Michigan’s Bridge Card system temporarily shuts down this weekend: Here’s what to know

System will undergo upgrade, state says

FILE - In a Sept. 11, 2010, file photo, Temeka Williams, right, of Detroit, uses her bridge card tokens for a purchase from Elizabeth and Gary Lauber from Sweet Delights at the Farmer's Market in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File) (Carlos Osorio, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The Michigan Bridge Card system will be down late Saturday night into Sunday morning.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said Friday that those who use Bridge Cards to buy food or use cash assistance benefits will be unable to do so late Saturday and early Sunday while a system upgrade is implemented that will provide easier access to benefits.

  • Outage timeframe: About 11:30 p.m. Saturday to 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

Residents who receive food assistance, cash assistance and Women, Infant and Children (WIC) benefits loaded on the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards will not be able to redeem them during those hours. They can use the same cards beginning again at 9:30 a.m. Sunday without any effect on their benefits.

“The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is constantly working to make it easier for our clients to access public assistance benefits,” said Lew Roubal, senior deputy director for opportunity. “System changes will allow food and cash assistance customers to use a mobile app that has not previously been available. We apologize for any inconvenience and chose a timeframe with low Bridge Card activity to make this transition.”

System upgrades involve a switch to Fidelity Information Systems (FIS), a Florida-based technology services company, which will be the new electronic benefit transfer provider for MDHHS. The system needs to be shut down during the transition from the previous vendor.

“Fidelity Information Systems was selected through a competitive bidding process that determined the company’s system provided the best features and value for Michigan residents,” Roubal said.

Bridge Card holders will continue to use the www.michigan.gov/MIBridges  website and call the toll-free number on the back of their card.

Clients who are interested in viewing their account status and transaction data online will be required to create a profile on the Food and Nutrition Service cardholder site.

Food and cash assistance clients can access the new ebtEDGE mobile app for use on Android devices in the Google store or IOS devices in the Apple store. WIC clients already have had access to a mobile app.

About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.