The Michigan Court of Appeals says state officials can take away welfare benefits under a five-year federal limit even if recipients still qualify for cash assistance under state law.
The ruling released Wednesday overturns a Genesee Circuit Court decision that state Human Services Director Maura Corrigan lacked authority to enforce the five-year limit.
Michigan has its own four-year limit, but it doesn't count months where someone with a disability can't work or where family members are caring for a disabled spouse or child and can't hold an outside job.
The Appeals Court also says Corrigan violated the Administrative Procedures Act where state funds were involved.
The Department of Human Services is reviewing the opinion. A message seeking comment was left for the Center for Civil Justice, which brought the suit.