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Michigan disability benefits

How to Qualify for Disability Benefits in Michigan

Written by
Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney
Jackie Jakab
Lead Attorney
May 21, 2024  ·  2 min read
Why trust us?

Atticus offers free, high-quality disability advice for Americans who can't work. Our team of Stanford and Harvard-trained lawyers has a combined 15+ years of legal experience and has helped over 50,000 Americans apply for disability benefits.

See if you qualify

If you live in Michigan and can’t work due to an injury or medical condition, you might qualify for Social Security benefits. According to the Social Security Administration, more than 350,000 Michiganders receive disability benefits annually.

We know the application process to receive disability benefits can be complex, but understanding how disability benefits work in Michigan is an important first step toward securing the financial compensation you need. 

Keep reading to learn more about the different disability programs in Michigan and their eligibility requirements.


What qualifies you for disability in Michigan?

Michigan has no state disability program, but if you’re a disabled worker, you can receive support through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Both of these federal programs offer monthly payments and healthcare coverage, although their eligibility requirements and benefits differ.

  • SSDI: You’re eligible for Social Security Disability Income if you have worked at least five of the last 10 years and paid Social Security taxes. Monthly SSDI payments are generally higher than SSI benefits, and SSDI benefits include Medicare coverage after a five-month waiting period. 

  • SSI: Supplemental Security Income is a need-based program. To be eligible, you must have little to no work history and very few financial resources. SSI benefits include Medicaid health insurance.

If your injury or illness is work-related, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. 

We've helped 5,640 people in Michigan with disability benefits.

How to qualify for SSDI in Michigan

To qualify for SSDI, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You are under 67 years old.

  • You are being treated for a long-term disability that is expected to last longer than one year.

  • You’re unable to work because of your condition. Or if you do work, you do not exceed the substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit.

  • You have worked at least five out of the last 10 years and earned 40 work credits.


How to qualify for SSI in Michigan

To be eligible for SSI, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You are 65 or younger. (If you are older than 65, you can receive SSI without having to prove you have a disability.)

  • You have a medical condition that will prevent you from working for at least one year.

  • You have less than $2,000 in countable assets (less than $3,000 if you’re married).

  • You have less than $943 in countable income (less than $1,415 if you’re married).

Learn more about what the SSA considers countable assets and resources in this in-depth list. 


Most approved medical conditions in Michigan

You must be able to prove your medical condition is severely limiting and prevents you from being able to work. According to the latest SSA data, here are some of the most common conditions among recipients in Michigan:

  • Mental health conditions: 34.8%

  • Musculoskeletal disorders: 31.3%

  • Neurological (nervous system) disorders: 9.9%

  • Cardiovascular (circulatory system) disorders: 6.4%

  • Injuries: 3.2%

  • Cancers (neoplasms): 2.9%

  • Respiratory conditions: 2.6%

  • Endocrine disorders: 2.2%

  • Digestive system disorders: 1.5%

  • Genitourinary disorders (kidney disease): 1.4%

  • Infectious and parasitic diseases: 0.6%

  • Congenital anomalies (birth defects): 0.5%

  • Hematological (blood) disorders: 0.3%

  • Skin conditions: 0.2%

  • Other qualifying conditions: 0.2%

The most common mental health disorders among Michigan recipients are: 

  • Depression, bipolar disorder, and related disorders: 43,594 people

  • Intellectual disorders: 32,101 people

  • Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders: 16,596

Read our full guide about which medical conditions qualify for disability benefits.


SSA offices in Michigan

There are 45 SSA offices throughout Michigan, including four in the Upper Peninsula. 

Adrian

1040 S Winter St Ste 2401

Adrian, MI 49221

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (877) 512-5943

Fax Number: (833) 950-3401

Alpena

111 N 4Th Ave 

Alpena, MI 49707

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (877) 452-4195

Fax Number: (833) 950-2774

Ann Arbor

3971 Research Park Dr Ste A

Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (877) 402-0825

Fax Number: (734) 929-6463

Battle Creek

5700 Beckley Rd Ste D1

Battle Creek, MI 49015

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (877) 445-0829

Fax Number: (833) 950-2462

Bay City

1115 Washington Ave 

Bay City, MI 48708

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (866) 366-4924

Fax Number: (833) 950-2134

Benton Harbor

455 Bond St

Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (877) 405-5457

Fax Number: (833) 950-2474

Big Rapids

502 N State St Ste A

Big Rapids, MI 49307

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (855) 245-0641

Fax Number: (833) 950-3705

Chesterfield

26200 21 Mile Rd 

Chesterfield, MI 48051

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (866) 635-0788

Fax Number: (833) 950-3699

See all SSA offices in the state of Michigan.


How much are disability benefits in Michigan?

In 2024, the maximum payment amount for SSDI is $3,822 per month. SSI beneficiaries cannot receive more than $943 per month.

In Michigan, the average SSDI payment amount for disabled workers is $1,776 each month. The average payment for SSI beneficiaries is $625 per month. 

Estimate your disability benefit amount in just a few steps

We'll use the Social Security Administration's formula to estimate your monthly benefit.

Average
monthly check

$1,489


Do I need a lawyer to apply for benefits in Michigan?

You are not required to enlist the help of a lawyer to apply for disability benefits. However, you're three times more likely to win benefits if you do. Regardless of your state, working with a lawyer significantly increases the odds of winning your case. Working with a lawyer is good for several reasons, including:

  • A lawyer will handle the paperwork for you. Your disability application must be error-free. A lawyer can help you fill out paperwork correctly and avoid making clerical mistakes. 

  • A lawyer will communicate with the SSA on your behalf. Given their credentials, lawyers can access information that most people can’t. For example, a lawyer can access the SSA's Electronic Records Express (ERE), the system that holds all the files related to your case. If your lawyer notices any discrepancies, they can follow up with the SSA.

  • A lawyer will help with the appeals process. It's common to be denied the first time you apply for disability benefits. Most candidates have to appeal, which involves submitting more paperwork by a specific date and appearing before a court. Lawyers are familiar with this process and can represent you effectively. 


Get help with your disability application

If you’re applying for disability benefits in Michigan, Atticus can help. If you take our two-minute quiz, a member of our team will get in touch afterward to offer personalized advice about your disability claim. They can also connect you with a lawyer if you’d like.

There are no upfront costs to working with Atticus. You only pay your lawyer if they win your case for benefits, and the one-time lawyer fee is capped at 25% of your first benefits check.

Frequently asked questions about benefits in Michigan

How do I qualify for disability in Michigan?

To qualify for disability you need to have a condition that prevents you from working for at least a year. You’ll also need to meet certain work history requirements (for SSDI) or be within certain income limits (for SSI). For more on these requirements, read our full write up here.

What conditions qualify for disability in Michigan?

Any condition that will prevent you from working for a year or more can qualify for disability benefits. Some of the most common conditions include musculoskeletal disorders, mental disorders, nervous system diseases, and circulatory system diseases. See our full list of conditions that qualify here.

How long does it take to get approved for disability in Michigan?

It takes an average of 6.1 months to get an initial disability decision in Michigan. Most people who apply are initially rejected, and need to appeal this decision. If you appeal and go to a hearing, the process takes around two years on average. Read more: How Long It Takes to Get Approved for Disability Benefits

How much does disability pay in Michigan?

The average SSDI payment in Michigan is $1,384.77 per month. The average SSI payment is $639.17 per month. What you’ll earn is dependent on your income, or the amount you’ve historically paid into the Social Security program. Read more on what amount you can expect.

How should I prepare my disability application in Michigan?

Answer the application questions truthfully, consistently, and succinctly. You should also ensure that you gather and submit all your medical records with your application. The SSA paperwork can be complicated, so our legal team has written a full guide to the application here.

Does Michigan have a state disability program?

No, Michigan doesn't have a state disability program. Only five states (California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island) have a state program. Residents of Michigan can apply for federal disability programs (SSDI and SSI). Read more about SSDI and SSI here.

Related resources:

Michigan Disability Benefits

A hand drawn image of the lead disability lawyer.
By Jackie Jakab

SSA Offices in Michigan

A hand drawn image of the lead disability lawyer.
By Jackie Jakab

See what you qualify for

How long has your condition made it hard to work?

Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney

Jackie Jakab

Lead Attorney

Jackie Jakab is Atticus’s Legal Director. She’s a licensed attorney, a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, and has counseled thousands of people seeking disability benefits.
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