Wednesday, April 15, 2009

State Emergency Relief for Low Income Michigan Residents

In the state of Michigan, low-income people may apply for State Emergency Relief (SER) through the Department of Human Services (DHS). The SER application allows for persons who have utility bill shut-off notices, or home foreclosure or eviction notices to receive assistance from the State.

As announced on Tuesday's 4/14/09 WHPR "Ask Welfare Rights" Show, go to a Michigan Dept of Human Services (DHS) office by Thurs, 4/16/09 to receive DTE matching funds for SER! If you have received a shut-off notice for your DTE bill, you can receive matching funds with a State Emergency Relief (SER) application that may help you pay off your entire electric bill. SER funds are also available for water shut-off bills, foreclosure and eviction notice, or home disaster relief. Don't let your DHS worker tell you funds are not available--that's not true!

DTE, the Detroit-based electric and natural gas company, is currently matching funds paid by DHS until April 16, 2009. Eligible residents must go to their nearest DHS office by the end of this date for these matching funds.

After April 16, 2009, you may continue to apply for SER assistance (including home disaster relief and burial service). Many of these current funds have been provided to the states through federal economic stimulus funds to assist low-income, unemployed, and homeless families.

The Michigan Assistance and Referral Service (MARS) website can also help you determine which programs you may be eligible for to receive cash assistance, food stamps, medical care, emergency services, child care, and more. MARS is available in English, Spanish, and Arabic.

Check out the Michigan DHS and SER websites for more information.

Image courtesy of the Michigan's Poverty in Michigan website.

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