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Bridge Card “Lost Benefit” Information

by Lyndsy Gamet, MiCAFE Stakeholder and Network Partners Manager

Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that it owes some Bridge Card recipients additional benefits that date back to 2014. They refer to the amount as a “lost benefit.” This was an error related to the Heat and Utility Standard Allowance changes. This Allowance was removed for many recipients, and for some it was removed too soon.

There are two groups that have been impacted. The first group are those who currently have a bridge card with food benefits, and the second group are those who had food benefits in 2014, but are not currently receiving benefits.

The information below relates to the two groups:

Group currently receiving bridge card benefits (Approximately 12,000 affected):

  • DHHS has sent letters to some individuals that have been affected and plan to send additional letters the first week of April.
  • The “lost benefits” only affects those who lost the Heat and Utility Standard Allowance in 2014 due to specific changes in policy.
  • Many individuals affected by the “lost benefits” were those who had heating costs rolled into their rent payment.
  • The “lost benefits” repayment can have different range span (different periods of months within 2014) for different individuals. Each case is unique.
  • It is highly likely that someone can be eligible for the “lost benefits” repayment and not be receiving the Heat and Utility Standard Allowance today. The “lost benefits” looks back at the 2014 year and not current status.
  • The “lost benefits” repayment is a one-time repayment that is added to your bridge card food benefit.

Groups not currently receiving bridge card benefits (Approximately 4,900 affected):

  • The “lost benefits” repayment only affects those who lost the Heat and Utility Standard Allowance in 2014 due to specific changes in policy.
  • Many individuals affected were those who had heating costs rolled into their rent payment.
  • DHHS will send letters to individuals with notification of eligibility for “lost benefits” repayment for prior benefits in 2014.
  • Individuals who are not currently receiving Bridge Card food benefits will be provided with a unique process to follow to be able to receive the “lost benefits” repayment. The process will be detailed on the letter from DHHS.
  • The “lost benefits” repayment can have different range span (different periods of months within 2014) for different individuals. Each case is unique.

If you have questions, you can contact the MiCAFE Call Center at 877.664.2233 Monday through Thursday, 9 AM to 3 PM. For case specific information, please contact the DHHS Special Processing Office at 877.522.8050.

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