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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/4/17

The State of Michigan Harasses Food-Stamp Recipients

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The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is in charge of the State's food-assistance program (i.e. food stamps). In December 2016, DHHS cut off my food stamps. I filed an appeal. DHHS said it was a mistake and reinstated my food benefits.

DHHS sent me a letter in January 2017 stating I had to attend an orientation to do community-service hours to continue to receive food stamps. I went to orientation. In January and February 2017, I submitted my volunteer hours to Michigan Works. DHHS sent me a letter stating I did not do my service hours for January and February. Now, DHHS sent me a letter stating I have to go to the very same orientation I already attended all over again. Making me jump through hoops I have already jumped through is harassment.

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A few weeks ago, Michigan Works said I have to stop submitting my hours to them and to submit them directly to DHHS. Now, Michigan Works is saying I have to attend orientation again and start submitting my hours to them again.

I filed complaints with DHHS weeks ago but never heard back. DHHS needs to be completely overhauled. I am wasting countless hours submitting volunteer hours to DHHS, fighting them on it, filing complaints against them, etc. These are hours I should be using applying for better jobs. DHHS needs to accept the hours I spend fighting them as volunteer hours too.

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I filed complaints with the Governor Rick Snyder's office. The governor's office only responded to me after I e-mailed the chief of staff. Otherwise, apparently, they were going to ignore me. The governor's office lied stating I had many conversations with DHHS about the situation. The governor's office also said that DHHS claimed I didn't do my hours and that there was nothing more the governor's office could do. How about making DHHS live up to its end of the bargain? I did my hours. Now, I am supposed to get food stamps with no further hassle.

It seems that DHHS is just trying to wear food-assistance recipients down so they'll give up.


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(Article changed on April 4, 2017 at 15:33)

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William McMullin Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

William holds a BBA from Western Michigan University and a Master of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School. He is a delegate of the State Central Committee of the Michigan Democratic Party.

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