Advocates for people receiving cash assistance from the government say a growing number Michiganders are being pushed out of the program. The Michigan League for Human Services has released a report noting a 24 percent drop in the number of people receiving money through the Family Independence Program in the final three months of last year.
"We counted 75 out of the 83 counties have seen a drop in the Family Independence Program, which is the cash assistance program. That is huge. You do know that coincides with the department (of Human Services) applying these retroactive time limits," says Judy Putnam, the spokeswoman for the league.
State officials say a sharp decline in people receiving money from a welfare program at the end of last year is not just because of new lifetime limits on welfare.
"I think when you see voluntary withdrawals that's a good sign," says Maura Corrigan, director of the state Department of Human Services.
She says 90 percent of those who stopped receiving cash assistance from the Family Independence Program in the final quarter of 2011 did so because they no longer needed the money.
Corrigan says 10 percent ran up against the lifetime aid limit, though they remain eligible for other welfare programs.