How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in Michigan?

The Social Security Disability qualification process in Michigan is the same as any other state. You must first file a disability application with Social Security. You can file your disability application online, by phone, or in person at your local Social Security office.

Once you have filed your disability claim with Social Security, it is sent to one of four state disability agencies located in Kalamazoo, Lansing, Traverse City, and Detroit, Michigan. Collectively, they are known as the Michigan Disability Determination Services. Like other states, Michigan DDS disability examiners make the disability determinations for initial disability claims and reconsideration appeals.

The initial disability claim approval rate is 29.5 percent which is in line with the national average of 31.7. Unfortunately, this means about 70 percent of the disability applicants who file for disability are denied.

If your initial disability claim is denied you have to file a reconsideration appeal. The reconsideration appeal has the lowest approval rate of the disability process; however Michigan has one of the highest reconsideration appeal approval rates in the country.

The reconsideration appeal approval rate in Michigan is about 10 percent above the national average. The Michigan reconsideration appeal approval rate for is 22.0 percent compared to the national average of 11.0 percent. The combined approval rate for initial disability claims and reconsideration appeals (if all who were initially denied filed a reconsideration appeal) is over 50 percent.

While the reconsideration approval rate is very high in Michigan when compared to other states, it is important to keep in mind that there is still a 78 percent reconsideration denial rate.

If your disability reconsideration appeal is denied, you must file a disability hearing appeal. Your chances of qualifying for disability at this level of the Social Security Disability process are very good. The Administrative law judges have far more leeway when making their disability determinations than the disability examiners at the Michigan DDS, which has resulted in a much higher approval rate for disability hearing appeals in Michigan.

The average disability hearing approval rate in Michigan is 57.0 percent compared to a national average of 58.6 percent. Although the hearing approval rate in Michigan is a little less than the national average, the higher-than-average reconsideration approval rate causes more disability applicants to qualify for disability, overall, in Michigan than in most other states.

Note: The request for reconsideration appeal step is currently suspended in the state of Michigan as Michigan is one of 10 prototype states testing a system in which denied claims move immediately to the hearing level upon appeal. Reconsideration may be reinstated at some point and many consider this likely. In the meantime, a claimant who is denied on a disability application should request, and prepare, for a hearing before a federal administrative law judge.

Essential Questions

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Individual Questions and Answers

  • Filing a disability appeal in Michigan

  • Filing a disability appeal in Michigan with or without a Lawyer

  • Will I need a Social Security Disability Lawyer in Michigan?

  • Hiring a Disability Lawyer in Michigan

  • Applying for disability benefits in Michigan

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    For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

    The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

    To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.