Michigan Earned Income Credit (EIC) #
The EITC is a proven effective anti-poverty tool that rewards work and helps low-income families make ends meet. Michigan supplements the federal EITC with a modest state credit equal to 6% of the federal allocation.
The statewide average credit was $143, with families raising at least two children receiving a bigger benefit. It is, however, much less than it was in 2011 when the state EIC was equal to 20%.
To claim both the federal and Michigan’s EIC, you must first file a tax return — even if you do not owe any tax or are not required to do so because you had too little income.
Michigan Family Independence Program #
The Family Independence Program (FIP) provides cash assistance to low-income families with minor children as well as pregnant women. It is designed to help low-income Michigan families become self-supporting.
Under current Michigan law, you cannot receive FIP for more than 48 months in your lifetime. When eligible, deposits will be made to your EBT account — known as Michigan Bridge Card — twice per month.
Go to MI Bridges to find out if you’re eligible to apply for FIP. In addition to cash assistance, Michigan’s DHS also offers child care, food or state emergency relief assistance.
How much does Michigan pay for cash assistance?
Michigan Food Assistance Program #
The Food Assistance Program is a joint initiative between the U.S Department of Agriculture and the State of Michigan’s DHS that aims to help low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled buy an adequate supply of nutritious food.
Those who have less than $150 per month in income and no more than $100 in resources may get their first FAP benefits within 7 days after they apply. This is called an expedited issuance.
How do I sign up for food stamps in Michigan?
Requests can be made in person at the local DHS county office or use MI Bridges to apply for assistance, check your eligibility status and manage your account online.
Michigan Special Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) #
WIC serves Michigan’s pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, and infants and children up to age 5 who meet WIC eligibility guidelines; and are considered to be “at nutritional risk”.
It provides special checks or vouchers for buying healthy foods to supplement their diet. Other benefits include nutrition education, breastfeeding support, free screening and referral to health care.
How do I apply for WIC Online in Michigan?
Michigan WIC cannot be applied for online, you will need to request for a certification appointment from a local agency. Call 211 to locate your nearest WIC agency.
Healthy Michigan Plan #
Medicaid is the largest program providing medical and health-related services to Michigan’s poorest people — mostly uninsured children under age 19, pregnant women, disabled adults, and the elderly.
As Michigan is expanding Medicaid coverage, Healthy Michigan Plan is now available to all adults age between 19-64 with income up to 138% of the federal poverty level (FPL).
How do I apply for Michigan Medicaid?
If you think you might be eligible, apply today and see if you qualify. Choose from one of the following options to apply.
- Apply online at MI Bridges
- Call the Michigan Health Care Helpline at 1-855-789-5610
- Visit your local Department of Human Services office
MIChild is a health care program for the low income uninsured children of Michigan’s working families under age 19. There is a $10 monthly premium for all of the children in one family. No co-pay or deductibles!
To qualify, your children must:
- Be under age 19
- Live in Michigan, even for a short time
- Be a U.S. citizen or qualified immigrant
- Have a Social Security Number (or have applied for one)
- Have no comprehensive health insurance, including Medicaid
- Meet monthly family income limits
If you are under age 19, or pregrant, you may be able to get health and dental services for you and your children through Healthy Kids which is free.
How do I sign up for MIChild?
To find out if you or your children qualify for MIChild or Healthy Kids, apply online at MI Bridges or call MIChild/Healthy Kids at 1-888-988-6300.
Michigan Child Development and Care Program #
The Child Development and Care (CDC) Program in Michigan offers payment assistance for child care services for low-income families who need help paying for child care.
Michigan has among the lowest income eligibility limit to qualify for child care assistance of all states — 125% of poverty or 39% of state median income, and offers among the lowest reimbursement to providers for care. 1
Eligible families that qualify for the CDC program can choose their own child care provider. The state pays a portion of the cost of child care; while the parent is responsible to pay a co-payment to the provider each month.
How do I apply for child care assistance in Michigan?
Use the following Income Eligibility Chart to determine if you may be income eligible. If you think you’re eligible for assistance, you may apply online through MI Bridges.
Michigan Head Start #
Head Start is a national school readiness program that provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services for low-income pre school children ages 3 to 5.
Early Head Start is open to children under 3 years old in low-income families, while children 3 to 5 years old participate in Head Start. Pregnant women may also be eligible for Early Head Start.
If you need help determining if your child is eligible, please call Head Start at (517) 373-6472 to find a program near you. There are 90 Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Michigan.
Michigan School Breakfast and Lunch Program #
The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) are federally funded programs that assist schools and other agencies in providing nutritious meals at reasonable prices to children whose families meet income eligibility requirements.
If you are a SNAP recipient and qualify for reemployment compensation, your child qualifies for free school meals. Children who are migrant, runaway, foster, or homeless are automatically eligible.
For the most current information, please contact
School Nutrition Program Office
Is Michigan participating in P-EBT benefits?
Michigan was one of the first states to participate in the P-EBT program as part of the Families First Coronavirus Act. For the 2020-2021 school year, eligible children who are do in-person and remote learning are eligible for about $77 in P-EBT benefits per child.
Michigan Housing Choice Voucher Program #
MSHDA administers approximately 28,000 Housing Choice Vouchers that provides rent subsidies for very low income people who find their own housing in private homes and apartment buildings.
To be eligible, your gross income must not exceed the income limits for the county in which you live. If you are accepted into the program, the amount you pay for rent and utilities may vary, but generally your portion will not exceed 40% of your income.
How do I apply for Section 8 in Michigan?
Applications are only accepted for open waiting lists and are available online only; no paper applications will be available or accepted. Preference will be given to those living or working in the county selected.
Participants in the program may also qualify for other opportunities such as the Family Self-Sufficiency and Key to Own Homeownership programs.
Michigan Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) #
LIHEAP is federal money given to each state to assist low-income families with energy costs. In Michigan, the LIHEAP grant is used for the following programs:
Home Heating Credit
The Home Heating Credit is available to all low-income households. The Michigan Department of Treasury determines eligibility and makes the payments. eFile your claim at www.MIfastfile.org before September 30 deadline.
State Emergency Relief (SER)
State Emergency Relief is a crisis intervention program that provides emergency assistance to households who are in immediate danger of being without heat. Available from November 1 to March 31 via MI Bridges.
Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
Michigan’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) provides free home energy conservation services to low-income Michigan homeowners and renters. Contact your local Weatherization Operator to get started.
In some cases, if you have received a Home Heating Credit of more than $20 in the current month or any of the previous 12 months, you’ll likely be entitled to an increase in the monthly amount of food assistance.
Michigan Unemployment Insurance #
Unemployment insurance benefits provide temporary financial assistance to workers unemployed through no fault of their own that meet Michigan’s eligibility requirements.
Those who file for a new claim may be entitled to up to 20 weeks of state unemployment benefits and are required by the state law to actively seek work each week that they file a claim for benefits.
How do I file for unemployment in Michigan online?
You can apply for UI benefits either online via MiWAM or by phone at 866-500-0017. To phone in your biweekly claim, use MARVIN’s statewide, toll-free telephone number 1-866-638-3993.
Michigan Tuition Grant (MTG) #
Michigan Tuition Grant (MTG) is available to undergraduate students and is based on financial need for use at non-profit colleges and universities in Michigan.
Awards are restricted to tuition and mandatory fees — up to a maximum of $2,800 per academic year, subject to available and approved funding. For priority consideration, submit your application by March 1 deadline.
For more information, contact the Michigan Tuition Grant program,
Student Scholarships and Grants (SSG)
- NWLC. State Child Care Assistance Policies: Michigan