Filing for Social Security or SSI Disability in Michigan

Michigan DDS determines whether you are medically eligible for Social Security disability benefits.

If you live in Michigan and are unable to work due to illness or injury for at least a one-year period, you could be eligible for Social Security disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. These federal programs provide monthly cash payments to qualified individuals.

Filing for Social Security Disability Benefits in Michigan

There are multiple ways to file for Social Security disability in Michigan. You can file in person at a local Social Security Administration (SSA) field office. Or you can telephone the SSA at (800) 772-1213 or apply online at www.ssa.gov (you can apply for SSDI online only).

To apply for disability benefits in Michigan, you'll need to have a significant amount of information on hand, including details about the condition(s) that cause you to be unable to work, medical or psychiatric treatment you've obtained (including your doctors' contact information), and your past employment and earnings. (Learn more about filing a disability claim.)

After you file your application, it will be sent to Disability Determination Services (DDS), a state-level agency under the Michigan Department of Health Services. A claims examiner at DDS will decide whether you are disabled.

Appealing a Disability Decision in Michigan

Approximately three to four months after you file for disability, you'll receive a written decision in the mail. More than a third of those who apply for SSDI in Michigan are approved for benefits upon their initial application. A significant number are also granted benefits at a later stage of the disability appeals process.

Stage of Application

Michigan

Nationally

Approval After Initial Application

38%

35%

Approval After Appeal Hearing

55%

45%

Hearing Wait Time

14 months

17 months

Reconsideration in Michigan

Michigan's three-step appeals process for Social Security disability changed to a four-step appeals process in October 2019. Michigan added a "reconsideration" step of the appeals process. Before you can request an appeal hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ), you have to request that DDS reconsider your application. DDS will give your application to a different claims examiner than the one that denied your claim at the initial application stage. Nationally, only 14% of claims are approved at the reconsideration stage.

Michigan Disability Hearings

You have 60 days after receiving a denial after the reconsideration review to request a disability hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ). In Michigan, over half of these administrative hearings result in the disability applicant being awarded benefits. However, it's likely that you'll face a long wait before your hearing date. The average wait time for a hearing in Michigan is 14 months, but the wait time for the Detriot office is only 11 months on average.

At your disability hearing, you'll have the chance to testify about your inability to work. The ALJ might ask you questions about your past employment or what you can and can't do, and the SSA may contact a medical and/or vocational (employment) expert to give their opinions. In most cases, you'll receive the judge's decision in the mail within 30 days of your hearing.

Appeals Council & Federal Court Case

If your disability hearing results in an unfavorable decision (you are denied benefits), there are two more steps in the SSD appeals process – an Appeals Council review, and the filing of a case in United States District Court of Eastern Michigan or Western Michigan. Few disability applicants have their claims approved at these levels, and you'll need to retain a licensed attorney should you decide to file a court case as a result of your denied disability claim.

Michigan's State Supplement for SSI

If you haven't worked long enough, or recently enough, to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you could still be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. SSI is a needs-based federal disability program and there are no earnings requirements. However, you do have to fall under strict (and complex) asset and income limits to qualify for SSI benefits.

Those who receive SSI in Michigan may be eligible for a small additional monthly payment from the state. The amount of this benefit varies depending on the living arrangements of the disabled person. For example, under the current laws, Michigan SSI recipients who reside in a Medicaid facility would receive only $7 extra per month, but those who live independently would get an extra $14 each month, and those who live in a private home for the aged would get an extra $179.30 per month.

For couples, the amounts are included below:

Individual

Couple

Independent Living

$14

$21

Living in Household of Another

$9.33

$13.96

Medicaid Facility

$7

$14

Home for Aged

$179.30

The Michigan Department of Human Services administers the state supplement for those living in a private residence; the Social Security Administration administers the payment for all others.

Helpful Contact Info for Applying for Disability in Michigan

There are 50 Social Security Administration (SSA) field offices in Michigan – you can locate the nearest one on the SSA's website. Once your file has been sent to a DDS office, you should contact that office with any questions or to check the status of your claim.

Michigan DDS Offices

The primary responsibility of Disability Determination Services (DDS) is making decisions on Social Security disability and SSI disability claims. In Michigan, there are four DDS offices, in Detroit, Kalamazoo, Lansing, and Traverse City.

Michigan OHO Offices

Disability hearings in Michigan are held at Offices of Hearings Operations (formerly the Offices of Disability Adjudication and Review). Contact information for Michigan's OHO offices is listed below.

Detroit Hearing Office
Patrick V. McNamara Federal Building
477 Michigan Avenue, Room 900
Detroit, Michigan 48226
Telephone: (888) 748-7696
Fax: (313) 226-3625

Serves the Dearborn, Detroit (Connor, Downtown, East, Grand River, and Southwest), Fort Gratiot, and Wyandotte offices.

Flint Hearing Office
300 West Second Street
Flint, Michigan 48502-2047
Telephone: (877) 607-9526
Fax: (810) 257-3641

Serves the Bay City, Flint, and Saginaw field offices.

Grand Rapids Hearing Office
1925 Breton Road, SE Suite 200
Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Telephone: (866) 613-2860
Fax: (616) 456-9061

Serves the Grand Rapids, Holland, Kalamazoo, and Muskegon field offices.

Lansing Hearing Office
4202 Collins Road, Suite 200
Lansing, Michigan 48910
Telephone: (877) 691-6144
Fax: (517) 337-4071

Serves the Battle Creek, Jackson, Lansing, and Owosso field offices.

Livonia Hearing Office
19575 Victor Parkway, 3rd Floor
Livonia, Michigan 48152
Telephone: (866) 530-7806
Fax: (734) 805-2056

Serves the Ann Arbor, Detroit (Northwest), Farmington Hills, Inkster, Livonia, and Pontiac field offices.

Mount Pleasant Hearing Office
4035 Sweeney Road
Mount Pleasant, Michigan 48858
Telephone: (866) 873-6604
Fax: (989) 773-1579

Serves the Alpena, Big Rapids, Cadillac, Ludington, Mount Pleasant, Petoskey, Traverse City, and West Branch field offices.

Oak Park Hearing Office
Crown Pointe Building, Suite 500
25900 Greenfield Road
Oak Park, Michigan 48237-1267
Telephone: (877) 223-6060
Fax: (248) 968-0205

Serves the Chesterfield, Clawson, Detroit (7 Mile-Wyoming), Highland Park, Pontiac, Roseville, and Sterling Heights field offices.

Michigan Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Disabled Michigan workers who are interested in receiving vocational rehabilitation services can contact Michigan Rehabilitation Services. Located in Lansing, the MRS partners with numerous other state agencies to help individuals with disabilities find and maintain employment. More information can be found on the MRS website.

Getting Help with Your Michigan Social Security Disability Claim

It's easy to become overwhelmed with the disability application and appeals process. If your disability application and your reconsideration are denied, you should strongly consider hiring an attorney to represent you at your hearing. An experienced Social Security disability attorney can increase your chances of winning your case.

Updated October 31, 2019

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