Create An Account in MI Bridges

Michigan Benefits Access (MBA)
and MI Bridges
Presented by: Michigan Association of United Ways
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
 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
Michigan Benefits Access
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 – – source for MBA
outreach materials and best practices
Department of Human
Services Benefit Programs
Food Assistance Program (FAP)
State Emergency Relief (SER) - Energy and Non-Energy
Medical Assistance (MA)
Child Development Care (CDC)
Family Independence Program (FIP), State Disability
Assistance (SDA), Refugee Assistance - Cash Assistance
MI Bridges Is:
24-hour secure internet portal to DHS benefit applications –
Directly linked to MDHS internal Bridges system for application
Developed and maintained by the Michigan Department of Human
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
 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
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
 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
Desktop flatbed
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
 Assets
Self-Service Processing
Centers (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)
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
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
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
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
Current Method to Register as Community Partner
Step 1 – Select “Community Partners Login”
Step 2 – Select “Click Here” to register for the
first time.
Step 3 – Answer asterisk fields, save secret question
and passcode to make changes to registered information.
Registered: Use one Agency Number per organization
or site – Shared by all staff at same location.
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.
New Community Partner Registration
Process Coming Soon from MDHS
Register now to begin using Agency ID when assisting
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.
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
 Michigan State Police Internet Criminal History Access Tool
 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.
Empower Applicant to Prevent Fraud
 Keep user name and password private.
 Everyone has the right to complete the application
 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
 Contact DHS case worker directly for specific process
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
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
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
The User
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
Courtesy of MDHS
Creating an Account through
“View My Case” – For Existing
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
Create New Password with Secret
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)
 State Emergency Relief (SER)
 Medical Assistance (MA)
 Child Development and Care (CDC)
 Family Independence Program (FIP)
Food Assistance Program (FAP)
 FAP supplements the food purchasing power of low-income individuals and
Eligible Items:
Non-Eligible Items:
 Food
 Alcoholic beverages
 Plants and seeds of
plants which produce
 Tobacco products
(No sales tax)
 Foods eaten in store
 Hot foods in stores
 Vitamins or medicines
 Any non-food items
(except seeds and
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
2. Home Repairs
3. Relocation Assistance
4. Home Ownership Services
5. Burial
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,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
 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
• 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
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
•Processes app online
•Utilizing phone interviews
•Focused on providing fast
service to clients
Courtesy of MDHS
Local Office
•Processes SER• Applications that do not meet
apps for existing
SSPC criteria
• 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)
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)
PO Box 33240
Detroit, MI 48232-9829
1-877-274-9099 (phone)
1-877-274-9094 (fax)
[email protected]
Navigating MI Bridges
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
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
MI Bridges Tech Issues
Elder Law of Michigan MiCAFE
(Information pertaining to seniors 60+)
MBA Website – MBA Outreach Materials & Best Practices
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
Comcast Internet Essentials – For more information go to or call -1-855-8-INTERNET (855-8468376)
Neither provider is endorsed by MAUW or MDHS.
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