More Michigan residents will be eligible for state benefits programs this winter thanks to a change in state policy raising the asset limit for three major public assistance programs.

According to the Lansing State Journal, starting Nov. 1, families with $15,000 in assets and savings will be eligible for public benefits programs that provide food, emergency cash and help for heat and utility payments.

It will give families more stability in hard times because they won't have to give up savings to get help. It will reduce the time and stress individuals face in dealing with programs because it is hard enough dealing with a layoff.

Expanding the number of people who can sign up for public assistance means fewer families will have to make dire choices between paying for food, child care, car payments or other needs.