Living with a disability can be very difficult. Many people in Wayne County, Michigan, might agree with that statement because they are either disabled themselves or have a loved one who lived with a disability. Those people would also agree that in addition to the physical and emotional challenges, another major obstacle that disabled individuals and their families face is related to finances. That is because disabilities can lead to significant medical expenses, as well as loss of wages.
Fortunately, disabled individuals in Michigan can obtain financial assistance from the State Disability Assistance (SDA) program, which is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS). According to the SDA’s existing rules, an individual is considered disabled if the person meets three criteria. First, the person already receives disability-related benefits, such as Medicaid. Second, that individual resides in a special facility, such as an adult foster care home. And, third, that person has obtained a certificate from the DHS that says that the individual cannot work for at least 90 days as a result of a disabling injury.
The DHS will consider certain other factors to determine whether an individual is eligible for SDA benefits. For example, the applicant must be a U.S. citizen who is residing in Michigan and not receiving financial assistance from any other state disability program. Similarly, the DHS will also check the applicant’s income and the assets owned by that applicant. According to existing rules, the cash asset limit is set at $3,000, which includes liquid cash, cash in bank accounts, investments, retirement plans and trusts. For income determination purposes, the DHS will look at an applicant’s wages, earnings from self-employment, rental income, Social Security disability benefits and veterans’ benefits.
Nonetheless, just like in the case of Social Security disability benefits, SDA benefits are paid only after authorities are able to determine that a person is disabled and meets the other eligibility criteria. Unfortunately, at this juncture, many applicants may face difficulties that are similar to the ones that applicants face when they are applying for Social Security disability benefits. Therefore, in order to make the process somewhat easier, the person may wish to consult an experienced disability benefits attorney.
Source: Michigan.gov, “State Disability Assistance,” accessed on Aug. 5, 2015