Reducing  Poverty Archives

Ties that Bind: Poverty and Michigan’s Economic Recovery  Dec. 2011  Executive summary

Bucking the Trend: Michigan to Add an Asset Test for Food Benefits  Nov. 2011 Executive Summary

Testimony on HBs 5032 and 5033 that would put asset limits into law Oct. 2011

Poverty rate jumps 20% since 2007 Sept. 2011

Fact Sheet: Real People, Real Facts, Real Fallout Sept. 2011

Letter to Gov. Snyder signed by 115 organizations calls for end to risky policy Sept. 2011

Fact sheet on cash assistance time limits Sept. 2011

With few jobs available, it’s the wrong time to cut kids from safety net Sept. 2011

County breakdown from DHS on families losing cash assistance Oct. 1 Sept 2011

Food Bank Charitable Donation Tax Credit (Frequently Asked Questions) July 2011

Vote hurts vulnerable children July 2011

Fact Sheet:  Keeping Kids Out of Poverty with the Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit May 2011

Cash assistance time limits will hurt vulnerable families with children May 2011

League Opposes Move to Cut Families from Safety Net March 2011

MPSC Public Hearing on Decline in Michigan LIHEAP Funds March 2011

Fact Sheet: Michigan’s Family Independence Program: Offering Help to Needy Families Feb. 2011

Survival Toolkit Feb. 2011

Michigan’s Economy Continues to Cause Pain: Communities of Color Take a Harder Hit December 2010

Walking a Tightrope Without a Net February 2009 Executive Summary

Recent TANF Changes are Favorable to Education and Training May 2008

Food Assistance—Feeding Michigan’s Economy and Families

Michigan, along with other states, has received federal stimulus money to increase benefits for food assistance (previously called Food Stamps, now called the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP). read more>>

Recent Changes to Michigan’s Family Independence Program

On December 20, 2006 the Governor signed a package of bills that make changes to Michigan’s Social Welfare Act. The bills are Senate Bills 1500 (Public Act 470) and 1501 (Public Act 471), as well as House Bills 6580 (Public Act 468) and 6587 (Public Act 469). The bills 1500, 1501 and 6580 address time limits, impose extra sanctions, and define what is to be included in the family self-sufficiency plan. Senate Bill 1500 specifically extends the sunset of certain sections of the Michigan’s current Social Welfare Act until March 31, 2007. Click here — Feb 07

Increased Need for Food Assistance Underscores Role of Safety Net

Michigan has seen dramatic growth in its food assistance caseload over the last several years. Since FY2000 the food stamp caseload has more than doubled from 254,000 to 523,000 by June 2006. Today over 1.1 million individuals, equivalent to approximately one in nine Michigan residents, receive food assistance to improve access to adequate nutrition. – Aug 06 Click here for report.

Michigan’s Incredible Shrinking Safety Net

Families must be well below poverty before qualifying for cash assistance.

Families must be well below poverty before qualifying for cash assistance. Public assistance caseloads and grant levels have declined precipitously since the recession of the early 1980s, the last time unemployment exceeded 12 percent.
As depicted in the chart, left, cash assistance in 1980 would bring a family up to  23 percent below the poverty line. By 2008,  the maximum grant put a family at 66 percent below the poverty line. Poverty is about $17,000 a year for a parent and two children.


TANF New Rules On February 8, 2006, the President signed the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA) which, among other things, reauthorized the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant through Fiscal Year 2011. The most significant change to TANF is in the calculation of states’ work participation rates, which indicate the percentage of a state’s TANF cases that are engaged in countable work activities. Additionally, in June 2006 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued explicit definitions of countable work activities and revised guidelines concerning who may be counted. This paper discusses the new changes and their implications for program design in Michigan. Click here>> — November 2006

Family Needs Increase While the Safety Net Erodes Poverty and need are increasing dramatically in Michigan, yet the structure of the cash assistance safety net has made it less accessible each year. Few would claim that an annual salary of $9,288 ($774 per month, or 61 percent of the poverty level) is enough to enable a family of three to meet all of its basic needs, yet cash assistance is unavailable in Michigan for families that earn even one dollar above that amount. — August 2005 Click here for the report>>

Working Hard But Still Poor: An Agenda for Meeting the Needs of Michigan’s Low-Income Working Families – (August 2004) 15 pp.  Click here for full report. 

Adult Childless Expanded Food Assistance (Food Stamps)