U.S. District Court Judge Paul Borman spanks state on welfare cutoff

U.S. District Court Judge Paul Borman stopped the state from cutting off 41,000 on state support because the state didn’t give them the requisite 90 days of notice that their benefits were ending.

A federal judge accused the state of “sleight of hand” Tuesday and ordered a halt to Michigan’s plan to end welfare benefits to nearly 41,000 residents.

The state failed to give proper notice to those it planned to cut off, U.S. District Judge Paul Borman determined after a hearing Tuesday.

The stoppage is only temporary as the state need only give the proper notice of the new policy, which went into effect on October 1, before it ends benefits to those affected.

The judge’s order requires the state to send new notices that must include a copy of a policy that the state is using to justify the change.

The original Sept. 11 notices didn’t include the new policy, which wasn’t made public until Oct. 1 — long after the nine days recipients had to request a hearing for an exception to the unpublished new rules.

Borman granted class status to the people affected by the law.

Battle over four-year welfare cap goes to court

A group of people scheduled to be cut off from welfare benefits under the new 48 month lifetime limit have filed a federal suit to block the law from taking effect. [The Detroit News].

The lawsuit, filed against Human Services Director Maura Corrigan, said immediate intervention is needed to prevent more than 25,000 parents and children from losing benefits. The welfare recipients from Saginaw, Genesee and Macomb counties asked a federal judge to issue a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

According to the lawsuit, Corrigan is violating the recipients’ rights under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The recipients claim Corrigan sent them pre-termination notices that cite a “secret policy” that hasn’t been made publicly available and which provides a vague, generic explanation for why benefits are being terminated.