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Issue Alert - 04-07-02

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Jul 06, 2004

Issue Summary:

Michigan Family Independence Agency has new procedures for handling State Disability Asssistance (SDA) applications for young adults leaving Juvenile Justice facilities

Persons Affected:

Individuals with disabilities who are being released from Juvenile Justice facilities in Michigan

For More Information:

Michigan Poverty Law Program 611 Church Street, Suite 4A Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3000(734) 998-6100(734) 998-9125 Fax


State Disability Assistance (SDA)

What's Happening?

Juvenile Justice facilities will assist individuals that are due for release and may be eligible for SDA to apply for SDA two weeks before their release date. The application will be filed in the county where the individual intends to live after release. The Juvenile Justice facility will attach a special cover sheet alerting the local FIA office that the individual is being released, and providing the expected release date.FIA will schedule an in-person appointment with the individual within 5 business days of their expected release date. They will not deny the application solely because the individual is in a Juvenile Justice facility. Once the individual is released, FIA should assist the individual in updating the application to request medical assistance and food assistance.

What Should Advocates Do?

Share this information with agencies you work with who assist young adults being released from Juvenile Justice facilities.

What Should Clients Do?

Be sure to attend your in-person interview. If you cannot attend, call to reschedule it. Be sure to let the FIA worker know if you want to apply for medical assistance and food assistance, as well as State Disability Assistance (SDA).Ask your FIA worker for help if you have trouble getting verifications that FIA requests.Get legal help if you are denied assistance.

Finding Help

Most legal aid and legal services offices handle these types of cases, and they do not charge a fee. You can locate the "free" legal services or legal aid office that serves your county on the Michigan LawHelp web site ( or look in the yellow pages under "attorneys" or call the toll-free lawyer referral number, (800) 968-0738.