How to Qualify for Social Security Disability in Michigan

If you live in Michigan and you were working but now you are unable to work because of an illness you can apply for Social Security disability benefits. Money that you receive from the Social Security Administration can be used to pay for any of your living or medical expenses. To find out how to qualify for Social Security disability benefits in Michigan keep reading.

Understanding The Definition Of Disability In Michigan

Michigan law uses the same definition as the Federal government when it comes to disabilities. The Michigan Disability Discrimination Law defines a disabled person as someone with one or more disabilities. 

The Americans With Disabilities Act, which is a Federal law, defines a disabled person as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.

But, to have your application for Social Security disability benefits approved by the Social Security Administration you must meet the requirements for disability that the Social Security Administration has established. 

What Conditions Qualify For Disability In Michigan?

The Social Security Administration recognizes more than 200 different mental and physical health conditions as disabling. But, some conditions that people assume are disabling may not qualify you to receive disability benefits. 

Every condition that qualifies for Social Security disability benefits is listed in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book. You can search through the Blue Book on the SSA’s website, or you can look through a physical copy of the book at any local Michigan SSA office. 

Each condition that is listed in the Blue Book also has a specific set of requirements in the listing. Before your application for disability benefits is approved you will have to submit proof that you meet the requirements in that listing. 

In addition to meeting the requirements for disability benefits set by the SSA in the Blue Book you will also have to show that you have earned work credits and that you expect to be unable to work for at least a year. 

Types of Disability Benefits Available in Michigan

There are two types of disability benefits available in Michigan. You may qualify for either of the two different types of disability benefits available in Michigan, but not both. 

Social Security Disability Insurance

Social Security disability insurance or SSDI is a type of disability benefit available in Michigan that is available to people who have worked but can’t work any longer. When you work you automatically earn work credits from the SSA. You will need to show that you have earned work credits on your application for SSDI. The amount of work credits that you need to qualify for SSDI depends on your age and how many years you have worked. 

SSDI pays a monthly benefit that you can use for any of your living or medical expenses. The money that you receive can be used to pay for things like your rent or mortgage, utilities, food, or other bills.  It can also be spent on medical expenses that aren’t covered by your insurance. 

Social Security disability in Michigan pays an average payment of $1, 500 per month, but your payment could be less or more depending on your unique situation. 

Supplemental Support Income

Supplemental Support Income, or SSI, is paid to people who are low-income and have never worked because of a disability or illness. When children who have a disability turn 18 they can apply for SSI to help them pay for their living expenses. 

Parents who have a child who is very sick or disabled and are low-income can apply for SSI for their child. If approved the money received must go to the child’s expenses and be documented. The parents will also need to prove that they meet the SSA’s income limit before SSI will be approved for their child. 

Gathering Documentation Required for Disability Applications

When you apply for Social Security disability benefits it doesn’t matter if you’re applying for SSDI or SSI you will need to have thorough and accurate documentation to submit with your application.

The best way to get your application approved on the first try when you apply for disability benefits in Michigan is to make sure that your application forms are filled out correctly and to have as much accurate documentation as possible. Some of the documents and information that you will need to submit with your application are:

  • Birth certificate (certified copy is acceptable)
  • Social security card
  • For naturalized citizens, a certificate of citizenship or permanent resident card (green card) that is in good standing (i.e., renewed and not expired)
  • If married, your marriage certificate or marriage license
  • If divorced from a marriage that lasted more than 10 years, a copy of the judgment of divorce and, in some instances, a copy of the findings of fact or separation agreement
  • Dependent information if you have children  (i.e., their names, SSNs, birthdates, and a brief description)
  • Copies of your W-2 forms, 1099s, or self-employment tax returns from the last two years
  • Proof of the date of onset of your medical condition
  • Proof of your work history including pay stubs
  • Information and a description of each job you have had for the last 10 to 20 years, tasks and duties, and what work you did while there
  • Any information on military service, if applicable, including discharge papers
  • Medical proof to support your disability, sometimes in the form of your medical records but sometimes you may need a medical expert or an affidavit from a treating physician to establish your injury or illness
  • Copies of medical records
  • A completed Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form that is completed by your primary care doctor or another type of treating physician

Make sure that you submit medical records that show you meet the specific requirements for the condition that you have that are listed in the SSA’s Blue Book.

After gathering all the needed documentation and medical evidence, you can file your Michigan disability claim over the phone, online, or at a Michigan Social Security office.

How To Find A Disability Lawyer Taking Cases In Michigan

It’s a good idea to speak with a lawyer who specializes in Michigan Social Security disability cases before you apply. A Social Security disability lawyer helping those in Michigan can help you go through the application and make sure it’s filled out correctly and advise you on what documentation you should include. 

Fill out a Free Case Evaluation now and you will be connected to an independent, participating attorney who subscribes to the website and may be able to help you with your Michigan disability application.

Additional Michigan Disability Resources

Find Out If I Qualify for Benefits!