Michigan Social Security Eligibility

Three Different Benefit Programs

Michiganders have the opportunity to apply for three different benefit programs once health issues force them to stop working. The three disability programs are designed to help disabled people make ends meet once they’re unable to work. Even better, you may qualify for payments from both state and federal programs each month.

Each program has different payment amounts, medical screening questions and even financial limits for eligible applicants. Chowning & Edgar can help you figure out which program you could qualify for, and help you through the application process to achieve a more favorable outcome.
Here’s the order we believe most Michigan disability claimants should apply for these benefit programs to maximize their payments:

  1. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
  2. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  3. Michigan State Disability Assistance (SDA)

Michigan Disability Requirements

Here’s how to tell whether you’re eligible for Michigan disability benefits through the SSDI program before you apply:

  • Have you worked 5 in the last 10 years full-time at jobs that deducted FICA taxes from every paycheck? This is the first step in qualifying for Michigan disability payments through the SSDI program. Employees that don’t normally pay FICA taxes include teachers, firefighters, police officers, truck drivers, bartenders or restaurant workers. Anyone who stopped working more than five years ago also won’t qualify for SSDI. That’s because SSDI is a federal disability insurance policy. Once you stop paying your insurance premium through your FICA taxes, then that coverage automatically lapses.
  • Will your medical issue last for at least 12 months or probably result in your death? If your doctor expects your symptoms to last for less than a year, the SSA will automatically deny your claim. Only people whose conditions force them to stop working for 12+ months can qualify for Michigan disability benefits through SSDI.
  • Are you at least 18, but younger than full retirement age and not currently receiving any Social Security benefits? SSDI is designed to help working-age Americans unable to work specifically due to mentally or physically disabling conditions. Once you reach your full retirement age (FRA), Michigan disability payments through the SSDI program automatically convert into Social Security retirement checks.

If you answered “yes” to these three questions, and you have a qualifying medical issue, you can apply for Michigan disability benefits through the SSDI program. 

From the start of your application, having an experienced SSDI lawyer on your side can greatly improve your chances of being approved for disability benefits. We'll review your case for FREE and guide you through the application process so you can receive the maximum benefits as quickly as possible.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

If you haven’t paid FICA taxes or worked in 5+ years, you could apply for Michigan disability through SSI instead. Federal assistance through SSI helps disabled, blind and aged Americans get by each month. It has very strict eligibility rules for those that apply. In fact, most are identical to Michigan’s disability assistance program. While SSI pays less money each month, you can potentially qualify at age 65 without being blind or disabled.

Michigan State Disability Assistance (SDA)

If approved for either SSDI or SSI, you probably qualify for state-based Michigan disability payments as well. And if your condition isn’t expected to keep you from working for 12 months, apply for Michigan SDA first! Here are the basic requirements to apply for Michigan disability through the state’s SDA program:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or approved resident alien
  • Caregivers for disabled persons or individuals aged 65 and up may qualify
  • Must reside in Michigan and not currently receiving benefits from another state
  • Cannot have cash or assets totaling more than $15,000 in value (doesn’t include your home, if you own it)
  • Current SSDI or SSI beneficiaries can qualify for supplemental state-based payments

The Bottom Line

If you feel that you might be entitled to receive social security benefits due to a disability or other circumstance, or you have a question or concern about your benefits, our firm is here to help. We are experts at dealing with the Social Security forms and processes and are committed to getting you the benefits you need.  Chowning & Edgar represents clients everywhere in Michigan.

Call us today or fill out our online form to request a FREE no-obligation case review. The advice is free and you have nothing to lose but a bit of your time.

Why Choose Chowning & Edgar

The Leading Workers Comp and Social Security Lawyers in Michigan

  • FREE Case Review
  • No Fees Until We Win
  • Experience - We Know The System
  • Winning Workmans' Comp Cases Since 1985
  • Appointments In Person or Virtual
  • Our Focus is Workmans' Compensation & Disability
  • Local, Personal Representation
  • We Educate You on Your Rights
  • We Handle Cases Anywhere in Michigan
  • So You Get The Benefits You Deserve

No matter where you are in the process, we've got the time to discuss your case with you. The call is free and there is absolutely no-obligation. So click the button and fill out our contact form or call us at (810) 695-2110
We're here to help!


536 Perry Rd, Suite 5
Grand Blanc, MI 48439

(810) 695-2110 or (810) 221-1471

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Chowning & Edgar PLLC is located in Grand Blanc, MI and serves clients in Flint, Saginaw, Detroit, Lansing, Pontiac, Lapeer, Birch Run, Burton, Clarkston, Clio, Corunna, Davison, Durand, Fenton, Flushing, Frankenmuth, Goodrich, Holly, Linden, Montrose, Mount Morris, Lake Orion, Swartz Creek and Waterford. We also handle cases for clients throughout the State of Michigan, including the Upper Peninsula.

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.