FIP Caseload Decreases Once Again, Lowest since 1970

Contact: John Truscott (517) 335-6397

Governor John Engler today announced that the Family Independence Program 's (FIP) September caseload was 67,840 - - the lowest it has been since February 1970. The September total of 189,605 recipients is at a level not seen since the late 1960s.

"Welfare reform continues to succeed in Michigan," said Governor Engler. "The welfare reform program has helped thousands of Michigan citizens make the leap from welfare dependence to self -sufficiency."

Of the 67,840 cases receiving FIP benefits, 57 percent are deferred from work requirements either because they are child only cases (approximately 22,000 cases) or have a temporary condition that prevents employment (approximately 17,000 cases).

"That leaves only 29,000 work -ready families," said Engler. "Of the 29,000 families, 74 percent are in the workforce and continue to strive toward self -sufficiency. With ongoing supportive services, they too will succeed in becoming independent of the welfare system."

September data show 67,874 families qualified for day care assistance from FIA, representing 131,634 children. Of those families, 17,468 are current or former FIP recipients.

Currently 33,335 children are receiving MiChild Medicaid benefits and 74,828 children are receiving Healthy Kids Medicaid coverage.

"Our ongoing efforts are aimed at assisting families to become independent of welfare," said Douglas E. Howard, director of the Family Independence Agency. "Our customers want to enter the workforce and employers want to hire our customers. This really is making a difference."