner insurance, heat, electric, phone, water, etc.)
- Child support paid
- Day care expenses
- Medical or health insurance card
- Medical bills, unpaid
- Shutoff notices for shelter, heat or utilities
- Alien/Immigration status
- Marriage certificate
- Divorce decree
- Paternity acknowledgement
- Pregnancy, expected date of delivery and number of children expected
Work requirements for Michigan food assistance
Certain federal work requirements for able-bodied adults ages 18 to 49 without dependents go back into effect on Jan. 1, 2017, in the counties of Kent, Oakland, Ottawa and Washtenaw. Able-bodied individuals may only receive food assistance benefits for up to three months within a 36-month period without meeting these work requirements. This is known as a time limit. There are three ways an individual can meet the time limit work requirements:
- Work an average of at least 20 hours per week each month in un-subsidized employment
- Participate 20 hours per week in an approved employment and training program, averaged monthly
- Participate in community service by volunteering at a nonprofit organization
You may be exempt from meeting work requirements if you meet any of the following federal criteria:
- Are physically or mentally unable to work 20 hours a week
- Receive Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance due to disability or blindness, or receives Supplemental Security Income or State Disability Assistance
- Receive or are an applicant for unemployment benefits
- Participate in a drug or alcohol treatment and rehabilitation program
- Attend training or college at least half-time and meet the student eligibility criteria to receive food assistance
- Care for an incapacitated person or a child under age 6
- Are pregnant
- Are a victim of domestic violence
- Reside in a household with a child under age 18
Michigan food stamps eligibility requirements
Eligibility is based on the financial situation of all members in a household. Everyone who lives together and purchases and prepares food together is considered a member of the same household group. In general, they will review your expenses, assets, and income to determine what, if any, benefits for which you may be eligible. For questions about the Food Assistance Program, call 855-275-6424.
Expenses Asset Limits
Some household expenses are taken into account when determining your benefit amount. Examples of some of these expenses include:
- Shelter (rent, mortgage, heat, electric, water, telephone, etc.)
- Court-ordered or legally obligated child support payments
- Dependent care expenses
- Medical (medical and dental care, hospitalization or nursing care, medical supplies, health insurance premiums etc.) for certain members who have a disability or are at least 60 years old
The food asset limit is $5,000. Assets are cash or any property you own. Examples of assets are:
- Cash on hand
- Checking and savings accounts
- Some trusts
- Property or real estate (excludes first home)
- Vehicle (one household vehicle will not be counted)
Income residency requirements
Most earned and unearned income is counted. Income is considered when determining the amount of food assistance you are eligible to receive. Examples of countable income are:
- Self-employment earnings
- Rental income
- Social Security benefits
- Veterans benefits
The following residency requirements apply:
- Must be a U.S. citizen (or acceptable alien status)
- Must live in Michigan
If you received a notice from them that you're not eligible for a certain assistance program, you may be able to apply for other programs to get help. In addition to cash assistance, they offer child care, food or state emergency relief assistance. If you believe that a decision MDHHS has made about your case is wrong, you have the right to ask for an administrative hearing. You should first discuss the problem with your MDHHS specialist so he or she can explain the situation. Most hearing requests must be in writing and signed by you. However, you do not have to ask for a Food Assistance Program hearing in writing; it can be done in person or by phone. If you request a hearing about a non-hearable or non-appealable issue, your request will be denied. Ask your MDHHS specialist for more information about the hearing rules and appeals process.