Federal Judge Blocks State From Ending Cash Assistance Welfare Benefits

DETROIT (WWJ) – A federal court ruling Tuesday afternoon has effectively blocked the state of Michigan from ending cash assistance welfare benefits for roughly 11,000 families at the start of this new fiscal year.

U.S. District Court Judge Paul Borman ruled that the letters and notices sent to those losing benefits were improper… and lacked instructions on how to appeal.

The Center for Civil Justice filed the lawsuit.

The executive director of the Center for Civil Justice, Terri Stangl, says the judge ruled the state violated due process and in notifying recipients.

“We just got a copy of the state’s policies on Saturday so we are still reviewing them to see if there are legal issues.  Certainly the claim that we raised, the state claim we raised in this case has not been decided yet and we still think that that’s a valid problem with what the state has done,” said Stangl.

The judge ordered new notices, which Stangl says could mean an extra month of benefits. She says they’re considering if there will be more legal action.

The benefits were supposed to end October 1st.

WWJ and Fox 2 Legal Analyst Charlie Langton says that means those who were getting those benefits will continue to get them.

“My guess is the state will send out the proper notice telling the welfare recipient exactly what their rights are and why their benefits are being stopped. So … the benefits could stop but they have to continue until the state complies with the law,” said Langton.

Langton says the motive behind the judge’s order was that the notices that were sent out by the state were improper and did not contain the reason why the benefits were being stopped. And he says, they did not give instructions on how to appeal the decision.


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