State lets some families know aid is running out

LANSING (AP) -- Michigan has begun notifying some families receiving welfare benefits that their federal assistance is running out.

The move could affect nearly 14,000 families who had secured an extension on the 5-year federal limit to receive benefits, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Letters began going out Tuesday that include contact information for caseworkers who will try to help families find other assistance programs. They also encourage recipients to call United Way's referral service for help getting additional assistance, if needed.

"I'm concerned" about the families, said Michigan Department of Human Services Director Maura Corrigan, "but we're here to help them make that transition -- to fulfill the intent of the law and to get them to self-sufficiency."

The notices come at the same time the state is revamping how it hands out assistance, Corrigan said. It's also planning to put into effect a four-year limit in most cases for families receiving welfare benefits. The state aims to save millions of dollars in the next budget with such changes.

The limit could begin Oct. 1, Corrigan said.

Critics have argued that such a limit would boot some needy families off public assistance.

Published: Thu, Aug 11, 2011