If you live in Michigan and are applying for Social Security Disability or SSI, you should strongly consider applying for Michigan State Disability Assistance (“SDA”). This is a state-run program that provides medical insurance and cash benefits if you are approved. The main difference between the two programs is that to get approved for SDA, you generally must show that you are unable to work for a period of 90 or more days (as compared to 12 months in Social Security cases). Here is a link to the State of Michigan website for the specific eligibility requirements.
Make no mistake though, SDA provides a very minimal amount of cash on a monthly basis – $268 (as opposed to $678 for SSI and typically about $1000 for Social Security Disability). If you are living on nothing, $268.00 can make a big difference in your life. By law, your SDA application must be approved or denied within 60 days. IF you are denied, you have the right to appeal that decision and have a hearing before an administrative law judge. In Ionia, Michigan, there hearings are typically conducted by phone from your local Department of Human Services (“DHS”) office. You do have an absolute right to have an in-person hearing, but this usually results in a significant delay.