CHECK IT OUT: Child Development and Care Program has Free Materials for Distribution!

The Michigan Office of Great Start, Child Development and Care (CDC) program office has launched a marketing and outreach campaign to raise awareness of the availability of funds for child care assistance to families who meet eligibility requirementsThey have a variety of print materials available!! As a partner committed to helping families, they are asking for your assistance in distributing these to local communities and families that might benefit.  These materials include:  Parent and Provider Brochures and Rack Cards to assist parents in applying for child care assistance.    Please help them get this important information to the families you come into contact with and direct them to the CDC website at: www.michigan.gov/childcare for even more information.

To receive these free promotional materials, contact the Child Development and Care program office at 517.241.9492 or email Trina Coolman.  For a preview, we have some of these resources on our Toolkit page (under MI Bridges Assistance Handouts).

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Michigan Agency for Energy: Home heating credits now being processed

Please click here to read the Feb. 1st News Release from the Michigan Agency for Energy. For more information about the Home Heating Credit to share with your clients, click here for a flyer.

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VITA & MyFreeTaxes–make sure your clients are in the know!

VITA

“Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, is a program supported by the IRS that provides people who make roughly $54,000 or less with free assistance in preparing their own tax returns” (from the Michigan Free Tax Help site).  Michigan 2-1-1 has referral information for all the tax clinic sites across the state. To learn more and connect with a VITA Program Site, call 2-1-1 or click here.

MyFreeTaxes

MyFreeTaxes is a free online state and federal tax preparation platform. It’s easy, safe, secure and free for individuals or families with combined income of $64,000 or less. Users’ work is saved at every step, they are supported with a free helpline by calling 1-855-MY-FREE-HELP 1-855-698-9435.  Register here to become a partner promoting MyFreeTaxes for your clients.  Together we can help more hard-working Michiganders keep their Earned income Tax and other tax credits.

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Important Information for Recipients of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC)

A new federal law will delay tax refunds until February 15, 2017 for clients who receive the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit.  Click here to download a flyer and please share this important with your clients!

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Educate your clients about MyFree Taxes!

MyFreeTaxes is a free online state and federal tax preparation platform. It’s easy, safe, secure and free for individuals or families with combined income of $64,000 or less. Users’ work is saved at every step, they are supported with a free helpline by calling 1-855-MY-FREE-HELP 1-855-698-9435.  Register here to become a partner promoting MyFreeTaxes for your clients.  Together we can help more hard-working Michiganders keep their Earned income Tax and other tax credits.

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New MI Bridges landing page will help customers apply for assistance

Customers will be able to more easily apply for food, cash and other assistance with a new MI Bridges landing page that launched Saturday, December 17th.

The new landing page replaced the current portal gateway for the MDHHS application on the internet.

The new page has been designed to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as mobile friendly. This means the page will be optimized on the screen of a mobile device, making it more readable.

Further improvements for other parts of the MI Bridges application portal are planned.

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Check out the 2017 MI Bridges Navigation Training Webinar Schedule!

MI Bridges Navigation Training Webinars will continue in 2017!  They will be held on the third Friday of every month from 10 am – 12 pm.  The next webinar is Friday, January 20. For additional dates and registration instructions, please see the Events Page.  For more information about the training content, please see the Training Page.

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MDHHS Announces Food Assistance Work Requirement Changes

Effective Jan. 1, 2017, able-bodied adults ages 18-49 without dependents in the counties of Kent, Oakland, Ottawa and Washtenaw must comply with federal time limit work requirements in order to receive food assistance benefits. Michigan has received a statewide federal waiver from these food assistance work requirements since 2002. Due to the improvements in the state’s economy, the federal government will no longer grant the waiver statewide, so it will be phased out beginning in these four counties. Able-bodied adults without dependents in those four counties have a time limit of three months of food assistance without meeting the work requirements.

To help answer any questions clients may have about this change, MDHHS developed a flyer and FAQs that Community Partners and MDHHS county offices can distribute to clients.  For additional information, here is the press release announcing the change.  Letters notifying participants of the changes were sent during the week of November 28th.

Able-bodied adults without dependents can call their MDHHS case specialist with questions or visit www.michigan.gov/FoodAssistance for more information on the work requirements, exemptions and other information.

Please share this important information with your clients!

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Remember to Refer Your Clients to the Michigan Tobacco Quitline

The Michigan Tobacco Quitline provides free telephone coaching for Michigan residents who are uninsured, pregnant, enrolled in Medicaid or Medicare, veterans, cancer patients or Native American. The Quitline also offers free nicotine replacement therapy to those who qualify.

Additional Quitline services include:

  • Free materials and online resources
  • Information about and referrals to local resources and services
  • Support for people trying to quit any form of tobacco or electronic nicotine device
  • Tips for quitting (emails or text messages)
  • Information for those concerned about a tobacco user
  • Services in English, Spanish, Arabic and other languages

Even three minutes of counseling from a health professional can increase the success rate of smoking cessation! Health professionals can refer clients to the Quitline using this referral form. Clients can reach the Quitline directly by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW, 1-800-784-8669 or 1-855-DÉJELO-YA, 1-855-335-3569. They may also visit https://michigan.quitlogix.org/ and click on Enroll Now. This link will bring up an online enrollment form. Just answer the questions, hit enroll, and a Quitline coach will call. Research shows quitters are most successful when using a combination of therapies. The Michigan Tobacco Quitline can provide the additional support smokers need to quit.

If you have questions about the Quitline, please contact Amanda Ng.

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Remind your clients to use MI 2-1-1 for their winter resource needs!

Michigan 2-1-1 connects people with information and resources to build healthy, safe communities.  Year-round, they can connect clients to any of the resources they may need to stay healthy…utility assistance, food, shelter, etc. Watch this 2 minute video to learn more.  Just remember…all they need to do is Call 2-1-1 to get connected!

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