Not only is the state of Michigan cutting back on the number of people enrolled into the Family Independence Program, or welfare, but the average monthly payment is now $352 per government records. While this is not much money, but it can make a big difference in the lives of someone living in poverty if they learn how to budget properly.
First, the reductions in the welfare rolls. There have been over 30,000 cut from the Family Independence Program since 2011. This has been occurring as the state is trying to save money on many of the social service programs they currently run. In fact, the reduction in the number of beneficiaries as well as monthly payments has saved the state of Michigan over $60 million dollars.
The reduction in the number of people enrolled into the Family Independence Program is mostly because they have “timed out”. Their cash payments are suppose to end after 4 years, and Michigan is taking a harder line on enforcing this. There has been, and will continue to be, more and more families that have exceeded their monthly timeframe.
The families losing their benefits have often taken drastic steps so they can continue to buy the food their family needs or pay the rent to keep a roof over their heads. Many have moved in with families are have taken on multiple part time jobs just to try to bring in a few dollars. Others have turned to charities.
While over 30,000 people have lost their monthly cash payments from the Family Independence Program, another step the government has implemented is to cut back on the amount of money being paid out. As of the start of 2016, this monthly payment is now averaging about $350.
There are over 1 million people that rely on this monthly benefit to help them pay their bills. The $352 may not seem like much money to most households, but it can go a long way towards taking care of critical living expenses when someone is in poverty. These families are doing their best to budget their monthly cash payment and take it as far as they can.
It can be very hard, if not impossible, to live on this amount of money each month. Luckily there are many charities and social services agencies that are trying to fill the gap in what the government is not providing these families. However since about 1.2 million Michigan families live under the poverty level and have an income under $12,300 for a one-person household or $24,230 for a family of four, the demand on these charity programs is extremely high. Find information on the financial aid programs in Michigan, which may help offset those minimal cash payments from the state.
If you are currently on the Family Independence Program, we strongly recommend you review your application to see when your welfare benefits may end. Once you have that date, budget and plan for this day, as the state of Michigan is enforcing the time limit even more than in the past.