Michigan Benefits Access (MBA) and MI Bridges Introduction Presented by: Michigan Association of United Ways HISTORY OF MBA A Stepped Approach to Financial Independence Public-Private Partnership A statewide stakeholder group of 40 nonprofits and state agencies researched innovative strategies for a streamlined benefits delivery system. Both government officials and nonprofit leaders moved towards parallel plans to create an easy-to-access, online, benefit application and delivery system coupled with nonprofit outreach. Multiple private foundations provided funding to develop the technology and bolster the outreach and education. Michigan Benefits Access Increase the economic stability for Michigan families by connecting them to multiple public benefits through the use of the MI Bridges technology Michigan Benefits Access Vision Courtesy of MDHS MBA Outreach Resources DHS Community Resource Coordinators able to provide information about MI Bridges and opportunities for training AmeriCorps members are serving as MBA Community Resource Navigators throughout Michigan. Members provide: Direct client application assistance Assist in coordinating training events Share benefits of MI Bridges with CBOs Food Bank Outreach workers directly help people complete food assistance applications statewide MBA Website – www.mibenefitsaccess.org – source for MBA outreach materials and best practices MI BRIDGES TODAY Department of Human Services Benefit Programs Food Assistance Program (FAP) State Emergency Relief (SER) - Energy and Non-Energy Assistance Medical Assistance (MA) Child Development Care (CDC) Family Independence Program (FIP), State Disability Assistance (SDA), Refugee Assistance - Cash Assistance 6 MI Bridges Is: 24-hour secure internet portal to DHS benefit applications – www.michigan.gov/mibridges Directly linked to MDHS internal Bridges system for application processing Developed and maintained by the Michigan Department of Human Services Allows households to create an account to apply for benefits, check case status, and recertify all online MI Bridges – What Can You Do? Apply for Food Assistance, Medical Assistance, Childcare, Cash Assistance, Energy Assistance, and Non-Energy State Emergency Relief View All Program Status – Allow the case owner (head of household) to view benefit status online Access Control – Allow the case owner (head of household) to grant case viewing permissions online to any case member Correspondence – Allow recipients to view their correspondence electronically Electronic Notification – Allow recipients to receive emails and text when new correspondence is generated Increased benefit history view – Allow recipients to view two months prior, current and future month benefit status 1-888-MIBRIDGES www.michigan.gov/mibridges 1-888-642-7434 Courtesy of MDHS MI Bridges – What Can You Do Continued Upload Documents – Allows applicants and benefit recipients to upload and attach documents for verification into MI Bridges Report Changes for Food Assistance, Medical Assistance, Childcare, Cash Assistance, Energy Assistance, and Non-Energy State Emergency Relief Save applications without submitting for up to 12 months. Renew Benefits –Allow recipients to complete semi-annual and annual redeterminations Available in English, Spanish, and Arabic – MI Bridges application and correspondence will be available in Arabic, English, and Spanish Courtesy of MDHS Uploading Documents Before uploading, clients must scan and save their documents to a computer or flash drive. Here are two examples of scanners. Office scanner/printer combo Desktop flatbed scanner Courtesy of MDHS Types of Document Proof Identity and citizenship status Income – for last 30 days Housing and utility cost Of why you or your children are without support Information on absent relative who should be providing support Property owned Medical Bills – for persons over 65 and people with disabilities Assets Self-Service Processing Centers (SSPC) West SSPC 5321 28th St Court SE Grand Rapids, MI 49546 1-877-522-8050 (phone) 1-877-522-8055 (fax) Central SSPC 7109 W Saginaw Highway 1st Floor Lansing, MI 48917 1-877-416-4227 (phone) 1-517-241-8642 (fax) East SSPC PO Box 33240 Detroit, MI 48232-9829 1-877-274-9099 (phone) 1-877-274-9094 (fax) [email protected] Becoming a MI Bridges Community Partner Michigan Benefits Access What is a MI Bridges Community Partner? An agency in Michigan that registers in MI Bridges to help Michigan residents apply online for benefits by providing a computer or one-on-one assistance with applications . Levels of Engagement Put up promotional materials in your sites to let your patients know MI Bridges is available and what it does Provide a convenient location and access to a computer for community residents to apply or check their benefits status online “Man” your computer access location with staff or volunteers that clients can call on when they get stuck or need help Use your training on MI Bridges navigation to directly assist customers applying online Why Register as a MI Bridges Community Partner? Direct link to State of Michigan for information and support Known impact –you'll get an agency number and a pass code that is used to track applications submitted through your organization Assisting DHS to learn more about how the online application is being used and ways to improve Places you in community with other organizations to access best practices and shared benefits from cross promotion of programs 4 Current Method to Register as Community Partner Step 1 – Select “Community Partners Login” 20 Step 2 – Select “Click Here” to register for the first time. 21 Step 3 – Answer asterisk fields, save secret question and passcode to make changes to registered information. 22 Registered: Use one Agency Number per organization or site – Shared by all staff at same location. 23 Step 4 – Enter Agency Number for each application assisted by your staff or completed on a computer owned by your agency. Must enter agency number for each application or will not be counted as coming from your agency. 24 New Community Partner Registration Process Coming Soon from MDHS • Register now to begin using Agency ID when assisting applicants/recipients. • Existing organizations with MI Bridges Agency Number will be notified by MDHS when new process and criteria is available. • Partners will be responsible for “renewing” their community partner status periodically. 25 Consumer Protection Michigan Benefits Access Background Check Required All staff volunteering to directly assist applicants use MI Bridges should undergo a background check through employer. Depending on the population served, background checks may include: Michigan State Police Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT) State and National Sex-Offender Registries Child Abuse and Neglect Central Registry Explain your Role Immediately You are NOT a Michigan Department of Human Services case manager – You are a staff or volunteer of an agency. You are NOT an authorized agent for the individual applying for benefits. You are NOT a policy expert on MDHS applications – Policy questions should be asked of MDHS case managers. You are NOT responsible for the applicants approval or denial of benefits - All decisions are made by MDHS. 6 Empower Applicant to Prevent Fraud Keep user name and password private. Everyone has the right to complete the application themselves. All applicants have rights and responsibilities as a DHS benefit applicant. All applicants have rights to privacy and confidentially. Empower Applicant continued Scanned documentation should be deleted from benefit site computers after each appointment. Applicant should never pay someone to complete a DHS benefit application. Regularly check the status of application through MI Bridges. Contact DHS case worker directly for specific process questions. Creating a MI Bridges Account User ID and Password for Login Presented by: Michigan Association of United Ways Create An Account in MI Bridges To create an account in MI Bridges a person must either: Apply for Benefits - First time applying for any Department of Human Services public benefit program Or 2. View My Case – If individual has open benefit case with Michigan Department of Human Services Clients may click here to access the Michigan Assistance and Referral Service (MARS) to see if they would be eligible for benefits before filling out the online application ↓ MiBridges Basics Clients may click here to create an account and apply for benefits whether it be for the first time, or adding a program or to reapply ↓ Clients may click here to view their benefits, report changes to their worker, upload documents and check the status of an application ↓ User ID and Password Creation Tips: 1. User ID and password should be created by the applicant not the volunteer When possible, have applicant write down user name and password exactly as they want them entered for privacy 2. User ID must include only letters and/or numbers – no special characters 5 to 16 characters 3. Password is case sensitive – 8 to 20 characters 4. Password cannot include the first or last name of applicant 5. Cannot have user ID of another applicant - must be unique 6. Select two secret questions to suggest to applicant Write down answers immediately Clients may select this radio button to create a new account and then complete the online application Notice the other selections. Clients may choose to keep working on an application they previously started or check the status of an application Courtesy for MDHS MI Bridges is a secure website and by law any information given must be kept private and secure. Notice that clients are required to enter information marked with a red star Courtesy of MDHS The user ID created by the client will be theirs forever. They will log in to their MI Bridges account using this same user ID to check their benefits, upload documents, reapply for benefits, check the status of an application, and report changes The client should keep this user ID and password in a secure location. If they forget their user ID and password they may select security questions shown on the next slide to answer Courtesy of MDHS Choosing these secret questions and typing in answers will enable the client to gain access to their MI Bridges account should they forget their user ID or password in the future The User Acceptance Agreement box must be checked before finalizing a MI Bridges account After all information is filled out, click the Create Account button to finalize a new account! Courtesy of MDHS After the account has been created successfully the client may apply for benefits. If they would like to apply now, they click here to log in and begin the application process Courtesy of MDHS Creating an Account through “View My Case” – For Existing Recipient Forgotten Password and/or User ID • Five attempts to enter user ID and password incorrectly before system locks. • Use secret questions to create new password or recover User ID • Can create up to three new User ID and/or Passwords before the system locks you out completely. • If locked completely out of system after creating three user ID and passwords, an customer can go to a local DHS office for assistance in unlocking account. Forgotten Password – How to Create New Password Create New Password with Secret Questions Receive Temporary Password w/o Secret Questions Forgotten User ID – How to Recover Recover User ID Secret Questions Program Benefits and Navigation Overview Michigan Benefits Access MI Bridges Benefit Programs Food Assistance (FAP) http://michigan.gov/dhs/0,4562,7-124-5453_5527---,00.html State Emergency Relief (SER) http://michigan.gov/dhs/0,4562,7-124-5453_5531---,00.html Medical Assistance (MA) http://michigan.gov/dhs/0,4562,7-124-5453_5530---,00.html Child Development and Care (CDC) http://michigan.gov/dhs/0,4562,7-124-5453_5529---,00.html Family Independence Program (FIP) http://michigan.gov/dhs/0,4562,7-124-5453_5526---,00.html Food Assistance Program (FAP) FAP supplements the food purchasing power of low-income individuals and families Eligible Items: Non-Eligible Items: Food Alcoholic beverages Plants and seeds of plants which produce food Tobacco products (No sales tax) Foods eaten in store Hot foods in stores Vitamins or medicines Any non-food items (except seeds and plants) State Emergency Relief (SER) SER program provides immediate help to individuals and families facing conditions of extreme hardship or for emergencies that threaten health and safety. SER benefits are segmented into five categories: 1. Heat & Utilities http://1.usa.gov/Abgy9j 2. Home Repairs http://1.usa.gov/x2Kk7q 3. Relocation Assistance http://1.usa.gov/xiZw8l 4. Home Ownership Services http://1.usa.gov/xw4MtM 5. Burial http://1.usa.gov/yUcIEv Medical Assistance (MA) DHS combines both Medicaid for adults and pregnant women and the Adult Medical Program in the “Medical Assistance” category An applicant can apply for any of the numerous Medicaid programs, Healthy Kids, and Plan First using MI Bridges or MIChild • MIChild – can only be applied for with the MIChild application info located on the DCH website http://www.michigan.gov/mdch/0,4612,7-132-2943_4845_493137347--,00.html • MOMS applications cannot be processed in MI Bridges, see DCH Website for more information. Child Development and Care (CDC) CDC may provide payment for child care services for qualifying families. Child care must be provided by a child care center or group child care home licensed by DHS, family child care home registered by DHS or an unlicensed provider enrolled by DHS For most families, DHS pays less than the full cost of child care. Families are expected to pay the difference between the DHS payment and the provider's actual charge Family Independence Program (FIP) FIP is temporary cash assistance for low-income families with minor children and pregnant women. FIP helps them pay for living expenses such as rent, heat, utilities, clothing, food and personal care items. FIP is the only program benefit with a 48 month lifetime limit. This includes any cash assistance received in another state Applying for Benefits • DHS must make timely decisions to approve or deny your application. • Standards of Promptness for application processing vary by benefit. • For CDC, FAP, and Medical benefit request, you may only need to talk with a worker over the phone. • For Cash and SER, you may need to come into a DHS office for an in-person interview. Applying for Benefits Applications for Cash, Medical, Child Care, and Food Assistance can be submitted right away. State Emergency Relief (SER) you must complete the application entirely before submitting. Adults applying for cash assistance will have to participate in employment activities before cash assistance application is approved. Applying for Benefits Continued Childcare, Food Assistance, and Medical Benefits requests may only require a call from a worker over the phone. Cash and SER applications will require a DHS office visit for an in-person interview. DHS caseworkers will contact applicants directly for verification on information provided. SSPC and Local Office Interaction MI Bridges Applications Clients submit application for FAP/SER online The application is directed to one of the SSPC’s SSPC •Processes app online •Utilizing phone interviews •Focused on providing fast service to clients Courtesy of MDHS Transfers Local Office •Processes SER• Applications that do not meet apps for existing SSPC criteria cases • Applications with an approved •Provides a case/pending app in local office physical location • Certain types of SER for SSPC clients to come to Self-Service Processing Centers (SSPC) West SSPC 5321 28th St Court SE Grand Rapids, MI 49546 1-877-522-8050 (phone) 1-877-522-8055 (fax) Central SSPC 7109 W Saginaw Highway 1st Floor Lansing, MI 48917 1-877-416-4227 (phone) 1-517-241-8642 (fax) East SSPC PO Box 33240 Detroit, MI 48232-9829 1-877-274-9099 (phone) 1-877-274-9094 (fax) [email protected] Navigating MI Bridges HELPFUL TIPS & LIVE DEMONSTRATION Before You Begin: Navigation Tips Unlock pop-up blocker! Only use the “Next” and “Back” arrow buttons Application can be saved for completion later Application good for up to 12 months without submission www.michigan.gov/mibridges MI Bridges Uploading Do MiBridges Basics View my Case – Check Benefit Status MI Bridges make the process of maintaining benefits easier for new applicants and recipients: Check status of application decision View the amount of benefits received Receive notification of new correspondence through text or email Check Benefit History Provide access to another household member Report changes and renew applications electronically DHS General Information Line 1-855-275-6424 MI Bridges Tech Issues 1-888-642-7434 Elder Law of Michigan MiCAFE 1-877-664-2233 (Information pertaining to seniors 60+) MBA Website – MBA Outreach Materials & Best Practices www.mibenefitsaccess.org Low Cost Options for Computers and Internet Access Connect Michigan - Creating better economic & life opportunities by expanding access, adoption, & use of broadband - For more info go to www.connectmi.org Comcast Internet Essentials – For more information go to www.internetessentials.com or call -1-855-8-INTERNET (855-8468376) Neither provider is endorsed by MAUW or MDHS.