Michigan TANF For Single Moms

Last Updated on January 15, 2024 by Lori Pace

Are you a single parent in Michigan struggling to make ends meet?  The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in Michigan program called Family Independence Program (FIP) can provide you with financial aid.

This federal program aims to provide assistance to families below the poverty guidelines. The temporary cash assistance covers basic needs like food, housing, buying diapers, and childcare expenses. At the same time, the program also requires recipients to participate in a family self-sufficiency plan. This encourages them to register for job search services and other work-related activity requirements as much as possible. 

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of Michigan TANF for single mothers, including eligibility requirements, application procedures, and available resources. With this information, you can determine whether TANF FIP is the right option for you and your family.

Eligibility Requirements for Michigan TANF 

With A Minor Child Or Children

The FIP provides basic assistance to families with a child or children 18 years old and below who may qualify for temporary cash benefits. As part of the eligibility determination, the biological parents and legal guardians of the said child are also subject to mandatory evaluation. 

Eligibility Requirements For Michigan Tanf

Wedlock Pregnancies And Parent Of A Child In Foster Care

Michigan also grants FIP benefits to women who got pregnant out of wedlock. Similarly, it also applies to needy parents whose child is about to return home from foster care within a year.

Countable Income

This eligibility requirement comprises different types of income, including earned and unearned income. These wages include self-employment earnings, rental pays, child support, social security benefits, and more. This factor is a great consideration in determining your eligible income level, which could ultimately affect your monthly benefits. 

Cash And Property Assets

Assets refer to any cash and property that legally belongs to you. In Michigan, the cash asset is limited to $3,000. The cash asset includes cash on hand, bank and credit union accounts, investments, trusts, and other financial incentives. Meanwhile, the value of the property asset in the form of real estate must not exceed $250,000. Vehicles and personal belongings are not counted. 


First, you must be a US citizen to be eligible for direct cash assistance. Nonetheless, applicants with an acceptable legal alien status can also apply. Second, you must establish your county of residence in Michigan. And lastly, you must not be a recipient of any cash assistance grant outside of the state.

Work Requirements

The work requirement is part of the conditions to qualify for the FIP cash assistance program. The program requires unemployed or low-income individuals to participate in work-related activities to continue accepting cash benefits. The number of work hours to render will depend on age, family composition, maximum household income, citizenship, and resources. 

However, there are also exemptions to this rule. For instance, disabled people who are documented as unfit to work, pregnant women with high-risk conditions, and women who just recently gave birth or with infants less than three months of age.

How To Apply For Michigan TANF

Online Application

Eligible individuals can easily apply by completing an online application process via MI Bridges. You can use this portal to file an application and verify your eligibility status. Moreover, this will also give you access to manage your account over the web. 

How To Apply For Michigan Tanf

In-Person Application

The in-person application requires you to visit your local Michigan Department of Health and Human Services office. To make it more convenient, you can download a copy of the TANF application beforehand. Fill up the form and prepare the necessary documents for submission. 

You will be assigned to a Department of Human Services (DHS) specialist during your in-person visit. This specialist will conduct a mandatory interview to verify determinations for cash assistance.  

While the interview process may feel intimidating, it is a necessary step in the application. The DHS specialist will be there to guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have. Moreover, they will ensure that you will receive adequate cash assistance. 

Verification Process

The verification process requires your DHS specialists to review and counter-check your application. To support your declared information, you must provide documents as valid proof. Take note that it must be less than 30 days old as of submission.

Here are some of the most common documents that you can attach along with your application: 

  • Valid ID
  • Social Security Number
  • Alien/Immigration status
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce decree
  • Proof of earnings from employment
  • Receipt of Unemployment Compensation Benefits (UCB) (or copy of the application if still pending)
  • Assets (bank account statements, 401(k), investment accounts, trust funds, etc.)
  • House expenses (rental receipt, property tax bill, mortgage payment, house insurance, utility bills, etc.)
  • Medical certificate for pregnancy (include the expected number of children and date of confinement)
  • Child support payment
  • Day care expenses
  • Unpaid medical bills
  • Medical or health insurance card
  • Disconnection notices 

To ensure that only eligible households receive welfare benefits, DHS specialists may also contact landlords, childcare providers, or employers for verification. 

In some cases, additional information may be needed, and it is best to comply within 10 days. Don’t hesitate to seek help from your DHS specialist if you find it difficult to obtain certain documents or provide accurate information.

Michigan TANF Approval

Once approved, your earnings of cash assistance are deposited twice a month. The monthly assistance payment is automatically deposited into your Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) account. Again, the level of cash assistance you will receive depends on your household size, income limit, and expenses. 

You can withdraw the issued cash benefit using your Michigan Bridge Card. It is a debit card that you can access through ATMs. That said, it is important to keep it safe and secure. Never share your Personal Identification Number (PIN) with others to avoid unauthorized withdrawal of your funds. 

The approval also entails client reporting requirements. The cash assistance recipients must report any changes within 10 days from the date the development took place. 

From time to time, your DHS specialist will conduct home calls. This protocol allows them to check your family situation. It also allows them to track and assess your capacity for eventual self-sufficiency.

TANF Payment Schedules

Understanding the monthly welfare benefits schedule is crucial for budgeting and planning expenses. Payments are regularly distributed twice monthly. The payment release dates are systematically based on the last digit of your Individual Identification number.

For example, your Individual Identification Number is 0123456789. The last digit of your card is 9. The table below shows that the payment schedules of accounts ending in 9 are released every 9th and 19th of each month.

Last Digit of the IDFirst Payment(of each month)Second Payment(of each month)
0, 1, 3, and 55th15th
6 and 78th18th
8 and 99th19th

Other Benefits of the Family Independence Program (FIP) 

Aside from the cash benefits, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Family Assistance also aims to offer the following: 

  • Food assistance
  • Assistance with transportation
  • Child care assistance
  • Services for school children
  • College financial aid
  • Job Preparation
  • Annual clothing allowance
  • Adoption assistance
  • and more

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if my FIP benefits application is denied?

The state of Michigan and local agencies are responsible for assessing and evaluating your cash assistance eligibility. If you disagree with the denial, you can file for an appeal and corroborate your concern to the Michigan TANF Office

Can a drug felon apply for FIP assistance for families?

Michigan has a partial waiver to allow eligible individuals with one drug felony to apply and be granted TANF benefits. However, persons with two or more drug-related felonies and automatically banned from receiving monthly cash assistance benefits.  

Are there any penalties for not complying with the federal work requirements?

If you fail to comply with work requirements for TANF, you may face a decrease in cash assistance or even legal consequences. However, work exemptions and sanction appeals are available, and reporting requirements must be followed.


By providing an adequate safety net for those in need, public assistance programs like the Michigan TANF have the potential to lift single mothers out of deep poverty and create a brighter future for themselves and their children. 

So, if you or someone you know is in need of financial assistance, consider applying for Michigan TANF – it could be the helping hand you need to get back on your feet. And remember, as the saying goes, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!