Written by Beth St. John, Coordinator, Michigan Benefits Access

Michigan Benefits Access (MBA) exists to increase economic stability for Michigan families by connecting them to multiple public benefits through the MI Bridges website and Community Partners. The Michigan Association of United Ways collaborates closely with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) through MBA to support a collaborative network of non-profit organizations throughout the state.  These organizations are called MI Bridges Community Partners. They partner with MDHHS to assist clients with using the MI Bridges online system to apply for public benefits. These benefits include: food assistance, state emergency relief, health care coverage, child development and care, and cash assistance. To find the MI Bridges Community Partners in your area, please see the MBA Web Site’s Find Help Near You Tool.

Organizations that are interested in becoming a MI Bridges Community Partner can apply with MDHHS at any time. There are two ways organizations can become involved: Access or Navigation Partner. Access Partners provide computers for clients to access MI Bridges and complete applications independently. Navigation Partners provide computers for MI Bridges access and provide technical and one-on-one navigation assistance to clients as necessary. For more information and the application materials, please see the MBA Web Site’s Become a Partner page.

To support the work of Community Partners, the Michigan Association of United Ways collaborates with MDHHS to provide:

  • A 3-hour, in-person MBA/MI Bridges Training to Navigation Partners (To learn more and see our upcoming training events, please visit the MBA Web Site’s Training Page)
  • Access to the MBA Web Site’s For Organizations page, which includes the following assistance resources: Client Handouts, Assister Tip Sheets, Promotional Materials, and information on the MDHHS benefits available through MI Bridges
  • Ongoing communication and technical assistance to enhance Community Partner effectiveness

We look forward to sharing more information about Michigan Benefits Access during the Connect & Share Webinar on Friday, September 18! Register for the free webinar here. If you have any questions about MBA prior to this event, please visit the MBA Web Site or contact Beth St. John, MBA Coordinator at bstjohn@uwmich.org or 517.664.9809.

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