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Michigan Welfare Office delays 2 day "rocket docket" cases for cash assistance review

DETROIT (Tell Us Det) - A Michigan Department of Human Services office in Detroit was the scene of protests, confusion, and anger this morning. This was the day people losing welfare cash assistance had a chance to challenge that decision, but the hearings were delayed.

People losing cash-assistance were told to be at the Department of Humans Services office at 8 o’clock this morning and to be prepared to spend the day waiting for their teleconferenced hearing to be conducted. Three hours later, the hearings had not started.

Judges today delayed the fate of hundreds of Michigan welfare recipients who say they're being wrongly cut off from cash assistance.

The Welfare Office has used the "rocket docket" approach in the past to resolve cases quickly.

Opponents to the new law say the procedure is unfair to recipients because the hearings are rushed and short.

Groups were demonstrating Monday outside a department office on Detroit's eastside where dozens of the hearings were scheduled to take place. They say the state had planed to hold hearings on 929 cases statewide Monday and Tuesday.

Opponents include United Auto Workers Local 6000, which represents many of the state workers who deal with welfare cases.

Michigan began strictly enforcing state and federal time limits on Oct. 1. About 11,000 families could lose benefits.