This post is for my Michigan readers — scroll down to find the chart most of you are looking for:

Food stamp allocation dates via the Michigan Bridge Card are shifting around in 2011.

The Michigan Department of Human Resources posted information, and sent letters to its clients, in early November to alert people to the changes. I did a post about that in November. That article was getting a lot of hits, so I wrote a piece that was printed in The Monroe Evening News in January to remind everyone of what’s going on.

The Michigan food stamp dates were already staggered across about a 10-day period rather than issuing all the benefits on the first of the month, as is customary in some other states. Throughout the year, the benefits date will be moved back one date every month until each case number lands on its new permanent date.

“Not everybody’s date will change every month, but most will, especially in the first few months,” the DHS explains.

The key to following the schedule is the last digit of your Michigan Bridge Card account number. All clients should have received the notice in the mail in November with instructions to save the schedule for reference in 2011. The 2011 schedule also is posted for reference on the michigan.gov web site but it’s fair to say that letter is hard to find amid the other FAQs.

Therefore, this is how it works:

  • Those whose number is a 0 would have received their January food stamp benefits on Jan. 3, and their allocation date will continue to be the 3rd of the month.
  • Those whose number is a 1 will get their January food stamp benefits today (Jan. 4); but starting in February the allocation date will be the 5th of the month.
  • Those whose number is a 2 will get their January food stamp benefits on Jan. 5; their February benefits on Feb. 6; and starting in March the benefits show up on the 7th of the month.
  • Those whose number is a 3 will get their January food stamp benefits on Jan. 6; their February benefits on Feb. 7; their March benefits on March 8; and starting in April the benefits show up on the 9th of the month.
  • Those whose number is a 4 will get their January food stamp benefits on Jan. 7; their February benefits on Feb. 8; their March benefits on March 9; their April benefits on April 10; and starting in May their benefits show up on the 11th of the month.
  • Those whose number is a 5 will get their January food stamp benefits on Jan. 8; their February benefits on Feb. 9; their March benefits on March 10; their April benefits on April 11; their May benefits on May 12; and starting in June the benefits show up on the 13th of the month.
  • Those whose number is a 6 will get their January food stamp benefits on Jan. 9; the February benefits on Feb. 10, the March benefits on March 11, the April benefits on April 12, the May benefits on May 13, the June benefits on June 14, and starting in July the benefits show up on the 15th.
  • Those whose number is a 7 will get their January food stamp benefits on Jan. 10; their February benefits on Feb. 11; the March benefits on March 12; the April benefits on April 13; the May benefits on May 14; the June benefits on June 15; the July benefits on July 16; and starting in August the benefits show up on the 17th of the month.
  • Those whose number is an 8 will get their January food stamp benefits on Jan. 11; their February benefits on Feb. 12; the March benefits on March 13; the April benefits on April 14; the May benefits on May 15; the June benefits on June 16; the July benefits on July 17; the August benefits on Aug. 18; and starting in September the benefits show up on the 19th of the month.
  • Those whose number is a 9 will get their January food stamp benefits on Jan. 11; their February benefits on Feb. 12; their March benefits on March 13; their April benefits on April 14; their May benefits on May 15; their June benefits on June 16; their July benefits on July 17; their August benefits on Aug. 18; their September benefits on Sept. 18; their October benefits on Oct. 20; and starting in November the benefits show up on the 21st of the month.

Update: Michigan DHS appears to have since taken down its chart, but the USDA site does have the Michigan chart.

If your family is receiving food assistance, you are living on a tight budget. There’s lots of information, public service announcements and frugal living tips here on Monroe on a Budget. I’m writing specifically for southeast Michigan, but I have lots of statewide information as well.

So if this is your first visit to my blog, take some time to poke around.

Specifically: look through my assistance archives for tips, public service announcements and headlines on food stamps, welfare and other assistance programs; my grocery database to see what stores in Monroe County, Mich., accept Bridge Card as payment; and my grocery shopping on a budget tips to learn how to stretch those funds.

And yes, you can use coupons if you purchase groceries with the Bridge Card. Here’s my tips specifically for that situation.

This post updated Jan. 3, 2013

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