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Michigan Welfare Case Stays With Court of Appeals

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LANSING (WWJ/AP) - The Michigan Supreme Court won’t immediately take up a case involving when welfare benefits can be ended.

The court’s majority decided Friday that the Court of Appeals should hear the case first, but do so quickly.

The Michigan Department of Human Services is appealing a ruling that the state can’t take away welfare benefits under a five-year federal limit if recipients still qualify for cash assistance under state law.

Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Geoffrey Neithercut ruled last month that state DHS Director Maura Corrigan “exceeded her authority” by ending benefits for more than 11,000 families last October because they’d reached the federal limit even though they remained eligible under state limits.

Michigan lawmakers in 2007 adopted a four-year limit with several exceptions, then approved stricter enforcement last year.

The four-year limit doesn’t include months where a parent is needed at home to care for a disabled child — or other family member, but those months count under the federal limit.

TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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