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SNAP benefits cannot be automatically taken away from people with felony warrants

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Courtesy photo

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is going to have to change how it handles some of its food assistance claims. Under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, benefits can be revoked from anyone who committed a felony and is fleeing authorities.  

But the U.S Court of Appeals recently said that Michigan was not following the rule correctly.

Michigan was applying SNAP’s felon rule to anyone with an outstanding felony warrant. The state had a computer system that would automatically cancel benefits if someone had a felony warrant and SNAP benefits.

The federal court said that denied violated the SNAP Act and the state’s method of notifying people violated their due process rights.

Jacqueline Doig  is an attorney with the Center for Civil Justice. She represented SNAP beneficiaries who lost their benefits because of the practice.

“This was tens of thousands of people in Michigan who were being disqualified by this automated system because the state was cutting corners.”