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Michigan Resources (FAQs) « FAQs

FAQsWe are teachers and advocates, and as a part of that process we frequently answer questions from our clients — so we started collecting our Frequently Asked Questions. We are collecting and sharing them with you by topic and hope these are helpful to you.

Please feel free to email Patti at if you have a follow up question or comment. We'd also like you to let us know what you think of this new feature of our website.


We have redacted names to protect the innocent! Sometimes they are posed in a give and take format because they were developed through an email exchange.

(Note: questions are not edited for spelling, grammar or content.)

Birth Records Changes

Question:  Does anyone know how to correct a birth record? Veteran's birth certificate does not match military record. Apparently, he was raised by his mother and step-father but no step-parent adoption. They used the step-father's name in school etc.

Answer:  Michigan Department of Community Health forms can be used to correct a birth record, add a father's name to a birth record, or to verify whether or not a change has been made to a birth record.

Michigan Housing for Families with Children Who Are Disabled:

Question:  I am a single mom of a child with Trisomy 18 and most of the agencies do not have information for housing or support services for families with small children who have severe multiple impairments. I am sending you this e-mail to see if I could enlist your help and support in navigating the housing and support services in Oakland County. I have been looking for affordable, handicap accessible housing for five months and none of the agencies that work with people with developmental disabilities have been able to provide me with any helpful information. Most of the agencies won't help me because I don't have a disability but my daughter does. I went to approximately 25 apartment complexes across seven different cities within Oakland County and none are wheelchair accessible and of the few that were wheelchair accessible were renting at $1500/month or more. I've almost given up.  Any advice I can pass along? I have no expertise in housing matters.

Answer:  Community Housing Network should be able to assist you in securing housing.  They have a great website and Tom Landry is also on the board.
About CHN:  Community Housing Network is a nonprofit organization committed to providing homes for people in need through proven strategies of homelessness prevention, housing assistance and development, community education and referral, advocacy, and additional services. We carry out our work in Southeast Michigan. We help people who are homeless, people with disabilities, and anyone in housing crisis. Our Housing Resource Center, a one-stop-shop for all things housing, directs people to resources at Community Housing Network and other organizations. We collaborate closely with our community partners to provide the highest level of service possible to those who need it most.

Michigan Housing and SSI Issues:

Facts:  SSI allows the recipient to own a home – no problem. The home was owned by recipient’s parents and funded into their trust, which provided SNT for son. Both parents have now died, and there are other surviving children.

He is a 54 yo man that suffered a stroke a couple of years ago. He has been unemployed for many years, living w/ his parents, and never accumulated enough QC to qualify for SSD. He was getting a 1/3 reduced benefit for living at his parents’ home, who provided food and shelter, and his max benefit now would be $698 (and I believe a $14 state supplement). Unfortunately there is not a real large amount of money involved w/ the SNT so we are trying to maximize or stretch out the funds as long as possible for him.  The 1% was contemplated as a means to allow him among other things to claim the homestead exemption, lower insurance (rather than having a higher premium for a “rental”) and also to try and protect the home from his creditors.

Question:  If trust elects to convey a 1% or very minor interest in home to son, as opposed to his having gone out and purchased a home, will SSA consider that conveyance as the trustee providing the recipient with shelter and therefore deem it “unearned income”?

Answer:  He can qualify for the homestead without doing that. They changed the definition to allow a trust for the benefit of a person with a disability to qualify as a person under the statute and claim the homestead.

Further, you can rent it to him under a rent-to-own or land contract and then it will qualify for a homestead either way and you can maximize SSI; especially if you need another person living in the house as staff or to share staffing cost.

I also recommend you connect with Community Housing Network; as they can act as a back up property manager for the trustee if you need. They have a pretty nice website and act as trustee of a D4C trust so they are familiar with this stuff.