Fifteen percent increase in payments will help families cope with pandemic. New benefits listed below.
LANSING, Mich. – The more than 1.2 million people in Michigan who are eligible for food assistance benefits will receive an additional payment by the end of January that raises their monthly amount by 15% to help families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 15% increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits is for six months, ending in June.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) advocated for the increase led by U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and were pleased to see it ultimately included in the recently passed Congressional relief bill.
Michigan food assistance recipients will see the 15% increase added to their Bridge Cards by the end of January that are in addition to benefits they received earlier in the month. Food assistance increases by $102 per month for a household of four, which will now receive $782 per month. In subsequent months, the 15% increase will be added to Bridge Cards from Jan. 20-30.
“Helping families put food on the table is our job,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “We’re glad we can provide more food assistance to Michiganders who are in need as a result of COVID-19.”
Whitmer and MDHHS also are announcing continuation in January of an initiative that provides additional food assistance to 350,000 Michigan families as a response to the pandemic. Through the initiative, anyone receiving food assistance who doesn’t already qualify for the maximum monthly benefits will see their payment raised to the maximum monthly amount for their household size. Eligible clients will see these additional food assistance benefits on their Bridge Card by Jan. 30, with payments beginning for some households on Jan. 20. Anyone who receives both this payment and the 15 percent increase will receive them on the same day.
Below are the new maximum allowable benefits for SNAP customers based on their respective household size for January through June:
Eligible families do not need to re-apply to receive the additional benefits. People who receive food assistance can check their benefits balance on their Michigan Bridge Card by going online to www.michigan.gov/MIBridges or by calling a customer service representative toll-free at 888-678-8914. They can ask questions about the additional benefits by calling or emailing their caseworker.
Customer service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Spanish and Arabic service is available. If you are deaf, deafblind, or hard of hearing or speech-impaired, call the Michigan Relay Center at 7-1-1.