A judge in Flint has given the Michigan Department of Human Services until Aug. 10 to process 5,000 or more remaining applications for cash assistance from people whose benefits were ended because of a five-year federal limit.
Genesee County Circuit Judge Geoffrey Neithercut imposed the deadline Monday during a hearing on a complaint from the Center for Civil Justice..
The state Court of Appeals ruled June 27 that Michigan can end benefits under a five-year federal limit even if recipients still might qualify for cash under state law.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs claimed the Department was not expeditiously processing cases of former cash assistance clients who had reached their federal lifetime limit for collecting benefits.
Michigan has a four-year limit but stops the clock when someone with a disability can't work or when people care for a disabled spouse or child.
The state says following the stricter federal cap could save $70 million a year.
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