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Michigan Public Benefits Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Public Benefits, Federal Crimes and Small Claims for Michigan on
Q: A school administrative building was throwing out their chairs and desks. Is it illegal to take one?
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 3, 2022

I think the safest course of action would be to contact the school and ask.

1 Answer | Asked in Public Benefits for Michigan on
Q: Is it legal in Michigan to offer a discounted rate on a service for low-income families/individuals?

If it is legal, how do I go about verifying if the family/individual are actively on Lifeline, SNAP, Medicaid, FPHA, SSI or similar benefit.

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Feb 22, 2022

I believe you can. If you are a private business or entity, you would need to rely on voluntary disclosure to confirm eligibility. I do not believe there would be a way for you to verify directly.

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law, Gov & Administrative Law and Public Benefits for Michigan on
Q: Got a notice from the State of Michigan Unemployment Department- please help!

I got a letter from the Michigan Unemployment Office saying a “question of eligibility and/or qualification has been raised on a claim in which you are an interested party”. The dates they want proof of income on range from 3/2020 all the way to 5/2021.

If I got unemployment benefits... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Oct 23, 2021

You really need to speak to a lawyer soon, and preferably before you respond to the request for information. Whether criminal charges arise may depend on intent.

Just remember: there's an old tale that says it's not the act itself that gets us in trouble; it's often the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Gov & Administrative Law and Public Benefits for Michigan on
Q: I was supposed to be in a court hearing today for an upcoming trial. Is it ok everything was changed 12 hours prior?

I was sent a text from my public defender that my court hearing would no longer be in person, but on zoom, the time was changed to 2 hours later, and that my public defender would have another person subbing for them. They also said they would text me the zoom link prior to the newly set time. This... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Apr 19, 2021

Without knowing your case or details at all, I would assume today's hearing was a pretrial conference or status conference. Often, clients aren't really involved in those hearings unless you are ready to enter a plea. And rarely would anything significant about your case be discussed.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Arbitration / Mediation Law, Child Support and Public Benefits for Michigan on
Q: How do I reopen my case after we both agreed to have it closed because we were living together but aren't anymore?

The father of my 2 children and I had been together for 16 years. Living together for over 10, our eldest is 14. We both agreed to stop child support because it was OUR income/outcome but he recently moved out. He is on the lease/utilities and state grant (DHS), I am unable to provide a forwarding... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Sep 27, 2020

Contact your county's DHS office or Friend of the Court; they will take it from there.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Public Benefits for Michigan on
Q: My aunt gave her home to her threekids 10 years ago and reserved a life estate for herself. She went to a nursing home

January of 2020. Before she went to the nursing home. she put a new roof on the house. She applied for Medicaid in January. She was denied because DHHS said that the value of the new roof is a divestment of three-fourths of the $13000 roof cost. They are more or less saying that the life estate is... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on May 22, 2020

They may be right or if the life estate requirements were that she maintain the house they may be wrong.

Hard to say without actually examining the documents but why was this mechanism used rather than a ladybird deed which would have made this moot?

It may be too late at this...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Public Benefits, Small Claims and Contracts for Michigan on
Q: Got a writ of garnishment on a Zales jeweler card from 1995-2001 can they still garnish me in the state of Michigan

I worked multiple jobs and this is the first time they've attempted a garnishment, after all this time can they still collect even with them not making a effort to collect from previous employers

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 18, 2020

What matters is whether they have a valid judgment. Judgments may be renewed every 10 years. I would assume they did that and now that they've found you again, they can collect. You could look into filing a motion for installment payments with the court.

1 Answer | Asked in Public Benefits for Michigan on
Q: What is the definition of family in michigan?

If I live with my girlfriend and her kids do I count as part of the family? For section 8 housing HUD calculations...I take care of her kids while she works but my landlord says I have to do community service if I am not working (which I can't as I take care of homeschooled children all day).... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Jun 6, 2019

What defines a family varies. A common definition - the one I suspect may apply in your case - is that "family" has blood or legal ties to each other. You have neither.

The reason being is that the state sees your situation as having it both ways: by virtue of you living...
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2 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury, Environmental and Public Benefits for Michigan on
Q: My linen on the bed at hotel was not changed I slept in the bed for two when I realized the sheets were solid.Can I sue?

I did not check the bed as I would normally. The second night I put a pillow under my leg. The next morning I noticed the sheets were solid. I had slept under these for two days. I have to wait a couple of weeks to be tested for hepatitis. I am very upset. This is a major chain. They asked what... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Oct 23, 2018

You can, of course, sue, but I'm not sure what that will get you. You'd need to prove damages to substantiate a monetary value. Assuming the best-and most likely scenario: this was a housekeeping error, and whomever slept in the bed before you was an ordinary and clean person, I'm... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Child Support and Public Benefits for Michigan on
Q: The state of Michigan named a guy the father of my two kids by default. He's not on birth

certificate and they do have His Last name. I was receiving state assistance at the time. Do he have legal rights to them? No DNA test was done.No contact from with him in 7yrs, do not know where he lives. I want to change their last name? He only fathered one child after figuring out actual... Read more »

John Joseph Rizzo III
John Joseph Rizzo III answered on Feb 2, 2018

I do not think that the state trying to get reimbursement from him for the assistance you received gives him any legal rights to the children. He could file a paternity action to get rights to the child that is his, but if he has not done that and he is not on the birth certificate, I do not see... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Social Security, Tax Law, Public Benefits and Immigration Law for Michigan on
Q: Concerning federal poverty level. Are disabled ssdi and veterans benefits countable income for poverty chart?

For government immigration form fee waiver.

John Joseph Rizzo III
John Joseph Rizzo III answered on Jan 30, 2018

I believe the answer could change based on the facts. For instance, many people use SSDI and SSI interchangeably when they are very different programs. If you receive SSI, you should be automatically eligible for the fee waiver. If you receive SSDI, that will probably count against you when... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Public Benefits and Probate for Michigan on
Q: If your deceased parent own a house and all you have is a court ordered paternity test to prove relation can you get it

what is needed to claim rights to the house?

Neil Colman
Neil Colman answered on May 30, 2017

My suggestion is that you hire a probate attorney. While there might be a court ordered paternity test, was there ever an order entered stating he was the biological father? Was there a wife who survived the decedent? Was there a Will? These are the questions which must be answered and that's... Read more »

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