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State Disability Assistance (SDA)

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    The State Disability Assistance Program (SDA) is cash assistance for eligible disabled adults. If you are the caretaker of a disabled person or are age 65 or older you may be eligible for SDA. You are considered disabled for purposes of SDA if you cannot work for more than 90 days due to a severe mental or physical disability.

    SDA evaluates all applicants according to an income and an asset test. The income test restricts gross individual income to $200 per month. A couple’s gross income must not be more than $315 dollars per month. Countable income includes earned income and income from other sources such as child support, disability benefits, unemployment, and rental payments.

    Assets are limited to $3,000 and can be cash, personal property, or real property. Real property is land and the things on it. Personal property includes investments, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, trusts and other property. Some types of assets are not counted toward the SDA asset limit, including your home and car.

    In order to be eligible for SDA, you must be a U.S. citizen or qualified legal immigrant, you must live in Michigan, and your family cannot receive cash assistance from any other state.

    To apply for SDA you can submit an application to the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS). The application process takes around 60 days to complete. The fastest way to apply is online through the DHS website, MI Bridges. You can also apply in person at your local DHS office. Your local DHS office will give you a general application form, but it may be easier to print an application form and fill it out completely before going to DHS.

    Every applicant will be asked to verify (prove) important parts of their application. This means you may have to show permanent documents like birth certificates, social security cards, state identification cards, driver licenses, or passports. Your family may also need to provide temporary documents that show your income and expenses, like bank statements and proof of rent (such as a lease). Temporary documents must be less than 30 days old.

    A DHS specialist will contact you and set up a conference to verify your SDA application. You should bring your important documents to this conference. The conference is also an opportunity to learn about your rights. Be sure to ask the DHS specialist any questions you may have about the application process or your public benefits.