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State Disability Assistance (SDA)


    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. If you cannot work for more than 90 days because of your mental or physical disability, you will likely be considered disabled and may qualify for SDA.

    The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will use an income and an asset test to see if you qualify for SDA. For SDA purposes, gross income includes earned income and income from other sources such as child support, disability benefits, unemployment, and rental payments.

    Your assets are limited to $3,000. They can be cash, personal property, or real property. Real property includes land and anything permanently attached to it. Personal property includes investments, retirement accounts, and life insurance policies. Some types of assets are not counted toward the SDA asset limit, like 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 you and your family cannot receive cash assistance from any other state.

    You can apply for SDA by submitting an application to MDHHS. The application process takes around 60 days to complete. The fastest way to apply is online through the MDHHS website, MI Bridges. You can also apply in person at your local MDHHS office. Your local MDHHS 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 MDHHS.

    When you apply, you will be asked to prove important parts of your application. This means you may have to show documents like birth certificates, social security cards, state ID cards, driver licenses, or passports. You may also need to take documents that show your income and expenses, like bank statements and proof of rent (like a lease). These expense documents must be less than 30 days old.

    A MDHHS specialist will contact you and set up a conference to go over 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 MDHHS specialist any questions you have about the application process or your public benefits.

    If you receive SDA, you must file an application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or other federal disability benefits with the Social Security Administration. If your application for SSI or Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (RSDI) has been denied,  or if you need help with your application, you can contact your local legal services office. Use Find a Lawyer to find a legal services office in your area.