Michigan to count assets against eligibility to receive food stamps
Beginning next month, many Michigan residents now receiving food stamps will likely lose their benefits as the state begins to look at assets as well as income in determining eligibility.
Michigan has determined food assistance eligibility based only on income for roughly a decade. A new policy will include a review of certain financial assets starting Oct 1. The requirements will affect new applicants right away and existing recipients when their cases come up for review, which typically happens once every six months.
Those with assets of more than $5,000 in bank accounts or some types of property would no longer be eligible for food assistance. Other assets that would count against the cap include vehicles with market values of more than $15,000 and second homes, depending on how much is owed on the properties.
Some assets, such as primary residences and 401k accounts, would not be considered for determining food assistance eligibility.
Advocates for the poor say the new policy will make it more difficult for the unemployed to qualify for the program and discourage people from saving. Almost 20 percent of Michigan residents currently receive food stamps.